Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: January 5th, 2021
Synopsis: 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 we 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 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 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.
Oh my goodness! Are you looking for the perfect escape? Are you looking for a book that will cause uncontrollable smiles even after you’ve finished? Are you looking for a book that will give you ALL the feels? Do I sound like a car salesman? Ahem. Anyway, if you answered yes to any of those questions I enthusiastically suggest you mark your 2021 calendar for January 5th. That’s the day Ryan La Salla’s Be Dazzled is coming out, and I can’t think of a better way to kick off what will hopefully be a better year, than reading this adorably whimsical romance.
What can I say? Some kids do drugs. Some kids start fires. I embroider in the dead of night, for the attention of strangers.
Raffy is a seventeen-year-old misfit who you just can’t help falling in love with. While his artist mother, Evie, has no issues with him being gay, she is horrified at his proclivity for crafting and cosplay, feeling it’s completely beneath him. There are some genuinely funny moments between them, but underneath that is an intriguing layer of familial discord. On the surface, Luca is an all American jock, yet he’s so desperate not to let down his parents, he keeps his sexuality a secret from them. There’s a sweet odd couple chemistry between both boys, and the chapters alternate between present day and the past which details how they met, and what led to their initial breakup. The supporting cast is wonderfully fleshed out, and the main setting of a Comic-Con adds to the fun. Be Dazzled is a delightful, heartwarming love story, that’s screaming to be adapted to film. If you’re looking for a book that will charm your socks off I can’t recommend highly enough, particularly to fans of books like Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda.