Guest Review: Lucky Seven by E.L. Esch

Dante Mathers, college student, fifth year, has a track record for being dishonest with himself, and is about to undergo the biggest, scariest change of his life.

Dante's forced himself to go out with girls in the past and he does it again when he's approached by the beautiful Serena one day on campus, desperate to prove to himself that he's "normal." But when he loses a drinking contest and is dared to go to the next campus GLBT meeting by his best friend, he’s not sure how to handle it. Sure he could blow it off and say he went, but something nagging at the back of his mind compels him to go anyway. After all, he’s had problems with intimacy in the past and his first crush was a boy in high school. But is he really forcing himself to go, or is he finally starting to be honest with himself? No need to over think this, Dante tells himself. It'll be get in, get out. No need to talk to anyone. Easy, right?

But then he meets Sven. Sexy, toned, wearing a leather jacket with spiked up bleach-blond hair, Sven's bad-boy flare sticks out on campus and catches Dante's eye. But there's more to Sven than his punkish looks, and Dante's about to find out all the sultry little details.

Reviewed by Samantha

Despite the common opinion that college is the time to find yourself, Dante Mathers is in his fifth year and still hasn't seemed to figure it out. He's had one failed attempt with a female and nothing but a crush on a guy. His time is almost up, and yet he still has no idea who he is.

His best friend dares him to attend a LGBTQ meeting, and not one to back down, Dante goes. He's surprised at the people he meets there, but still reluctant to consider himself as anything other than... well, Dante.

From meeting a girl named Serena to finding a guy named Sven handsome, this may just be the year he finally discovers himself.

So my thoughts...

This was an easy, pretty low-angst read. It wasn't overly sweet or bitter in some ways that many books can be. It just was. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure that's a good thing. It didn't leave me with much of an impression. It felt pretty standard, not delving beneath the most basic level of emotions.

On the bright side, the author had a lot of great ideas. Maybe there were just too many that weren't properly executed. For instance, Sven's grandfather is very sick, and while we see some of this and it's affect on Sven, we really don't see much of it. It's just there, it happens, we know it. The end.

One of the biggest things that bothered me, more than anything else, was that both Sven and Dante were so uncertain of themselves. Their doubt continued to ooze throughout the book and it just annoyed the hell out of me. It was like they couldn't be good enough for themselves, so they needed to constantly fish to make sure they were good enough for each other. This may be insensitive, but I just wanted to see them at least gain some confidence. It was like the author would write that they did, and then they'd switch back to their uncertainty. And again, it wasn't fully explored beyond the very initial layer of feeling unsure about who they are or lacking confidence.

That being said, it wasn't a bad read, and I think the author has a lot of potential. It just was too plain and simple, bordering on boring at points. In the end, it wasn't memorable.

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