Book Review: Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert

As a general rule these days, I try to read more queer books these day written by Own Voices authors. I don’t solely read them though and this book looked like the perfect rom-com for me and it was New Adult which is an age-range I’ve not read much of. So when I saw it on NetGalley, I decided I wanted to give it a read.

Conventionally Yours focuses on Conrad and Alden, two young men who play the fictional card game Odyssey. They appear on a vlog called Gamer Grandpa with their play group and their connections to it nets them tickets to a massive con and competition in Vegas. A competition that could win them a lot of fame and money. Something both of them need. Only their journey there is going to be a road trip they won’t forget and, unsurprisingly, they fall in love.

This being a romance novel, I was a little worried that it would be a lot of pointless smut. I find that boring and it’s one of the reasons I don’t enjoy a lot of romance novels but this wasn’t too bad. This book employs the there’s only one bed trope at some point and yet? When they share a bed you get a moment that is just sweet and I preferred that so much. There’s more kissing then sex and the smut is a bit more fade-to-black then I expected. Thankfully for me, this meant that I could enjoy the book a little more than I do other romances.

Still, at first, I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy this book. It took a little while to get into, the opening chapters a little slow but once Alden and Conrad are really on their journey, I found myself enjoying it. The book was easy to get through, their adventures fun and honestly? I wanna eat at some of the diners they found. I liked Alden best but I felt for both boys, their home situations aren’t great but they really help each other grow. They become more likeable the more time they spent together and that worked really well.

I will say though, for a book about something as nerdy as a trading card game, there weren’t many other pop culture references. I know these can date a book a bit in the future but it made them feel less nerdy I guess. These guys who play a game – that made sense and I honestly did enjoy reading the matches of – don’t really make references to anything else nerdy? Seems kinda weird to me.

But this book was enjoyable enough and I think I will be checking out the next ones!

4 Stars


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