Book Review: With or Without You by Brian Farrey

I honestly almost returned this book to the shelf after reading the word "sexy" in the synopsis on the back cover. I'm not a fan of shallow, sex centered plots, especially in young adult titles, and that's what that word said to me. However, I gave Farrey's debut a second chance, read the first few pages and found it had a little bit more to offer.

Evan leads a double life. He and his best friend, Davis, have been out of the closet for years, and he even has had a boyfriend for almost a year - but a boyfriend nobody knows about. Bullied and beaten up through the last day at their Wisconsin high school, Evan and Davis dream of finally escaping their tormentors - whom they call trogs - with their not too distant move to Chicago. First, though, they have to spend one more summer in Madison. That's when Davis discovers the Chasers - a group that promises protection, liberation and revolution.

Enamored with the reckless leader of the Chasers, Davis convinces Evan to join the the group and their dangerous schemes to get back at the society of hate set against them. But Evan has his own personal problems to deal with. The lies that keep his two worlds separate now appear to only harm his relationships. His boyfriend, Erik, becomes frustrated that Evan has yet to fully invite him into his life and to meet his family. It doesn't help that Erik has invited Evan to move with him to California, forcing him to choose between their relationship and his loyalty to his best friend.

With or Without You turned out to be a pretty relevant, decent read, despite that choice word I didn't like in the description. Farrey addresses bullying, coming out of the closet, monogamous versus open relationships, and other gay issues. I appreciated how his characters didn't perpetuate stereotypes, which makes them more realistic. I actually enjoyed the read, and I'm happy I didn't put this book back.


  1. Thanks for the review! I'm glad you got past the copy and soldiered on.

    1. Thank YOU for the great read! (:


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