Monday, 4 May 2015

SAFE by C. Kennedy

SAFE by C. Kennedy
Pages: 72
Date: May 3, 2015
Details: Young Adult
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“They met at ten, kissed at twelve, and were madly in love by eighteen. 

Caleb Deering is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. He comes from a loving home with a kind father and a caring, but strict mother who is battling breast cancer. Nico Caro is small and beautiful, and has a father who rules with an iron fist—literally. 

One morning Caleb forgets himself, and he pecks Nico on the lips at school. A teacher sees them and tattles to the headmaster. The accidental outing at school might be the least of their problems, because the ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents could get Nico killed. In the face of that very real danger, Caleb knows he has only one mission in life: to keep Nico safe.”

My thoughts:

Safe could be described as a charming love story, but it is so much more than that. This is a story about pain, fear, friendship, loyalty, love and hope.

The tale starts with the moment Caleb and Nico’s world falls apart. They’ve been caught kissing by a teacher and their parents are being informed. While this is awkward for Caleb who hasn’t come out to his tolerant and loving parents yet, it is a disaster for Nico who has been suffering abuse at the hands of his father for as long as he can remember.

The story then goes back in time and shows us how the relationship between Caleb and Nico has evolved over the years. It is a charming and at times sexy journey for the two young men, until it all falls apart after that one unguarded moment.

As in Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, Cody Kennedy strikes the perfect balance between depicting the horrors of abuse and the beauty of unconditional love, thus leaving both his characters and his readers with a profound sense of hope that things will get better and love will prevail.

For me this story could have been longer. While we are shown all the pivotal moments in the developing relationship between Nico and Caleb I wouldn’t have minded seeing more than the glimpses we get. This is just a personal preference though, a secret wish to spend more time with characters I’ve gotten quite attached to over the course of seventy-two pages. Because all we need to know about Nico and Caleb is in this story. Their relationship is realistic, their love believable, and when the story ends the reader is in no doubt that the two young men have a future ahead of them – together. Because the end of their story is also the beginning of the rest of their lives.

After two books it is safe to say I’m now a fan of Cody Kennedy. His personal brand of hopeful realism has both impressed and captured me.


  1. Thank you ever so much, Helena! I'm so glad you liked the novella. Fans have been clamoring for the story to be expanded to a full novel. Perhaps in 2016. Thank you for the wonderful review!

    1. You're very welcome, Cody. Your fans are right; it would be wonderful to read a longer version of Caleb and Nico's story. I'm keeping my fingers firmly crossed. And thank you for another heart-warming and thought provoking story.

  2. Hopeful realism, that's brilliant! I think that's why I love reading his books. No matter how horrible your past, there is always hope. Great review!

    1. Thank you Yukari. Omorphi is next and I'm torn between reading it ASAP and waiting so that I still have it to look forward to. Decisions, decisions...