Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble

Don't Let Me Go by J.H. TrumbleTitle: Don't Let Me Go
Author: J.H. Trumble (author website | blog)
Release Date: Dec. 27th 2011 by Kensington Publishing
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
My Rating:1 star2 star3 star4 starhalf star


From Goodreads:
Some people spend their whole lives looking for the right partner. Nate Schaper found his in high school. In the eight months since their cautious flirting became a real, heart-pounding, tell-the-parents relationship, Nate and Adam have been inseparable. Even when local kids take their homophobia to brutal levels, Nate is undaunted. He and Adam are rock solid. Two parts of a whole. Yin and yang.

But when Adam graduates and takes an off-Broadway job in New York--at Nate's insistence--that certainty begins to flicker. Nate's friends can't keep his insecurities at bay, especially when he catches Skyped glimpses of Adam's shirtless roommate. Nate starts a blog to vent his frustrations and becomes the center of a school controversy, drawing ire and support in equal amounts. But it's the attention of a new boy who is looking for more than guidance that forces him to confront who and what he really wants.Tender, thoughtful, and unflinchingly real, Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble is a witty and beautifully written account of young love, long-distance relationships, and learning to follow your heart.


Love. It’s romanticised, mythologised – frequently sanitised – and at its most beautiful, its most pure, there is no single greater force for good in this world. Yet soured or corrupted, or viewed from aside with a poisoned heart, the hatred it incites is perhaps the most destructive, and it is this – love and hate, and the price of both – that Don’t Let Me Go examines – in often heartbreaking extremes.

It’s a basic right, particularly in the Western world, that we may love who we choose, or, should the adage prove true, who our hearts decide we must. Yet many who take this simple freedom granted for themselves do not believe it a right, but a privilege, one earned by merit of religion, the colour of one’s skin, position, or gender.

We meet Nate, our narrator, and Adam, the Juliet to his Romeo – or vice versa – on page one, which also happens to be the middle of their story. Through a series of flashbacks, Trumble shows the couple’s past and present: sweet romance and horrifying brutality in parallels to a present of petty fights and bickering, of distance which renders hearts strangers, not stronger in their affections. Yet to talk of Don’t Let Me Go in context of romance or of ethical allegory alone is to do it an injustice, for it is so much more than each, or either.

It's a story of extremes, of shining love and blackest hate, of marginalization and bullying, and about a gay teen dealing with a world who views him as a thing which must be ‘dealt with’, rather than a boy with feelings and a beating, hurting heart. Concerned as it is with hate and homophobia (though I suppose the two are, truly, synonymous), it is far more than a simple parable. Dealing with the broader meaning of love than romance alone, family, friendship, and, above all, finding oneself, Trumble handles her characters with sensitivity, warmth and humour. The story’s heartache is balanced with joy, and a love story so tender and pure in its honesty, its messiness, its good and bad, it’s intoxicating. Don’t Let Me Go a ‘feeling’ book, an emotional one, one driven very much by its vividly real characters.

The cast of Don’t Let Me Go is varied and disparate, and amongst its friends and families and heroes, is a love so beautiful and fierce it is humbling to witness. Yet none of them are perfect. Some are certainly more so than others – Adam’s family, Nate’s grandmother, the lovely Juliet and hilarious Daniel Quasimi among them. Others are profoundly flawed, with Nate – broken, combative, and self-destructive – winning that race by a country mile. Nate is not always easy to like. He makes impulsive, foolish decisions, acts in anger and hurts those who love him most. Yet there’s a painful authenticity to his actions, and Trumble doesn’t make excuses for her characters, showing them simply as they are: human. Despite his failings, readers will find in Nate a sympathetic hero, even more so as his story and history unfolds in heartbreaking clarity.

Four hundred years ago Shakespeare penned his now famous maxim on the path of love and, while comic in context, it rings, loudly, true in Don’t Let Me Go. Marrying (500) Days of Summer and Hannah Harrington's Speechless with the raw emotional authenticity of Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental series, Don’t Let Me Go is a powerful story with a profound message.

