We love a cheesy queer rom-com in this house, and after reading Never Been Kissed earlier this year, I’ve been desperate to get my hands on this one. I was lucky to get a physical ARC from Martina Pennetta and Sourcebooks Casablanca. I was expecting an e-copy through Netgalley, so that was a very pleasant surprise. This book was filled with queer joy and Hallmark cheese, but it also features a realistic depiction of anxiety, and that makes this a book that can’t be beaten.
Matthew has been exiled to his grandparents’ place with no cards, and no social media. After he bought an island with his parent’s money, he’s told he needs to learn a lesson. But he needs to get back before NYE for his party. He hatches a plan to get out of there but to succeed he’ll need to work with his handsome roommate Hector. But the holiday and town work their magic, and soon even a grinch like Matthew sees the good.
I keep using the word cheese to describe this book but let me assure you that I’m using it with affection. I’m a rom-com aficionado, and I don’t care that some people would look down on me for it. With books like this, you can have so much fun. I want a book like this one that keeps me smiling, and Christmas really is the perfect time for that.
But this story isn’t always joyous. This book features anxiety rep, and it felt pretty accurate to me. It meant that Matthew sometimes did or said stupid things. He has a coping mechanism, one that’s specific to him, but it doesn’t always help. It made aspects of the book painful, and I like that in a chick-lit or romance novel. It helps make the story feel more realistic, and it helps the reader get into the character’s head a little more. You understand the bad, as well as the good, and it’s good to see sides of the character that aren’t wrapped up in the romance too.
You might not like Matthew much as a protagonist at first, but that’s okay because that’s obviously the point. It’s clear from the reference in the title. Matthew is selfish and spoiled, but throughout the book, he grows. His grandmother says to him that he’s a good boy, and she’s right. Matthew just needs to learn how to share that side of himself, and he does. By the end of the book, you’re rooting for him.
There are some great side characters in this book too. One of my favourites was Noelle. She was so much fun, and I wish we could’ve seen a bit more of her and Siena. I loved that she was a fangirl, as I love seeing nerdy characters. But most importantly, she was this bright, creative best friend character, and I loved reading about her. I think she deserves her own book for sure!
In my opinion, Timothy Janovsky is definitely an author we should all be looking out for. His new adult rom-coms are perfect reads, and we should all be shouting about them from the rooftops.
If you’re looking for more books for your Christmas TBR, then definitely grab a copy of this one.
Title: You’re A Mean One Matthew Prince
Author: Timothy Janovsky
Age Range: New Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: OUT NOW