“One glance is all it takes to bring his defences crashing down…”
Defensive Play is my first Jamie Deacon-book but certainly not my last! This novella drew me in from the very first sentence and kept me in a feverish grip the whole way through. Now I can’t wait to discover more of Jamie Deacon’s LGBTQ+ fiction for young adults!
Defensive Play is a very quick read, something to be read in a single sitting. It’s a novella only about 80 pages or so, but oh my how Jamie Deacon manages to tell a wholesome story and describe the characters and make you root for them on those few pages! Reading this book was a pure pleasure. It’s emotional, sweet and realistic and focuses on the gentle romance between two teenage boys, Davey and Adam.
Seventeen-year-old Davey is shy, anxious and does not makes friend easily, but has nevertheless earned respect and acceptance at school for his soccer skills. He is deep in his closet though; afraid of his teammates’ rejection, he’s kept the fact that he is gay a secret from everyone, even his own family. But when he meets Adam at a soccer tournament, the ache is too strong to resist. One look and sparks start to flare between them and Davey has to make a choice. Should he follow his heart and take a chance on finding love and happiness with Adam, or should he stay closeted and not risk losing his teammates, the closest thing to friends he has ever known?
It was really refreshing to see two such different characters in a sport setting, and that both Davey and Adam felt like real teenager, with a lot of depth and that neither of them was casted as a stereotypical nerd or jock, but a little of both. The way Davey feared not being liked and respected for who he is was so relatable. And even if Adam was confident, popular and comfortable with his sexuality, he had his own heart-ache and pain to deal with. It was so amazing to feel the chemistry between them and the way they complemented each other. I also really liked that there was no forced outing and that Adam didn’t put any pressure on Davey in that respect, but realized that it was all Davey’s decision if and when he felt ready for it.
Overall, this was a lovely, sweet and heartwarming story about first love and coming out that I recommend with all my heart! My only wish is that Jamie Deacon will let us read more about Davey and Adam in the future, I have not had enough of them. Not by close…
Find out more about the book and the author here: Jamie Deacon