Review for Hold My Hand

Review for Hold My Hand

I received this book from the publisher/tour host in exchange of an honest review.

My excitement was through the roof when I found out about this book. A sequel to one of my favourite books? Yes, so much yes! Then came a tour invitation for this book and I was crossing my fingers to be selected for a review + spot on the tour. I was! Sadly, because my review is 3 stars (and wasn’t 90-100% positive), I couldn’t share my review. But here we are. There were still tons of things good about this book, but sadly I was also disappointed. Things that didn’t add up, the whys this book was written and why it couldn’t be another reason (a nicer reason), too much pushing against things, wanting to be accepted yet also make remarks to others when they are in love. However there were also things that I loved. Becky, Ethan x Alek, Alek’s grandma, more Armenian culture, the pacing was just fab. So while I am disappointed I am also happy that I had the chance to read this book.

I will be writing a good/not so good review.

Good:
-Seeing Ethan and Alek again! They are such a sweet and cute couple and I love how much chemistry is between them. This time a bit more tension as Ethan wants a bit more, and I can imagine that Alek is questioning if he should do it or not. Later on in the story we find out why Alek was mostly hesitant about the whole sex thing (then again, even without that reason, he is still 14… sorry, but I just think that is a bit young to make this big step).
-The delightful scene in which Ethan explains gay sex. It was 2 am and I was laughing, or well, trying not to laugh too loud as my fiance was sleeping next to me. Welp, I can never look at those foods normally again. Thank you Ethan, thank you Alek.
-Becky! I just adore this girl and I was delighted to see her get a boyfriend, and that guy even. Totally unexpected, but definitely cute and sweet.
-The Armenian culture/parents/the church. I love reading about different cultures and it was tons of fun reading about how the church worked, the stories that were told, the songs that were sung, but also see the food and how the parents are (a bit overbearing, but I just adore how supportive they are of Ethan and Alek). I can say that I was very hungry after reading this one, so many delicious sounding food that I hope to try out one day.
-Nik. Surprise! In the beginning I wasn’t a big fan of Alek’s brother but as the story continued he got more interesting and at the end he did something amazing.
-The cover! The first cover was fabulous + yellow, and this one is fabulous + blue. Oh, how I wish I could have both books together so I could see how lovely the contrast is. Sadly, no under 4.5 starred books allowed.
-The pacing. I just flew through this book. It took me about 2 and a half hours to read this one, and even with the things I hated/disliked, I couldn’t stop reading. Just like the first book, this one sucks you in.
-Alek’s grandma. What a sweet lady, and I couldn’t help but laugh at how much she already knows. 😛
-Something that I also love how well Alek is written in regards with his age. At times he feels a bit older, but generally he is indeed a 14, going on 15, boy figuring out life and all that happens in it.
-I am also so happy that Alek and Ethan can be out and proud. Sure, it isn’t always easy, but it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside that they could hold hands and be together with tons of dates.
-The dates. I just loved it when they went to the big city and Ethan had arranged a whole day for Alek with all his favourite things and tons of romantic events.

And now for the not so good/bad things.
-Alek. Dramaqueen extra-ordinary. There were several scenes in which I found him overreacting way too much. When he found out about Ethan cheating I was nodding along, though I wish instead of running away he would have talked to Ethan. Then again, I know how it feels to be cheated on, so I can imagine running away is the first option. However later on there were other instances that had me rolling my eyes to the heavens. It was like a little child having a tantrum because he doesn’t get his favourite thing.
-Then there was the whole crusade (as I would call it) against the church and what they stand for. Specifically LGBT, woman rights, abortion, etc.. I am a bi girl myself + a Christian, but I just couldn’t connect at all with all the stuff happening, it was just too much and felt way too pushy. Plus, it was just unrealistic. Did Alek really think that just having one conversation with the Reverend and holding a little essay would change the vision and way of people? It is not that easy, and as for the church, those views have been around for thousands of years, they aren’t going to change with just the snap of a finger or a little heartfelt essay, it would take many more essays, more conversations, more discussions, and more other things to maybe set a step towards a brighter future. It is as the Reverend said, he wants to change, but it isn’t easy to steer a big ship like this to another direction. It will take years.
-Ethan. What the fuck was up with Ethan?   From what I remember from the previous book Ethan was cheated on by Remi. Why the actual fuck would he cheat on Alek with Remi then? He was so adamant in the previous book that he would never cheat, as he knows how much that hurts. He even said this in the previous book: “After he disappeared, I promised myself that I would never date someone again unless it was just the two of us. It was too hard the other way.” Given the acknowledgements at the end, it just feels like the author couldn’t think of another way to have a wonderful couple break up and just went for the easy route of cheating. *rolls eyes* Plus, I didn’t like how pushy he was towards Alek regarding the sex thing and how he acted when Alek wasn’t ready. He said he was OK with it, but how he reacted said a whole other thing, and I hate it when characters get pushy about something so important as this.
-Alek’s parents. While supportive, they were also highly annoying with how overbearing and controlling they were. They constantly had a remark ready for every situation, and I am sorry, if it was my restaurant or my place and these people would come in and demand all sorts of silly things, I would ask them to leave.
-Becky. Or well, how convenient it was that Becky was always there when Alek needed her. Love advice? Becky is here. Anything else though… not so much. It was a shame. I would have loved to see the two of them do more without the need of love advice or other advice. Just them going out, having a fun time.
-The non-stop talk about hetero this and hetero that. I tried counting them, but it was just too late and I gave up. But I think it is a bit weird that a guy wants to be accepted for who he loves but then makes constant comments about heteros and heteronormative behaviour.
-How Alek was towards Becky’s boyfriend. He was very aggressive, very angry, and he acted more like a dad rather than a best friend. It was kind of unnerving. And it really hit a low point when after another dramatic outburst he runs to Becky and instead of seeing that she is kind of steamy and busy with her new beau and just waiting until later, he demands she talks to him, and gives him attention. Um. Hello. No. That is not how friendship works.

So yeah, good and bad points. Still 3 stars as I still had quite some fun while reading it + I am quite happy to see the characters again.

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