Disclaimer: I received this e-arc, arc, and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: The Temperature of Me and You
Author: Brian Zepka
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Gay MC, gay love interest, m/m romance, w/w romance
Recommended For…: can’t recommend DNF
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
Genre: YA Fantasy
Age Relevance: can’t recommend, DNF
Explanation of Above: I did not finish this book for a variety of reasons, but some of them include fatphobia, sexism, misogyny, the only other queer characters being a mean girl, and other problematic queer content as well as Harry Potter references in the book.
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Dylan Highmark thought his winter was going to be full of boring shifts at the Dairy Queen, until he finds himself in love with a boy who’s literally too hot to handle.
Dylan has always wanted a boyfriend, but the suburbs surrounding Philadelphia do not have a lot in the way of options. Then, in walks Jordan, a completely normal (and undeniably cute) boy who also happens to run at a cool 110 degrees Fahrenheit. When the boys start spending time together, Dylan begins feeling all kinds of ways, and when he spikes a fever for two weeks and is suddenly coughing flames, he thinks he might be suffering from something more than just a crush. Jordan forces Dylan to keep his symptoms a secret. But as the pressure mounts and Dylan becomes distant with his closest friends and family, he pushes Jordan for answers. Jordan’s revelations of why he’s like this, where he came from, and who’s after him leaves Dylan realizing how much first love is truly out of this world. And if Earth supports life that breathes oxygen, then love can only keep Jordan and Dylan together for so long.
Review: I DNFed this book at about page 220. The book has a strong premise and I wanted to like it a lot. The book had a great superhero aspect and I love the “normal person falls for the superhero/person with powers” trope. I also liked that it had a strong beginning. However, the book quickly faded after the beginning and it got very slow and boring quickly. The characters weren’t well developed and the world building is meh. The book also started to show a lot of problematic content that made me feel uncomfortable. There is a Harry Potter reference, which is hugely problematic given JK Rowling’s comments and that this is a queer book. There are multiple instances of sexism and misogyny, including making the only other queer character in the book the stereotypical “mean lesbian”, which I hate. The book also had a few other problematic elements, including a character who introduced himself with “male pronouns” and it wasn’t really called out or commented on. I skimmed this one to see the end and it’s very anticlimactic as well. I’m ultimately disappointed in this book because I really really wanted to like this one and I just feel very let down.
Verdict: It’s definitely not for me and I advise caution when going into this book.