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Oh, Derrick McClain, you hit a home run with this one.
He brought Gustavo Tiberius to life, made Casey Richards so much more than just an asexual stoner hipster, and I loved what he did to make Lottie and We Three Queens so real.
ALL THE STARS FOR THIS. ALL OF THEM.
This. This was...awesome and fantastic and wonderful and heartwarming and touching and sad and funny and just...I want to fangirl all over this so hard. But in a totally not gross way.
Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. After his father, Pastor Tommy dies, Gus settles into a his daily routine. It's very much a wash, rinse, repeat kind of life until the day he and his ferret, Harry S. Truman, walk into Lottie's Lattes and he meets Casey Richards, a stoner hipster who turns his world upside down.
Gus is immediately both repelled and fascinated by Casey...but more time spent with Casey makes Gus want something he's never really thought to want before: he decides he wants to be "normal" so he can be with Casey. What follows is both touching and hilarious as Gus sets about trying to be the best normal person he can be with some interesting results.
This story about a man who accepts everyone, even if he's snarky about it, gave me so many feels. I got a total heart boner. Seriously, this story good touched me all over my heart.
There are three things I expect from a TJ Klune story: 1. To laugh. Oh, how I laughed. I laughed a lot. 2. To have wookie-cry-face at some point. Yep, that happened too. The laughs and the feels in this are more muted than in other TJ stories, but no less magnificent. And 3. To learn something. Which I did. I learned a little more about acceptance, asexuality, and being true to yourself.
I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS ENOUGH. Buy this book. Now. Go. Seriously. Go get this book right now!
21 of 22 people found this review helpful
I have a definite preference when it comes to M/M romance and or M/M paranormal fantasy and this story is definitely abnormal for me as a choice, but am so very glad that I did take the chance and brought it into my library.
I, as a rule, do not write reviews as I feel everybody has their own set of filters or ground rules that shape their own criteria of what constitutes a "good story".
So maybe if I give a little background someone of a similar disposition will find this helpful...
I did a tour of duty for 8 years and then got out of the Army. I never regretted either joining or leaving when I did, proud of my service and got an Honorable Discharge and all that...
My childhood was split between Alaska and Washington and consisted of fun, hard work, hunting, fishing; surrounded by first a fishing environment and then a farming one, both environments promoted a definite ideal of accepted sexuality and/or masculinity....
Given all that, I found myself smiling, laughing, mourning and quietly rooting and cheering on Gustavo and Casey.
The idea of building a friendship and relationship where the focal point is just that -- the friendship and relationship -- and where the carnal physicality is not the core or predominant element as a romance story is probably a tough story to sell, but TJ Klune does a wonderful job in this story with Gus and Casey....
All that to say, give this book a try, you may find yourself quietly but delightfully surprised.....
Need to give Derrick McClain his due as well, I think this is the first time I've had the pleasure of one of his performances, for what it is worth I will start to watch for his name on other titles, I thoroughly enjoyed his interpretation and performance as a story teller.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
I've got a fair few of TJ Klune's books on Audible and I do enjoy them immensely but this is the first book I've listened to with this narrator and it's taken it into a new level of enjoyment. This is simply beautifully performed and I know that as soon as I've finished (one chapter left!) I'm going to go straight back to the beginning and start it again. The characters are so easy to like, the love story unusual and compelling and the narrator does an equally wonderful job of comedy and pathos. Yes it's long (it seems to be TJ Klune's trademark) but this is the first book of the author's that I haven't got a little bit impatient with as the story played out and I put that down to this brilliant narrator. I'll definitely be seeking out more of his work and can throughly recommend this as one of TJ Klune's most outstanding works.
Made all the better by a Stellar narration. I'm sure other drivers thought I had a screw loose with all the laughing I've done. The tears however are another subject! Tj Klune is a master wordsmith.