BURRO HILLS BY JULIA LYNN RUBIN
Diversion Books, 2018
From the publisher: Jack Burns is a resident—though oftentimes he feels like an inmate—of the tiny, California desert town of Burro Hills. Growing up surrounded by the broken dreams of his parents, Jack wonders if he will ever just get out. Get out of dealing drugs. Get out of poverty. Get away from the suffocating masculinity in high school boys. And get out of his own head. When he’s not running with his crew and trying to stay under the radar, he is in his favorite spot with his best friend, Jess, fantasizing about escape.
Until Connor Orellana shows up. The new boy captivates everyone in school, including Jack, who is magnetized by Connor’s lack of self-consciousness and inhibition. As their connection deepens, Connor challenges him to see that liberation comes from accepting and trusting his nature, while Jack helps ground Connor and the dark energy that drives his free spirit. But their relationship will set into motion a series of events that have lasting consequences, jeopardizing Jack’s budding romance with Connor and the life he’s tried so hard to salvage in Burro Hills.