Growing up isn't easy

When I Grow Up (Tales from Foster High) - John  Goode

so this happened...I couldn't wait any longer for John's book to be released so I decided to kidnap Mr. Goode and forced him to give me his book. and guess what it worked ! I may or may not still have him locked up in my house ;)

Attention: This review is full of spoilers so I recommend reading it after you read the book

I tried to be a 'normal' person for once, or should I say a grown-up ? ;) and instead of using gifs for my review I actually used words ;P


Ladies and Gentlemen,

please take your seats because our play will shortly start.

Pardon, it is not really a play per se, it is real life. Real Life, meaning being an adult in the big bad world. Sometimes this makes us feel like puppets , like actors in a play and we are trying desperately to figure out how to function in it.

That’s what Kyle and Brad, our two main characters, are trying to do. If you thought that they had a easy childhood before and that’s why they have difficulties to find their place in the world then you are mistaken and that means that you didn't read the former books so SHAME ON YOU ! Go read them and then come back later ! Seriously go !

In our first act we get to see the overwhelming feeling of living together, without parents , without going to school , just you and your amazing boyfriend. What does that mean exactly ? Ikea and lots of sex apparently ! ( I’m so proud of you Brad, and I totally agree, don’t we all wanna kill the first Swedish person we meet just because !)
(I’m Team Brad, in case you didn't know and Gosh I’m so in love with him, and I know I’ve been Chester the cheating chicken the couple last months but I hope you forgive me Ivan) <- you don’t have to understand this . It’s an insider between friends and YOU can’t sit with us !

It wouldn’t be a ‚play‘ by the amazing author John Goode if there wasn't any drama and guuuuuuuuuuurl (just quoting Sean, and no he isn't part of this book / thank god / Hey Robbie, loved you book btw. Go read „A Way To Back Then“. You totally should cause both books are linked and therefore preferably be read in order) let me tell you there is plenty !

Adulthood is a bitch ! ( must be friends with fate->hence to the book „Last Dance With Mary Jane“ ) Shortly after living together and stepping out of their little bubble, that is their little apartment, Kyle and Brad realize that being a grown up isn't easy and between college and a job it’s not simple to have a perfect life, they’ve always dreamed of, at least not without constantly working on it and COMMUNICATING ! That’s a main problem for both young men (it’s the first time i call them young men, omg ! they have grown up so fast)

Not communicating results in Kyle’s insecurities acting up again that results in having no sex

„I trusted Brad with my life, but lately not with my heart“

Kyle’s jealously drives Brad away

„Kyle? I have no idea what the fuck is wrong with you, but right now, I don’t care {…} I told you that day by the lake that I was here until you told me to leave and I meant it. I still mean it. But if you want me to leave, be a fucking man and tell me to leave. Because this shutting me out thing, it’s just mean“

and after a while, and some more hick-ups Kyle does exactly that. Needless to say that it broke by heart.

both men realize that living together and love in general isn't a picnic in the park. Kyle has to realize that just by moving out of Foster, being on his own and living the „grown up life“ doesn't mean that you have changed ! You can be still an asshole you just changed location ;) and Brad realizes that being in the center of attention can feel really good ( he works in a gay gym)

„Why was love so fucking hard?“ <- I don’t know Brad, maybe you should have thought about it some more instead of cheating on Kyle ?…. Yes, this (may) happened…but honestly ? It’s real life we are talking about and not some random MM Romance ! they aren’t just some characters in a book. John shows us real people, real problems, just plain reality ! Living means you fuck up sometimes , especially when you are young ! That doesn’t mean that Brad doesn't love Kyle ! He was drugged the night he allegedly had a fling with this guy and he didn't even remember it until Colt (idk if I like him yet, for now I’m with Kyle and I’d rather say, go to hell pretty boy) told him.
(Plot twist y’all ! Brad never cheated on Kyle . He couldn't remember what happened the night he got drunk and drugged and he just believed what Colt told him. Thankfully the guy with whom Brad thought he„slept“ with told Brad the truth once he heard what happened)
Speaking of Colt (Brad’s „friend“) we also should mention Teddy (Kyle’S new „friend“ from college).
Reading about both guys reminded me of this part from the song „I dreamed a dream“ from Les Mis

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hopes apart
As they turn your dreams to shame

Replace tigers with „friends“ and you have it. Both man show up around the same time in Kyle’s and Brad’s life. Both have one thing in common. They wanna see Kyle’s and Brad’s relationship fail. The difference is Colt does it on purpose and Teddy doesn't really realize it but he would like to have Kyle to himself so it shouldn't come as a surprise when I tell you that he isn’t exactly Team Brad when Kyle tells him about the problems they have.

