I definitely meant to get this out before its publication date, but damn my recent busy state. Then again, I needed some serious time to think about this one, as it is hella weird. I still haven’t decided if I liked it or not, but let’s dig in?
Swipe Right for Murder
By Derek Milman
Publish Date: August 2019
Read Date: July 2019
Format: paperback galley
Genre: YA, Queer, Mystery, Thriller
Page Count: 336 pages
Rating: 3/5 Moose
On the run from the FBI.
Targeted by a murderous cult.
Labeled a cyber-terrorist by the media.
And a cute stranger on a train.
All just normal things to happen to a seventeen year old boy, especially after he wakes up in bed with the stranger you just hooked up with.
Especially when he’s dead.
Rants, Raves, and Reviews
Okay. I learned about this book in May and got super excited about it. A Hitchcock-ian thriller in a modern queer setting? In NYC? AND YA? Both feet I am in.
At Bookcon It became one of my most wanted galleys that I was so excited to land. I need the stage set for how excited about this book I was because….
Man, I was bummed with this book.
In fact, this book would have been a DNF for me the moment the cyber-terrorist group was introduced as a group of queer men dead set on causing terror and murdering homophobia. If the author wasn’t openly gay, I would have written this book off as way too problematic for me to touch. BUT because he is openly gay, I had some faith that he wasn’t going to handle this with care.
I think my wavering over this book is because I still haven’t figured out if it was or not. But let’s work up to that.
Overall I like our main character. He’s dealt with some serious trauma that we learn about slowly throughout the book. In some ways a bit too slowly, and I don’t think the seriousness of his trauma is handled by the end? But to add to everything that has happened, the book opens with Aidan waiting for results of if he dying of a heart problem. How do you cope with that? Well, you don’t. You distract, you run away, you find something to keep yourself busy to pass the time until you get answers. I get why Aidan hops from man to man in the beginning. Though waking up to a dead man cannot be a fun experience.
Nor is the case of mistaken identity that ensues, leading him to be labeled a terrorist.
Gah I am still frustrated by this book a month after I finished it!
I think in the end, I may not like Millman’s writing style. I tried his other book — Scream All Night — and couldn’t get into it for the same reason. It’s a quick read, sure, and I enjoyed the intrigue and mystery. I even enjoy the quick fire romance!
I would even believe there is a cyber (potentially) terrorist group that is fed up of the power homophobic people still have over this country. I believe that those people exist that would take it too far. It’s a bubbling anger that I see on a daily basis. I don’t have an answer for it. If you feel you do, it’s probably the wrong answer. And I think that’s what I’ve been wrestling with this book so much — Millman’s intent for sure is to make us feel uncomfortable as we consider if they’re good or bad.
It’s just…not necessarily done well.
I don’t know. I genuinely don’t know with this book. I almost recommend it because I need more people to talk about it with? But there are so many content warnings that are spoilers and I’m not entirely sure any of it is handled well enough. In a way it is as if two books have been slammed together, and I’m just not sure it all meshed.
I will say that I enjoyed the ending. I think the wrap up is handled well, I like the climatic last fight. But there is so much that I think is mishandled that I am not entirely sure I can recommend this book.
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