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Off Campus (2014)

af Amy Jo Cousins

Serier: Bend or Break (1)

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14712186,799 (3.66)1
Fiction. Literature. Romance. HTML:

Everyone's got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.

Bend or Break, Book 1

With his father's ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he's ready to do just that.

But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn't ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He's just happy to be sleeping in a bed.

Reese isn't about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You've seen one homophobic jock, you've seen 'em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn't budging.

Tom isn't going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it's turning him on. But he doesn't want any drama either. He'll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend...before they break.

Warning: This book contains cranky roommates who vacillate between lashing out and licking, some male/male voyeurism, emotional baggage that neither guy wants to unpack, and the definitive proof that sound carries in college housing.

.
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» See also 1 mention

Viser 1-5 af 12 (næste | vis alle)
I'm very tempted to give this novel another half star, it appealed to me so much.

But I usually feel that way about novels where two isolated traumatised people find each other.

Tom Worthington is the archetypical romantic hero, though his circumstances would indicate anything but. He meets Reese Anders, his "roomie", who brings out his protective streak - he needs to rescue Reese.

But it is Reese who rescues Tom, of course. Tom faces his own demons and blooms under Reese's nurturing streak. I like that Reese calls Tom on his paranoia such as when he confuses his willingness to make people like him, with manipulation of people for an ulterior motive.

I haven't read this author before, but I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the Bend or Break series - all of which are on Hoopla - yeh Hoopla.

All Hail! Cooper North. His voice realises the potential of this novel. ( )
  Okies | Oct 27, 2023 |
The conflict occasionally felt contrived, but overall, not a bad story. Not too fluffy, not too deep. I thought this was GFY but Tom was actually bi. It felt like maybe that fact was withheld a little too long? I liked that eventually Tom started pushing back against the bi-erasure.

This definitely needed some editing help as there were practically no dialogue tags and sometimes the speaker indicated by context was actually not the speaker. Frex:

"This is my roomate, Reese. The guy with no filter is Cash. We used to run together." Nostalgia momentarily evoked, Cash turned back to him for a high five. "Run strong, bro." Tom gave a half-hearted smack at his head... The speaker in that last paragraph was Cash even though the actions are attributed to Tom. And you only know that because Tom wasn't really into the fist bump. This is what dialogue tags are for. So you don't need to parse the shit out of the text to figure out what's going on.

Anyway, this is the second by Amy Jo Cousins I've read, but I probably won't be reading another. It's just too middle-of-the-road for me to seek out any more. ( )
  wonderlande | Jan 1, 2023 |
This story is told from a single point of view, and the author handled it beautifully. As the character's personal fucked-upedness required, revelations are only as-needed, and, given the seriousness of this pair's issues, the time it takes is realistic. There are no magic cures. I loved it, it compelled me to read and read and made me cry and laugh and smile and really, what more do you want from a novel? ( )
  terriaminute | Dec 4, 2022 |
[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

Tom Worthington is excited to be back at school. After his father was arrested and he lost everything, he thought he would never be able to finish his degree. But now he stands outside the door of his room in Perkins House, an off campus residence, knowing it's a possibility. Yes, he was only barely able to pay the first semester's tuition and he'll only be able to pay the next if he keeps his spending to a minimum and returns to Boston to drive a taxi every weekend. But right now he's just excited to have a bed and can't wait to fall into it and sleep.

He discovers a hitch in that plan as soon as he opens the door. His room is a double and his roommate was obviously not expecting him (as evidenced by his co-opting the second bed as a makeshift sofa). When his roommate, Reese, appears in the door moments later, his suspicion is confirmed. Tom wonders how someone as young as Reese ended up in Perkins house, but for the moment he really just wants to get some sleep. Reese is determined to see him gone, though, and is very open about the fact that he is gay. That's not enough to scare Tom off, though, and it quickly becomes clear that the two of them living together is going to be a boundary-pushing experience for them both. But will they be able to push past their respective walls to reveal both of their hidden truths? And once things are out in the open, what more might be lurking there for them to learn about each other and themselves?

I had a hard time putting this one down. From the very beginning, I was easily intrigued by Tom and Reese, and I was indeed impatient to see where things were headed. Amy Jo Cousins has demonstrated a real skill in character development here. Even the secondary characters--Cash, Steph, the other Perkins House residents, and even Jack--have a level of easy and realistic complexity that helps bring this world to life.

The overall subject matter here is colored by angst. Both Tom and Reese are dealing with some heavy stuff from their past and only gets intensified as they are thrown into the same living space. But the book manages to stay a bit on the lighter side (we can probably thank Cash for some of that). Aside from the fact that I felt like Tom's issues really dragged on in a bit too much (and found it slightly frustrating) the overall story was not too overshadowed by that aspect of things.

I recommend this one. I'm looking forward to the second installment to see what happens to Jack. Maybe we'll get a chance to see him redeem himself a bit, too. ( )
1 stem crtsjffrsn | Aug 27, 2021 |
2.5 stars

Oi! Its me not the book. I wanted to loved this but i ended up being disappointed



There was a story here that i might have enjoyed but it dragged,on and on and on.........Tom's inner monologue became repetitive and i stopped feeling sorry for him.



On the upside i loved Cash.

There are some good reviews, so maybe its me not the book. I feel if i read this in 2015 maybe i would have enjoyed it but after reading so many MM books i guess i am over the manufactured break-up 'miscommunication thing' that happens between 75%-80% then the reunion at 90% i just can't deal.


( )
  Shile.J | Apr 19, 2021 |
Viser 1-5 af 12 (næste | vis alle)
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Fiction. Literature. Romance. HTML:

Everyone's got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.

Bend or Break, Book 1

With his father's ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he's ready to do just that.

But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn't ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He's just happy to be sleeping in a bed.

Reese isn't about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You've seen one homophobic jock, you've seen 'em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn't budging.

Tom isn't going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it's turning him on. But he doesn't want any drama either. He'll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend...before they break.

Warning: This book contains cranky roommates who vacillate between lashing out and licking, some male/male voyeurism, emotional baggage that neither guy wants to unpack, and the definitive proof that sound carries in college housing.

.

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