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Published by Cleis Press on March 8, 2016
Genres: LGBTQI, M/M
Purchase links: Amazon
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Source: Rock Star PR
Country boy Tony is seduced by a smooth talking pornographer, who brings the young man to New York to star in a violent sex film. An escape, a marriage and a murder follow the story's cinematic arc of innocence, betrayal, redemption and revenge.
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
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Book Review: 5 stars
As much as I love my romance and erotic with HEA kinda books, I’ve been craving for some diversity in my book wormlife, hence, Boys of Life. This book is not romance, and definitely doesn’t have a happy ending—the main character is telling his story from prison, so you might know from the beginning it doesn’t have a happy ending, and despite all of this, I LOVED every page of it.
In this book, Tony tells his story, how was his relationship with his family, how his life was affected when his dad abandoned him and his siblings, how he became an alcoholic at such young age and how easily he discovered his homosexuality. Later he meets Carlos, a filmmaker who seduced him, and also represented the “father figure” Tony was missing. Their relationship was toxic from the beginning, but since Tony had huge daddy-issues, it felt good for him until it didn’t. As I said before, Tony tells this story when he was in prison, because he murdered Carlos. Nobody ever cared for what he felt about everything he went through, or why he did what he did, but now he has the chance to tell the truth about everything.
This book had a great plot—I’m sure it’d make an Academy Winning Award Movie, with complex characters, and complex circumstances—the story is set and narrated in the 80’s. A time in which homosexuality wasn’t respected, and instead was assaulted physically and psychologically. And because Boys of Life was written by a man, I found the writing style raw but enticing, which was one of the things I enjoyed the most about it.
Paul Russell’s book was one book I never thought I would read, but I’m happy I did. By recommendation of my blogger partner Lucas, I did a little research about the author, which I found very informative. This quote from his website bio is a very accurate description of this book: “His novels might best be described as dreamy reconstructions of half-recalled nightmares.“
This book made me cry, laugh and I was on edge most of the time, wanting to know what happened between Tony and Carlos that would cause something as strong and dread as a murder.
I recommend this book 120%
Warning: This book features a relationship between a 16 year old boy and a 40 year old man. It’s really not a hard limit for me, but it might be for you. TBH, it added more drama to the story, so I loved it even more.
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