Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson, by Sean Kennedy
Series: Get Out, Book 1
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: April 7th, 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
There is no Plan B.
After being outed in an especially brutal way and briefly running away from home, Micah Johnson has sworn to get his life back on the straight and narrow. Well, not so much straight, but you know what he means.
Unfortunately the path to redemption is not an easy one. With fights at school and on the football field and an all-round snarky attitude as his number one defense mechanism, will Micah survive the school year and the training camps to achieve his dream of making the national draft and becoming a professional AFL player?
His mentor, Declan Tyler, believes in him, but Micah wishes he had the same confidence in himself. Only time will tell if the ongoing reformation of Micah Johnson will be successful.
In Kennedy’s first foray into YA/New Adult literature his focus shifts from Simon and Declan’s ongoing romance to the troubled teen that caused Dec so many problems in Tigers on the Run: Micah Johnson. In this book he still has an attitude problem but he’s getting on the right track. Like the title implies, this book is about his redemption, but how can a self proclaimed arsehole redeem himself?
In this book we see Micah deal with the ongoing homophobic treatment he gets in school from being a, forcibly, out gay footballer (Australian rules football). He seems to be dealing with it better than he was when he was first outed, as seen in the following quote:
“When Micah had first been forced out of the closet, he used to worry about how he presented… A healthy amount of time passed before he had an epiphany – fuck it… He wasn’t going to change himself or worry about how he presented to anybody.”
His current roadblock is that he is still being bullied by people at school and his football team on top of the stress of being a normal teenager. He also has to worry about getting drafted into the AFL and not letting his mouth get him into trouble.
Of course he can’t stay out of trouble, even in his reformation book, and in no time he’s already in a scuffle and then another one…. Oh, Micah. When will you learn?
It takes a while and, because it is Micah, a few setbacks before he understands how he needs to change to become a better football and a better person. Declan makes an appearance or two to help, but Micah receives the most support from his friends and someone who may turn into more…
Sean doesn’t make Micah’s reformation an easy or a complete thing, but instead uses Micah’s growth to help the audience understand the biases, myths, and other negative regarding the gay community. Don’t worry though, the only person getting lectures in this book is Micah.
It is in this way and through the lack of explicit sex scenes you can tell that it is a YA novel. You may notice more of a difference if you have read Kennedy’s previous works, but I feel that this book was enjoyable despite this shift. If YA doesn’t interest you I highly suggest looking into his other books, especially his Tiger and Devils series because his strong writing, snark, and cast of characters are worth the read. Even if you don’t like sports.
One of the best things that Kennedy does in his books is include a number of well rounded secondary characters that help develop the main characters’ story. One of my biggest pet peeves with M/M romances is when authors have no women in the book, they are throwaway characters, or are there to get in the way of the romance to further the story. Kennedy doesn’t fall into this trap and has a number of well rounded secondary characters (both male and female) who become an important part of the story.
Micah was one of these side characters in Tigers on the Run. He was a troubled teen that Declan mentored and he was such a strong character in that book that I was not surprised that he got his own book. I am excited to see what Kennedy has in store next for him.
Sean Kennedy lives in Perth, Western Australia, but his heart still belongs to his hometown Melbourne—which is also the home of Simon Murray and Declan Tyler from his series Tigers and Devils. A disciple of cult leader David Lynch, Sean is breathlessly awaiting the revival of Twin Peaks in 2016
Sean is best known for his Tigers and Devils series which you can find over at his website. http://seankennedybooks.com/
Paid for this book with my own cash money.