Collide

Collide

by J. R. Lenk
4.8 5

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Overview

Collide by J. R. Lenk

Being bisexual is cool now—unless you’re a boy. Or so it seems to invisible fifteen-year-old Hazard James. But when he falls in with bad apple Jesse Wesley, Hazard is suddenly shoved into the spotlight. Jesse and his friends introduce him to the underworld of teenage life: house parties, hangovers, the advantages of empty homes, and reputation by association. So what if his old friends don’t get it? So what if some people love to hate him? Screw gossip and high school’s secret rules. There’s just something about walking into a room and having all eyes on him when just last year nobody noticed him at all.

For a while Hazard basks in the attention, and before he realizes the depth of the waters he’s wading, he and Jesse strike up a “friends with benefits” routine. It could be something more, but what self-respecting teenage boy would admit it? Not Jesse—and so not Hazard, either. Not until it’s too late. Hazard and Jesse have collided, and Hazard’s life will never be the same.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014511032
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Publication date: 04/15/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 290
Sales rank: 324,339
File size: 776 KB

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Collide 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is highly compelling and definitely plays on your emotions. Great writing style and plot, and you can't help but come to care for Lenk's characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
StuntShark More than 1 year ago
Normally I hate it when people tell me a movie or book is “the best” they’ve ever seen or read, because my expectations raise so high that I’m invariably disappointed. Having said that, I have to confess, in all honesty, that “Collide” is one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I’ve read A LOT of books. In fact, I read it twice. This book is simply amazing! It’s an achingly poignant and bittersweet account of two painfully lonely teenagers from different backgrounds who, against their will and desire, fall desperately in love with one another. For anyone who’s ever felt the ache of abject loneliness, that palpable, overwhelming feeling that you don’t fit into any group and never will fit in, you can absolutely relate to Hazard Oscar James, the main character. He’s a lost, confused adolescent, feeling unloved by his self-absorbed and careless parents, who feels even his best friend since second grade is pulling away from him when they enter high school. Jesse Logan Wesley, rich, spoiled, ignored by equally careless parents, callous and hard and just as lonely as Hazard, surrounds himself with parties and booze and frivolous pursuits to mask the emptiness in his life, and in his heart. The lives of both boys change when 11th grade Jesse smirkingly collides with Hazard one day in the school cafeteria, inviting the younger freshman to party with him and his friends. Like two magnets, they attract and repel one another in equal measure. Thus begins four years of fights and collisions and reconciliations, and the despairing realization of two boys who, terrified to admit they might be gay, fall painfully in love and mutual need, and over the course of many bittersweet moments of joy, agony and grief, finally come to understand that they simply cannot live without each other. If two boys in love offends you, you’ll likely not enjoy this book, especially since there are brief, but artfully rendered, sex scenes between the two. For myself, other than the aching loneliness within Hazard’s confused heart, I have no personal experience with anything that happens in this book, including the wild high school partying (like Hazard, I never fit in with any group and unlike Hazard never met a Jesse Logan Wesley to indoctrinate me into the shallow masking of pain through partying). And, just so you know, the book does not appear to condone drunken binges and wild partying for high school kids – if anything, it makes that lifestyle seem sad and empty and pathetic. However, this story still touched me deeply to the heart and made me ache for Hazard, and even feel sorry for the hard-edged, often cruel and temperamental Jesse. These characters live and breathe with painful, gut-wrenching reality and you cannot but hope for their eventual redemption. The fact that “Collide” was written when the author was just seventeen years old makes the accomplishment even more astounding, as the writing is mature and thoughtful, sometimes bordering on the profound. My complaints are so minimal that I hesitate to mention them, but here they are: there are so many party scenes and so many characters flitting in and out of those parties that sometimes I found it hard to keep track of them. A character would resurface later in the story and I couldn’t recall just how Hazard had met him or her, or even if he or she was supposed to be important. Also, there is (in my humble opinion) an intrusive and unnecessary, and very long, flashback chapter right in the middle of the book that jarringly pulled me out of the narrative and didn’t really provide any necessary information that couldn’t have been worked in throughout the story in more subtle ways. Having said all this, do yourself an enormous favor: read “Collide.” Get to know Hazard Oscar James and Jesse Logan Wesley. You won’t be sorry you did. And if you feel too squeamish to read about “gay” boys, then you’ll sadly miss out on two of the most desperately touching and memorable characters of this or any year. And that will be your loss.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago