Review: Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

Snarkiness, terrible jokes, and a dose of anxiety are how I fit myself into this crazy world, so it should come as no surprise that I fell in love with the character of Luc at once. Even better, so much of Oliver’s personality is shown through the text, even in a story from Luc’s point of view, that it was easy to fall in love with him, as well. Overall, this enemies to fake boyfriends to maybe something more is at turns hilarious and heartwarming and downright sexy.

As a romantic-comedy, Hall delicately balances the humorous elements of Luc’s personality with the angst that has become part and parcel of his life regarding his relationship with his father and his “relationship” with Luc. Other authors might have left me in tears (seriously, I cry at everything) at the dark moments in this book, but Hall pushes through by evoking heavy emotion simultaneously with vaguely ill-timed humor. This book isn’t a light and fluffy read, but it’s the perfect romance story for those of us who have never had the patience for the traditional romantic story arc (and are too jaded besides).

Every secondary character in this book, including Luc’s coworkers, his friends, his family, and Oliver’s family, verge on caricature (from the perspective of this American reader). However, the way Hall consistently leans into the characterization makes it work, especially in a book written in the first-person view—it is Luc’s world, and we’re just visiting. Some of the specifically British humor might put off some readers, but I still found the overall themes to be entirely accessible (and hilarious).

I look forward to checking out more of Hall’s work in the future. Even if the rest of his books are not as intentionally humorous, I’m incredibly impressed with his writing and characterization skills.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Published by J.L. Gribble

Author, Editor, Worldbuilder

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