Going Dutch – By James Gregor

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Goodreads Synopsis: Exhausted by dead-end forays in the gay dating scene, surrounded constantly by friends but deeply lonely in New York City, and drifting into academic abyss, twenty-something graduate student Richard has plenty of sources of anxiety. But at the forefront is his crippling writer’s block, which threatens daily to derail his graduate funding and leave Richard poor, directionless, and desperately single.

Enter Anne: his brilliant classmate who offers to “help” Richard write his papers in exchange for his company, despite Richard’s fairly obvious sexual orientation. Still, he needs her help, and it doesn’t hurt that Anne has folded Richard into her abundant lifestyle. What begins as an initially transactional relationship blooms gradually into something more complex.

But then a one-swipe-stand with an attractive, successful lawyer named Blake becomes serious, and Richard suddenly finds himself unable to detach from Anne, entangled in her web of privilege, brilliance, and, oddly, her unabashed acceptance of Richard’s flaws. As the two relationships reach points of serious commitment, Richard soon finds himself on a romantic and existential collision course—one that brings about surprising revelations.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I’ve been trying to request more LGBTQA+ books from NetGalley recently, since that’s what I’m most interested in reading these days. This is one of the books that I got earlier in the year and finally made time to read.

Unfortunately I never even finished this book. From beginning to where I stopped reading, which was about 40% into the story,  I found the writing style to be over the top and pretentious. It also gave me intense feelings that world around me was hypocritical and not to be trusted, which wasn’t my favorite feeling to get from a book.  All of it drove me crazy.

You have the characters, Richard, a gay man tired of failed dates and tired of school. He was so boring and mopey. Seriously all he did was whine and complain about life, which got tiring after awhile. Especially since it didn’t really feel like his life was all that terrible. Then you have Anne, a brilliant woman with her studies who seems to be clueless in love life. She falls for Richard and shows it by doing everything for him, which drove me batty because I HATE it when women do this for men.

The plot was slow and meandering, which is one of the main reasons I ended up quitting it. Nothing was happening. And then when things started happening, things were weird. The whole relationship between Anne and Richard was fine, until they slept together. I just found it all unrealistic and strange.

I never even made it to the point where Richard starts seeing this guy Blake. I couldn’t stand to read any more of the story.   I wish I knew more about the author, does he even identify as a member of the queer community? Or is he just a straight man writing a story about how he thinks gay men date? I couldn’t tell.

I really wanted to like this book, I think a critique on the dating and social worlds that queer people try to fit into would be fascinating. Unfortunately, it is not this book and I gave it one star on Goodreads.

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