Reviews, probably some ramblings. I'm, uh, new on this site. Bear with me.
My original, full(er) review of this book is at Hot Stuff for Cool People.
I wasn’t going to write a review for this. I wasn’t even going to read this. I… honestly, I can’t say this is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever read, because it’s far, far from it. It’s actually not really bizarre at all. And it’s not even the strangest relationship I’ve read. I bet it’s not the strangest relationship a lot of people have read, if they stopped and thought about it. But it is… very, very unconventional. And although I am deeply unashamed of anything I choose to read, announcing to the world at large that I read something like this… Well, it’s a little uncomfortable.
But I really, really liked this. So, so much.
Honestly, when I picked this book up (which I say un‐literally because I read the ebook) I seriously thought that Tom and Jake were going to be in love and Cass was going to split from the equation. At least, that’s what my brain told me it was about. If I’d really stopped to consider that it was a romance that included three people, I don’t know if I would have done it. I have never, never managed to get my head around the idea of three people in a committed, loving relationship. I know it probably happens, and I’ve always found the idea very intriguing and kind of beautiful, and if it works for you, hey, cool, but it would just never quite click in my head. I remember the first time I read about a three‐person relationship, very briefly, in a manga, and the way it was presented seemed so easy and lovely. But… I could never make it work out in my mind. I can’t imagine someone loving two separate people that much, and equally, never mind the other two people also loving the other people in the relationship equally…. I just assume someone’s going to end up jealous. Maybe it’s simply because I could never, never do that kind of thing myself. Because I’m a jealous person. So it’s like my mind just rejected the idea, as much as, intellectually, I wanted to understand it.
But no. I couldn’t. Even Alexis Hall’s beautiful book ‘There Will Be Phlogiston’ couldn’t completely convince me that this type of relationship could work, and I figured if he couldn’t convince me, no one could.
And then I read ‘Misfits.’
I’ve read the author, Garrett Leigh, before, and I’ve really enjoyed her. Her writing is solid and lovely and just very satisfying. Her books make me feel good. But ‘Misfits’ is like… I don’t know. Her masterpiece, maybe. Or maybe her masterpiece so far, because every time I read her, she seems to get even better. And this book is just so beautiful, really strikingly beautiful, and it makes so much sense.
I think if this relationship hadn’t been presented the way it was in this book, I still wouldn’t have been able to completely get it. But it’s so obvious that these three men are completely in love with each other, and that they form a unit that’s whole and equal, and that they each have an emotional role to play for the other two, as well as themselves, just like you would in any tight‐knit group. But of course this group is far more tightly knit. And it was so obvious that something was wrong between Cass and Tom when it was just the two of them , just as it was obvious that they were meant to be together… (I mean, they seemed fine with the open relationship, but it seemed to very much like… not the right thing for them, an imperfection in what was otherwise a close, loving bond.) And then the way Jake came in and glued them back together, and glued them to him, without trying to weasel his way in‐ just by being himself…
I don’t know. I was reading along, enjoying it, but still not totally believing this relationship could happen, and then there was an interaction between the three characters, something so simple and caring, and holy shit, I got it. I saw it. Click.
Add in the excellent writing, and Cass’s intriguing, dark past‐ which is presented so, so well. I mean, Garrett Leigh always writes tough subjects, and she does it so honestly and truthfully, without a lot of drama, just facts, just like it’s someone’s life and this is what happened. And that’s how she writes Cass, and god, I loved him. And it’s how she writes Jake and his Tourette’s and his tics‐ so believably and without fluff or any kind of glossing over.
Ah, it’s great. I get it. And I loved this book. I don’t know that I’ll ever find another book that writes a relationship like this so neatly and wonderfully. And the relationship doesn’t even take up the whole story… It’s really just the whole package, a great plot and romance and wonderful writing and fantastic, believable characters‐ everything about this book is enjoyable. I mean, the romance and relationships were the big things, but they definitely weren’t the only reasons I enjoyed the book. I kind of wanted to just read it over again when I was done. I didn’t. But I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished. I think I’ll probably still be thinking about this book, right up until I get the chance to read it again.