So when I initially read the blurb for this, I got to the part that mentioned hula hooping, rolled my eyes, and clicked right past it. But for some reason the hula hooping idea totally stuck with me and got me more and more curious, so I decided to see read some of the reviews and see if it was worth a shot. I got to Lisa Henry's
review and got excited enough to not only buy the book, but to move it to the top of my tbr pile.
And I'm so glad! This book was great! It was unique (in more ways than just the hula hooping), it didn't feel like a story I've read millions of times before, and I've found myself still thinking about the characters even days after I finished.
The characters were definitely unique. I found myself rather frequently wondering whether Jesse might not have Asperger's, given his difficulty interacting with others. He frustrated me so many times with his stubbornness and his obliviousness and his frequent total lack of empathy. But then the way he is with Sim is just incredible and touching and so sweet.
And Sim was so fun to get to read about! I appreciated the times when he himself was confused as to why he was so attracted to Jesse, because getting to see his thought process helped me understand the answer to that also.
The two of them together, illogical a pairing as they are, was pure magic. They balanced each other out exactly the way I think characters in romance novels should: they made each other better and stronger by being together.
One of my favorite things about this was the freedom that Jesse and Sim gave each other to explore different aspects of their personalities and their sexuality. I loved that they were both so honest with each other and so open to experimenting and trying new things. And I loved that neither tried to classify their relationship or their roles in it, but that they both got to try different things out together.
I also just adored the writing style. So many times I'd be reading a description of something and just end up totally cracking up at the way it was phrased. Some examples:
"The booth was small. You wouldn't be able to shut more than four people in there without them having to vote on which one to kill so the others could get enough oxygen."
"I left him, not gaping exactly, but mildly surprised, as though I had whapped him in the face with a shoelace."
"Jesse held up a hand to silence me. I felt a sudden and very potent urge to tear his hand off and slap him with it."
"Between the stammering, the furious flush in his cheeks, the lowered eyes, and the anxiously clenched fists, I'd give it about a 7.5, as apologies went."
"I would like to inform you that after reviewing my comments from last night, I have found several of them lacking in sensitivity. If you will accept my apology, I will go through these statements one by one and analyze their fallacious logic."
This book was fun and unique and delightful and the characters have stuck with me more than any I've encountered recently. Highly recommended!