Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan
Review by Lauren
source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Official Summary (add on Goodreads): Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten College to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour.
Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.
Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.
Review: I'd only read a couple reviews of Antisocial before reading the book - and they were mostly positive. I really liked the book, and I thought certain aspects were handled well. However, after reading the book, I realized that a lot of people have strong issues with the asexuality and love for Japanese culture in this book (many refer to it as fetishism). Now, this doesn't really change what I thought of the book when I read it, but I can see some of their concerns looking back, though not all of them. I still really enjoyed Antisocial and I thought the friendships were done really well - as well as the relationship between Xander and Skylar. Honestly, I think this is a case of read it for yourself - people might have issues, and they are good to keep in mind, but I would never tell someone NOT to read something just because myself or others have problems with it.
At any rate, I ADORE Carry the Ocean and Shelter the Sea by this author and would highly recommend you check those out, if nothing else!