Don’t Let Me Go starts with goodbyes, and ends with hope, with promise of a future just beyond a not-so-distant horizon. It’s not possible to take the journey through this tale without seeing horrifying truths and the blackest sides of humanity, but, ultimately, it is ‘much to do with hate but more with love,’ and it is this – love – which makes it such a powerful story. Interwoven with a deep appreciation of music, a warm sense of humour, and profound understanding of how much our world needs books such as this, and needs to have such conversations, Don’t Let Me Go is a gem – one uncut and unpolished, authentic and untainted, and immeasurably precious.

I sometimes wish simply saying 'read this book’ were enough – because this book has something very important to say, and to teach, and it's also (when it's not utterly heartbreaking) an absolute joy to read. So perhaps I'll say it anyway, if I may: Read this book. And love. Above all things, in all things, love.

Buy Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble On...


Amazon | Book Depository | Booktopia | Dymocks | QBD

55 comments:

  1. Until now, I'd never heard of Don't Let Me Go. I had seen you reading it but had actually thought it was Adult, probably due to the cover. That's what you get when you assume!

    I'm so glad you brought this to my attention because this looks like something I'd love to read and not only that but I'm always up for a good male POV and this sounds like it delivers. Also, I love the fact that it's a male GLBT since the few books I've read so far have centered around female relationships.

    The cast of Don’t Let Me Go is varied and disparate, and amongst its friends and families and heroes, is a love so beautiful and fierce it is humbling to witness. - Aww!

    Marrying (500) Days of Summer and Hannah Harrington’s Speechless with the raw emotional authenticity of Brigid Kemmerer’s Elemental series, Don’t Let Me Go is a powerful story with a profound message. - And what a beautiful marriage it is! Seriously, Sarah, this one sentence will have people in a CRAZE for a copy right. this. minute. What a selling point!

    When you tell sometime to read a book you have no idea whether they'll really listen to your advice but l'll tell you this: after your review, I'll definitely be grabbing myself a copy. I mean, how can I not! This review is absolutely gorgeous. When I was reading it this was my reaction: AJSAKHDJAHD. I don't know how you do it but you do. Your so pro.

    And way to go out on a bang, lady!

    And love. Above all things, in all things, love.

    I love you. A lot, a lot, a lot. Random: I miss your cute voice. (I apologise that that sounds so creepy. I mean it in a loving way if that helps? *huggles*

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  2. P.S - It makes me so happy that you loved this as much as you did. I love it when you love a contemporary! Woohoo! *grins*

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  3. I have never heard of this book before!! but it truly sound like a great story and I love that there is hope! Things I hate most about books is the lack of hope. Also, your powerful review makes me want to truly dig into this story right away!

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  4. sarah stop it with your beautiful words ;_______;

    i went to go check this out at the library the other day but um forgot the title SO i am glad you posted your review. going to check it out tomorrow!! love that it's so poignant and it sounds increeedible.

    welp wonderful reviews as always <3

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  5. That was...such a beautiful review. I love that this is made of such amazing, deep, varied characters. It sounds like the author's done a fantastic job of balancing the serious with some lighter material and overall it sounds beautifully well-rounded. Thanks for the review, Sarah. :)

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  6. Regarding this whole review, I believe I only really need to say four words: Sarah, I love you.

    However, I will elaborate. Oh my gosh, if this book is even a smidgen as beautiful as your review, it's going to kill me. Sarah, I need this book NOW! Now, now, now! So you recommended it to me via Goodreads, but now I know I need it. It sounds unbelievably good! Oooh, I am excited to get my hands on it!

    Sarah, as always, thank you for writing such a beautiful, detailed and incredible review. I wish I wrote half as well as you do.

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  7. woooh sarah . you have done it again . I WISH MY copy arrives soon. i should have gotten it in july . scared it is lost in the mail. weeps . huggs sarah

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  8. This. Review. Sarah, this is beautiful. I feel your love for this book so clearly and want to go rush out and buy a copy myself. It sounds amazing and I can't wait to meet these characters and immerse myself in their lives. Lovely review, dear. Without a doubt my favorite one of yours yet.<3

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  9. Wow, that is one of the most well-written, beautiful reviews I've ever read. Seriously. If I hadn't already read this one, I'd be DYING to get my hands on it. But I have read and loved it and I'm glad you did too. I highly recommend it, and I can't wait to read this author's next novel. Put it on your wish list, everyone!!

