Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Review- Phoenix by Jennifer Mason-Black

Goodreads Summary:
Would you recognize hope if you looked into its eyes?

At sixteen, Tucker has nothing but the clothes on his back, the bruises on his ribs, and the truth about what happened between him and the band teacher. He left home looking to escape his memories, but all he’s found on the road are new bad ones to take their place.

Then he meets Gabriel, a beautiful hustler, and Kelsey, a fire-obsessed girl with a head full of fairy tales. After Gabriel rescues him from a pair of drunks looking for a fight, Tucker’s happy to join him in the abandoned factory he calls home. All he must do in return is help keep Kelsey safe.

But Kelsey’s not what Tucker thinks she is, and safety isn’t what she needs from him. To help her, he’ll have to face the secret he’s been running from, and the flames she’s running to find.

It's also a cool coincidence that I read and reviewed the book just in time for the LGBT Reading Event for the month of October, hosted by Adam @ Roof Beam Reader


*NOTE: We (The Readdicts) received a copy of Phoenix from Musa Publishing in exchange for an honest review. We thank the publishing house for the book! 

I was looking forward to reading Phoenix as it is my first proper LGBT read. Plus, 'phoenix' is such a pretty word and the book has such a fiery cover! 
The three adjectives that best describe Phoenix are- complex, mature and stupefying.
Tucker, Gabriel and Kelsey have their own fears, difficulties and complexities. Their lives are intertwined which makes them a composite trio. Spark, fire, thunder are words I like to associate with the protagonists. 
I have a feeling that whatever I have to say about Phoenix isn't going to be enough. It was just that amazing!
Tucker was such a sweetheart. He faced so much of humiliation and torture that at times, I found some things a little hard to comprehend. I loved how he explained the subtle blush on his cheeks and the the slight warmth in his body when he encounters other men.
The other two characters, Kelsey and Gabriel were like a spark of fire. Though they seemed confused, it was justifiable as they were still figuring things out for themselves. Their bond was strong and simply beautiful.
Gabriel is, as the summary aptly puts, beautiful. He had a very magnetic quality that made me want to get to know him better. As for Kelsey, I can think of the phrase 'setting fire to the rain' to describe her, and yet it won't be enough. She was magical and absolutely stunning.
Phoenix portrays abuse and homosexuality. It is a complex book. It's a little hard to explain everything about it. I think Phoenix should be read for the amazing style in which it has been written. 
Phoenix is from Tucker's POV. His voice is simply astonishing. The flow of his thoughts put into words is just beautiful. I loved loved loved author Jennifer Mason-Black's style of writing! It is different, refreshing and so in tune with literature. 
Though a complicated and mature read, Phoenix pulls you right into the focal point from the moment you begin reading it. The book has an intriguing aspect to it that makes it so irresistible
A very short read, I wish the book was a little longer and more detailed because I would have loved to keep going with it and read more about Tucker. 

"Somehow there's always a bird singing for me when morning comes." 
- Tucker


X 4


  1. Added to the TBR pile! Thanks for the review... You're off to a slam start for the event!

  2. This is one of my favorite reads of all time. I'm awed by the beauty and the rawness of the human experience, and I while I want to wrap my arms around all 3 main characters and protect them, I suspect they're actually stronger than I am.

    However, Phoenix--at about 13K words--isn't properly a "book," in the sense of a novel, but rather a short story, or even possibly a short novella. I'd love to know more about Tucker's life, too, but the episode that he's remembering is complete as it is...and we do get a glimpse of how it made him into his adult self.

    1. I completely agree with you, Katherine! I'm glad to hear that Phoenix is one of your all time favourite reads.
      Thanks for stopping by! :)

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