Caught Inside

This is sponsored post.

This book contains sexually explicit scenes.

Caught Inside is Book 1 in the Boys on the Brink series by author Jamie Deacon. Caught Inside was featured as Book of the Day on January 25.

Luke is a teen whose father died before he was born, and whose mother raised him alone, doing a remarkably good job in financially poor circumstances. His girlfriend is Zara, the only child of very wealthy parents. Luke is set to spend the summer with Zara at her parents’ beach cottage where he can have unfettered access to surfing… as well as Zara. The only adult present is Zara’s college age cousin Theo, and later his roommate Giles and Giles’ girlfriend Meredith. Upon arrival, Luke realizes just how rich Zara’s parents must be, since “cottage” isn’t even close to describing the amazing beach home. Later, this feeling of being left out gets worse as Luke realizes just how different he is from the others who all come from money, but that’s nothing to what he has to deal with when he finds himself attracted to Theo.

I was very curious to read this book, as I felt there is a great deal of fertile ground for thoughtful, sensitive content on this topic, particularly in the social shifts Western society is experiencing. For the most part, for the first thirty percent of the book, I thought the author was doing an interesting job of exploring the topic from many aspects. It was frustrating for me to read about unsupervised teens alone for the summer. Technically, Theo (college age) is supposed to be watching over Zara, but there is constant and liberal drinking, and the college friends make a point of sneaking the younger teens into a club (not that it matters, since they were already drinking heavily daily).

As a child, in the ’70’s, I spent many Saturday mornings watching cartoons. I would squirm with intense discomfort when episodes of Scooby Do would come on, the episodes where Shaggy and Scooby would go off WITHOUT Thelma. Shaggy and Scooby had no sense whatsoever between them, and it was always a miracle they survived, much less nabbed any bad guys. What does this have to do with Caught Inside? Well, the way these young folks mis-manage nearly every relationship (familial or romantic) is heavily reminiscent of those Shaggy and Scooby bungles… only these mis-adventures result in so many people being hurt so many ways.

Unfortunately, from my perspective, the next section of the book is more like a romance novel, with involved characters and relational interactions ranging from titilating to risky. To be fair, the actions of the characters in this part of the story compound the impending “doom” of the situation established in the beginning.

By the end, all of the truth comes out – heavily damaging some freeing ships, but also restoring at least one relationship between parent and child.

In the end, I have to say, I felt this Caught Inside was a mixed bag. The author provided some honest, heartfelt exploration in the beginning of the book of what can be a difficult path for individuals, families, and friends to travel. I wish that more of the remainder of the book had stayed closer to this original line of thinking.