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A novel in the Tav series
Davo's a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he's gay, but doesn't want to be one of those gays who are girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme - including relationships that last beyond 15 minutes.
Then Davo's friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub. That's where he meets Lee, cute from her cherry-red hair to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed - but how is that possible? He's gay. Isn't he? Then Lee tells him he's actually a guy - he just likes to wear women's dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that's out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.
Any additional comments?
Sure, you have to bear with the story a bit to get through some of Davo's thickness in the beginning...but it's worth it to stick it through.<br/><br/>Wonderfully pitched with romance, humor, very little angst, and some very hot sexy times, I especially loved Dave Gillies performance. His character voices, his pacing, and timing are all done really well.<br/><br/>A thoroughly entertaining listen.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
just lovely. and loved reading about the charcters from the first book The blinding light.
highly recommended it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up to review this audiobook. I hadn’t previously read anything by the author, but saw some of my Goodreads friends really enjoyed it and was intrigued by the Australian narrator. By the time I was a third of the way through, I was recommending it to others. You Are the Reason made me repeatedly smile, sigh, and laugh. It’s the perfect choice if you’re looking for something lighter with good character development but low angst.
Upon first meeting Davo, I wasn’t sold on his character. He had a causal, friendly vibe that appealed and I liked his sense of humor. However, he was so anti all things femme and wore his reproach like a badge of honor that I couldn’t quite like him. This ended up being a prime set-up to a major character overhaul that lasted much of the book. While this book included the story of Davo and Lee’s romance, it more precisely followed Davo as new people and experiences in his life forced him to evaluate his discomfort with anything he deemed too femme, stereotypically “gay”, and pink. I really liked the way Miss Kaye approached his character and developed his personality steadily. Over the course of the book the reader learns the details as to why Davo has these assertions, and I was surprisingly empathetic to his character considering how much I initially balked at his negativity. I think this was helped in part with how quickly Davo acknowledged his shortcomings and became committed to changing for the better, never blaming others or trying to insist they change to make him more comfortable. I also really liked Lee. The story is entirely from Davo’s point of view, so the reader doesn’t get to know Lee quite as intimately, but his character did have a good amount of depth and I found his personality interesting and completely charming. I absolutely loved Davo and Lee together. They were sweet, supportive of one another, sexy, and most of all funny. Davo’s reactions were so honest to a young man who never imagined himself helping with a friend’s baby or in a committed relationship, and even if the thoughts and situations bordered on the ridiculous at times, they were completely relatable.
The narrator worked perfectly with this book, reading with emotion that brought the characters and scenes to life. If you’re a fan of audiobooks, I’d definitely consider listening to this book. Between his accent and delivery, Dave Gillies enhances Miss Kaye’s book and offers a very good performance.
I utterly enjoyed You Are the Reason. I laughed a lot. And when I wasn’t laughing, I was smiling because the main and secondary characters and their interactions were fantastic. When I started this audiobook, I hoped I would enjoy it based on the reviews, but I really hadn’t anticipated it being so funny and charming. I’ll definitely look for more from this author and go back to read the first of the series.
*Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about You Are the Reason?
The humor. This book made me laugh out loud many times. Davo's experience changing the baby is hysterical.
