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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