Release Date: 06/06/17 | Contemporary(ish ?) | 10 hours 4 minutes | Listening Library
17-year-old Samson Raines is ready to get back in the dating game but his options are limited, seeing as he’s already broken up with the only other gay boy in his school. He reluctantly turbs to magic (er, magick ?) for a little help. With a list of 10 traits for a perfect boyfriend and a Wiccan spell, Sam’s life is about to be turned upside down.
I picked this book up because the slightly zany romance plot and gay-story-not-about-coming-out synopsis gave me early David Levithan vibes. But I had such a hard time investing with this book and it’s mostly because I really could not with Sam, the main character. He was an arrogant, snobby hipster and as these super hot boys with these big personalities start falling for him it’s just hard to see what they see in him, especially when one of them is a 21-year-old rock star.
This book follows a lot of the same beats as genre romance, so for me Sam didn’t get enough redemption to earn his HEA. The development of the supporting characters felt underwhelming because at the end of the day they only exist to prop up Sam. And now that I think about it literally every character’s HEA gets shafted for Sam to get his HEA.
Kirby Heyborne is a favorite narrator of mine for his youthful voice and emotional deliveries. He brings out full range of male voices for each of Sam’s suitors although he struggles a bit with a French exchange student.
It look like L. Phillips has a 2018 book in the works that is described as #AlexfromTarget meets queer Prince Charming. Now, L. Phillips is the psuedonym of author Laura Wettersten, and I think it’s really curious that she is using a gender ambiguous penname to write these books and It feels a lot like what is happening in the world of M/M romance where books about gay boys arewritten mostly by and for straight women. There are just a lot of unfortunate implications.
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.