    -Lauren

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  10. Sarah, you're a poet. Thank you so much for that beautiful review. I'm practically speechless. You got it. You really got it.

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  11. Becca, this book is amazing. You have to read it. You'll love it.

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  12. I will read it - promise. So glad to hear your a fan too! ♥

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  13. Becca Becca Becca.
    I LOVE YOU.
    Did you know? ♥

    You know, it's interesting, because I think this is very much a YA novel, but it's not published by the teen arm of Kensington... possibly because it deals with some very heavy issues. There's also quite a bit of non-explicit sex (we're talking fade to black).

    And... B, it makes me so so SO happy you're actually going to read this. I hope you love it.
    And I love you.
    And... I miss you. And YOUR cute voice. And we should Skype. We totally should.

    And... seriously, I need to read more contemp. It's crazy, because they always wind up being amongst my favorites ♥

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  14. Beautiful review, Sarah. This book is something different by the sounds of it . . . love the idea of that.

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  15. Danny! Thank you!
    I'd actually never heard of it, either. It was only a recommendation from a friend that put it on my radar, and I'm so, SO grateful for that rec. It's a beautiful, beautiful story.

    And this: "Things I hate most about books is the lack of hope." YES. SO MUCH YES.

    I had a big problem reading The Hunger Games for that reason, and as much as I loved it, that weighed on me. This book... it's so, SO wonderful, with a wonderful hapyp ending :)

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  16. *cackles* NEVAAAH!

    Eeeee! Elena! I'm so excited you're borrowing it! And... also scared. *bites nails* what if you don't love it? And you hate me because I hyped it? And and and... I really, REALLY hope you do love it. I think it has wonderful, wonderful things to say ♥

    Also: I kind of love you. Did you know?

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  17. Aa'Ishah... OMG. Thank you ♥

    "It sounds like the author’s done a fantastic job of balancing the serious with some lighter material."

    DEFINITELY. And I mean... there are parts of this book so suffocatingly heavy it's hard to breathe, but... there are moments I laughed, and moments I smiled, and I loved that. So much.

    Thank YOU so much for your incredibly kind comment ♥

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  18. Jo, I love you straight back.

    If/when you read it, I hope you LOVE it. You know, it was partly you talk of LGBT week earlier in the year that made me really think of it when it was recommended to me. I've never read a book with a gay protagonist, and... I feel kind of lame. I owe you a big thanks, I think.

    Thank you so so SO much. And you write AMAZING. SO AMAZING. And... Jo, I love you ♥

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  19. Roro! Thank you thank you thank you!

    And... you haven't received it yet? NO! I hope you get it SERIOUSLY soon. Is postage normally delayed getting to you? :(

    *hugs you right back*

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  20. Keertaaaaaaana! ♥
    Thank you so so SO much. That mean so much coming from you ♥

    I loved this book.
    SO much.

    And I really, really hope you do, too, if you get a chance to read it ♥

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  21. I'm so glad I listened to you with that advice :D

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  22. Lauren, thank you! And I'm so excited to see someone else HAS read it. I am SO excited for book #2 (AND BOOK #3! I'M GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF!). Janet's amazing and... *sigh* I'm in awe.

    Thank you thank you thank you ♥

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  23. Janet, I... wow. Thank YOU. I wish I could do the book something even close to justice, or thank you even half enough for writing it, but seriously.
    Thank you ♥

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  24. We totally should Skype! Hey, I'm up for it when you are :D

    Hmm, that is interesting. It sounds YA, it looks YA but they've passed it off as Adult, probably due to those very heavy issues you mention.

