Title: As You Are
Author: Ethan Day
Publisher: Loose Id
Other Buy Links: All Romance ebook, Fictionwise, Amazon, The Book Depository, & Barnes and Noble
Genre: LGBT Erotic Contemporary
Length: Novel Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Operation Danny… that’s all bartender and recent college graduate, Julian Hallowell has had on his mind the past year. Julian may have no idea what he wants to do with his life, but he definitely knows he‘s in love with the boy next door: The one in next room to be exact, his roommate Danny Wallace.
Danny owns a used text book store just off campus and while Julian has done his level best to make Danny fall for him, all his hard work appears to have been in vain. Danny doesn’t seem to view Julian as anything other than that…a roommate and friend. So when new guy in town Andy Baker asks him out on a date, Julian can’t seem to think of a good reason to say no.
Julian has already instituted a Reverse Operation Danny plan, which he’s positive will purge all thoughts of love and lust for his roomie out of his head. He’s ready to move on and start looking for his next Mr. Right, and Andy just might fit the bill.
I would like to start off by saying that there are very few books out there that can actually make me laugh out loud when I read them, and As You Are had me laughing quite a few times. The way Ethan Day incorporates humor into his writing is brilliant; it comes across so natural.
Anyway, on to the review. The story takes place in a first person point of view and I really enjoyed being inside Julian’s head. If you like a quirky, funny, romantic, easily… uh, lustful ;), says the first thing that pops into his head kind of guy, then you’ll love Julian. Julian’s passion to find love is endearing. He wants what every person wants – that heart stopping, hard to breathe, can’t think about anybody else, deep down inside you just know he’s the one kind of love. But does it exist? For Julian, yes, and it comes in the form of Danny, his roommate. An unfortunate moment, though, has Julian convinced that Danny doesn’t want him, so he tries to move on. But how can one really move on from love?
Danny is your typical manly man, only he’s gay. He’s a great character, though you sometimes have to read between the lines with him and his actions, but it’s great because it keeps you enthralled – wondering excitedly “Am I right, am I right!?” I liked the way the two men would banter back and forth between each other, the tension building with every playful move.
I love the secondary characters as well, they add a lot of backbone to the story. Both Julian’s friend Gabby and Julian’s mother are funny yet strong women, and you definitely find yourself falling for Andy and only wanting the best for him.
This is a wonderful story about love, loss, hope, hurt, and coming to understand what’s real and what’s a fantasy. Julian has to realise that love isn’t always easy, and that sometimes he has to see past himself and try to understand what other’s are going through, that not everyone wears their heart on their shoulder like he does.
Even though there is no majorly dramatic suspense to the story, I still think that Ethan did an excellent job at keeping you intrigued and wanting to read more. The story is more simple, but it’s the way it’s told that really counts.
One last note; at times I find flashbacks in a story difficult to hold my attention; to me a lot of the time it’s like “Yeah, okay, now get back to the story so I can find out what’s next”. But the way Ethan take’s you through Julian’s cherished moments with Danny throughout the story definitely had me captivated, it’s like I forgot that I was even reading a flashback because I was so absorbed in the moment. The only thing I wish is that there was a more distinct way of separating the past from the present. When everything is written in the same format, and there’s no asterisk or something like that to separate the two, it can sometimes get confusing when the story goes from the present to the past and vice versa.
Overall, I think As You Are is a great book and I highly recommend it. I liked it so much, and it was so hard to put down, that I ended up reading it within 24 hours – it would have been less than that, but hey, I’ve got to sleep at some point. 🙂