Series: Deep secrets and hope (book 6, can be read as a standalone)
Genre: LGBT (gay characters, ace character), YA
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Cover: I can see the characters in the models
Trigger warnings: rape, attempted suicide mention
Description: Man-Shik “Manny” Park, grandson of strict Korean immigrants, is trying to protect his friend Jim Frankel from bullies who don’t think Jim should be allowed to live in Ludington, Michigan, let alone have any friends. Manny is determined to stand by Jim, even if Jim isn’t willing to defend himself. But Jim’s problems aren’t the only ones facing Manny. Against his parents’ wishes, Manny yearns to be an artist. He’s also more attracted to guys than girls, and he’s asexual. Only Jim knows these secrets, and Manny knows a few of Jim’s too. Bonded by their shared confidences, Manny supports Jim after he’s accused of sending explicit Facebook messages to middle school girls, including Manny’s sister. While Manny sets out to prove Jim’s innocence, things go from bad to worse. Soon after the incident, Manny and Jim receive intimidating messages, and Jim is put in danger. To help his friend, Manny risks everything to try to learn who’s behind the threats and why they want to destroy Jim’s life.
Review: Brace yourself for some heavy themes. This book deals with different forms of rape and thoughts about consent issues. And I really like how it deals with it. It is totally appropriate and understandable for a young adult. Important to know and think about, too, if you ask me.
There are no explicit details, neither of the rape, that happened in the past, nor about the messages. Those are mostly talked about without actually quoting them.
It was easy to like Manny, his parents were realistic in their concerns and nearly perfect in their reactions to Manny being homoromantic and asexual (yay! by the way). It was hard not to like Jim as well.
There are other books in this series and each seems to focus on a different character. Apparently the fifth book is about Jim’s story/his past and there were a few references to things happening in it, but I never felt lost or like I missed anything.
Sadly the ending was a little bit rushed, otherwise Ball caps and khakis would have been a definitive 5 stars read!
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.