Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke

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5stars

“Reminds me of myself,” Aiden had admitted. Smashed up and spread out, not ruined, but a little bit of a mess. A lot of a mess.

Title: Fortitude Smashed
Author: Taylor Brooke
Series: The Camellia Clock Cycle Book #1
Number of pages: 312 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: The character growth and the insight of the relationship.
Bad things about this book: Nothing. It has trigger warnings at the beginning so read them before starting the book.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it is something else but, beware, it feels like a hit or miss kind of book. I loved it!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This is my 100th book and with it I’ve officially completed this year’s Reading Challenge! Yay!

Imagine being born in a world free of homophobia with all the unjustified hate it comes with, being free to love whoever you like and being certain at some point in your life you’ll find your soul mate thanks to a clock installed on your thumbnail. Imagine how restless yet relieved you must feel knowing the time will come for you to love and be loved like nothing you’ll ever dreamed of. Imagine the possibilities. Imagine the euphoria. Imagine the pain of having and then maybe losing. Imagine.

This book enchanted me. It starts fast throwing the soul mate bomb right from the beginning. We meet Shannon, a 25-year-old detective, trying to catch a burglar in an art gallery. Said burglar is no other than Aiden, his Rose Road, his soul mate. The clock times out and it’s electrifying. Literary electrifying. Something awakes in both of them and no matter how much they want to fight it, there’s really no way the clock is wrong. There’s too much interest, too much chemistry, fate is not wrong.

“The world loves you.” Shannon sighed against his mouth. “And if it ever stops loving you, remember that I do.”

There’s not a “but he’s a guy” part. Why is that? At first it got me puzzled and I was anxiously waiting for the homophobic remarks but it seems that in this version of the world there is no such thing as sexual interests. They all like whomever they want to like, no exceptions, no one’s save. The sea has plenty of fish and all of them for you to choose. They might have different tastes, who doesn’t, but never and I repeat never people are questioned or looked differently because of the ones they love. I loved the little bet Shannon’s parents had going on about his Rose Road being a boy or a girl. See? If only the real world was this problem free. Shouldn’t be that hard. Guess it’s only my occasionally over optimistic brain at work again.

I now realize that everything I can say about the story might ruin it. I don’t even want to tell you about the characters, their backstories, because I’m afraid I’ll give too much up. The summary tells what’s necessary to know and that’s how I got hooked and that’s why I got all kinds of feelings reading it almost nonstop until I woke up yesterday a little hangover and the first thing I did before leaving the bed was finishing the last 20% I got left to read.

They kissed, messy and overwhelmed and honest, the kind of kiss that told a story—incomplete—but a story all the same.

This book is a journey. It’s slow and it doesn’t give you in detail everything that’s going on. It’s like a documentary on the lives of Shannon and Aiden from the day they found each other and found out they were each other’s Rose Road, each other’s soul mates. You see pieces of their lives from both their points of views. You see their fears, their pain, their past, their weaknesses, everything they have to fight to be the best version of themselves and open up to this new reality. It’s not over sexualized; there are not explicit sex scenes and, as much I never say no to those, I felt this book maintained its “I’ll give you just what you really need to know” vibe it had going on all along.

The new reality comes like lightning. It struck them and changes them, making both of them vulnerable, forcing them to believe that fate is real and it’s beautiful. I truly loved the concept of this book and the slowness of the events, how they happen when they’re supposed to happen, how they make you shake with anticipation and anxiety. I was constantly afraid, constantly fighting different feelings, constantly cheering and daydreaming. I was cuddled by the emotions and I felt myself relaxed a little into the story as I let it unfold. And it unfolded like magic. Magic like knowing you’ll find your soul mate to love but not taking it for granted because life gives but it also takes so you cherish it, protect it, save it if necessary, and open your heart to all the possibilities your future have from the day the clock flashes 00:00.

“You’re my best kept secret, Aiden. You’re the most vibrant thing in the room, artwork unlike any other.”

