I don’t know why I’ve been waiting to read some of Thomas Grant Bruso’s work. If I was waiting for a perfect moment, I can’t say it arrived because there are still over a hundred books on my to read list. Either way, it doesn’t feel fair; it doesn’t feel right. The moment I read the few first pages of Jay Bird, I knew I’d like the story and I knew I’d like Thomas’ style.
Jay Bird is a beautiful and tender story of two adolescent boys, Jay and Rocco, who are best friends in becoming something more, whose friendship is tested with personal dramas and trials and teenage doubts, desires and needs.
With a strong dose of realism and credibility, Thomas Grant Bruso portrays a relationship between Jay and Rocco, but also between Jay and his parents and in particular with his Grams. As someone who has experienced a similar relationship with his grandma, I could identify with Jay’s relationship with his Grams and reminiscent about my childhood and juvenile days with nostalgia.
Jay Bird has the charm of a young adult and coming out story which wins your heart in a flash. Despite the publisher’s warning that this book is for adult audience only, because it may contain sexually explicit scenes and graphic language offensive to some readers, I suggest to even more sensitive readers to give it a try. Because nothing in this book is more sexually explicit or has a more graphic language than what we see or hear in everyday media, on social networks or in the circle of our friends and even with family members.
In the end I want to point out Thomas Grant Bruso’s strongest weapon. And that is his dialogues. Dialogues between his protagonists pull us with their fluency through the story, making it a fast and easy read. With their richness, humor and intelligence they give us the feeling they are the only thing needed to make us experience and love this book. Even if stripped of all other descriptions, Jay Bird would be an entertaining and worthy read because of their strength and power to make us devour them with a sweet aftertaste in our mouth.