What does Dave Gillies bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
His narration is good and he has a true Aussie accent that is needed for the book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Being a favorite author of mine I first read You Are the Reason by Renae Kaye when it was published in 2015. I was immediately enamored by the main characters, Dave and Lee. This is book two in Ms. Kaye’s The Tav series and honestly this installment can easily be read as a standalone. Although Jake and Patrick, from book one The Blinding Light are featured, in my opinion, you can enjoy this one even if you haven’t read the first.<br/><br/>It is only made better by the fact that Dave Gillies is also one of my favorite narrator’s and he truly shines in his delivery of You Are the Reason. He has the perfect accent and his character voices are very distinct.<br/><br/>The story begins with Dave recounting an experience when he was younger and in school. It seems as if his Coach really did a number on him. While Dave was just figuring out that he is gay the Coach had it ingrained in his head that he has to be “tough” and “masculine”. To the point that under the Coach’s watchful eye a few of his classmates beat him up in order to “toughen him up”.<br/><br/>So for most of his teenage and adult life Dave has this idea in his head that being gay is okay but he doesn’t want to be seen as “one of those gays”.<br/><br/>You know, the ones who like pink, wear makeup and are typically seen as “girly gays”. Dave doesn’t believe in relationships and has always been into one night stands and bar hook ups.<br/><br/>These beliefs are truly shaken when he meets Lee one night at a local bar. Dave is there looking for a quick hook up and can’t understand why he’s attracted straight away by Lee’s bright red hair and full pouty lips when Lee is a “woman”. They chat for hours and have a grand time hitting on men together and end up drunk messing around in Dave’s van.<br/><br/>This leaves Dave freaking out because Lee is the first “woman” he’s ever been attracted to and he even starts to question his sexuality.<br/><br/>When Dave learns that Lee is actually a man he’s completely thrown for a loop. He never thought he could be attracted to that type of gay man (meaning a man who likes to dress in women’s clothes) - but he truly is.<br/><br/>Lee has the patience of a saint and is with Dave every step of the way as Dave’s idea of what being gay really is begins to change. He has him help out at a youth center where Lee is a counselor and Dave meets all types of young men. Including some who like to wear make-up and he even meets Lee’s friend who is transgender. Lee likes to dress in women’s clothes and wear makeup occasionally.<br/><br/>As Lee breaks down all of those stereotypes that Dave has clung to throughout the years Dave slowly but surely comes to realize that he shouldn’t, and doesn’t, give a damn what anyone else thinks of him or Lee.<br/><br/>It was awesome to see Dave “wake-up” and realize there are all types of “gay” men out there and he doesn’t have to be “tough” or overly masculine all the time.<br/><br/>I love how the author shows the reader Dave’s growth throughout the story by encompassing humor and clever wording. Like Dave relying on his magic eight ball to answer all of life’s tough questions; truly laugh out loud moments. And when Dave and Lee attend a performance of Grease, Dave puts on a brave face when seeing Lee wear eyeliner. His hang ups about “girly guys” are in full force but he ends up enjoying himself and (gasp) even holds Lee’s hand.<br/><br/>I really adore this book and especially enjoy the narration by the fantastic Dave Gillies.<br/><br/>I’ve listened to a few of his audiobooks before and really love how he tells a story and truly “gets” into character. Renae Kaye adds a lot of humor in this tale and Gillies shines during the funny scenes.<br/><br/>When there’s mention of Dave’s best mate, Jake, who is now with Patrick (from The Blinding Light), and in the process of trying to adopt a baby, Gillies magic comes out full force when narrating about baby Maxine being dressed head to toe in pink and having to change dirty nappies. Dave enlists Lee’s help at this point and what ensues is hilarious.<br/><br/>You Are the Reason is chalk full of romance and the full on chemistry between Dave and Lee is scorching. Even when Lee wears a dress Dave can’t help but be attracted to the man underneath.<br/><br/>One of my favorite quotes is by Lee, he says:<br/><br/>“Didn’t you just know? Didn’t you feel how we were meant for each other? Didn’t all the pieces of your life just click into place when we’re together? Doesn’t it feel strange when we’re apart?” <br/><br/>Sigh! And delivered in that perfect “Lee” voice had me melting.<br/><br/>Dave Gillies is simply amazing!<br/><br/>You Are the Reason by Renae Kaye is truly a great and funny story because we the reader get to see how Dave progresses and transforms. It’s all told from Dave’s point of view so it’s like you’ve got a front row seat into his most intimate thoughts and insecurities. And of course the brilliant narration by Dave Gillies truly makes it a favorite of mine.
