Reviewed by Jen B.
AUTHOR: N.R. Walker
LENGTH: 269 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 25, 2016
Israel Ingham’s life has never been easy. He grew up in a house devoid of love and warmth. Nothing he ever did was good enough. The fact Israel is gay just added to the long list of his father’s disappointments.
Then a letter from Eastport Children’s Hospital changes everything.
A discovery is made, one of gross human error. Twenty-six years ago two baby boys were switched at birth and sent home with the wrong families.
Sam, Israel’s best friend, has been his only source of love and support. With Sam beside him every step of the way, Israel decides to meet his birth mother and her son, the man who lived the life Israel should have.
Israel and Sam become closer than ever, amidst the tumultuous emotions of meeting his birth family, and Sam finds himself questioning his feelings toward his best friend. As Israel embraces new possibilities, he needs to dissect his painful relationship with his parents in order to salvage what’s left.
Because sometimes it takes proof you’re not actually family to become one.
Another wonderful story by Ms. Walker, full of emotion and feels. Israel has never felt as though he fit in with his family. He believes his parents think of him as one failure after another. So, when he finds out he was switched at birth, things make more sense.
There are two things going on in this story. First is that Israel has been dealing with crappy things most of his life, but through it all, his best friend, Sam, has been there for him. No matter what or when, Sam was his rock. Is’ feelings start to change into something more for Sam, but afraid to lose that friendship and the only rock he has known, he tries to put some distance between them, proving to himself that he can get through something without leaning and relying on Sam. Sam, on the other hand, has been hiding his feelings for Is for ever and also doesn’t want to rock the boat and chance losing their friendship.
The other story here is the switched at birth, which is really the main theme. Is is somewhat thrilled to find out he wasn’t the real son that disappointed his parents and was eager to meet his birth mother and siblings. He gained a new family while, at the same time, was able to make some progress with his own. His parents made some long-needed realizations and were making an effort to change. The struggles Is and his switched counterpart went through about meeting their real parents, etc. felt very realistic. I couldn’t imagine finding out something like this. To find out the family he should have grown up with was everything he didn’t have with the one he did, and vice versa; the family that didn’t have money was happier and more fulfilled than the one who had money but was void of love and caring.
I loved seeing Is and Sam end up with each other, best friends finally becoming each other’s everything. It was amazing seeing Iz find some peace with his parents and get the family he never had with his birth mom and siblings, and the way he figured it all out was very engaging. Ms. Walker delivers another wonderful story that had me turning pages quickly and rooting for these guys all the way. This had a full range of emotions, from sad and sweet to funny and sexy and a few more in between. I definitely recommend this, as well as pretty much everything on Ms. Walker’s backlist.