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  • Writer's pictureAdam Roszco

Book Review: When The Lights Come Up - a must-read!

Book Review by Adam Roszco.

When the Lights Come up

by Vance Anthony

Learn more about the author here.

An amazing read! This is going to be a lifetime favorite of mine. One of those I will pick up again and again and learn not only something new about the characters and their story but also about myself. Great job Vance Anthony!

Brandon is about to be forty. Perhaps that's why this hits home for me, I just turned forty myself. Brandon has a business, a tight circle of close friends who have seen him at his worst and at his best. He's got some baggage thanks to a long line of people letting him down - from his dad, to his ex and a few in between. Brandon struggles with trusting people. He has trouble dating in this modern world of hook-up apps. He misses the free-wheeling days of the club scene, the early nineties were a truly memorable time. I, too, miss those racy nights at the club. As Queer As Folk said "that thumpa, thumpa". Author Anthony has done a wonderful job of painting a picture that not only captures the physical elements of those club nights but also that memorable but fleeting feeling.

Enter Matti. I knew from the moment Brandon was seeing him across the way in his apartment that these two would come together. I was not disappointed. This is the kind of relationship we all desire. Scorching hot sex. Someone who knows we argue with voices in our head and can't stop dwelling on the past. But also someone who is going to bring us out of our head. Someone who also wants to be loved unconditionally. I loved reading about the two of them. Brandon is damaged but healing and growing, it's lovely to read about. It's how we all are.

In the end, yes, it is a happily ever after. They've found a new way to remember those club days together. Matti used to enjoy them too after all. My big take-away from this book is two-fold. One, if you feel something you should share it. Life is after all, fleeting. Two, we're all broken and wanted to be loved. Why do we make it so hard for ourselves?

A fantastic book. One that I will cherish and keep with me. I loved the characters. I loved the dark humor of Brandon. Matti is a ray of sunshine, the man we dream about. I couldn't put this one down. It spoke to me not only as a casual reader but also to my soul. Reminding me that while I think the good old days are behind me - there are still plenty of good ones coming my way. Five stars all around.

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