Originally published at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
The Good: I'm not sure the GoodReads summary accurately describes how amazing this book was. I was hooked from the very first line and fell in love with Matthew Norman's writing throughout the book. Tom, the main character is a funny guy. He's also so unbelievably human. Norman has managed to capture every literate, funny, doting and fantasizing man into one man. Tom isn't perfect, he has flaws and plenty of them but he's willing to admit that. He's also willing to admit some of his biggest fears about himself, desire and his entire life. What this book in a nutshell (and this isn't a spoiler) is about comes down to basic human nature... when someone we love is good at something..no, not just good, FANTASTIC at it...we sort of want to be amazing at it too. Tom is constantly in the shadow of his uber-famous writer Dad and struggles with the fact that he wants to be a writer too but the fear of being only half as good as his father scares him. I mean can you imagine being Stephen King's kid and trying to live up to every one's expectations if you started to write? It would be hard right? So it's not hard to imagine Tom's anxiety about it. His also has a few marriage problems and lets face it...so does half of America. What I LOVED about Tom and Norman's take on relationships and marriage is that things WORK out for them. They stumble through until the find the way to fix things. I love that. Because it's real. Norman included some pretty awesome wacky characters including a gay literary agent and I have to say... I wish he were real! He is so awesome! All of the characters are individually creative, well drawn out and quirky. I think one of my favorite things about this book are the zingy one-liners and some of the passages that literally made me laugh out loud like :
pg. 252 "I can't believe they took away my BlackBerry," says Brandon. "What the f*** do they think I'm gonna do with it? Make a bomb? Who am I, MacGyver? At least let me check my Facebook."
I don't know why, but this was so perfectly written and placed in the most awesome context that I laughed and laughed. This is just one example of the MANY hilarious passages in the novel.
Lastly the thing I was really impressed with was the fact that this was an unedited proof version of the novel, and there were hardly any errors. A few here and there, but I was in complete awe of how amazing it was for being a proof copy. This novel actually had a touching message weaving throughout it. Not only is it a identity seeking novel, but one of forgiveness and discovery. As if I needed any more reasons to love this book, lastly I loved this book because Tom reminds me so much of me and many of us bloggers. His character almost stands in for those of us who have wanted so badly to publish our manuscripts but let the fear of not being good enough stand in our way. Tom Violet is here to prove us wrong. It can happen. It really can.
The Bad: Really, I have nothing bad to say about this book. One of my new favorites. The minor errors found could have been taken care of in official print version so I can't even comment on those.
This book deserves an A because it was AWESOME and I LOVED IT! You should really check it out!
**I received this book free from the publisher through www.netgalley.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.