I think this book is wonderful and it touched every fiber in me. I find myself smiling thinking about it. I feel a little bit like the painting “Fortitude Smashed”: nature and art mixed, bright colours, fragile, one of a kind, kind of messy, a strong will and a fighter. Art that gets noticed, it is loved but it’s also misunderstood.

“Reminded me of you,” Shannon said. It was easy to say because it was the truth, but if he had to explain it, Shannon feared he might ruin everything.

I loved this with all my heart. So many feelings, tears and happiness. The struggles, the self-sabotaging, the pain, the suffering, the love hard and real and overwhelming. It was deep and it was great. A book I will remember and keep with me from today on.

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This scene broke me. I was laughing so hard I had to stop reading for a while and focus real hard to start breathing again.

“Gardenia?” Warmth pooled in Aiden’s abdomen, spreading out into the rest of him like unruly vines. “They don’t give you cop-scented soap with your uniform?” Aiden felt Shannon’s smile pressed between his shoulder blades at the top of his spine.
“You don’t like it?”
“That’s not what I said.”
“What do you use? Ice Pick? Eagle Screech?”

How ridiculous are some of real life “for male” bath products? Let’s make it male, real male: black, grey or dark blue and with an awful improbable name, that’s it!

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Could You Love An Apple? by Becky Jerams

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5stars

He felt ready to put on his armour and fight until every last demon was finally defeated.

Title: Could You Love An Apple?
Author: Becky Jerams
Good things about this book: BENJAMIN APPLE!
Bad things about this book: It’s long and many things can go wrong when a book is long.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

>> Beware; this is going to be a review full of quotes because I love quotes, quotes are the best

Once upon a time there was a beautiful boy who in the past made really terrible mistakes and, even if people around him has somehow forgiven him, it was very hard to convince himself that he was a person worth being with, a person worth loving.

This book has 500+ pages and has every single quality of a Netflix original series:
1) You will go through all range of the emotion spectrum;
2) You will laugh, cry, shake your head, be mad, scream, want to shake some sense out of characters for being dumb;
3) You will love every second of it;
4) You will want to binge read the hell out of it in a single sitting if time and responsibilities allow;
5) You will finish only to feel happy yet empty inside.

Every time someone smiled at him or treated him kindly, it felt so thoroughly undeserved that it made Taylor’s skin crawl.

How can you not love a book like that? It will test your patience. Believe me, it tested my patience and I am a very patient person. There were times I wanted to put it in stand-by because it was making me feeling anxious and a little, let’s say, murdery. I was angry at everything and everyone because I could see how the world would’ve been with them happy and together and it seemed that the only ones in their way to happiness were themselves.

Taylor Raven has left his family and city behind to start anew. But the past is not easy to forget, forgive or get away from. We know the horrible things he’s done to Scotty in the previous book “Reasons to Love a Nerd Like Me” but we also know that by the end of the book he has redeemed himself and we see at the beginning of this book that Scotty and co has forgiven Taylor and now they are friends. Taylor knows all of this but he doesn’t feel worth having friends or people around him. He thinks he is toxic. He thinks he’s not going to find love because how can he deserve it after everything?

“I made his life a fucking misery.”
“Because you liked him?” Benjamin asked aloud. Taylor clenched his fists together into an angry ball.
“No. Because I loved him.”

Taylor is not an easy person. He has anger episodes and a lot of internal issues caused by his family, especially his father, and by what he’s done alongside his bully friends in college. He thinks nobody will bother him in Westerfield but being a small town where everyone knows one another, is hard escaping people trying to get to know you better.

“I can’t believe this. I’ve stayed out all night in another man’s bed and I don’t have any clean clothes. I don’t even have a toothbrush! My mum is going to be disgusted with me. I’ll be a family disgrace.”

