In the 3 books released of Santino‘s 5 Borough series, Sunset Park has got to be my most favorite. To be honest, I read it last because I was so sure I wouldn’t like it. I hated David in Sutphin Boulevard. He’s the inquisitive egotistic piece of meat who can’t just mind his own damn business. Although Raymond sounded hot, a lot contended (Santino included) that First and First is the sexiest in the series yet.
Imagine my surprise when I warmed up to SP earlier than the other two.
Sunset Park is a sequel to Sutphin Boulevard but one that follows the story of David Butler (Michael and Nunzio’s colleague) and Raymond Rodriguez (Michael’s brother). With Michael’s decision to live with his lover, the Rodriguez house in South Jamaica is up for rent. Raymond is left alone to decide whether to stay or live somewhere else to find a job to save his ass.
He opted for the latter which led him to the arms of David who’s also conveniently looking for a roommate. The tension ramps up when Raymond admits he’s bicurious and David offers to become the guinea pig to his sexual experiments.
More than the premise, my affinity has got more to do with how I relate with the characters, their flaws and predicaments. Crazy that there are a lot of David that I identify with. Mostly being the idealistic brat who always gives his ignorant two cents just because he’s born privileged and cannot seem to understand that solutions to situations two and three do not match given different plot lines. I realize that I hated him in SB precisely because I hated that about myself.
On one hand, there’s Raymond. The guy who kept asking “How to adult?” in those 230 pages (apart from having great sex). We all did when we finally have to depend on ourselves to pay our bills and do our laundries. The dilemma of wanting to get better and being stuck with a career we don’t want but at the same time needed because we refuse to become our family’s burden. That and because we want to be the person the love of our lives would be proud of.
The character development was fantastic considering the first book.
I’ve said this on twitter but I’ll say it again for emphasis. Your favorite Borough book will give you an insight of who you are as a person. Which is why I love Sonny’s books. The characters are so realistically flawed and he has this ability to discuss that which matters although seemingly typical.
Rating this 4/5 and hoping Interborough (book 4) would be just as awesome (if it wouldn’t exceed expectations).