Mason knows he likes his best friend, Billy, but there is no way for him to tell Billy. He is scared. He is scared of his family finding out. And yet, Billy draws him near too often that it is frustrating for Mason that nothing comes out from the many days they spend together. Still, Mason is happy he has Billy around. Unfortunately, Billy has his own plan. Billy plans to leave for New York as soon as high school is over. Devastated, Mason turns to his Aunt Savannah. Living with his Aunt Savannah in New Orleans helps him to breathe free. And there is Joey, who is cute and is interested in him. Life would have been perfect, until Billy drops by.

This is the only book I have read which is written by Michael Holloway Perronne. Within the few pages, I thought I was made to declare my love for his work. There was already a mention of Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and a few more 80's things, enough to keep me nostalgic. It was cute to feel the experience of Mason, and to pity him, for the difficulties he has to go through, to emphatize with the character in this A Time Before Me. A few times, I feel like I did have that kind of Billy in my life, and just like Mason, they pass me by. Sigh.. Life can be so cruel.

Yeah, Mason faces other hurdles as well. It is nice to find that although the book starts off with Mason having a difficult sister, they end up better friends for one another. And the part where Mason has to deal with his mom when he does not want to go to college, because he wants to stay free in New Orleans. But coming to the end, I thought it was kinda rush, for the father to face health problem, Mason facing his mother and a sudden announce by Aunt Savannah to have another relationship a try.

I smirked when I read the ending. First time I come across a typical love story 'don't-let-him-go' ending scene, except that this one deals nothing with airport. :)

There is a book 2 to this, although the setting takes place many years later.


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