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  25. Erin, thank you! It is different and... it's so funny. I never go to read contemps, but they wind up becoming my favorites. I LOVED it ♥

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  26. Silly me, I posted my comment without finishing it. *head desk*

    I miss you more! It's like, I know your there but I feel disconnected? Probably because we went from crazy emailing and tweeting one another to just normal amounts of interacting. Now I feel like I don't get to talk to you anymore. 'Tis sad.

    Yes! Read more contemp! If you ever need recommendations (you can never have enough), I'm your gal ;D

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  27. "It’s like, I know your there but I feel disconnected? Probably because we went from crazy emailing and tweeting one another to just normal amounts of interacting."

    I know EXACTLY what you mean. I SOOOO do. And it's sad :(

    We should fix it :D

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  28. Wow... I don't really know what to say. Well, first off, this review is EXCEPTIONALLY well written. I am both in awe and kind of jealous, I have to say! Second, I have never heard of this book before, but I always love it when a blogger can take a book I've never heard of and convince me that I need to read it with only one review (as opposed to reading a book based on massive amounts of hype), which is what you've done here. Seriously, the amount of DEPTH and EMOTION this book has based on your review is overwhelming. It sounds seriously, seriously phenomenal!

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  29. It IS sad :(

    Agreed, we should rectify this and soon! :D

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  30. Oh wow. This does sound like a wonderful book. Like it has something to say and we all need to hear it. Another beautiful review. Effin' poetry as always.

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  31. I will be reading it for LGBT YA Month! I am so looking forward to reading it! Ha, maybe you'll end up reading a few more LGBT novels if you follow my month next year :)

    Aww, thank you :) What a lot of love, eh? Lol.

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  32. Eeee! I am SO looking forward to this month! ♥

    And LOTS of love ♥

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  33. Wow...talk about a writing genius! HOW DO YOU WRITE SO BEAUTIFULLY SARAH?!?! Your review is definitely enough to convince me to read this ASAP. This seems to deal with a lot of issues...gosh, I'm afraid my heart will shatter when I do begin reading this! PHENOMENAL REVIEW SARAHHH<3 Please consider writing my future essays for me? :D<3

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  34. A book I haven't ever come across before and your magical words are all I need to know that I want this book in my life. I want to marry this review! I want to steal your review-writing abilities and or just steal YOU.

    So yes, this sounds incredible. Even better that it's a little different to what I usually read. I can't wait to try it! <3

    AWESOME review, Sarah! (I need to get that printed on a t-shirt and send it to you).

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  35. Aylee! Wow. THANK YOU ♥

    I... just loved this book. And... eee! Thank you! A friend recommended it to me, and was kind of like 'YOU HAVE TO READ IT.' and I trust said friend implicitly, and she wasn't wrong.

    "the amount of DEPTH and EMOTION this book has based on your review is overwhelming."

    THIS. PRECISELY THIS.

    I relaly hope you love it if you read it ♥

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  36. JENENENENENENNNNNN! "Like it has something to say and we all need to hear it." PRECISELY.

    And... wow. THANK YOU. HAVE I MENTIONED I KIND OF LOVE YOU? ♥

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  37. Eeeee! Shirley, you're going to make my brain explode! Or, I mean, my ego :S

    Thank you! ♥♥♥

    It deals with SO many issues but... it has so much hope, and it left me happy and hopeful, myself? And seriously, if you read it, tell me! I want to fangirl with you :D

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  38. DJHSFDJLFHA! SAM! SERIOUSLY! "I want to steal your review-writing abilities and or just steal YOU."

    This is kind of exactly how I think about EVERYTHING YOU WRITE, EVER :D

    The book *IS* amazing, and YES, even more so that it's different, but... I kind of wasn't sure what to expect going in, if you know what I mean? And it's so much just... a YA contemp novel with a boy who... really isn't so different from everyone else, but has to deal with some HORRIBLE stuff and... I'm kind of half in love with all the characters and the book and ♥♥♥

    I SO hope you love it as much as I did xx

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  39. Unff. Your reviews are so beautiful, I sort of want to run to my blog and hit "delete"! You have such a gift for beautifully, thoughtfully expressing your emotions and thoughts.

    So yeah, I'm a little desperate to read Don't Let Me go. Are you happy now, Sarah? ARE YOU HAPPY?!?!

