After finishing my lit degree, I completely stopped reading.  I had lost the ability to read for pleasure.  But in early 2013 I discovered reading could be social.  And in the autumn of 2013 I discovered MM romances and that reading could be downright HOT.  I haven't stopped reading since!


I live on Goodreads but I promise to figure out Booklikes eventually.

The Painting of Porcupine City

The Painting of Porcupine City - Ben Monopoli This was a really really long book for me. My feelings about it shifted several times over the course of the story. It meandered through many different interrelated story lines much like a Spanish telenovella. Most of the little side stories were interesting on their own and nicely supported the main story, but there were so many of them that the book really dragged at times. Maybe if I were used to reading longish books I would have felt a bit differently, but I cannot really make that judgment.

I have to treat the book in separate parts to really rate it.

The beginning to the point where Fletcher first has lunch with Mateo, 2.5 stars. It was nice to get to know Fletcher and his mindset about relationships and the history of his love life but this part stretched on far too long.

From the first lunch to Valentine's Day. This part was really good, 4 stars. The developing relationship between Mateo and Fletcher was well written and interesting. The author did a great job of making Fletcher's initial interest in Mateo's graffiti art make me interested in this subculture as well and making me feel wary about the vandalism underlying the art as Fletcher began to see this reality as well.

Valentine's Day to the revelation in Cara's journal, 2 stars. This part really dragged for me, especially the parts where Mateo was in Sao Paulo. I skimmed much of it. I include in this part my incredulity about the big twist revealed in Cara's journal.

From the big reveal to the end, 3.5 stars. Once having accepted the twist, the story really worked for me. I liked how Fletcher and Jamar dealt with the reality that had been handed to them and made a life, as friends and parents together. Although I would have liked more of a resolution of the situation with Mateo, I respect the author's decision to leave this matter unresolved. Mateo could not believably change who he was for Fletcher and Fletcher could not have reasonably accepted living his life the way Mateo wanted. I am glad that Fletcher got his HEA, and his HEA was credible, even if it was not at all the way I expected the story to end.

I should also say that I really liked the author's writing style. It had an odd cadence, at times almost poetic. I had a love-hate relationship with the fact that at least twice in the book there were major events where the author purposely failed to tell you what had happened until many pages later. As a result, I was left watching the characters respond to an unexplained and obviously major event in the book wondering what the hell had happened until it was eventually explained.

Finally, a special thanks to Wency for sharing this great BR with me. I wouldn't have read such a long book on my own and I might have quit a few times through if it weren't for him. We had some good discussions along the way on the incredible thread he set up for us. Check it out!

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