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CrossCurrents by Adam Phillips


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One of the refreshing parts of Crosscurrents is the erotic chapters in the chapters after 14. Too many stories in this genre fall back on formulaic, dull sex scenes (when they aren't pure pornography) that I normally just skim or skip, but the Crosscurrents erotic sections are just exceptionally well written, involving people and their personalities rather than just body parts.

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When you get down to it, CrossCurrents is essentially "Brokeback Mountain with teenagers," and while that's not a bad idea for a story, their back-and-forth struggle is a bit frustrating. However, the story has got very strong characters, much of it is very believable, plus it paints a complicated picture that takes more than 10 years to resolve itself. There's no black or white in this story -- it's all shades of gray. I like that to a point, but I also found myself wishing for situations (and a resolution) that was more definitive or at least had more of a conflict.

Still... it's a story that I found myself still thinking about days after I finished reading it. Any story that has that effect on me has got something going for it. If we still had the Best of Nifty (and Elsewhere) list, I'd absolutely vote for CrossCurrents to be on the list.

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