Publication Date: October 15, 2014
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Wendy’s Review: 4 Skulls – B
Contemporary Romance is not my favorite genre. NA is not my favorite classification. Luckily The Understatement of the Year came very highly recommended. Also, being an M/M story, there wasn’t a heroine that would drive me absolutely insane. You see, in both Contemporary Romance and in NA it’s usually the female lead of the story that brings all the drama and angst and I just find myself getting really annoyed! Two male leads, only female secondary characters, and I didn’t have to read the other books! This book was the perfect NA contemp for me!
Starting this book was a little bit rough. For about the first 40-50 pages I felt myself dragging a little bit. It just didn’t feel like a lot was happening. BUT, when it got going it whipped me into a reading frenzy! I reached a certain spot and I was held hostage. I’m not exaggerating. The Understatement of the Year kidnapped all of my attention. I read nonstop from about 6pm to 2am. I was laying in bed and telling myself how tired I was, how the book would still be there in the morning, but I also knew that if I put it down I wouldn’t sleep anyway because I would be thinking about Rik and Graham. And so, I kept reading.
There were a few things that stood about about The Understatement of the Year, in terms of M/M. When, in the story, one of the characters is still ‘in the closet’ they usually go the route of the ‘out’ character drawing a line in the sand. They respond to the other MC with how if they can’t admit who they are then they can’t be with them. I’m not taking away from this. I don’t believe anyone should be in a relationship that makes them uncomfortable. Still, what I found refreshing about this story was that there was an acceptance with Rik and Graham. When I got those recommendations to read this book one of the things they told me that it doesn’t have the angst a NA normally has. Guys, it really didn’t. When time was needed, time was given. Lovingly. It was beautiful and romantic. And it was unexpected.
So yeah, I was consumed. Completely. I was so very happy with this. So happy I read it. What held me back from giving The Understatement of the Year the full 5 skulls, despite reading most of the book in a few hours, was simply the slow start and the lack of that extra little spark. For instance, Too Stupid to Live by Anne Tenino was absolutely amazing. What I believe put that book ahead of this one lay specifically with the development of the characters. Rik and Graham were perfectly adequate. I didn’t dislike either of them, but neither of them really popped for me either. In TSTL, Sam was a really unique and fun character. And humor. I think humor is important in a book. (Granted, this was NA and that is adult… I don’t think that matters.)
So that’s my two cents. I really really really liked it, but there was just a liiiittle room for improvement. But still, a solid 4 skull-B. Definitely worth passing on to others.