Review: Gays of Our Lives by Kris Ripper - 4.5 stars
I was captivated from the moment I opened Gays of Our Lives. It's written in first person, and the author Kris Ripper uses the perspective with a mastery few can boast. From the first line, we are given the flavor of Emerson's personality: a man who wants very badly to be in control, but can't.
His struggles with both MS and his feelings of hopelessness take center stage in the narrative until he meets Obie, a handsome hipster who almost pries his way into Emerson's life.
This leads to some awkwardness. Sometimes the awkward moments were far too cute to handle. Then again, the best love stories are.
What struck me the most was how low-key the book was when the relationship got rocky. While there are plenty of tense moments and conflicts in the book, it was absent the normal yanks on your emotions authors use frequently to get you to pay attention.
This lack of an emotional yank back and forth worked well for me as a reader. It also seemed to channel Emerson's own discomfort with his feelings.
The pain Emerson felt over their breakup felt more immediate and somehow even more important because he kept living his life. Even during Emerson's darkest moments he got up, went to work, went home, repeat, almost on autopilot. It felt somehow gently heartbreaking.
I also loved the interactions between the characters. They called each other on their bullshit in a way which felt loving, but still weren't all-knowing.
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