Boystown Series Review!!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JAKE BIONDI Author of the popular BOYSTOWN series Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Jake Biondi fell in love with "The Windy City" at an early age. He left the Chicago area for four years to attend the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated with degrees in English and Business. He was awarded the university’s prestigious William Mitchell Award for Playwriting. Upon graduating from Notre Dame, Biondi returned to Chicago where he attended and graduated from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He has been living in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood for over 20 years. While studying literature, Biondi became a huge fan of Charles Dickens whose novels were originally released in installments, each ending in a cliffhanger to keep readers coming back for more. Because of his love of those novels as well as television dramas such as Dynasty, Knots Landing, Dallas, and Revenge, Jake Biondi decided to create a serialized saga for contemporary audiences. Thus, the BOYSTOWN series was born. Jake Biondi began BOYSTOWN in June of 2013 as an online story and intended to release one "episode" online per month, each ending in a cliffhanger. The story became so popular -- and the online reading audience grew so quickly -- that people from all over the country began to email him demanding to know what happened to their favorite characters and wanting the episodes to be released faster. They also had suggestions for future storylines. Excited by and grateful for his readers’ responses to BOYSTOWN, Biondi began to write and release installments more quickly. In November of 2013, Biondi moved BOYSTOWN offline and published the first ten installments in book form as BOYSTOWN Season One. The book became an international hit, with fans all over the globe clamoring for more. BOYSTOWN Season Two was published in July of 2014. Season Three was released on May 1, 2015, Season Four was released on November 13, 2015, Season Five was released on June 1, 2016, Season Six was released on December 16, 2016, Season Seven was released on July 7, 2017, Season Eight was released on February 14, 2018, and Season Nine was released on December 14, 2018. Because of the popularity of the book series, fans have suggested that BOYSTOWN be turned into a television series. Biondi recently completed the TV scripts for the first season of BOYSTOWN and hopes to bring the series to television in the very near future.
BOYSTOWN SERIES OVERVIEW The Story BOYSTOWN is the continuing story of several couples living in Chicago's famed Boystown neighborhood. The Mancini brothers -- as well as their friends and significant others -- are at the core of BOYSTOWN. Emmett Mancini, the youngest of the brothers, is a bright, caring guy whose boyfriend Keith Colgan has a past Emmett knows little about . . . yet. Derek Mancini, and his wife Joyelle, are BOYSTOWN's straight couple . . . but a recent encounter with hunky Cole O'Brien could have life-altering consequences for Derek. And when Justin Mancini, the oldest brother, arrives in BOYSTOWN, he brings with him a family history that both Emmett and Derek were hoping to forget: a bitter feud with the powerful Ciancio family. Interracial couple Logan Pryce and Max Taylor have been together have survived the ups and downs that are common in most long-term relationships; however, they must now face a crisis that neither of them ever expected. A chance encounter with an old flame sends Max on a mission to discover a secret buried long ago . . . and tests the strength of his commitment to Logan. One of the most diverse and lively neighborhoods in the country, Chicago's Boystown has something for everyone. So it's no wonder that roommates Jesse Morgan and Cole O'Brien chose to live there upon graduating from college. Ready to begin the next phase of their lives in an exciting new city, Jesse and Cole quickly find themselves at the center of the drama and intrigue that makes up this adult playground. Against the backdrop of the vibrant Chicago skyline, some couples are brought together while others are torn apart, once-buried family vendettas are resurrected, and friends unite to face the challenges that life throws their way. Family. Love. Deception. Romance. Power. Revenge. Passion. Betrayal. Welcome to BOYSTOWN! The History BOYSTOWN has a very interesting history. In Spring of 2013, I started to toss around in my head the idea of writing a continuing drama that focused on gay characters. I considered some ideas for characters and storylines. Then I finally began actually writing BOYSTOWN in June of 2013 as an online story and intended to release one "episode" online per month, each ending in a cliffhanger. The story became so popular -- and the online reading audience grew so quickly -- that people from all over the country began to email me demanding to know what happened to their favorite characters and wanting the episodes to be released faster. They also had suggestions for future storylines! I was surprised and excited by the readers' response to BOYSTOWN and began to write and release installments more quickly. By November, 2013, I had released 10 episodes and the reading audience had expanded well beyond the borders of America. Because of BOYSTOWN's huge success online and the serialized nature of my writing, readers from all over the globe were able to correspond with me and influence the storylines of the BOYSTOWN saga as I wrote it. It is really exciting to interact with fans in this way. I think it's something very unique to BOYSTOWN. Readers also suggested that I publish the first ten episodes as a book rather than leaving them online. I took their advice -- and BOYSTOWN Season One was published in late November, 2013. The book sold well and I continued to write additional episodes. Episodes 11 - 20 were released in July, 2014 as BOYSTOWN Season Two. BOYSTOWN Season Three was released on May 1, 2015, BOYSTOWN Season Four was released on November 13, 2015, BOYSTOWN Season Five was released on June 1, 2016, BOYSTOWN Season Six was released on December 16, 2016, BOYSTOWN Season Seven was released on July 7, 2017, and BOYSTOWN Season Eight was released on February 14, 2018. The Future I think readers really like that BOYSTOWN is written like a TV series. It moves quickly and keeps people on the edges of their seats! And now the BOYSTOWN team is working to bring BOYSTOWN to television. Interest in the series is high -- the future of BOYSTOWN, both in print and on screen, will surely be a bright one.
