The Dangerous Art of Blending In eBook å Art of

The Dangerous Art of Blending In I desperately wanted to love this book and I’m actually wondering if 3 stars is too high of a rating First off major trigger warnings for physical and mental abuse as well as homophobia I couldn’t connect with Evan He seems like a good guy in a shitty situation but it felt like I never actually got to know him I hated Evan’s mom and his dad isn’t any better as he just lets it happen As much as I wanted to love the romance part of things it was very dramatic and over the top Plot wise it was a rollercoaster of nothing I was on edge because I was expecting a horrible beating every time I turned the page It’s basically a slice of time where nothing happens except abuse All sorts of people know Evan is getting abused and no one does anything Literally no one helps Lastly I seriously struggled with the rhythm of the story Everything was “I did this and then this and then this happened before I did this” It got old reaaaaalllly uick Overall it had a lot of promise and judging by the high reviews I’m in the minority Obviously this book just wasn’t for me Huge thanks to Balzer Bray for providing the arc free of charge This book was heartbreakingly sad and the authors note just broke me It's about parental abuse coming out and finding your voice in a harsh and judgmental world Also this is a #ownvoices novelHowever I didn't like how Henry kept saying I'll be the one to help you I want to be the one you trust Yikes I really didn't feel their romance either?? There's a lot of consent issues Henry kissed Ev without permission when he told Henry THAT HE WAS SCARED AND NOT SUREOverall it's an okay book and I liked it minus the unhealthy romance Also those descriptions of the Greek food got me hungry yum35 stars I spent the entire afternoon reading this and it really broke my heart This book is brutal and devastating This book is definitely not for everyone and you can see that by looking through some of the other reviews but it spoke to me and made me feel deeply Here's the deal about never being authentically loved by your parents The most fucked up gesture or morsel of compassion is like a warm blanketI haven't made my mind up completely about this book One the one hand it is a truthful and painful novel that makes it hard for you to swallow On the other hand it feels like big chunks of characterisation and plot were missing Let me try to elaborateEvan grows up in a strict and religious household His mother abuses him mentally and physically She tells him he is ugly and worthless because he is gay And those are the nice things that come out of her mouth She beats him throws objects at him and has done so ever since he was a little child She says she does those things because she loves himEvan's father is loving and dedicated to his family He tries to protect Evan where he can but he still doesn't do enoughHere come the spoilers so stop reading here if you do not want to know A relationship that I do not understand at all is Evan's and Jeremy's friendship Throughout the book Jeremy is a dick What is worse he becomes an outright bully and traitor And now I don't get Evan's reaction and thought process about this break of trust or rather the lack thereof Jeremy is easily forgiven This passiveness and apathy bother me about Evan When he finds out that he told his whole school that he is gay and in love with his best friend he had a blackout and can't remember this situation but later sees a video of it he doesn't even give it much thought Honestly this would have made me break down and cry and hide for days on end But Evan hardly gives it a second thought You could argue that this shows how people react differently to certain situations but to me it felt like this and a few other scenes weren't given enough thoughtWhat also bothers me is that Evan's vicious and violent mother doesn't suffer any conseuences for all the harm she did him I wondered where Evan's anger was about all the death threats and scars he had suffered from her I wondered how Evan's best friend found out about this abuse but also lacked a reaction that was forceful than a simple You know I want to kill her right?Evan was so helpless and alone and what I wished for him and for the teens that might read this book and relate to him was a solution In the end Evan turned 18 and moved out But why did no adult ever help him? Why did his best friend not even suggest going to the police? Why were no alternative solutions brought up?Anyway I'm glad to add another Own Voices author to my list and want to celebrate that there are and ueer authors out there who are given an opportunity to have their voices heard And I'm intrigued to find out what else Angelo Surmelis might be writing in futureFind of my books on Instagram Such a beautiful book My full review will be up on my booktube channel at Many thanks to HarperTeen for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest reviewI both loved and hated this I think that this type of story needs to be shared so as to stop others like it from happening That said it always breaks my heart to see young people albeit fictional people being abused and harmed in this way I just wanted to step in and brutally murder Evan's mom Justifiable homocide is a thing right? and send him off to his own gay palace All in all this book broke my heart and then mended it just to break it again| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram This story is heartbreaking and sad This story deals with some heavy issues such as physical and mental abuse suicide and coming out This coming of age book deals with Evan who comes home from camp confused about his sexuality and what he wants in life Evan's mother is a strict immigrant greek mother who wants him to be a good christian boy Evan feels like he has no support from his family or from his friends This story tugged at my heart and I feel like it should be read by everybody Entertainment rating 5Reader health rating 2Settling for a 35 overall?Content warnings verbal mentalemotional and physical child abuse; on the page violent child abuse homophobia bullying assaultDisclaimers I'm a therapist and I work in child welfare therefore child abuse is a topic I think about 8 hours a day 5 days a weekI felt very angry while reading this because of the reviews I read from other reviewers