One day, trying to get away from people and his lonely flat, he stumbles upon a little pub called The Apple Inn. The pub looks quite rustic and the customers are scarce, almost non-existent. The Apple family runs the Apple Inn and they are lovely people. George and Sharon are loving parents, Ashleigh is a bubbly teenager and a very slow barman, and Benjamin is the adorable ginger cook/barman/artist who thinks Taylor is the most interesting thing that has happened in his life in a very long time.

“Is that all you’ve got to say?” Taylor grunted in response, still holding onto Benjamin firmly. “Oh bother?”
“It felt like a very ‘oh bother’ kind of moment.”

Benjamin is the most beautiful and adorable boy and he deserves the world. He is funny, some may think he tries too much, but it’s not like that, he likes making people laugh and he is genuinely lovable. He is very tall, ginger like Garfield (his words not mine), is very good at drawing and is trying his best to help his family run the pub, even if it means he had to put his future on hold.

“Stop being so soppy, get off me!”
“NO! YOU WILL ACCEPT MY ADVANCES WILLINGLY!”

I can’t begin to explain how much I love Benjamin. And I also loved Benjamin with Taylor. I knew how good Benji’s personality was making Taylor realize he could have it all. It was scary and he still had a lot to reveal about himself. What would adorable Benjamin think of Taylor after he learns what he’s done, what he was capable of doing?

“People tell me I’m very charming.”
He was joking, but at the same time it was completely true. “Oh, people tell you that do they? What people?”
“My mum.”

This was a rollercoaster of emotions. As soon as something nice was happening I knew it wasn’t going to last because, come on, I was only at 30%, how could things be perfect if the book was only at the beginning? I was scared all the time. Everything that could go wrong was destined to go wrong. They was no way of escaping it and maybe that’s for the best because that way Taylor could really face his demons, defeat them, move on and be happy.

I will recommend it and I will keep on loving it. I already loved Becky Jerams for Scotty’s story and now my love is confirmed with this book. I am putting her on my authors-I-love list; she deserves it.

“I’ve seen you knock things over so artfully, I thought for sure you were training for the next Olympics.”

^^^Oh, how I love my beautiful goofy ginger angel!

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The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

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“Someday, Locke Lamora,” he said, “someday, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”
“Oh, please,” said Locke. “It’ll never happen.”

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)

 

Title: The Lies of Locke Lamora
Author: Scott Lynch
Why you should read this book: You have to read this if you like mystery and action and twists at every corner!

Summary from Goodreads:

The Thorn of Camorr is said to be an unbeatable swordsman, a master thief, a ghost that walks through walls. Half the city believes him to be a legendary champion of the poor. The other half believe him to be a foolish myth. Nobody has it quite right.

Slightly built, unlucky in love, and barely competent with a sword, Locke Lamora is, much to his annoyance, the fabled Thorn. He certainly didn’t invite the rumors that swirl around his exploits, which are actually confidence games of the most intricate sort. And while Locke does indeed steal from the rich (who else, pray tell, would be worth stealing from?), the poor never see a penny of it. All of Locke’s gains are strictly for himself and his tight-knit band of thieves, the Gentlemen Bastards.

Locke and company are con artists in an age where con artistry, as we understand it, is a new and unknown style of crime. The less attention anyone pays to them, the better! But a deadly mystery has begun to haunt the ancient city of Camorr, and a clandestine war is threatening to tear the city’s underworld, the only home the Gentlemen Bastards have ever known, to bloody shreds. Caught up in a murderous game, Locke and his friends will find both their loyalty and their ingenuity tested to the breaking point as they struggle to stay alive.

“You write?”
“Why, all the time,” said Locke, “except of course when I’m wrong.”

It took me a long time to finish this book, not because I didn’t like it but because of so many other distractions, one being Pokemon Go. I am a pokemon trainer since I was a little girl; it was impossible for me not playing. That being said I have to admit this book was amazing! It has what I love about movies and books, the suspense, the thrill, the mystery, the charm. It has it all and I love it all!

“Very noted,” said Locke. “Received, recognized, and duly considered with the utmost gravity. Sealed, notarized, and firmly imprinted upon my rational essence.”

