Title: Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams (Russel Middlebrook: The Futon Years, Book 2)
Author: Brent Hartinger
Published: August 14, 2015
Publisher: Buddha Kitty Books
Author Website: link
After reuniting with his high school boyfriend, Kevin, in Seattle, Russel Middlebrook is ready to make his life complete by pursuing his dreams. Together, he and Kevin pick up and move to Los Angeles so Russel can begin his career as a screenwriter. He doesn’t have any contracts when he arrives, but it’s only a matter of time, right? And much to Russel’s delight, it’s not long after he arrives that one of his scripts–one based loosely on his own life–is optioned by a producer who has worked with some of the biggest names in the business. But it’s not all easy. Kevin gave up a job he enjoyed to move to California, and Russel quickly learns there is much more to the business of filmmaking than he ever could have imagined. Will Russel get his break he’s been hoping for? Will the challenges of their new environment test Russel and Kevin’s relationship past the breaking point? Or will they be able to live in the “City of Broken Dreams” whilst keeping their own intact?
I’ve been a fan of this series since I first read Geography Club, where we meet Russel Middlebrook for the first time. There’s just something about the way Brent Hartinger captures this character’s voice that speaks to me in a way I don’t know I can fully explain. There is an ease in reading these books for me, but they also tell stories that describe real challenges and personal and relationship dynamics. It’s been interesting to see Russel go from high school student to college graduate, seeing the ways in which he’s changed while still so clearly knowing it’s the same character I’m hearing from in these books.
In this installment, there’s a lot going on. Russel and Kevin have made a big move, and on somewhat of a whim. That’s obviously challenging for them both and the cast of characters they find themselves thrown into when they get to L.A. serves up more challenges and issues for them to sort through. There are a few twists and turns thrown in that aren’t exactly expected, and readers can expect a fun, and dynamic read.