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REVIEW: “Tell me it’s real” by T.J Klune



Do you believe in love at first sight?

Paul Auster doesn’t. Paul doesn’t believe in much at all. He’s thirty, slightly overweight, and his best features are his acerbic wit and the color commentary he provides as life passes him by. His closest friends are a two-legged dog named Wheels and a quasibipolar drag queen named Helena Handbasket. He works a dead-end job in a soul-sucking cubicle, and if his grandmother’s homophobic parrot insults him one more time, Paul is going to wring its stupid neck.

Enter Vince Taylor.

Vince is everything Paul isn’t: sexy, confident, and dumber than the proverbial box of rocks. And for some reason, Vince pursues Paul relentlessly. Vince must be messing with him, because there is no way Vince could want someone like Paul.

But when Paul hits Vince with his car—in a completely unintentional if-he-died-it’d-only-be-manslaughter kind of way—he’s forced to see Vince in a whole new light. The only thing stopping Paul from believing in Vince is himself—and that is one obstacle Paul can’t quite seem to overcome. But when tragedy strikes Vince’s family, Paul must put aside any notions he has about himself and stand next to the man who thinks he’s perfect the way he is.


Okay okay, it’s not my normal kind of read but I really needed something easy guaranteed to make me laugh and make me feel whole and happy after a particularly dark and nasty read. This was to be my medicine. And yes. It worked! For the most part … I laughed, it was funny and it was silly, and I didn’t have to get too involved, I could relax and soothe my frazzled nerves with this lighthearted romp.

Paul Auster is the narrator and this is his story. He’s not your typical hero, he’s “average” like most guys I guess, and that’s cool, refreshing right? An everyman hero with a few extra pounds to lose, of average height, average size cock, average job etc etc. And Paul’s a nice guy, a shy guy with severe self esteem issues who can’t believe it’s real when he catches the eye of Mr Tall Dark and too handsome. Bahdahbingbahdahboom sparks fly and it’s love at first sigh for Paul and incredibly, for Vince too. Throw in an accidental er, accident, a handicapped dog, a colourful drag queen for a best friend, Jennifer Lopez and whaddayaknow! A rom-com is born.

I hate rom-com.

But this is medicine and it really is quite funny and witty with hilarious dialogue and excellent life advice like:

‘you can’t worry about fisting until it actually happens. You’ll live your life in fear and you’ll never unclench your anus.’”

See? Brilliant advice! There’s plenty of slapstick comedy too – if you like that sort of thing and I do, but only when the timing and situation is suitable …

I think whether you love this story or not hinges on how you feel about Paul. You either love Paul: the adorable, irresistible and hilarious Paul or, you’ll want to strangle the whiny little bitch Paul who needs to man the fuck up and go easy on the vagina bashing. I had no idea the vagina could be the focus of so much vitriol from a gay man. I mean what did it ever do to you except oh maybe BIRTH YOU INTO THE WORLD DUDE. Jeez!

If this story had been, oh …about 200 pages shorter I would have loved Paul the irresistible and hilarious (and rated this higher) but his inner twatwaffling monologues over his ‘I’m not worthy’ self-esteem issues sways my opinion of him toward ‘whiny little bitch’. It just goes on too long and the slapstick humour gets a bit OTT in places. Paul made me laugh, yes, but I really did not see this inner beauty that those closest to him could. I thought he was a bit of a pratt really. A funny one. Sometimes. Definitely worth a read though. Vince is a great character and their relationship has a real faithful tenderness to it that washes away any residual darkness I felt going into this read. Mission accomplished, I’m healed :)




Title: Tell me it’s real
Author: T.J Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 350 pages
Release Date: February 2013
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner PressAmazon.com 

One comment on “REVIEW: “Tell me it’s real” by T.J Klune

  1. stolenhearts08
    June 4, 2014

    I have to say that i loved this book and expecially Paul though sometimes I also thought he needed a slap in the face to get a hold of reality, but in real life too there is no one you can love fully without wanting to stragle him/her sometimes. 😉


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This entry was posted on June 4, 2014 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Shelley and tagged , , .

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