I tend to like Missy Welsh’s books because they focus on younger men, just figuring themselves out. These characters tend to have inherent immaturity, due to their age, but that gives them charm and likability. They’re not perfect but struggling to be happy with who they are. Your Biggest Fan is along those lines this time with a closeted jock that happens to like cross-dressing and a self-professed “hairy Greek” that is a bit of a nosey troublemaker. Together the sparks fly and all issues are resolved pretty easily. The plot is nice and attempts some real depth but the shorter space means just about any issue or conflict is very easily resolved. This keeps the tone and pace easy and light and negates the weighty topics that are actually addressed. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but the resolutions are particularly cheery and light.
Truman is a closeted baseball jock barely surviving on two scholarships. His past involves a traumatic event with a teacher and being outed to his entire town for not just being gay and in an affair with a married man but cross-dressing as well. After that particularly nasty experience, Truman is mortally terrified of being exposed and just wants to get through college with the hope of finally finding peace and security later. Stasi is a confident, outgoing, and easy in his skin Greek; both culturally and in college. Stasi has a crush on Truman and decides that the tall jock may be interested too. Determined not to let Truman’s very real fears get in the way, Stasi sets out to show Truman what true love can really accomplish.
The plot is pretty basic but not boring. Truman is interested in Stasi but due to his past and current situation, he’s too afraid to start something. Stasi of course has no real problems chasing Truman pretty openly in an attempt to get him. The characterization is decent and the depth of Truman’s fear and real anxiety is nicely developed. Stasi is a bit too mature for his age and at the same time makes some classic mistakes in his open and somewhat stalker pursuit of the other man. The books spends most of the time getting the two together and then finding a way to bring Truman out of the closet. The initial sex scenes are pretty hot and there’s a good feeling of friendship between the two in addition to their chemistry.
Once the two get together the story runs into a few more problems. It tries to tackle the dual problems of Truman being in the closet and living in a jock centric fraternity. Both of these issues are resolved extremely easy with almost laughable conclusions. Not that it’s bad per se, just that it’s way too easy. Without giving away too many spoilers, the acceptance and actions of just about everyone involved – save for the one stereotypical “evil” guy – are too simplistic. The shorter length means that the characters and situations aren’t the most realistic but instead give the easiest resolution in the shortest amount of time.
Overall I liked YBF. The writing is clean with a quick pace and interesting characters. My only problem is that if the book is going to tackle some real issues, especially with a little explored topic such as cross-dressing, then the story and writing should really develop those. I’m not a fan of introducing heavier topics only to resolve them too easily. That said, YBF does head into areas not often delved within this genre so it’s a nice addition. Fans of the author will like this the most but those new to Welsh will get a good feel for her style and writing.