In book 1 we met Davo, whose motto “I’m gay but not a ***”, is a bit offensive but who has a good heart – if a bit misguided. Davo’s coach and society in general has him believing that being feminine (for men and women?) is equal to being weak, slow, a failure So, though he finds a way to reconcile being gay with being okay, he does all he can to avoid being seen as weak by avoiding anything remotely feminine or girly or sweet in his personality or in his companions.
After Davo meets a “woman” named Lee some of Davo’s world gets shaken up. When it turns out that Lee is in fact a cross-dresser, a man, Davo is stunned, but also compelled. Strangely, the attraction to a woman felt better to him than being attracted to “one of those” types of gay men he’s been taught to abhor.
While I know there are many “issues” that could be seen in this story – to me – I saw someone finally uncovering his own prejudices and exploring life more fully. It was simple – like Davo himself – and the author drove these points home with a simple use of his nickname – Davo – when he was being a “bro” and Dave – when he’s being more thoughtful. I thought that was masterful.
Instead of having Dave’s parents be the villain we are shown that others in our world can do as much – or more – damage to our belief systems.
We get to see the MCs from book one and their trials and tribulations with a baby – definitely comic relief!
Another absolutely brilliant plot point was the explanation of pheromones. I have no idea how “scientifically true” it is – but it sounds very plausible. It allowed me to fully engage in the idea that our uber-gay Davo could find a “woman” attractive and was a beautifully executed explanation to this seemingly impossible plot device. Bravo!
I wasn’t too keen on the odd girlfriend/Thor/handcuffs scene – it felt out of place and seemed to stereotype aggressive females as a villain in a way that’s not helpful and it didn’t seem to fit the rest of the story or move it forward in an important way.
Other than that niggle I really, really loved this and highly recommend it!
6 of 5 stars
Dave Gilles is a great narrator and I’ve enjoyed several of his narrations in the past: Loving Jaye, The Shearing Gun, Mending Noel and others. I thought he did a great job with Davo and some of the other supporting characters and he handles the comic timing and emotions well. I wasn’t crazy about his depiction of Lee – he felt way to screechy and far too old to match his character and it was a bit disconcerting. It wasn’t enough to make me not like this and I certainly loved hearing the story brought to life but I do wish he’d gone a different way with that voice.
4.5 of 5 stars for the audio
Overall 5 of 5 stars
I thought his was excellent apart from one thing, which unfortunately totally ruined this audiobook for me. In book 1, Patrick had a deep and calm voice and Jake had a high slightly nervous voice, which was part of the plot. In this book, although these two were not the MCs anymore but secondary, Patrick now had a high, nervous voice and Jake had a deep and calm one. It completely changed their characters and the relationship between them.
So while I adored the book where it concerned the new MCs, I cringed evertime P&J were voiced.
In terms of the story, the author is a favourite of mine and she sets her books in australia, so the conflict surrounded a gay MC who was influenced by how some australian society viewed masculinity and his own prejudice against other sections of gay society, until these views are challenged by someone unexpected. It is another beautiful story with positive characters, you want to dislike the MC for his fear and behaviour but you cant help but like him.
The fact that the audiobook narrator can make the characters so different just by the voices he ascribes shows great talent in audiobook narration so I would listen to books narrated by him again, the author is a favourite of mine and this will be another favourite, but the continuity error is very disappointing.
Would you consider the audio edition of You Are the Reason to be better than the print version?
Not really, I enjoyed both, but I had different voices in my head for both Davo and Lee
Who was your favorite character and why?
Davo, I just love him, how he alters his views, his warmth, his friendship and his love of Lee. I also loved his My Little Pony stories and his attempt at nappy changing
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
I like that he's genuinely Aussie sounding!
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It makes you laugh out loud. I waited so long for this book to be released on audio as it really is one of my very favourite reads. So very heartwarming in dark times. Encore, Ms Kaye
Any additional comments?
Buy it, I don't think you'll regret the money/credit!
What made the experience of listening to You Are the Reason the most enjoyable?
an aussie story
What was one of the most memorable moments of You Are the Reason?
when dave asked his boyfriend out on a date and to wear a dress
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
when dave said he loved lee
0 of 1 people found this review helpful