Tell Me It’s Real
Title : Tell Me It’s Real
Author : TJ Klune
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, Romance
Length : 350 pages (e-book)
Published : February 15, 2013
Rating : ★★★★★
B L U R B :
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Paul Auster doesn’t. Paul doesn’t believe in much at all. He’s thirty, slightly overweight, and his best features are his acerbic wit and the color commentary he provides as life passes him by. His closest friends are a two-legged dog named Wheels and a quasibipolar drag queen named Helena Handbasket. He works a dead-end job in a soul-sucking cubicle, and if his grandmother’s homophobic parrot insults him one more time, Paul is going to wring its stupid neck.
Enter Vince Taylor.
Vince is everything Paul isn’t: sexy, confident, and dumber than the proverbial box of rocks. And for some reason, Vince pursues Paul relentlessly. Vince must be messing with him, because there is no way Vince could want someone like Paul.
But when Paul hits Vince with his car—in a completely unintentional if-he-died-it’d-only-be-manslaughter kind of way—he’s forced to see Vince in a whole new light. The only thing stopping Paul from believing in Vince is himself—and that is one obstacle Paul can’t quite seem to overcome. But when tragedy strikes Vince’s family, Paul must put aside any notions he has about himself and stand next to the man who thinks he’s perfect the way he is.
R E V I E W :
You’ve read the blurb, so I won’t tell you again what Tell Me It’s Real is about. Instead, I’ll just say what I feel about it. I seriously loved this book! And there’s a lot to love about it. First off, it’s funny. Really funny. Like Sno Ho with a splash of Tigers & Devils kind of funny. There’s a texting scene that is one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever read! (SEX FACE! >_< …. yep, you’re just going to have to read the book!) The banter between the MC, Paul, and his best friend Sandy (also known as the Drag Queen Helena Handbasket) is priceless. They’re simultaneously witty, juvenile and very real. I think that perhaps that is what I like best about Tell Me It’s Real. It *is* real. The characters are real. The dialogue is real. And the actions are real. All the characters, including the secondary characters, are fully realised. They’re sweet and exasperating and funny and insightful and crazy and wonderful.
Paul is unapologetically ordinary. He’s the guy that most of us are (yeah, yeah, I’m a girl, but you know what I mean). He’s not a super stud muffin, he’s not the next Steve Jobs or Aristotle. He’s average. He babbles when he’s nervous, he trips over things, he could stand to loose a couple of kilos. He’s insecure and doesn’t always see himself for who he really is. He’s relatable. He has a crazy family that he loves and who love him right back. He cares about others and thinks the world of his best friend.
Vince. Vincent IS the stud muffin. He’s gorgeous and, as far as Paul believes, way out of Paul’s league. Apparently Vince has other ideas and from the first moment he spies Paul he sets about winning Paul’s heart. He’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, sure, but he’s not as thick as two planks of wood, either. But what he is, is sweet and open hearted and loyal and determined.
Another thing this book is, is sweet. At it’s heart, it’s a story about falling in love and discovering that that’s okay – that everyone is worthy and deserving of it. There are some powerful moments in there as well. The hospital scene where Paul shows his strength of heart and character stayed with me. Other moments where the realities of being gay are acknowledged are weighty without ever being preachy, because the reality of the fact is, that’s part of life.
As TJ says at the beginning of the book:
“If you have ever been told that you’re not skinny enough, smart enough, straight enough, beautiful enough, strong enough, masculine enough, or any other “enough” that made you feel less than you actually are, then, man, do I have something to tell you: this one is for you because you are perfect just the way you are.”
And maybe, just maybe, there really is love at first sight.