Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: A Hundred Thousand Words by Nyrae Dawn

A Hundred Thousand Words
Nyrae Dawn
Release: October 27, 2015
Goodreads Amazon
Tobias Jackson grew up in Coburn, a town where the gay population equaled exactly one: him. Add that to the fact that his dream guy was his best friend's jerky older brother Levi Baxter, and it made hooking up virtually impossible.

Now home from college for winter break, Toby is a different person. He left Coburn for San Francisco, where he wasn't the lone gay guy and the only black kid in town. And yeah, he took advantage of what the city had to offer.

Apparently Toby isn’t the only one who’s changed. Levi’s not acting like the self-centered guy with all the answers that Toby remembers from growing up. Oh and Levi’s realized he's bisexual, which makes things a lot more interesting…

Heading back to college, Toby doesn’t expect to meet up with Levi again, despite him being in med school not far away. A surprise visit from Levi blows that assumption out of the water. As they spend more time together Toby sees Levi as more than just the fantasy. He’s complicated, unsure…he’s real. But if Toby can’t get out of the past and find the words he keeps locked inside himself, he’ll lose his chance at Levi for good.

Since it is Pride Month, I've been trying to catch up on all the LGBTQ+ books I've hoarded the past few years. One of the ones that was most highly recommended was this book, One Hundred Thousand Words, and it was so good! It was heartwarming, beautiful, and frustratingly real. Plus, it features one of my favorite romance tropes: the falling for the best friend's brother. I've read a ton of books with this trope but this one stands out. I will admit that it's the first time I've read a m/m version of it.

The character development is absolutely flawless in this story. Toby is beautiful and frustrating in his silence. He has experienced so much and is trying to live the best way he knows how. Levi is so charming and vulnerable and is struggling to decide who he is and what's best for him. And together they were just right. They fit. They were sexy and sweet and completely endearing. They made me laugh out loud and smile super hard and blush fiercely sometimes too.

What I loved the most about this book was that the drama in the story had nothing to do with Toby being gay or with Levi being bi. The real focus of book was on life and its many ups and downs. It was about how we're all trying to make our way through it and sometimes we need someone to help us realize the best in ourselves. I loved that Levi could say the words Toby couldn't and that Toby could give Levi back some of the confidence he had lost.

My favorite aspect of the book was realizing that we all need people. We all need acceptance. We all need love. And there's nothing wrong with that need. It doesn't make you weak. It makes you human and I was so proud of Toby for realizing that. I loved his journey and I loved Levi's journey as well. My heart went out to him. I loved both of these characters instantly even though I wanted to shake Toby in a few spots. Plus, the family dynamics in this book were everything!

Read this book people. It was outstanding and captivating. You need it in your life, in your blood, and in your bones to be honest. It's so sweet and romantic and real and raw. I related to it. You will probably relate to it. It's about college, decisions, family, loss, love, and friendship. It's so real that you will feel you're inside the story with these characters. Nyrae Dawn made my night when I read this. It's definitely a new favorite.

  4 / 5 Stars

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