Jack Of Hearts (And Other Parts) by L. C. Rosen – Review

First up, I know I’ve barely posted this month so far. I’m going to try and change that – I didn’t intend for my blog to take so much of a back seat while Camp NaNo was running, but I’ve been making such good progress with my WIP I’m almost afraid to take a break from it!

Now let’s check out this book, because I am dying to discuss it with people. This is the first LGBTQ+ book I’ve read in what feels like forever, so I couldn’t wait to get cracking with it!

Blurb:
‘My first time getting it in the butt was kind of weird. I think it’s going to be weird for everyone’s first time, though.’

Meet Jack Rothman. He’s seventeen and loves partying, makeup and boys – sometimes all at the same time.

His sex life makes him the hot topic for the high school gossip machine. But who cares? Like Jack always says, ‘it could be worse’.

He doesn’t actually expect that to come true.

But after Jack starts writing an online sex advice column, the mysterious love letters he’s been getting take a turn for the creepy.

Jack’s secret admirer knows everything: where he’s hanging out, who he’s sleeping with, who his mum is dating. They claim they love Jack, but not his unashamedly queer lifestyle. They want him to curb his sexuality, or they’ll force him.

As the pressure mounts, Jack must unmask his stalker before their obsession becomes genuinely dangerous…

Jack

Review:

I adored this book. I love a good LGBT story, I am always on the lookout for new ones to read (Which is why I adore the lovely Kate over at Reading Through Infinity – Who recently ran a 10 week long feature, posting various anticipated, upcoming LGBTQ+ reads for this year, and you can check out those posts here – Prepare for your TBR to get much longer!)

Anyway, back to the review! This book made me laugh out loud on several occasions, in fact at one point I felt the need to photograph a passage and send to a friend to share the laugh with. The humour is crude, there’s a lot of talk about sex; gay sex, straight sex, kinky sex, group sex, it’s all there. So of course the humour is crude. But you know what, that’s my kind of humour and it made me proper belly laugh several times. It’s fantastic to read such a sex positive book. It’s an open, honest account of what navigating sexual relationships can really be like.

Jack is a wonderful character – He is unashamed of his lifestyle, he is loud and proud in regards to his sexuality, and the same goes for his sex life. The letters sent in to his sex advice column and his responses are included in several chapters, and as well as being some of the sources of humour in the book, they are also greatly informative for curious minds. He covers a large range of sex and relationship topics, spreading the good message of ‘We all like different things, and that is OK. There is no such thing as weird.’

Jacks two best friends, Jenna and Ben, are fantastic characters, too. Jenna is the token straight of the group, and Ben, precious Ben, is the hopeless romantic gay at the opposite of the spectrum to Jack. He’s holding out to meet ‘The One’, totally supportive of Jack and his more ‘active’ lifestyle, but completely content to wait on the sidelines until he meets his own prince charming.

A delicate subject to cover, I think the stalker aspect of the story was written incredibly well. What starts out as seemingly a couple of sweet, if misguided, love notes, slowly spirals into something much more serious, dragging Jack and everyone around him into the tangled web of his stalkers obsessive plan. As the stalker situation progresses, the notes taking on a more threatening vibe, I could feel myself becoming genuinely uncomfortable with the situation as I was reading it. It is so well written, you get pulled in as the reader, really feeling the severity of the situation, and the frustrations when the people who should be able to help, aren’t helping.

I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for further publications from this author, I fell in love with the characters and became seriously emotionally invested in the story the entire time I was reading it!

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