Tristant is an out and proud teen with a very supportive family. He has a crush on Elijah, whom Tristant thinks is straight but is actually deeply closeted. Together, Tristant and Elijah discover a letter written by Tristant’s great uncle, who was a gay man living in the early 1900s when it was much more dangerous to be LGBT. As Tristant and Elijah work together to unravel the mystery of Tristant’s uncle, their relationship with each other begins to bloom as well.
This novel is an interesting combination of a character-driven romantic story and a plot-driven historical mystery. The reader learns as much about the Tristant’s uncle as they do about the two main characters. Tristant and Elijah’s relationship develops throughout the story, but an absence of explicit details makes this story an ideal match for young adults and even tween readers who are ready for more mature books without graphic content. The historic information makes this book an easy pair for David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing. A conversational writing style and character-driven story makes this novel an easy recommend for fans of romance literature, especially boys who may want a romantic story without a female main character. While the lack of friction or difficulties in Tristant and Elijah’s lives may not ring true for most LGBT teens, the presence of a character who is confident in his orientation will be a source of encouragement. Recommended for public and school libraries.