Happy Book Birthday to All The Way Out! I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Gay Book Promotions blog tour celebrating this adorable, gripping and heart-warming m/m romance about a closeted star football player having to choose between risking his whole career or being brave enough to reveal his most vulnerable self for a chance of true love and happiness.
Already in his early teens, Zach was absolutely sure about three things: 1) he wanted to play football at the highest levels of college and pro ball, 2) he was gay, and 3) those two truths could never exist concurrently. So Zach settled for a life in the closet, started dating Rebecca, who as a devoted Catholic conveniently wanted to wait to have sex until marriage, and kept his needs at bay with the occasional Grindr hook-ups.
But on a team trip to Rome, he meets Liam, an American raised in Paris but now about to relocate his life due to a scandal. The night was one of the highlights in Zach’s life, but saying goodbye he never thought he’d see Liam again. So the sight of Liam in his uni class the first day of the fall semester almost stops his heart, and completely scatter his carefully laid plans to remain closeted.
I rooted so much for both Zach and Liam from the very first moment and my heart ached for them in their struggles. They were both such wonderful characters, with depth and as far from any stereotype cliches you can come. Yes, Zach was an all-star football athlete, but he was certainly not the typical jock, being interested in philosophy and Roman history. And yes, Liam was a troubled music student, but he was also so sweet and caring and vulnerable, really putting his heart out there for Zach. I loved the wonderful chemistry between them… it was so intense and sizzling it was almost palpable!
Ingrid Sterling’s writing style was incredible, with a wonderful flow and capture of the suppressed feelings and longings between the characters. I especially loved the way she made us readers come along on Zach’s and Liam’s journey to finding themselves and coming to a decision what’s really worth living for.
I read this book in one sitting, it was so addictive and I rooted so much for all characters that I just couldn’t bear to put it down until the very end! It was not just Zach and Liam who stole my heart, but so many of the wonderful secondary characters too, like Zach’s best friend Des and Liam’s friends Mackenzie and Sam, and his brother Eben. I also really loved the way the relationship between Zach and Rebecca was portrayed; it was not just about using Rebecca as a cover, Zach had such wonderful respect and affectionate feelings for her.
All in all, this is one of my absolute favorite m/m romances ever! It was such a powerful story about accepting and being proud of who you are, for wanting things and for being brave enough to chase after those things no matter how scary it feels or how hard it might make your life. It dealt with difficult topics in an honest and realistic way, but it was also such an uplifting, heart-warming, sweet and emotional rollercoaster for a love story!
Thank you to Gay Book Promotions for the ARC and blog tour invitation for this gem! All opinions are my own and I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.F. White C.G. Drews Charli Meadows Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens Deonn Tracy D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez