My rating: 5 of 5 stars
John Harris leaves the world of M/M romance behind and plunges firmly into the realm of gay literary fiction with The One Who Taught Me Everything and it is a wonderful journey he takes us on. The story has no HEA (Happy Ever After), not even a HFN (Happy for Now), and I didn’t care because the storytelling is so compelling and the characters are so real and likable. All of the characters are sympathetic and well drawn: even the ex-girlfriend, even the homophobic father, even the lover who outs John, the main character, to the entire college are fully realized and understandable human beings.
The work is unrelentingly sexy with lots of authentic-feeling, erotic encounters, each of which moves the plot along and deepens our understanding of the main character and the lovers with whom he interacts.
My favorite aspect of the book, however is the literary conceit of the journal. I enjoyed watching the character develop day by day. Even on the days where John does not write in his journal, the missed days are eloquent and dramatic in their silence. By using a journal format, John Harris places the reader in the organic position of looking over the shoulder of the main character, discovering him as he discovers himself and feeling his choices in the moment that he struggles to make them.