This book was really conflicting for me. I believe the narration really helped me pull through parts I had otherwise found difficult. Alex Alvarez has a pleasant voice and he seemed to really put his all into each character. His depiction of Hank was captivating and strange at the same time- an emotion Mike has identified with throughout the story regarding Hank. In that sense I think the narration really brought the story to life in a way that made me want to continue reading despite my reservations.
I like that fact the author incorporated a character with Aspergers and it looked like a lot of research has been made into making that subject accurate. I did have an issue with the lack of attention and counseling Hank got, that really affected my ability to connect with the story. Mike keeps saying he just wants Hank to be a “normal person” and makes it his “mission”, that really bothered me because if you choose to deal with such a complexity in a story you can’t that brush it off as Hank being “not normal”. I also was really bothered by the fact Hanks mental state was just declared as Aspergers without any professional taking part in that assessment (just Paul’s opinion base on some relative that had it). It made it appear almost pasted into the book and not really an organic part of the story. And how come no one thought to take Hank to someone that could help him, I found it strange. Another issue I had with the book was that all the relationships revolved around using people, no real connection but just “business”, and then trying to make it romantic. It was at times disturbing, like how Paul started supporting Mike, its twisted and wrong. And then you add Hank into the mix, which is bad enough, and he has Aspergers that means he has trouble responding to people emotions and intentions. It made him almost easy pray at times, his naivete in entering a friendship and physical relationship with Mike was almost assault to me. I could not get over those undercurrents in the plot and they muddled every other part of the book to me. Also portraying gay characters that then contradict that was a bit off putting because I could not find a reason for them behaving thus. The book had very complex situations and characters while remaining flat and almost too melodramatic by choosing to put these characters together. I think there were too many details and topics, not enough dealing with them individually (because there was just no room to do so).
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review