You’ll notice that I’m reviewing a lot of contemporary and romance at the moment, and I’m perfectly fine with that as we start going into the warmer months. I’m reviewing Erik J. Brown’s second book this time, which might be totally different genre-wise from his debut, but he’s done an excellent job. I was lucky enough to be sent a proof of this through Team BKMRK’s Instagram. They asked if anyone would be interested, and I said yes. I’m so glad that I did.
Tommy is in his senior year of high school and aiming to get into the culinary school his Dad had attended. He’s focused on his application until his childhood crush pops up in his kitchen and his life again. As Tommy tries to juggle his returning feelings with his dreams for his future, his life begins to take turns that he didn’t expect.
This was a fun read, but I’d recommend picking up some snacks before starting it. With Tommy wanting to be a chef and enjoying baking, there’s a lot of talk about food. He even works in the kitchen of a retirement home, so there’s pretty much no escape from it. I liked that aspect, though. Tommy truly loves food, not just because he loves to eat but because it’s a link between him and his Dad. He might not have his Dad anymore, but he has their shared dream, which is lovely and emotional. There’s a particular scene with a turkey leg linking back to a family tradition that made me tear up a little.
That said, Tommy wasn’t really likeable for much of the book. Now, that’s not a dealbreaker for me in this case, and I’ll explain why. Tommy is pretty selfish, and there are definitely times when he is incredibly thoughtless. But he’s also a teenager, and he learns from his mistakes. I enjoyed this book despite not really liking him because I appreciated his growth throughout the story. No, he’s not the nicest person, but when his heart is in the right place, he’s a real sweetheart, and he does realise when he’s done wrong. He’s not perfect, but he is realistic, and I appreciate that.
The romance is a little tricky to discuss as the relationship mentioned in the summary isn’t the endgame, and I am glad about that. Though there were some cute scenes, Tommy and Gabe weren’t great together. There were just more moments where I couldn’t understand why either was bothering the other as they kept hurting each other. The relationship that was endgame, though, I adored. It was a slow burn with some major misunderstandings on Tommy’s side, but I liked it. Despite that, I like that where the book ends, we are bluntly being promised a happy for now rather than a happily ever after. Tommy doesn’t know what will happen next, but he wants to take things slowly with his new boy, and it was cute.
I’ve talked about Tommy not having his Dad anymore, so trigger warnings for grief. And if you’re squeamish, there is a scene where Tommy has an accident in the kitchen. It’s not too serious, but it’s definitely a little gross, and it affects him severely in the short term. But the accident doesn’t last long, so you should be able to skip that scene if necessary.
This was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Though I’ve owned it for a while, I’ve still not read Brown’s debut, so I’m eager to get to it soon. If you’re looking for a fun, queer contemporary, then this is definitely one you should run to preorder.
Title: Lose You To Find Me
Author: Erik J. Brown
Age Range: Young Adult
Publisher: Hodder Childrens
Release Date: 2/5/23
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