Is it enough drama for you already ? Yes ? Well, sorry to disappoint but did you ever read a book by John Goode? Then you would know , that when you feel it’s enough and you're lying on the floor already , being a sobby mess, fate (John in disguise) comes around the corner and kicks you in the nuts ( or lady parts, i don’t really know about them though , sorry ladies , I’m playing for another team )

In our ‚play‘ this means, that Kyle’s mother had a major car accident and is fighting for her life and Kyle decides to fly back to Foster, Texas without telling Brad why.

Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen, this has been Part One of our play, I hope you enjoyed it so far. we’ll be back after a short break. If you’d like you could read a short in between ? May I suggest ‚Dear God‘ or ‚Save Yourself‘ ? You’re welcome ;)

Welcome back. This is Part Two of „When I Grow Up“

Put your seatbelt on and enjoy the right. A fair warning though. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride !

So we ended with drama in part one and we start with more drama in part two !

Did you ever wonder as a child how adults have life figured all out ? They seem so sure of everything they do and they always tell you : „Once you’re grow up you will understand“ or „I’m an adult that's why I’m right and you are wrong’ or „I’m your mom/dad aka adult and I know what’s best for you“

Well, let me tell you something, being an adult sucks and the second you realize it it’s too late to go back being a kid and unfortunately wanting to be Peter Pan in real life is viewed as weird and might get you in a loony bin ( I still wanna be Peter Pan but pssst don’t tell anybody)

In Part Two of our ‚play‘ we meet old friends again. Tyler (my personal older version of Brad), his amazing and hot boyfriend Matt (there must be something in the water that lets hot gay guys pop up everywhere in Foster like mushrooms ), Robbie is back again with his, and I now I repeat myself but its an accurate description of his BF as well, hot boyfriend Sebastian.

So if you want have an example that adults are just like big kids with bank accounts and that they don’t have life figured out stay tuned and listen. We all have to play our role in the world and it’s not much different than the labels we had in High School. No matter if you are 16, 18 or 30+ we all have our prejudices. Teddy and Colt had them when they saw Brad and Kyle for he first time because, God forbid ! they don’t look like twins and even worse :o are different character and appearance wise .

Now meet Matt and you know, that having prejudices doesn't change miraculously when you grow up :

„I know exactly who you are (to Sebastian) because I met you a dozen times in my life. You are a good-looking gut, great shape, charming as hell, and you think that means something.“

Do you remember what I told you in the beginning of Part Two of our ‚play‘ ? To fasten up your seat belts, exactly ! So if you haven’t done it already then it’s about time

„Please fasten your seat belts, the pilot has informed us there is some turbulence ahead“

When Kyle arrives at the hospital two ‚surprises‘ are waiting for him…And because he’s and adult now (remember?) surprises aren't usually good things to happen to you…Gone are the times where being surprised meant to go to Disneyland or to get the newest game for you console….nope…For Kyle, being surprised, means to meet his loser of dad aka Mr. Crackhead and his half brother…and guess what ? It’s not a heart warming family reunion, no…Kyle’s begetter is trying to bribe his son to get money from him.

