ALL THE WRONG PLACES by Ann Gallagher

ALL THE WRONG PLACES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Turning the is-he-or-isn't-he trope of gay romance on its ear, Gallagher offers her readers a less traditional love story between two asexual men, one of whom is just coming to terms with what this new identity might mean for him.

Brennan has been dumped for the third time in a row by a woman who was sexually dissatisfied with him. Figuring there must be something wrong with him, he decides to do some research on his techniques and winds up in the only logical place: ye olde local porn store. It's there that he meets Zafir, who, after troubleshooting his coital woes, suggests that perhaps Brennan is also asexual. Since asexuality is not something that exists in the vocabulary of most red-blooded all-American dudes, it takes some time to wrap his head around. And there's a lot to figure out. If he's asexual, what does that mean? If he's attracted to Zafir, does that mean he's gay? Or biromantic? Gallagher does a great job of explaining these concepts without getting preachy or taking the reader out of the story. Her characters are well-rounded, and it's a pretty straightforward narrative. Zafir is a Muslim single dad working two jobs. Brennan is a semipro skateboarder who works part time when he's not competing. The two men fall quickly into a comfortable friendship that leads them separately to wonder if this unconventional happiness might be love. While there probably aren't tons of books specifically about two asexual dudes trying to make an honest go of it, this is a pretty typical feel-good boy-meets-boy sort of story.

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon, but if you're looking for something racy, you won't find it here.

Pub Date: June 13th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-62649-420-6
Page count: 220pp
Publisher: Riptide
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2016




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