Author: Nikki Godwin
Release Date: January 14th, 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Format: Ebook, Bought
When sixteen-year-old Jude Calvert sets out to steal stained glass from a broken cathedral window, he finds more than shards of red. He finds Max Rangel - his eye candy from his new LGBT support group - hauling a giraffe carcass across an abandoned part of town with a pack of guys. And he still accepts Max's dinner invite a few days later.
Still, animal lover Jude can't get the giraffe out of his mind. It doesn't take long for him to confront Max, who gives him partial answers and introduces him to a secret brotherhood of not-so-typical game hunters. Unable to tell his mom (the savior of black cats everywhere) or his dad (the zoo's head veterinarian) and unwilling to go back to his overbearing therapist, Jude quickly finds himself sucked into the underground world of taxidermy, theft, and drug deals.
At first, he's willing to do anything for the brotherhood just because he's so thankful to belong to someone again after serious drama with his ex-clique and ex-boyfriend. But when his underground life collides with his life above, he realizes he may have bitten off more than even the biggest animal can chew.
It is very hard to be able to write a review on a book that has blown you away. I have been a fan of Nikki since I first read American Girl on Saturn. I thought that book was amazing, but the more I read by her, the more I realized her talent for writing. I thought she couldn't get any better. This book proved me wrong.
Jude is such a wonderful character. He goes through so much with the animals as well as his ex, Drew. You have your heart go out to him from the beginning and he takes more and more of it as you keep reading. I haven't read too many LGBT books, but this one is the top of my list anyway. Most feel kind of forced. This one flowed so well and you could feel the author's heart pour out as you read. I wanted to cry reading at times to feel all that Nikki was able to put into the pages.
I also loved Max. He comes across as someone sketchy at first, but you end up getting won over by him as well. How sweet he is toward Jude is so heartwarming that you can't help but melt. He has had such a tough life, but yet he portrays someone with so much confidence and love to give out.
There are many secondary characters that are also important to the story. You have Jude's parents, Terry, Levi, Tuck, and Caleb that show up quite a bit and add so much more depth to the story that already has you sucked in. For how short the book is considered to the authors other books, she has found a way to give such life to all the characters.
This book is mainly at the warehouse where the animals reside as well as the zoo itself. They find themselves out on dates here or there, but for the most part it is easy to follow in where they are. One of my favorite things is the glass collection. I loved the idea of collecting the rainbow. I am going to be starting to collect my own rainbow.
I have been battling depression since I was a little girl. I haven't found a way to describe how I feel most of the time, but there is a quote in this book that will stick with me forever. I don't want to give it all away because I want you to experience it in its full depth just as I did, but I will let you know it is about being broken. Even if you are broken, it doesn't mean you are shattered. Nikki captured it perfectly and I now am able to look at it in a different light. I know collecting the glass shall also help me piece myself back together when I need it the most.
This is a LGBT book, but it isn't in your face about it. Yes Jude and Max are together. Yes there is cuddling. Is it in a way that could make people not want to read it, no. It has a sweet subtleness that can draw anyone into it.
I have no complaints about this book. Everything about it is perfect. Nikki has outdone herself and has given me a book to love and cherish for the rest of my life.