Oh, thinkin' about all our younger years. There was only you and me. We were young and wild and free. Now nothin' can take you away from me. We've been down that road before. But that's over now. You keep me comin' back for more... baby, you're all that I want when you're lyin' here in my arms. I'm findin' it hard to believe We're in heaven...
- "Heaven", Bryan Adams.
Yeah, okay, I admit ... there were times when I thought this song by Bryan Adams as CHEESY as hell. But there were times when I was feeling sappy, I read back the lyrics, and fell in love with it hard. And I thought this story was wonderfully fit the lyrics.
Brian and Joey were best friends since they were five years old, when Brian moved in to live with his 'single' Uncle (whom later we found out as a gay man), and Joey was the next-door neighbor kid, who was determined to make Brian his best friend.
They grew up together, navigating kindergarden, elementary, junior high, and high school ... watching MTV for the first time (and saw Boy George!), going with different groups at school with Joey being part of the "Freaks" and Brian being part of the "Brains" ... and of course, later on, acting on their feelings for one another.
The story was told solely from Brian's perspective, but I didn't find any problem with that. I thought Brian's journey was more interesting anyway. Not that I thought Joey was boring ... not at all! I just thought that Joey was more in grasp of who he was. Brian on the other hand, was not. So it was wonderful reading about how Brian finally got there ... knowing that he has loved Joey all along.
The bulk of this story happened in the 1980's and I highly enjoyed that. I liked the way that Brian reminded us how it was back then, with the musicians (Springsteen, Duran Duran, Boy George) ... or how communicating with your friend involved pen and paper instead of text messages. It was rather nostalgic *smile*.
Kudos as well for the wonderful secondary characters: Brian's Uncle and his gay partner, Nat. Also it felt good reading the notion that Joey's single mother was accepting her son being gay, even back in the 1980's.
Having said that, I have to agree with Arthur's review by the way. I thought the pace was a little uneven. I didn't mind reading about their childhood/teenage years, considering that I saw this as 'coming-of-age' story rather than romance. But the huge time jump before the ending was disrupting. It was a sweet ending, true, but I'd love to see more of them in the adult years too before reaching to that final moment.
Still, the story brought a HUGE smile to my face. And apparently, it also managed to wake up my sappy heart. Because at this moment, I'm writing this review while listening to Bryan Adams' "Heaven" *LOL*