Teen love in Texas

Don't-Let-Me-GoDon’t Let Me Go
by J.H. Trumble (2012, Kensington). $15; 352 pp.

Nate Schaper was in love with Adam Jefferies from the moment Adam had rushed over to Nate’s locker to help another student who’d been bullied. Adam was like that: compassionate and smart, gentle and caring — not to mention so beautiful, Nate could barely stand it. They were an “us” not long after that morning by the lockers, and within weeks, they’d decided to come out together.

Adam was a senior then — a budding actor, a lover of the stage, and about to graduate. Nate was a junior and he never wanted to let Adam go.

But the following summer, he had to do it: Houston and New York City are 1,600 miles apart, and Adam had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to appear off-off-Broadway. Nate wasn’t about to hold him back.

Once in New York, though, Adam seemed not to miss Nate as much as the other way around. Adam had a new life complete with hottie roommate. He never seemed to have time for Nate anymore. Things had changed.

But Nate had changed, too. Angry with the way his life was going, he’d become a silent activist at school. He made a new friend, a straight guy who wouldn’t take any trouble from bullies. And when it seemed like Adam was so yesterday, Nate found another boyfriend.

But can you truly forget the love you lost?  Stuffing aside memories of Adam and the things they shared, Nate wondered when he ever would…

Looking to spend some time with a wonderfully satisfying love story?  You can stop your search right here, because Don’t Let Me Go will do just right.

With some not-quite-chaste bedroom scenes and a host of characters to embrace, author J.H. Trumble adds sass and spice to a tale of romance found and lost.

But love isn’t the only focus of this story: teenage Nate encounters homophobia in various forms and though it lends a certain squirmy realism, those parts of this book aren’t easy to read. Fortunately, Trumble’s supporting (and supportive) cast offsets the hate, which gives this novel meaning.

This is a great book for teens and adults alike, and it has an ending that … well, I don’t want to ruin it for you, so let’s just say it works. If you’re up for a nice boy-meets-boy story, Don’t Let Me Go is a book to get lost in.

— Terri Schlichenmeyer

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 3, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Starvoice • 10.07.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Brett Favre turns 42 on Monday. The former NFL quarterback has an oustanding record that includes three consecutive MVP titles and a Super Bowl ring. We kind of forgot all that during his sexting scandal with Gameday host Jenn Sterger. Images of Favre’s private parts leaked to the media, but he’s always denied sending such picture messages. Major fumble.

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THIS WEEK

The sun conjoins Saturn in Libra, clarifying the limits of relationships. Such reality checks can be unpleasant, but romance can’t last without work and realism. Work on it!

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LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Sex and money are likely to come up. The argument would be over money; sex could be the resolution. Either way, stay focused on what’s important and where your partner ranks.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Keep your attention on your goals and don’t worry about the attention. Opportunities for love, or a rocking facsimile, are coming up. If you got love, get rocking.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Boundary issues with co-workers need discussion. Financial opportunities approach, but they’ll need hard work and sacrifice. Don’t screw it up by arguing with someone who wants to help.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Friends who challenge you can be the best friends around but pay close attention. Are they for you or against you? Be attentive. Even enemies’ harsh criticisms can prove helpful.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Showing off your intellect could end up showing your limits. Be open to teachers who can help you toward clearer thinking. An open mind makes you a better partner.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Hiding feelings of loss and dread makes them worse. Sharing them with your partner increases emotional intimacy. This experience and your strong empathy will soon prove helpful.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Not getting the attention you want makes you especially cranky. Avoid angry and inappropriate outbursts. Your inspirations need work, but your creative juices are high. Show what you can do.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
You might meet that someone special by the end of the week. There’s no predicting true love, but exciting conversations can open doors to meeting amazing new people. Don’t be shy.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
Fanciful notions take a dark turn, either delicious or morbid. Stay with it and see where they are coming from. Focus on work. Your colleagues deserve input on new ideas before you take initiative.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
You’re shining at work, although that makes you feel precarious, as a “king of the hill” needing to defend yourself. Acknowledging the effort and support of others will help you feel less lonely.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
Taking yourself too seriously is sure to lead to arguments. If you’re really so smart, prove it by taking a class in something entirely new, or read a book that will challenge your mind.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Take conversations to new depths. Someone you’re sweet on may be ready to get more intimate. Raise the subject, but be careful and read the signals carefully to know how.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 7, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas