Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving them lonely once again.
A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure depends on one thing.
Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?
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Unsteady was a deeply emotional book for me. It touches on an issue near and dear to my heart and I’m going to take a minute and touch on it right now: suicide. Suicidal ideations, to be exact. Micah speaks about how much easier it is to die rather than keep waking up each morning and he is not alone in those thoughts, especially as a veteran. United States veterans commit suicide at a rate of 22 per day, one every 65 minutes, nearly double the rate of civilian suicides. We can’t stand idly by while the people who’ve risked so much for our country are battling a war inside of their own minds. If you know anyone, veteran or not, who is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help them find support.
I loved this book, for so many reasons, the biggest part of which was Micah. His struggles and self-loathing called out to my heart and made me want to just hold him and comfort him until all he could remember was what being loved for exactly who he was felt like. As much as Jude had struggled with accepting who he was and learning to live with the things he’d lost, I always felt like he had a far better handle on how to cope with the struggles he faced. Micah appeared to have everything a person could need for most of his life but once we glimpsed beneath the surface it was painfully obvious everything he had was nothing more than a façade. And to me, it is far lonelier, far more upsetting to have those things at your fingertips and not be able to touch them, than it is to know the things you need are no longer available to you.
The flashbacks to Micah and Jude’s time together when they were in high school are what made this book so great, to me. Seeing those struggles, realizations, and heartbreaks first hand, rather than having them recounted in other ways let me understand more the hesitancy and fears they experienced in the present day scenes. There were a few more scenes I would have loved to have fleshed out in that way, but I know that I would never be satisfied that I had enough of Micah and Jude. Both of their love stories, past and present, touched me in different ways and I am glad to have been able to experience each of them.
I love M/M, especially when done well, and Melissa did a great job with Unsteady. The vulnerability she demonstrated in both of men, especially Micah made this book for me. There is a fine line to skate between making emotionally charged, vulnerable male characters and still keep them powerful and masculine that makes an M/M romance so special to me, and she definitely did it in Unsteady. I am also impressed with how she dealt with important social issues experienced by both gay men and veterans. If Ms. Collins continues to write with the poignancy and intensity of Unsteady I can only see her rising through the ranks of my must read authors.
Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.
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