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Mason Downing is good at a lot of things, but math isn’t one of them. What he is good at is hiding the fact that he’s a poor kid on a full scholarship at elite Bragson University—though he won’t be there for long if he can’t get his grades up.
Carter Lantor is the embodiment of all that Mason pretends to be: rich, confident, and smart. But when Carter is handpicked to be Mason’s new math tutor, Mason learns that he’s not the only one hiding things. Soon, Carter’s picture-perfect façade begins to crack under the pressure of his father’s expectations and his own unhappiness.
Together, Mason and Carter must teach each other that no matter how much they question their place in the world, their love for one another might be the answer they are looking for.
Déjà vu. It’s either the excitement of reliving something great or boredom from repetitiveness. I had a strong sense of déjà vu and unfortunately it was the tedious type. Alternating point of views typically rank high on my list…well, if they are done right. I enjoy the dual inner monologue that you only witness from first person. But I don’t want to relive the same exact scene down to the same exact dialogue from each main character. You will find this short novella starts out with Mason’s voice and the second chapter is word for word verbatim from Carter. The changes were slim and insignificant. I can’t say I gained a single thing from the repeat of actions.
Not only did I have a weak start, but then we get to know the boys and my frail hold on the story threatened to break. I didn’t understand Mason. He is so utterly consumed by his financial status that he is blinded by the fact that he is not alone. He cares deeply about brand name clothing and maintaining a pretense that he comes from money. People that only care about what you have in your bank account aren’t worth having for friends in my opinion. I understand the desire to fit in, blend, and belong but he took it too far.
Mason is failing his math class and needs a tutor. He can’t afford a tutor therefore he is forced to pick up a part time job in the evenings. He grudgingly agrees to drive for the campus shuttle. He is mortified that someone might recognize him and he’s ashamed that he has to work. When a stranger on the shuttle reminds him that he does have a libido, he panics and creates an alias. He has forgotten that lies catch up to us at some point and his fib bites him in the ass sooner than he ever expected.
Carter is rolling in the dough but not freely. His parents have a path set for him and if he decides to stray, he will have to do it on his own dime. I liked Carter’s mother but as intended, I disliked his father. I applauded Carter when he stood up to his pretentious Dad, but found their new found connection far-fetched. A lot of ground was gained in such a short period of time, it was hard to hold onto.
I completely lacked the click with the story and the boys. Not only that but within the first ten percent I was battling garbled sentences and a few typos were distracting enough to racket up my frustrations. I think I have less than normal patience for such errors when the length of the story is short.
The cover is really great though, isn’t it?