- Review by Trisha
5 out of 5 stars
Dumb Jock was the first Jeff Erno book I ever read. As a result, I became a big fan. When I heard he was re-releasing it, I was very excited. It felt like waiting for a brand new book all over again. And in a sense, that is what it was. The second edition of Dumb Jock has been professionally edited and is now available from Dreamspinner Press.
Told from Jeff’s point-of-view, Dumb Jock is a book about two boys in the eighties, finding themselves and love along the way. It’s not just a romance, though it is that too. Dumb Jock is a journey in one boy's life as he falls in love with the popular jock, Brett. I am a huge YA fan. I also have a soft spot for nerd/jock stories. Any high school stories really, but the nerd/jock ones especially.
This story proved a couple of things. One is that two people who are very different can come together and find love. Not only were Jeff and Brett worlds apart in school, but in real life too. Brett was rich and came from a wealthy family. Jeff’s family was not so well-off and that is proven in a few scenes between he and his mother. I loved that relationship. More kids, gay ones especially, could do with a mother like his. In the eighties it was an even bigger thing.
Brett and Jeff's relationship had some Dom/sub elements but this is a YA book and is written as such throughout so very little is dedicated to that part of the relationship. For parts of the book Brett had a girlfriend and I admit that while re-reading it I found it harder to love him like I did the first time. I did eventually come to accept that she was a part of his growth and that he did the right thing… even if he did go back after some pressure. Brett ended up being one of the bravest characters in a book of its kind, though. He also redeemed himself in my eyes.
While I can't say this book was a real tear-jerker, something happened and Jeff lost someone very important to him. The scene itself was written in a way that I personally connected with. As a child who has lost a parent myself, I must admit it made me see a lot of things. Not everyone will react to those scenes as they will affect everyone differently.
The secondary characters all had their place in the story. Some had a bigger impact while others were there for support. I loved the fact that they weren’t forgotten about in the process of Jeff and Brett becoming a couple. That has happened in a lot of books and I have a problem when I do not like the secondary characters.
I loved the ending. It was one of those fairytale endings that you will either love or hate. As one of the biggest saps when it comes to books, it should be no surprise that I loved the way it all came together. While it may not be believable to everyone, it was to me and I can honestly say I would recommend Dumb Jock to everyone who loves the nerd/jock trope and fans of YA in general.