Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review - The Return by Brad Boney

For once, a review of a recent read, not something old and edited. This one's a gay romance with a small paranormal element, which I think should appeal to both those who like supernatural and those who prefer realism.

Genre: M M / Romance / Paranormal
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Released: July 4th 2013

Music. Topher Manning rarely thinks about anything else, but his day job as a mechanic doesn't exactly mesh with his rock star ambitions. Unless he can find a way to unlock all the songs in his head, his band will soon be on the fast track to obscurity.

Then the South by Southwest music festival and a broken-down car drop New York critic Stanton Porter into his life. Stanton offers Topher a ticket to the Bruce Springsteen concert, where a hesitant kiss and phantom vibrations from Topher’s cell phone kick off a love story that promises to transcend ordinary possibility.

My review:
First off, I hadn't read any gay or other GLBT books before this one, so my review is based on this one time experience.

Not that I was wary of picking this genre up, but the only reason I read this book was pretty much the fact that my sister won it and said it was good. Turns out she was right. This book tells the story of Topher Manning and features some characters that were present in Brad Boney's previous book, THE NOTHINGNESS OF BEN, which I haven't read but heard it'd be best if you read them both. Topher makes music and dreams of becoming famous with it. One day he meets Stanton Porter, a music critic, and gets a free ticket to a Springsteen concert. An unexpected kiss starts a series of events and reveals another story some twenty years in the past.

The chapters are in turns in present and past, but it wasn't annoying or distracting. I loved both of them, loved the connection between them and between the characters in different eras. A lot of this book consisted of dialogue. While many authors have trouble with a good dialogue, or simply write most of their story in long and thick descriptions, THE RETURN was a case I had not encountered before. One could say there was too much dialogue, and at the beginning I considered lowering my rating, since most of it didn't really seem to matter to the plot. But all this dialogue sounded so real, so natural that I soon began to enjoy it. The characters made it great.

Speaking of characters, I think there wasn't one that I didn't like. I often find it a bad idea to have too many main characters - in this case six, ten if you count the past - but Brad Boney pulled it off well. The boys were awesome, which made the sad points even sadder. I also liked the side characters, even when they didn't get to play a big part. For some reason I really loved the story of Brendan and Trent and would've liked to hear more of it.

There is something about connecting past and present that really gets to me. It's hard to explain. And I think there is some magic in the whole reincarnation thing, although the last page turned a bit... cheesy? But if there was a third book, with new main characters, taking over this reincarnation element, I'd probably love it.

Music was an important part of this book. I'm not a very 'musical' person myself, I can't play any instrument. I do love to listen to music, of course, but a lot of the references used were unfamiliar to me. Still, I like learning new things!

In general, it was all very sweet and I'd love to see more of it. Another great book I've read this year!

Click here to see this review on Goodreads.

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