Friday, August 7, 2020

Book Review: "Boyfriend Material" by Alexis Hall

Boyfriend Material
Title: Boyfriend Material
Author: Alexis Hall
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Page Length: 432 pages
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Rating: 5 // 5 stars

This was one of my most anticipated romance releases of this year and I had big expectations. From the moment I saw that it was a romance featuring a fake-dating trope and a m/m pairing, I was in. I have to say, I absolutely adored this book in so many ways and I'm so happy to have read it.

Boyfriend Material is the kind of romance book you want all romance books to be. Full of romance, obviously, but also a story with an in-depth plot, complex characters, and plenty of humor. Not only that, but it had some of my favorite tropes such as fake-dating, "there's only one bed," rivals-to-lovers, and grumpy boys who are secretly soft.

I enjoyed every second of this book. I ended up listening to the audiobook and, while I could have smashed it out in 1/3 the time if I had read the ebook, I am so happy that I listened to it this way. Honestly I may have to commit to listening to most romances on audiobook from now on.

I think the main reason I loved the audiobook was because I got to hear and experience the emotions a lot easier and better than if I had read them on a page. Listening to the narrator's voice get loud when the character was frustrated or soft and cracking when he was sad? Perfection. Also, this book takes place in London and getting to experience the story with actual proper accents made it so fun.

This book was so fun and humorous. I already was having to pause the audiobook in chapter 1 because I needed to take a moment just to laugh. There's a good mixture of humor in this book from stupid puns, jokes, sarcasm, embarrassing moments, people poking fun at each other, and even more. I was laughing so many times throughout this book and I truly think that the humor is at least 40% of the reason why I loved this book so much. Of course, even though there was a lot of humor, there were plenty of serious moments as well. I thought that the balance between the humor and the serious emotional scenes was quite well done.

My favorite part of this book, though, had to have been the characters. Luc and Oliver were so much fun to read about. They're both so unique and different from each other in really every way possible. I really loved them together though. Even from the beginning there was never any animosity in their fake dating relationship which was a breath of fresh air. I think the support they have for each other was wonderful and I love each of them so much. We only get Luc's POV throughout the book so I feel like I connected more with him, but I also loved Oliver and think that they're such a cute pairing.

I think that the individual character developments as well as relationship developments were really well done. I really enjoyed getting to see how both Luc and Oliver developed throughout the story and seeing the progress in their relationship from fake-dating to possibly more.

The side characters were also so fun. I did occasionally lose track of who was who with the audiobook but I really liked how well-written the side characters were. I think my favorites were Alex, Bridget, and Luc's mom. I think that the side characters really helped move the story forward and added an extra depth to it.

This book also dealt with some serious topics such as depression, anxiety, and homophobia (throughout) and cancer, borderline abuse, and eating disorders (briefly). I cannot speak on some of these representations but I thought that the depression and anxiety was done in a very realistic and respectful way.

Overall, I just really loved this book. There was the perfect amount of angst, humor, and seriousness while having some of my favorite romance book tropes. I loved the characters and their developments as well as the overall story itself. I loved it so much that I already ordered a physical copy for my shelves and for me to flip through whenever I want. I highly recommend!

Thanks for reading!

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