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julesmarie

The Book High

I've always said I'll read anything, and I really do mean that. Lately M/M romance has had my interest, but fantasy and sci-fi were my first loves and will always hold a special place in my heart. I also love histories and biographies.

Currently reading

The Mists of Avalon
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Shakespeare After All
Marjorie Garber
A Strong Hand - Catt Ford Okay, I'm having a hard time knowing where to start with this review. Goodreads recommended this one to me, and I've had mostly positive experiences from their recommendations in the past. With this one, however, I nearly gave up after like 15%. I came back and looked it up here and it had so many positive reviews, I wondered if I was reading the same book.

Up to 15%, we still know nothing about either of the characters. All we know is that Nick works for photographer Damian to pay for college. We don't know what he's studying or why he applied for a job as an assistant when he obviously doesn't like it (spends the first few scenes dropping stuff or accidentally-on-purpose kicking stuff). We also don't know why Damian hired Nick, other than his comment to his friend that he was basically the least worthless of the applicants.

So, that's what we know. Nick's bratty, and Damian grumbles at him a lot. Then comes one night after a photo shoot and Damian out of the blue announces he wants Nick to help him test the light for a shot for the next day and orders him to strip. And Nick does it! No bratty comments, no surprised questions, just an implied "alright" as he starts taking his clothes off right there in the studio.

Oh, which reminds me. The thing that frustrated me very most about the book was the narration! I think it was supposed to be 3rd person omniscient, but it kept slipping into 3rd person limited... and switching characters in the middle of a paragraph! For example, we would start a paragraph out in Damian's head, then he would do or say something, and without warning, all of a sudden the "he" now refers TO Damian and we're in Nick's head. I can't even count the number of times I had to read a paragraph over because all of a sudden we switched PoV and it sounded like Nick had got himself all tied up and ready for himself.... SO confusing!

Anyway, so after I came back and saw all the positive reviews, I hoped that maybe things would get better if I just gave it another chance and kept reading. And things did get better. The crazy narrator-switching didn't, but I just dealt with that.

The thing that makes me glad I kept reading was the way that I got to know both Nick and Damian as they got to know each other. The beginning was rough for me, because I am used to a lot of info-dumping at the beginning so I can know and care about the characters. This book didn't do that. The reader just has to wait and accompany the characters as they get to know each other. Once I settled into this unique approach, I found I enjoyed it. I even discovered that I actually liked both Nick and Damian and was rooting for them.

This was definitely a unique book, in many ways. I think I would have enjoyed it much more had I gone in knowing a little more what to expect. As it was, I'm glad I went back and finished it.