by Brontez Purnell
🤘🤘🤘 (three stars, as rated in rock and roll hands because of the ending. 🙊)
I was given a free advanced reader copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My, oh my. How to go about reviewing this. My words here are going to be a bit of a stumbly mess that I’ll likely end up revising later. Please don’t hold it against me. I’m reeling from the emotional journey.
First, I’m not entirely sure if this book was meant to all be consumed as if told from a single character or like a collection of short stories? I’m going to assume being vague on that point was strategic and intentional in that the narrator seemed to actually dissociate from their own story at times while they were telling it which I actually really dug and empathized with. Given that there was also a great deal of trauma detailed in this book, I can only imagine as to the author’s reasoning for so much of the switching around. Soooo, I am going to assume that these encounters were all told from POV of one character despite the occasional name changes and even though the narration style shifts rather frequently between third and first person; sometimes within a single paragraph. If I‘m wrong in doing that, I apologize.
ALSO, do not take this criticism or reflection to mean that I didn’t enjoy the book. While I was very often confused by it, I rather loved the thing. A lot. It was intriguing, illuminating, entertaining and even heart-wrenching at times to read of this man (these men’s? Ugh I can’t decide!) dating exploits. Life and love from the perspective of a gay black man is something I need more of in my life. And my lack of context with which to understand this book can not be held against it. The more that I sit with these adventures in sex and dating, the more that I can relate to and am even inspired by them? So that’s… unexpected but appreciated. I want more from this author, for sure. And would recommend this book to anyone looking for a raw, unfiltered perspective on casual dating. Do not read this book if you do poorly with cringe-worthy moments and laughing when you probably shouldn’t. This book is not for the faint of heart. And oh how I love it for that.
Content Warnings for this book: sexual assault, casual sex, bdsm, roleplaying, HIV and AIDS, homophobia, racism, racist imagery, infidelity, sex work, child abuse, absent parent, drug use
First book of the year down! What are y’all working your way through these days? Anything I should add to my immediate TBR?