Published by HarperCollins on September 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, LGBT, LGBTQIA, Romance, YA, Young Adult
Will Caynes never has been good with girls. At seventeen, he’s still waiting for his first kiss. He’s certainly not expecting it to happen in a drunken make-out session with his best friend, Angus. But it does and now Will’s conflicted—he knows he likes girls, but he didn’t exactly hate kissing a guy.
Then Will meets Brandy, a cute and easy-to-talk-to sophomore. He’s totally into her too—which proves, for sure, that he’s not gay. So why does he keep hooking up with Angus on the sly?
Will knows he can’t keep seeing both of them, but besides his new job in a diner, being with Brandy and Angus are the best parts of his whole messed-up life. His divorced parents just complicate everything. His father, after many half-baked business ventures and endless house renovations, has started drinking again. And his mom is no help—unless loading him up with a bunch of stuff he doesn’t need plus sticking him with his twin half-sisters counts as parenting. He’s been bouncing between both of them for years, and neither one feels like home.
Deciding who to love, who to choose, where to live. Whichever way Will goes, someone will get hurt. Himself, probably the most.
I received this book for review from the publisher, this does not influence my review.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more conflicted about a book before in my life. Cut Both Ways was very interesting but sort of like a horrible moment in a TV show and you want to turn away but you really can’t. I really disliked some parts of the book but I also couldn’t stop reading? it’s very confusing for me.
Will wasn’t expecting his first kiss to be with Angus, his best friend of many years. He doesn’t expect to like kissing Angus and he doesn’t expect to start dating a girl, Brandy. Will is now more confused than ever, and as time goes on, he has to decide who he is and who to love. Basically, it sounded like an awesome book, and definitely something I’d be interested in.
But…. I just don’t like Will, or understand him. He treated people so poorly. Look, I understand confusion but I don’t understand Will when he understands that it’s cheating, yet he does nothing to stop it.
However, it was very interesting to see how people treated Will. Angus wanted him to come out and admit he’s gay, while everyone assumed he was straight because he was dating Brandy in public. I think that Cut Both Ways raises very important discussions about bi-visibility, but I just do not understand Will.
The ending also did not do it for me. It’s a huge spoiler so I will put it in these spoiler tags: View Spoiler » This book did not end. The synopsis discusses that Will ultimately has to make a choice but he does not make a choice. I sort of understand the stylistic choice of why he didn’t choose between the people, but DAMN IT I WANTED HIM TO AT LEAST MAKE A CHOICE « Hide Spoiler.
The dynamic of Will’s parents was also interesting, because of their divorce, so there are a bunch of other things happening in the book besides the relationships, so that was interesting as well.
(Oh and as a warning to some readers, this book is very explicit in terms of sexual content so if you don’t like graphic books, this isn’t one for you.)
Overall, Cut Both Ways was a very interesting read that explored issues of bisexuality and family matters but I just did not understand the main character or sympathize with him. I recommend this book for readers wanting to look for a unique and complex read.