Julien is an angsty, overly dramatic story about a group of teens who’ve been friends since they were kids. I had not read the other books in this series, and after this one, I don’t plan to, for various reasons.
Julien is a Contemporary Romance Writers 2021 Stiletto Finalist!
Soccer center forward for Fallen Brook High. Best friends with Elizabeth Fairchild and Ryder Cutton.
We all know the story. Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. It’s a tale as old as time. Well, it was until I met him. My name is Julien Jameson, and this is my love story.
My brother, my best friend, and I are in love with the same girl, Elizabeth - our best friend since we were six. It's a complicated situation. A love quadrangle, if you will. But things get even more complicated when I meet him. Elijah Barnes. The boy I meet in seventh grade who becomes the man I can't live without. I have a choice to make about the man I want to become and the person I want to be with. How can I give my heart to one when it still belongs to another?
Julien chronicles Julien Jameson’s love story from his point of view. Book 1 is a high-angst, coming of age, LGBTQ, M/M, bisexual novel that takes from childhood through high schooland contains mature sexual content and foul language. It is intended for mature readers aged 17+. Julien is Book 1 in the Fallen Brook M/M Duet Series, a spin-off of the Fallen Brook Series, and parallels events that take place in All Our Next Times.
Book 2, Elijah, is the conclusion to Julien’s love story and takes place during college and beyond.
Ok, so the story of Julien and Elijah is good. I liked the building of their story over time but there were definitely parts I didn’t enjoy. The dedication that Jayson, Julien, and Ryder have to Elizabeth is over the top. I get a group of young boys having a crush on the same girl. I even understand Julien being bisexual. I do not understand Elizabeth, Jay, and Ryder’s dynamic. Her choosing Jay instead of Ryder (Jay was a jerk a lot of the time), didn’t make sense. I’m sure I would understand more if I had read the other books in the series but first I’m not interested in MF storylines anymore, second the drama between this group is too much, third the end seems like a completely unnecessary complication (for lack of a better word) used just to continue Elizabeth’s storyline.
This book is told from Julien’s POV, but it has a lot of ‘extra’ stuff that’s in there from the books about Elizabeth that’s not really necessary in the context of his relationship with Elijah. Their relationship was sweet, and not too easy. This book was somewhere between an angsty YA teen drama and a fully developed M/M romance. There were a good amount of sexy times. Which, if you don’t want to read about underage sex, you should probably avoid this book, but it was a good addition to the story line. My biggest question, which is probably weird, is why are two virgins using condoms? If this book is geared towards teens, then yes, demonstrating safe sex is great. It is categorized as teen & YA fiction, but it’s pretty heavy in places and I’m not sure I would recommend it for teen readers.
Bottom line: if you don’t like angst and teen drama Julien probably not a good book for you. If you want to read about teenage insecurities, love triangles, and bullies then absolutely give this one a shot. The writing is good if a little wordy and overly descriptive at times.
Heat: 7/10 (decent amount of sex, but it doesn’t start until about the 50% mark)
Length: 8/10 (it was too long in my opinion. Covering parts of Elizabeth’s story from Julien’s POV wasn’t necessary to tell Julien and Elijah’s story)
Angst/drama: 9/10 (over the top)
Believability: 7/10 (Elijah and Julien were not nearly careful enough to keep their relationship hidden)
Overall: 7/10 (would cautiously recommend if someone was looking for a relationship about teens. I’m not sure if I’ll read the next book from Elijah’s POV)
*I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Aspen Tree E.A.S.