I’m so glad I wasted no time getting into The Road to Amazing, the third book in Brent Hartinger’s Russel Middlebrook-The Futon Years series. The three books (you can read my review of the other two here) have led to this moment: the wedding of Russel and Kevin.
I loved every moment of this book–from Russel and Kevin’s arrival on Vashon Island, which is in the middle of Puget Sound, right on through their reception and going to bed for the first time as a married couple. Hope you don’t consider that a spoiler. I don’t because, of course, Russel and Kevin had to get married in this book since that was the whole point of it.
The path to them getting married, however, over a weekend has many twists and turns. There’s a beached whale that stinks up the wedding venue. There’s a storm that knocks out the power and causes a challenge for catering. There’s another storm that makes it a challenge for the guests to get to the island. It’s all a lot for Kevin, who wonders if the wedding should actually happen. For once, it’s not Russel who is neurotic, which is refreshing and just shows more of Russel’s growing up.
All the friends get some beautiful moments too–Gunnar has the role of the fixer, Min has some beautiful words (and more than once) and Otto offers up a song and an interesting look at his life that resonates so well in this story. Here, I’m being more careful about spoiling. I was delighted at every turn how Russel and Kevin’s friends worked over time to get them married. Also in the core group for this book are Vernie, who we met back in the first book of The Futon Years, as well as Ruby (Min’s girlfriend) and Nate (Kevin’s best friend from college).
Through the last five chapters I cried on and off as Hartinger rolled out the story of the wedding day. There were beautiful moments between Kevin and Russel (yup, there were more than one) and how much their friends helped them create the perfect day–a day that was what everything it was supposed to be.
There is a secondary plot that runs through the book as well, the mystery of the town Amazing. It’s just a few steps away from where the guys are having their wedding and they mystery of where all the townspeople went decades before enthralls Russel, Min and a few others. It makes for an interesting, and surprisingly relevant, part of the overall story.
These adventures are due to continue early this year when The Otto Digmore Difference comes out. I can’t wait to see what happens there given what we find out about Otto in Amazing.
NOTE: I received a free ebook for an honest review for Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast.