This review is spoiler free.
“If its just you and me against a shitstorm, I don’t care. As long as it is you and me. Like before. Like it always should have been.”
Published: 2020, by Scholastic.
Genre: LGBT, Young Adult, Contemporary, Queer, Gay, Humour, Comedy
Contains: Strong Language, Crude Humour, Homophobia, Drugs/Alcohol
‘Heartbreak Boys’ follows Jack and Nate, two boys who were dumped by their respective exes at the start of summer. So, as revenge, the boys team up to start posting pictures on social media that they’re having a better time than them. However, between depressing motorway station motels and damp campsites, Jack and Nate learn to get over their heartache and open themselves up to new possibilities for love.
The works of Simon James Green is no stranger to this blog, having adored his works since the release of his debut, Noah Can’t Even, so it was no surprise that I’ve been reading his latest release. As always, his characters burrowed their way into my heart pretty quickly.
Nate made for a brilliant protagonist, timid and uncomfortable within himself yet gradually comes out of his shell. He’s insecure and afraid, which I’m sure many can understand when it comes to being a young teenager accepting his sexuality and overcoming heartache. He’s realistic, believable, which is alike many of Simon James Green’s characters and I adored that.
Jack was Nate’s opposite, completely out and proud of his homosexuality, and yet that didn’t stop him from having moments of uncertainty and fear himself. However, regardless of that, he was an extremely admirable character. He brushed off the comments of those around him and overcame homophobia to be comfortable in his own skin.
However, the most refreshing characters in this novel were Nate’s parents, being very present and caring for their son’s life. As many YA readers are probably aware of, absent parents are a common trope within the Young Adult genre, but in this novel they’re aware of their son’s struggles and make a constant effort to be a part of his life. They’re absolutely adorable and I loved every interaction they had with Nate and Jack.
The novel itself is classic Simon James Green, with witty remarks, brilliant humour and a love story that’ll melt your heart. The chapters are short, making for an easy read, whilst the first-person narratives between Jack and Nate really shine through with their unique characteristics. They’re brilliant characters, and really made the novel an incredibly addictive read.
Overall, I loved this novel. The characters draw you in and guide you along the road-trip with humorous dialogue and a love story for the ages. With Simon James Green behind the wheel, there’s nothing that could possibly go wrong.