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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Review: Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala

Be Dazzled
by Ryan La Sala

Thank you Sourcebooks Fire and Booksparks for this copy.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publish Date: January 5, 2021
384 Pages
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQIA+

Who's ready to sparkle??

Project Runway goes to Comic Con in an epic queer love story about creativity, passion, and finding the courage to be your most authentic self.

Raffy has a passion for bedazzling. Not just bedazzling, but sewing, stitching, draping, pattern making--for creation. He's always chosen his art over everything--and everyone--else and is determined to make his mark at this year's biggest cosplay competition. If he can wow there, it could lead to sponsorship, then art school, and finally earning real respect for his work. There's only one small problem... Raffy's ex-boyfriend, Luca, is his main competition.

Raffy tried to make it work with Luca. They almost made the perfect team last year after serendipitously meeting in the rhinestone aisle at the local craft store--or at least Raffy thought they did. But Luca's insecurities and Raffy's insistence on crafting perfection caused their relationship to crash and burn. Now, Raffy is after the perfect comeback, one that Luca can't ruin.

But when Raffy is forced to partner with Luca on his most ambitious build yet, he'll have to juggle unresolved feelings for the boy who broke his heart, and his own intense self-doubt, to get everything he's ever wanted: choosing his art, his way.

My Review:

"Measure twice, cut once, give up never!"

We could use a levity right about now and Be Dazzled let me disassociate from the real world for a few hours and launched me into a world I wish existed for everyone in terms of acceptance and being one's true self. YA doesn't get enough credit for amazing reads, imo.  Contemporary YA is becoming one of my favorite genres to pick up.  And I would absolutely recommend this beauty!

Raffy and Luca are just the cutest.  I love the back and forth where we see how they started to where they are now.  😉 The author magically shows us insight into Raffy's crazy world where he hides his skills and accomplishments from his famous mother and also gives us Luca in a way that while we're not in his head, can feel his struggles.  Some of their banter really had me cracking up!

I've never really been into cosplay or Cons but I do occasionally like dressing up.... occasionally. 😈 And while I appreciate the processes of their craft build, I did find myself going a little glossy eyed.  It's not overdone though so you never feel out of the loop with too much detail while still getting a strong sense of just how much effort is put into these amazing looks we all see whether we attend an event or see photos.

With the events that happened yesterday at the Capitol, I find myself grateful for books like these that will keep me from letting my dark thoughts get pulled into a spiral.  I truly hope that one day we can live in a La Sala book.. "an epic, queer love story about creativity, passion, and finding the courage to be your most authentic self."  Doesn't it sound delightful? ❤


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