Locke Lamora is a thief. He loves being one and he is being one since he was very little. He is now a member of the Gentlemen Bastards and they do naughty things to rich people. I don’t want to say much about the book because without living it, it won’t do it justice. Read it, it’s long but it’s worth it. I started it because it has high ratings and I was sincerely curious about it. Then I noticed people I follow rated it highly and it convinced me a bit more. I thank them all for unknowingly recommending this marvelous book to me.

“You should try eating for quantity as well as consistency. I believe I once mentioned that you looked like a skeleton.”

Locke Lamore is described as a scrawny and ugly fellow who can charm his way out of any situation. I couldn’t disagree more with the ugly part. In my head he was charming as hell and that quality gave him the right looks, the hot looks. I have a lot of types when it comes to looks so maybe he was my type also being as ugly as they described him. Who knows?

“You’ve got that motherly concern in your eyes, Jean. I must look like hammered shit.”
“Actually, you look like you were executed last week.”

The Gentlemen Bastards are five male specimen, not counting the leader Chains who died in an unknown part of the story: my beloved Locke, soft but deadly Jean, the handsome twins Galdo and Calo and the youngest one, lurking master Bug. I would love to write everything I thought and loved about each one of them but spoilers are holding me back. I don’t want to spoil the story and I think everything I love about them is spoilerish! Sorry about that. Sorry about this messy review that it’s not a review at all.

Let me conclude saying this book was a rollercoaster of emotions and some parts left me breathless. The plans they plotted were amazing, so detailed and smart. The twists were mainly unexpected, I truly didn’t see the most of them coming. Good, I love surprises I can’t guess!
The secret, I want to know the secret!! Will I know the secret reading the following books? Jean knows and I feel that it’s my right to know it, too. Come on, tell me, I know how to keep a secret!

“Crooked Warden,” he whispered, “I’m going into this countinghouse, and I’m going to come out with what I need. I’d like your aid. And if I don’t get it, well, to hell with you. I’ll come out with what I need anyway.”

That’s Locke for you, love him!

Do I recommend it? I will recommend this to everyone so yes, I do.
Rate: 5/5

Random Update: Look how beautiful is the japanese cover of this book! It’s also quite expensive but totally worth every yen!

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All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

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“When the whole world turns chaotic, we must be the better part of chaos.”

Title: All the Birds in the Sky
Author: Charlie Jane Anders
Why you should read this book: Because there is magic and there is science and there is an apocalypse. You know you’re curious!

Summary Goodreads:

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.

But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s ever growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together—to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the Apocalypse.

Society is the choice between freedom on someone else’s terms and slavery on yours.

You know the feeling when something looks really weird and different but it makes totally sense to you and it makes you feel good? Well, that’s how I feel about this book. It has very unusual things in it but overall it works perfectly fine. It can shake you a little because of “surprise flash-forwards” with later on the flashback explanation for what happened.

It really is different, it’s an adventure you live with the characters. You will find yourself trying to figure out whom to side with: magic or science. Nature or technology? It’s a tough decision but maybe it’s a decision we don’t have to make. I had a side, then change it, then change it again, then I simply decided to side with the two main characters, not matter what side they were in.

“A society that has to burn witches to hold itself together is a society that has already failed, and just doesn’t know it yet.”

Patricia has magic in her, she knew since she was a little girl. Talking to a bird was her first act of magic, then for years, nothing. Laurence is a tech genius and he wants to become a revolutionary scientist. These two opposite young people are alone; they only have each other as friends to help them get on with the weirdness that is their lives. How are they going to become functioning adults if the adults present in their lives can’t understand them and aren’t willing to give it a try? Patricia’s parents don’t believe her, ever. They always listen only to her big sister and they lock her in her room for days. That is so very wrong and I really hated them for it. You can’t punish your child without listening to her side of the story and opening your mind and try believing her.

