Cons: The best way to make readers feel sympathetic for a character is to make us like the character. Unfortunately, I couldn't stand Aldridge James. Regardless of whether he was out of the closet or not, he was still dating a married man who was on the down low, so whenever he was mistreated, all I was thinking was "So what?" and rooting for the nemeses (and yes, there were several).
There was also a lot of irrelevant talk about Michael Vick and a conversation about "I Love New York" that slowed the pace of the book. I know it was meant to make the book more realistic and have timely conversation, but considering that Vick case is old now, it just seemed like reading last year's newspapers. However, I did enjoy the talk about Obama, although the election is over and he's in the White House now (yay!).
The blackmailers were extremely predictable, and I was hoping that it wasn't the obvious, but it was, so that was rather disappointing. And it took 237 pages and 8 lines down before AJ finally said what I'd been thinking all along.
There was also a heavy amount of snide comments about white women to the point of being tacky (ex. "really tough b***h for a white girl").
Middle Ground: If you're into books filled with drama, scandal, blackmail, fashion, and talk about attractive butts, this is definitely the book for you. I'm not really into gossip so some of it was a little too talk show for me.
Pros: I like the way E. Lynn Harris writes, from dialogue to setting up the scene to the pace of the story. I read this book in two quick days and didn't want to tear myself from it because there were enjoyable parts. Although disgusted by Jade's goal, I enjoyed her outgoing attitude. I liked reading about AJ's mother and sister, and of course the surprise character at the end made me smile a little. I REALLY think I'd have liked this novel more if Dray wasn't married with a child on the way. That part alone repulsed me. I think this would've been a great novel to talk about the problems with gay athletes, and that was touched upon, with Dray's paranoia. For that, I liked the novel, but I didn't like any of that sneaking around DL stuff. It just irritated me. However, there are some topics that are hard on the eyes and ears but that need to be discussed, so for that, I have to give Harris much respect for bringing up these controversial and graphic topics.