It’s hard doing the right things in life and if you think you get a reward for being a nice human being you’re unfortunately mistaken. We decide if we want to be the good or the bad guy in our little personal play that is called life. If you don’t believe me ask Father Mulligan

„See, that kind of thinking is what’s wrong with he world. People do good things and expect some kind of reward, and when they don’t get it, they use it as proof there is no God or that God is cruel. God does not reward good behavior, the same way he doesn't punish bad. If you were being good for his sake you're wasting your time.“

„Being good is its own reward“

We’re coming to the end of Part Two. Thanks for flying with the Goode-Wings and I hope we see you all again for Part Three of our story

You’re certainly asking yourself, will Kyle and Brad be ‚good‘ and find their way back to each other ? Will they learn to communicate and will Brad be Kyle’s anchor ? The only way to find out is to stay tuned ;)

In Part three of our little adventure we find out that being an adult, living your life the best way you can, means constantly working on yourself. It’s not like, when you ‚grow up‘ you get a book handed to you that explains everything you always wanted to know. There are some ‚old books‘ out there that will tell you for what kind of ‚sins‘ you go to hell though, but these aren’t really helpful, believe me ;)

We learn to always try to give each and every person the benefit of the doubt and to look behind the curtain. If you see a good looking guy, built like a brick don’t assume you know him and his story. Take your time, be open-minded and get to know a person first before you start judging ! I give you an example…

Meet Troy (Kyle’s half brother):

(Kyle) „It was weird, because he sounded like a hick but he talked like he was most definitely intelligent“
(Kyle) „Didn’t you like school?“
(Troy) „Why’d you ask that? Because I come off like a rock to you ? Guys like me can’t like school because I’m too stupid to understand what’s going on around me?“

Then he goes on and explains his hard life with his drug using loser of a father and how he never had the chance to finish school because they were always moving , or on the run from people…

So let us all learn from Kyle’s mistake and lets try to NEVER judge the book by its cover !

(side note : If you read a lot of MM books you know what I mean cause some covers are just awful but sometimes the story behind is is a precious gem and you will fall in love)

Back to our story…

I’m happy to tell you that it seems like the Evil has been defeated ! With the help of good friends and Kyle’s ‚superpower‘ , of coming up with perfect plans in situations when they are mostly needed, they get Billy (Kyle’s dad) arrested and Kyle’s mom can finally get her operation !

As for the question what the future holds in store for Kyle and Brad ? We shall see. Stay tuned for la grande finale !

Let me tell you one thing….it all starts with a fucking punch in the face…at least it felt like it. But if you know John you wouldn't be surprised. He doesn't make it easy for us and his boys. It’s real life remember ? There’s no prince Charming who waits for you and you two will ride on his horse into the sunset and into a happily ever after (but god, could you please take a second and imagine Brad in a Prince Charming Costume ? You’re welcome )

Sometimes being a grown-up means making difficult and painful decisions. In Kyle and Brad’s case it seems to mean to break-up for real and to figure out who they really are and who they want to be. That doesn't mean both young men don’t love each other.

„Caring and knowing that something isn't working aren't mutually exclusive things“

Sometimes you have to change the way you look at things. I know, it isn't easy but if you want something to work out you have to try.

So for Kyle this means the questions isn’t anymore : What Would Kyle do ? but What would Brad do?

Needless to say a lot of things happen in between and everyone in Foster seems to feel the need to express what they think about Kyle and Brad’s break up. But one thing is sure and that’s perfectly put into words by Matt

„This is a matter of heart. Logic and reason don’t always have the weight they do in real life once the heart is involved“

But if you expect Kyle and Brad to just get together again and move back to California then you are unfortunately mistaken because that’s exactly how a romance book would end but we’re talking about real life here so obviously it doesn’t work like that, though most of us would like that right ? (me included)

Kyle and Brad understand that they aren't the people yet they’re going to be someday.That means
that if you have faith, that you found The One, you have to believe that in the end everything will work out just fine.

„(Brad) The point is that I have absolute faith in us“

That’s it folks ! This is the end of the play. I hope you enjoyed it and remember have faith in Kyle and Brad and

„This isn't a good-bye. This is just ‚hold on‘

Thank you John for another awesome adventure with my Foster Family. That’s what they are for me , and have been ever since I found you last year. It may sound corny but they are my friends now and it’s nice to get a glimpse into their lives from time to time. During the end Kyle said a nice thing that reminded me of who you are for me and I bet for a lot of kids/teens/adults.

„I’ll spend my life doing good. I don’t know how, but I will make it my goal. I want to make the world a better place and I think you want that too.“

And you’re doing good John, just by being you and using your gift of creating a word on paper that makes me and other people have hope ! You are our hero