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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Space Battle Lunchtime Volume 1: Lights, Camera, Snacktion!
Natalie Reiss
Progress: 20/120 pages
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: A Novel
Becky Chambers
Progress: 148/441 pages
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, Bill Homewood, Naxos AudioBooks
Progress: 667/3165 minutes
A Matter of Oaths
Helen S. Wright
Progress: 101/277 pages
Report on the Selected Problems of the Technical Departments of the University of Illinois Library
Raynard C. Swank
Progress: 20/42 pages
Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
Professor Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses, The Great Courses
Progress: 34/725 minutes
A Rose is a Rose - Jet Mykles The excerpt I read intrigued me, but as I started reading this book I wondered if I had made a mistake in choosing it. Carson seemed a bit like the male version of that perky blonde rich guys always seem to keep around like pets. I was a little surprised he actually had some idea of how to put together a budget and knew what all his bills were.Amazingly, Carson turned out to be my favorite thing about this book. Instead of being annoyed that he let things get so bad by allowing himself to be completely taken care of by all his boyfriends, I found myself amazed that he actually recognized that this wasn't the best way for him to live. Nearly everyone in his life traded sex for money and pretty things and saw nothing wrong with doing so. In fact, Carson's mother encouraged him to find someone else who could give him the life he was accustomed to and, when Anthony returned and said he'd take Carson back, Carson's mother and one of his friends were thrilled and naturally assumed he'd go back to him. When Carson tried to talk about love with his mother, she dismissed it as foolish and unnecessary.My impression of Carson was that he was basically a really nice, vibrant person who made a lot of mistakes and was easily blinded by pretty things. As bad as I felt for him, as his life quickly fell down around his ears, I think he needed for that to happen. Had Eddie been capable of giving him all the expensive gifts he was used to, Carson would probably have slipped into a happy, blind relationship with him, once again oblivious to how helpless he was without someone to take care of him. Since Eddie couldn't do that, since Carson liked being with him anyway, and since Carson's job was quickly becoming a source of unhappiness, Carson couldn't just continue to be blind to his own problems.Unfortunately, it took him ages to get around to doing anything about it. He wanted to stay with Eddie and still have everything else in his life be the way he was used to it being, but it was pretty obvious that wasn't going to work out. At first, it was nice when Eddie helped him, but it gradually become clear that, however well-meaning his intentions, Eddie was just doing the same thing for Carson that all his other boyfriends had done. The only difference was that Eddie had less money to spend.Carson recognizes that this is unhealthy for him and probably not good for Eddie, either. I didn't realize how bad the situation was for Eddie until Carson told him he was going to leave and Eddie desperately offered him all the money he had. Although I liked that Mykles did not allow Carson to go back to Eddie until after he'd gotten a new job and learned to stand on his own, I didn't like that the emotional unhealthiness on Eddie's part was never addressed. It put a seed of doubt in my mind that Carson and Eddie's HEA could actually last, not the best thing for a romance novel.I found Eddie in general to be one of the weakest parts of this book. On the one hand, it was probably a good thing that Eddie was so steady, nonjudgmental, and quiet – he balanced out Carson's emotional roller coaster and overall flamboyant nature. On the other hand, I felt like I never really got to know him. I knew that he lived a quiet life, that he probably hadn't dated seriously in a while, and that he really loved his mother, but I didn't really feel like I knew what was going on in his head. He didn't feel like a whole person so much as a somewhat fleshed-out sketch of a character designed to give the story balance. Like I said, that balance was probably a good thing, but I would have liked to have been given a peek into Eddie's perspective on everything.It's easy for me to let my feelings about the way Eddie reacted to the news that Carson was leaving overshadow things, but there were actually a lot of really sweet moments in the romance between them. I loved reading about how Carson viewed Eddie's home, and, although I was a little disbelieving of how completely nonjudgmental Eddie's mom was (I guess that's where Eddie got it from), I enjoyed reading about Carson getting to meet her.For me, the primary appeal of this book was Carson. I hated it that it took him so long to finally get out of his unhealthy ruts, because I liked him enough that I didn't want to see him have to suffer through the consequences. Since I found myself more emotionally invested in Carson's growth than in Carson and Eddie's romance, I kind of wish Mykles had shown at least a little of what Carson went through to become independent and get a good, steady job on his own, rather than jumping ahead to the romantic conclusion.(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)