ARC Review: Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean

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Goodreads | Waterstones

My name’s Archie Albright, and I know two things for certain:
1. My mum and dad kind of hate each other, and they’re not doing a great job of pretending that they don’t anymore. 
2. They’re both keeping a secret from me, but I can’t figure out what.
Things aren’t going great for Archie Albright. His dad’s acting weird, his mum too, and he all he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together. When Archie sees a colourful, crumpled flyer fall out of Dad’s pocket, he thinks he may have found the answer. Only problem? The answer might just lie at the end of the rainbow, an adventure away. 
Together with his best friends, Bell and Seb, Archie sets off on a heartwarming and unforgettable journey to try and fix his family, even if he has to break a few rules to do it…

Thank you to Simon & Shuster and Waterstones for a copy of this book in exchange for honest review.

Happy book birthday to this beauty, which is released today!

I’ve been so excited to read this book after seeing the beautiful ARC copies going around. I was lucky enough to be part of a Zoom Q&A through work with the author, who spoke so beautifully about this book and made me so excited to read it. I picked it up almost immediately and couldn’t put it down, reading it in around 24 hours.

This book was so much fun and so beautiful. It is the epitome of a modern and diverse adventure story, and is centered around London Pride. It really transported me back to the magic of the only Pride event I have attended, which happened to be Dublin! I am so happy to be safe in the knowledge this will help so many young people learn about LGBTQIA+ relationships and diversity. Archie, the main character, is so charming and lovable, and the tone of this book draws you in immediately. I love how Archie spoke to the reader directly, it made me feel very involved in the story.

I love how Archie and his two best friends, Bell and Seb, are discovering the world of Pride, and I imagine it will teach so much to young readers who are also navigating this world for the first time. It has such a diverse cast of characters, as two of Archie’s older friends are gay, and they meet all kinds of beautiful people at Pride, including trans people, non-binary people and drag queens who help them along the way. The conversations the trio have with these people are so heart warming and accessible to the reader. Some of the other conversations that Archie has with those closer around him were also beautifully written and will stick in my head for a while to come.

This was my first middle grade book of the year, and I’m so glad it happened to be this one. Reading this gives me so much hope and excitement for the way literature is changing for children, and becoming so much more diverse. This was beautiful, emotional and full of love, and I couldn’t recommend it more.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.
Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad.
Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?

I picked this book up almost a year ago in Gay’s the Word while on a tour around some of London’s bookshops, as I’d seen good things about it and it appealed to me! Although this book wasn’t perfect, it made for an enjoyable contemporary with some deep and meaningful discussions. This story follows Joanna, who moves from being out and proud in Atlanta to being in a much more conservative small town. Her dad is in a new marriage, and asks her to lie low for the last year of high school because of possible judgement from those in and around the family.

This story was a journey of self-discovery for Joanna, who initially feels her life is much easier pretending to be straight and therefore not being judged by everyone she meets. But then she meets Mary Carlson, who makes her question whether it’s really worth staying closeted for the sake of those around her. I really liked the message this book portrayed of having to come out more than once. This is something LGBTQIA+ people face every day, all of their lives. There is not just one big coming out and you’re done. There will be more places and more people and that will involve more worry and concern about how they may react and the judgement you might face. Joanna definitely faces coming-out more than once throughout the course of this book!

I want to feel proud and happy about my selflessness. 

Joanna’s relationships with those around her really develop throughout this novel as she begins to question everything again, despite already having an out and proud life back in Atlanta. I really enjoyed Jo’s relationship with her new stepmother, and seeing how they connected throughout the story was so heartwarming. Although her dad was not without his problems, I really liked his willingness to understand his daughter at the end of it all.

Reading about a character with a connection to faith was really interesting and I don’t feel like it’s something we see a lot of in YA. Although I’m not religious myself, I didn’t feel like Joanna’s own views overpowered her story, or that I couldn’t relate to her as a character. Although I felt some of the characters were problematic, there is an undertone of acceptance that meant I couldn’t judge them as much as I felt I would have done in other situations.

