Love Complicated by Teegan Loy
Love Complicated is a Young Adult contemporary romance, in which Teegan Loy's protagonists deal with first love, trust, self-confidence issues and uncertain futures.
Honestly, this is a story which I was unsure of at the beginning, but as Austin and Jalen were given space to develop naturally, by the later stages of Love Complicated I was crying!
I think perhaps one of the main problems I had is that Jalen and Austin are forced to hide their intense relationship from their peers because of Austin's public persona. Yet, Austin is such a dominant character, chasing Jalen until he relents and Austin certainly is no stranger to sex with men. Whilst the two of them allow their relationship to flourish behind closed doors, Austin's tennis career goes from strength to strength, until his father forces the decision for him to turn professional.
Jalen is not a jock or even particularly popular at school until he is overheard singing. I would like to have seen this lead to something more definite for Jalen, but also understand Teegan Loy's decision to focus on the romance.
One of my favourite characters in the novel is Clark, the football player and Austin's best friend. I think we expect him to play the role of bully, but he is consistently loyal, funny and warm-hearted.
The love story of Austin and Jalen is not a simple one and is made more difficult by small-minded attitudes, blackmail and fear. Love Complicated is a novel I really recommend and I will definitely read more by the author.