Open to the Past
Title : Open to the Past
Collection : Mixed Tape Series, Volume #3
Author : Silvia Violet
Publisher : MLR Press
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 68 pages (e-book)
Published : June 25, 2013
Can a high school crush become a happily ever after?
Twenty years ago, Paxton Marshall realized he liked boys, in particular his brother’s best friend, Brad. In the intervening years, Pax accepted his sexuality and followed his dream of becoming a professional artist, but he’s never found anyone who stirs his heart the way Brad did. Now Brad is back in their hometown for his twentieth reunion. He surprises Pax with the news that he’s gay. When he asks Pax to the mock prom his reunion committee is hosting, Pax decides to see if opening up to the past will lead to love or heartbreak.
I got a mix tape in the mail once. It was absolutely the ultimate expression of interest in the late 80’s early 90’s. The songs spoke for you. Silvia Violet’s “Open to the Past” was a fantastic reminiscence of a crush from twenty years ago. Paxton Marshall realized he felt more than hero-worship for his brother’s friend, Brad, while listening to a mix tape. He also carried that crush for twenty years. A crush he thought was completely pointless as he believed Brad was straight. After the death of Paxton’s brother in a car crash he and Brad drifted apart. Pax figured a guy would have no reason to keep in touch with his late friend’s little brother. When Brad’s twentieth high school reunion rolls around Pax is surprised Brad contacts him. He’s also surprised Brad is gay and has been harboring the same crush Pax has been harboring all this time. It’s overwhelming for Pax. He doesn’t want his heart ripped out, but he simply can’t let the one true love of his life walk away. Of course he’ll go to the cowboy prom with Brad.
I can’t comprehend waiting over half my life for the man I love to realize he also loves me. Not that Paxton actually waited, but he kept that torch lit. When he finally had Brad he was too terrified to do anything. I wanted to smack him! Brad went through the same longing and had no problems. Ugh. I guess they’re different people and all, but still. Strike while the iron is hot, Pax. This story also balanced the whimsy of looking back at the past fondly with the reality of how silly we looked twenty years ago. A cowboy prom? Really? There is nothing like hindsight to make us realize style isn’t timeless. There is a razor-thin dividing line between avant-garde and hot mess. We also learn the things important to a high schooler aren’t important in the grand scheme of things. Those “friends” from school weren’t as friendly as we thought. Find the important people and stick to them like glue. You never know how much time you’re wasting.
Rated 4 stars by Faye