But sadly, there is a few things I disliked about this book. The plot seemed far-fetched and frankly, I don’t know why Jo really followed along for so long with what her dad was asking of her. The situation her dad put her in also felt really unfair and made me feel quite uncomfortable at times. I also feel like the ending was rushed, not thought out, and that the character of Deirdre was unrealistic and lacking in any character development. It almost felt as though she was only placed into the end of the story to allow for the ending to happen the way it did, and was not really mentioned throughout the rest of the story or given any opportunity to be more than her actions in the scenes that showed up in the book.

 But what happens when being selfless takes away a big part of your self?

Overall, this was a diverse contemporary with some hard hitting discussions that felt like they were handled fairly well. I’m glad I picked it up and I flew through it super fast, so if you’re looking for a quick but hard-hitting sapphic romance this one could be for you!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

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Goodreads | Waterstones

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

It has taken me way too long (almost two years) to finally pick up this book. I was so daunted by it because it is such a large book, but I challenged myself to read it in a week between my semesters at uni and I managed to read it in 6 days! All I knew about this book was that 1) it has an LGBT relationship, 2) it has dragons and 3) it is one of Alex’s favourite books. And if that wasn’t enough to entice me, I don’t know what else would.

This is an epic fantasy. A complex and intricate world that has so much to reveal. The biggest disappointment for me (and the part I was most worried about when I went into the story) was that I felt a bit lost. I struggled to connect to the characters because there was just so many, and it took me a while to get into it. I found myself latching onto a particular character (in my case, Ead), because I really enjoyed her storyline. Although I felt a bit lost in the other parts of the story, I’m glad I did focus on her because I felt much more connected to her character. I was so happy when the book became more and more focused on her particular story.

Some truths are safest buried. Some castles best kept in the sky.

The romance in this book was one of my favourite aspects of it. There is a slow burning, female/female romance which felt honest, raw and complicated. I appreciated their relationship so much, and the way they tackled life together reminded me of my own relationship with my boyfriend. They were honest with themselves and each other and I adored that about them. I also really enjoyed how this book explores gender issues and talks about women in power. It was so refreshing and some of the quotes were so good, I had to tab them!

I really liked most of the characters, and especially the mythical beings and animals. The way they were incorporated into the story felt so different and refreshing, I adored them. For some reason I expected the dragons to appear part way through the book, but I loved how they were in the story basically from the very start.

There’s promise in tales that are yet to be spoken.

I did have mixed feelings about this book, but I feel like it could have easily been a 5 star read for me if I understood a little more about the characters, the world, the politics and the royal families. There is just so much to take in and that this book has to give, and I feel like I’d love to reread it in the future, whether that be in a physical or audio version. I feel like it’s something I will enjoy more if I reread it, because this book will have something new to give with every read.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Boy Queen by George Lester

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Robin Cooper’s life is falling apart.
While his friends prepare to head off to university, Robin is looking at a pile of rejection letters from drama schools up and down the country, and facing a future without the people he loves the most. Everything seems like it’s ending, and Robin is scrabbling to find his feet.
Unsure about what to do next and whether he has the talent to follow his dreams, he and his best friends go and drown their sorrows at a local drag show, where Robin realises there might be a different, more sequinned path for him . . .
With a mother who won’t stop talking, a boyfriend who won’t acknowledge him and a best friend who is dying to cover him in glitter make up, there’s only one thing for Robin to do: bring it to the runway.

This book was every bit as fabulous as I expected it to be. Boy Queen follows Robin, who is struggling with knowing what to do when he gets turned down from his dream drama school. Surrounded by his friends, he ends up exploring the world of drag, and blimey it is a ride.

Look, I don’t know much about drag. I watched a bit of Drag Race yearssss ago, and I don’t remember much about it. But this book feels like a staple for those who love drag, and those who only know a little about it. As Robin is only just being introduced to the wonderful world of drag himself, I was very much along for the ride, and what a ride it was.

I absolutely adored the characters. Robin’s mum was my favourite. She was smart, she was sassy, and she loved Robin more than anything in the world. I loved every line she came out with, and the relationship between Robin and his mum was so heartwarming. The book never talks about why Robin and his mum live alone, and I actually really liked that. I’ve found a couple of books recently that don’t discuss single parent relationships in too much depth, and I find it really strong and a great thing to normalise. Not that it’s not important, it just wasn’t the story Boy Queen was here to tell, and that’s okay.

