Road movie book

Open Road - M.J. O'Shea

If you want a steamy love story, this book is not the one you are looking for.

To give you a hint, the first kiss comes at 72%. Strangely enough, I was never let down or bored. This is my O’Shea experience and so far I can say that she writes in a quite engaginly way.

Angus’s boyfriend, Brad, dumps him in his birthday party. Less than 24h after, it’s announced his engagement with a younger man. Angus can’t overcome this humilliation and pain and his broken heart is taking its toll on him. He loses his partner for 10 years, his job, and his apartment. He can’t get his head above water.

Reece, Angus’s BFF, decides it’s gone too far, so he rents a car and takes Angus far from the maddening crowd of Portland, and see what it takes them.

With each passing scene, with each change of scenery and each food taste, their bond reawakens and get stronger and stronger.

Until… maybe it’s not only friendship.

Despite the premise, there is no heavy angst here, but it was really smooth and entertaining. From a technical honest POV, this novel seems taken out from a travels blog. I couldn’t bring myself to care when they narrate the experiences in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Indio, Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Austin, New Orleans, Nashville, Washington DC, New York, Portland… in an almost tourist way. In fact I think these episodes are told in such a way that I could vividly imagine them in my head, and made me want to go on a trip to know these places in person. They were entertaining and insightful. They were perfect for the pace at which the the increasingly close relationship advances.

The love story is sweet. They are sweet. I could feel their BFF vibes, their trust in each other. Angus realizes they fit in such a way he is impressed he hadn’t noticed before. And I realized that, too.

I have two major problems, though:

-The ex, Brad, is too exaggerated to be real. He’s a bastard, yeah, but he sort of lives out of the reality. I almost expected him to put on a colorless raincoat and take an ax in his hands like Christian Bale in American Psycho. He sounds like a villain out of a fairy tale rather than a person of flesh and bone.

-The (un)gayness left me scratching my head in confusion. So is Reece homosexual or not? Straight and GFY? Or bisexual? Or gay in the closet? Is he straight and began fantasyzing with Angus and with time he developed a platonic devotion and then a sexual desire for Angus specifically or has he always been gay but somehow he managed to hide this from his BFF? Does Reece like girls at all? Or he dated boys and didn’t say anything to Angus? But then he’s not an expert in the gay sex area, so he was simply in the closet dating girls for the sake of appearances or he just wasn’t interested in any man in a sexual sense whatsoever? How come he never told Angus, not his devotion for him nor the attraction for any other man? How come they never discuss this issue when they lay the cards on the table? They trust each other since they were kids and share everything, right? So many questions that need an answer…

All in all, this was worthy of my time.


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