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VBT & #Giveaway: The Signs We Missed by Lena S. May

@Archaeolibrary, @GoddessFish, @Lena_S_May,

#LGBTQIA+, #Contemporary, #Fiction,

Thrown out by his mother, 17-year-old Luke hopes to overcome his narcotic addiction and depression by changing his surroundings. At his new school, he quickly becomes friends with Sean, but finding that his developing feelings aren’t returned, Luke retreats into old habits. Determined to hide his self-injurious behavior and an advancing eating disorder, he soon risks much more than a broken heart. When Sean meets Luke, the last thing on his mind is falling in love with a boy. Grappling with his own conflicting emotions and trying to keep them from his suspicious girlfriend, he brushes off Luke’s strange behavior. But when Luke suddenly cuts him off, Sean is forced to confront the truth and take action to save his best friend.

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Luke was lying on his back, his phone in one hand, a cigarette in the other.

He had missed the ashtray several times in the past hours, resulting in black burns on the sheet beneath him. It didn’t matter, and they weren't visible in the dark anyway.

The blood wasn't, either.

He was still fighting to forget the pills and the water on the nightstand.

Today had been the first day in a while he had felt well enough to leave the house. Still lousy, but well enough.

He had decided the lightness in his head and the nausea in his stomach were the outcome of him not eating much lately. Hardly anything, except for dry bread, tea, and an apple.

That led him to the conclusion that not taking his pills was no longer the cause of his miserable condition; at least that was what he had tried to convince himself of on the way to the emergency room.

He should have thought of that earlier.

It was Sunday, the only doctor on duty had looked fatigued and stressed. He'd probably been glad all he had to do for Luke was to write him a prescription.

Warning him to get a new prescription earlier next time and keeping the emergency room free for emergencies, he had let him go in no time.

Luke's hands had been shaking when he tried to open the package at home.

Then, at the very last moment, he had changed his mind and slammed it down on the nightstand, almost angry.

4 out of 5 (very good)

THE SIGNS WE MISSED is a young adult, standalone story, that deals with some dark themes. It comes with trigger warnings so please take note of them.

Love is never easy, and it is sometimes dark and filled with pain, especially if you are experiencing something for the first time and are unsure of just what's happening. Cruelty can be through ignorance, not always deliberate. This is the position Sean finds himself in with Luke. He has feelings but doesn't know what to do with them.

Told mainly from the perspectives of Sean, Luke, and Shayne, the missing gaps are mostly filled in and you get a rounded story. To be honest, I wasn't exactly sure how Fly's story fitted in for most of it, nor if the destructive relationship between her and Shayne was sorted, but it was still an enjoyable read - if a dark storyline can be called as such.

This is not light and fluffy, to even think that would be to do it a disservice. Instead, it is a gripping book that deals with self-harm, bisexual awakenings, and eating disorders, to name just a few. If you can cope with those, then I definitely recommend you take a chance on this novel.

** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *


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Lena S. May is a Germany-based author and student. Living with her dog, she enjoys long walks, ideally followed by a cup of tea and an equally long reading session. After graduating university with a degree in English and American and German Studies, she is working towards her Master of Education to become a secondary school teacher. With her writing, Lena hopes to raise more awareness for mental health and the importance of looking out for one another and oneself. Her debut novel will be published in August 2022.



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