REVIEW: What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson


JAMES AND ALEX have barely anything in common anymore—least of all their experiences in high school, where James is a popular senior and Alex is suddenly an outcast. But at home, there is Henry, the precocious 10-year-old across the street, who eagerly befriends them both. And when Alex takes up running, there is James’s friend Nathen, who unites the brothers in moving and unexpected ways.

I liked and disliked this book.

Wilson’s writing itself was incredible. It was one of the heroes of this short book. It was immersive and extremely conversational without being too much. A lot of authors tend to be too little or too much, Wilson was almost perfection.

What I LOVED about this book:

Alex and Nathen.

Yes, I bought this book specifically because there was a large focus on a gay relationship, and I ADORED it. I loved every single one of their interactions. The slow build up to their relationship, all of it. Their sections were the best part for me.

I liked all the references to Alex’s suicide attempt. As one of the core plot points it was great how the initial story and the aftermath of that pivotal incident was weaved through the entire story. It really held everything together.

Switching perspectives can sometimes be difficult to really get into. But in this instance I though it really worked. While I was more interested in Alex’s perspective as opposed to James’, I still didn’t mind those sections. It was another unique insight into the characters.

What I HATED about this book:

Henry and that whole sub plot. Well, okay. I didn’t hate Henry, but I did hate all the focus on his story. I thought it was unnecessary and it really didn’t add anything to further the main characters or the story in any way. Towards the end I skimmed those sections and I would have much preferred they were emitted completely.

That was probably the only thing I really disliked about this book, but it was big enough to warrant the attention.

Despite this I still 100% recommend you pick this up if you are interested in diverse reads with a really lovely romance!


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