Title: Best Friends Perfect
Author: Liam Livings
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Kieran, 18, comes out to himself then his family by going to a youth group. There he meets Kev, a cross dressing gay man with awful taste in boyfriends and Jo, a grade A drama student, at college and in his real life. Kieran navigates his way through the maze that is being a gay man in the late nineties, with help from his two new best friends, and his two old best friends; Hannah, just coming out too and trying to work out if Steps are Abba for the nineties; Grace a one woman charity shop bargain hunter with encyclopedic pop knowledge.
This is a wonderful character driven novel, which I know is going to be published in three parts. This first part introduces us to the main characters. The structure is a little different in that we always return to the present, but certain chapters show the past and how Kieran met and became friends with each of the main protagonists. This is a story about coming to terms with yourself and other people’s reactions to you. It is also a story about friends and how each friend serves a certain purpose in your life and you in theirs. I love the idea that when talking about coming out to his parents, Kev advises Kieran,
You just have to be it, you don’t need to announce it.
As it must be for any child faced with telling its parents something as personal and intimate as, being gay, Kieran spends a lot of his time hiding the fact. This from a family who are already fairly aware of his sexuality. Their views are pretty much confirmed when they meet his friends. Kev, dressed as the goth women from Shakespeare’s Sister’s video for ‘Stay with Me’, and Jo, dressed as a white angel complete with wings and a halo. The meeting happens before Kieran goes with them to his first ‘Pride’ in Brighton, but it is Kieran himself who must come to terms with being gay and what it means. The central event in this first part of Best Friends Perfect, after ‘coming out’, is Kieran’s planned gap year trip to Australia. During this book his travel companions, and plans for the trip change several times, and this book ends with his first night in Australia. His friend, Grace, describes his planned trip as,
Like Guy Pearce, Terrance Stamp and Hugo Weaving in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert ? Talking about ABBA and men, like fat slags at a pie bake off…
Kieran responds with,
Exactly like that – except there will be two of us, and we won’t have a bus, or be in drag. And I’m not a slag.
Liam Livings has written a charming and absorbing read. I loved every page. It is very English but there is nothing anyone, who is not a native of England, would have any trouble with. It is wry, witty and brought back so many memories and jokes to me. I actually squealed when I discovered someone else who loved ‘The High Life’ as much as I did, and adored it being referred to as ‘camp old pish’ in such affectionate tones. There is an affectionate tone throughout the book and I loved Kieran’s family and the part they play in the book The little excerpt from Book 2 due out in August, made me very impatient for its release. I can’t wait to find out what shenanigans Kieran and his friends and family get up to next.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
|This post may contain affiliate links.
|Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews. The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.|