Book Review & Giveaway: Bad Boy by Elliot Wake

Posted December 12, 2016 by Melissa in Book Review, Giveaway | 17 Comments

Book Review & Giveaway: Bad Boy by Elliot WakeTitle: Bad Boy
Author: Elliot Wake
Publisher: Atria, Simon and Schuster
Publication date: December 6th 2016
Target Audience: Adult
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ, Romance
Length: 256 Pages
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
My Rating:

Vlog star Renard Grant has nothing to prove: he’s got a pretty face, chiseled body, and two million adoring video subscribers. Plus the scars on his chest and a prescription for testosterone. Because Ren is transgender: assigned female at birth, living now as male. He films his transition and shares it bravely with the world; his fans love his honesty and positivity.

But Ren has been living a double life.

Off-camera, he’s Cane, the muscle-bound enforcer for social justice vigilante group Black Iris. As Cane, he lets his dark side loose. Hurts those who prey on the disempowered. Indulges in the ugly side of masculinity. And his new partner, Tamsin Baylor, is a girl as rough and relentless as him. Together, they terrorize the trolls into silence.

But when a routine Black Iris job goes south, Ren is put in the crosshairs. Someone is out to ruin his life. He’s a bad boy, they say, guilty of what he punishes others for.

Just like every other guy: at heart, he’s a monster, too.

Now Ren’s got everything to prove. He has to clear his name, and show the world he’s a good man. But that requires facing demons he’s locked away for years. And it might mean discovering he’s not such a good guy after all.

Book Quotes

“But beneath the baggage of gender he was simply human, like me. We fucked up. We tried to be better.”

“Once you love someone that deeply, it never really stops. It just evolves into other forms.”

“Their energy mingled here-Blythe’s fire, Laney’s ice-resulting in something volatile and yet contained, a hurricane under glass. Blythe said that their craziness balanced each other out. Armin called it codependence. It was just love, I thought, between two broken girls. Two forces of nature meeting, wrecking each other, spinning out the bright shards of their mutual destruction.”

My Thoughts

First of all…I just want to say…if you have not yet read Elliot Wake (or Elliot’s books written as Leah Raeder)…you should…even if it is not this book in particular.

This book sort of blew my mind both in all the good ways and in some not so good ways…so I am going to try to keep my thoughts brief and to the point here:

  • Elliot’s writing is just perfection. He writes with such fluidity and heart and The Lyricism!! Primary reason I enjoyed reading Unteachable, Black Iris, and Bad Boy and plan to pick up Cam Girl ASAP!
  • The story of Ren’s experience is shared through both flash back vlog entries and current events and let me tell you some of it was really hard to read. My heart hurt so much… I thought that is was also great that we got to see a little bit about how all of those around him reacted as well. From parents to siblings to friends…there is no one unaffected in a story like this one.
  • I feel that love is at the core of all of Elliot’s stories  – Self love, friendships, romantic love and this tale is no different just so much more complex.
  • Bad Boy includes characters from previous novels and although I hadn’t read Cam Girl yet that didn’t hinder my understanding of Bad Boy at all. My OCD side does which I had read that first though…I do however strongly recommend reading Black Iris before this one.
  • That said, to be honest…all the bits in Bad Boy about Black Iris were my least favorite parts. I really could not buy into the organization and all that happened at all. There was simply way too much going on and it was way too unrealistic.

Final Thoughts

I think that a simpler story without so much focus on Black Iris would have served Ren more justice.

BAD BOY by @ElliotWake sort of Blew My Mind... @AtriaBooks @AtriaIndies Click To Tweet

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About Elliot Wake

Elliot Wake (formerly known as Leah Raeder) is a transgender author of four novels: Unteachable, Black Iris, Cam Girl, and Bad Boy. Aside from reading his brains out, Elliot enjoys video games, weightlifting, and perfecting his dapper style. He lives with his partner in Chicago.

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17 responses to “Book Review & Giveaway: Bad Boy by Elliot Wake

    • Melissa

      Thanks Nick – It was quite the compelling read but not as strong as some of his other books in my opinion.

    • Melissa

      If you haven’t read Cam Girl, I’d read that beforehand as well.. I hadn’t and wish I had…but maybe it’s just my OCD.

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