Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Reviewing "read for review" books - fun for free!

All About the Boy 
P.A. Friday

Disclaimer: A free copy of the book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review

For a book addict like me, one who is compulsively inhaling books in any and all possible formats and all possible subjects, the opportunity to get books for free is incredible. For a wordsmith like me, who is almost as addicted to writing as to reading, (and very, very fond of having and delivering “opinions”) the chance to be able to review someone else’s work is a lot of fun too!

So, here I was with a copy of P A Friday’s All About the Boy, a collection of male-male kinky stories, free for review! Not having read anything else by the author, I didn’t know what to expect.

It is a collection of three stories, all centered around kink – specifically BDSM – between men. And, before I even tackle a single story, I must say I had a really positive experience with the language and the general writing style. The problem with romance novels, or erotic romances, or erotica, often is that the writer seems to think that a sufficiently “hot” story means that there is no need for much else. The writing is often pretty bad, and the language – whether the author’s or ghostwriting – makes me cringe and wince with bad grammar and usage and dozens of spelling mistakes per page.

P A Friday, I am glad to say was a pleasure to read. The usual cringe-worthy language and grammatical mistakes were absent, and there wasn’t even one wince per page!

The first story, -- kind of cute. Sure, it is kinky, but it is a nice sweet mix of gay for you, kinky for you, and “long time coming”. I usually like these stories of two people having known each other all their lives and someday something just clicks! The not entirely intentional and thought out exploration of kink on part of the characters is interesting, and well written. It is not easy to write conflict, internal or external, but Friday manages it just fine.

The second story I had a real problem with. The attempt at consensual non-consent that the story seemed to be moving towards became very firm dubious consent, and made me very uncomfortable. It could be just a personal issue, but I winced through the story and could barely make myself finish it. The language, grammar, etc, were fine but the whole concept just read too much like a consent violation and made me very uncomfortable.

The third story, honestly, I didn’t get at all. Was there a point? It felt like one of those inconclusive, formless, directionless arty short stories that raise my hackles even when they parade as “literary” work. Definitely not something I would want to read again, especially as light reading and for passing time in a pleasant way. It wasn’t as unpleasant as the second, sure, and didn’t leave as much of a bad taste in the mouth. But the violence came out of nowhere, and the story ended abruptly too!

Overall then, the writer has potential. Based on the language, style and the first story, I would probably pick up another book by the same author. But, unless that second book gave me more of the stuff of the first story here, and much less of the stuff of the other two, I can’t say I would become a follower.  

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