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A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title The Lives of Remy and Michael Book One Remy Babcock and Mikey Castelreigh are stalwart members of the Capital City Rowing Club’s junior crew pulling their hardest to earn scholarships to rowing powerhouses like California Pacific Just a couple of all American boys they face the usual pressures of life in an academic hothouse and playing a varsity sport Add to that the stifling confines of the closet and sometimes life isn’t always easy even in the golden bubble of their accepting community Because Remy and Mikey have a secret they're both gay While Mikey has never hidden it Remy is a parka and a pair of mittens away from Narnia Mikey has always been open about wanting than friendship but Remy is as uncomfortable in his own skin as he is a demon on the water After their signals cross and a man mistakes Remy for a college student Remy takes the plunge and hooks up with him After a furious Mikey cuts Remy off Remy falls to the pressure of teenage life wanting to be and needing it now In his innocence and naiveté Remy makes mistakes that have life long consequences When Remy falls in the midst of the most important regatta of his life he can only hope Mikey will be there to catch him when he needs it most

10 thoughts on “Poz

  1. says:

    This book is very hard for me to write an unbiased review not because of how much I did or did not like it I did like itThe subject matter saddens me horribly Spoiler Alert What I do know is that our country does far too little these days educating young people on the subjects of Sexually transmitted diseases and how to prevent them just by using Condoms I'm in the same boat as Remy and have been since the 1980's when we knew crap His catting around for sex is no different than the 80's and before His relationship with his brother Geoff his parents coach and Mikey all are so familiar I feel this book should be required reading for young people in the LGBTQ community The author has taken great pains to write real characters and situations which is so important in a story like this I've been saying to many people who know I read M4M romance that I get really tired of the oh I'm clean are you? being used in so many of the genres books and then following up with the I want to feel you skin to skin inside me Seriously? Come on don't all of us authors included need to be part of the educating process? I still read them regardless but if authors who use the above situations in their books added a foreword or afterword promoting Safe Sex and included phone contacts for places for anonymous testing it might help save one person's life which helps save others I apologize for being on a soap boxI enjoyed the book and will definitely read of Mr Koehler in the future

  2. says:

    Dreamspinner Press's Harmony Ink imprint for Young Adult gay novels has turned out some great titles and POZ is one example of that Christopher Koehler is a clever writer He made me care about the characters Remy Mikey and Remy's twin brother Goff all rang true as real high school boys The story kept a high school flavor even while the subject matter was anything but I'm embarrassed to admit I even learned some things about HIV and AIDS that I didn't know before and considering the age group of readers this story is written for I think it's a very good thing to get that information out there POZ is a quick read but it's a story that will stick with me for a while The denouement of the story was sad but uplifting at the same time I was moved by it I'd love to see where Remy and Mikey end up ten years down the road Hopefully still together It seems to me that between the two of them they might just have the strength to make that happen Five stars

  3. says:

