I picked this book up because this author has been on my radar for some time. They are a high-profile MM author, with a large following, and it's always good to read other works in one's chosen genre to see what makes them so popular.
To be honest, I wasn't mad about this, and I'm not even sure why. Milo is autistic, and has ways of coping with the world which might seem unconventional to others. Fine. You have to wait a while before the word "autistic," appears in the book. (It's mentioned once, near the end.) Neurodivergence appears three times before that. I don't even know why this bothered me. Maybe it's the coyness of it (not talking about Milo's autism) that grated on me. Did the author fear readers might be put off if such a huge part of their main character was mentioned in the blurb?
That might be one hell of a reach. The only reason I mention it is because the whole book is based around Milo, his personality and the way he likes to do things, so not to mention he's autistic until the end seemed a bit odd. It almost smacked of a big reveal. "Guess what!" which didn't sit well with me. Maybe I just wanted the, "so I'm autistic. So what. deal with it or don't," conversation a bit nearer the start of the book.
I should add add that I have NO experience in this area. All the autistic folk I've met have been totally different from each other. There is no "type," as far as I could see, so I don't know if this is a good representation or not. I did get the over-protective mom, though. Yes, she seemed overbearing at times, but I sympathised with her a lot.
Gideon was someone I didn't feel I knew any better at the end of the book than I did at the start. Muscular, tattooed, kind, and a misfit in his academic family. All those things were there, but he seemed a bit of a cardboard cutout. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it felt as if he hadn't been coloured in properly.
Other characters, like Gene and Milo's mom, were beautifully drawn, and the family dynamic sensitively handled. Gene and Wilma definitely deserve their own story, I feel.
The situation; Milo inheriting a bookshop on a cute island of wonderful, accepting people, and getting a hot tattooed guy as a housemate within a week, was pure cornball, but that's okay. Sometimes cornball is just what is needed. And Milo and Gideon fit so perfectly together, it felt almost a little icky. There is very little conflict, and... I don't know, in the end, this book didn't work for this reader.
Unusual. Quirky. Different. I’ve heard it all. I’ve accepted I’m not for everyone. Maybe not anyone. When I find out I inherited a bookstore and apartment on a small East Coast island, I jump at the chance for a new life. Turns out I’ve also inherited a sexy, tattooed guy who not only rents the space next to my store for his tattoo parlor but my apartment too.
Did I mention he’s really hot? And surprisingly sweet?
I wasn’t looking for a roommate, but it’s not like I can stay at Milo’s place while he’s banished to a hotel. Our unlikely friendship is instant. According to Milo, we’re bestie goals. And if he doesn’t wear pants at home, who am I to complain?
Milo’s not like anyone I’ve ever known. I like laughing and flirting with him. He’s adorably honest, eager, and sexier than he realizes. Now, I just have to figure out how to convince him that maybe it’s time for an upgrade from bestie to boyfriend goals.