Review: Caught Inside (Boys on the Brink, #1) by Jamie Deacon

Luke believes he has his life figured out…and then he meets Theo.

It should have been simple—a summer spent with his girlfriend Zara at her family’s holiday cottage in Cornwall. Seventeen-year-old Luke Savage jumps at the chance, envisioning endless hours of sunbathing on the private beach and riding the waves on his beloved surfboard. He isn’t interested in love. Though his rugged good looks and lazy charm mean he can have his pick of girls, he has no intention of falling for anyone.

Nothing prepares Luke for his reaction to Theo, the sensitive Oxford undergraduate who is Zara’s cousin and closest friend. All at once, he is plunged along a path of desire and discovery that has him questioning everything he thought he knew about himself. No one, especially Zara, must find out; what he and Theo have is too new, too fragile. But as the deceit spirals beyond their control, people are bound to get hurt, Luke most of all.

I've dithered and blathered and changed my thoughts on how to rate this novel so many times, in the end I've settled for 3.5 hearts. The official BMBR rating description for 3.5 is...

"3.5 hearts   I more than liked it, but didn't really go crazy about it; I appreciated the main parts."

...which is actually a really apt description. Maybe I should have refreshed my memory of our actual rating system and saved myself a right old headache!

This is the first in a series and I find I often rate the first in a series lower (then I read the series, fall in love, re-read the first book and re-rate it) they are tricky devils, setting up characters for the long haul, nobody wants a full character arc in book one; it needs to be a tease, an introduction - it's meant to make us care for the character, even if we don't fall completely head over heels in love straight away. Standalones are different beasts altogether, the character needs to be everything in that one book, their journey needs to be complete. This first book is meant to make me become interested in the characters, and Jamie Deacon did this very well.

Frankly, I wasn't that enamoured with Luke or Zara - but I was interested by them.  They both felt egotistical and self-obsessed... but if you can't be that at 17, when can you? It was a tangled web of lies and deceit, where the characters chose the selfish option every damn time. Lust beat out friendship and family...but I could kind of understand it. Kind of. The world looks pretty different at 40 than it does at 17. 17 is all about the here and now - the future feels too distant and the past is negligible, a mix of childhood, and early adolescence, a place where the lucky ones have yet to understand the world doesn't revolve around them. So I might not have liked them per se, but I have started to care about them. I'm interested. Theo on the other hand, I did like. I didn't always like his choices (read: this boy stinks at decisions), but I did like him. 

I am very interested to see where this series goes. There is a reason why I like to read a whole series in one gorgeous sitting, and this first book is a great example of it. I don't love the characters enough yet and there are always threads of the story that will carry on to the next book. BUT. But, but, but - I am absolutely interested enough to want to read more. I'm just apparently not good at waiting and having to read the series bit by bit.

There were a couple of typos, nowt major and nothing that detracted from the story or made me want to change my rating. Keep your eyes out for this series, YA fans, I suspect it is gonna be good!

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
For more information see Goodreads.

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