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!
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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 Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster 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.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens 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 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 John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson 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 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 Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Rhiannon Wilde River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales 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 Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez