Book Review: Bigger Love (Big Love #2) by Rick R. Reed

Bigger Love by Rick R. Reed book cover

Truman Reid is Summitville High’s most out-and-proud senior. He can’t wait to take his fierce, uncompromising self away from his small Ohio River hometown, where he’s suffered more than his share of bullying. He’s looking forward to bright lights and a big city. Maybe he’ll be the first ever genderfluid star to win an Academy Award. But all that changes on the first day of school when he locks eyes with the most gorgeous hunk he’s ever seen.

Mike Stewart, big, dark-haired, and with the most amazing blue eyes, is new to town. He’s quiet, manly, and has the sexy air of a lost soul. It’s almost love at first sight for Truman. He thinks that love could deepen when Mike becomes part of the stage crew for Harvey, the senior class play Truman’s directing. But is Mike even gay? And how will it work when Truman’s mother is falling for Mike’s dad?

Plus Truman, never the norm, makes a daring and controversial choice for the production that has the whole town up in arms.

See how it all plays out on a stage of love, laughter, tears, and sticking up for one’s essential self…

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How was it?

For a queer YA novel with some adult themes, Bigger Love has a predictable set up, with Truman, one of the main characters, living in a small-town with small-minded people. So you can easily imagine the bigotry and hypocrisy surrounding this young openly gay, gender-fluid boy.

However, where this novel stands out is how Truman is written. He is resilient and brave, it becomes quite easy to cheer him on. You see him struggle, internally, with what he has to deal with living in his small-town, but the way he faces these people and deals with the hurt they cause is inspiring. Also the fact that he has the mother he does – Patsy is the best – is a breath of fresh air. He’s not completely alone.
Often in young adult romances – at least the ones that I’ve read – the queer teen has little to no support, and a big effort is made for us to pity them.

As for Mike, the boy who caught Truman’s eye, he could have remained Truman’s crush for all I cared. But I found interesting that Mike decided to be more private about his sexuality once he moved into this small town – I can’t seem to remember the name of it. Because it seemed like he wasn’t as much in the closet beforehand. To me this illustrate how as queer people we sometime have to adapt to our surroundings for our own safety. Next to Truman it seemed to be a cowardly move, since Mike can pass as straight and Truman can’t. Yet seeing this difference in their experience of being young queer men was nice.

This story is a nice example of how one character can make a big difference in a story that may seem run of the mill. Truman really pulls you in, he’s kind, mature, and strong-willed. I enjoyed his story.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Bigger Love is available on Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

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