Review: All of the Above by Quinn Anderson

Brendon isn’t in a rut, per se—he just always seems to be in-between things. Jobs. Degrees. Boyfriends. He never finishes what he starts. The perfect path is out there somewhere, and if he can just figure out what it is, he’s certain everything else will fall into place.

The last thing he expects is to meet his soul mate in the pages of a magazine quiz. “Who Is Your Perfect Man?” by Matthew Kingston seems like a road map to his future husband: the author himself. Brendon may not have his life figured out, but if Matt is as romantic as his quiz, Brendon can check “true love” off his to-do list.

When Brendon fakes a meet-cute between them, Matt proves to be as wonderful as he hoped. The more Brendon gets to know him, the harder he falls. But Brendon has a confession to make: how can he explain to Matt that he arranged their “fated” meeting? Brendon can’t tell if he’s found his soul mate, heartache, or all of the above.

5 - This needs to be a Rom Com Movie - Hearts!

Let me start off my declaring myself a hopeless romantic and the ultimate lover of the romantic comedy. There is something about a movie, a story that blends romance with the emotions of unrequited love, comedic timing both planned and unplanned, cringe worthy moments, physical calamities that make the love interest find the other adorable and the simple notion that love conquers all.
I connected with Brendon from the first paragraph of this book as he lamented his job at the mall and all that comes with it. Having worked at the mall, it was spot on from the music to the customers to finding that rhythm in your work regardless of the recoil brought on by the location. Brendon may not love where he works, at the Kiosk named Hairway to Heaven, but the does like that he gets hands on experience doing hair as he is working his way through cosmetology school.
If this were a rom-com, […] but this was real life. There was no script, no team of writers concocting the plot. He could waste hours of his time only to go home empty-handed. And time was one of the many things he couldn’t afford to spare.
When his friend and mall kiosk neighbor Areesh brings him a bag full of magazines Areesh’s wife Sasha cleaned out of her closet, Brendon is ready to flip pages to relinquish his boredom and pass the hours until quitting time. Grabbing a random magazine from the bunch he finds one he’s not familiar with, a local fashion magazine titled Extra. As Brendon gets to the end of the magazine he finds a quiz, “Who Is Your Perfect Man?” and while reading the questions and answering them, he realizes how much he has in common with the man who wrote the quiz and is determined this writer, Matthew Kingston, is HIS perfect man.
I have to say, I get Brendon. I mean, I remember crushing on an actor from a TV show once and doing all the stalking, er, um… research I could back in the late 90’s on him. One article I read led me to believe we were totally mean to be because we both had male Akita’s name Ronan. Sure, mine was spelled Ronan and his was Ronin but what are the odds that he and I would name our exact breed of dog the same name? I mean, it was only the universe trying to tell me he was my soul mate. It was the universe telling me that my shy redheaded self needed to go to the set where he filmed; he would see me across the lot, make eye contact, smile and walk toward me sweeping me up in his arms to deliver an epic kiss while music rushed to a crescendo and then fall head over heels for me. And we would live happily ever after with our matching dogs… Right? *taps mic* Is this thing on?
Anyway. I get Brendon and his belief that him and Matt are soul mates through Matthew’s quiz; seeing that they had so much in common. It was adorable to see Brendon take the test and get all of the answers he wanted but when it came to his result…
His points took him to the Artistic Amor: Your perfect man is creative and fun-loving. […]He probably works in a field that requires thinking outside the box, like advertising, graphic design, or even acting. Or maybe he writes romantic quizzes for a small, local magazine!
GAH! What wit Matthew has with this quiz. My romantic comedy loving heart was ready for Brendon to be head strong and to seek out Matthew. I was so on board with whatever over the top scenario he needed to create for a meet cute and with my romantic comedy knowledge, I knew Brendon needed to do some of his own, research stalking.
Do you see? This book is perfect for a rom com!!!! *spins wildly* This reminds me of my favorite rom coms where a lie leads the couple together. Not the most ideal situation since I am with Matt and lying is the worst thing you could do to me but think of Never Been Kissed, 10 Things I Hate About You, While You Were Sleeping, Made of Honor… my list could go on. But those are my most favorite movies and in them the couple is brought together by a lie, a lie that becomes a truth and a truth that is forgiven. My Yogi Tea told me today, “Practice compassion, forgiveness and kindness” and I believe that those three things bring about a perfect romance that begins well, not so perfect. Did I say how perfect this story is? *winks*
“I don’t want to see you get your hopes up yet again. I think you convince yourself that what you’re looking for is out there, and if you can just find it, everything else will fall into place.”

“But how else are you supposed to meet your soul mate if you don’t get out there and find them?”
Brendon is the type of character that I love. I can see where some might think him flighty or unstable but I see him as young, romantic and adventurous. Brendon believes that when he finds that perfect thing, that perfect someone and finally holds on to it all, his life will fall into place. *sigh* He’s waiting for his life to begin and at his age, weren’t we all? Heck, on some level we are all still waiting for that special part of our life we thought would happen to begin? Brendon gets hung up on ideas when he thinks he founds something perfect and this time the perfect is one Matthew Kingston.
I LOVED how Brendon went about finding all he could on Matt and how he hung out at Matt’s favorite spots hoping to force their meet cute. Yes, he was being a bit stalkerish, but Brendon did like all the places Matt did and had mentioned in the quiz. When they finally have their meet cute, it was adorable as heck! Sure, Brendon planned it in a way, but what happens was pure rom com hilarity that I had to read through my fingers just as I would watch the same scene in a movie hidden because I was embarrassed. It was adorable, it was cute and at the same time it turned my stomach because of the lie.
It occurred to him that waiting for someone at places where they were known to be might very well be considered stalking. Shit. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and googled the definition.
I said before, I am with Matt on lying and I felt terrible for Brendon on their date when it all comes rushing to him what he was doing. I like that Brendon did what was right and not just because he wanted Matt. He comes clean because it’s the right thing to do and doing what’s right brings about a positive change.
Sigh. I am rambling about this aren’t I? I just loved this story and want to wrap myself in its tropey goodness and flip back to page one to read it all over again.
Just like with any good rom com, this has great moments of true emotion, incredible groveling, running away when you want to move forward, honest confessions, calling each other out on their shit, epic romantic gestures and sexy as all get out moments of intimacy. Yeah, this book has it all and if you put a quiz in front of me with multiple choice questions about what I liked, I’d have to say…

“Honestly, all of the above.”

An ARC was provided by the author.

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