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Book Review: Straight Expectations by Calum McSwiggan #TheWriteReads #BlogTour

My dear bookish friends!

Can you believe it’s already May? If you’re in the mood for a light, fun and easy YA romance, you have to keep on reading – I might have just the right book for you!

About the Book

The brilliant debut novel from author, presenter and LGBTQ+ advocate Calum McSwiggan!

Seventeen-year-old Max has always been out, proud and just a little spoiled. Frustrated by the lack of romantic options in his small-town high school, during an argument with his lifelong best friend Dean, Max lashes out and says he wishes he had never been born gay.

Max gets more than he bargained for when he wakes up to find his wish has come true – not only have his feelings for boys vanished, but so has Dean.

With his school life turned upside down and his relationship with his family in tatters, Max sets out on a journey of rediscovery to find a way back to the life he took for granted, and the romance he thought he’d never have.

A deliciously romantic YA debut that’s What If It’s Usand One Last Stop!

My Review

Straight Expectations is a light, quirky, and fun YA romance. The main character, Max is a little spoilt and super gay and also really adorable. After many shenanigans with his friends, particularly his best friend Dean, he makes a wish.

A very foolish wish! He wishes he was straight! And then, lo and behold, the wish comes true!

Uh oh!

The saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ is definitely proving right here, and so Max has to figure out how to cope with the mess he finds himself in. 

The writing is good for this kind of genre, I think. It is very light and fun, you aren’t going to find any Dickens here, but the writing never gets in the way of the story and it just flows very nicely. It kinda feels like Max is doing the talking, which I think is what the author was going for. It makes you feel like you’re a part of the story, a silent spectator, but very close to the characters. 

I loved Dean and Max’s friendship from the start, and the way they have been there for each other for so long and just know the other has their back. The kind of friendship I like to read about.

I did find that I rolled my eyes a couple of times at a few things that seemed a bit stereotypical, and I was wishing there was a bit more depth to the story, but having said that I was still turning the page all the way to the end, and I found myself chuckling more than once along the way.

What I really liked was the strong set of interesting characters and the depiction of friendship (and its importance). At the same time, the characters and their depiction did feel a bit stereotypical and cliché at some points, and in that regard I would have hoped for a bit more uniqueness and maybe a different approach.

However, if you are a fan of YA romance in general and queer YA romance in particular then this one would be highly recommended, and it surely won’t disappoint you.

A solid 4 stars from me!

Plus, who can say no to this absolutely cute and sweet cover? It’s been a blast to work with this one on the banner for the TheWriteReads tour, and hereby I’d like to say thank you to TheWriteReads, the author, and Penguin for my spot on the tour and my ecopy of the book (none of which influenced my rating or review in any way).

Let me know if Straight Expectations goes straight to your TBR, or what you thought if you’ve already read it!

Thank you all so much for reading!


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