Love, love, love, love this book! I waited a long time to read it, kept putting it off to read others, and I'm glad I did. There's a lot in here that I might not have been ready to read a few months ago.
I fell in love with Sam in the very first scene. I loved his voice, his innocence, his hopeful desire to experience everything, and his cheerful determination to find something good in any situation. I loved that he was still so sweet and full of hope and love in spite of all of the bad things that had happened to him. Mitch couldn't have picked a better nickname for him than "Sunshine."
And I came to love Mitch so much too! The more I got to know him, the more I loved him and the happier I became that he and Sam had found each other. This is another example of two people who couldn't have been more perfect for each other actually finding each other. It's amazing when that happens and I loved reading about their journey.
And speaking of their journey, I love that this whole book was an actual road trip. The analogy of their actual travels and their metaphorical travels was so well done. It was amazing getting to follow Sam on his journey to explore the desires he'd always had but hadn't been able to express before Mitch. And the way Mitch took care of him and made the exploring safe couldn't have been more amazing.
So up until they started heading to Vegas, it was obvious how perfect Mitch was for Sam. When the book really crossed the line from "I loved it" to "It was amazing" was when we get to see how perfect Sam is for Mitch, too. The way that Sam handles Randy is beautiful. Like Randy says when they're in the restaurant saying goodbye, he and Mitch got their big do-over right because it was Sam. Sam gave Mitch and Randy their friendship back, because he was strong enough and brave enough to make decisions with his heart and not be distracted or put off or made insecure despite all of Randy's best attempts. And I loved, loved, loved that it was Randy that finally got Sam and Mitch together at the end. Just so beautiful how Sam was the catalyst for all three of these men to start getting put back together again.
It should be obvious with how much I've used the word "amazing" in this review, but I can't recommend this book highly enough. It does require a certain amount of open-mindedness, however. But everything in it is so well handled that even things I thought I would have a hard time with ended up either being educational or even really hot.