From The Novel Approach’s blog:
In the Absence of Monsters contains one strong recurring theme, that of questioning established definitions. The definitions of sexuality, recovery, and love are examined throughout the book. The relationship between Ethan and Jayden challenges their understanding of their respective sexualities. Ethan comes to terms with his sexuality, he works toward recovery, but the one concept he can’t quite grasp is love. He understands love in an intellectual way: the love of his mother, the love of a friend, the love you feel for a puppy, but the idea of a romantic love eludes him. As the victim of traumatic childhood sexual abuse, Ethan forced himself at a young age to separate any emotion from physical touch in order to survive. As he got older and began to have consensual sexual relationships, that connection did not re-establish.
Read the full article HERE