Robin was surrounded by a lovely, diverse group of friends who stand up for him when it really matters. They have their differences, which feels real and is done really well, but they also stick together. And Robin himself, the fabulous little drama queen he is, was a great protagonist to follow. He even made me properly laugh out loud in parts, which I find rarely happens with a book and I really appreciated!

I read this book in a couple of days, and although the pacing can be a little slow at times, it feels like an all-singing, all-dancing heart-warming pick me up. It was warm and fuzzy, but not without it’s family feuds, break ups and drama! What an absolutely sparkling YA debut! I can’t wait to see more from George Lester.

cw: homophobia, physical attack/abuse, homophobic slurs

★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

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Goodreads

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.
When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….
But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

So, going from I Wish You All the Best to this was a ride. I was not prepared for this much emotion, and once again, I don’t know if I can put into words how I feel about this book.

Felix is a trans boy who is still questioning his identity. He has a best friend called Ezra and goes to art school. And his story captured my heart. The thing about this book is it really allows the characters to be messy and real. Felix was far from perfect, and he made me angry at times. But I couldn’t help but forgive him because he was so soft and just trying to work out how he could be himself, in his own body.

I’m not flaunting anything. I’m just existing. This is me. I can’t hide myself. I can’t disappear. 

This book is about revenge. It’s about love. It’s about questioning your identity and coming to terms with yourself. It’s about family and friends and relationships. It’s freaking beautiful. Felix is constantly being bullied and struggling daily because of the negative way people treat him because he’s queer, Black and trans. And sometimes, he messes up. And the people around him mess up. But this book teaches so much about forgiveness, about being angry and being able to stand up for yourself and those around you.

I got through this so quickly, in just over 24 hours! I’ve been reading quickly at the moment anyway, but with this being over 350 pages, I thought it would take me a bit longer. But as soon as I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. It was so cleverly written, with a revenge plot and mystery thrown in too, that didn’t feel unrealistic or like it was forced in. It felt natural and I couldn’t help but be hooked by the story, I just wanted to find out what was going to happen.

And even if I could, I don’t f**king want to. I have the same right to be here. I have the same right to exist.

I had full body shivers/goosebumps at some parts of this book, especially at times that really meant a lot to Felix (I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t say any more than that!). I had tears in my eyes multiple times. Again, this book is just so needed right now. It was raw and honest and vulnerable. It will change lives.

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Loveless by Alice Oseman

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Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.
As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.
But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.
Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?

Oh my gosh. We don’t need to talk about how much I love Alice Oseman, but it has to be said that this is her best writing yet. I just clicked with it immediately in a way I haven’t with her other books – it captured me from the off and I didn’t want to stop reading. Georgia was such a relatable character who was struggling with finding out who she is, which I think is something we have all found in life, whatever sexuality.

Although I’m not asexual myself, I found Loveless made me reflect a lot on my own sexuality. Almost a year ago, I realised I am demisexual/demiromantic, which means I am only sexually and romantically attracted to people I have an emotional connection with. Some of the stark and raw conversations Georgia and her friends have about sex were so bold and relatable and we simply need more of this in YA. These conversations not only made me chuckle, but it taught me a lot about why I am the way I am with relationships and my sex life.

Give your friendships the magic you would give a romance.

I (mostly) loved the cast of characters. Although they could be annoying at times, I think it was only because they were all learning and discovering things about themselves, which only prompted the story to be more realistic and relatable. The discussions the characters had were not only heartfelt, but incredibly sex-positive and funny. Hardly any books make me actually laugh out loud, but I couldn’t stop chuckling!

The plot was entertaining, and even if a little predictable at times, I still loved it. The diversity was amazing. The casual way Oseman would drop in white privilege and racial issues had me reeling. If she can do it, anybody can do it. It’s just not that hard. The diversity felt natural, added to the story, avoided stereotypes and tokenism. It was executed with grace and thought.

The friendships were also so great and well written. The way this book showed how friendships are just as important as relationship is perfect. I have felt this so many times in my life, and I definitely agree that friendships are just as important and meaningful as romantic relationships are. There is still love and adoration and fear and intimacy. I cannot express how grateful I am for Alice to writing this and these characters and this book.

Because they’re just as important.

