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Trailer Trash

Narrated by: John Solo
Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (87 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It's 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford's life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he's living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There's no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall - not even any MTV. The entire school's smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn't fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody's dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate's dad says Cody's bad news. The other kids say he's trash. But Nate knows Cody's a good kid who's been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he's beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

©2016 Marie Sexton (P)2016 Riptide Publishing

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  • Cat
  • Missouri
  • 12-10-16

A great coming of age, coming out NA romance

Cody lives in the trailer park in Warren Wyoming. He is in his senior year and wants nothing more than to get out. He knows that's not gonna happen with no job or money. His mom works in a truck stop 40 miles away, drives a piece of crap car that barely runs, and they don't make enough to pay just utilities and hardly any food.
Cody meets a new guy at the convenience store in the summer before school starts. Nate is preppy and lives in the wealthier part of town but wants to hang out. Cody doesn't delusion himself that it will last after school, that Nate will group off with his own clique.

Nate isn't what Cody thinks. He has his problems too, not wanting to leave his mom and come to a hick town with nothing to do or no friends. Nate is angry with his father for several reasons. Nate soon finds the Orange Grove kids are the bad crowd, doing drugs and stuff and he wants nothing to do with them. He likes Cody and would like to hang with him.

The story has many twists and turns, some sad parts and evokes lots of emotion.

Ths is my first book narrated by John Solo, and I fell in love with his voice immediately. I loved the narration, the voice and how he drew me into the action and kept me hanging.

This book is now on my favorites list. If you're looking for something both happy and sad, about life, love and growing up, and an all over fabulous story. Trailer Trash is definitely for you.
I highly recommend it if you love a good New Adult Romance.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Low on steam high on feels

This is a very unexpected book. Marie Sexton definitely knows how to write some angst – and this has it in spades! – but she also knows how to give us the warm feels to make the angst less painful.

She gives us two boys in rural Wyoming in the 80s. Not a gay friendly time or place. UGH! There’s no internet to help them figure things out, no community to help, and lots of scary AIDS information out there.

In addition, we also have some distinct class issues and then there’s the individual family dramas playing out as well – like there’s not enough to angst about!

Nate, stuck in Nowhere Wyoming from the relative hip and large town of Austin, TX is stuck in his last year of high school – who does that to a kid? – having to make new friends. He can take the “easy” track and stick with the “upper class” kids in town or stick with his gut – and hang out with the town pariah – the guy who is actually interesting. Luckily, Nate’s a great guy and he makes the right choices.


Cody’s mom is all alone, doing what she can to make ends meet. Sometimes things she doesn’t want to talk about. The town knows about Cody and his mom and then… there’s the gay thing. Somehow the little town finds out Cody’s most hidden secret and they won’t let it go. (This is the state that killed Matthew Shepard in 1988.)

Cody and Nate become friends over the summer, but trouble starts when school begins. Nate has to make some decisions, but Cody has to let him in, too.

The ending is surprisingly decided and sweet – a bit more than I was expecting – but I’m so, so glad for it.

**

This book hit me on a personal level because that small town in Wyoming could have been my town. I was a child of the 80s (not gay) but definitely not in the “popular crowd” and small town politics are the same everywhere aren’t they?
I know exactly how it feels to live in a town and your only fantasy is about the day you graduate so you can leave and never look back.

I thought Marie did an amazing job of letting the fear be real but not crushing for these boys. She gave them some real hope in a way that felt plausible and authentic. We don’t get a lot of smexy times – but that felt appropriate and the HFN feels like a potential for a solid HEA – and again, it felt appropriate.

I guess this book just really made me think and be thankful we live in a “different” world now… at least there’s more information out there and resources and less? fear… I hope so at least. If nothing else, there’s an alternative to the fear.

(On a lighter note – all the 80s references were great – phone books, no MTV, no internet, Pretty In Pink… loved it!)


Audio

John Solo is a solid narrator. He has a lovely voice quality, no sound errors and a great grasp for timing and emotion. He gave Nate a smoother, more cultured voice and Cody the rougher – suiting their characters. I think this was a great way to enjoy this book and I enjoyed listening to it.

