Livings, Liam. “Best Friends Perfect: Book One”, Wilde City Press, 2014.
At 18-years-old, Kieran comes out first to himself and then to his family. He goes to a youth group and there he meets Kev who just happens to be a cross dresser who does not have any lucky in romance and Jo, a college drama student. It is the late 90s and things were very different for gay people back then and Kieran soon learned this. His four best friends were there for him as he dealt with his new sexuality, Jo and Kev his new friends and Hannah and Grace, his old friends (not chronologically old). Hannah was also coming out and Grace seems to know something about everything. It was too Kieran’s advantage that he met Jo when he did because they could look for boyfriends together. However, Hannah and Grace notice that Jo might not be as clever as Kieran thinks.
And here is where this book differs from other novels that we might classify as light reads. Livings has something to say about friendship and there is more to this book than a fascinating cast of characters. Indeed it is the characters that make this a special read—they are very real and very relatable. They bring us into Kieran’s world (which is very different than my own but a could place to be lost in). Kieran is something of a young gay everyman (or is that “everyboy”?). Try to think back to what you can remember about your coming-out and self-acceptance process—we all have something in common there and the ways that Kieran’s is related to us via Liam Livings makes for a delightful read. Kieran doesn’t just talk to us about the coming out process, he also has something to say about the way we live now.
I had not heard of Liam Livings before I read this book which is the first of a projected trilogy and that means that we will have fun with two more books in the Best Friends series. Livings uses humor in just the right way—there are several laugh out loud moments and yet there is also a good deal of subtle humor. The sex scenes are also wonderfully handled as well. The gay characters that the author has created are outrageous but then what kind of fun is it to read about people who are bland. The best thing about the characters is that we know that we will meet them again. You really do not want to miss this one. I know I have been a bit vague about the plot but I have my own reason for that—I want you enjoy this as much as I did. And….check out the great book cover.