The abusive mother is this novel does not have a mental health diagnosis Blaming mental illness for child abuse is denial and ignorance People choose to abuse others Abuse is not something that your brain chemistry forces you to perform Can some individuals diagnosed with a mental health disorder also be abusive? Sure But those parts of them are unrelated We could argue about personality disorders but then we'd just be getting technical and we would not focusing on what really matters here not perpetuating abusive behaviorWhy I Recommend Bumping This DOWN On Your TBRIs this kind of reading experience necessary? Is it okay for us to be reading to be entertained by a story of someone being abused? Was this informative enough to excuse using abuse as a plot device? I don't think that this was informative enough I don't think that this would help an abused child feel validated or know how to reach out for help This is of a memoir turned into fiction I also don't think this should be marketed towards young adults if only because I don't feel like it would benefit a young readerWhy You Might Bump This Up On Your TBRI should mention that the protagonist is gay and in love and that I enjoyed the writing style very much and couldn't put this work down This is a believable portrayal of what it's like to grow up being physically abused It was so believable that it was angering to watch all of the other people observing Evan from the sidelines and not doing anything to help him including his father and pastor I appreciated that the author included hotlines and resources at the end The way that the author slowly moved the story forward kept me in a mental and emotional anguish and I give the author credit for creating that experience for the reader While I appreciate that this topic was covered I don't envision this opening the eyes of a reader who has never learned about child abuse before and that's what I would have wanted it to do Oh wow this was both heartbreaking and hopeful and brutal I knew it was going to be an emotional one but afjdsakfld the ending basically had me feeling at least 4 things all at once which is RIDICULOUS as I am a Vulcan and emotion as bread It's full of art and abuse and hiding who you truly are and the absolute craving of love Someone get me a bucket I'm cosplaying a waterfall It's about domestic violence and it's so so heartbreakingEvan's mother basically hides her not named but very obvious mental illness behind her religion and uses it as an excuse to beat her wicked and sinful son It'sit's so hard to readEvan is just so beaten down on the inside as well He believes he's ugly and unworthy and evil and it's ALL he can do to try and be the perfect Greek son plus keep the fact that he's gay hidden And it's so sickening because everyone around him basically just stands back and pretends the abuse isn't happening I'm really glad the book actually pointed at that It's unfair and hard to read but really really true to life Evan is such a gorgeous character thoughHe's an artist but has a really low opinion of his work EVAN YOU IS KIND YOU IS SMART YOU IS IMPORTANT He's the most precious cinnamon but also he breaks my heart with how whenever someone is nice to him he pushes them away It's SO good the book didn't just show the depth of physical abuse but it actually outlined the effects too AND EVAN AND HENRY WHAT A GIFTI do wish Henry had been a little deeper as a character I really don't feel we got to know him? but I love how he and Evan were just BFFs and it was developing into and how they learned to take care of each other and afldksad Also epically the romance wasn't a oh Henry's here to save him Henry is not the salvation EVAN is his own salvation Bless The story wasn't super fast but in a good way?We get to see Evan's life and I love that he and his dad went out for donuts although is dad just basically stood by when Evan got abused by his mum soooo 98% mad at him still And there is SO MUCH GREEK FOOD I may have eaten my paperback There's also a lot of religion and I don't think the book slams religion or anything but it reminded me of Autoboyography in that it DID point out where religion often ignoresfailscondemns minorities Also this is a hella personal #ownvoices storyThere's an author's note in the back and I think this is like super close to the author's own Greekcoming out story It makes my heart very full when authors share such intimate pieces of themselves and just absolute RESPECT HERE My literal only critiue is that it felt like a debutHaha okay that was super specific Cait you bucket It's just a lot of the dialogue didn't feel natural and I feel it needed body language? Like everyone went from 0 to 1000 REAL fast and I would've liked indications of the mood from showing The writing was good but sometimes the tension could've been woven just a littttttle bit higher So little nitpicks And lmao I'm a debut author so I know these feels and I know they get better with booksANYWAY I'M A WRECK HOW ARE YOUThis one is here to pack an emotional picnic and the actual pain of Evan's thoughts and experiences is absolutely well written I justttttt want to kidnap him and give him a good life It's not a pretty story and it is a needful story and my heart aches Signs of a good book MY FEELS HURTMaybe I'm not so ugly after all Maybe no one is really ugly and maybe no one has the right to call someone that or tell them that they are Maybe the only real ugliness is what lives inside some people Seventeen year old Evan Panos doesn’t know where he fits in His strict Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment His uiet workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict And his best friend Henry has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer Tired isolated scared—Evan’s only escape is drawing in an abandoned church that feels as lonely as he is And yes he kissed one guy over the summer But it’s his best friend Henry who’s now proving to be irresistible It’s Henry who suddenly seems interested in being than friends And it’s Henry who makes him believe that he’s than his mother’s harsh words and terrifying abuse But as things with Henry heat up and his mother’s abuse escalates Evan has to decide how to find his voice in a world where he has survived so long by avoiding attention at all costs

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