When High School Teacher Tom Smith Meets Kevin Bannerman At A Gay Club, He Violates His Own Rule One Night Stands Only But When The Weekend Is Over, He Walks Away, Reminding Himself That He Lives A Deeply Closeted Life For Painful, Compelling Reasons He Keeps His Secrets, His Heart, And The Cause Of His Crippled Arm To Himself, But Almost Immediately He Bitterly Regrets Leaving Kevin Months Later, While Tom Serves As Reluctant Assistant Director For His School S Production Of Rent, He Fears That The Show S Same Sex Love Angle Will Somehow Out Him Protests Against The Play Begin, One Of The Student Actors Is Harassed, And During A Parents Meeting, Tom Encounters Kevin Again This Time Tom Can T Fight The Attraction Between Them, And He And Kevin Begin A Tentative Relationship Within Rent S Message Of Acceptance And Support, And As Local Churches Oppose The Play, Tom Struggles To Find The Strength To Admit One Man Into His Heart Kevin had been born to make love to a man, the same way I had This is the story of high school history teacher Tom Smith He has been living a heartbreakingly lonely and closeted life for the last 16 years He has lived in fear in his perfectly constructed life in the small town of Gunning, Texas since he graduated college He meets banker Kevin Bannerman during one of his every few months trips to Houston and through a series of coincidences his one night stand is now invading his personal space Now Tom is uncomfortable than he can stand most of the time What Kevin doesn t know and what we the readers are just beginning to understand is that Tom s gut wrenching fear of being outed view spoiler is based on terrible events from his past that he has never been able to admit to anyone hide spoiler I loved this book.A stunning story of a man s life after surviving a violent crime and the wreckage that follows.But for me, it was mostly a story of transformation.From blame to acceptance, shame to courage, fear to trust, victim to survivor.No book since Nor Iron Bars a Cage has affected me as much.And it was awfully sexy and romantic too. I have mixed feelings about this book I d like to give it 4 stars, but I just can t.Here s the positive It s technically well written and edited Unlike many in this genre, I found little if any grammatical or punctuation errors That s a good start The character development was certainly their and both Tom and Kevin seemed real It had a great opening and conclusion.Howeverwho was it who said Cecil B DeMille the three most important ingredients in a movie are plot, plot and plot Well, this goes for books too An author is expecting the reader to spend several hours with their story In order to warrant that, they need to provide a reason to keep their attention In review the book, chapter by chapter, really nothing really happens I know Tom is involved in putting on Rent But is that really a plot My other issue is the non stop whining from Tom I know he s troubledwe all get that But page after page, chapter after chapter of it gets so annoying If this book were about 100 pages shorter, it would probably be better I just wish there had been going on in the book to accompany the character development I don t really care that much about spending 300 pages dwelling on producing a play.SoI d give it 4 stars for style, and 2 stars for plot. It s too bad that I will never had the chance to watch the Broadway version of RENT since I don t live in the U.S though I remember the movie I think this book, taking the spirit of RENT about love and acceptance of one self, is beautifully written Told from 1st point of view of Tom Smith, a teacher who lives a very closeted and lonely life , where he travels to other town when he feels the need to have sex with somebody Until he agrees albeit reluctantly to help with the RENT drama play in his high school, and gets a shock of his life when he recognizes Kevin Bannerman as one of the student s father Kevin, a guy he randomly picked up and had sex twice It was then, the way Tom lives his life gets challenged and the wall he builds around him crumbles as he sees the spirit of his students playing RENT and Kevin s love towards him makes him revisit the trauma that forces him to live his life as it is now.While there are parts that I feel as dragging on, maybe because it is told from Tom s POV so there are a lot of those inner dialogs with himself, I still feel the message of this book as told across wonderfully To give in to love or live in fear as the quote from RENT said I had tears in my eyes as the book nearing the end and read the performance by the students Wonderful, wonderful read What a breath of fresh air this book has been after the last several reading fiascos No book is perfect but somehow the little niggles that may have been present in this book didn t really bother me at all Miss Sinclair and her editor s must really be commended for the lack of spelling and grammatical errors that all too often take away from the work in this genre.I found I enjoyed her characters a lot Kevin s relentless drive and refusal to give up, Tom and his tragically insecure past, George with his trailblazing attitude and yes, wish I could read about Angel and Steven Moreover I didn t really get the idea that any of the characters were being preachy and serving as overt mouthpieces as a couple people have expressed I guess it s just a personal thing I liked the characterization and I think Miss Sinclair did an excellent job of capturing the essence of a closeted gay man trapped between a rock and a hard place, with insecurity and past angst issues complicating matters even.I love that things were REALISTIC and not some manufactured happily ever after ending with too neat ends Instead at the end Tom s victory is finally allowing himself to get to know Kevin and form the basis for a truer love, much believable than any wishy washy happily ever ending could be in the context of the book I found that I didn t even mind the explicit sex much, lol I don t know what it was about this book exactly but I totally enjoyed it Of course reading crap just before might have had something to do with that.Anyway, thanks a lot for the great read, Miss Sinclair D Wow Just amazing This is the kind of story that reminds me why I love m m fiction so much it could only have happened between two men, with the personal and social dynamics that make m m unique I won t reprise the plot again others have done that better than I could, but