“Good friends help you to find important things when you have lost them… your smile, your hope and your courage.” – Doe Zantamata
Author: Ethan Day
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Pages/Word Count: 61000 Words
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: Operation Danny…that’s all bartender and recent college graduate, Julian Hallowell has had on his mind the past year. Julian may have no idea what he wants to do with his life, but he definitely knows he‘s in love with the boy next door: The one in next room to be exact, his roommate Danny Wallace.
Danny owns a used text book store just off campus and while Julian has done his level best to make Danny fall for him, all his hard work appears to have been in vain. Danny doesn’t seem to view Julian as anything other than that…a roommate and friend. So when new guy in town Andy Baker asks him out on a date, Julian can’t seem to think of a good reason to say no.
Julian has already instituted a Reverse Operation Danny plan, which he’s positive will purge all thoughts of love and lust for his roomie out of his head. He’s ready to move on and start looking for his next Mr. Right, and Andy just might fit the bill.
Review: As You Are was originally published in 2009. I read it then and loved it. I think it has only gotten better with time. Ethan Day is a funny man. I’ve never met him, but his sense of humor flows freely through all of his characters. They each have their own quirks or ways of speaking, or just goofiness that takes an author with a great sense of humor to create.
Danny Wallace and Julian Hallowell have been roommates for about a year. Julian has been in love with Danny for about that same length of time. Danny is a successful entrepreneur, owning his own used book store. Julian is, at the moment, a bartender at a gay club. He is 28 years old and has finally finished college but doesn’t know what he wants to do when he grows up.
While they are friends as well as roommates, Julian has been unable to make Danny fall into his lap and profess his undying love despite Julian’s best efforts. When a patron at the bar asks Julian out, he figures it’s time to get over his unrequited feelings for Danny and move on. So he agrees to go out with Andy.
Unfortunately, Julian finds out all sort of terrifying (to him anyway) things about Andy early in their relationship. Things about Andy’s politics and religious beliefs that go against everything Julian believes. He tries to overlook them and make a go of it with Andy, but wants to take things very slowly.
Danny’s reaction to Julian’s dating is a little surprising. The walls are thin in their apartment and Julian knows for sure that in the months he himself has been celibate and trying to get Danny’s attention, Danny has been quite a slut. Danny reacts, Julian reacts to Danny’s reaction, and then the dreaded phrase is written. “It. Was. A. Mistake.” The most horrible words one can hear from the man he loves.
Suddenly everyone is involved in the ensuing scrum. Julian’s mom (who loves Danny like a son) is in town. Julian’s best friend Gabby and her boyfriend Brad have a dinner party and invite Danny and everyone else. What follows is in turns hysterically funny, sad, hopeful and enlightening for the characters involved, and for the reader. Ethan Day masterfully packs so much feeling into those few scenes that the reader comes away with a much clearer picture of how everyone really feels.
As You Are is Ethan Day at his snarky best. But he never lets the snark get in the way of the emotional aspect of the story. The sweet romance, strong friendships and parent/child relationships take center stage with the undercurrent of smart-ass being just enough to keep things from getting too serious. I completely enjoyed this book the first time and even more the second.