Today, author Jaime Samms offers us a review of Ethan Day’s Self Preservation. Jaime’s opinions are her own, but I pretty much concur here since I loved this book too! Please welcome Jaime to Lex’s World and Valentine Reviews!
A week or so ago, I was chatting with Lex, and she invited me over to chat about good books. Now chatting about books is something I’ve never had a problem doing, and since this book by Ethan Day, called Self Preservation is one of the better books I’ve read this past year, I was psyched to come over and talk about it,
What struck me about this book was the odd dichotomy of the characters and situations being so much larger than life, and yet, still ringing true and feeling inevitable. Davis seems just like a normal, almost dull kind of guy. Until he thinks about Jack, at which point normalcy flies out the window on the wings of Davis’ fantasies. Such complete and utter denial of facts and reality should make this character hard to believe in, hard to sympathize with, but Day has created a character who instead is funny, interesting and authentic. You can’t help but love the guy, even as you see how he’s slightly delusional. You root for him while knowing he can’t really have what he wants, and yet, still, you hope he gets it. I’m still trying to figure out how he did that!
At some point, like Davis, you start to believe he can do anything. It’s impossible not to want him to win out in the end, so the plot twists that get him deeper and deeper into his impossible dream seem completely reasonable and logical.
Enter Alex, another character who can’t possibly be real, but also can’t be other than he is, and Jack, that impossible dream Davis is chasing after, who seems too good to be real, and you’ve got the makings of a story that can be fantastically entertaining, or that can go horribly wrong.
It’s Ethan’s own voice, his unerring ability to see the humour in just about anything, and his willingness to let his characters live large and laugh at themselves that makes this story work. Taking risks, of course, means getting hurt, and it’s inevitable that the characters will face unpleasantness. Day doesn’t flinch from that any more than he holds back on his humour.
Now, I’m not a cryer. Movies, books, pretty much nothing in fiction is ever strong enough to make me tear up. Huh. This book is pretty much billed as a romantic comedy. Huh again. I found myself sniffling not once, not even twice, but on three separate occasions while reading this book. The honesty this book is written with touched me, and I can–literally– say I laughed, I cried, and yeah, it kinda became a part of me. At least, this book has become a part of the fabric of inspiration I turn to when I’m searching for ways to improve my own efforts. It isn’t often I come across a book that not only entertains me, satisfies my need for all the ends to be tied up in a pretty bow, but also teaches me. I most definitely will have to get me a hard copy of this puppy. Nothing like that dog-eared well-read look of a much-loved story.
I’d give this 4.5 Valentines. There’s grammer stuff going on, but nothing I couldn’t forgive. 🙂
Davis always assumed they would wind up back together, until Jack calls and invites Davis to his wedding to Tadd Austin, a prominent architect in Chicago. Jack’s only known Tadd for two weeks, so whatever Jack feels for Tadd couldn’t possibly compare to what he shared with Davis. There’s no way in hell Davis can stand by and watch the life he always expected to get back slip away to some guy Jack barely knows. Tadd Austin, indeed…more like Toad Ass-ton, Davis thinks.
With his best friend, fashion designer Deseree Wildwood in tow, Davis has to shed his sweet, guy-next-door persona, and re-vamp his image into a self-confident, hot piece of eye candy. He’s going to the wedding with only one goal in mind: to do whatever it takes to win back Jack. The Toad is toast!
Once in Chicago, Davis discovers it isn’t going to be as easy as he thought. Not only is Tadd very un-Toad-like, but a mysterious British playboy named Alex Parker manages to interject himself into the mix. Only true love will survive as the tug of war ensues in this Bermuda love triangle from hell.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices.