Shattered Glass by A.C. Katt is going to be a very hard book to review and rate. I actually finished this book a couple of days ago, and I wanted to step back from it for a while so I could gather my thoughts together for this review. Honestly, I still have conflicting opinions when I think about this book.
If you are looking for a light read, Shattered Glass is not the book for you. It deals with some heavy issues that we all can relate to a rock and roll lifestyle and much more. There is drug and alcohol abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, characters dealing with death of their parents at a young age, an attempted suicide and a rape. I admit, I cried several times throughout this book. It definitely pulled at my heartstrings, and there were several times I had to take a break from reading the book for a few moments and then come back to it later.
Please don’t get me wrong, this book is a very good book. Even though one of the characters, Liam, goes through so much in his young life, I really rallied behind him and was in awe of his inner strength and the self discovery and growth that he goes through. Although this book is really about all of the band members of Shattered Glass, in my opinion, it was Liam that captured my heart in the novel.
Liam is just six years old when he meets Milo and Sam. Liam’s father had just died in a horrible accident and he and his mother, Lily, had just moved into the same neighborhood that Milo and Sam live in. After befriending Liam’s mother, Milo immediately takes the young and effeminate Liam under his wing even though he’s six years older than him.
As the years go by, Milo continues to look out and protect the young Liam. When Milo, Sam and Sam’s younger brother Rick decide to form a band six years later, they have a hard time finding a lead singer. Liam convinces the boys to let him try out, and once Milo and the other band members hear Liam’s beautiful voice, Shattered Glass is born.
As the next few years pass, several things happen. Liam’s mother, Lily, gets terminal cancer and signs guardianship of Liam under Milo’s care. As Milo and Liam become more attached to one another, Milo starts to feel guilty because of his deep love and attraction to the younger Liam, so he had sex with every female groupie he comes across. To make matters worse, Milo is firmly in the closet and has no intentions of ever leaving it. Milo’s father hated homosexuals and because of the venom his father would spew about them, Milo has learned to live in fear of being true about his sexuality to others.
Finally, when Liam is about to turn eighteen, Milo decides to tell Liam how he feels about him. Liam, of course, is thrilled that Milo wants him as much as he wants Milo. They wait until Liam’s eighteenth birthday, and they make love for the first time. Although they live together and have a relationship, they still are in the closet to everyone who is outside of the band. Milo’s fear of what others will think of his sexuality taints the love he and Liam have for each other.
As the years go by, a band member does everything he can to sabotage their relationship. Finally, lack of communication and hurt feelings, break Milo and Liam apart and this also breaks the band apart, too. Now years later, Milo and Liam must meet again to help a fellow band member out. Will they ever be able to find their way back together again?
Believe me; I left a lot out of the story. I didn’t want to get into it my summary too much, because I don’t want to give anything away. I will say that Liam goes through hell and back in his book. At one point, I wondered how much more could he take? I felt such empathy for him and rallied behind him to come out stronger in the end. Thankfully, he does, and I ended up rejoicing at Liam’s sheer will and perseverance to survive and become a better and stronger man than he was before the horrible breakup with Milo.
I had some issues with Milo. At the beginning of the book, Milo is very mature for his age. I was happy that he took Liam under his wing. I really liked him and Liam together as lovers and friends. There were times their relationship was very tender and sweet and I loved it. But, Milo has a temper and is one to jump to conclusions. Often, his actions cause him to cut off his nose to spite his face. He too, does a lot of personal growth throughout the book, but I’m not sure if he will ever look at Liam as an equal. Because he had protected him all those years, and because of the six year age difference, Milo is pretty dominating over Liam and I don’t know if that dynamic of their relationship will ever really change between them.
Even though this book is a rollercoaster ride of happiness and tons of angst, I still enjoyed reading it. The brotherly love that most of the band has for one another was very poignant and sweet at times. I enjoyed watching every character in the book grow up and evolve into the people they became.
Also, before each chapter there is a verse or two of the band’s songs. Some of the songs were truly beautiful and they definitely captured the love Milo and Liam had between them. These songs read as lovely as any poem. I really loved them.
I’m going to recommend this book because it’s extremely well written. I know because of the drugs, rape and other heavy subject manner, that this book isn’t going to be for everyone. That’s a shame, because it definitely caught my attention and has held onto it. Even now, days later, the characters and their story (especially Liam) weigh heavily on my mind.
When you are in the mood for heavy angst, complex characters and to read about a love that is strong enough to preserver through many of life’s ups and downs; this book is definitely for you.
A.C. Katt has a very interesting website. There is even a Shattered Glass video for our viewing pleasure. I’m looking forward to reading more by this author, and I plan on keeping tissues handy next time I start one of her books! Here is the link to check out A.C. Katt’s website: http://www.ackatt.com
Re-Issued Review. Original review date: 8/11/2010
Liam knew he loved Milo, even as a kid. But their fame and fortune can't buy him the happiness of taking Milo out of the closet and be able to freely express their love. Unfortunately, there is someone out there who will do anything to tear them apart. He conspires to break the lovers up in the most vicious way possible.
Six years later, Liam is older, wiser, and has rebuilt his life after the devastating loss of his lover. Forced by his loyalty to a friend, Liam agrees to a working reunion with Milo. When they realize what was done to them, they band together to uncover the web of lies that pulled them apart.