This is the hardest review I’ve done so far. I’m crazy conflicted because of the subject matter. I would normally steer clear of any and all books where the main male character is bisexual but I requested this one on NetGally not understanding. Since I agreed to give my honest review, I must do that.
Here’s my question… Is it fair to review a book that contains material I don’t like? I kind of don’t feel like it is fair to the author. So, for that reason, I’m not going to review or rate this book but I will talk about it.
I guess that will make this post more about me than An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur. Please do not take this as a book review, see it more as some chick talking about something she shouldn’t have read in the first place.
I called up my friend who is gay to ask him if he thought I should share my thoughts on this one and he said no. I was like, “Okay, I’m going to do anything with this one.” Then he called me back the next day and told me to do it. When I asked him why he told me something only a real friend would say. He said, “Danielle you’ve never held your tongue before so why start now? I’m your friend and I know how you feel about bisexual men and I don’t agree but you know this. I don’t fucking understand how you can get bisexual women but not men. But I love you anyway. Write what you think and feel.”
So that’s what I’m going to do.
With that being said, I’m about to get all the way messy with this one.
But first, a quick word from the author…
We’re so alike, you and I. It’s no wonder we kept finding each other.
September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he s taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.
September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan s top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he’s long suppressed.
Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11’s, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.
Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn’t yours.
Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur’s fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love’s downfall can turn to exaltation.
Let’s get messy…
Fuck my life! WTF did I just read!
When I read romance books I’m looking for a book boyfriend or at least someone I can see being a good boyfriend to someone.
I can’t compete with a man. I have a vagina so if penis is your thing, I can’t help you.
I can’t do this. I’m not going to put more shit out in the world that can be hurtful. Instead I’m going to do some self-reflection. I need to figure out why it bothers me at all. I’m wrong on this one. Fuck, just when I thought I wasn’t judgemental something has popped up to prove me wrong.
How the fuck can I even think about writing some dumb shit? I’m ashamed of myself right now. This isn’t me. If a man is bisexual, I have no business thinking anything negative about it.
I’m going to apologize for my inner thoughts because they are just as bad as putting them out there for the world to see.
Damn, I didn’t see this one coming. I was ready to write something completely different. But as I’ve said before, I don’t plan my reviews/posts or whatever I call them, I just start writing and let it out however it comes. Maybe be that’s a bad thing but I don’t know another way. Well, I do know a different way, I just don’t do it.
Below you will find some of my favorite conversations and quotes from the book. You can ignore the beginning of this post because I’m going a completely different way. I’m not going to delete it because I want to look back and see my thought process. I’m selfish. 🙂
“Maybe I’m bisexual but only in my thought. Those thoughts feel fine in my heard but they’re clumsy in practice. Maybe I’m just curious.”
“Bi-curious?” Val asked.
“You’re not fragile,” Deane said. “You’re sparse.”
“You’re rake thin with obese emotions.”
“He cheated on you. He had sexual contact with someone else. Gender is irrelevant. Gratification is irrelevant. That he didn’t get off is no excuse. He gave and received pleasure. He’s out.”
“I don’t feel cheated on. I feel shit on. He threw me under the bus, then put it in reverse and backed up to finish the job.”
“I don’t need to see anything through,” he said. “This attraction to Jav is intense and confusing, and it’s shaking me up. But coming home to you has never been a question. This isn’t coming from a place of dissatisfaction. That’s what’s so bewildering to me. I’m not unhappy. I don’t need anything or anyone else.”
“Thank you for that.”
“I love you. I don’t want to share you. I don’t want to be shared. I love my life with you. I don’t… That’s who I am. That’s who I want to be. Wanting isn’t having. You letting me be open about the wanting is enough.”
“Love’s dangerous,” Leni said. “It destroys more than it creates. I’ve seen more people use love to be manipulative than be supportive. Fuck it, Javi. Sex and money, those are your constants.”
“I always thought physical virginity and emotional virginity are two different things anyway.” Val tried to keep her hand steady as she smoothed a piece of hair behind Deane’s ear. “First time I went to bed with your father I was a complete emotional virgin. Going to bed with all our history and affinity and years of knowing each other. Sex in that context… It was like nothing I’d experienced before. I know this sounds corny, but it humbled me.”
I didn’t get messy at all. I didn’t really get anything.
I’m sorry for disappointing you guys, truly.