The Romantic Agenda

Books on Tape. Apr. 2022. 9:59 hrs. ISBN 9780593552766. $76. LGBT ROMANCE
Veteran YA author Kann (The Marvelous) makes her fiction debut for adults with this effervescent yet complex romance. Joy has been in unspoken love with Malcolm for a decade. When Malcolm invites Joy on a camping trip to meet his new love interest, she’s torn between maintaining her best-friend role and an overwhelming desire to finally confess her feelings. Instead of doing either, she teams up with Malcolm’s best friend Fox to make Malcolm jealous. Narrator Adrienne Walker could easily have been crushed by the weight of a love quadrangle, but she creates a delightfully unique voice for Joy that keeps every element of the story in perfect balance. Joy is by turns charming and acerbic, fond of a sarcastic quip to avoid putting any hint of vulnerability on display. Listeners will sympathize with her sensitive interior monologue and forthright discussions of dating while asexual and living with an anxiety disorder. Walker’s narrations for the novel’s other main characters, including bubbly Summer and grumpy Fox, are spot-on and will have listeners laughing and nodding along.
VERDICT Recommended for fans of Talia Hibbert and Jasmine Guillory.
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