Dear Santa, Dear Dad – T. J. Masters

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“I know my last request is the hardest one of all, and I am sorry for asking, but I wish I had a dad who loved me.”

 

In a word: Don’t read the thing. This one wasn’t really all that good. For a story that had the potential to be very emotional, it was pretty damn bland. The main character, and the narrator, is Steven, who is taking a surprise Christmas trip to the north of England to see the gay son he pretty much cut out of his life years before. This could’ve been so much better than it was. There’s just no emotion in the whole thing. Steven’s son Andy is initially angry when Steven first shows up, but that doesn’t last very long. And the reconciliation between the two of them had them in tears at different points, but it was written very matter of fact. Also a lot of the time it felt like I was reading a condensed version of a longer story. We don’t actually get to know much of Andy, or his partner Peter, and what we do find out is filtered through Steven’s distanced narration and then made uninteresting. If you turn your brain off it’s a nice little redemption story, but it really feels like there’s something missing. Like I said, I don’t think it’s emotional enough for the subject matter, and what emotions were there didn’t really ring true. Also I felt like Andy forgave his father too quickly considering Steven’s behaviour. It’s an interesting premise for a story, but the execution is faulty and I can’t really recommend it.

 

[available for purchase from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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Love Me Tomorrow – Ethan Day

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“A guy that sped all over the city trying to save people’s lives, couldn’t possibly be a complete monster.”

 

In a word: Don’t read the thing. Just… don’t. I cannot stand this book, and that might just be a ‘me’ thing though, because it got a lot of good reviews on Goodreads. I didn’t like it when I read it the first time, but when I tried to reread it I pretty much had to force myself, and then I gave up after a few pages. I hate the characters, I’m not completely in love with the writing, and the story itself sounds like something I’d probably like if it were written differently than it was here. What makes me dislike it even more is the fact that this book had potential, there were some parts that I enjoyed and there were some parts that I was genuinely invested in. But in the end I just didn’t like it and could not make myself read it again.

[available for purchase at Wilde City Press, Book Depository, Chapters, and Amazon.ca]

 

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