Sutphin Boulevard - Santino Hassell

Oh geez, I'm finally done with that rollercoaster of a book. This was a drag to get through. It started off well enough. Then it started to get boring. Then shit got real, but not in a good way- it was infuriating and irritating. Then the ending was good. See what I mean about it being a rollercoaster?


I had very little patience with Michael, and I know that's kinda mean of me, but still. He's such a hot mess who goes on a downward spiral of binge drinking and doing drugs. At 70% people are trying to help him and he just keeps pushing them away, and it was maddening to be in his head! He cleaned up his act in the end, though. But it's not like he's the only messed-up character. The only character that's really got his shit together is Nunzio.

That was just a minor nitpick, though. The main problem I had is I'm just not feeling the romance. There's a few cute moments where you can really see how close Michael and Nunzio are, but by and large they lack chemistry. So, not really a fan of the romance. Coulda been worse, but coulda been a whole lot better.


While we're on the subject of the romance... there is a goddamn love triangle between Nunzio, Michael, and David. *rolls eyes* Kill me now. I feel like David is kind of an unnecessary character who only serves to create drama.


Also, this horrible shitty thing happened that I needed to rant about. Here's what happened: I'm 27% in. I was right in the middle of a sexy times scene. It was hot and I was loving it. Then, I read this line:



When Nunzio pulled away, he was bright-eyed and I was breathless.
"Go to bed", he whispered, "before I fucking rape you"



(I'm reading this on my kindle so I don't have a page number but it says I'm at location 1230 out of 4523)



Threatening to rape someone, even if you're totally not serious, is disgusting. Especially when this is the love interest speaking to the main character. I was absolutely loving this before now, but that just left a really bad taste in my mouth. Holy fuck, way to kill the mood. Not only was that just an atrocious thing to say, but it was totally out of character. Nunzio was such a sweetie the rest of the time! Whoever approved that line should be slapped across the face with a heavy textbook. I'm very displeased, to put it mildly.

And also.....I feel like Sutphin Boulevard is juggling too much, plot wise. Besides the relationship drama, there's workplace stress, the death of a father, dysfunctional's too much! I can't take it!


That was a lot of complaining, wasn't it? I was all set to write a scathing, one star review for this thing. But goddamnit, that ending kicked me in the feels. Michael cleaned up his act, reconciled with Nunzio, they kissed, it was adorable. Things were wrapped up without being too tidy. So, extra star for a damn good ending. Doesn't make up for everything, but kinda redeems it.


Tl;dr version- A hot mess with a damn good ending.