Dreaming of You by Ethan Day
Restaurateur Aden Ingle has been in love with the perfect man since his fourteenth birthday. Unfortunately, his perfect boyfriend only exists in his dreams. But Aden’s always believed it was his destiny to meet his dream man, and he’s perfectly content to wait around for him to walk into his real life.
When he meets Logan Price at a Hotel/Restaurant Trade Show, he finds himself drawn to this man who shakes him out of his dream world. Pretty soon, the flesh and blood reality is becoming more appealing than the fantasy. The only problem is Logan lives half way across the country in California.
Aden’s going to have to choose whether to give up everything he’s built for himself professionally and uproot his whole life for Logan, or wait for the man from his dreams to become a reality.
[For some reason every time I see this cover, I think its a man and a woman. Maybe it’s the towel]
This fun, exaggerated comedy is meant to be read in a light hearted manner. The characters and situations are over the top, creating outlandish personalities that clash and pop in a comic setting that is just as outrageous as the people. If you can get into the characters and zany antics, this is a breezy summer read with a lot of humor thrown in. The actual personalities are certifiable and can’t possibly exist without medicated help but the book is very much a nod to pop culture, romantic comedies. If you enjoy those sorts of movies, you’ll want to go along on Aden’s ride.
Aden is a total klutz and has such an exaggerated personality – I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a caricature of the author or a close friend. Aden is described as incredibly hot and good looking but his odd quirks and weird habits tend to cause some problems for his relationships. He has a tendency to shout out loud in response to his inner conscience, keep a detailed karma point balance, and can’t manage to walk and chew gum without getting a concussion. He manages to turn every possible smooth move into an ad for medicated help. However, despite all his problems and quirks, he has a charm that draws men and women alike to his inherently good nature.
Throughout his life Aden has always had dreams of one man. These dreams are different and complex ranging from new meetings to honeymoons and vacations. These dreams created a fantasy world for Aden to slip into and escape the stress and loneliness in his life. Aden’s fantasy world is challenged when he meets the all too real Logan. Logan is also in the restaurant business but is a chef and for some reason, all those quirks and odd behaviors of Aden’s that drive his friends insane, Logan loves that about Aden. Their whirlwind romance becomes a long distance relationship and just when things start to get serious, Aden’s dream man may just be real. Aden must make some tough choices and risks to find happiness.
The characters are all as over the top as their antics. Fag hag and physically abusive Finn is a fun character even though her friendship is a bit suspect. Nathan is a good support and perhaps the only normal one of the entire group and thus gets little to no real depth and action in the storyline. Logan is sympathetic and a strong support for Aden, though he is often very one note. The development of his character starts well and hits some bumps, mostly because the story revolves around Aden to the point that there is less development for others than how Aden reacts to those around him. Since the narrative is in first person for Aden, he is the only fully realized character. The actions of everyone around him range from thinking he’s incredibly weird to being charmed by his oddball behavior. Aden has his own set of insecurity and fears and reactions, which move the story along at a quick, comic pace but allow for little real progress.
This is a fun, light story that is weak on the angst and emotional maturity and long on the quirky, romantic comedy actions with numerous nods to pop culture. The story line is light and moves incredibly fast with engaging, witty dialogue. The ridiculous characters add many elements of fun if the reader can laugh along with their humor. I wasn’t fully invested in the story and thus had some “is he crazy or just psycho” moments, however, it’s worth going along for the ride in the light hearted manner it’s intended. There are a lot of classic stereotypes and tropes thrown in but nothing overwhelms the story and Aden is a charming narrator with all his weirdness. This isn’t one I’d re-read but for a summer story to laugh with, it accomplished that goal.
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