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Crosscurrents

   (6 reviews)

Andy and Matt, best friends and teammates from childhood, grow together, learn together, and struggle to remain friends when their evolving relationship outpaces their ability to understand it.

2003-2013 Adam Phillips; All Rights Reserved. This story and its characters remain the property of the author and may not be reproduced or republished elsewhere without the author's written consent. Chapters may contain scenes depicting a loving and/or sexual relationship between consenting males. If you find this material morally or legally questionable, please do not read further.

Story Recommendations (5 members)

  • Action Packed 0
  • Addictive/Pacing 3
  • Characters 5
  • Chills 0
  • Cliffhanger 0
  • Compelling 0
  • Feel-Good 0
  • Humor 0
  • Smoldering 2
  • Tearjerker 4
  • Unique 4
  • World Building 0

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DaveinLA

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

A Review of Crosscurrants, by Adam Phillips

DaveinLA

Let me start this review by saying that this story is so far out of the genre of stories that I normally read that the difference is the distance between US Coastlines.

Crosscurrants is the story of Andy and Matt who met when they were eight years old.  Andy's home has his College Professor Father, His working mother and a younger brother and sister - all who have an almost idyllic family life.  Matt lives with his mother and Andy realizes that there are pictures of an older boy and a man in Matt's house.  Soon into their little-boy relationship, Andy learns from overhearing his parents talking that Matt had an older brother who was abducted, sexually molested and killed.  After those events, the father just gave up and walked away, leaving Matt and his Mom alone.

Andy not only vows, but promises Matt that he will never let anyone hurt him again.

And the story rockets off like the biggest, most twisted rollercoaster you have ever ridden.

Adam is a master wordsmith at illuminating the emotions and hidden thoughts of his characters.  Eight-year-old Andy is a self-possessed and determined little boy.  He lets his self-endowed responsibility of protection of Matt become so important that it shapes his life.  This self acquired responsibility shapes his life sometimes for the betterment of his world and sometimes in ways that inflict punishment on himself and others.

Matt, however, is the penultimate example of a little boy who has not only accepted the ill occurences in his life, but has turned them into a philosophy that allows him to be remarkably self possessed and thoughtful.  He detests bullies, he is popular and never lets those less popular feel as if he is better than him.

There is one constant, though - from eight years old, Matt and Andy love each other.  Ferociously.  Though both are straight as they can be, making early sexual conquests and following up with many others, they never let others get between them.

Until....

This is one of the most emotional and emotionally charged reads I've read in a long time.  From the Prologue to the Epilogue (there are 37 chapters including those two), I cried, I yelled, I was angry, I was ready to murder Adam's characters.  But there were also places where I was delighted, laughed and was fulfilled beyond belief.

I can count on my fingers and toes the number of net authors who have the craftmanship to write words that can shine the lights on various characters that elicit those emotions.  Adam Phillips has done a superb job giving his readers such expansive insight into the thoughts, actions, reactions and events that cause his characters own actions.

He also built a well-crafted story, using great characters inside a well-painted setting to bring the reader to a conclusion that satisfies all of the threads within the story.

Well Done, Adam Phillips.  Thank you for the hard work and effort you put into painting Crosscurrants for us to share.  We - the readers here - will never be able to fully thank you and the other authors for such hard and great work.

Response from the author:

Thanks for the kind words, Dave. Crosscurrents was a labor of love, and it's been gratifying to see so many people respond positively to it over the years. It was easy to write, because it's more or less a recapping of my young-adult life.

It's always been my intention to write more for posting at GayAuthors. I have a good two dozen story ideas just waiting for me to take the time to write them down. Maybe this will be the year. We'll see.

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chessdude

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

Phenomenal story. It was both a beautiful and at times painful and agonizing story. It was by far the best in the genre. If you read anything on this site, then it should be this one.

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sammcm2014

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

So far, I've read this story and It Started with Brian. Both are extremely well written, and made me care about the characters. I teared up many times from some of the trials each of the characters had to go through!

 

This story is also autobiographical. So thank you Adam for sharing your life with us.

  • Like 4
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Mawgrim

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

This story is an emotional rollercoaster. It’s a love story, but it’s also about coming to terms with who you are and living beyond the convenient labels society would like to tag everyone with. As I read this, I was moved, annoyed, frustrated and yet always hoping that Andy could sort out his feelings for Matt without destroying their friendship. There are layers to this story. It's well written enough to make it easy to read, but it also leaves you thinking.

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AFBNOW

· Edited by AFBNOW

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

I don't care for most of the romance stories on this site but this was a both bitter and sweet love story that I couldn't stop reading.

Thank you!

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Crosscurrents is one of the most beautiful love stories I've read.  It is very well-written and it boldly goes where few authors - if any - have gone before.  According to Mr. Phillips' interview here, it is based on his own experiences from his youth, which makes it even more riveting.

This read was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me, and I tend not to be a very emotional person.  While my coming-of-age experiences were not directly comparable, elements of a couple of friendships came flooding back to me as I read Crosscurrents.  One in particular stands out - my best friend and roommate of several years, who is now married to a woman and has children.  I have since built my own life, as well.  I have reflected on that friendship many, many times over the years, usually wondering if we missed an opportunity for it to be something more than friendship.  Neither he nor I had the words at that time to navigate through it, but it also was a different time - about 20 years earlier than Adam and Matt's time, when it was far more difficult for men to acknowledge their love for other men.  Fortunately, we still see one another every few months for dinner or a drink, and our friendship is just as easy as it was back then.  Unfortunately, there also is an unspoken barrier between us that I don't think we can cross now.

Part of my emotion while reading Crosscurrents was rooted in what I never had with my friend.  There were many thoughts and emotions that we left unsaid - either because we didn't have the words to say them, or we were afraid to say them.  During Adam and Matt's fits and starts and their ups and downs, I wanted to tell them not to let their beautiful relationship slip away.  Relationships like theirs are rare, and even rarer for two men and, therefore extremely precious.

Mr. Phillips captures perfectly the intersection of friendship and love, the intensity of youthful passion, the difficulty that most young people have in navigating those turbulent emotional waters, and the realization that life will always contain uncertainty.

Art should make one feel.  To say that Crosscurrents does that is an understatement.  Be prepared to feel a wide range of emotions - happiness, anger, love, sorrow, passion - and keep a box of tissues nearby.  But read it - you won't regret doing so.

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