Review: Pictures of You by Leta Blake ('90s Coming of Age #1)

Note: This ARC was provided by IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review.

Pictures of You is the first novel in the four-part '90s Coming of Age series written by author Leta Blake. Book one takes place in 1990 and 1991, and with me having graduated from high school at sixteen in 1990 and finishing my first year of college in 1991, it was easy for me to appreciate how life-changing of a stage main character Peter Mendel was in. Here was this eighteen-year-old guy, at the cusp of leaving behind his childhood and facing adulthood but still not being able to fully embrace certain realities about himself. Living in a small town like Knoxville, Tennessee isn't exactly the easiest place to tell those closest to you that you're gay, so he hides behind his camera, taking snapshot after snapshot, choosing to remain the observer in the background unnoticed. When he meets Adam Algedi, Adam does more than notice Peter...

This is, without a doubt, Leta Blake's best book to date. Her writing is beyond measure, giving readers a tale that evokes such a conflicting collection of emotions and musings. Do we get a happily-ever-after? Nope. Remember me mentioning that this is a four-part series? Well, expect several unresolved issues and yes, I was left hanging, so frustration still abounds even though it's been hours since I finished reading the book. But then the frustration isn't totally a bad thing because it means I desperately need even more of Peter's story. There were times I wanted to give him a hug and other times that I wanted to knock some sense into him because he deserved better and it was like he was okay with the crumbs being given to him. He wanted love and acceptance but he was giving so much of it away, leaving little to nothing for himself.

Peter is a teenager who is no longer a child but not quite an adult. He's in transition but he's stuck in a lot of ways, taking a step or two forward but scurrying back several steps, depending on the situation he's faced with. The attention that Adam gives him is something that Peter never imagined he would ever receive from anyone, what more from a popular, good-looking boy his age? It isn't difficult to not just empathize with Peter but to recognize things about him that we've seen in ourselves at one point or another or maybe see in someone close to us. He's undoubtedly insecure and unsure, but he does do some growing up in this first book. His story continues in the next three books, but in this first one, his evolution does begin, and it's one that I want to keep witnessing. Pictures of You is a stellar five-star read. ♥

Date Read: 17 October 2016

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