Thursday, February 13, 2014

ARC Review: T.E.D. by Jayson James

by Jayson James
Expected publication: March 14th 2014 by CreateSpace

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

TIM is being bullied. No one in high school wants to be known as a tattle-tale and to do so would only make things rougher for him. The repercussions would most likely make him an outcast, and without any friends.

ERIC is frustrated with life. His parents are overbearing and if they ever knew the person he really was, they would throw him out of their house. His friends are not much better, they only like him when he is who they expect him to be.

DELSIN is gay and ready to come out. Unfortunately, life at home is on the brink of falling apart with his parents constant fighting. Admitting the truth could bring his whole world crashing down around him.

Each of these three needs to decide whether the risks of being honest about who they are outweighs the importance of being true to themselves. This could mean ruining life as each of them knows it. Maybe it is better to remain miserable in order to play it safe. On the other hand, doing nothing doesn’t seem to working either.

Three best friends. Tim, Eric and Delsin. Growing up together, inseparable. Things go wrong for apparently no reason. Now it is only Tim and Delsin. 

Tim is trapped. Caught in his own fears: should he tell or not? Why is he labelled gay when he is clearly heterosexual? Why? Why? Why? He questions. He tries to find answers. Will he lose out in the end?

Eric looks in from afar, always regretting. Always in fear. Losing himself in his rage, he lashes out on the one person he saw as weaker. 

Delsin is Tim's protector. He made sure Tim makes it through the day. His secret lies deep within him and just wants to break out and be free once and for all.

T.E.D. is a story about the complexities three boys face on their journey to their coming of age. It is a story peppered with laughter, friendship, love, regret, fear, pain and trying to come to terms with their own sexualities. It is a well-crafted drama that gives readers a taste of innocence, of first love, and the drama of how life can go wrong. For the three best friends, this is their time, of how they created memories which would last them a lifetime. When they finally realize what life could be all about.

T.E.D. is the type of story that reminds me of books like "Stand By Me" and movies like "The Kings of Summer." Three boys on the cusp of adulthood. It is dramatic, it is hilarious, it is sweet, it is romantic.

It is blunt. It is cruel. It is life.

There is a kind of looseness in the telling of their story. Seen from Tim's perspective through his diary and as a narrative from outside that diary. The reader gets a full disclosure of their lives but does not gets entangled. The reader is always  on the outside, looking in.

I was expecting some heavy handed drama. I thought: okay, another YA filled with all the angst that may leave a bad taste in the mouth. But no. This is not the case. This was a refreshing and relatively light read which was what had me surprised. I found myself drawn deep into the story making it very, very hard to put down. 

I wanted to know how these three young men would finally get their lives sorted, what drove them to the decisions they made and whether they regret the results.

T.E.D. A story of three young men who never gave up. 



  1. I also read the book and I fully agree with your review. You have summed up the book so eloquently. This is one of those times I find myself saying, "I wish I had said that!"

    Neil from Morgan Hill, CA