Holy. Crap. This book was so good. I had heard it was good but my little brain was not prepared for just how good.
Henry Denton is a high school teenage boy that has a world of problems: he is a gay high school boy trying to keep his head down, his brother has dropped out of college, his mother is a chain-smoking ball of stress, his grandmother can’t remember anything about anything, his boyfriend committed suicide the year before, and aliens keep abducting him for unknown reasons. Henry keeps trying to figure out how to make sense of everything, especially the stone cold fact that the aliens have told him exactly when the world will end and that he has the power to stop it if he presses the button. What Henry cannot figure out is this: is the world worth saving? Is there enough good on this planet to save from destruction? His boyfriend, his first love, killed himself without letting anyone know why. Henry is picked on, bullied, and beat up on relentlessly at school by a closet gay male student. His family is going down the toilet at an alarming speed. Why would he want to save anything about a planet were that stuff takes place? Henry has all of these negative thoughts until he meets Diego. Diego comes in to Henry’s life and causes him to rethink everything about himself. Maybe… just maybe… there is enough good on the planet for Henry to save.
This story touched my soul in the best way possible. It shattered me, put me back together, then shattered again. What a beautifully written story. I fell in love with Henry’s character from the first page. I loved his strong will, his snarky comebacks, his determination to be true to himself no matter what horrible thing happened to him. My heart broke at how he lost his boyfriend and how he struggled to make sense of his feelings for Diego. Oh, Diego. *swoon* My heart jumped every time he was in the story. I won’t spoil anything but his character was perfection.
Henry was so complex and well developed that it was amazing to read his story. I felt as if I wanted him to be real and we be friends. The characters that I did not like, for obvious reasons, were Marcus and Charlie. I do believe they were written to be horrific d-bags. If so, all of the kudos to you, Mr. Hutchinson. Bravo. I haven’t hated anyone that bad since my ex-husband.
The plot of the story was so intriguing. I loved how the alien abductions was tied into the overall plot but it did not overshadow the rest of the story. I did not feel there was any pacing issues or slow points. I enjoyed reading how the characters really did develop and grow as the story progressed. I love how the story made me feel things and think about deeper things than just, “Hey, this MC is a gay male and he’s hilarious.”
I could not read this fast enough. In fact, I listened to the entire audio in one day. I know this book was just released but I’m sorry I didn’t pick it up sooner. This was truly a magnificent story and I want everyone to read it. If I could give this story more stars than what is currently in the sky, I would. Please, go pick up this book, check it out from your library, borrow from a friend (if your friends are okay lending you books… that’s a different blog post…), just please, read this story.