Tag Archives: L.A Gilbert

Book Review: Witness – L.A. Gilbert

WitnessBLURB: Ben Jenkins is a down-to-earth cop leading a quiet life in a big, empty house. Visits to the gay bars scratch an itch, but they don’t really satisfy, and though he’s used to the quiet, he recognizes that the empty feeling plaguing him of late is loneliness. It takes a police cruiser and a ten-speed to bring him together with Reece Withers, a bike messenger and photographer who’s still waiting for his big break to arrive. Ben’s pretty sure what he’s feeling is love, but they both have old hurts that need to heal before they can live and live well… together.

Okay, so I finally read all the published works of L.A. Gilbert so far and I’m just really impressed with everything she has written. The Coil, Kieran and Drew, Ghost On My Couch and this one are just simply sublime! I loved her way of telling stories and this one just totally touched my sappy side.

I’m first to admit though, that I didn’t get the significance of the book’s title. The whole story was simply a narration of both men as they go through life and how they found love. There was really nothing extraordinary about it but somehow, it makes you feel so good after reading the whole thing. I was trying to think if the title pertains to the last part of the story when they went overseas or simply just about witnessing each other’s kindness and just love for life. I really want to understand the title but regardless of this, I just totally enjoyed reading it and I sure wished that Ms. Gilbert will write more of these stories in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published April 30th 2010 by Dreamspinner Press

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Dreamspinner PressAmazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Book Review: Kieran & Drew – L.A. Gilbert

“Sometimes you do stay with your first love”

Keiran And DrewKieran & Drew reminds me so much of J.H. Trumble’s angst-filled coming of age debut novel Don’t Let Me Go and Madison Parker’s debut Play Me I’m Yours. There’s the usual high school scenes where the weird, gay, geeky kid is singled out and gets bullied by the self-centered, idiotic jocks – typical but true. It’s the case with Kieran Appleby who cannot wait to escape his small hometown of Keys and who’s only friend is the school janitor who doesn’t speak much.

Meanwhile, Drew Anderson is the “nice” jock. He’s got an agoraphobic mother to take care of after his father took off. And naturally, he’s still in the closet just to avoid all the hassling. When he discovered Kieran’s long time crush, they started to experiment which led them to discovering sex, intimacy and ultimately love. With Kieran’s plan on escaping Keys and Drew’s obligation to take care of his sick mom – things couldn’t be any easier for them to meet in the middle.

When I started reading this I honestly find it a bit slow and it felt repetitive. Midway through the story, it picked up the pace and was glad that there’s more dialogue between Kieran and Drew. That thing about Kieran’s Dad was almost predictable by the way. [You’d know what I mean once you read this novel]. I would’ve liked for Drew’s Uncle to be present and provide the fatherly figure for him though. It was too crushing for an eighteen year old to be an adult at such a young age. I feel that Drew’s character wasn’t entirely examined here. There wasn’t enough exposure and everything’s so gloomy about him. I was glad that it worked out at the end and the author didn’t see the need to add more “high school jock-bullying” scenes. I was glad that for the rest of the last part of the book, it just revolves around Kieran and Drew. This is another beautiful narration from L.A. Gilbert – it was totally different from The Coil and The Ghost On My Couch in terms of writing style which I think is very unique and I loved that about the author. Please do read this people; it’s a pretty good book.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published March 1st 2013 by Dreamspinner Press

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Dreamspinner Press HERE
Amazon HERE
Barnes & Noble HERE

Book Review: The Ghost On My Couch – L.A. Gilbert

The Ghost on My CouchThis story reminds me so much of the movie Just Like Heaven starring Reese Witherspoon & Mark Ruffalo. This time though, it was the other way around. The Nurse (not a Doctor this time) is the one who is haunted by a ghost (a patient at the hospital where is he working) at his flat. I think there’s a very limited way to go with this story – it tends to go around the same way and the same plot lines but it’s always refreshing to have different personalities to different characters. I think the author even got his inspiration from said film – I could totally be wrong though.

Alex Tanner is a male nurse who’s got a pretty routine life between the hospital and his television shows. He’s got standards on choosing his partner – tall, dark and handsome. After one of his shitty days at work, he came home and was greeted by no less than a ghost. Sid Jones – the friendly ghost haunting his flat who made him feels special and is no way up to his usual standards. And why would he be thinking of his standards and said ghost?

I so get the magical realism used in this novel and I loved that it didn’t lessen my liking for the characters all throughout the story. There’s a certain charm going on about Alex and his friendly ghost. There were also some funny moments – especially when Sid gets upset and hides in the fridge. That was just funny and so endearing. The whole story may have some sort of loophole at the end – just a few nagging questions but it’s easy to ignore them because this book was written so beautifully. I can’t believe this came from the author who gave us the heart wrenching The Coil. This is definitely a must-read and I’m glad that someone recommended it to me.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published March 23rd 2011 by Dreamspinner Press

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Dreamspinner Press HERE
Amazon HERE
Barnes & Noble HERE

Book Review: The Coil – L.A Gilbert

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

Utterly realistic and a bit depressing, The Coil tackles a lot of things – the joy and struggles of raising a special child, making ends meet, reaching for your goals, letting go and finally giving yourself a second chance at love and life. Mattie is illiterate and works in a diner making sandwiches. To make ends meet, he also succumb to prostitution on the side. Simon, a successful writer is raising his special child and is not ready (does not allow himself) to fall in love in order to protect his child and himself. Overtime as their world collide, these two men gravitated to each other  and tried to forge a new life with all their issues hanging. Will they be able to carry on or will they have to sacrifice everything they have worked for?

I thought the whole scenario about Mattie’s life  was just bleak. It’s too depressing and even his success at the end doesn’t even feel much of a consolation. I loved the use of “If you love someone, set them free” and I wish there were more dialogues in it or a narration from either character perhaps.

The middle part of the book was like a dripping faucet. It was alright but it was too slow-paced. I keep on hoping that the whole “flashbacks” of the book will be split in the middle and will continue at the end but unfortunately, it didn’t go that way. Overall, I thought the book was consistent enough with its mood, though, it became boring at some parts, it still have a pull from the readers to finish it. It’s not exactly my thing but it was an okay read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published October 10th 2012 by Dreamspinner Press

BUY LINK
Dreamspinner Press HERE
Amazon HERE
Barnes & Noble HERE