Tell Me It’s Real by TJ Klune
My rating: 5 out of 5
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Paul Auster doesn’t. Paul doesn’t believe in much at all. He’s thirty, slightly overweight, and his best features are his acerbic wit and the color commentary he provides as life passes him by. His closest friends are a two-legged dog named Wheels and a quasibipolar drag queen named Helena Handbasket. He works a dead-end job in a soul-sucking cubicle, and if his grandmother’s homophobic parrot insults him one more time, Paul is going to wring its stupid neck.
Enter Vince Taylor.
Vince is everything Paul isn’t: sexy, confident, and dumber than the proverbial box of rocks. And for some reason, Vince pursues Paul relentlessly. Vince must be messing with him, because there is no way Vince could want someone like Paul.
But when Paul hits Vince with his car-in a completely unintentional if-he-died-it’d-only-be-manslaughter kind of way-he’s forced to see Vince in a whole new light. The only thing stopping Paul from believing in Vince is himself-and that is one obstacle Paul can’t quite seem to overcome. But when tragedy strikes Vince’s family, Paul must put aside any notions he has about himself and stand next to the man who thinks he’s perfect the way he is.
My take on it
I LOVED THIS BOOK! The story is about Paul, a really smart (and smart-assed) guy who is far from perfect. He’s a little chubby and hugely self-conscious because of it. He’s clumsy, has verbal diarrhoea and can’t believe that there’s anybody out there for him. The story is told from 1st person POV and I’m really impressed how well the author used this difficult perspective. It allows a deep emotional insight into Paul’s psyche, his bitchy and often hilarious internal monologue.
His best friend is a drag queen with awesome attitude. In fact, all the characters are amazingly well drawn and relatable. My favourite is Johnny Depp, the homophobic parrot:
“When I went over to her house to meet him for the first time, the first thing Johny Depp did was squawk at me, “Pray the gay away!” while my grandma giggled from behind his cage.”
Paul is such a lovable weirdo. He has a dog named Wheels, a menstruating ghost in his house, and the stuff he comes out with is just incredible. When you read the book, try to imagine it as a movie and you’ll howl laughing at some of the scenes.
Paul meets the incredibly gorgeous Vince who isn’t the brightest but equally loveable. He refuses to believe that Vince might be into him, because, well, Vince is ripped and beautiful and Paul, isn’t.
I don’t want to give more away because the book is just that good.
The only criticism I have (and it’s not even a criticism per se, just my perception) is that the author went out of his way to lighten a very emotional situation towards the end involving the whole family. I would have preferred a bit more suffering but that’s just my inner sadist coming out.
Paul and Vince will stay with me, together with their whole cast of miscreants. I don’t know if T. J. Klune has written any follow-ons to their story but I’d love to read it! I know that there’s a book 2, covering Sandy and Darren so I’ll be off to read that one next! My life rocks for having discovered these books 🙂
What do you think? Did you enjoy it or were the characters too flaming for you? Let me know below!
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