    Full reviewage on the Prism Book Alliance buddy review with Christine For Remy and Michael and everyone else like them and their loving families and friendsStarting out the tone and narration are unmistakably those of a teenager Frenetic sarcastic and energetic Remy begins his story and my brain was trying to keep up Does not mean I’m old ;Not surprisingly fitting in is a major theme in this book It gets right to the heart of how difficult it is how isolating and painful it feels when fitting in seems impossible It’s a struggle that exhausts and drains It actually ends up stifling and impeding someone from really sharing and being who they’re meant to beOh wait two of my favorite phrases “erg ninja” and “ego candy” Did I just become cooler? for adding these to my own verbal stash? Sidebar I just might flit and flip twixt subjects like Remy does in telling his story like mental ping pong And back to the struggle I locked my throat so I didn’t scream but I wanted to and one of these days I would A strong physical effort to hide an even stronger emotionally crushing existenceThere are some repetitive words and phrases sometimes in consecutive paragraphs I chalk this up to a very real portrayal of the way a teenage brain works and therefore communicates The brain can get stuck on “repeat” just like a favorite or meaningful movie or song that gets played over and over as a way of dealing with lifeIt shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that this is an emotional book It’s simultaneously very personal and universal It’s a complicated and multi layered story about teamwork and neglect thereof friendship and the loss of and the learning curve on which we all seem to live whether teenager or adult It’s about acceptance and forgiveness and demanding that those who supposedly love us behave like they doThis is a good mix of language and the handling of subjects and actions that would probably be best read by those around 17 and 18 unless someone younger has a certain level of maturity ”Remy” Goff said putting his hand on my shoulder “you’ve never been young not once in your whole life” Being Remy’s twin brother Goff would know As do I As someone who has always been told that she came into the world already acting like she was 30 I understand Remy ; This also speaks to that fact that this isn’t all serious drama There is definitely humor and typically teenage angst which translates to even humorThe prose was mostly smooth never halting or awkward The dialogue felt natural when the kids and coaches were conversing When it came to some of the other adults it did feel a bit overdone but we’re also talking about parents here so it fitThis is such a personal story It makes it even difficult for me to accurately explain my emotions while reading especially in the final chapters At some points it got so intense that I found myself harboring a strong desire to skip or ignore entire sections I didn’t No way would I do that in reading a book like thisIt’s important to me that I read this and I think it would feel that way to you too Compassion understanding and the ability treat people in a non judgmental way are all well they speak for themselves We can’t forget these thingsThis book is frankly a great resource especially if you or someone you know is in Remy’s or Michael’s situation This can help open doors if you have questions and aren’t sure where to go for some answers This will lead you in a good direction I would never know their names but I had to live because they had never had the chance

  4. says:

    Oddly enough I had just finished a book by Christopher Koehler and was bemoaning the fact that I didn’t have any new books of his to read when I saw this book pop up on our giant list of books that shouldcouldcan be read So good timing that DThis book is basically about Remy figuring his shit out and growing up– the hard way He is no stranger to hard work –because even reading about all the stuff he has to do for crew makes me exhausted– but like most teenagers he is a bit self centered All those hormonesthey really do make you a bit stupid So when his advances on his friend Mikey get shot down he goes a bit off the rails Ok mainly he just figures he might as well be getting laid somewhere if Mikey does not want him Not exactly a new concept in teenagerhood but one that he seems to embrace with reckless abandon Emphasis on the reckless But despite feeling invulnerable Remy sets himself up for some pretty big consequences and even if he can get his shit together there is every chance it might not be enoughThe fact that I kinda adore Koehler’s rowing books won me over into reading this despite the fact that it is YA Though where I grew up isn’t far from Sacramento there was not a whole lot of rowing going on– and even if there was I would hardly be a prime candidate –but there is something about the sport that I find intriguing That may or may not have to do with all the hot fit men in constant risk of getting all wet AnywaysI really like reading about rowing and I love reading about the area I grew up inEspecially the Davis bashing I don’t know if anyone who didn’t grow up in the area will get nearly as much joy as I did from this book because of this but it is practically a requirement of living around here Especially in my hometown Even if you love the town you are kind obligated to point out how ridiculous it is sometimes And if I had a dime for everytime I almost died because some biker thought he was king of the worldErI guess that is neither here nor there right nowI never really felt the romance between Mikey and Remymostly because I don’t think that his book was really about them as a couple I mean Mikey was gone from the scene for a good portion of the story so it’s hard to feel something for someone you hardly know But at the heart this was about Remy who is in like with Mikey yes but who is mostly just trying to figure life out Sometimes really really badly –but at least he is trying right? The scenes with the two guys were really cute and there were some definite sparks there but because of the way the story is handled those sparks are not given a lot of time to grow to full force Which probably makes sense for these guys right now but I would have loved to have a bit love going on between these twoThe story and all the facts and research behind it was interesting I don’t know all that much about the details of HIV but I like how the information was given here There were a few times where it felt like info dumping but it always make sense to the scene and it never went on for too long I only felt as much lectured to as Remy did which was good And since this book is geared towards a younger audience I think intent behind this was very goodThere were parts where I kinda wanted to start banging heads together but that is pretty common for me I have a very short limit for stupidity –mostly because a lot of the things Remy does in this book I have myself done and know just how monumentally idiotic it is –but I do recognise that most teenagers are idiots whenever hormones get thrown into the mix Which is like 90% of the time I just don’t normally have the patience to read about it However the way it written intercut with rowing and just normal everyday stuff made it a bit easier to bearI’m kinda at an impasse when it comes to the rating of this book Personally it was something like 4 stars but I think that for the target audience teenagers it would be closer to 45 stars So I’m going to go with 425 stars even though we don’t really have a graphic for that just because I can’t make up my bloody mind Plus I have every intention of reading the rest of this series when it get written so I can’t say I really disliked it all that much425 stars This book was provided free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes Go there to check out other reviews author interviews and all those awesome giveaways Click below

