by Cambria Hebert (Goodreads Author)
Awe. This is the word. I’m in awe of Ms. Hebert.
It astounds me how with every book she manages to intertwine heart-tugging, eyes-itching, mouth-watering romances with important current issues. Always adding this personal touch, this delicacy when dealing with sensitive topics that makes her stand out.
Junkie doesn’t disappoint. It started a bit slow, but then Trent and Drew’s story really picked up and I found myself spell-bound to their romance, to their way of being together that is at the same time so hard and so effortless.
Reading the author’s thoughts about her own book, I was surprised when I found out she’d only ever read one M/M book, so she had slim to none knowledge of the tropes or “ways” of breaching the topic. Well, in her spontaneity, she weaved my favorite M/M romance. Maybe it’s because she didn’t have that prior knowledge, that prior “literary stereotypes” ingrained in her head that her story separates itself from the rest so much.
Junkie it’s not about two dudes falling in love. It’s about Trent and Drew, two people who love each other and happen to share the same gender. Their sexuality is just some kind of side-trait and I loved how when they’re together, their homosexuality is assessed almost as a consequence, not the defining part of their relationship, which still remains this surreal connection of deep care and respect.
I especially loved how they both thought about it in the terms of “falling in love with my best friend”.
No labels. That’s one of the multiple, meaningful messages Hebert conveys.
If Drew has always been kind of more extrovert and easier to peg in the previous books, Trent, also according to the author, has been the incognita, the silent one, the one in the shadows, in the background. The kind of character you’re not sure what his deal is. Now we know and, as Hebert herself states in the last section of the book, this novel really brought out other sides of Trent. It turned him from a side-character to a full-blown main one, giving him a rounded, full personality that filled the cracks of not-knowing, not leaving the reader wondering anymore about who Trent Mask is under his laidback, yet tough attitude. Personally, I grew very fond of his protectiveness when it came to Drew. Almost as much as I’m fond of Drew’s possessiveness. There’s that certain scene, at a certain bar… sizzling.
Also, we get to see all the other characters (Rimmel and Romeo are still my favorites! #NerdPower!) and their presence in the book was like the first ray of sunset through the clouds. Even in the most desperate moments, Breaden’s humor and Rimmel’s sweet innocence lifted the book’s atmosphere.
Last, but not least, damn, the steam. Drew and Trent are combustible together! There is this, unfortunately, forbidden quality to their love that turns their passion into an inexinguishable fire. The tension between them is charged magistrally and every touch is never taken for granted, never goes under the radar. Everything is heightened, giving the reader this sense of headiness, of dizzyness every time they even caress each other.
Thank you Ms. Hebert for this amazing friendship, romance, adventure, and hope.