07 October 2014

I Hate Summer by H.T. Pantu

Out since he was fourteen, Idrys grew up hating summer, mostly because of Trystan Jackson, the gorgeous eldest son of his parents’ holiday friends. After avoiding the joint holiday for five years, Idrys must now face Trystan again... or risk the wrath of his parents. Like Idrys, Trystan isn’t exactly the guy he was the last time they met, but Idrys has more to worry about than Trystan’s odd sleeping habits. He has to steel his—usually nonexistent—morals against the advances of the cute and innocent Josh, Trystan’s younger brother.

It’s only ten days, right? And afterward he doesn’t have to see either of them for another year.

If only it was that simple.

Two months after the holiday from hell, Trystan gets a last minute placement in the city where Idrys lives, and suddenly both brothers are back in Idrys's life. Idrys is determined to carry on regardless, but sooner or later he might have to face the fact that summer doesn't last forever.

To start, I would love to see the creation that is Idrys in the flesh. He sounds like an amalgamation of features that should not work, yet do to create an ethereally beautiful androgynous man. And my response is exactly the kind of attention that Ide has dealt with most of his life – excessive attention, both good and bad, because of the way he looks. We are well into the book before he shares this information and by the point it occurs you know that this is not a matter of Ide being conceited or arrogant, but rather a fact. It’s one for which I couldn’t help but feel badly for him because as his story unfolds we learn that it has caused him pain in the past and is preventing him from finding happiness.

Even though Ide can be an arse and an all-around P.I.T.A., he’s a rather endearing character and I found myself sucked right into his story, hoping he got his happy ending. Surprisingly, it is Trystan, his childhood nemesis, who gradually works himself into the position to be the one to provide that happy ending. I was quite relieved that Trystan ended up being someone who didn’t scare off easily and cared for the person that Ide was and not the persona his looks often led him to be. While I pick up a romance with expectations regarding it ending in a certain way (i.e., happily), it is the journey to get there that makes the story worth reading. I Hate Summer has plenty of drama, sex, insecurities, “coming outs,” and love – it even included several laugh-out-loud moments – and it all combined perfectly for a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Ms. Pantu has penned a well-crafted novel that ended up being a much more emotional read than I anticipated and a lovely one at that. I absolutely loved Idrys – flaws and all – and loved watching the way his relationship with Trystan evolved. I also found the way he took Josh under his wing (so to speak) quite sweet. The author has created a wonderful cast of characters and, oddly enough, I would have liked to see more of Echo because the brief appearance he made in the book left a rather striking impression. I Hate Summer has made it onto my reread list and I look forward to reading more of Ms. Pantu’s work.


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