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review 2016-11-23 18:40
What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson
What They Always Tell Us - Martin Wilson

I saw this book at the library the other day and became curious about it. When I saw it tackled a romance between two boys, I really wanted to see how the representation was handled. In short, it was okay.


I enjoyed the writing. It's straight and to the point and I always enjoy when an author decides to be blunt about the topic they are writing about. One of the things I wasn't particularly fond about was how the characters referred to themselves. There's talk of homophobia and a lot of hateful slurs thrown throughout the book but that's the point, I suppose. It's showing the reality of what people in the Queer community must face daily just because of who they fall in love with; and that discriminatory behavior is wrong and people need to educate themselves and learn to accept that there are many different people out there who are amazing and incredible and shouldn't be treated any less for being who they are.


It's important to remember that we are all human, trying to live life the best we know how. And, yes, there are bad people out there. But there are also good people who want to live in peace and in happiness. We should let people be who they are and live life the way they want. As long as they are not hurting anyone, why should they be condemned for being themselves? I never understood the blatant hatred people who weren't straight, white, Christian, able-bodied men always have to endure. In the end, we're all human. Why hate someone for what they look like or who they fall in love in or what their beliefs are? It makes no sense to me.


Anyway, back to the review.


The book follows two perspectives. One is of Alex and the other is of his brother, James. Alex was always a delight to read about. I adore him. He's so sweet and caring. He has his own struggles that he had to face and overcome. In the beginning of the book, he suffers from depression and he does try to take his own life so be cautious about that going in. But his journey takes him from his low points to his highs and it's such a lovely journey to read about! I loved whenever the book took his perspective. However, I did not enjoy reading from James's perspective. He was, put plainly, a bully. I thought he was downright a disgusting character. He's a selfish, misogynistic, and even racist character. He only got better towards the end of the book... with only 40 pages left of the book... It's a shame that I hated reading from his POV so much because if the book only focused on Alex, I would have enjoyed it so much more.


All in all, it was a pretty good. I liked the writing and Alex was such a delight to read about. It's not without its flaws. James really makes this book slightly unbearable with his negativity. There's also homophobia and attempted suicide so if any of these may be triggering for you, please do not read this. I want everyone to be safe so please keep what I said in mind. If none of those things bother you, these I do think it's a solid read. It may even be eye opening to how some people are treated just because they are gay. Remember, education is key to understanding other people who live different lives from you.

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review 2016-08-01 00:37
What They Always Tell Us - Martin Wilson

This was sweet. Really liked it.


As always, I will first discuss the characters. Alex was a sweetie, and I loved him. James, to be perfectly honest, was kind of a dick at first, but he went through a shit ton of character development and I grew to like him. I also really liked Nathen and Alice.


It's amazing that not much happens plot-wise and yet I was never bored. There's no exciting action or adventure, it's just a glimpse into the lives of some high school students trying to live and love. It's ordinary but that's what makes it so relatable.

Ugh, the romance was to die for. I ship it so hard. It's very mild, there's no sexually explicit scenes. It's more kissing and intimate moments, my favorite kind of romantic moments.


I don't really have much to say, except that I quite enjoyed it and I would totally recommend it. For some reason it kind of reminds me of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, so if you liked that then totally check this out.


Tl;dr version- A really sweet story that involves an adorable romance and a realistic glimpse into the lives of high school students.

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review 2016-04-25 00:00
What They Always Tell Us
What They Always Tell Us - Martin Wilso... What They Always Tell Us - Martin Wilson,Jesse Einstein

It is my third book in a row that I rated with 5 stars, and I am a bit confused of myself. But I don't think that I became less demanding, maybe I just LEARNED to filter books that appeal to me. Or maybe I have just a lucky hand to chose the right books for me.

Of course a story about two brothers, James and Alex, is the main story-line in this book, but it is in the first place a beautifully written wonderful story of growing up, discovering yourself, learning to come out of the crisis stronger than ever. It is a touching story about insecurity, and loneliness, the hardships of being a grown-up.

It is a gorgeous story of first love, true friendship and family ties.

</<img src="http://www.justiz.bayern.de/imperia/md/images/stmj_internet/gerichte/landgerichte/passau/trennlinie_300x75.jpg">

I listened to an audiobook, but it is one of those books, that it is difficult to ruin, doesn't matter how hard a bad narrator would try to do it. Luckily, [a:Jesse Einstein|8296512|Jesse Einstein|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] did a good job, and I enjoyed both - the story itself and its audio version. So you're free to chose what you prefer.

Highly recommended!

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review 2013-09-25 13:34
What They Always Tell Us
What They Always Tell Us - Martin Wilson

I feel like the pace was a bit slow and the two points of views (brothers Alex and James) was unnecessary.


I honestly couldn't care less about James' narration - who spends most of his time being a selfish, whiny boy - and would have love to read more of Alex.


That said, I still enjoyed reading this book. It's a good story.


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review 2013-05-04 00:00
What They Always Tell Us - Martin Wilson This is a really simple and quiet story, but one that touched my heart and hit home in a lot of ways. A lot of Alex's story was painfully familiar, in his loneliness, his awkwardness, and his sense of always feeling like the odd one out in a group. There's more to feeling like a misfit than not liking the same things as other people, and it can feel like something deeper, like you're just not on the same wavelength as everyone else, or that being a part of the group just doesn't come as easily to you as it seems to with others. James' story is one that grew on me. While at first coming across as the uncaring older brother who has everything going for him, he and Alex warily fumble towards repairing their trust and friendship that they had when they were younger, and before the "Pine-Sol incident".

So the story may leave some unresolved questions, and maybe the minor characters aren't fully developed, but really, I don't care. The emotion is real, this story gave me all the feels, it spoke to something inside me, and left me with hope.
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