The Temperature of Me and You is Brian Zepka’s debut novel, a romance between two highschool boys, Dylan and Jordan. It incorporates science-fiction/fantasy elements which focus less on the details and more on how it wildly affects Dylan’s life and his relationship with Jordan, effectively combining the genres. Zepka’s writing is simple, which is not necessarily a bad quality in a young adult novel; the delivery lacks complexity, but the book becomes an easy and engaging read nonetheless. One main issue I have with the story is the character development and lack thereof. While some secondary characters have a one-dimensional personality that does not change, others change too suddenly in a binary fashion. Even the protagonist's development fails to be conveyed beyond his internal thoughts as opposed to actions. Like many young adult novels, this story often chooses to tell instead of show details, resulting in awkward storytelling and pacing in some instances. There are numerous passages that could have been more poetic, romantic, or dramatic had some elaborations been simply left out. This is not to say the storyline lacks development entirely. Unraveling the mysteries throughout the plot is a riveting experience, while the depiction and development of Dylan’s various relationships are dramatic and gripping. Zepka likely focused a lot on themes of sexuality and adolescence, and I believe there were some successes but also some letdowns regarding this topic. Dylan is a realistic character in terms of self-image, friendships, thoughts, and struggles, but his relationship with his family is where the relatability ends. The story generally underemphasizes familial relationships, despite being about adolescent life. Interactions with his family are often shallow or disingenuous and don’t add much to the story. The synopsis can show how much you might like the entire book. If you like the general premise, it will probably be a quick and worthwhile read. Otherwise, the book does not have much more to offer and reading it will likely be an uninteresting experience.
The Temperature of Me and You
About This Book
Sixteen-year-old Dylan Highmark thought his winter was going to be full of boring shifts at the Dairy Queen, until he finds himself in love with a boy who's literally too hot to handle.
Dylan has always wanted a boyfriend, but the suburbs surrounding Philadelphia do not have a lot in the way of options. Then, in walks Jordan, a completely normal (and undeniably cute) boy who also happens to run at a cool 110 degrees Fahrenheit. When the boys start spending time together, Dylan begins feeling all kinds of ways, and when he spikes a fever for two weeks and is suddenly coughing flames, he thinks he might be suffering from something more than just a crush. Jordan forces Dylan to keep his symptoms a secret. But as the pressure mounts and Dylan becomes distant with his closest friends and family, he pushes Jordan for answers. Jordan's revelations of why he's like this, where he came from, and who's after him leaves Dylan realizing how much first love is truly out of this world. And if Earth supports life that breathes oxygen, then love can only keep Jordan and Dylan together for so long.