Sunday, June 7, 2020

Playing It Out Straight by Andrew McQuinn

Amazon Link - Available in KU
Goodreads Link

This is first and foremost a coming out story told in two parts. The Before and After. Playing it out Straight is the before.

It started with a thought. An innocent, miniscule notion, I never believed would turn into this.

For the last two years, Kyle McKinley has been living a lie and going along with the charade he believed would make his father proud. Kyle thought he could continue playing it out straight and hide his secret. Until his family moved across country from a small coastal Maine town to Santa Monica California.

Recently, Scotty Valentin gave up all hopes of finding a boyfriend and decided to focus on his career. He'd been taught love came with a price and that price was his loss of trust.

By chance Kyle and Scotty met. For Scotty, he didn't want to fall for the same trap he kept getting himself into, but there was something different about Kyle. For Kyle, he's too afraid to admit Scotty may be the man who had all the answers he's been both running from and searching for.

My Rating - 5 Stars!

Playing It Out Straight, by Andrew McQuinn, is a wonderful coming of age tale. This is one of those books that sucks you in immediately, with it's gripping opening sentence and gentle tone. 

Written in first person pov, this is Kyle's story through and through. The reader is easily brought into Kyle's mind throughout his struggles with coming out. 

This is a story of family issues, defining one's sexuality, and the fear of coming out. It's a story with bullying and a whole lot of fears and doubts. And it's a story of a boy who wants his father's approval.

The main character, Kyle, is written in a genuine manner, with plenty of authenticity given to his words. Good god, my heart hurts for Kyle at times. I felt his pain in my own heart.

I am extremely impressed with this debut novel. The author's writing style perfectly matches my taste. The dialogue is excellent, both interesting, natural, and important to the storyline. There are some great side characters as well. 

Another constant in this story is the atmospheric elements of Maine. The author excels in bringing the feel of the land and town to the reader. 

This is a tender coming out story, with important messages. This is one of those books I would recommend to someone who needs some encouragement through their similar struggle. 

Playing It Out Straight is a heartfelt tale of finding one's way out of the closet. This Andrew McQuinn read is impressive on it's own, let alone for a debut author. I look forward to the next book to see what comes next for Kyle. 

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