I’m still feeling like I need to take each of the characters and give them this hug. Also, and even better… make sure they hug each other like that. All. The. Time!
This title by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn is hands down one of the best LGBTQ romances I’ve read in a while. Touch the Sky has another thing that’s not tackled much by authors – mental disorder, and in this case: bipolar.
Gabriel and Lucas met online when they were teenagers and became modern day pen pals. They form an incredible bond and come out to each other. Their friendship becomes more and they plan to leave home when they turn 18 and meet up in Hollywood., until one day Lucas’s email isn’t answered and the emails just stop.
Fast forward about 5 years later, neither Lucas nor Gabriel stop thinking about the other, however not necessarily the same thoughts they had when they were kids. And then the two cross path again.
To say they immediately pick back up again is a bit of a stretch, but they do reconnect and we learn the reasons for the break in touch years before. And yes, it’s not instant but they pretty fast do fall into a romantic relationship.
Both Gabriel and Lucas keep a secret from each other, but they also know they’ll have to come clean and share it all at some point. Lucas’s dream has been all but discarded and Gabriel is still dreaming, but not doing much towards fulfilling it. A great part of the progression in the plot is how they help each other deal with their inhibitions.
Each character is gradually developing throughout the story, their emotions, growing into their mature selves, their wishes and dreams. And not just that – they grow together as a couple. A growth which I’m attributing to the angst both Lucas and Gabriel deal with.
What I enjoyed most reading Touch the Sky is the careful and (what I assume) accurate navigation through the various challenges of living with bipolar. And living with bipolar doesn’t just mean the person living with it, but that person’s family, friends, significant other, coworkers, etc.
And that’s exactly what is portrayed so beautifully in this story.
Touch the Sky is a love story, yes, but it’s also life, complicated, ugly, messy and beautiful. Lee and Dawn aced it.
Lucas Barnett and Gabriel Stewart didn’t have it easy as kids. They were only trying to deal with bad situations at home when they became lifelines for each other. Their pipe dream was to someday meet in LA, where Lucas would design skyscrapers, and Gabriel would learn to fly. But then Gabriel disappeared without so much as a goodbye, and Lucas got himself in trouble with the law.
Five years later, both men are at a loss when they run into each other at a Hollywood bar. Lucas is still angry, but it’s not as if Gabriel could control how his mind and body had betrayed him. Being found on the ledge of that bridge had changed everything.
The attraction is immediate, but it’s more than their inability to keep their hands off each other. Neither man expects the fierce connection pulling them together. Unfortunately, ignoring their problems doesn’t make them disappear. Gabriel’s internal struggles are serious…dangerous. And no matter how much Lucas wants it to be true, saving Gabriel won’t make up for not being able to save his mom. If they don’t find the strength to face their own demons before the darkness takes hold, they risk more than just losing each other forever.
I am a compulsive reader and writer who loves YA fiction.
I love nothing more than writing about young adults. There is something so fresh and fun about it. You can pretty much always find me with a book in my hand or open document in front of me.
I live in Southern California with my husband and two children.
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Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.
She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.
She writes Adult, New Adult, and LGBTQ romance. More coming soon!
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