Sometimes when you take a chance on a book you are rewarded with a wonderful experience. Off Base by Annabeth Albert was a quiet revelation for me when I requested the book from NetGalley. The book tells the story of Zack, a Navy SEAL struggling with his sexuality, who is being bullied by a teammate leading him to request off base housing. It just so happens that Pike, a shameless flirt and friend of a friend, is looking for a new place to live in the San Diego area as well. When the two decide to become roommates, sparks begin to fly and Zack begins to open up more and confront the many issues in his life.
What I appreciated the most about Off Base was that it allowed it’s characters the space to be who they are and Albert gave one of the most interesting takes on the closeted gay person that I think I’ve read. It was rough to Zack struggle with his sexuality, but his journey to acceptance, and eventually love, was really good to read. Even now, as Adam Silvera once noted in an interview, we still need to tell stories like this and I want to applaud Albert for not only balancing the delicate nature of coming out, but giving us a great love story and fun character beats to boot!