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Champagne - Debbie McGowan I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not even sure where I should start off....

The book mostly focuses on Sammy (I think he's sixteen or seventeen or somewhere around that age, I'm not so sure..I know he's pretty young) and readers get to follow along as he matures (well up until a little after his twenty-first birthday). We first meet Sammy in an alley way leading to a club of less than reputable regard. He's there trying to find his father, whom, it seems he wants to get back at for his treatment of his mother and himself. It's in said alley that he bumps into Champagne, a employee of the club, whom he becomes obsessed with and gets drawn into that world. Readers get to know, not just Sammy, but the workers/sometimes patrons of the seedy club.

When I first started the book I wasn't really sure what direction the author was trying to take the story. It appeared like the book would focus on Sammy trying to get revenge on his father but through his development he loses that passion. He seemed adamant to find his father but when he runs into his father after being arrested he completely ignores him. He doesn't even go back later to confront him. Also at the very start I have to admit I didn't like that the author kept on changing focus from Sammy to other people in the club. I thought those characters input were just fodder for the book.

This in not a romance. There is no happily ever after for Sammy, in fact readers get to see how complicated and complexed his life is. I neither liked or hated this book and I felt it read a bit like a soap opera. Readers get to watch on as Sammy experiences his first love, the short struggle with his sexuality, his first sexual experience, heart break, becoming a business owner and creating his own club, and loss of family/friends. The emotional impact from the other characters and Sammy's own feeling about certain matters was nice to see. The characters views and the way they handled the start of the AIDs epidemic was interesting.