G’day my darlings! How are you? I felt like I haven’t done a full length(ish) review for a really long time that wasn’t connected with a blog tour! I use to always do these and I kind of miss publishing these posts. I have heaps that I’ve started to write and then just never finished! So today I thought I would bring to you a review for one of my favourite books of the year so far. This book was incredible and the love I have for it is immense and precious.
The book, Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall concerns the chaotic life of Luc O’Donnell:
One (fake) boyfriend
Practically perfect in every way
Luc O’Donnell is tangentially–and reluctantly–famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he’s never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad’s making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.
To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he’s never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.
But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go.
‘Boyfriend Material’ by Alexis Hall was a breath of fresh air in what otherwise has been a lacklustre 2020. I do not believe that I will have the words to appropriately articulate my thoughts in this review as well as to encompass my love for the characters and the writing. ‘Boyfriend Material’ was one of my most anticipated books of 2020, and it definitely did not disappoint.
The novel centres on our main protagonist, Luc who is the reluctantly famous son of a rockstar father who abandoned Luc and his mum and thus, has never actually met the man who biologically shares half of his DNA. When Luc’s father decides to participate in a reality singing show (think, American Idol), suddenly the world is reminded, yet again, of Luc’s existence and his partying ways, shoving him back into the public eye.
After a not so ‘appropriate’ photo of him does the media rounds, Luc is fighting to save his job. In order to be seen as ‘respectable’, and for his very rich clients to donate money to the charity organisation Luc works for (I am not going to spoil what that charity organisation is, it needs to be a happy surprise), Luc finds himself in need of a boyfriend. Not just any boyfriend though, a ‘respectable’ boyfriend. This is where we meet the absolutely wonderful and sweet, Oliver Blackwood, barrister and all round sweetheart. Cue the fake dating and the falling in love.
To say that I adored these two characters would be a gross understatement. The relationship between Luc and Oliver was marvellous to witness because it felt grounded in reality. There was an authenticity to their relationship, to their developing feelings, that I feel most enemies-to-lovers seem to lack. As the readers, we fully witness Luc and Oliver’s growing trust between them. We are able to observe how they both went from enemies to a couple. The ups and downs were realistic – as a woman in my mid-twenties, I related so incredibly well to sort-of coming-of-age aspect that these characters go through, throughout the course of the novel.
I also want to briefly articulate how important this book was to me on a personal level. This novel so perfectly captured the emotions that come with being in your mid to late 20s. The insecurity and fear of mediocrity, the fear of not doing anything of ‘substance’ with your life – those feelings that Luc go through, is so valid to the experience of myself and others. It was the first time that I have read a novel, a romance novel especially, that explore the emotional baggage that can come with growing up. Alexis Hall wrote this chaotically wonderful character in Luc and in turn, captured the chaos of still growing up in your late twenties.
‘Boyfriend Material’ is one of my absolutely favourite books of all time and I highly recommend it to lovers of contemporary romance, especially the likes of books such as Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston as well as The House in the Ceruelean Sea by T.J. Klune.
Can you tell I absolutely adored reading this book? Have you read Boyfriend Material? Did you enjoy it? Found it mediocre? Let me know!
Until next time, happy reading!
All the love,