Disclaimer: I received this audiobook from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: Be Dazzled
Author: Ryan La Sala
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Gay MC, m/m relationship
Recommended For…: contemporary readers, ya readers, LGBT+
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Genre: YA Contemporary
Recommended Age: 16+ (language, drug usage, alcohol mention, sexual content, and slight gore for cosplay)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Synopsis: Who’s ready to sparkle??
Project Runway goes to Comic Con in an epic queer love story about creativity, passion, and finding the courage to be your most authentic self.
Raffy has a passion for bedazzling. Not just bedazzling, but sewing, stitching, draping, pattern making–for creation. He’s always chosen his art over everything–and everyone–else and is determined to make his mark at this year’s biggest cosplay competition. If he can wow there, it could lead to sponsorship, then art school, and finally earning real respect for his work. There’s only one small problem… Raffy’s ex-boyfriend, Luca, is his main competition.
Raffy tried to make it work with Luca. They almost made the perfect team last year after serendipitously meeting in the rhinestone aisle at the local craft store–or at least Raffy thought they did. But Luca’s insecurities and Raffy’s insistence on crafting perfection caused their relationship to crash and burn. Now, Raffy is after the perfect comeback, one that Luca can’t ruin.
But when Raffy is forced to partner with Luca on his most ambitious build yet, he’ll have to juggle unresolved feelings for the boy who broke his heart, and his own intense self-doubt, to get everything he’s ever wanted: choosing his art, his way.
Review: I really like this book. I thought that the concept would be a bit tropey, but I am so glad that I was wrong. The two main characters were not at all enemies to lovers or vengeful x or anything like that, they felt like real people in the book. They had their tips and everything but the whole book didn’t dwell on those little tips, but rather their relationship as a whole. I thought that the characters were wonderfully well developed and the world building was amazing. I really liked the concept of the book and that it takes place during conventions and with cosplay, something that I don’t see a lot in books. I also thought that the book was wonderfully well written and the audiobook narrator did a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life.
the only thing that I really had an issue with was the way that the story was told. I really did like how the story was told for the most part, and that the book is told in this back and forth between the now and the then. But the story got a little bit metal towards the end, and I wish that the author took the last two chapters of the then and combine them into one big chapter and then left the last two chapters of the now complete. But the book is very poetic in that sense because while you’re seeing the relationship fall apart in the then you are seeing it come back together in the now and there’s something that’s just epically poetic about this and I am so happy that I got to listen to this book. I highly recommend this book if you’re interested in cosplay or if you’re looking for those one of the million best ya romance contemporary books.
Verdict: Highly recommend!