Book Talk Review; Straight-ish

I am just breathless...


“Some people filter in and out of your life like oxygen, and some stand in the middle of the room and demand every ray of light in your space. Ty Stanton is the love of my life – he stole every bit of my sunlight. That is true today and it was true yesterday and it will be true long after we are both dead. But falling in love with him was only half the battle – now I have to figure out how to actually be with him a world that still tolerates LGBT+ people far more than it actually accepts them. How do I fit my love into my life when it is getting bigger and crazier and more complicated by the day?”


Last fall Henry Morgan went from being “straight” to being…well, not-so-straight. He found love where he never expected – with another man – but how can he hold onto that love forever when he can’t even figure out his life today?

Almost a year after Henry Morgan first locked eyes with Ty Stanton and felt his world shift on its side, his life is in disarray for entirely different reasons.

As if trying to establish a new reality and relationship with Ty wasn’t hard enough, Henry’s wealthy and connected father Jack has moved back to Savannah to run for governor in a special election – and now the media is looking hard into the life of Savannah’s new favorite son.

Henry and Ty are still breathlessly in love (and in lust), but will that love be able to withstand the microscope of Jack Morgan possibly becoming the next governor of Georgia?


*

So with every Seth King book I go through a phase both before and after which I don't really know how to describe. I get so excited for it. And then I have to remind myself that anything can happen within the pages. I have to remind myself to be prepared for any type of break because there's always something. It wouldn't be a Seth King book otherwise.

I was terrified to read this book. Really terrified, I'm not going to lie. Last Fall Straight became my all time favorite book. The book I recommend to anyone and everyone, regardless if they read the genre or not.

So while I was happy for more Henry and Ty I wasn't sure where Seth would take these characters. My fear was of course unnecessary, because this book was perfect. Really perfect in ways I can't describe because we don't do spoilers here.


We get the Henry and Ty of the now. They're almost a year out from when they first met, from when they first fell in love in the beautiful breathtaking pages of Straight. Life is a whirlwind for them. After all when your parent suddenly decides running for governor during a special election your whole life changes. Especially if you're as good-looking and as almost perfect as Henry is.

Straight-ish gives us the relationship of Henry and Ty. They felt so real in this one. You could feel the shift from the first book to now. In which they have to navigate a relationship and being them under circumstances no one could have predicted.

With Straight you have a novel about a man who is not as straight as he once believed. You have questions about sexuality and how fluid it actually is. You have questions and realizations about society that no one wants to talk about. But with Straight-ish you have a relationship about two people who just want to live life together. You have the rest of it as well. The questions, the uncertainties, but you have the relationship as well. You can almost lean on that as the characters do. You find yourself looking for the same reassurance in that relationship just like they do.

So many times I go to read a sequel and am left wanting more. As it is hard to follow up the first great read-something I know first hand as a writer. I didn't feel that way with this book, however. I felt like I was revisiting favorite characters and falling in love with these new people. Because Henry and Ty lived and grew once the pages of Straight ended. That much is obvious within the first few pages of this new book.

It was relearning who they are to each other, to themselves, and to the reader. Which is always fun and refreshing. As a seasoned reader I love when I read about my favorite characters and learn new things about them. When I see that their lives continue on even though the book had ended I feel satisfied that they do live on after the ending. Weird? Perhaps, but I have a vivid imagination.

You learn new little quirks about Henry and Ty as they talk about each other and the life they're still in the process of building. You revisit old favorites. There are moments when they reminisce and it's sweet to see. You laugh because Henry's sarcasm is so on point it's hard not to, even when it was serious just pages or paragraphs ago. And that is the beauty of Seth King's writing. He can make me laugh and cry all within the same page. It's a gift.


I loved the insecurity that showed they were human, the fights that-even though they broke me a little-showed they were in a relationship. It was real and raw in ways Seth's writing always is.

Did I cry? That's a question that occurs regularly when I write reviews. As it should be well known by now that I am an emotional reader. I get so attached. The simple answer is yes. Not as hard or as much as I thought I was going to. Which honestly is amazing-especially after all my fears. But I did cry.

This book left me breathless. Which I'm not entirely sure I've experienced before. I had a rare moment of speechlessness once, I've had heartbreak and healing, I've had ugly cries. But never a book that left me breathless, or at least not like this.

There was a point in which I sat at my desk after finishing and I had to ask myself if I really did finish. It was four-thirty in the morning. I spent roughly eight hours with my favorite characters-relearning and falling in love all over again. I wasn't sure if I actually finished or if all the excitement/wonderment/breathlessness all went to my head.

Straight-ish is the rest of the amazing journey that started in Straight. It explores the relationship between two men as one of them is suddenly thrust into the spotlight. It's not a sequel like most. It's not a snapshot of the life the characters build after they get their HEA. In fact the HE in Straight is just that, a happy ending. Straight-ish proves that Henry and Ty had a lot of shit to work through still before they could get to their happily ever after. And while most might not understand or appreciate that, I do. Those who have been in relationships do. Nothing is simple, especially in our world today. Seth King does an amazing job of helping to show that.

If you enjoyed Straight you will absolutely love Straight-ish. You will love how even through some hiccups, some confusion, some insecurity, Henry and Ty are still the same. You will love how Seth King brings them to life. How he thrusts them into real life and how while they're afraid they still manage.

Straight-ish is a book I was dying for. It was the story I was scared of. It's now a story that is going into my top favorites.

Both books help open the reader's eye to the realities of our world in beautiful ways. It's ugly and most don't want to admit it. But it's reality and I will always admire Seth King for that reality.

Here's to another well done book that will stay with me for a long time. Probably forever.


*Quote-

"Basically, my story is that I kissed a boy and I liked it. There is no simpler way to break it down."

"He is lighting me up from the inside out and he doesn't even know it."

"When you're in love with someone, every encounter feels like an out-of-body experience, mixed with a visit from God."

"Love is a miracle, a full-blast miracle, a gift from the galactic that crashes into your hands only if you're chosen, but the problem is that most people forget its miraculous nature. They treat love like any old thing instead, letting it unspool from their hands until it's gone or dwindled or simply faded with time."


For my Straight review go here

-Abri

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