    Brilliant. You are brilliant.

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  40. MWAHAHAHA *twirls moustache* YES. NOW I AM HAPPY!

    Except, well, *grins* thank you ♥

    BUT ANDREA. I love your reviews! I love reviews that I enjoy reading, and make me FEEL THE BOOK and make wanna keep reading and ♥

    Thank you so much, and I really, REALLY hope you love this if you get the chance to read it soon! ♥

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  41. This book sounds fantastic! I will have to purchase myself a copy ASAP :D

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  42. I really, really love it, Claire! I hope you do, too ♥

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  43. Though books with homosexuality aren't what I'd USUALLY read, this one does sound good - and you enjoyed it! I don't know if I've said this before, but your reviews just make a book sound SO beautiful. Like this: 'DON'T LET ME GO starts with goodbyes and ends with hope, with promise of a future beyond a not-so-distant horizon.' LIKE, SERIOUSLY. HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THAT? I shall stop right here and just say that I'm more inclined to read this book now than I was before!

    Brilliant review, Sarah! :)

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  44. Beautiful, beautiful review, Sarah!

    *adds to TBR list*

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  45. Megan, thank you! ♥
    I really loved this book. And... I guess I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but... It's wonderful. About so much more than an 'issue'. And *sigh* it made me happy sad :)
    Thank you so much xx

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  46. Eeeeee, Steph, thank you. ♥
    I really hope you enjoy it if/when you read it xx

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  47. Your review is so extraordinary that I can't... even.. *faints* I've never heard of this book, shamefully, but you describe it in such a thoughtful and eloquent manner that I'm tempted right at this moment to saunter over to my local library. It being the middle of the night and I being a half- crazed woman isn't going to stop me! And I love romance that is genuine and authentic, not romanticized or soap opera-ish and riddled with cliches. Oh, and did I ever say that your reviews always make my day, Sarah? :)

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  48. Leanne ♥♥♥

    THANK YOU. But seriously, the BOOK is extraordinary ♥

    I hadn't heard of it either until a friend stuck it in my face and was like 'READ IT READ IT READ IT!' and I was like 'OK!'

    "And I love romance that is genuine and authentic, not romanticized or soap opera-ish and riddled with cliches." exactly. And... oh, Leanna, if you get a chance to read this I hope you LOVE it. It's a wonderful, WONDERFUL book.

    And your comment kind of made my whole weekend ;D

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  49. Love. It’s romanticised, mythologised – frequently sanitised – and at its most beautiful, its most pure, there is no single greater force for good in this world. So, this opening line is....beautiful. WHY IN THE HELL AREN'T YOU A WRITER?!

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  50. Because writers are TALENTED people :O
    Also, they have IDEAS. Of which I have NONE.
    Also: I LOVE YOU ♥

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  51. OO I KNOW this is going to be excellent after Brigid Kemmerer a bit back recommended it on Goodreads. So glad you loved it too!! I can't peek at your review yet as it is on my schedule to read. Just have some bits to do first. I will come back and visit here and read late. I am currently reading badass thick The Diviners and LOVING it!!

    MIchelle:D

    xx

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  52. Crikey this bit was good, so I peeked a little, lol!!

    Love. It’s romanticised, mythologised – frequently sanitised – and at its most beautiful, its most pure, there is no single greater force for good in this world. Yet soured or corrupted, or viewed from aside with a poisoned heart, the hatred it incites is perhaps the most destructive, and it is this – love and hate, and the price of both – that Don’t Let Me Go examines – in often heartbreaking extremes.

    Well, when you put it like that, lol!! My brain can't do what you just did there, whahhhhh!!! Lovely!!

    Mich

    xx

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  53. Wow, what an amazing review, Sarah! It sounds like a must read for sure. Although full of heartbreak, so I think I'd have to save it for when I'm in the right mood for it.

    Thanks for the heads up on this book!

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  54. [...] about a gay teen, brutal bullying, and contemp? Before this year I had never read a contemp. Then Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble came alone and shook me to my core. In a good [...]

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