Title : Omorphi
Author : C. Kennedy
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, YA, Contemporary
Length : 480 pages (e-book)
Published : September 19, 2013
Rating : ★★★★1/2
High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. He’s a star athlete, has great friends, and parents who love him just the way he is. What’s missing from his life is a boyfriend. That’s a problem because he’s out only to his parents and best friend. When Michael accidentally bumps into Christy Castle at school, his life changes in ways he never imagined. Christy is Michael’s dream guy: smart, pretty, and sexy. But nothing could have prepared Michael for what being Christy’s boyfriend would entail.
Christy needs to heal after years of abuse and knows he needs help to do it. After the death of his notorious father, he leaves his native Greece and settles in upstate New York. Alone, afraid, and left without a voice, Christy hides the myriad scars of his abuse. He desperately wants to be loved and when he meets Michael, he dares to hope that day has arrived. When one of Michael’s teammates turns enemy, and an abuser from Christy’s past seeks to return him to a life of slavery, only Michael and Christy’s combined strength and unwavering determination can save them from the violence that threatens to destroy their future together.
When I saw Omorphi on the coming soon list, I thought it looked interesting but I was a bit apprehensive to review it. I read many different genres but sometimes abuse, especially with children or young adults hits a bit harder. I am also a survivor of abuse, not to the extent of Christy in the book, but it is something that you do not “get over” it is something that you try to heal from and live with and not let it control your life. It does not go away.
The book opens with a Prologue that gives us a glimpse of the two main characters, Michael and Christy. Their lives could not be more different. Michael has a family and best friend that loves and accepts him; he is popular and the captain of the track team but he is not being completely true to himself. Michael is gay but not out to anyone other than his parents and best friend. He is trying to date girls for the sake of fitting in but it just isn’t working out. Christy has lived a life of abuse. Absolutely horrible abuse at the hands of multiple people. This has left him with scars, inside and out as well as the inability to speak due to injury. Christy is able to leave his home country of Greece and move to New York where he is trying to recover and heal. While at Wellington, the facility where Christy is staying, he enrolls in high school where he notices Michael. One day, Michael literally bumps into Christy and when their eyes meet, he is smitten. I loved it.
The romance between Michael and Christy is sweet and lovely. Michael is kind and gentle and very perceptive when it comes to Christy and what he needs, no matter how unaware he may be in other ways. Christy is so strong. He has fears, sometimes paralyzing fears, yet he does not give up. It is not always easy to read about what he has endured but I think it is necessary to understand what Christy’s character is dealing with. The scenes where Michael is learning how to help Christy, the information he receives from Rob, Christy’s psychiatrist, are some of the most important parts of this book for me. It is general information and in life, each person is working through their own issues, but it was great to see it presented in the context of this novel. “There are tons of kids out there who endure chronic abuse and suffer in silence. They can’t trust anyone, they can’t tell anyone, and they have no idea how to get away from it.”
This book, in the guise of a fictional novel, let’s people know this, helps us understand how we might be able to help that person or why a person may behave in certain ways. It also lets someone who has been a victim of abuse know that there are resources available; that you are not alone and you are not defined by what has been done to you.
The book is like reading a combination romance, mystery and suspense novel. There are a lot of wealthy people with private security and access to options that may not be available to everyone in real life. The villains are extreme. The supporting characters are colorful and varied, the action fast paced. For me this was entertaining enough to help soften the seriousness of the message without marginalizing it.
The author’s note is beautiful and encouraging and this quote from that note really spoke to me. “If you are a victim of abuse, please remember that abuse does not define you. Never judge yourself by what others have done to you.”
Everyone does not come away with the same thoughts and opinions of the books they read. Some speak to us more than others. What I was afraid to read in the beginning ended up being a Young Adult book that resonated with me on a personal level as well as introducing me to a vibrant new author.
Rated 4.5 stars by Deb