1. What inspired you to write the BOYSTOWN series?
I have always been a fan of continuing, serialized dramas, whether they be classics such as the novels of Charles Dickens (which were released in magazines in installments, each of which ended with a cliffhanger to keep readers coming back for more) or more contemporary such as Dallas, Dynasty, and Revenge. I thought it was finally time for a well-written, intriguing drama that had gay characters at its core. And after living in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood for twenty years, I thought to myself, “What better place to inspire a continuing drama?” Thus, BOYSTOWN story was born. BOYSTOWN has a very interesting history. I began writing BOYSTOWN as an online story and intended to release one “episode” online per month, each ending in a cliffhanger. The story became so popular -- and the online reading audience grew so quickly -- that people from all over the country began to email me dem
2. How do you develop your characters?
Every good saga has a family at its core. BOYSTOWN has two -- the Mancinis and the Ciancios. Everyone in the book is somehow connected to them. I have to admit that some of the characters have taken on a life all their own. Officer Michael Martinez is one example. I created him simply because I needed a police officer for a brief scene and then, all of a sudden, came up with a huge idea and now he is one of BOYSTOWN’s main and most liked characters. I have also been intrigued by the fans’ responses to certain couples in the series. For example, I never anticipated that so many people would be fans of “Kemmett” (Keith and Emmett). Fans are very vocal about what I did to that couple at the end of “Season One” and provided many ideas for how I should write those characters in “Season Two.” Fans of “Dole” (Derek and Cole) are also very vocal. While most readers like and connect with the character of Cole, some like him with Derek and others don’t. Finally, I was really taken aback by people's reactions to Justin, who appears on the BOYSTOWN landscape toward the end of “Season One.” Readers really find him appealing and interesting -- and want to know everything about him: his sexuality, his motives, his plan. And then there are the Ciancio twins, who are introduced in “Season Two”...
3. What’s the best thing about being the author of BOYSTOWN?
Writing the BOYSTOWN series has been one of the most fantastic experiences of my life. I have enjoyed every moment of the writing and marketing process. But what I have really enjoyed the most about the entire experience has been the interaction with the BOYSTOWN readers. BOYSTOWN fans are, quite simply, the best. I have been so touched and humbled by the outpouring of kindness and support I have received from BOYSTOWN readers since the moment the first episode hit the internet in 2013. People began to email me from all over the country, and beyond, to share with me their thoughts and ideas about the BOYSTOWN characters and story lines. I make it a priority to respond to every email that I receive not only because I value the readers’ feedback but also because I want my readers to understand that I want them to reach out to me. I want to hear from them -- their ideas, their suggestions, their reviews, their feedback. In fact, their comments and ideas actually can and do impact the future of the series because I have written some of their suggestions into the series. In short, by contacting me, the readers can actually impact what happens to their favorite characters.
4. Do you have a favorite character in your series?
I think every author incorporates his personal experiences into his writing. While the characters in BOYSTOWN are fictitious, my experiences with friends and family have certainly influenced them. We all know many people like the characters in BOYSTOWN. I enjoy writing all of the BOYSTOWN characters because they are all so unique and different. And the fans’ responses to certain characters often surprise and motivate me as well. For example, the character of Justin Mancini was never meant to be a main character. I only intended to use him in a few chapters; however, the fans’ response to him was so overwhelming that I had to develop Justin more and keep him around. The same is true for Michael Martinez. I created him simply because I needed a police officer for a certain plotline, but he seemed to take on a life all his own, so I kept him. Of course, I love writing Derek and Cole because they are at the center of so much of the action. And Emmett is probably the most like me, so I love writing him, too.
5. Where can people purchase the BOYSTOWN books and how do readers contact you?
BOYSTOWN is available in paperback, audio book, and all e-book formats through my website BoystownTheSeries.com as well as amazon.com, bn.com, and itunes. Autographed copies of the books are available through my site as well. I encourage readers and fans to contact me.
They may do so by emailing me at BoystownTheSeries@yahoo.com, through the websites JakeBiondi.com and BoystownTheSeries.com, and on Facebook and Twitter (@boystown_series).
MY SERIES REVIEW
Title: Boystown Series
Author: Jake Biondi
How can I start off with this review? I have to say that I ABSOLUTELY loved this series for many reasons. I have no problem giving this novel a strong 5/5 stars. Even with a 5/5 star the series does come some "cons". Let's start!
First off, I enjoyed the writer's writing style. I have NEVER read a series that read like a soap opera. Who doesn't like constant ups and downs in a series? The story kept my attention throughout the whole story. Because I had never read a story that read like soap opera, I didn't pick up on any mistakes. So, there were a few times that I wanted to reread to see if I could find any inconsistencies...I didn't find any. Jake Biondi really did a fantastic job setting the scene and keeping the story going.
I also loved that the author based the stories from Chicago. As a fellow Illini, I love it when authors used different cities. So many writers use the same cities. It was nostalgic for me.
The characters are quite realistic and the reader will find something about each of them that is relatable. I didn't feel as though I was reading a fictional story even in a dramatic format.
I had so many emotions throughout the story. I really can't express how well the story really flowed and maintained my attention.
Also, I really like how he uses "season" instead of "book" for each story. Great idea!
The only "con" I can say...is that the story "ended". However, there are other books to read.
If you like LGBTQ+ stories with a dramatic flare, go check out Jake Biondi's entire series! You will LOVE it!!!!