Honesty by Seth King is a tragic yet beautiful story about love and loss. When I think about my first love, I remember the butterflies and longing that often consumed me. I also remember the angst and heartache. King conveyed all of these things perfectly in Coley and Nicky’s love story.
“He leaned in and kissed me hard, and the lights went out. I had never kissed a boy before, and it was…everything, really. His soft lips and coarse stubble felt like a poisoned daisy, just the wrong kind of right. Part of it felt so bad, worse than anything I’d ever done, but that badness felt beautiful, imperial even.” ❤
King’s writing is poignant and poetic. I found myself rereading certain lines multiple times either to ponder, reflect on how I could relate, or simply to enjoy again and again. How can I possibly relate to a story about love blossoming between two men? Because love is love. Every pulse-pounding moment, including the moments when Coley and Nicky were questioning their relationship or arguing, took me back.
Some reviewers have said they didn’t like the back and forth between the men. All the arguments and making up. All the I love yous and I hate yous. All the ‘we can never be together’ and the ‘let’s be together forever’ talk. Whatever. That’s what young love is often like. That’s real. And I commend King for keeping it real.