Boyfriend Material

Boyfriend Material

Book - 2020
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"Wanted: One (fake) boyfriend Practically perfect in every way Luc O'Donnell is tangentially-and reluctantly-famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he's never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad's making a comeback, Luc's back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything. To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship ... and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He's a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he's never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened. But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Casablanca, [2020]
Copyright Date: ©2020
Branch Call Number: FICTION HAL PBK
Characteristics: 425 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN: 9781728206141
1728206146

Opinion

From Library Staff

If you loved "Red, White, and Royal Blue" last year, then this is the perfect book for you this year. A British setting. Enemies to lovers. Filled with humor and a delightful love story. Recommended by Becca.

Fake or pretend relationships make up one of my all-time favorite tropes. The author does it well in this novel. The supporting cast of friends and coworkers makes for a delightful, light read that is shining with banter, amusement, and—yes—love. Recommended by Amy.


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I enjoyed this lighthearted romp. Oliver and Luc are wonderfully fleshed out characters, and both so flawed in such different ways.

LoganLib_Sheridan Jan 11, 2021

I loved how fun this book was. It was full of humour and ridiculousness that just appealed to me. I think it will appeal to anyone who liked Red, White and Royal Blue. While the tone is different in each book they are both humorous and full of queer love.

This book definitely tackled issues in a diverse way, race, queerness, vegetarianism. There was a discussion on the different way one can be these things and how it doesn't invalidate their identity which I think is an excellent way of looking at things.

There was so much beautiful sarcasm and humour in this book. Sometimes it gets a bit overly silly but this had me laughing out loud as I drove to and from work. Alex and Rees are somehow well rounded characters (Alex more so) and two-dimensional comic relief. I don't know how Alexis does it.

I found Luc and Oliver's relationships with their parents interesting as it seemed like only Luc and his mother have a healthy relationship. I love how they both help each other come to terms with this.

I think Oliver's relationship felt very real (at least to me) because they are what happens when our parents cross the line between loving and helping us and becoming something that causes us stress and anxiety as we try to please them. It was easy to see how the relationship was unhealthy from the outside but sometimes it's harder when the line is more blurry and we're looking from the inside.

I think this book was hilarious but also thought provoking. I'm not sure how I felt about the ending but I think it definitely fit in with the books overall tone and narrative. I also think it was probably necessary for the relationship to be able to continue.

c
ckapadia
Dec 21, 2020

Cute and silly and delightfully bizarre. Love romance stories that at least acknowledge anxiety. Also it manages to reference 99, Drag Race, and Dadaism, and the narrator on the audiobook does a great job.

v
VolunteerVal
Dec 03, 2020

Boyfriend Material written by Alexis Hall is a delightful British contemporary romance, and I adored every minute of it!

Things I loved:
- Witty dialogue and nuanced characters, especially involving Luc and Oliver
- Outstanding narration by Joe Jameson - I could listen to his British accent all day
- Luc’s job as a fundraiser - a chapter in my career path
- A charity event is a key plot point - I’ve planned many; see above
- Luc trades bad jokes with his coworker - reminded me of Geraldine and Alice from The Vicar of Dibley

I’m not usually a fan of the fake-to-real relationship trope, but it’s very believable in this novel. The emotions in Luc and Oliver’s story were real and far-ranging from humor to frustration to tears of joy at the inevitable Happily Ever After.

I waver between 3.5 and 4 for this one, but I'm going to go with 4. It's lighthearted, and fun, and I did chuckle a few times. It just didn't *hit* me like I hoped it would.

The son of rock stars, Luc O'Donnell lives in the public eye, whether he wants to or not. His escapades have made the papers multiple times - including that one time that his ex-boyfriend sold his story to the press. Now, though, his debauchery is going to get him in trouble at work, and he needs a solution, fast; enter, Oliver Blackwood, highly respectable (aka boring) barrister. Luc is doing this for his image, but he doesn't expect to enjoy it...except, he starts to, and a fake boyfriend very soon starts feeling like a real one.

I love a good palate cleanser in between fantasies, and that's what this was for me. A little romp, a fun getaway from fantasy worlds, but nothing really heavy-hitting emotionally. Which was a little disappointing; I've seen this compared to Red, White and Royal Blue and that one was impactful while also being hilarious and fun.

I enjoyed this, though, even if it wasn't quite to RWRB levels. Oliver and Luc are wonderfully fleshed out characters, and both so flawed in such different ways. The way that they work through their issues, both on purpose and not so much, and grow closer through it all was both frustrating and fun because of how realistic it felt. Luc especially is a damaged man, and given both his upbringing and his experiences, it's no wonder, but his snark and authenticity made him a great MC.

The plot was just full enough to keep things moving while still allowing for the characters to grow and develop at the right pace. I liked the structure, knowing which events the whole fake-boyfriend thing was for for both Luc and Oliver giving it all a sense of purpose.

Overall, I just wasn't quite as charmed by this book as I wanted to be. It was fun, extremely British, and easy to read, but doesn't quite match up to RWRB for me.

m
Missmrecommends
Aug 21, 2020

Loved it, very funny despite the angst. Really as well written as any of the British rom-com greats, and that's from someone who's read them all.

WPL_Jaclyn Aug 19, 2020

If you adored Red, White and Royal Blue, Boyfriend Material is a must read! This rom-com was a delight with a unexpected depth. And who doesn't love a good fake relationship romance?

RandomLibrarian Jul 29, 2020

Review excerpt: "I laughed so hard at this wonderful book, and I cried a little as well. 'Boyfriend Material' is a contemporary m/m romance/rom-com set in England. Because it’s all told from one character’s point of view and is focused on that character’s personal and romantic development, it fits the rom-com structure more than romance. Either way you look at it, prepare to laugh and be prepared to swoon."

Source: https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/reviews/boyfriend-material-by-alexis-hall/

k
Kyanite
Jul 08, 2020

Funnier than usual for Hall, this extremely British rom-com will have you laughing right up until you find yourself crying. Clear your schedule - this is seriously hard to put down.

JCLHeatherMi Jun 16, 2020

It’s rare that a book can make you laugh on virtually every single page but Boyfriend Material was successful. I loved it from start to finish and the short chapters made it even more difficult to put down. Luc is the son of a rock star father and he’s been in a downward spiral for a while. In order to clean up his image, Luc starts fake-dating Oliver, an up-tight, respectable lawyer. It is only supposed to last until they both have a partner for upcoming events, but along the way they start to fall for each other and the fake lines become more blurred.

As the main character, Luc’s voice is fresh and funny and while he’s a bit of a despicable dumpster fire of a human being, he also manages to be loveable and sympathetic. Readers will be pleased and surprised as they follow along with his character growth.

Oliver’s character is a bit more difficult to accept at first. His dialogue seems a bit more forced in a “does anyone actually speak like this?” kind of way. But as the story moves on you begin to see the cracks in his armor and Luc discovers that Oliver is not as perfect as he thought—and thoroughly accepts and loves him for it.

The plot contains several of the best romance tropes: fake-dating, enemies-to-lovers, opposites attract. It makes things a bit predictable but it’s the journey that’s important and while I knew it was coming, the breakup still blind sighted me.

As LGBTQ novel, the story included a strong, encouraging community in Luc’s friends, co-workers, and family. It emphasized the importance of this kind of support in a sweet, playful way. On the flip side, it offered views on the microaggressions that come with acceptance vs inclusion from Oliver’s parents and Luc’s charity donors.

If you’re looking for a funny, sweet, romantic summer read (that’s also delightfully British), this one’s for you!

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And that was when I remembered something - how fucking good it could be, just to be with someone. To let them see you. To be enough.

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