Two track and field athletes find an unexpected but powerful love in this unapologetically blunt and unforgettably real YA debut.
Sebastian Villeda is over it. Over his rep. Over his bros. Over being “Bash the Flash,” fastest sprinter in South Jersey. His dad is gone, his mom is dead, and his stepfather is clueless. Bash has no idea what he wants out of life. Until he meets Sandro.
Sandro Miceli is too nice for his own good. The middle child in an always-growing, always-screaming Italian family, Sandro walks around on a broken foot to not bother his busy parents. All he wants is to get out and never look back.
When fate—in the form of a party that gets busted—brings these two very different boys together, neither of them could’ve predicted finding a love that they’d risk everything for…
Going in, I thought this was going to be a sweet YA romance story about two boys in their senior year of high school, but it turned out to be much more intense than I expected — intense in a good way. There are definitely some tender, sweet and silly moments between our two flawed protagonists, and I enjoyed the strong chemistry between them. But there are also some darker and grittier moments as well — the kind that makes your heart ache and brings a tear to your eye.
The long run offers a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of two teenage boys who are navigating their senior year when they discover each other. The story is told via a dual POV, and I loved how it allowed us to see the situation from both Bash’s and Sandro’s perspectives, both of whom spoke in distinct, original voices. I also enjoyed traveling with Bash and Drove during their journey of discovering themselves and each other and overcoming the various obstacles placed before them. And through this process, we also witness their inner growth and insight, a difficult but beautiful process.
The character arcs were exceptionally well done, with plenty of growth not just among the boys and their budding relationship but also among their families. James Acker really seems to understand the teenage soul—the longing, the self-doubt, the challenges, the melancholy, the self-awareness, and the confusion. The Long Run is an authentic look at what it feels like to be a teenage boy and all that it entails.
The author tackles a lot of subjects with this book: hiding one’s authentic self, dysfunctional families, pretending to be someone you’re not, sexual awareness, self-discovery, parental neglect, self-acceptance, bisexual awakening, and toxic masculinity, resulting in a profound, authentic and raw read. There’s a lot of depth in this introspective story, and I ended up loving this engrossing novel. Recommended!
What I loved:
❤️ All the Feels
🎭 Family drama
✌🏼 Two perspectives
🤔 Thought-provoking characters and themes
⛹️♂️🤾🏽♂️ Two lovable high school jocks who find each other
✍️ Amazing character development
🧑🏽🔬 Dro’s and Bash’s connection/chemistry was just 👌