I haven't had this much fun reading a book in the longest time! Howie is a hilarious, snarky, sarcastic, sweet, naive, fascinating narrator and I totally fell in love with him right from the start. I have a habit of highlighting phrases or passages that I like, and honestly like 1/2 of this book is highlighted. I can't even remember how many times I ended up totally laughing out loud at some of the bits in here.
And Howie and Arthur together... magical! I adored that Ms. Johnson took the time to let their relationship develop as slowly as it needed to. So many gfy/ofy stories end up coming across as ridiculous because everything seems to happen so quickly. That being said, however, I was very glad we got to be in Howie's head rather than Arthur's because if I hadn't know what Howie was thinking through some of those middle parts I might have started to hate him a little bit. Just with the wanting to keep things secret, and being so oblivious and hyper-sensitive. Even getting to see his thought processes I still was frustrated with him for what he was putting Arthur through. And was SO glad he got over it quickly and stopped trying to hide and deny who he was and what Arthur was to him.
Much as I adored Howie as the narrator, I might even love Arthur as his love interest even more. Arthur's patience and his tolerant understanding of what Howie was going through made me want to take his side when Howie was being a dick, even though I was in Howie's head.
Another thing I LOVED about this book were the secondary characters. So often in m/m, the female side characters are stereotypes, and I enjoyed SO much that these weren't. They all seemed like real people, with strengths and weaknesses, interests and fears. And they were all the more interesting because of it.
Such a great, fun book! One of my favorites I've read this year. (Plus, any book where there's an accurate description of WHY acrylic yarn is icky to work with can't be less than 5 stars! :P)
"Poor sorry bastard. It really isn't his day.
"I'm pretty sure 'whatever's' not a word you're supposed to let slip in front of your boss, unless you're saying it enthusiastically and following it with 'you want,' but I haven't been up this early in months, and he's making me wear an apron. I can suck at this a little."
"I'm sick of thinking, and so I don't. Every time a thought threatens to traipse into my brain, I stop it in its little thought-tracks and put more effort into staring in front of me."
"He's got this slight, relaxed smile on his face, like he probably doesn't even know he's smiling, like it's laughter left over."
"I pause, because I've just followed him into the living room, and amongst the pastel colors and the fairy lights strung across the walls and the eighty zillion cute throw pillows, there's-- 'What the hell is that?'
I know what it is. It's a poster. A poster of--
'Kittens,' Arthur says, with great resignation, 'dressed like angels. Well,' he amends, 'cherubs, to be precise, I think. Ergo the--'
'Diapers,' I say, mesmerized.
'Precisely,' he sighs."
"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."
"I don't want to seem eager. I'm not
eager. Just ... curious. Not, like, cat-death-curious. A healthy amount of curious. George-curious."
"And you know, as far as I
know, I'm straight, too. I'm just having a slight man-digging episode."
"Who would have thought that getting a job at an arts and crafts store would have resulted in knowing so many great humans?"
"God, he is the best ever human."
"We've done what needed doing in order to make us wind up here."