Wednesday, December 14, 2022

A Review – Do You Ship Us by Claire Rosalind

I saw a post on Twitter by this author that grabbed my interest and, fulfilling the entire point of social media, I then checked out her profile, and had a look at their book. I promptly decided it looked and sounded amazing, and I simply must read it.

So, check out the book, and then scroll to read my review!

Jasper Reid is everything his fans of The Obsolete want him to be. Whether it's for the dance-y pop songs he writes, his flirty and mischievous onstage persona, or the masterful way he plays along with the fans' ships, he's the perfect performer. On the verge of turning twenty-one, in what's expected to be the next boy band phenomenon, his life could not get any better.

Until he meets Ryan, an irresistibly attractive dancer, who is added out of the blue to their vocal band. Jasper is quick to call bullshit on the manager's reason for this addition, but even quicker to accidentally flirt with their new member.

This close to the band's success, Jasper's pissed to be the one vocally training this dancing liability. Between Jasper's outspoken nature and Ryan's anxiety, tensions rise. When a plan to improve Ryan's confidence backfires, putting the spotlight on something Jasper's been ignoring all his life, truths come to light.

Can Jasper let himself get swept up in his own real-life, convoluted, fanfic love story while protecting Ryan from the negatives of fame, uncovering the real reason their manager added him, and saving the band? Or will a photo scandal throw everything out in favor of some satisfyingly petty revenge?

CW: this book features an on page suicidal panic attack, discussions of previous suicide attempt, discussions of emotional manipulation, and instances of sexual coercion. 

Amazon UK • Amazon US

My Review!

Jasper is one of the main reasons The Obsolete has so many fans shipping the band members. He flirts just to rile up the fans, and they love him for it. But, when a new band member is dropped on them without any prior warning, Jasper is quick to question their manager’s true motives, especially since the new member, Ryan, is a dancer, not a singer.

Ryan doesn’t fit into the band immediately, especially since the rest of the band members have already formed friendships, and he finds it difficult to get any of them, in particular Jasper, to accept him as a member. But when Jasper is forced to help train him, and get his singing up to scratch, Jasper and Ryan find themselves spending more and more time around each other, and the fans are quick to come up with a new favourite ship – but what if, this time, it wasn’t fictional?

I absolutely loved both Jasper and Ryan, and following their growing relationship. In particular, I enjoyed following Jasper as he slowly came to the realisation of what exactly he felt. Jasper had been brought up in a very religious household, and pushed towards a relationship with a woman he feels absolutely nothing for. But when Ryan comes along, something changes, and he starts to wonder whether he might’ve been gay all along. Jasper really struggles coming to terms with his sexuality, mostly because he is scared that the other band members won’t accept him, and that he will lose his friends. Fear such as this is certainly saddening to read about, but Ryan is next to Jasper every step of the way, to support him, and to, slowly, fall in love with him.

There is plenty of depth to this story outside of just Jasper and Ryan’s relationship. The band find themselves facing legal issues with their contracts, as their manager scrounges every last penny he can out of the band without giving them any of it. This thread of the story was particularly interesting to follow, as the band become aware of just what their contracts contain, and try to work their way around some of the clauses that seem to simply box them in. I must say, I absolutely hated their manager, Chris. I don’t think I could’ve hated a character more. He is simply vile, using blackmail against the band members to get what he wants, and having absolutely no care about the actual members of the band. He causes so much emotional damage, simply for his own monetary gain. He is an absolutely vile man, and my hatred for him is a testament for how well his character was written. Like Jasper, I would absolutely love to punch him in the face!

I will admit, it did take me a while to properly get into this book. I spent the first few chapters slightly confused, as things jumped around a little and there wasn’t much explanation as to who the characters were. However, once I figured out who the characters were, things made infinitely more sense, and by the halfway point, I couldn’t put the book down. In fact, I fell asleep reading it, because I didn’t want to put it down to go to bed.

There are a lot of mental health matters covered in this book, and I do like that the trigger warnings are in the blurb, so you can be aware of what you will find within this book before you decide to read it. Ryan in particular suffers a lot in this book, and there are some scenes that are very difficult to read, so do be prepared going into this book that these scenes are very distressing. I truly felt for Ryan, he has already gone through so much before the events covered in this book, and he goes through plenty more during the book. He is a character I really wanted to give a big hug to.

Even though he isn’t particularly a ‘main’ character, I think Blake really stole the show in this book. He is incredibly humorous, as well as amazingly supportive of his friends. He and Jasper are great friends, and while Ryan may be someone that Jasper needs, Blake is also important to Jasper, but purely as friends, nothing more. He is always ready to drop things to be there for Jasper, and offers support and consolation when needed, as well as simply being around to crack some jokes and cheer everyone up. I think everyone needs a friend like Blake!

I really enjoyed reading this book. It is the start of a very promising series, and I can’t wait to follow The Obsolete as their story continues throughout the series. If you are a fan of celebrity romances, drama, scandals, slow burn romance, and powerful friendships, this is absolutely the book for you!

And done!

I haven't posted properly in absolutely ages, but I do hope to change that! I have a list of books lines up that I want to get reviews for out before the New Year, so maybe with a clear list, and a goal in mind, I might be successful... who knows?!

Anyway, that's all for now...


No comments:

Post a Comment