E-Book, 326 Pages
By: Steven Rowley
“need you to remember something. We’ll call it Guncle Rule sweet sixteen: I want you to really live. To live is the rarest of things. Most people merely exist.”
The title and cover of this book drew me from the first time I saw it. All the rave reviews made me decide to pick it up on a whim as I was looking for a more light-hearted novel and I am glad it did not disappoint.
The story follows Gay Uncle Patrick when his sister in law -also happens to be his best friend- passes away leaving her nephew and niece with their uncle as their father takes some time to healing. The only problem is that GUP is single, has a flare for dramatics and is clueless when it comes to kids.
I liked the prose, it mixes humor with the casual contemporary writing that tries to delve into more important topics and it does so in a light way. Although it may appear like a story for all ages, I think it is better suited for older readers because of some of the language used and many of the references that GUP uses and went over my head.
The characters are well written. It takes some time to warm to the uncle but I expected that from this kind of books and the kids are simply very adorable. I saw some reviews that are irritated by how a 40-something year old man can be that oblivious when it comes to kids but I think that is the point here and I can see it totally happening in real life. In fact, I got strong Chris Olsen vibes from him -kind of future version of Chris- and that helped fleshing him out even more for me.
“Grief orbits the heart. Some days the circle is greater. Those are the good days. You have room to move and dance and breathe. Some days the circle is tighter. Those are the hard ones.”
The story discusses topics such as family, grief, addiction and other important subjects and although these are heavy topics, the author tries to infuse humor into it without undervaluing them. The plot line is predictable but I am very okay with that because it is not the kind of story I read for plot twists and because it was still a solid line that it took.
Summary: The book has been on my radar for a while now specially with all the rave reviews it has and I can understand why now. I loved the writing, the characters and the plot. I like how humor is included but it never takes from the value of the book. I think I will be looking forward to the author’s books specially that we don’t get many LGBT books from own voice authors!