Laurence from his side has parents who don’t want him to have ambitions. He wants to transfer to a science oriented school but no, they don’t think that’s what best for him. Your kid took a serious decision for his young age and you don’t take it into consideration not even for a minute. That’s not how parents are supposed to be. The first part of the book had me angry at these adult figures ruining Laurence and Patricia’s life just because they could, because they are adults and what they say is law. I was so mad you have no idea.

“Children,” said Theodolphus Rose, “are adults who haven’t yet learned to make fear their hand puppet.”

Flash-forward Laurence and Patricia are adults and each on one different side of the world’s story. Patricia is a full witch, trying to save the world from the people in it with simple magic and curses. Laurence, now a genius scientist, is trying to save the planet from the seemingly impendent apocalypse in a rather unconventional but typical “blockbuster movie” way.

But if you’re clever and lucky and work your butt off, then you get to be surrounded by people who expect you to be the person you wish you were.

Magic and technology are trying to do the same thing, save the world, in different ways. Are their solutions the only ones available? Why do they think they can play God and decide things all by themselves risking the lives of innocent people and animals?

It was frustrating when you were a child how adults pretended not to hear your opinions and dissed them as unimportant, but when you are an adult it seems you are not adult enough to be right and they still won’t listen to your side of the story; they keep saying you only want to be right but it’s not a wanting to be right, it’s just that you want to express your opinion and you want them to listen properly.

I liked Laurence and Patricia a lot, with their flaws and everything. I loved a side character that is similar to another side character from another book. It looks that I have a type and that type is a little different from the usual.
Reading this book was great, it got me thinking about life, magic, science, visiting other planets, love, friendship and family. It touches a little bit of everything and it does it just the way I like it.

Do I recommend it? Yes, it has everything I love.
Rate: 4/5

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The Rules of Ever After by Killian B. Brewer

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“Your happiness shouldn’t deny another’s happiness. Don’t ever try to deny a person their happily ever after.”

Title: The Rules of Ever After
Author: Killian B. Brewer
Why you should read this book: Because it’s a fairytale and it is adorable!

Summary from Goodreads:

The rules of royal life have governed the kingdoms of Clarameer for thousands of years, but Prince Phillip and Prince Daniel know that these rules don’t provide for the happily ever after they seek. A fateful, sleepless night on top of a pea under twenty mattresses brings the two young men together and sends them on a quest out into the kingdoms. On their travels, they encounter meddlesome fairies, an ambitious stepmother, disgruntled princesses and vengeful kings as they learn about life, love, friendship and family. Most of all, the two young men must learn to know themselves and how to write their own rules of ever after.

“He is the beauty of my woods.”

Lovely and adorable book about everything I love. I love many things but give me a prince, a princess, a knight, kingdoms and adventures and I’m certainly going to love it.

The author gave me 2 wonderful princes, meant to fall in love and be together against all odds. Then he gave me a lot of badass princesses willing to go against the rules to get themselves their happily ever after. What else? He gave me a knight, a beautiful, funny and brave knight with a thirst for adventures. And finally, he gave me a scribe, an adorable little guy with the talent to write every event he’s seen during his life.

“This is the answer to Phillip’s marriage problem.”
“I don’t have a marriage problem. I’m not married. No problem.”

Rules, rules, rules! Our Phillip is stuck with so many rules he has to obey that his life is always boring an uneventful. His stepmother wants him to marry the princess who can pass the pea under 20 mattresses test. Phillip doesn’t want to get married to a princess; he likes princes so he does everything is his power to make the poor princesses fail. This brings so many hilarious situations in the future that he can’t imagine!

“Well, Philly,” she said and shrugged, “it appears Thora was right, and your gate swings to that side of the pasture!”

Thanks to this silly test, he meets Prince Daniel. Daniel is wandering the kingdoms with his knight and best friend, James, to find a cure for his insomnia curse. Two years without sleeping, don’t sound fun at all. Fate wants that Daniel is also interest in princes rather than princesses. Isn’t fate wonderful? Unfortunately, there’s an evil witch because a fairytale without a witch is not possible. This evil sorcerer, she is also Phillip’s stepmother, wants to rule the kingdoms and she is willing to do anything to succeed.

