As You Are by Ethan Day
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC
Length: Full Length (193 pgs)
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Jasmine
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 next door down the hall to be exact, housing his roommate and used textbook store owner Danny Wallace.
While Julian has done his level best to make Danny fall for him, all his hard work has been in vain. Danny doesn’t seem to view Julian as anything other than a roommate and friend. So when new guy in town Andy Baker asks him out on a date, Julian can’t think of a good reason to say no.
Instead, he institutes 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. But has he given up too soon?
Some people never realize what a good thing they have until it is gone. Will that be the case for Julian and Danny? Or, will they stop hiding from what’s right in front of them?
Julian is the quintessence of the gay male in the 21st century and heaven help anyone that doesn’t see his point of view. Don’t get me wrong, he’s kind, loyal, and has a heart of gold, but he tends to struggle when it comes to looking at both sides of the coin. Boisterous, flamboyant at times, and all around adorable, you can’t help but fall in love with him, which is exactly what happens to his roommate Danny. There’s only one problem, fear of rejection and events from the past have prevented them from professing their love for one another. Will Julian wake up and smell the coffee before it’s too late? Will he learn to accept others as they are and stop making assumptions about why people do the things they do? Moreover, will he relinquish his wished-for fairy tale ending regarding how real relationships work and realize that it’s hard work and requires a reasonable amount of compromise on both sides?
Danny is the strong, silent, mysterious type, which makes it difficult at times to gauge his emotions. With the passing of his mother at an early age and being disowned by his father because he’s gay, Danny has some demons to exorcise. Could Julian, his polar opposite be the man to help him in his plight?
The ole saying opposites attract is an understatement when it comes to these two gentlemen. However, Danny and Julian have an ability to not only balance one another, but also make each other stronger. But, will they realize this before it’s too late? Do you know how to recognize a good thing when it’s standing right in front of you?
As You Are resonated something deep inside of me, and not because I’m fabulous, but because I could relate as a reader and human being to the fears, hopes, and desires that each character experienced as they learned how to communicate and compromise in their relationship. The fear of being rejected by the one you love is a stifling emotion and often leads people to do stupid things as you’ll see when you pick up your copy of As You Are if don’t already own it.
The story is written in first person from Julian’s perspective and I must admit that it’s a very refreshing read. I loved how Mr. Day allows the reader into the mindset of Julian, yet, left an air of mystery regarding Danny, his soul mate. There were times that Julian and Danny frustrated the heck out of me and I wanted to slap them both. But there were also times when they made me laugh and cry at how much they had experienced and survived as a couple. They truly do compliment one another and make each other strong as individuals.
With a lovely cast of secondary characters this book got better and better. Gabby, who is Julian’s best friend, is hilarious and their relationship is the epitome of a strong-willed, straight woman who's best friends with a fabulous and at times over the top gay man. Okay, most of the time is an understatement. Julian is fabulous and has no problem relishing that fact. He makes no apologies for his personality flaws and I love that about him because it helped bring his character to life.
Delilah, Julian’s mom, is absolutely amazing in this book. She's a no-nonsense, elegant, classic woman from Texas who loves her baby boy regardless of the fact that he's gay and has no problem putting others in their place when they make degrading comments about him or other gay men. She is freaking-fantastic. And although she loves her baby boy, she has no problem telling him when he's being an ass, which I found hilarious. The interaction between the characters made the plot realistic and brought the story to life. There was nothing in As You Are that made me question whether or not a gay man would do or say that. I have cousins who are gay and Ethan's portrayal of the overzealous gay male versus the strong-silent gay male is on the money. I loved all of the characters in As You Are.
If you’re looking for a heart-warming, humorous, drama-oriented story that is a breath of fresh air, then As You Are is the book to read. Two thumbs up to Mr. Day for providing us with a story that not only stresses the importance of compromise in any loving relationship, but also the importance of coming to terms with your fears so that you don’t risk losing what might be standing right in front of you. I would definitely recommend As You Are to my friends. Shoot! I need to buy both of my cousins a copy of As You Are because they will definitely enjoy it as much as I did. Bravo Mr. Day! Bravo!