Author: Heidi Cullinan
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: August 8th 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 341 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
A single stroke can change your world.
Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten college to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour.
Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.
Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.
When I heard Heidi Cullinan was publishing a story with a focus on asexual/grey-sexuality I was immediately more than just intrigued – I was desperate to get my hands on Antisocial.
Xander Fairchild is an artist who is, in a word, antisocial. He eschews social settings (with reasons) and is determined to spend his last year at Japanese culture-soaked Benten college working on his BFA project and creating manga art.
Skylar Stone has his own senior project to complete and when circumstances bring him in contact with Xander he cannot help but be intrigued by both his art and the man himself. Skylar manipulates some other circumstances as a way to help Xander and himself, but doesn’t count on the feelings Xander opens up in him.
The story is beautiful. Told from both Xander and Skylar’s points of view the reader is given good insight into both character’s motives and thoughts. Saturated in references to Manga and Japanese culture, and threaded with a coming of age of the characters the story flows well, the characters show real growth, and there is obvious love woven through the story by the author.
While I enjoyed the story on the whole, I do not have any great experience with Yaoi, Manga, or Japanese culture and though I learned a lot reading this I think if I was a fan of any of those elements I might have enjoyed this a whole lot more.
A lovely, sweet, coming of age romance with low angst and a great HEA. Recommended especially for those who love Manga or Japanese culture.