{Book Review} As You Are by Ethan Day

As You AreAs You Are by Ethan Day

My rating: 1.5Β of 5 stars

I’d like to start on a positive note, so: this was pretty funny and sweet. I picked it up because it had my favorite trope–‘right-in-front-of-you-but-dating-someone-else-jealousy!!’ While it did have a bit of that and some quirky humor, I was mostly annoyed by the storytelling, specifically the use of flashbacks.

Using flashbacks are supposed to enrich a story. Maybe there are details needed that can’t be revealed at a certain point, which makes a flashback necessary. Or maybe something’s been published, and the author just thought of something that should have happened when s/he’s writing the second book so she uses a flashback to include it.

This book makes horrendous and frankly, overuses flashbacks. There are things you need to flashback on, and there are things that you can simply narrate because doing them in a flashback does not do anything for the story. In this case, the flashbacks did not add suspense or flavor to the story nor did I find the flashbacks interesting. The soccer game? Jeannie? Granted, the jokes were funny, but the book could have done without them and developed the story in a different way. Such as more attention to what’s written in the blurb, maybe romance developing in the bookstore or the bar or whatever. Because in all honesty, the love interest (Danny) could have been a bartender, a novelist, or have any other profession. I don’t see why ‘he owns a bookstore!’ even made it to the back cover as it wasn’t a significant detail in the story. Yes, the leads may have met there (in a quick flashback, i might add)–but that’s it. They could have met while peeing at a public bathroom and it would’ve been the same.

I have mixed feelings about the lead. While out, loud, proud and funny, the fact that he’s got more or less a perfect life (and figure despite having chocolate as a major food group) and is practically floating in money given by his parents, annoys me. He’s a hopeless romantic and you know he’ll get love. He even corrects the small mistakes he commits at exactly the right time! HE HAS EVERYTHING. Those are the leads I hate the most–yet I can’t hate the lead too much because he reminds me so much of a lot of my friends. And the other off thing is that in his romantic fantasies, he is very much content to be a trophy boyfriend and not achieve anything for himself. While I know that some people are happy with that, it seems kind of off to someone who is “always the favorite” in class and is smart enough to understand which political and religious beliefs belly gay rights.

Overall, the story was pretty boring and safe. It is pretty funny though, so that’s the saving grace.

Favorite quotes:

There’s nothing like mutually assured destruction to keep a friendship ticking along.

You have to stop making assumptions about why other people do the things they do and think the things they think, and start asking them why they behave the way they do.

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