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Some mistakes are worth making.
Reclusive comic book artist Trip Spector spends his life doodling super-square, straitlaced superheroes, hiding from his fans, and crushing on his unattainable boss until he meets the dork of his dreams. Silas Goolsby is a rowdy FX makeup creator with a loveless love life and a secret streak of geek who yearns for unlikely rescues and a truly creative partnership.
Against their better judgment, they fall victim to chemistry, and what starts as infatuation quickly grows tender and terrifying. With Silas’s help, Trip gambles his heart and his art on a rotten plan: sketching out Scratch, a “very graphic novel” that will either make his name or wreck his career. But even a smash can’t save their world if Trip retreats into his mild-mannered rut, leaving Silas to grapple with betrayal and emotions he can’t escape.
‘Hot Head’ was my first M/M book. And like many of you, I stood in that imaginary line clamoring for, demanding, the sequel. It is THE BOOK that put Damon Suede on the map. I loved it.
I love ‘Bad Idea’ more.
‘Bad Idea’ is the book I wish…I would choose…for Damon Suede to be known for. It is OUTSTANDING. It is not Hot Head. Completely different. Don’t read this thinking you’re getting the like. It is incomparable.
It’s quirky and offbeat. Funny, geeky, fast-paced…almost manic even. It’s infuriating and makes you want to shake someone and scream. It’s heavy and sad at times. And permeating through every scene, it is FULL of heart.
True, there is something in me that innately should be drawn to this book. It’s set in my city of NY, in my very neighborhood even. It’s about a comic book designer and a FX makeup artist and speaks to my inner (ok, yes, outer too) geek…down to obscure references to one of my favorite shows, The Tick. But none of this has to be true for you in order to enjoy it.
The characters, every last one of them, are FANTASTIC. They are wise, yet do dumb things. They are silly, yet take their relationships seriously. They are devoted, yet hurt each other. They are lovable, yet make you angry.
Trip and Silas, the two MC’s, are navigating their way through a new relationship…and sometimes it’s fun. And other times it’s awkward and weird…and HARD…and it hurts when they don’t know how to behave…and aggravating when they don’t talk to each other. But the roller coaster that is their journey is…real…so real…sometimes too real (my heart broke in all-too-familiar places at points). You feel their insecurity, their jealousy, their regret, their bliss, their care, their love. And true to Damon Suede form…there are some HOT scenes.
Surrounding them are some of the BEST side characters I’ve ever met in a book. The 2 female best friends Rina and Jill are…they are who I aspire to be. They are who I want to be around. They speak TRUTH and they emit sass and they’re loyal and they know how to love. Their parts were like THERAPY to me…I was so knocked in the head by them. And the others, those that are the friends, those that are the comic relief, those that are the villains (though that line is even blurry), those that are being set up for the next book (next book? YES!)…are all equally unforgettable.
The story, especially as you’re first diving in, feels like a hot mess. A few times I asked myself “what the heck is going on?” The writing is sometimes (intentionally?) confusing. But, I allowed myself to stop holding on so tightly to every word and to let go. Experience the zany. Get lost in the unfamiliar. Trust the author to take you there and enjoy the ride.
I can’t imagine, just because of the oddness of this book, that it will be everyone’s cup of tea. The problem is, I would not WISH FOR ANYONE to miss out on this book. So, I’m torn over the recommendation. What I feel most comfortable saying is this: READ IT. You might hate it. But you’ll most likely find that you love it. And isn’t that worth the risk?
PS – there are SO many exquisitely written scenes in this book, but I’ll ask you to try to remember and savor a particular Silas scene (afraid / frayed)…you’ll know it when you get to it…and you’ll never forget it. Also…every line that comes out of Rina’s mouth. She’s golden.