Pre-Release Review: Disasterology 101 by Taylor V. Donovan

Posted: July 17, 2013 by sidlove in 4 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Susan's Reviews
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Reviewed by Susan Lee

Disasterology 101TITLE: Disasterology 101
AUTHOR: Taylor V. Donovan
PUBLISHER: MLR Press
BLURB: Kevin Morrison had it all. A house he worked hard for, a loving wife, and three beautiful children. But it wasn’t until his marriage ended that he realized what the void he’d felt almost all his life meant. Coming out as a gay man at thirty-six is not an easy feat, but he is determined to be true to his heart. Meeting a man who shares his values, and is good with his children would be a bonus, but when the guy arrives in a uniquely wrapped package, and has very specific handling instructions, Kevin needs to decide if he’s up for that kind of love.

Obsessed with order and symmetry, and a paralyzing fear of germs, Cedric Haughton-Disley has lived with isolation and loneliness as long as he can remember. Desperate to be normal, he makes some much-needed changes in his life. If he can commit to his treatment, he might very well be able to procure some quality of life… even if that’s all he can get, as finding love and having a relationship are only possible in Cedric’s wildest dreams. But when a chance encounter leaves Cedric wishing for more, he decides to take a leap of faith, and pursue the guy he wants.

Together the two men make an unlikely match. Cedric needs organization, and Kevin represents chaos. In order to stay together they both need to compromise, but will they be able to deal with Cedric’s issues and the potential disaster, or let it break them apart?

REVIEW:

This book is my first by author Taylor V. Donovan and I’m hooked.

It is odd, and quirky, and uncomfortable, and random, and sad, and hilarious, and sweet, and crude, and seriously enjoyable.

Kevin is a recently divorced dad of 3 who comes out as gay and finds himself a 36-yr-old “virgin” of sorts. Desperate to have his first gay sexual experience, he heads into a sex shop for a “peep show”. To his surprise he encounters Cedric and immediately is drawn to him.

Cedric…well, Cedric has issues. He suffers from severe OCD and is a serious germaphobe. He has resigned to living a life with his conditions and tries to basically scare people away with his multiple piercings, his gansta dress-code, and his cornrows. He wears leather fingerless gloves to avoid direct contact. He is…erm…hard to get to know, hard to get to like, hard to get to love.

The book starts a bit slow…the author taking her time to introduce us to each character and the struggles they face separately all the while wondering about the other. When the couple finally does reconnect, I quite enjoyed the challenges they faced as they developed their relationship. Cedric is complicated and I found myself wanting to get to know him more and more. He is not entire likeable but ultimately, so loveable. Kevin is patient and kind and supportive and rock solid.

I struggled a bit when the book turned from 2 people, each with issues to overcome, to Cedric having the issues and Kevin being the “haven”. The balance of power, so to speak , shifted from equally challenged, to one being the “problem” and one being the “fixer”.

The strength of the book, however, lies in the characters themselves. The layers that needed to be peeled away to get to the core were so worth it and I just loved getting the chance to be in each of their heads and their hearts. Cedric’s OCD was especially fascinating and I felt so sad for the challenges he faced because of it, but so proud for the triumphs along the way to deal with it.

Warning: there are kid parts to this book (I know that’s a deal-breaker for a few of you), but they’re handled well and not annoying. 🙂

Totally recommended reading.

Susan’s Rating: four-stars_0

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Susan Lee is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

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