Monday, September 11, 2017

Gone for You by Riley Hart

Gone for You by Riley Hart

Review by Lauren

Source: personal copy; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads): Oliver Hayes wears his heart on his sleeve, and his friends never let him forget it. Every Friday night spent at Wild Side, their favorite West Hollywood bar, Oliver’s lack of hookups becomes the hot topic. It’s not that he doesn’t want a good time. He just wants it to mean something, which is a lofty goal when he’s still pining after his childhood crush, Matt, who left ten years ago to start a new life in New York City.

Matt Daniels has always felt most at home seated at a piano. He might not have entirely fit in with his family and friends, but he was always able to find himself in music. Or at least he did before he gave up his dream a lifetime ago. Now, he has a successful modeling career and should be enjoying every second of it. Yet nothing feels right, and Matt fears he’s losing himself.

Just when Oliver decides to get over Matt for good, Matt waltzes back into LA. As Matt struggles to understand what he’s missing in his seemingly perfect life, he falls right back into leaning on Oliver for support. Things aren’t what they used to be between them, though. They tumble into bed together, and it’s hard not to continue ending up there. For the first time in years, Matt’s inspired to compose again, reigniting a spark he thought long extinguished.

But as always, Oliver can’t keep his heart in check, and soon Matt realizes he’s gone for Oliver too. The biggest question is, can he fully give himself to someone if he still hasn’t figured out how to love himself?

Review: Gone For You is one of those books that I might rate a bit lower after time, as it’s taken me awhile to write this review. Not that it’s a good read by any means, but it’s not terribly memorable. I felt bad for Matt who is desperate to make something of himself, but on his own. He’s always relied on his best friend Oliver but he doesn’t want to do that, so he takes off for New York after high school graduation. I could understand this and I did root for Matt to find his passion. At the same time, I felt bad for Oliver too. He’s been in love with Matt for years – and even with Matt across the country, he’s still holding a candle for him. I love when friends turn into more, so I did root for the two of them to figure it out and make it work.

I thought the book was well written and I did appreciate some of the other aspect of the book – like how you can choose your family sometimes. Another theme in the book is physical beauty, as Matt finds work as a model, but it’s not something he’s completely okay with. He uses it for his job, but he has anxiety about people looking at him at the same time. He doesn’t think he can offer much else, and I thought Hart did a good job exploring this. It’s not something that just affects women.

All in all, I’d definitely read more by Hart. This wasn’t my favorite m/m book but it was still a pretty solid read. 


Verushka Byrow said...

I like that this book tackles Matt's body issues? Is that the right way to describe it? It sucks that the rest of it doesn't really stand out.

Lisa Mandina said...

It's so hard to rate books sometimes when you know they are well written, but you just don't care for them. I don't want to give them too low of ratings, because it was really just me, and probably other people will like it. Great review!