Bender - Gene Gant

My first Gene Gant book and I was pleasantly surprised.

I did read the blurb but once I began the novella I forgot about it all. So I kept wondering who the “boyfriend” would be, Dex the dorm resident advisor, or Troy the nice guy who calls Mace “Agent Danner”. Both seemed plausible options and both form a bond with Mace, so I wasn’t sure who would be Mace’s other half until the very first kiss.

I know I sound lame, but if Mace had chosen Troy, I would be happy as a clam.

Seriously, I wouldn’t have minded.

Troy is lovable, and when he finds out his what’s been hidden from him, he stands true to himself, even when it hurt him to no end. I love his integrity.

Dex is no less lovable, and he takes care of Mace even when Mace doesn’t want it. Or when Mace wants it a little too much.

Maybe that’s something negative to say, that the author didn’t manage to make me love Dex and long for Dex and dream of Dex as Mace’s only and truest love.

I’m not even mad.

This book is not about the love story. It’s about Mace. It was a blow living in Mace’s skin, living in his hopeless existence, in his self-inflicting pain and in his grey world. The narrator led me by the hand and I could experience the myriad of emotions Mace was feeling in every moment.

The asexual aspect is well portrayed, I honestly could relate to Mace’s words and impressions and confusion on the matter. I think this is the most sincere book I’ve read so far regarding asexuality. Not that I’ve read tons of books about it.

All in all, a compelling story of love and hope. Of forgiveness and healing. A hurt-comfort book. But also an amazing story, a trip to the deepest psyche and emotions barely contained and close to the surface.

***Copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***