Just seen this AMAZING review for 'What You See Isn’t Always What You Get' at Mrs Condit Reads Books.
RATING: 5 sweet peas and a Highly Recommended Book Sweet Peas!
Oh wow, I'm so chuffed. Thank you, Josie Goodreads
JOSIE’S OPINION: ”Denny. My name’s Denny” Those are the first words Richard hears from the thin, abused slave he’s just bought, a slave he needs to learn from. What they find together is far more than they could ever have imagined.
In the world of What You See Isn’t Always What You Get by Faith Ashlin slavery has been abolished, but its legacy lives on, in the runaways and black market slaves bought and sold. Denny is one such slave, captured on the street and sold onto Richard.
Richard though is part of the Freedom Movement, the famous partner of slave martyr Grady Porter, whose death started the slave uprising, but Richard’s relationship with Grady wasn’t that intimate, and Richard, desperate to forge an alliance where his body is the part of the package, needs Denny to teach him about sex.
Richard is a complex character, he’s emotionally closed off, he doesn’t really know what he’s doing, only living day to day, as he has been for the last few years since Grady’s death, I fell in love him and at times he reduced me to tears, especially when he talks about Grady, his one lifetime love. Denny on the other hand is a street smart realistic young man, older than he first appears a slave all his life; he’s been through the ringer, as a slave and as a free man. Denny is very open about what happened to him, very accepting, the perfect counterpart to Richards reservation. At first Denny is stunned to find out who Richard is, Grady is a hero, and likewise Richard is too by association, but soon Denny finds himself drawn to Richard for his own sake, wanting to help him, not only with the mechanics of sex, but also to live again. The journey Richard and Denny take is not easy, especially dealing with the proverbial third person in their relationship, Grady, but it’s a journey where the rewards are worth all the pain.
The pace of the story is perfect, it starts slow and languid, Richard and Denny getting used to each other. Richard introduces Denny to his friends in the Movement and Denny starts to understand how things were, and how they still are, Then just when it life seems settled and they can plan for a future, Richard no longer living in the shadows of the past, they receive a DVD of Grady’s death, in all its graphic horror. Can Denny and Harley, Richards’s best friend along with the rest of the Movement pull Richard back from the brink of despair?
I loved Denny, but Richard was my favorite character, with all his layers and insecurities, at times I just wanted to hug him, tell him Grady would understand, and I desperately wanted him to finally find peace. I think it’s quite obvious that Richard is suffering from survivor’s guilt. After Grady’s death, while the war against slavery was still being fought Richard had something to fight for, but now it’s over he is struggling to accept that he can be happy in a world without Grady, and even though he comes to realize he loves Denny, he doesn’t feel he is deserving of a second chance at happiness. It’s up to Denny to convince Richard he is worthy, a task he is more than happy to take on.
I fell in love with this book, with its angst and all its heartbreak. I sobbed at the ending, but I felt uplifted, and the epilogue is just the most fitting ending I could have wished for, one of the most perfect endings I have ever read for a book, it was closure.
There is so much emotion poured into this book, it has its sad moments, but equally it’s happy times, I couldn’t put it down. It’s one of best books I’ve read in ages. I can’t wait to read more of Faith Ashlin’s work and she is now one of my must read authors.