Review + Series Spotlight: With or Without You by Zane Riley

Lovely readers,

in celebration of the release day of Zane Riley’s When It’s Time, out 1/18, the third and last book in the Go Your Own Way series I wanna share my review for book # 2, With or Without You with you.

ICYMI: A lot of amazing things are planned on my blog around the release date of When It’s Time. ^^
There is the release blitz post with a cool chance to win a great prize. 😉
I also have an exclusive excerpt for you. So, head over to this post and read the amazing snippet. :3
Starting from 1/18 until 1/22 there is an Instagram tour, where I participate. Check out my Instagram account on 1/21. Other parcipants are listed below. 🙂

The review of Go Your Own Way (book # 1) can be read here. The review of When It’s Time (book # 3) will follow too.

So, enough of the preamble. Happy reading. 🙂

With or Without You (Go Your Own Way Book 2)With or Without You by Zane Riley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*


In the much-anticipated sequel to Go Your Own Way, high school seniors Lennox McAvoy and Will Osborne pick up right where they left off—navigating the tumultuous waters of a new relationship and dealing with Will’s disapproving father.

When a violent incident forces Lennox to give up his independent ways, he must come to terms with his past just as Will is grappling with his future. As Will’s college plans become reality, will Lennox have the courage to go after the opportunities he doesn’t think he deserves?

With or Without You is the direct continuation of the Go Your Own Way series.

Will and Lennox are exploring their new relationship, which is still tentative, still new, still feels different for both guys.

After the sudden heartattack of Will’s father, the fear if he ever wakes up or not, there is a shift in the relationship between the father and the son when Ben is out of danger.  Their close relationship is suffering from the new relationship Will has with Lennox. Ben isn’t fond of his son’s boyfriend, doesn’t trust him and definitely doesn’t want Will coming close to the people Lennox has to deal with at the motel.

This book was harder to read. Harder because the charming Ben we get to know from book one almost totally vanished. He was cruel and hurtful towards Lennox, he was judgemental and unfair. Lennox, who is in parts the same had made such a development within the last book and especially since he’ve met and become an item with Will. Sometimes I was so angry about Ben that I had to pause and think about it where this anger comes from. From Ben’s POV it’s clear he doesn’t want that his son to be hurt, and Lennox is a bad influence, the reason his son will be hurt. Ben is sure Lennox only searches for relief, for a quick “fuck”, nothing serious, no real relationship and definitely not the love of Will’s life.
He doesn’t see the potential in Lennox, Will sees and that drives a wedge between Ben’s and Will’s close father-and-son relationship. He has also to deal with the fact that his son, his baby, is getting older, is becomming an adult. Two aspects which let Ben acting like a beast in a cage – until he is forced to see Lennox’ other side.

The whole book focuses on becoming an adult, the transition from a teenager to a responsible adult, searching for colleges, seaching for a place in the world after the school, separated from the sheltered and cared place. For Will it’s clear what he wants, what he longs for: he wants to go to college in New York. And because college is his number one goal, he tries to persuade if it’s a possibility for Lennox too.

When both guys are confronted with unexpected events, they are forced to change not just their daily life as they know it, it gives them the opportunity to be closer, to cherish their moments even more. This is also the shift in the book when Ben is starting – even if it’s slowly – to acknowledge what his son feels about Lennox. And Ben sees the true Lennox behind more and more.

I loved the transition in the book, the development, in the events and in the character’s behaviour and what it means to their future. It’s realistic, so honest and yet so sweet and charming. Lennox and Will explore so many firsts together; they create and share a bond which is strong enough to overcome a lot of obstacles. Something which is pretty astonishing considering how they’ve started.

The book shows also everyone deserves a second chance and that – even if you are at your lowest point  – there can be still something great. People can doing great, even when other have written them off. Lennox is more than he comes across at the first sight, he is so multi-layered, so full of amazing talent, but also full of hurt, has experienced a lot of stuff no one should be forced to deal with. I was moved several times when he was shining, when he let his barriers down and was showing how he truly feels. He still isn’t able in the book to express these emotions with words, but through his music it’s clear what struggles he had to go through.

The book has many ups and downs for Will and Lennox, many parts which were exciting, sweet, funny, but also thrilling and you were hoping for Lennox and Will and their HEA or in this case – again – their HFN. 🙂 They have to deal with the fact they are getting older, changing their lifes as they know it and have to face the (scary) unknown. The book is the perfect display of how the adolescenes is showing its true face, with all the pros and cons, from the first real love to leaving the home you’ve always known and what it means to leave friends and family behind. Also in Lennox’ case what it means to have a home, a family, a close relationship to a boyfriend, to actually have a boyfriend.

The book and the whole series is captivating, moving and bittersweet but still has the bright silver lining shining on the horizon. The book isn’t easy to read, the character do things you sometimes can’t understand or actually hate. But with every piece you get, you understand more, you don’t wanna let go and you wanna know if they get their happy end, if the accomplish what they wish for – even if it’s something deep down burried and comes to the light as hesitant as a small plant after a long, hard winter. 🙂
5 out of 5 stars for this amazing book and continuation of the series.

View all my reviews

Wanna see amazing pictures by bookstagrammers?
See the other Instagram tour partcipants in the #WhenItsTime Release Tour. Check out my Instagram account on 1/21. 🙂

whenitstimereleasetour update final

Author bio  – Zane Riley

Zane Riley is a transgender writer who wrote his first work of fan fiction in the fourth grade. He is a recent transplant to Vancouver, Washington where he spends his time watching long-distance baseball games, hiking, and exploring the musical depths of the Internet. His first two novels, Go Your Own Way and With or Without You, were published by Interlude Press.

Author links / get in contact


Blogtour and release blitz hosted by/through A Novel Take PR.


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