“Oh, Sleeping Heavenly Peas! Best investment I ever made.”

What happens? She does evil things that take our princes, followed by Peter the scribe, James the knight, and a mystery guest, to wander from one kingdom to another to look for help to defeat the witch. Little they know that the princesses, who failed the “pea test” and were declared unfitted to be princesses by the evil witch, are out there and they want revenge on our very own Prince Phillip. What he thought was an innocent trick not to marry any of them, was instead the bringer of suffering on the poor girls.

“Come on. We need to go rescue the damsel in distress from herself.”

Not very poor, they have very strong personalities and they sure know what they want. They won’t have the ridiculous rules tell them what to do with their lives. That’s exactly what Prince Phillip needs; he knows he can’t marry a woman but he thinks he can’t marry a man because the rules say a man and a woman must marry, become king and queen, reign over a kingdom and produce heirs etc etc. The rules are stupid! Phillip will grow so much throughout the book from these encounters and he will gain so much from each one of them.

“I sat around for two years waiting for someone to come along and fix my problems. No one came, and nothing changed. Then I realized that maybe the person I was waiting for was me. So I went out to find my own answers.”

The author is using these fairytales references to show us how dumb our society is. Giving us standard behaviors to follow, a mold to fit in, and only one thing to believe in. That’s not fair because the beauty about being human is that we can choose the path that suits us, may it be the path chosen by others or a totally different path we choose for ourselves. Our path may change: what I like today, I won’t like tomorrow or I will like it forever. There’s not a rule, how can there be a rule if we evolve everyday learning from what’s around us, from our mistakes and experiences?

“Believe it or not, some people are happy just to see you be happy.”

The beauty about this book is that it’s magical, it takes you to many different kingdoms but you still feel like it’s a contemporary book. It has all the elements mixed perfectly in an adorable fairytale with beautiful characters and overwhelming feelings, feelings fueled by anger, adventure, family, friendship, and love.

So, long story short: If you don’t like it, change it.

Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s lovely and it deserves to be read, of that I am sure.
Rate: 4/5

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Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson ☆

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“In the back of my head, in some distant unaffected place, I wonder why it is that I like looking at this guy so much. The simple act of directing your eyes at somebody else shouldn’t be all-consuming, should it? That seems weird. Impractical.”

Title: Know Not Why
Author: Hannah Johnson
Why you should read this book: Because it is one of the funniest and sweetest book I have read in a while.

Summary from Goodreads:

Howie gets a job at Artie Kraft’s Arts ‘N Crafts hoping to score with his lady coworkers. After all, girls love a sensitive guy, and what’s more sensitive than dedicating your life to selling yarn and … stuff? (Okay, so maybe it’d be a good idea to actually learn what one sells at an arts ‘n crafts store.) But things don’t go exactly according to plan. Coworker #1 is Cora: tiny, much-pierced, and way too fierce to screw with in any sense. Coworker #2 is Kristy: blonde, bubbly, unattainable perfection. And Coworker #3 is, well, Arthur. It goes without saying that he’s not an option. Right?
… Right?
Yeah, Howie’s life just got straight up confusing.
Pun intended.

“You know, I don’t think it’s worth it to deny yourself happiness just so you can stay faithful to the person you think you’ve become.”

I couldn’t put it down, I loved this book so much, I want to recommend it to the world but then I get a little territorial and I want to keep it to myself forever. Leave me alone with my feelings, ok?

This is not mainly a romance lgbtq m/m book. This book is about self-realization, about how to come to terms with what you are, with understanding what makes you happy and go forward head high. I love that there’s a little bit of everything, not much drama, not much tears, pure love, joy and happiness. You know what I also loved about this book? That the characters weren’t too young. Arthur is 26 years old while Howie is 22. Arthur is closer to my age and that makes me a little happy.

