Husband Material is the upcoming sequel to Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall, which I was so lucky to get a preview opportunity to read the first five chapters of. I absolutely loved Boyfriend Material with its perfect mix of humor and misery, quirky friends, heartbreak and snarky remarks! Husband Material is therefore one of my most anticipated new releases this year and I’m so grateful for this preview opportunity that sure did not disappoint! On the contrary, if anything these first five chapters got me even more eager for the entire book to come out, I’m now absolutely desperate to know what happens next!
It was so wonderful to be back in Luc’s and Oliver’s world, and meet all their hilarious friends again. I love Alexis Hall’s writing style and the snarky, British humor and all the emotions. Behind the humor there’s always so many feels!
Husband Material starts two years after the end of Boyfriend Material with Luc and Oliver being happy together. Unlike in the first book, Luc seems to be in a good place and not so full of angst and self-loathing, but he’s starting to feel the social pressure to take their relationship to the next level. And meeting ex boyfriend Miles and being invited to his wedding doesn’t exactly help…
All I can say after reading the preview is that Husband Material will be just as cute, witty and entertaining as Boyfriend Material was, but that there sure will be some hiccups, angst and heartbreak along the way! I especially got the feeling that something will be up with Oliver, but I guess I will have to wait until August to see if my suspicions are correct or not…
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my preview of this book. Can’t wait to read the rest of the story!
4.5 snarky stars rounding up to 5
Get your own copy:
Husband Material is expected to be released on August 2, 2022.
This was a poignant, sweet and honest story of coming out, first love and acceptance showing the authentic experience of a queer Chicanx boy surrounded by toxic masculinity. It was both heartwarming and heartbreaking, both full of wonderful friendships and sibling relations, as well as harassments and abuse. But sadly, I personally didn’t connect with the story and the characters as much I had hoped for. I guess I expected more, from both the writing style and the story itself.
Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun tells the story of Julián Luna, a Mexican-American boy living with his homophobic father. Jules’ dad suspects his son might be queer but will hear nothing of it; even using physical abuse to suppress any such ‘tendencies’ in his son. Jules is therefore living a closeted life, just enduring until he can graduate and move away, to finally become himself. But a drunken tweet changes all that. Luckily he finds Mat because of it, and for the first time in his life he can truly be himself with someone. Sadly though, Mat lives fifteen hundred miles away, in LA.
Firstly, I want to mention the trigger warnings in the beginning of the book. The author Jonny Garza Villa really did a wonderful job laying out what might be triggering in the story, such as homophobia, abuse and physical violence, but also focusing on the positive and empowering parts.
I’m also so happy for the amazing representation and diversity in this book, and for the authentic way the harsh realities many queer Chicanxs/Latinxs face were described. Even though Jules’ dad acted absolutely horribly, he wasn’t just portraited as a villain, but Jonny Garza Villa also showed other aspects too, making Jule’ relationship with this dad feeling very real and personal.
Going into this book, I really thought it would be one of my favorite books this year. I wanted so much to love it. But sadly, I didn’t connect with it on the level I had expected. Objectively, the story was great, and I can definitely understand how it will be resonating with many of its readers, and I’m so happy that it has been written to add another voice to the YA literature. But my main issues with it were the writing style, the romance that I couldn’t fully root for and the rather plain side characters.
The story had such potential to be absolutely heartwrenching, but to me the writing style felt too much telling rather than showing, which prevented me from truly taking the characters to my heart.
The romance part was cute, but the whole premise of how they met through Twitter and fell for each other felt a bit rushed and unrealistic. I never felt the chemistry between Jules and Mat, and the way Jules treated Mat and ghosted him from time to time didn’t sit well with me.
I also wished that the side characters would have been more fleshed out and that there could have been stronger subplots. The story felt very one-dimensional, only focusing on Jules without fully building the world around him.
But all in all, this was a heartwarming and poignant story. Even though the main character faced a lot of terrible things, like homophobia and an abusive dad, it was still a hopeful story full of loving friendships and supportive siblings. It just had the potential to be so much more.