I think the underlying most important thing about this book is we need it so badly. We need more books discussing sexuality. Exploring how identifying as a certain sexuality might mean a different life and that this is not weird or bad. We need more sex-positive books that talk openly about sex lives and masturbation and how it varies for different people. We need for teenagers, children and adults to be able to see themselves in books. Loveless taught me so much about asexuality. If all books did what Alice Oseman has done, how much could we learn?

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Blog Tour + Review: Lot by Bryan Washington

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Goodreads | Waterstones

In the city of Houston – a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America – the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He’s working at his family’s restaurant, weathering his brother’s blows, resenting his older sister’s absence. And discovering he likes boys.
This boy and his family experience the tumult of living in the margins, the heartbreak of ghosts, and the braveries of the human heart. The stories of others living and thriving and dying across Houston’s myriad neighborhoods are woven throughout to reveal a young woman’s affair detonating across an apartment complex, a rag-tag baseball team, a group of young hustlers, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a local drug dealer who takes a Guatemalan teen under his wing, and a reluctant chupacabra.

Thank you to Darkroom Tours and the publisher, Atlantic Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

What a poignant and raw, emotional collection of voices. Lot is a short story assembly championing Black and Latinx working class voices, discussing racism, poverty, family, friendship and relationships. The stories felt strong, powerful and honest, really packing a punch.

All of the narrators were men, which I found really interesting but I actually really enjoyed. I thought this was a great way to highlight toxic masculinity and the spotlight men can be put under in certain situations, and how harmful this can be. I felt really grateful for how this was portrayed in the narration.

Your eyes will show you what they want to

This book felt alive, the narrators were brutal and had me gasping at times, and I felt like I was breathing alongside the men I was reading about, living their stories alongside them. It really captured me. I liked the short story aspect, and the narrators changing occasionally kept me on my toes, however I did enjoy coming back to the same narrator. I thought it was really inventive to read about the same stories of people in the same neighbourhood.

My biggest problem with this book was the lack of connection to the narrators. I’m unsure whether this was due to the short stories meaning we spent a fairly short amount of time with them, or something to do with not knowing their names or a lot about their lives, only seeing rough snippets and not much more. But the lack of connection ended up meaning a lot to me and changed my viewpoint of the book a lot.

or whatever they think you should see.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this book despite feeling distant from the characters themselves. It felt hard hitting and important, and it was unfortunate I felt like I was almost listening to these stories underwater – I just wish I could have felt more connected to them.

★★★
3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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ARC Review: How It All Blew Up by Arvin Ahmadi

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi always knew coming out to his Muslim family would be messy–he just didn’t think it would end in an airport interrogation room. But when faced with a failed relationship, bullies, and blackmail, running away to Rome is his only option. Right?
Soon, late nights with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel start to feel like second nature… until his old life comes knocking on his door. Now, Amir has to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to a US Customs officer, or risk losing his hard-won freedom.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I unfortunately went into this book with an already negative viewpoint as the author had twisted the words of a reviewer I personally know and attacked them on social media. However, I decided to push on anyway and pick this one up, more out of curiosity than anything.

The story follows Amir, who is 18 years old and earns money by writing Wiki articles for payment. When he is blackmailed with a photo of him kissing another boy, he uses his money to escape to Italy, where he befriends a group of older, gay men. This in itself felt problematic and somewhat predator-ish, how he was very quickly taken under the wing of these men, even living with one of them for a while and being made to feel uncomfortable by another, which appears to not change how his friends feel about this man at all, and has no negative impact on him. Even any other side characters were one-dimensional and unimaginative.

I wish I could say I enjoyed it other than that, but I’m far from done yet. As pointed out by other reviewers, this book does not take the opportunity to fully represent and discuss Muslim culture. Although the main character is Muslim himself, and makes it very plain that his sexuality would be a problem for his family due to their religion, this is the point in which the discussion of religion stops. Rather than feeling like I learned more about Muslim culture, I was left questioning whether Amir or his family even followed any Muslim practices as they are not at all mentioned in the narrative.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the problems for me. Although I adored the setting in Italy, Italian culture was very much stereotyped, full of pizza, pasta and Vespas. I’ve not visited Italy myself, but I’m damn sure there is more to it than that. I also want to bring up the subject of how panic attacks were represented, which, having suffered from panic attacks myself luckily only a couple of times in my life, felt completely unrealistic to me. Amir had a seemingly normal conversation with a guy in a bookshop, in which he seemed perhaps a little lovestruck. He then went back to his apartment and lay down, in which I thought ‘oh, he’s tired/going to have a nap’, and then proceeded to say how bad his panic attack had been. Now, I completely understand how different people experience panic attacks differently, but I was so disappointed by how this was represented. I had no idea Amir had had a panic attack, because he displayed no common symptoms. It felt like a missed chance to explain to the reader how a panic attack may feel, completely missing the mark for me.

