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Cristina T.

A Way Back to Then

A Way Back to Then - Robert Halliwell Dear Robbie (Halliwell),

I have to be honest with you. I had high expectations of this book, because I adored Robbie in 'Tales from Foster High', and I was really excited about reading more of his story. Now, I know expectations are dangerous, because sometimes you get disappointed as a reader with a book that doesn't meet them. But I can honestly say that you, m'dear, have exceeded my expectations by far! You are a fantastic writer, and I truly hope you publish more books in the future! Please tell me there's more in store for Robbie, too... Also, I don't know what kind of magic you worked, but 'A Way Back To Then' does not feel detached from the rest of the series. It fits like a missing piece of the puzzle. And by that, I mean that you portrayed the character of Robbie perfectly. Seriously, thank you so much for writing this! In-fucking-credible job!

Yours truly,
Cristina T.

Warning: Spoilery and chaotic review!

First of all, let me introduce the MCs, who are perfect, and chosen by Robbie (Halliwell) himself... ;-)

Robbie is back in Long Island, because he needs to try to pierce his life back together and he's sick of Texas. Gone is the flamboyant man, his theatrics are turned down to a minimum, the façade left behind. He later explains his Foster behavior to Sebastian...

"I was the token gay character on the CW's Tales from Foster. The shop became my stage and I put on a Tony-award-winning performance every chance I got. I wasn't the butchest fag on the block to begin with, but when I had a new audience to impress, I turned it up three degrees gayer."

You know what shattered my heart like the proverbial glass slipper Robbie talks about? His past with Riley, and how unfair it was for him to lose him like that and to have to deal with the trauma after. I just felt the need to wrap Robbie in a blanket and cuddle him forever.

Riley was the prince on the white horse whom I needed to get me out of the life I was in years ago. While Foster wasn't a shiny castle, I didn't want anything else. We rarely argued and he gave me anything I wanted, whether material or not. There wasn't much I wanted, but I was happy to know the offer was always there.
Then he left me.
I had nothing.
The castle was empty and the glass slipper had shattered into a thousand pieces.
After some time, I tidied up the castle and fixed that damn shoe all by myself. Except I never put it back on, but instead locked it in the highest tower to prevent it from being broken ever again.

Then Sebastian swoops in, and he helps Robbie cradle that shoe like it's the most precious thing in the world. He cherishes Robbie, and he puts his cards on the table, letting Robbie know how he feels.

"I'm too old to play chicken with someone I like anymore. I'm tired of those kind of games. I like you, I want you to know it, so fuck it. And how many other times will I be able to tell people a first date began with dinner and someone punching me in the 'nads?" he added.

See, I thought Riley was the perfect match for Robbie, and after what happened to him–to them–I didn't think anyone would break past the thorns in front of Robbie's castle again... But then I came to accept that Riley wouldn't come back, and I started to warm up to Seb. I mean, seeing Sebastian through Robbie's eyes, I judged him at first, too. But that all stopped when I saw his heart of gold and how smart he really was. He was exactly what Robbie needed at that point in his life, someone to help him move on and heal.

Sebastian is exactly what I need. He's a big teddy bear with a body like a guardian of the galaxy. He has never disrespected me and has never taken any of my bullshit either.

Anyway. I could ramble on and on about how awesome this book is, but I feel like this review is getting too long–if you've read this far, congrats and thanks, haha. I just want to say two more things...

#1 – I loved Robbie's family!!! They're all cray-cray, hilarious and very supportive. Mama Rose was great, and I liked James a lot–save for that one time where he was a raging bitch and I wanted to slap some sense into him!

#2 – Sean is the most annoying and awful human being ever! I hated him with a passion, but was very pleased when Robbie called him a fungus! *snickers*

I am happy Robbie got his happy ending, after all, despite his trek through hell.

P.S. Shout-out to John Goode, who created the incredible Foster High world, and who had the brilliant idea to ask Robbie to write this book! Thank you, John!!! :)