Audiobook Review: When Everything is Blue by Laura Lascarso

When they were kids, Chris Mitcham rescued Theo from the neighborhood bullies and taught him how to “be cool.” Now, years later, Theo’s developed feelings for his best friend that arise at the most inopportune times. Theo hates lying to Chris, but in coming out, he might lose the one person who understands him best, a risk he’s not willing to take.

When a relationship with another young man goes south, Theo is forced to confront his own sexuality along with his growing attraction to Chris and his stunted, tenuous relationship with his father. Will Chris abandon Theo when he learns the truth, or will he stand by him in this tumultuous season of self-discovery?

In this quirky coming-of-age romance, Theo’s path to manhood is fraught with awkward firsts and a few haters, but also the unexpected comfort of a friend turned lover.

Narrator: Michael Mola
Listening Length: 7 hours 1 minute

I have to admit that this was a very very good YA story. It’s got seriously smart writing, capturing the awkwardness, the mixed emotions, the turmoil of growing up, all heady with insecurity and doubts and trying to find your place and voice while struggling with desires and pesky hormones. This brilliantly portrays the spirit of youth and lust, first crushes and love!

I also have to admit that this made me extremely anxious. I think I kinda now truly realize why I’m not such a huge YA fan. It’s all those said emotions above that are at times quite painfully nostalgic, contemplating the mysteries of looming adulthood and trying to make sound decisions through perhaps many a misstep. Soooo much is unknown and up in the air, and when you throw in the fear of coming out - which is completely reasonable and understandable - poor poor me was on edge pretty much the entire time.

Even though this is the classic friends to lovers trope where one MC is afraid to tell/show his feelings for fear of losing his bff, Lascarso really just brings her two protagonists Theo and Chris, to stark poignant life. I felt every emotion Theo went through, whether that was mortification, longing, hope, or dismay - all feels he had towards Chris. Chris isn’t perfect but he’s pretty damn close. I loved how these two knew each other so well, cared and looked after each other, and when it came down to it, their friendship was always their first priority. This also isn’t some fairy tale. Though of course I want everything to be 100% perfect and happy, we know real life’s rarely that and despite the wonderful ending here, Theo’s family and friends aren’t saints, and neither is he.

For those who fancy audios, who is Michael Mola and where the hell has he been all my life?! This guy is amazing. Seriously wow. He utilizes his voice with such fine nuance and pacing that I was impressed the entire time, as he wonderfully depicts Theo and Chris, as well as the other supporting characters - warts and all. Here, Mola’s performance definitely elevated my enjoyment!

So, if you like coming of age tales, an ultimately oh-so-sweet friends to lovers evolution that has a good bite to it, then this beautiful (impressively sexy) love story, is assuredly one you need to read or listen to!! Don’t wait, go now!

Thank you to the author/publisher for the audio in exchange for an honest review.

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