Reading the Rainbow: Swipe Right for Murder (ARC), Earth to Charlie, When It All Falls Down

Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for sending me a free advanced reader copy of Swipe Right for Murder for an honest review. Swipe Right for Murder debuted August 6th.

For full disclosure, I am friends with the author of When It All Falls Down, and she gifted me a copy of the book!

The stars have aligned: of the last few books I’ve read, three in a row had a strong coming-of-age focus on homosexuality! So I thought I would throw together a post of mini-reviews for each book; all three were fun to read!

First up is Earth to Charlie. This was one of those books that I picked up in a random buy-a-thon in Barnes and Noble. The blurb called to me: aliens in Montana? I’m writing a book about aliens in Montana, so this was basically required reading!

Slight spoiler, but I think you really ought to know this heading into the book: in the end, Earth to Charlie turned out to be much more of a contemporary book than anything approaching sci-fi. That was a bit of a disappointment to me; it’s not the first time this year that I’ve been teased with YA aliens, only for the author to not follow through. But nevertheless, I finished this book within one sitting, which should speak for itself in terms of the easy readability of this book. It’s a comfy page turner, with a small cast and a cozy, small town setting. I’m still searching for YA aliens, but I’ll recommend Earth to Charlie to fans of contemporary coming-of-age fiction, especially if you’re looking for an LGBT thread.

Next is When It All Falls Down. Tanya Chris and I are writing buddies, even though she focuses on M/M romance and I’m strictly a YA/NA gal. (Goodness, so many abbreviations!) While still firmly in the romance genre, this is the most YA-ish of her books, so I was excited to give it a read. The premise is that Charlie is a high school senior who’s recently come out of the closet. His love interest, Drew, is reeling from a recent auto accident where he struck and killed a young girl. Both characters have a lot to deal with, their walls both self-imposed and terrifying real (a lawsuit with huge monetary implications, the possibility of having a college admissions decision revoked).

What I really liked about this book was the fleshed-out cast of characters. I was really feeling the chemistry between the two main characters (Drew is absolutely adorable!), and their family members and friends’ approach to Charlie and Drew’s developing relationship is handled in a realistic, grounded way that feels fresh. This mixed with the lawsuit details, which are incredibly real and well-researched, made this a fun, engrossing read.

Swipe Right for Murder consumed me for forty-eight hours, gobbling up every spare moment I had. I really enjoyed Milman’s first book, and I was a bit scared that this would be a sophomore slump effort, as it’s only been a year since his first novel. How wrong could I be—Swipe Right for Murder is a wild ride, set in 2019 but with a raucous, cyberpunk feel. I’ve been of the opinion for some time that, of all the fictional visions for the future, cyberpunk is the most accurate; give this book a read and see if you agree.

The premise is that Aidan, through the use of a Grindr-style hook-up app on his senior Spring Break, stumbles into an unfortunate series of events that lead him into close contact with a domestic terrorist organization bent on killing homophobes. This is a page-turner if there ever was one, and it’s fucking funny. Seriously, there are some legit laugh-out-loud moments in this book, which is hard to do with a written medium, in my opinion. The book is smart, hilarious, and turned up to eleven at all points. Count me in for all future releases from Milman; I’m a fan.

Have you read any great books with LGBT threads lately? Any favorites to recommend? Leave your suggestions down below!

1 thought on “Reading the Rainbow: Swipe Right for Murder (ARC), Earth to Charlie, When It All Falls Down

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