I kept getting stunned by a phrase, a description, a conversation that rang so true, I felt I was in the room with the characters It s not a blindingly original plot closeted character meets chance hookup in his home town teacher supporting kids who are willing to buck small town prejudice and learn their own strengths love of a good man overcoming past trauma and fear but the way these are combined and the authenticity of the characters make Admit One a story I will wholeheartedly recommend To anyone who will stand still long enough to listen.And I usually HATE it when authors get you all wrapped up in a character, and then reveal something so heinous in their past that you have no defense against the outrage and pain you feel for themok, I still hated it, but the reveal and the resolution bring all of Tom s agonizing over his relationship with Kevin into focus, and what had seemed like neurotic repetition of personal weaknesses becomes a way to define the dimension of Tom s triumph over his past and what he has let himself become jeez, I hope that didn t sound pretentious, but this really is a profound story that keeps resonating in your head long after you finish reading it Anyway, if you ve read it, you know what I mean, and if you haven t, quit reading the reviews and go read the real thing You ll be glad you did And you ll go see Rent. I was not really in the mood for this when I started, but it turned out not to be the nightmare I d imagined The story of Tom and Kevin was sweet, although I do agree it was long winded in places It certainly wouldn t of hurt to cut the story by a 100 pages or so The long build up to Tom s past dragged in places and made Tom seem whiny But the big secret surounding Tom was very well written, and extremely emotional I shed tears lol Over all a 3 and a half star read that I m bumping up to 4 because I think if I had read it at a later date I would of enjoyed it. Tom Smith is a history teacher in a conservative small Texan town who has carved out compartmentalized what he considers a safe life In the town where he lives people know him but don t really know him He has kept the fact that he s a gay a secret periodically travels miles out of town for sexual interactions with other gay men It is during one of these forays out of town that he meets Kevin Bannerman his vision of what his world is really like starts to crumble It is when Tom is back to his real life where he not only finds out that his school is putting on the controversial musical Rent they want him to be the assistant director counselor for the teens but that he also reunites with Kevin, that his life reaches a kind of tipping point Tom is such a lonely, depressed man desperate to keep his secrets that you often feel frustrated with him reading this story It is only much later in the story that you learn the reasons why Tom is behaving the way he is This story is worth sticking through The story about the high school production of Rent the reactions of the town ring true there has been several HS productions of Rent where attempts were made to shut them down One eventually led to a lawsuit by ACLU the school getting a new principal In that case the show was allowed to go on at that high school I enjoyed reading about that side of the story was left with some curiosity about some of the teens, especially Robbie Steven Maybe they could be revisited in a later book.I do recommend this book It s the kind of story that lingers with you makes you think which is what the best of M M romance should be about. I picked up Admit One because of this line from its blurb Months later, while Tom serves as reluctant assistant director for his school s production of Rent, he fears that the show s same sex love angle will somehow out him Of course the word Rent jumped out and the book was purchase was immediate.I m so glad I did This was a wonderful, multi layered book.Tom Smith teaches high school history in Gunning, Texas, a small, conservative town Tom is very closeted, traveling for hours to Houston or Abilene so he can be himself away from prying eyes On one of those trips, he meets Kevin and becomes taken with this handsome man So much so that he breaks his own rule about never hooking up with the same man twice.Tom gets a one two punch when he finds out his school is doing Rent and that he s going to be the assistant director he didn t expect the school would get permission for it when he d say yes to the position the previous spring and Kevin turns up as a parent for one of the cast members Tom had no idea that the daughter Kevin had spoken about was one of his own students Kevin also had no idea about Tom, and is thrilled to find the man that had won his heart months earlier.Now there are two things going on that might out Tom to the school and the town To say he s freaked out is an understatement.While the story around how out Tom will allow himself to become is the primary story, getting Rent off the ground in this conservative town gets a fair amount of time as well We get to see auditions, the initial parents meetings, rehearsals and how the students cope as the some of the outspoken people in town work to get the production shut down I d love to see a YA novel spun out from this The students story would be great to read becuase there is one incredible group of kids working on this production Admit One is not suitable for a middle school high school audience because of the sex scenes A book spin off, however, could stand on its own without making reference to this book s erotic moments.I was angry with Tom for a lot of this book His reluctance to come out of the closet even though he wants to as the quote above indicates and open himself up to Kevin was incredibly frustrating As I was reading the early chapters I was annoyed because Tom was so full of self loathing that he s exactly the type of person that plays into the religious right s agenda becuase Tom is exactly how they d like us to be so full of sadness and loneliness that we are shut away from life Sinclair, however, has crafted such a rich, multi faceted character that not everything about Tom is what it seems on the surface By the end of the book I d laughed, I cried, I was angry at myself for being so hard on Tom Most importantly I was left extremely satisfied Admit One is on the shortlist of the very best books that I ve read in 2009.
- 336 pages
- Admit One
- Jenna Hilary Sinclair
- 10 March 2019 Jenna Hilary Sinclair