By Tibby Armstrong
Cheerful and friendly, Aaron Blake has never met a puzzle that intrigues him more than brooding Greg Falkner. He wants to get to know his roommate, but it seems the only way past his shell is through it. When a reluctant friendship turns into a budding romance, can the two keep their feelings secret from their classmates? Or will their newfound love destroy them both?
So goes the story screenwriter Greg Falkner spins for audiences and his longtime partner, Aaron Blake, in No Apologies. Loosely based on their lives together, the film rocks Hollywood with its blatant portrayal of two teenagers falling in love and coming of age in a world that struggles to accept them, while they in turn struggle to accept themselves.
At the end of the evening, will Greg's risky venture break a relationship that's already foundering? Or will the real life Greg and Aaron also find their happily ever after with no apologies?
After reading No Apologies I find myself profoundly sad. Understanding that a grown up Greg wrote the screenplay loosely based upon Greg and Aaron’s real life experiences; my heart continued to be heavy. After reading all about what Aaron and Blake encountered through school I am just plain sad. Although the book is fiction, the experiences are no doubt as true to life for many young people. It is such a shame there is so much negatively around sexuality. Even Aaron and Greg refused to accept who they were. Of course they are young so they were still trying to figure it out themselves but one can’t help but wonder if there was no negative stereotyping associated with sexuality, would they have been so slow to discover their true selves? It certainly will be a joyous time in humanity where the gender choice of one’s partner isn’t an issue.
Ok so enough about my human right diatribe, let me focus on No Apologies the book.
No Apologies took me a little out of my regular reading zone. Not because it was an M/M book but because it’s not a typical romance, No Apologies is not a “lovey dovey” romance but rather a story of an unstable journey of two young men trying to discover who they are and how they fit in society. Even their intimate moments are secret. I was always on edge with baited breath praying they don’t get caught for fear of the ramifications. It was so angsty and I found myself angry for their constant situation. The reaction from the school mates and even the teachers were deplorable. It just gets me so angry that there was so much ignorance in their life at a time when they needed support. I wished I was there. I wanted to be their friend. I wanted to hug them. Yes, the book evoked many emotions from me. Angry, sad, frustrated, outraged and don’t even get me started on the wicked parents that Greg had. (and that was before her was even “out”)
The writing was amazing. Tibby Armstrong in just two books has made my "click to buy" author list. I followed along clicking my Kindle as fast as the pages would populate. I was drawn to the story and I really wanted to sometime cheer for them. It took a long time for that moment. When Greg finally admits that he is gay, he comes out to a reporter and I totally loved that the reported treated it as no big deal. That’s the way it should be. I wish that there were a few more happy moments to enjoy though. I was so melancholy by the time the end of the book came, the “happily ever after” moment just never really hit me. I missed that. After all they had been through; I wanted to celebrate or something.