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review 2018-07-12 02:16
Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson 4.5 Star Review!!!
Know Not Why - Hannah Johnson

Howie gets a job at Artie Kraft's Arts 'N Crafts hoping to score with his lady coworkers. After all, girls love a sensitive guy, and what's more sensitive than dedicating your life to selling yarn and ... stuff? (Okay, so maybe it'd be a good idea to actually learn what one sells at an arts 'n crafts store.) But things don't go exactly according to plan. Coworker #1 is Kristy: blonde, bubbly, unattainable perfection. Coworker #2 is Cora: tiny, much-pierced, and way too fierce to screw with in any sense. And Coworker #3 is, well, Arthur. It goes without saying that he’s not an option. Right?

… Right?

Yeah, Howie’s life just got straight up confusing.

Pun intended.




This book made me happy. I smiled and I laughed. We are in Howie's first person present tense as he discovers that maybe his problems with getting laid is that he doesn't really want to have sex with women.


The narrative here is snark, mixed with reflection and freak out and self deprecation. There is a large cast and a great deal going on and Johnson takes the time to craft each element and moment.


At first Howie, isn't very likable as he avoids himself because of grief and other rambles of young adulthood.


I love that he is at community college. I love his mom and that he has friends. His friends aren't perfect and the working out of new dynamics as they age and Howie incorporates more into his life (new job, friends, and love interest) are really well done.


Howie doesn't like Artie, his new boss, at first. He doesn't like much of anyone really. This is a slow burn and behind closed doors romance. Because we are so stuck in Howie's head, I would have liked those doors to be open so that we could get a better view of Arthur's interaction on an intimate level but there is good chemistry between them.


Artie is a bit of saint to put up with the hither and yon, dither and bolt, behavior that is Howie processing that is is gay despite all the internal time Howie has spent not thinking about who he is attracted too and trying to wedge himself into likely the opposite sex.

Artie grows as well and the joy these too find in each other is a delight.


I love the pacing of this book and the banter. The integrated life and all the dynamics of each characters is so well done. I like especially that a really kind and sweet character in Howie co worker Kristy instead of being made fun of is treasured and the same for Howie's brother's socially awkward girlfriend brought home for the holidays. And this valuing of all these different kinds of people (even a really bro dude) is what makes this book special.


I know I will reread this one!

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review 2014-11-11 07:18
Toil & Trouble (Hannah Johnson)
Toil & Trouble: A Know Not Why Halloween (Mis)adventure - Hannah Johnson

2.5 stars

Hmmm ... this felt like reading one of those free online fictions or fan fictions where there were a lot of dialogs but not so much as 'direction' or 'shape' about what the story was trying to say.

At times, it felt refreshing, with the 'let-loose' storytelling and quirky dialogs.... but at other times, I wondered, "what's the point of this? where is this going exactly". The humor sometimes works, sometimes it doesn't. I am not one easily amused with humorous stories, I guess.

So with my mood and the way I felt rather indifferent/meh with this story when I finished it, I have to settled down with 2.5 stars. Bummer.

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text 2014-11-10 07:13
Reading progress update: I've read 6%.
Toil & Trouble: A Know Not Why Halloween (Mis)adventure - Hannah Johnson

"Arthur glances around. His eyes land on a skeleton propped up in the corner in a pose that can only be called bootilicious.

Or maybe rumpishly eager.

“Is that really necessary?” Arthur frowns.

“He’s twerking,” Cora says defensively.

-- yeah, it's fun to return to the world of Artie Kraft's Arts 'N Crafts..."

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review 2014-08-26 00:00
Know Not Why
Know Not Why - Hannah Johnson image

This book was not only sweet, but very funny. I love to read coming-of-age stories, and if they are coming-out-of-the-closet/coming-of-age, even better. Howie is not really a teenager, but he acts like one most of the times (he is 22). He is one of those characters that readers would find, either endearing or annoying as hell. In my opinion, he was both.

He rambles a lot. A lot. He says the most idiotic things (something that he is entirely aware of), he is judgmental, he loves to lie. There were times where I wanted to slap his face, a couple of times. But his sarcasm was a lot of fun to read, and I was giggling most of the times. He starts working in an art and craft shop to get laid (with girls), but instead, he is more aware of his boss Arthur and his long eyelashes. How cute is that?

Their first kiss took me by surprise. It was so out of nowhere. The before and after, to be more specific. I would say that THAT was a bit disappointing. Nevertheless, Arthur was a sweetheart, and very patient, considering that Howie was not out of the closet yet and kept lying about their relationship to his family and old friends.

More than the two lovely boys, I liked the girls at the shop, Kristy and Cora. They were so different but so nice: Kristy, a super-nice, beautiful, talkative girl who wanted to have Howie working at the shop only to make a match between him and Arthur; and Cora, a scary-looking, kind-of-aggressive actress-wannabe who helps Howie to realize his sexuality. And yep, these girls are two fujoshis, who squeal and make the happy dance when things start going on between Howie and Arthur (who can blame them?). It was a bit embarrassing for both Howie and Arthur at the beginning, but the girls were a lot of help to make their relationship progress.

I think that every character deserves a special mention: Mitch, Howie's BFF, who was a weird, sympathetic fellow; Emily, Howie's sister-in-law, who seems weird but actually is awesome in her odd-way; Howie's mother, who is an anonymous erotic writer, and wasn't her reaction about Howie's homosexuality totally cool?; Kristy's BF Cliff and his strange fight with Howie.

Every scene where Howie comes out to someone was image (except the one with Amber). And when Howie is having dinner with his brother and Amber and Emily, and they see Arthur with his ex and Howie goes to confront him was image (the night ends very well for Howie, regardless image)

Amber was the only one I did not accept, but she was Howie's BFF and he cared a lot about her, and looks like she will have her HEA eventually, so...

In summary, this book was simple and just plain-hilarious. Yes, go ahead and read it. You will not regret it, at all.
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review 2014-08-11 00:00
Know Not Why
Know Not Why: A Novel - Hannah Johnson

Really cute story that focused more on the MC and his coworkers than the m/m relationship. I enjoyed it for what it was and had a lot of fun reading it.

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