Title: The Impossible Boy
Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 16th 2017
Page Count: 204 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
This is not your average love story.
Ben Easton is not your average romantic hero. He’s a tattooed, badass, wannabe rock star, working in a perfectly horrible dive bar in Camden Town. His life is good, and he’s totally unprepared for how one man will turn it upside down.
Stan isn’t your average heroine. As a gender-fluid man, he proudly wears his blond hair long, his heels sky-high, and his makeup perfectly executed. A fashion industry prodigy, Stan is in London after stints working in Italy and New York City, and he quickly falls for Ben’s devil-may-care attitude and the warm, soft heart Ben hides behind it.
Beneath the perfect, elegant exterior, Stan has plenty of scars from teenage battles with anorexia. And it only takes the slightest slip for his demons to rush back in while Ben is away touring with his band. With the band on the brink of a breakthrough, Ben is forced to find a way to balance the opportunity of a lifetime with caring for his beautiful boyfriend.
After I had finished The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin, I was on the fence about the rating. The time lapses in the story seemed abrupt, and it kind of bugged me, so I decided to think about the story for a few days and before writing anything. The more I thought about it, the more I appreciated its message and importance.
This story is about Stan and Ben. Stan is genderfluid. He’s a man and a woman. In the beginning, he has just moved to England to begin a new job. He works in the fashion industry and loves being a part of it except he would never model because he knows it puts to close to an old demon- anorexia. He’s happy working in the background of the industry and determined to live a healthy lifestyle.
One night Stan ventures to a bar and meets bartender Ben. Ben is bisexual; he’s open and kind. On a whim, he leaves Ben his number and what ensues is beautiful romance. I’m going to stop here and go into the highlights even though my brain and fingers are itching for a full-on summary of the book.
-Relationship development. We were on this journey with them from the first moment they met. The progression it took felt natural, and it blossomed exquisitely.
-The characters. All of them- the main characters and supporting ones.
-The plot. I always love slice of life stories best. There’s no evil villain lurking, no crime that needs to be solved. It’s a story that is real. I loved that Anna Martin brought a spotlight to gender identity and eating disorders. She treated both subjects with the importance and understanding they deserve.
-Narration. It’s told from a dual POV.
-Chemistry. These two were lovely together- no doubt they were meant to be.
-The end. It was realistic and left me feeling that everything will be ok. Ben and Stan are in it for the long haul.
My rating… I was initially going to go with 4 Stars<—which is by no means bad. But after thinking about it and as I typed my review I'm going with 4.9. I won't get preachy, but I believe that stories like these need to be told. Well done, Anna Martin!