Rating: 4 stars
Published: December 10th, 2012
Synopsis: Trying to rescue her son from a destructive environment, where the end of his last relationship almost ended in tragedy, Vic’s mother decides to move them all to a new town. Vic, glad at being able to start anew, takes the chance to create an image that would make his last two years of high school a lot easier.
But that plan is sabotaged when his new best friend, Jack, kisses him on New Year’s Eve, something Vic has been longing for and dreading in equal measure. Vic knows being gay in high school can be hell, and he’s scared sweet and innocent Jack won’t be able to handle him, or his past. It scares him more than anything now that his past has come back to haunt him, metaphorically and literally.
Vic tries to hide the horror of his past as long as possible, knowing that when Jack finds out what happened he will leave him.
As Vic takes a turn for the worse everybody but him realises how strong Jack and his love for Vic actually are. But is that enough for Vic to move on?
Review: Vic has had a rough and tortured past and is trying to outrun it before it catches up to him. He moves to a new town and on his first day in school he meets Jack. The handsome, quiet young man captures Vic’s attention and he knows he’s done for. He befriends him, if only so he can be near him, knowing that he is not fit for any type of romantic relationship.
Through the months that follow, Jack and Vic grow closer and develop a deep friendship even though each is attracted to the other. Although Vic has been managing to make a new life for himself, he has not really confronted his demons, the hold they have on him and the hurt his actions have caused others. Then Vic succumbs to his attraction to Jack and there’s no turning back. He is happy with his new found relationship although worried that Jack will leave him if he ever finds out his secret. Slowly his depression over his past and the guilt over not confessing his past to Jack eat at him until there’s only a shell of the guy he used to be.
Black Sheep: Letting go of the Past is a heartbreaking tale of a young man fighting to survive his demons to be able to move on. Kia Zi Shiru did an excellent job of pulling me into the story making sure that with each and every word written I invested myself emotionally into the characters’ lives and well being. I needed to comfort them, sooth their fears and love them. I smiled as I saw how the relationship between Jack and Vic developed and cried as Vic’s world started to crumble. He wanted so much to be what Jack needed that it broke my heart to see him in such turmoil. His past haunts him and he tries to leave it behind. The problem with this is that the only way to leave it behind him is to confront it head on and try as he might he can’t achieve that.
Wonderfully weaved from start to finish, this novella was packed full of overwhelming emotions, enlightening inner musings and complex characters. From elation at finding love to the pain and frustration over not being able to help the person you love, I could feel every emotion written as each character felt it. It was not an easy read by any means, especially since the author delves into some dark subjects throughout the story, however, I would not have it any other way. I think that every concept Kia Zi Shiru added to the story only helped in allowing me to truly connect to the characters and fully understand where each was coming from.
Now that I have read this touching, emotionally driven story about love, loyalty and the pain of letting go, I can’t wait to read more. Jack, Vic and the other characters have won a piece of my heart and though I know the journey will be painful and at times unbearable I want to see them through it to the other side.
I received this novella from Kia Zi Shiru in exchange of my honest opinion and I would like to thank her for her consideration in allowing me to participate in this Blog Tour.
Enjoy the following excerpt provided by the author.
“Vic?” Chris knocks on the door and enters. “Jack is here for you. He’s waiting downstairs. Need a minute or can he come up?”
“I’m okay. Just need to, y’know.” I pick up my shirt and put on my wristbands again.
The little devil takes two steps out of my room and yells, “Vic is jerking off, if you want to see him finish you need to be here quick!”
As I lunge for her I see Jack standing downstairs. My eyes go wide and my mouth goes dry.
“Sisters are fun, eh?” He smiles up at me and slowly starts walking up the stairs.
Oh my, oh my. I hide my face in Chris’ neck. This is so embarrassing. He looks so hot, his hair is styled straight, he’s wearing super-tight black jeans, a fishnet shirt and a black leather choker with studs on them. I wish I had been jerking off, I wouldn’t have this problem in my pants right now.
Chris giggles and escapes to her room. So I turn around quickly and walk inside mine to look for a way to disguise my ‘problem’.
“You coming?” I ask as I sit on the chair in front of the computer.
“Well, if you insist,” he drawls from the hall.
Is he flirting? Oh no, this is getting bad. Maybe he doesn’t even realize what kind of reaction my body is having to him right now. And if he does realize and keeps doing this, I might not be able to restrain myself for long.
He walks into my room and stops. “How are you feeling? You seem better.” He looks around and then decides to sit on the bed.
“I’m feeling okay, I guess. I just woke up.” I look around, trying not to pay too much attention to him.
About the author:
Kia Zi Shiru is a Dutch girl studying English and Creative Writing in the UK. Amongst her interests she finds writing, reading, doing research and learning different languages (including but not limited to: English, Dutch, French, German, HTML, Java, PHP and Assembly). Her writing and reading habits include books with Young Adults, gay themes, strong female or minority characters and fantasy elements (more often then not all at the same time).
Places she can be found: