The cover for Jack's Ever After by Owen Lach

Korey B’s Review:

Jack’s Ever After

Categories: Arts | Books | Queer Arts | Reviews


Owen Lach’s Jack’s Ever After shines with nuanced characters, poignant storytelling, and a heartfelt exploration of the challenges that threaten a happily ever after.

In Jack’s Ever After, the captivating sequel to the heartwarming Jack’s on Fire, Lach delves deeper into the intricacies of young queer love and the power of chosen family. Jack Martin and Damon Watts return with their vibrant love story, facing fresh obstacles that put their hard-earned happiness at stake. Lach’s narrative prowess shines as he explores the complexities of Jack’s journey, skillfully navigating the challenges of self-discovery, identity, and the fragile nature of teenage relationships. With nuanced characters and poignant storytelling, Lach captures the essence of young love and the ever-present threat to a happily ever after.

I was delighted to return to the lives of these beloved characters. Jack Martin, still sweet, anxious, and precocious, navigates a new set of challenges that put his hard-won progress from Jack’s on Fire to the test. Lach expertly portrays the realities facing many queer teenagers, from unsupportive authority figures and unloving parents to homophobic bullying, showcasing Jack’s resilience and growth. And, with heartfelt exploration and skillful storytelling, Lach asks us to ponder whether Jack’s newfound strength and support will overcome the obstacles that threaten to shatter his happiness.

Lach’s prolific output is impressive, with Jack’s Ever After marking his fourth published novel in less than two years. True to form, this latest offering showcases all the hallmarks of Lach’s writing that I’ve come to anticipate and savor. The diverse cast, sharp and witty dialogue, and unapologetically queer narrative are all present, but Lach’s unparalleled skill in crafting authentic and multifaceted characters truly shines. From familial bonds to friendships, romantic entanglements, and even adversarial conflicts, Lach is commendably adept at bringing these individuals to life. In particular, the tender, passionate, and even sexy moments shared between Jack and Damon stole my heart as their relationship evolves amidst the hurdles they face.

I thoroughly enjoyed Jack’s Ever After and confidently proclaim Lach as one of my treasured authors in the young adult genre. It’s hard not to be hyperbolic when discussing a work that resonates so profoundly. But Lach’s work embodies the emergence of vibrant queer voices that invigorate an otherwise stagnant genre, leaving me hopeful for a future filled with innovative and diverse stories.