I highly recommend it and give it 4.5 of 5 stars
(PS Isn’t the cover wonderful?!)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A romance with bite

The encounter of Nate and Cody, two charming and finely drawn characters, and their attendant, less charming, family members and, even worse, fellow inhabitants of a typically backward American town, is expertly narrated by John Solo. He deserves special credit for his alternation of voices for all the main players. Some scenes are intensely moving--the Christmas Day is heartbreaking in its pathos--but the overall drive of the narrative is courageously positive and affirmative of the power of love in a hostile environment. The author maintains a generally high standard throughout and the pacing is perfect. I didn't want it to end, but when it did I experienced an uplift of happiness rare in books of this kind. Warmly recommended!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Feels so familiar

I grew up in the 80s & wish I was as self aware as these two. But more to the point, I remember all of this, all these emotions, the world in general making me think I need to hide myself for sure even though I didn't even have myself figured out yet, the AIDS epidemic on the news everywhere and SF being so close to me it was hot here & made me feel different and doomed for it.
Love this book. Never thought I'd have a romance novel on my list of favorites.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book

Great book: awesome story, wonderful narration, really well written, totally enjoyable all around. I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed this book. I did not want it to end, it held my attention the whole way through. HIGHLY recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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"Trailer Trash" is meant to be demeaning,

but for Cody it is high praise. The "better than thou" attitude of many is proven to be far worse than that of the Cody, who is blamed for everything bad. It is too bad that no one will give the struggling boy a chance to prove his worth while trapped in Warren, WY. Yet as sometimes happens, another lost and friendless boy, Nate, finds Cody and new life is breathed into both as the oil rush boom town turns to rust for those who cannot escape. Miracles can happen when love finds a way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Love it

I have listened to this audiobook 4 times now. The writing captures so much emotion and feeling, I find it brilliant. The narration is so well done. This is probably my favorite book ever!

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  • Keith G
  • Montrose in Houston TX
  • 06-11-19

A sweet, competently written, tame story

There's a lot I like about the story.

Most of the time the characters who are in their late teens speak, reason, and act, like people in their late teens. I've run across a spate of characters in recent book speaking like a worldly wisecracking 30 year old from a 90s rom-com. I give this author high points for character consistency.

The story deals with poverty. It is pretty unflinching in some of the details. And there are no silver bullets. Often male to male romances introduce a character who provides the silver bullet of money or other resources to save the day. Not here. These dudes are in the struggle for good. I appreciate that.

It's a tough, motherloving world out there and at the time of this story and even up to now out, young gay people are more likely to be living in poverty than their straight contemporaries.

The ramshackle, dying, almost completely dead, former boomtown is realistically drawn and a character of the story all in itself. The last book I read before this, was one which the author spent little time on setting and place. This is a very welcome change.

The author gets the impact of the school and the adults in the story just about right. They aren't overwritten to be martinets nor are they cardboard cutouts to the point of being nearly absent of their adult responsibilities.

Thankfully, the story does not go to the infantile extreme of setting up a happily ever after ending it. I like stories that bend a bit more toward reality - toward the fact that life is one struggle with uncertainty after another.

The odds of two teen gay guys beginning their first relationship being together forever is extraordinary small. Neither the story nor the two main characters even attempt to promise this.

"Could he tell Nate's dad with a straight face that he and Nate will be together forever, for the rest of their lives with nobody else ever coming between them. No he couldn't promise him a lifetime but he could promise it for now."

Golden.

As I said, I tend to appreciate stories that bend a bit more towards reality. Hence my one issue with this story.

The way it deals with the sexual activity between the two main characters is tamed to the point of being conservative. Yeah, a few things happen and there are some explicit references made, but essentially this is PG-14.

The good part of that is that I don't have to read yet another silly attempt by a female writer to explore the physicality of the adolescent male. Almost every instance of this I across falls woefully short. So maybe Marie Sexton is doing me a favor.

It just seems that in this story as in others, hetrosexual actions are given a much broader range of expression and those of the gay characters. Boys will be boys is okay for the straight crowd in stories such as this, but God forbid if two gay guys get it on.

I feel that in a better written story, the two characters would have spent considerable energy finding ways for intimacy and that struggle to do so and the effects of their actions would have been important tells about their character and emotional state. To that end, what we mostly get are vague comments about things that happened over the weeks essentially off page.

Repeating what I noted above, This is a sweet, tame story. I appreciate the descriptions of lives led in poverty without a magical resolution. I appreciate the sense that relationships are a struggle with uncertainty at nearly every point and that there are few stories that truly can be happily ever after.

By the way, I felt the narrator's talent was underwhelming, but it was not a deal-breaker.

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Love This Story, Love This Author

I came across Marie Sexton by accident, and I am sure glad I did! I have loved all of her books!! This makes the fourth book of hers that I’ve listened to, and it not only didn’t disappoint - but has been one of my favorite books ever, EVER!

I related so much to both of the young men in the story and their sweet naivety and hopeful romance...it made my heart sing! I know I’m gushing, but really...do yourself a favor and just listen to it, it’s worth it!