Tuesday, December 18, 2018

ARC Review: Make A Circle by Elliot Joyce


A Story from the Warmest Wishes: Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar

Pagan punk musician Lucas is fully prepared to spend this Yule with the rest of the band and his beautiful bass guitar when Oliver, his boyfriend of almost a year, asks if he wants to join the rest of the Han family for their annual winter celebration. It comes as a shock since Ollie has gone to great lengths to keep the two apart, and Lucas always assumed he was the reason. Since they’re planning to be together long-term, Lucas can't say no to meeting Ollie’s parents, but he better brush up on his manners and his Mandarin because this is going to be a holiday season like no other—and it has some surprises in store for both of them.

Heather's review:

A surprisingly good offering from new to me author, Elliot Joyce.

Make a Circle is more than meets the eye. It's only 33 pages long, but I was pleasantly pleased at how much I enjoyed it; though if the story had been even longer, I think I would have really loved it.

Though the blurb doesn't state it, the story is about the Dongzhi Festival, which is the Chinese winter solstice festival. My daughters have many Chinese classmates (we even have no school on Chinese New Year), but I've never heard of the Dongzhi celebration until this story. I was really interested, and I wish I learned a little more from the story, but I was intrigued nevertheless.

I liked both MCs and I dug their chemistry, which is rare for me in an established couple story. However, because this story was so short, I appreciated the fact that the author didn't try to introduce two people and get some sort of relationship going in such a short span of time.

I always, always like a trans MC, which, again, wasn't stated in the blurb but was a pleasant surprise for me. I actively seek out books with trans main characters, so I enjoyed discovering this one a great deal.

Though this story was just a hint of something greater, I'm hopeful I'll see a lot more from this author in the future.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

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Keep reading, my friends!

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