Wendy reviews Memorizing You by Dan Skinner. Published July 9,2013, 292 pages.
Two high school boys from different walks of life: Ryan, a handsome athlete, and David, an average joe from a blue collar family, discover their desires, stealing their kisses under the cover of an old oak at night. Their love begins a secret life, hidden from their families, friends, and classmates. As their passion grows, so does the danger of their discovery. Their only hope is to create a separate world where every kiss is a treasure and every moment… memorable.
First love. Secret love. Unforgettable love.
This week is Award Winning Book week. I’ve been meaning to review this book for ages and I was so happy when I saw that it was the Rainbow Award nominee for best LGBT Young Adult 2013. I knew that it was time to write this review.
This story, that takes place over a period of 40 years, is one man’s reflection of his first love. His forever love. I don’t even know that I have enough words to tell you how much this book touched me. I read this book originally in 2014 and I re-read it almost a week ago. I don’t usually have trouble handing out my opinion of a book but I really wanted to get this review right. From the moment the main character discovers that he likes a boy forward, I was captivated. It is a beautiful story that has elements of what living and loving as a young gay couple must have been like in that time period. The 60’s may have been a time of free love, but not so much for them. The pure joy that Dan Skinner writes about as well as the heartbreak both had me sobbing. Several times throughout the story as a matter of fact. Just when I thought that now, maybe these two boys have lived and learned enough and now they can have their HEA, the author threw another twist into the mix. That the young men continue to see and believe the best in everything around them astounds me.
The sex that happens between them is sweet, just as you would expect in a YA book and it transcends being just sex. The connection and loving that takes place is so much more than just sex. Although they are young adults and… hormones.
I think this book has some of the best secondary characters I’ve ever read. They are full of life and opinion and make the story great. They felt so real. I could absolutely imagine these characters in my life. And for the most part, they are characters that I would want in my life if I could choose.
I don’t usually say anything about cover art, but in this case, it was what drew me to the book. It is a gorgeous cover and I can see why Dan Skinner does both photography and writing amazing stories like this.
This was the first book I had read by this author but not my last. This book makes me want to be a better person. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It is a must read.