Title: The Subtle Art of Blending In
Author: Angelo Surmelis
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
I’ve had this book on my kindle for a while. I sort of treasure my M/M books so I was waiting for the right time to read it and Pride Month seemed perfect.
Seventeen-year-old Evan doesn’t know where he fits in. He loves his family, but is terrorised by his abusive mother and confused by his father’s silence. He has friends, but one of them – Henry – has become distractingly attractive, and seems interested being more than just a friend. Oh, and yes, Evan kissed a boy this summer. As things with Henry heat up and the violence escalates, Evan has to decide how to find his voice in a world where he has always survived being silent.
‘The person who was supposed to love me the hardest – the most unconditionally – has always wanted me gone. No matter how hard I tried to be perfect. Now, this boy-who knows all my imperfections and has seen all my hurt laid bare- wants me to stay.’
This was another book I’ve read for Pride Month. Where I’m reading books only featuring LGBT+ characters. Once I got started on this book, I found it hard to put down. I read it in two days, that never happens.
Let’s talk about the romance first, shall we? At first I thought it was going to be the cliche of the gay guy in love with his best friend but thankfully it wasn’t. It turned out to be a good one. A slow burn. Just how I like them. Evan and Henry made a great couple, I could feel their chemistry. The most wonderful thing about it was the acceptance Henry had for Evan. It was so nice to read Evan opening up to him.
This book wasn’t all romance. It also deals with the issue of abuse. Wow, it was hard to read but in the right way. The way that makes you think, question. Evans Mother was so manipulative. It also showed how she justified her actions through religion. I’m sure there’s a lot of people who will see themselves in this situation, regardless of your religion. She wasn’t a just a villain though, towards the end of the book, you got to see that she had more depth to her.
Throughout the whole book I was rooting for Evan, for him to open up to Henry, for him to get away from his Mother, for him to question his Father. I think that was the best thing about this book, were the characters. They were so real, whether good or bad. I won’t spoil it in case you haven’t read it, but I raced towards the end to find out.
I recommend this book if you love YA M/M stories, it’s a good one. But it was more than that, this one had bit of depth to it. It’s a nice coming of age story.
Until the next review