Monday, August 11, 2014


A Southern Thing Book One
Sara York Publishing
March 13th, 2014
Contemporary, M/M, New adult
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained  by Self-Purchase
5 hearts

For star football player Jack Miller, to everyone else it looked like he had the world in his hands when in all reality his life is one big lie. He doesn’t care about the girls that want to be with him or the success on the field, what he yearns for is a man to call his own but in small town of Sweet, well that just isn’t possible. But all that changes when Jack meets Andrew Collins and finds himself drawn to the young man. But as these two grow closer and their hearts become involved, secrets such as theirs start to unravel and tip people off.

Andrew is determined to keep his head down, try to finish school and then get the hell away from his controlling parents but it all changes when he meets Jack. Now Andrew has someone in his corner, a friend and more in Jack that test the boundaries he has placed on himself. But when Jack’s parents find out Jack is gay, well the gloves come off and the life they were living just about got a heck harder. Can these two young men find a way to weather the storm that is coming and find a way to be the man they want to be rather than what others prefer them to be?

PRAY THE GAY AWAY is one powerful story by author Sara York. This is truly one book I could not put down; even to make dinner the other day. I just had to find out what happens to Jack and Andrew and I can attest this author doesn’t pull any punches. If you are looking for a sweet fluffy story of friends to lovers then this is not the book you want. It has a darkness that leaves the reader trembling as they flip the pages. This is an author who pulls no punches in showing the reader how it can be in small towns where being gay is a sin and where people hide their true selves just to make it through the days and survive. With each page, I was drawn more and more into this story and by the time it was done, I was eager for book two, Sending Jack Off to Jesus, so I could see what happens next for these two.

PRAY THE GAY AWAY sets up the series so there is a lot of information and characters to meet. It lays the foundation of the series and delivers some really intriguing characters, though there were some who I wanted to smack a few times and say get a clue. This is an author who lets her characters do the talking and boy do they talk. I loved how Jack and Andrew gravitated towards one another and found something worth fighting for. I loved the scenes with Jack’s youngest brother, Billy, who was like a ray of sunshine in a dark world and I sympathized at how this seven year old had to be someone he wasn’t. The author delivers a story so profound that I was amazed that there were places like Sweet, Georgia today. The secondary characters are quite diverse and just as appealing though I have to admit Andrew and Jack’s parents just made me want to scream at times over their attitudes towards the boys and in general. The struggle Jack and Andrew go through to find the person they know they can be was hard to watch and the scenes with both sets of parents left me cold and cringing at times. I want to warn you it can get downright tough to read especially over Andrew’s scenes where his parents use prayer and fasting as tools to change their son from a gay son to a straight son. For me those scenes as well as Jack’s struggle as a son of a preacher who questions what and who he is among other things left me heartbroken at times. The author does a great job in capturing that struggle between Jack and what he was taught so wonderfully well that I had tears in my eyes as his struggles eventually lead him to a person who will steal his heart. Her realistic characters is a testimony as a writer because we all know that someone who has dealt with bigotry and ignorance in some form or another. Her characters take a life of their own and I have to admit, they flew off the pages and into my living room at times. You will laugh, cry and hurt for Jack and Andrew as I did and root for them to find some sort of happiness that won’t cause them pain and suffering.

Ms. York delivers a story that is so powerful, so engrossing you won’t want to put it down. I can attest this was truly one book I need to read again in the future. You know you found a really great book when hours after you finished the book, scenes still play in your head from it and you wake up the next day wondering how someone can live and thrive in a town so closed off and that being different is almost like a death sentence.  Ms. York, you deliver such a strong story that I am in awe at your talent. Kudos to her in showing readers how ignorance & bigotry can still be found in today’s world and that sometimes, in order to find true happiness, you need to take that first step and say, ‘this is who I am’. This is an emotional book so make sure to have your Kleenex ready because once you open PRAY THE GAY AWAY, you will be drawn in and not let go until the very end. I am eager to see where Ms. York leads us in book two and hope you pick up this powerful story today. You won’t want to miss it.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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