On Chocorua – Trailblazer, Book 1 (out of 3)*
*This book can be read as a standalone.
Publisher: IAM Books
Release date: February 1, 2019
Word count: 87,629
Themes & Genres: YA LGBTQ Fiction, coming out, trauma, addiction
A mountain. A blizzard. A young man new to hiking and to love, making mistakes in both.
First year of college is a great time to re-invent yourself. Nathan Bartlett takes the opportunity very seriously—maybe a little too seriously. And he makes mistakes.
His mistakes? Falling for a straight guy who reminds him of his beloved older brother. Getting too invested in the substance abuse disorders of two other students. And climbing a mountain in a snowstorm for all the wrong reasons.
But he also develops friendships that will be his for life. He faces his inner demons and comes up with a plan. And he realizes that answers to important questions are seldom waiting on the surface but must be worked for, or struggled for, or suffered for—and sometimes all three.
Nathan is a trailblazer on his own journey. His success will be measured not by how well he follows someone else’s path, but by whether he can forge his own. This first book in a series of three novels gets Nathan started on a journey that will teach him about himself, about life, and about love.
Walk with him.
What I think of the book:
There’s something about Robin’s blurbs. They sound good, but they also sound serious, so while they catch my interest, I’m always afraid the books will be too heavy for me. There are many difficult topics handled in her novels, however, even during the heavier scenes, I don’t lose interest or get overwhelmed.
On Chocorua was no exception to that.
I did feel like I wanted to skip a couple of parts, but they were the ones in which characters talked about the mountains. On a few occasions, those parts read like an encyclopedia, instead of a novel. I know it’s important to introduce us, the readers, to the setting, but it threw me off.
The only other thing that bothered me was the main character comparing his love interest to his (the MC’s) brother. I know it was a different kind of love, but it’s a bit unsettling reading over and over how Nathan thinks of something good about the guy he is interested in and then immediately says something amongst the lines of “I really love that about my brother”.
This was still a very… Well, not entirely enjoyable – not with all the hardship Nathan has to deal with – but engaging and memorable read. And there were also more light-hearted parts to balance the serious issues such as coming out, addiction, loss and finding oneself.
Who would I recommend this book to? I’d recommend On Chocorua to people who enjoy novels about self-discovery and are not looking for a nonchalant read.
My rating: (5/5 backpacks)
Would I re-read this book? Yes.
Am I interested in other books by this author? Yes, including the other books in this series.
Where can you buy the book?
Other books by this author that I’ve already reviewed:
- Throwing Stones (LGBT Fiction, YA/NA, family, religion, acceptance)
- And If I Fall (previously The Revelations of Jude Connor | standalone | Gay Fiction, Psychological, religion, coming of age)
- Waiting for Walker (standalone | LGBT, YA, Romance, family, gay issues, transgender)
Want to know a little bit about Robin? Read the interview she gave me!
Have you read anything by Robin?
What did you think of it?
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