Review: Chasing the Sunrise by H.A. Robinson (Young Hearts #2)


Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Enticing Journey Book Promotions.

“I'm not used to speaking my mind. I tell jokes and make people laugh—at me or with me, it doesn't matter as long as they're laughing—but you... You make me feel utterly exposed, like a raw nerve. You strip all that stuff away and I have no idea what's left underneath.” 
“What's left underneath is you, Tom. The boy who enjoys digging in the rain and swimming at midnight. The boy who loves sunflowers because they make people happy, and underneath all the facades, that's who you are—the boy who wants everybody to be happy because he knows what it's like to be desperately lonely.”

You know how you come across a book and hope that, at the very least, you're entertained enough for the next two or three hours you spend reading it, but then, as you're flipping from one page to the next, you realize what a treasure you have on your hands? That was exactly the case with not just one but two novels that I've had the privilege of reading recently. One I've already written my review for and the other is the one I'm reviewing now, both books by one author, H.A. Robinson, who, by the way, is now on my list of readers that whose back list I need to do some heavy duty delving in to because, hello, clearly I've been missing out! I may no longer be a young adult, but young adult (YA) tales hold a special place in my heart, and H.A. Robinson's Chasing the Sunrise is extra special.

Seventeen-year-old Thomas Williams is the picture of perfection--the perfect son, the perfect friend, the perfect student--but a picture is worth a thousand words, and "perfect" is not one of them when it comes to Tom. Oh, he's tried his best to be the kind of son his parents would be proud of, the sort of best friend that's there whenever he's needed, the type of student his teachers consider gifted, but all Tom wants is to be himself. However, being himself would mean being honest about his sexuality and confessing to his best friend that he's in love with him. He wishes his two other closest friends were around to help him through, but Tom is about to meet new people who make him start to see the world and himself differently and give him the courage to be who he really is. The question is: just how prepared is Tom to come into his own and be who he really is, and is he ready to learn some harsh truths?

Tom was originally introduced in Robinson's first Young Hearts novel, The Pebble Jar, and he was the sort of peripheral character that you just knew had a story to tell and that you had a feeling it would be worth reading. I loved getting to know him even better here, and I loved this imperfect version of him because it was the authentic version of Tom Williams. Abigail Costa and Elliot do make appearances here, but there were two new notable characters here--Beatrix (whose last name I don't recall being mentioned) and Jacob Cooper, aka Trix and Jake. I won't say what roles they play in Tom's life, but suffice it to say that they were exactly what Tom didn't know he needed. (Bonus points for Deefer; just because.) Chasing the Sunrise is a book you need and want. Five-plus stars. ♥

Date Read: 24 October 2018

Learn more about H.A. Robinson.

Purchase Chasing the Sunrise on Amazon.

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