Swell is a super cute, sweet and heartwarming M/M romance story full of gorgeous Summer vibes, surfing and bonfires. It’s a story about first love, finding yourself and coming out.
Set in California in the 1970s, this story follows eighteen-year-old Gabriel during a Summer that will change his life. When a new family moves to the neighborhood, Gabriel finds himself drawn to their son Will, who is handsome, older, and more confident, in a way he’s never experienced before.
The two main characters are utterly wonderful and I rooted so for both Gabriel and Will and their fear of taking the risk of letting each other know their true feelings. At first, I struggled a bit with Gabriel as the narrator, since he felt a little too childish and immature (more like 15 than 18), but as I got to know him more, I absolutely adored him and his doubts. The writing also got a better flow as the story went along and we could relate to the characters’ feelings rather than being told through the dialogues what was going on (more show-don’t-tell, which is always appreciated).
And Will was just such a sweetheart from the start. So sweet, tender and kind, and sure in his sexuality, but not pushing Gabriel in any way. I really loved the way Gabriel and Will got to know each other and slowly started to trust and open up to one another, so much that Gabriel dared to explore his own identity.
“The surge of warmth he felt when he remembered Will’s tone and voice and words. He wanted to bottle it up, to save it somehow. Gabriel couldn’t get his mind around it. The way Will’s short statement made him feel so seen.”
The chemistry between the two was just so perfect. The author nailed capturing all the things and feels you experience, like the stolen glances, the flirting, and the awkwardness. I also really appreciated that there was no forced outing.
Overall, reading this book was a pure pleasure. It was emotional, sweet and realistic with such a gentle and beautiful romance between two young men, and I can’t wait to read more from Grace Williams!
Thank you NetGalley and Grace Williams for the ebook copy and the opportunity to find this new author and cute book! And an extra thank you to the author, Grace Williams, who in her acknowledgements explained how she, in the spirit of love will be donating 50% of the proceeds the story generates to local and national LGBTQ+ organizations.
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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 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 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 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 Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell 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 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