It was an ARC. *Apparently I meant to do reviews occasionally. Did you know that? Cos I sure as hell didn’t.*
Dislike/like (ending on a high note):
Dislike~ More of a warning~ Fans of L B Gregg will be used to this author’s trademark wit and humour. Don’t worry; I’m not telling you it’s disappeared in In and Out altogether. It’s there; however, it’s been toned down in consideration of the more serious themes in the book, especially those associated with the main character’s, Holden’s, agoraphobia and anxiety as well as his relationships with love interest Adam, brother Porter, amongst others. So, more subtle, but still typical L B. 🙂
Like~ Some of you can probably remember me ranting on about wanting more stories with characters who have a mental illness. Well, this was one of the books I was looking forward to reading because of this – and it delivered. Holden totally resonated with me. Or I did with him. Whatever. While I don’t have agoraphobia, my depression has caused me to spend days hiding out in my house (aka Kris’ womb) pretending the world doesn’t exist. Also, the anxiety Holden felt when trying to challenge the boundaries of his mental illness and the self-deprecating way he talked about it, including to himself, is stuff I do all the time. I read this thinking ‘finally, someone gets it’. It was both terrific and eye-opening.
Dislike~ More of a warning~ Further to the above, I imagine some readers may find Holden’s forays ‘outside’ to come a little too soon after the beginning of his relationship with Adam. I admit it gave me a bit of a niggle at first, but the reason why it ultimately worked for me was that it was Holden’s choice, thereby making it realistic. Even more importantly, there was no sign of ‘teh healing buttsecks’. Thank fuck. I hate that ‘twu wuv sex is a cure all’ shit with a passion.
Like~ I was quite surprised to find I enjoyed the May/December relationship. This pairing is more miss than hit with me so my expectations were, to be blunt, low. *Erm, sorry LB.* Anyways, two reasons why it didn’t annoy me as much as it usually does: (1) Adam was very mature for his age; and, (2) Holden was forced – not telling you why – to actually open up and explain what he meant and how he felt to Adam. Thankfully, there was none of the tired Big Misunderstanding Age Gap Angst in this story. Yet, another theme which apparently gets my back up. *I seem to have a lot of them.*
So, what I think: Me, I reckon In and Out is the best of L B Gregg’s work to date. As soon as I finished it I knew this would be a book; probably the one out of all her books so far, that I would be reading over and over again. Just terrific.
‘Tasting’ is my version of a mini-review where I talk a (very) little about what I liked and disliked about a book as well as who I think the story will appeal to. Oh, and I’ve added a bit about why I picked up the book in the first place – sometimes this can be interesting to know.