Title: Changing Jamie, (2nd Edition)
Author: Dakota Chase
Genre: Teen Fiction, Contemporary
Length: Novel (180 Pages)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (Dreamspinner Press) (January 24, 2017)
Heat Level: None
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts (Combined rating)
Blurb: Jamie’s pretty much an average gay teenager. He’s in the closet, has an unrequited secret crush on a fellow high school athlete, and an awful home life. It’s a good thing he has his friend Billy to distract him and to show him that being out has its benefits. Billy is everything Jamie isn’t: openly gay, wealthy enough to follow fashion trends, and with a social calendar full of dates with older men.
Then Jamie’s life spins into a downward spiral. Billy starts acting weird and hiding things from him. His stepfather’s abusive behavior escalates until Jamie dreads going home. His English teacher assigns him to tutor the object of his affection, gorgeous track star Dylan. Jamie’s not even sure he can talk to Dylan, let alone tutor him, and it’s impossible to talk to Billy about it. Billy’s too wrapped up in a dangerous game called bug chasing: trying to catch HIV. Billy’s risky behavior nearly shatters their friendship and forces Jamie to look at the world in a whole new way. Can Jamie keep Billy safe, stay on top of homework and a new boyfriend, and convince his mom to give his stepdad the heave-ho?
First edition published by Torquere Press in 2008.
Reviewer’s: Lisa & Pixie
Lisa’s Review: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts
I have not read any stories by this author so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I do admit that if I was picking a story by the cover of a book, then I would not have picked it. The cover just doesn’t make a hit with me. Now normally I do not read any stories that have teens in them or where they are the main characters. They just seem to be missing what I want in a story. However for some reason I picked the story.
Jamie’s best friend is Billy and his crush is Dylan. Seventeen is such a hard age for anyone but especially for gay teens. His mother’s new husband is a homophobic ass and was one of the reasons he was in the closet. His best friend however is out and proud, but is a true idiot. Then there is Dylan and to Jamie’s shock he is also gay.
Billy has hooked up with someone older than he is and well let’s just say Billy is very young minded in away. He thinks that if he catches AIDS then Robbie will want him permanently; well you know how predators are. His step-dad is getting meaner and more abusive, but his mom has to wake up and see the smoke. Then there is Dylan and well if you want to know more, you have to read the book.
It is a very good book, very touching and will bring you to tears. However it is also very depressing and I can’t say that I found anything in it that I actually liked. For some reason it just doesn’t work with me, however I can see that it could possibly be a big hit for teenagers as it is about them pretty much. So for me it left me just depressed and I never want to read it again. It does talk about having AIDS, so be ready for it.
Other than my issues with it, if you are into teen stories that has pain and angst then this will be a big hit for you. If you know of any teenagers then you might want them to also read it.
Pixie’s Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4 ½ Hearts
Jamie is 17yrs old and has a massive crush on Dylan. His best friend Billy is acting a little strange and his step-dad is on this earth to make his life miserable.
Jamie has a lot on his plate as he struggles with his best friend’s actions; Dylan confessing to him and trying to get his mom to see what a waste of space his step-dad is. When Jamie hunts for Billy, Dylan offers to help him out. When Jamie finds out the truth behind Billy’s actions and is devastated, Dylan is there to offer comfort and support. When Dylan confesses why he is there for him, Jamie is over the moon. Jamie comes across as a young man who might not be the best at everything. Who might struggle in some areas but he knows who he is and although he hides it a lot, he knows he does and he really doesn’t believe that he is something he isn’t.
Dylan is a dumb jock or rather that’s what he wants people to believe. When he gets a chance to spend time with Jamie he grabs it with both hands. It’s not easy as he works through what he wants but when he nearly loses Jamie he decides that he can face anything if he’s with Jamie. Dylan comes across as slightly privileged but not full of himself and he seems to be a genuine young man who does think of others, although he struggles with what to do he isn’t stupid in what he says or his actions.
Billy is one screwed up young man. He thinks he’s in love and will do anything to be with that man; even if it means giving up his life. He hides what he is doing from Jamie and deserts Jamie when he realizes that Jamie just doesn’t understand that he is now truly happy… that is until reality sets in. Billy seems to be desperate to belong and completely screws up his life in the process. But when he turns to Jamie, Jamie is there to help him and advise him no matter how badly Billy acted or treated Jamie. True best friends.
This is a really well written story about young men who are finding themselves and making mistakes, but it is also about facing up to their actions and realizing that that it isn’t only them who are allowed to make mistakes. Some parts of this book had me laughing; some nearly crying and some filled me with pure joy. There are two scenes that I really loved and both of them took place at the school. They filled me with hope that somewhere, at some time, more people will act like this and it will become an everyday occurrence.
This is a perfect Y/A romance that I have to recommend you read if you already haven’t because it is wonderful.