Review: “Boyfriend Material” by Alexis Hall

Rating:

Synopsis:

Wanted:
One (fake) boyfriend
Practically perfect in every way

Luc O’Donnell is tangentially–and reluctantly–famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he’s never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad’s making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.

To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he’s never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.

But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go.

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Ahhh this book was such a pleasure to read. I absolutely adored it. This right here is the fake dating trope at its best, also the enemies to lovers trope at its best. I haven’t burst out laughing so much reading a book in YEARS. Boyfriend Material is hilarious but don’t let that fool you because it will definitely also punch you in the feels.

The book starts off with Luc, son of famous musicians from the 80s, getting put on tabloids by the paparazzi when coming out of a party. Seeing this, his boss at his job told him he needed to fix his image, so why not find himself a respectable boyfriend?

The best thing about this book was by far the characters. Luc is an awesome mc. The epitome of a disaster gay and I was living for it. Oliver was also a pretty great love interest, and I just had so much fun reading their interactions. All the hilarity and fluff to my heart’s content.

The side characters were also phenomenal. I love the emphasis this book had on friendships and both Luc and Oliver’s friend groups have a big impact on their lives. The friendship dynamics feel authentic and real, I wanted to jump in the book and be their friend. Every scene with Luc’s coworkers also made me laugh out loud because the relationship dynamics are so hilarious.

Between the funny bits though, the book does handle a lot of heavy topics like homophobic microaggressions, queer communities, absent parents, anxiety, etc. But all of it is still handled with a little bit of humor (though I thought it was dealt with respectfully). My only qualm is that Luc’s boss is coded as autistic and it’s pretty stereotypical and the story never really calls that out.

Overall, I thought it was one of the best (if not the best) romcom I’ve read, books don’t usually manage to make me laugh so much. Highly recommend!

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