Suburbilicious by Eric Arvin
Take another turn down Jasper Lane, the well-off neighborhood where gay porn parties, fresh cheesecake, and friendly busybodies welcome newcomers while a dog named Gayhound helps with the landscaping.
Cassie Bloom is thrilled her son Jason is home, but she’s worried about the secrets buried around the house, especially when a scary-looking stranger starts spying on her! Rick and James are basking in the blush of love ~ or is it the flush of jealousy as Rick’s rugby teammate starts hanging around? ~ and the flamboyantly gay Terrence is off bonding with his newly discovered son, Christian. Melinda, divorced from her stuffy husband, is looking to dip her toe in the dating pool, but she’s got one problem: her potential date’s embarrassing last name.
Steve and Sandy Jones are now proud parents, but Sandy’s got to find something to do with herself, and running for office in the Gay Porn Wives Club may be just the ticket. And remember, it’s a do-unto-others mentality on Jasper Lane, so when lesbian couple Asha and Keiko move in and Sandy helps Keiko get a directing job at Steve’s gay porn film company, it’s par for the course!
[Originally reviewed for Rainbow Reviews HERE!]
This sequel to the hilarious and witty Subsurdity will be eagerly consumed by fans. For the most part, the engaging, outrageous antics of the residents of Jasper Lane deliver a fast paced, entertaining ride but this sequel lacks the same level of humorous impact as its predecessor. While continuing with many of the same quips and gags as in the first book, this sequel has a continuous feel as if the previous book never ended. Unfortunately, while this works on one level, the downside to that is some of the jokes run a little old and stale. There are a few new twists and turns in the sequel and it continues the story lines from the first, but nothing jumps out as particularly new, fresh, and fabulous. Perhaps the high bar of the first is difficult to maintain, however, the quick enjoyable pace and outrageous characters won’t cause too many sighs of disappointment.
This installment follows many of the same residents as the previous novel but now most have settled into their respective houses on Jasper Lane. The antics don’t stop there though as stereotypical Terrence is surprised with a vacation to a religious campground to bond with his son, Christian but can’t help bringing his own brand of drama. Back in the suburb though, drama abounds between the Gay Porn Wives Club while jealousy, murder mystery, and bedroom kinkiness all get thrown into the mix of craziness. New couples, old couples, and long lost sons all come to inject the “gay housewives” with their over the top actions.
Once again the author shows a real flair for writing and comedy. The stereotypical and outrageous characters are never dull even as they slide slightly into predictable. Often the quick dialogue invites the reader to laugh along with the characters and their self acknowledged insanity while attempting to top each other with the height of their drama. Some of these run slightly stale as they are continued jokes from the first book and lack a fresh and interesting take that the author is well capable of delivering. However, the almost constant humor amid ridiculous settings and arguments will delight fans and keep the story moving fast past any bumps in the road.
As told from multiple view points, the head hoping has settled down somewhat and serves two purposes. It allows the reader to see everything and everyone as they experience the day to day absurdity while never lingering on any one storyline too long. Unfortunately, some of the storylines are more interesting than others and thus had me wanting to get back to the more interesting characters much faster. There are also a number of details thrown in that are later dropped or not explained. These dangling threads may or may not be wrapped up in future editions of the series but did serve to throw in some disjointed scenes. The new lesbian couple is completely underused and almost forgettable except for the last scene. Additionally the truly fabulous personalities of Cassie and Vera shine in their scenes as does the utterly ridiculous but engaging Cliff.
However for every jarring moment, the humor and snappy dialogue continues to deliver an entertaining punch and distract from any problematic aspects. The story ends on another cliffhanger with the material for the next book laid at the end of this offering. The potential for a darker tone is interesting although the focus shifting to some characters such as Melinda is not my favorite. But I trust the author’s writing and sense of the absurd enough to want to follow wherever he may go. Be sure to pick up this sequel and laugh out loud with the over the top, completely ridiculous, totally quirky and thoroughly fabulous residents of Jasper Lane.
Get it HERE!