This was definitely a love hate thing...

The World As He Sees It - A.C. Arthur

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...


Tristan's challenges/angst besides his TBI is his piece of shit parents who should be giving him love and support and the best they can do is to pay his bills and sign over his Medical POA to Noel...see piece of shit parents, his brother...oh, wait his brother committed suicide when he was younger because he couldn't deal with the pressure of living up to the expectations placed on him by their piece of shit parents (yes, I probably am going to take a rant about the parents before we're done here), then we have the fact that Noel kept a pretty important piece of information from Tristan this being the whole POA issue. oh yeah, I almost forgot the drug trial that Tristan did in an effort to improve his memory the one that gave him headaches and ultimately seizures, while it did also help improve his memory...hello! seizures? FFS has the man not suffered enough? And what does he end up taking to combat the seizures why Phenobarbital, of course, a god dammed narcotic! Ok that's pretty much it for Tristan on to Gabe.


Gabe's biggest issue is his alcoholic mother and all the issues that come with her & her addiction. Things like that fact that she spends money like there's no tomorrow which would be fine if it was her money but no she's spending Gabe's because the fact that he feeds her and puts a roof over her head isn't enough. She's also verbally and physically abusive to him...but she loves him, really? Needless to say her ridiculous spending is the reason that Gabe does porn videos as well as working as a waiter in a restaurant and tending bar at Big Dick's, the bar owned by his dads. Honestly the fact that he found time to develop a relationship with Tristan was f*cking amazing!


I have to admit that Tristan's reaction to Gabe making porn movies wasn't the one that I would have had but at the same time I could see where he was coming from. He loved Gabe and he understood that what Gabe did in front of the camera wasn't the same as what they shared and let's be honest there are people who enjoy seeing their partner have sex with other people but mostly he understood that for Gabe even though it didn't start out as being strictly a way to make extra money by the time he was involved with Tristan that's all it was for him a way to pay off his mother's debts.

(show spoiler)


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.