“Oh, Artie. You’re handkerchiefing me?”
“It’s a Kleenex,” he protests.
“Still.” I grin at him. “You classy gent.”

Howie is the main character of this book, he is 22 years old, goes to community college, english major, lives at home with her mother, has a twin brother who is much more everything than he is. He has 2 best friends and a mission to get laid soon. What can he do to get that result? He decided to get a job at a local arts and crafts shop where he is sure cute girls work. He has no idea what is really going to happen once he starts working there, it will be an enlightening experience that will change his life forever, for the best. Oh boy, if you knew, if you knew!

“Please, boytoy mine. I live large. And fast. Always.”

Howie is seriously hilarious, he invents and uses complex words, his inner monologues about random stuff are the best, he is constantly making me laugh like there’s no tomorrow. He starts working in the arts and crafts shop only to get a girl. He has no idea who he is going to get: our dear, fabulous, smirk-enthusiast Arthur Kraft Jr., the boss and a few years older than Howie. Something that I don’t want to reveal happens and Howie is confused. He has never had luck with girls, he thought there was something wrong with him but now he is thinking that maybe he has always being in denial about his sexuality and now he wants to find out what he feels.

“He gives me a slight smile. I simultaneously want to, like, build shrines to it and punch it off his face. It’s complicated.”

I loved that the road for this discovery isn’t “traumatic”, he understands there is nothing to do about how he feels about Arthur, he likes him a lot so they start dating without further ado. Their story is often on the background because that’s not what the story is about but their relationship is adorable, simple and I’m sure it will go on and on forever, happily ever after. Howie has to deal with telling the people he knows about this epiphany about himself. He doesn’t want to ruin what he has with his friends, his mother and his brother even if he lives elsewhere and they barely talk.

This is what he thinks about Arthur after he told him he was having corndogs for breakfast:
But I’ve got a crazy old bastard trying to force-feed me citrus in the name of my own health, and that? That’s not something I’d trade.

From reading the book I know for sure that his friends, Amber and Mitch, are going to be ok with it but he is just not ready to face them with this news. He wants to have two lives, the one he already have with his friends and mom believing he’s straight and horny about girls, and the other life in the shop with his new friends Kristy and Cora and his handsome boyfriend Arthur. He will lie a lot, those lies will be revealed, tears will be shed, hugs will be given, punch will be thrown, but things will untangle smoothly and that’s exactly what I wanted in a story. Pure happiness, little to no drama!

“You look like you’re about to start playing the world’s saddest song on its tiniest little violin,” Arthur informs me. “And then hug a kitten, and paint a rainbow, and watch Titanic whilst weeping profusely.”

Arthur is the best, I loved him from the very beginning, so composed and a little bit of a nerd. He and Howie are opposites and that makes them special together. Howie drinks coffee with 5 bags of sugar, Arthur drinks only tea, Howie listens to popular music, Arthur listens only to classical music and plays the piano, Howie eats unhealthy fast food, Arthur cooks his own healthy meals. Arthur is very patient and that’s what Howie needed during this period of realization. Those two are meant for each other.

“It’s an upholstered footstool–”
“A footstool? You paid five hundred bucks for a stool…for feet?”
“It was a very good deal. It’s antique–”
“You really are gay, aren’t you?”
“Really? This is what confirms it? Not all the sex that I could have sworn you were present for, but a piece of furniture–”

This is Arthur at McDonald’s for the very first and probable the last time and if you don’t think this is adorable then you are wrong and you can get out:
Arthur stares at the menu the way a time-traveling seventeenth century Puritan would watch a Lady Gaga music video. *I love you, Arthur*

Howie teasing Arthur gives me life and it’s honestly one of the best things about this book. I won’t deny nor confirm that will read this again sooner than later.

“You didn’t like Mamma Mia?” I ask, feeling like I just got kicked.
“I’m not even really sure what it is,” Arthur replies, frowning thoughtfully.
Useless bastard.

Do I recommend it? Yes, yes and yes.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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