Get your own copy:
Jonny Garza Villa
This was such a marvelous read! It had the same wonderful queer, fun and adorable romcom vibes as Red, White & Royal Blue, but it was also filled with some truly great mental health representation. But most of all, it had one of the most precious main characters ever! Charlie stole my heart from the very first moment I met him, and as the story went on I only loved him more. I stayed up all night to read this book, just as completely hooked as I was the first time I read RWARB!
The story is about Dev Deshpande, who is a hopeless romantic, but also a producer for a cynical The Bachelor kind of reality show called “Ever After”, who never succeeds in finding love for himself. When the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as the Prince Charming, this season turns into something very different.
Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming the show expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. But most of all, he’s nothing like the confident billionaire playboy the media image has made him into, but is socially awkward, anxious, suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, afraid of being touched and possibly being on the asexual spectrum. Not the best premises for dating twenty women on national television… Especially when he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of the female co-stars…
I absolutely loved this adorable story about falling for the absolutely wrong person! It was full of humor, witty banter, hilarious situations and with the great twist to turn a reality dating show into a gay romance. And the wonderful and relatable characters with so many flaws, over-the-top feelings and vulnerability. Charlie totally stole my heart and the chemistry between him and Dev was amazing! I loved it every time they were together - from their first awkward interactions to their vulnerable moments together – it always made me smile and root for their happy ending.
But what truly made this book so special was the mental health representation. The realistic and genuine way in which Charlie and his anxiety, OCD and panic disorders, as well as Dev’s depression, were portrayed was just amazing. The beautiful way in which Alison Cochrun included these parts into the story really helps normalize mental health issues and made me love the characters even more.
It was just one scene where Dev didn’t stand up for Charlie and the somewhat cowardice way he behaved in the part leading up to the end that I didn’t really appreciate. And even though I’m very happy with the ending itself, it felt a bit rushed.
But those are just tiny, tiny, tiny complaints. All in all, this was a completely adorable, sweet, tender, witty, thoughtful and devastatingly heartfelt story about finding your forever-love, dealing with mental health issues and being true to who you are. It’s a story that deals with difficult topics in a both honest and fun way at the same time, and I cannot recommend it enough! It’s absolutely marvelous!
Get your own copy:
This first book in the new Four Packs series following four werewolf packs dealing with a deadly disease as well as rising tension between the packs was a fast paced enemies-to-lovers/fated mates-story that I read in just a few hours!
The story is told in dual POVs and takes place in modern times, where four werewolf packs coexist with rising tension as a genetic disorder called ‘The Slow Death’ threatens them all. Marrok is part of the North Territory pack and is an expert of the TSD. When a friend of his who is part of the East Territory pack is hit by a new even more aggressive version of the TSD, he offers his help even though he knows the Alpha of that pack resents help from other packs. What he doesn’t expect, is the overwhelming pull he feels the moment he meets Zander, the son of the East Territory Alpha. Not only is Zander absolutely annoying, mating across packs is almost unheard of.
Enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes and I really enjoyed the banter and sizzling chemistry between Marrok and Zander. The book was quite short, but the world building and the premise with the TSD was very well done nevertheless, and it kept me interested and entertained all the way through. I definitely want to keep reading this series and look forward to seeing the world building and the characters develop even further as it continues!
All in all, this was a quick and entertaining supernatural read with a lovely MM romance full of hot banter, as well as a thrilling story with a nasty disease and the search for a lasting cure to save a friend.
Thank you so much to Gay Book Promotions for the ARC and release tour invitation! All opinions are my own and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
3.5 stars rounding up to 4.
Get your own copy:
Add to Goodreads
All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira 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 Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Ban Gilmartin Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Cara Dee Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.F. White C.G. Drews Charlie Adhara Charli Meadows Chasten Buttigieg Chris Bedell Christina Lauren Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Courtney Kae Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Dallas Smith Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton D.N. Bryn Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E.L. Massey E. Lockhart Emery Lee Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens F.T. Lukens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hannah Grace Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving H.S. Valley Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson James L. Sutter Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jen Bailey 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 Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé Kathy Anderson 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 Lauren Shippen 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 Magdalena Di Sotru 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 Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nathaniel Shea Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Nyla K. Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Racquel Marie Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia 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 Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Taylor Jenkins Reid Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Tracy Deonn Tucker Shaw Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez