Tyler was one of the weirdest characters ever. It's kind of like the author couldn't really decide what to do about/with Tyler, so he had a different personality every time. I feel like that might be a sign the author couldn't really figure out why the readers should root for Dylan over Tyler. The backstory with Rick was actually kind of weird at times. It almost seemed a little random, the way it was executed. Like "Okay...stuff."
And back to the other point, Dylan doesn't know why the MC (for the life of me, what is his...ah! Alec) should go for him over Tyler, either. That moment in the skybox when he's just like "sooo I had to sell blowjobs to eat in the past"...like, yeah, tragic backstory and shit, but it seemed more like a "look at me! look at me! pay attention to me
! I KNOW! I'll get your attention by drawing your pity! But don't pity me; I'm a big, manly man who don't need no one's pity."
The mom...it was almost a little unbelievable. It's like she's oddly perceptive when it suits the author to give the characters the heeby-jeebies (picture Shrek from the ride in Universal Studios when he says "are you getting the hee~eby-jeee~eeebies?"). And then she lapses back into oblivious "I'm just going to sit here spouting off random facts of random shit."
The message wasn't bad, I think, but I think it was framed wrongly. It didn't quite fit the story. Either that or the author tried too hard to tailor the story to fit the message instead of letting a message developing out of a story.
Still, it's not a bad read, it just wasn't as great as I think it could have been.