*I received an ecopy of this book via BookSirens. This has not influenced my review.*
This is a book that handles some darker or sadly realistic topics but does so in a light way with sweet friendship and romance. It’s a quick read that doesn’t delve too deeply into things but gives you just enough to care about what happens and enjoy a pleasant, atmospheric story.
The romance was nice. Gentle. Two good men who both deserved happiness and love and found it, though tentatively at first, with each other.
Nathan’s growth felt like an equally important, if not more important, element of the story though. He learned to believe in himself and stand up for himself and gained a new perspective on himself and his future. His problems weren’t miraculously solved by love, but having people who supported him and believed in him and gave him companionship made a big difference.
There was another thing that stood out to me, though it wasn’t a big thing in the grand scheme of the book. *SPOILER* Nathan was presumed to be ill (it was a supernatural thing, but that’s beside the point), so his doctor told him he needed to not leave the house or do much of anything. If it helped, that may become his permanent lifestyle, and if it didn’t, he’d be sent to an asylum. In trying to extend Nathan’s life, all the doctor actually did was take his life, and all hope, from him. So, understandably, Nathan’s mental and physical health got worse. The reason it stood out to me was because it was such a reflection of real life and felt very relevant to me as a chronically ill person. Telling someone they HAVE to live a certain way without giving them a choice or respecting what they want, and in doing so taking away their autonomy, the things that make them happy, the things that make their life worth living… It may extend the length of a person’s life, but it certainly won’t improve the quality of it, and of course they’re going to get worse. *END SPOILER* I just really liked seeing that sort of thing portrayed.
Another thing I liked, it was satisfying to see *SPOILER* people on a power trip getting what they deserved. In relation to the above, Nathan got to say the kinds of things to his doctor that I can only dream of being able to say to some of the doctors I’ve dealt with. And Nathan actually had people stand up for him, or stand with him, against his abuser. *END SPOILER*
The paranormal element is very light, and you don’t get any explanations about Nathan’s abilities. (They are actual abilities though, not just imagined things.) They’re just kinda there and have affected his life and sometimes affect things in the plot. But that was ok with me, the how and why of them wasn’t the point of the story.
Overall, this was a quick but nice story with lots of character growth, a touch of the paranormal, friendship, and a gentle romance.
Anyone who likes character growth, a touch of paranormal, and gentle m/m romance.