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on 8 May 2014
What made me read this book in the first place was the fact that the author draws the events in his stories from his experiences in real life while counselling abandoned gay youths of Australia. He is showing the problems in a realistic way, but demonstrates at the same time that there could be hope for them. And like South's first book in The Journey of Love Collection, Alex & Drew hooked me from the first to the last page with it's dramatic but romantic storyline.

Alex is a hurt and lonely young man, who turned distrustful, vulnerable and insecure after years of abuse by his stepfather. On one of those black days he meets Drew. Drew is the new guy around. He is more friendly and lovely to him, than Alex would have expected from anyone after his past experiences. Drew doesn't see in Alex the dumb and slow minded outsider and misfit, like others do. Drew accepts him as an equal friend and loves to spend time with him. They become close friends and truly fall in love with each other. Then however, the dark secrets of the rape come to light. Does Alex have to fear, whether Drew will still remain at his side? Both their lives will change in a way, neither Alex nor Drew would have expected.

The whole Story is touching and full of feelings. Both characters are lovely and catch the reader from the beginning till the last page. Each one of them is strong in their own kind of way. To watch them fall in love with each other fully as the trust between them grows is romantic and heartwarming.

This is the second book in the Journey to Love Collection but it also can be read as a stand alone. The author again shows up the Problems and ferocities the gay youths in Australia have to fight with. Partially on their own, not many have luck to get the right help or someone to trust like the main characters in his books. South describes in a realistic and believable way, what this young people have been through and presents at the end how the society could help if they wanted - if they just opened their minds a little bit more.

As Mr. South mentioned, part of the proceeds will be donated to charities assisting abused and homeless gay youth in Australia.

After reading his books, some people got inspired to start projects in their own countries, to help such abandoned young men and women. So I think the author did a great Job with this/these book(s) to bring some attention to this big problem nearly every country has to deal with. Not only did I love the book, but I feel like the author really made a positive change and I am proud to do my part to promote it. You really should give the book a try.

(Read original post of this Review on the Blog "Rainbow Gold Reviews")
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on 9 April 2014
I read Paul and Sam by this author last year and really enjoyed it! when I was told he had this new book coming out I was itching to get my hands on it!
What I really enjoy about Justin South's books is the fact they are based on true life. He is a counsellor and has worked with many young people struggling with their sexuality so I know from the first page nothing is exaggerated or fabricated for effect!

Alex and Drew was a extremely easy book to read due to the writing style yet it is not a easy book on the heart!
This is a story based on a young man Alex, who for years has enduring beatings and sexual abuse from his step father. Yes, he has tried to get help from the police and local hospital but his mother always steps in and tells the authorities her son is slow and not very bright, it's her way of protecting herself and her husband so Alex is never taken seriously!

Alex meets his first ever friend Drew, who's family has rented the house next door for a few weeks. From this moment you feel hope for this young man that everyone ignores and constantly puts down!

Drew's parents are extremely supportive of their son and welcome Alex with open arms a experience totally alien to him. You can feel his emotions and fears not knowing exactly what to reveal about his own family.

The friendship between these Two very different young men soon grows into much more and when it's time for Drew and his family to leave they promise to stay in touch. (I don't want to say any more about the story as this will spoil it for other readers)

This was a amazing read, there was many twists to this story I was not expecting. Yes it is a emotional read, gritty and heart wrenching at times but more than that is is a story showing the reality some of our youth have to endure on a daily basis. It also shows with trust, love affection and encouragement a young man can grow, find confidence and a way to completely change his life around.

I loved these characters they were well developed so you felt every emotion, good and bad that they went through on this emotional journey.
They are both still on my mind but not in a negative way, the author managed to tell the story with such professionalism and passion I was left with wonderful images of a great future for this amazingly strong couple despite the horrific start to there relationship.

I highly recommend this book, it will certainly pull on your emotions but will leave you with a sense of hope and peace!
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on 5 May 2014
*********** CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS **********

There aren't enough words to describe how beautiful this is. While incredibly sad in places when Alex is telling us about the abuse he has seen at the hands of his step-father and the neglect and ignorance from his mother. This book is full of love and hope. I especially loved the love and support Alex received from Drew and his family. I would definitely recommend this book. Thank you Justin for sharing this amazing book with us!
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on 21 September 2014
good
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