Monday, January 16, 2017

Release Day Review ~The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin

Release Day Review ~The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin

Title: The Impossible Boy

Author: Anna Martin
Release Date: January 16, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 204

This is not your average love story.
Ben Easton is not your average romantic hero. He’s a tattooed, badass, wannabe rock star, working in a perfectly horrible dive bar in Camden Town. His life is good, and he’s totally unprepared for how one man will turn it upside down.
Stan isn’t your average heroine. As a gender-fluid man, he proudly wears his blond hair long, his heels sky-high, and his makeup perfectly executed. A fashion industry prodigy, Stan is in London after stints working in Italy and New York City, and he quickly falls for Ben’s devil-may-care attitude and the warm, soft heart Ben hides behind it.
Beneath the perfect, elegant exterior, Stan has plenty of scars from teenage battles with anorexia. And it only takes the slightest slip for his demons to rush back in while Ben is away touring with his band. With the band on the brink of a breakthrough, Ben is forced to find a way to balance the opportunity of a lifetime with caring for his beautiful boyfriend.

5 Stars!!! 

A lovely, 'makes me feel great to live in England' tale of bravery, acceptance, caring, sharing and loving. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this.
Until I read this, Summer Son was my fave AM tale, but this is challenging that book for pole position. I loved everything about it. I loved Stan and his strength of character, his physical strength despite his slightness, his mental strength that allowed him to not only accept his differences, but embrace and own them, and that allowed him to overcome the event that occurred in the tale. I loved that Ben was such an accepting, non-judgmental character, one who embraced all parts of Stan, loving him as a guy and as a girl and being proud to have him as his partner. I loved Tone, the guy who started off as Ben's friend and co-worker, and who became part of Team-Stan. I loved how Ben's group of friends, and one's mother, were so accepting and so, so giving. I loved how AM portrayed *MY* London, a London where we accept everybody, where I've never in my 48 years seen any kind of discrimination, a London where we love differences and admire people who are bold enough to be different, where we're definitely 'live and let live'. She made me wish that I could have seen Stan with my own eyes.

I loved that the tale felt so organic, that not one part of it felt manufactured or required me to suspend disbelief, and I loved - which kind of sounds weird, but isn't - how AM made Stan's illness seem so 'Yes, I can believe that', and that she didn't big it up or stereotype it and make it connected with Stan's world, but that she related it to the mental illness that it actually is. She didn't go into TMI about his lapse, but didn't trivialise the illness and portrayed his coming-back from it realistically.

I loved Ben and Stan as a couple, as this wasn't a tale based on all-out copious amounts of sex, but a couple of people who were attracted to each other, had the courage to take a chance on each other, got to know and like each other, were attracted to each other but who took the sex side of things slow so that it ended up being really meaningful. I loved how they were both prepared to make changes to themselves and their lives to be able to be together, and I believed that they would get the 50/60/70 years together that was mentioned in the tale. I wouldn't change anything about this tale, and it's one that I can see myself reading again and again.

AM has written a longish afterword about this tale, including her doubts as to whether she's pulled off Stan - I can honestly say that she's done herself, Stan and her readers proud and I am so, so glad that she wrote this book.

ARC courtesy of Dreamspinner Press and Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure.

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