  5. says:

    I didn't enjoy this book I found there was too much telling and not enough showing and because of this it didn't grab my attention I never cared about any of the characters Then towards the end I felt the book got a bit preachy This wasn't my cup of tea

  6. says:

    I find it very hard to write a review on this book On the one hand it is a high quality young adult novel that deals with HIV infection and provides important knowledge to young readers who might not know a great deal about HIV and AIDS It shows that life doesn't end with an HIV diagnosis which is the most important message that you can give people in that situationHowever I had a little problem with Remy He came off as arrogant and inconsiderate hurting his friends whenever he opened his mouth The romance with Michael didn't work at all for me The way I see it in real life Remy would just end up alone Why would Michael put up with him after all that happened? Clearly Michael had what it takes to be a responsible young man Remy however made enough mistakes for a whole 'crew' of gay teens with raging hormonesBeing a gay man I always felt that the real danger of HIV is not that you can get it if you sleep around unprotected but that one single encounter can be enough to get you infected Say you grow up without having sex partners and just meet the one that you think will be Mr Right and he's positive and maybe not even knowing it Bam you end up infected for all your morally flawless behaviourRemy was the total opposite He did exactly what many straight people accuse gay men of PromiscuityHowever an even sadder tragedy would be Michael ending up infected if he had had sex with Remy before he showed any symptoms That's what really makes me think about HIV We can all say we wait for the one instead of sleeping around But who knows if that one perfect moment won't change your life forever It's too bad I didn't really like Remy but I still rate this book with 5 stars because I hope it will be read by many gay teens and helps them make informed decisions in their lives

  7. says:

    This was my first book by Christopher Koehler and I can tell he's a very clever writer indeed POZ was very enjoyable with an important message There was a lot of self discovery I think a little family drama and some sweet romance It all ended on a hopeful note despite the rather sad topicI instantly clicked with Remy and fast cared about him; his brother and Michael too I admit I would have loved to have seen of Michael Since this is 95% Remy's POV the short POV jump near the ending was great but too short and I really wanted to see of what Michael thought and felt There was also a lot of boat crew and rowing talk I couldn't relate to and I'm not much into sports so I would have been happy without it But that was Remy's story his life and Michael's so I it was needed and all is good I hope that Remy and Michael will make it as a couple as friends

  8. says:

    A Joyfully Jay review 45 starsJeremy Remy Babcock was a sixteen year old virgin who knew he liked boys and hid all that desire from his family including his fraternal twin and closest friend Geoff Out but not out Jeremy shared his sexuality just the tiniest bit with the guys on his rowing team but did not flaunt it and even there it was kept close to the cuff not to be shared beyond the tight knit crew When he discovers that his friend Mikey is also gay Remy begins to sense mixed signals coming from the boy But by a series of miscommunications any thoughts of a relationship with Mikey are shoved aside and suddenly a chance encounter with an intern opens up a whole new world for Remy where life is exciting and clandestine and full on with random hook ups that include unsafe sex You see despite Remy’s dad having the “talk” with both Geoff and Remy diseases such as HIV are never discussed Instead Remy hides who he is from parents who are wrapped up in their own worlds and from a father who sees his son as second rate next to his brother GeoffRead Sammy’s review in its entirety here

  9. says:

    Emotional read but one that takes a serious health issue and presents better than many other informative pamphlets could This is because it is told in a believable way about two youths that touch the reader deeply Others reviewers have expressed this better than I ever could

  10. says:

    Slow start but great story and I am glad to see there will be a second book