That being said, I was intrigued by this book and absolutely sped through it, wanting to know what would happen next. Despite Italy being stereotypical, it made for a beautiful setting and I enjoyed the descriptions of the architecture and surroundings. Other than finding him vulnerable and frustrating, I liked Amir as a main character and sympathised with him. If this book didn’t have so many damn problems, I even might have enjoyed it. *sigh*

★★
2 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Date Me, Byrson Keller by Kevin van Whye

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before.
Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.
Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there’s more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he’s awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this “relationship” will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right?

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

I was so happy to receive an ARC from this through work. It caught my attention from the cover and synopsis, to the little rainbow Penguin logo on the spine. And I wasn’t wrong – I loved it.

This book drew my attention from the start, and I really liked the concept of the dare and Kai as a character. Although I was a little confused about his actions at times, I did sympathise with him quite a lot, and I found reading about the racism and homophobia he faced so heartbreaking. His friends and family were all brilliant, I love a good YA book that includes close family.

Although I found it difficult to like Kai’s parents at times, I really liked reading about some moments with them and his sister, Yazz, was just brilliant in every way. Kai’s supportive friends were lovely side-characters and so was Byrson and his family, the main scene in Bryson’s house warmed my heart so much.

The plot was so compelling, especially after the first half or so, and I ended up reading almost half of the book in an hour or two. I really enjoyed the pace, short chapters and day-by-day sections, and it made me rush through it and just want to read a couple of extra tables.

Overall, this was a great LGBT contemporary with some lovely family scenes and tackling difficult topics. I loved it!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

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Goodreads | Amazon

Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

Warning: spoilers ahead! No necessarily large plot spoilers, but discussions of major scenes.

I’m going to have to clear something up -this is mainly going to be a rant. So before I go all negative, I’m going to have to tell you that there is no doubt, this book is beautiful. The narrative is absolutely breathtaking, and reads like a classic. This isn’t always a good thing, but it is emotional, raw and naked. Too naked, in fact, and so pretensions it really p**sed me off, but in the end that is frankly the least of my problems.

Other positives! I loved the Italian setting, it was utterly beautiful. I also liked the characters and I need to mention the discussion between Elio and his dad at the end of the book. It was definitely the most heartwarming part of the entire novel for me and I loved it.

“If I could have him like this in my dreams every night of my life,”

Okay, with that over let’s get to why I’m rating this book 2 stars. For many reasons, this book made me extremely uncomfortable. The worst possible feeling a book can make me, when I turn to reading for relaxation and comfort. I know everyone talks about this, but I have to mention the infamous peach scene. For those who haven’t read the book, Elio has a very intimate relationship with a peach. At this point, I let this wash over me and dismissed it. So what? People have their kinks. And then this happened.

“What a crazy thing this was. I let myself hang back, holding the fruit in both hands, grateful that I hadn’t gotten the sheet dirty with either juice or come. The bruised and damaged peach, like a rape victim, lay on its side on my desk, shamed, loyal, aching, and confused, struggling not to spill what I’d left inside.”

No no no no. And more no. Something that all authors in the entire world should know – never ever refer to a sexual act as rape if you want us to like and relate to a character. What the actual f***.

The book continued to disgust me, with two other scenes I will mention. One, where Elio actually searched for pubic hairs in a bathing suit because he wanted to find them. Another, when he declared to his lover not to flush, because he wanted to not only see his poop but poop on top of it. His lover then kissed him on the lips and rubbed his stomach while he pooped.

I’m sorry but what. This is not romantic. It doesn’t prove how close these two people are, and it is not needed. All of this is creepy, weird and actually made me feel slightly sick.

“I’d stake my entire life on dreams and be done with the rest.”

So overall, I am going to watch the movie with the hope of this book being portrayed better on the big screen. I won’t deny that the writing is beautiful, but this book is too flawed and littered with issues for me to enjoy it.

★★
2 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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