Review: Like and Subscribe by AotM Jay Bell

Remember that hunky guy on YouTube who caught your eye? The one with the awesome pecs and killer smile? I bet you couldn't stop watching his videos. Just imagine if you had a chance to meet him and all your fantasies started coming true. There's only one catch: Between you and your dream guy is his less-than-pleased boyfriend. They say that love conquers all, but can love conquer love?

Like and Subscribe is a new short story by Jay Bell, the author of Something Like Summer.

Jay Bell can capture the hopelessly hopeful dreams of a celebrity crush really, really well. Believe me, I was Mrs. ‘Insert Famous Crush Here’ on many occasions and I had a totally plausible scenario in my pea brain that would make each of those crushes realities. In Like and Subscribe Evan has it bad for YouTube golden boy Tony and he’s actually got it worse because he went to school with Tony and lives in the same town as his Prince Charming. It’s an actual possibility he could meet the man of his dreams. When his dream becomes a reality the big meet up is not all that Evan hoped. Seems Tony has a boyfriend, Orlando who is none too keen on having Evan sniffing around Tony, no matter what Tony says about their “open” relationship.

Tony really does seem like a nice enough guy at the party where he and Evan meet and Orlando puts Evan in his place pretty quickly. Man, that was an awkward moment for Evan and I just felt so bad for him and while I was not too terribly impressed with Orlando at that point, I couldn’t really blame him either. But, at the same time, I’m thinking, “Hey, you took Evan to meet Tony to begin with, don’t be a dick!” I was feeling little protective of Evan, I liked him.

Evan gets together with Tony away from the party and even with the open relationship status between Tony and Orlando, Evan can’t help but feel uncomfortable with the setup, no matter that Tony is his ultimate and I loved that about Evan. He’s the first to admit he’s an old fashioned guy and I could see that through the whole story. He was so charming and humble, even when he spent some time with Tony and started to see that Prince Charming in real life, may not be the Prince Charming of YouTube fame.

Evan’s best friend Julie is a great character and I liked the evolution of their relationship. I couldn’t help but feel that there was more than one turning point/growing up moment in a few relationships in the story here and it started with Evan and Julie’s. They had leaned on each other for a long time and got to the codependent stage of friendship and good for them for figuring it out while still remaining best friends and giving each other a kick in the ass when needed.

So, the evolution of Evan and Tony’s relationship leads Evan down a totally different path than what he expected and it was a sweet journey to read. The video that Evan ends up posting on YouTube is about the most romantic gesture ever and his sole subscriber is one lucky man. Like and Subscribe is a highly recommended short story with substance about old fashioned romance in the age of technology.

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