You’re Always the Last Place I Look

by T.N. Gates

Reviewed March 29, 2017

5 Stars

Holy Hell!!! I feel like I just lived a life time and need my snuggie AND a huge glass(or bottle) of wine all while doing happy drunk cartwheels.

Oh, how I love coming of age stories. They are like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I think calling it a coming of age story is too simple. It was SO. MUCH. MORE. Even the title isn’t as it seems. I know many m/m COA stories have sadness during self discovery. It had sadness, yes, but a bone deep sadness. It had a depth that isn’t prevalent in many of the COA/self-discovery books due to both MCs experiences prior to coming together; especially Zane.

This book made me feel giddy, giggly, pissed off, heartbroken, and heavy hearted depending on the pagesentence word I was reading.

The coming out was pretty tame for a small country town. Gabe didn’t really seem to struggle a lot during his self-discovery. He was just so relieved to be having “normal” teenage emotions. He struggled more with his past sexual encounters and lack of experience than with being gay. The revelation to his parents was both heartbreaking and heart healing. Gabe’s mom walked in on him while “in-hand” as he said and HE. STILL. FINISHED *Waggles eyebrows & LMAO* The moment after provided so much angst relief with them cracking up about it and then shit gets real when he confirmed that he was gay a second later. Her reaction “nicked his soul.” *my heart cracked* Gabe’s dad was a soothing balm on the entire family. He provided the love and comfort Gabe needed to feel worthy at all the right moments. He also had a great support system with Lilly, Tye *swoon,* Gary, and Zane.

Oh Zane!!! His shit was jacked up farther than a monster truck at a rally. There is so much depth and bone crushing sadness to Zane while at the same time he just needed a compass. “Zanes not bad, just drawn that way.”

Gabe was in a numb denial for so long and was SO happy and relieved to be feeling something. Zane gave him butterflies…“Butterflies… annoying and beautiful made me feel alive.” The sex wasn’t explicit in this book. “Stop moving.””okay.” “you’re moving.”…Can’t help it, I woke up in my dream….” *aww* There was just enough description of their sexy times that you knew what was happening but not enough that you felt like you needed some batteries and a cigarette after. Their first kiss though… yowza, that was hot!! Zane and Gabe’s story wasn’t insta-love-easy. It was a journey; a long journey. But the path was paved with beautiful emotions and revelations:
“He was everything I never knew I’d been missing.”

“It tasted like a betrayal to love him. So wonderfully sweet, yet achingly sour at the same time.”

“It was an open book, full of empty pages, waiting for him to map our way. Putting pen to paper, his lips touched down on mine.”

Although I 5 starred the crap out of it, there are a couple things that I would like to mention:

There were small errors throughout. Things like ridiculous vs ridicules or bit/bite that I was able to use good ol’ fashioned context clues without stopping my reading mojo.

I wanted Zane’s POV throughout. There was about 3 pages around 97% that oddly switched to his POV for the first time and then went right back to Gabe’s without any warning.

“You’re still here…beautiful, vibrant, alive.”

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