Title: Not Just Friends
Author: Jaye Northcote
Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 6 Hours and 47 Minutes
At a Glance: A coming of age story that doesn’t break any new ground but is an enjoyable story of self-discovery.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Leaving home to go to university is an exciting phase in anyone’s life. One that’s full of new places, new friends, and new experiences. But Lewis is not prepared for the sudden and intense crush he develops on his out-and-proud flatmate, Max—given that Lewis had always assumed he was straight. Max starts dating another guy, and Lewis’s jealousy at seeing them together forces him to confront his growing attraction.
When Max’s relationship goes awry, Lewis is the one to comfort him and one thing leads to another. But after a night together, Lewis is devastated that Max wants to go back to being just friends. Lewis tries his best to move on and their friendship survives, but the feelings he has for Max don’t go away. He faces other challenges as he deals with coming out to his parents, and needs Max’s support more than ever. But Lewis isn’t the only one who’s conflicted. When Max finally admits he cares for Lewis too, Lewis must decide whether he dares risk his heart again on being more than just friends
Review: This is the second audiobook that I actually enjoyed listening to. Matthew Lloyd Davies made the story engaging, and he has a lovely accent. :)
Lewis has gone off to university, and he’s sharing a flat with a bunch of other guys. He is a bit wary to be out on his own, and since he is an only child, living with a bunch of other young people is also a new experience for him. The other guys in his flat seem to be fine, but then he meets Max – the last to arrive – and he is intrigued. Max is out and proud, and Lewis is a little bit stunned by this. He’s not homophobic, but he’s not totally comfortable either.
Lewis’s friendship with Max takes on a different flavor when he realizes he has a bit of a crush on Max. It forces Lewis to take a look at his past relationships – including his high school girlfriend and his best friend. But once classes start, Lewis meets some other people, including a nice girl from his course. He is friendly with her but realizes that this is not where his true interest lies.
Max is dating someone that Lewis doesn’t really care for, and he’s definitely realizing that his sexual orientation is not exactly straight. But this other guy doesn’t treat Max right, and after a weird break up/dumping, Max and Lewis spend a pretty steamy night together. Despite Lewis’s feelings becoming stronger, Max decides he doesn’t want another relationship and they should only be friends. The upside is that Lewis finally gets that he is definitely gay.
There is some angst around a developing family situation, but luckily it doesn’t have to do with Lewis’s self-discovery revelation. Lewis’s mother is a star in this story. I hope she finds happiness. :)
Lewis decides he really needs to move on to try to get over Max. He goes to the LGBT Society meeting and meets a new guy. They begin seeing each other casually, but Lewis can’t help still thinking of Max. He really still has strong feelings for Max that he wants to get over, because frankly, it hurts to see Max with other people, and he feels like he keeps getting a punch to the gut when he realizes Max doesn’t want him the same way.
As usually happens in these stories, there is a moment of clarity for Max, but the question is if Lewis is willing to risk his heart again. Luckily these guys have good and supportive friends, and, eventually, they figure out their issues. They are very cute trying to get it together, as two young guys who don’t really know what they are doing but are trying to determine that they want to try to do it together.
I really liked the narrator, and his characterizations and accent were perfect. Love British narrators for British stories. :) I would definitely listen to another book narrated by Mr. Lloyd Davies.
You can buy Not Just Friends here: