My Summer of Wes by Missy Welch is a sweet and sexy romance that left me with a smile on my face when I finished the book. Even though this book is told in first person with Mal’s point of view, I didn’t feel cheated by not knowing what was going on in the other characters minds. It’s a very well written and fun filled book, and I loved every minute of it.
Malcolm “Mal” believes he lives in a vanilla pudding world where everything is very sterile and has no personality. For the past four years, Mal has been terribly harassed and bullied by several jocks at school. He’s been beaten and called horrible names like ‘fag’ so he’s made efforts to be unnoticed by others. Mal’s parents have pretty much ignored the ongoing trauma that Mal has had to endure during his high school years. They just do their thing and let Mal do his. When new neighbors move across the street from Mal, it puts his parents in an uproar. The new neighbors obviously don’t live by the vanilla pudding rules like having beige or colorless furniture when the red couch was taken off of the moving truck. But, it was the Wes, the new neighbor’s son that puts a much needed colorful sprinkle in Mal’s vanilla pudding world.
Wes is everything Mal thinks he’s not. He’s gorgeous, fun, athletic and gay. When Wes puts the bullies that has harassed Mal in their place, Mal is even more impressed by his courage to be himself and not take any slack from others. To Mal’s surprise, Wes approaches him and wants to hang out with him. Mal of course, is thrilled but worried once that Wes finds out what a geek he is, he won’t want to hang out with him anymore. But, to Mal’s confused delight, Wes seems to really enjoy hanging out with Mal. As a friendship develops, Mal starts to feel an attraction to Wes, and has to face that he’s been living in denial of being gay for his entire life. Will Mal be able to accept his sexuality and open himself up to the true love he could find with Wes?
I loved this coming of age story. I really appreciated how Mal was able to come to terms with his homosexuality and really evolve into his own man by the end of the book. Mal and Wes really brought out the best in one another, and they had a very sweet and endearing relationship that lived with me long after the book was over. Both Mal and Wes were amazingly well written characters that both endeared themselves within my heart.
There isn’t a lot of angst in this story. It’s just a sweet and feel good book that left me with a smile on my face when I finished reading the last word. I will happily put My Summer of Wes on my keeper shelf where I will enjoy it for many years to come.
Missy Welch has a very interesting and informative website. Here is the link if you are interested: http://missywelsh.com
Genre: LGBT Contemporary
Length: Short Novel
Mal is quiet and observant, a geek who has been in hiding ever since bullies decided he was gay and abused him during high school. He wants to be brave, have a real life, but he's always afraid...until he meets Wes. Wes is outgoing, honest, and eager to be in Mal's life any way he'll let him, though what he really wants is to love Mal with everything he has.
At first, Mal is in denial about being gay. Later, he's uncertain if it's really what he wants or just what's on offer. But if he really loves Wes, maybe he doesn't need to know right now.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Male/male sexual practices.