Review: The Whole Trying Thing by L.M. Langley

Lucas has always let things happen to him. Even meeting Issam, the gorgeous young man who just happens to be wealthy and totally into him, just kind of happens. But Lucas’s long-term crush on his best-friend, Nick, keeps him from fully committing to Issam.

Believing he’ll never have a chance with Nick, Lucas tells himself everything is fine. Except Nick starts dating Issam’s sister, and Lucas can’t quite hide his jealousy.

When a personal crisis causes Nick and Lucas to seek solace with each other, everything finally falls apart, and it’s up to Nick to pick up the pieces.

This is a work of literary/genre fiction.

Literary/genre fiction is perhaps one of the hardest categories to read and review for me. I think of all genres it is, in many ways, the one that is most widely open therefore the one that is most likely to be unpredictable with regards to how much I enjoy it. I also think it is maybe the most dividing genre, any given story is most likely to have a love or hate reaction rather than a more middling meh or enjoyable easy-read vibe. None of which explains why I gave it a 3 heart rating.

I think I wanted to enjoy this more than I actually did. The writing structure worked for me, we flipped between past and present and I liked this; I love drip fed info, learning the characters as we go and why they are the way they are. What I didn't like so much was the characters - particularly the MC, Lucas. Whilst literary fiction is perhaps a closer reflection of real life decisions and mirrors how actions and consequences are related (particularly that indecisive, selfish part of human nature that is not shown so much in other genres), I still need to understand, and be able to empathise with, even the most horrible characters. I didn't really manage this with Lucas. No understanding nor liking meant I really didn't give a damn what he did. I didn't care about him, negatively or positively - and if I can't have some sort of relationship with the MC then the book is kind of a bust for me.

Saying that, I did respect the fact that L.M. Langley was confident enough to write a character who was so real, with no particular likeable characteristics or enough traits to hate passionately. So disliking and respecting the same thing from the same book - well it makes rating it hard. I think, with all literary fiction, liking or not is more personal than any other genre, therefore reviews are perhaps of less help. Give it a go, it might be just the alternative take on romance you were looking for.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
For more information see Goodreads.

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