Back in book #1 of this series we met Officer Noel Carlson and through him we got glimpses of Tristan, Noel's best friend from college. We also learned that Noel and Tristan were victims of a gay bashing a very violent one that left Noel physically scarred and Tristan with a traumatic brain injury that seriously impaired his short term memory. Tristan's memories of what happed before the accident are the only thing he can retain. Anything and anyone after the accident is usually forgotten within a very short time frame (around 30 minutes). To combat this and in an effort to try and have some control over his life Tristan makes notes copious notes about everything. The simplest things like what time meals are, when Noel's coming to see him (Thursdays and Sundays, see he makes good notes).
I loved Tristan's character so much and at the same time he made my heart ache. I've worked with people with ABIs and TBI (Acquired Brain Injury/Traumatic Brain Injury) and it can be heartbreaking watching them struggle to have some control over the simplest things in their life. Trying to return to the person they once were or to simply adjust and accept who they've become. Of course as with most things each case is different depending on the extent of the injury and the affected part of the brain.
I can't say that this book wasn't filled with angst because to be perfectly honest it was. So for those of you who haven't read this yet here's where I use the spoiler tags...
Yet in spite of all the angst and issues I sincerely enjoyed this story. The fact that both Tristan and Gabe's issues were for the most part natural progressions of their main problems and/or challenges helped to make things seem more natural and less contrived at the heart of Tristan's issues was his TBI and for Gabe it was his mother's alcoholism and his sincere desire to help her get better and can I just say here that in the end the course of action that Gabe choose in my opinion truly was the best decision he could make for both his mother and him.
I liked Tristan and Gabe. Tristan was strong and spunky and determined to get his life back and Gabe was patient and wonderfully supportive of Tristan and the challenges presented to him by his medical condition. He was exactly the type of person that someone with an ABI or TBI needs . People like Gabe do exist I've seen them. Kind, supportive, loving and patient beyond human comprehension.
My one issue with this story...believe it or not...was the sex. Sweetbabyjebus!!! There was more sex than a whorehouse having a 2-for-1 sale on a Saturday night!!! I know Tristan felt he had 3 years to make up for but honestly? Could he not have done some of it off page?
I bet you're thinking I forgot about that parent rant, right? No, but I did decide that Tristan's waste of oxygen piece-a-shit parents weren't worth it and sadly Gabe's mother in spite of the fact that she did get her act together finally earned little redemption in my eyes but it did make me happy for Gabe. Also let me just add that Gabe's dads were fan-freakin-tastic!!! I loved them. They were what parents are suppose to be loving and supportive and just all round awesome dudes.
So at the end of it all I'm giving this one 4 stars because I adored Tristan and Gabe and because of Woody and Buzz (you'll have to read the book if you want to know who they are) But mostly as my friends son told her "Mom, every boy needs a Woody and a Buzz." what can I say the kid knew of what he spoke.