Brothers and Frenemies – Samuel Alexander

31932606Dealing with issues of sexuality, friendship, family and violence, Brothers and Frenemies is a coming-of-age story unlike any other. Four boys, each struggling with their own issues, taking it out on others through bullying. Until one of their victims finally stands up to them. An unlikely friendship is born – is it one that can last?

There are a lot of characters in this book, it was at times difficult to work out who was speaking, but ultimately that didn’t really matter. They all have likeable and dislikeable traits, which was great. None of them are perfect but none of them are intrinsically bad either.

I’m not sure how realistic the whole thing is. A whole group of 10-year-olds much more mature than any I’ve ever met, the chilled attitude to having known murderers and crime bosses as friends, and the surprisingly high number of gay men in one group (family and friends included). For all I know this could be completely normal, but as I said, I’m not sure. There were other things that I simply couldn’t understand (namely, how often the boys sent videos to each other of themselves having sex). This is not a world I’m familiar with at all and therefore it was difficult to connect with the story. Despite this, I did find myself invested in the characters, genuinely concerned about what was going to happen to them.

Overall, the story was moving, interesting, and unlike anything else I’ve read. If you want diversity in books, this is it.

Side-note: there is A LOT of sex. Not, however, in the descriptive erotic-novel style, which makes it much easier to cope with.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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