Forces of Nature by Lily Grace
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
While I found An Angel for Christmas to be utterly delightful, Forces of Nature feels very meh to me. The story is decent and gives a happy ending to some friends secretly in love with each other but I sadly got bored with the couple right before they had sex and even good gay loving couldn’t re-engage my interest. The writing is decent, though I think Grace has gotten better, and this is likely to appeal to those who love the friends turned lovers theme.
The story starts with best friends for eight years Drew and Evan caught in a thunderstorm. Being wet and cold they of course need to get naked and warm (heh) and this leads to a frank discussion about their feelings. Since the two are established best friends the majority of the story is spent on Drew secretly pinning for Evan. Drew goes over how the two met, why he fell for Evan, laments that they’ve never gotten together and how Drew is secretly in love with Evan and always has been.
Thus the first 2/3rds of the story is Drew telling about his relationship to Evan. There are a few bits of dialogue as the friends skirt a potentially sticky situation but most of the narrative is in Drew’s head as he lists why Evan is so wonderful. Evan comes across as a fey, somewhat fragile but bright outgoing personality that is just waiting for Drew to hit on him. Evan has a lot of potential but he never really comes alive for me and instead feels more like a caricature. The impetus that forces the two to admit their feelings feels week, especially after 8 years, and so I didn’t really care if they got together.
Although I liked the idea of both characters and the brief glimpses into their personality, I never really connected with either and got bored with the story. It’s short though and has a lengthy sex scene so those that particularly like the friends to lovers theme may like this more. It’s not bad, it just didn’t seem to work for me but I look forward to reading more work by this author.
*footnote I struggled with the rating on this one. I didn’t particularly like it and felt it was ok so a 2 rating really suits. My concern is that often a 2 means a bad book and I’d like to point out that this is not a bad book. It didn’t speak to me but it may to others so please don’t let the rating turn you off.
6 thoughts on “Review: Forces of Nature”
I’m sorry this didn’t quite work for you, Kassa, but I appreciate you giving it a go. I’m always interested in what you have to say about books, whether it be good…or not so much. 😉 This was my first published effort, and I will be the first to admit there is a definite learning curve involved. I appreciate how much thought you clearly put into this review and I’m glad you’d be willing to give something else by me a whirl in the future. 🙂
Oh well that might explain it. I think your writing has gotten better and the short story format is rough. It’s extremely hard to get everything into the story and in such a way that doesn’t overwhelm or underwhelm readers. I may not have liked this one but I’m definitely looking forward to what else you do.
What a pity that you didn’t like the story. It is one of my favorites and I especially like Evan. But it is always interesting to see that what works for one reader doesn’t have to work for another. Thank God we are all entitled to have our own taste in books and that not everybody is buying stories according to what one reviewer might say. It always surprises me how angry I feel when someone hates a story I love. Must mean that I am very passionate about books, right?
Meeps. Don’t hate me! I’m not trying to tell anyone NOT to get the book!
I love that you liked this book, what really spoke to you? Did you do a review? I’d love to see what worked for you while I got frustrated. I will say the character of Evan hits all my favorites for a twink. I do love those beautiful, frail but intensely capable spitfire types.
I don’t hate you. I actually love you most days, especially when you tell people who have overstepped a line what you think of them in your wonderful direct and eloquent way. I just don’t like hearing negative things about my favorite authors or characters I love. 😉 I would never dare to write book reviews because my English is way too bad for it. But I used to write reviews about theater plays, comedy shows and rock concerts for a German newspaper for many years.
Maybe this story resonates so much with me because falling in – unrequited – love with the best friend is such a recurring theme in my life. I always envy reviewers, who complain “that being in love with your best friend for eight years is so totally unrealistic”, for their dumb ignorance. Yes, things like that actually happen in real life, just not to them. Lucky bitches. Most of the time I just want to tell them to shut up and don’t talk about things they obviously don’t know anything about. But you haven’t complained about the eight years, just about that the impetus that forces the two to admit their feelings feels weak to you. But in my experience the way such a ‘secret’ finally comes out after such a long time is almost always banal and anticlimactic.
What I love about Evan so much – apart from the fact that he embodies all I find intriguing, attractive and lovable in a character – is the contradiction he presents. On the one hand he is this beautiful, outgoing and cocky creature, but on the other hand he is so unsure of himself, thinks his best friend finds him unattractive and that might never have a change to be loved. And I would say that 99 percent of all the actors are like that and that this is the reason why they go on stage. Getting over their insecurities, taking on a different persona and being loved for what they do and what they represent. Oh my, what a long rant. But you wanted answers.:)
It’s not a long rant, it’s perfect! Thank you! I think that description of Evan is lovely and you saw beneath the surface into the nuances. I missed that and appreciate you pointing it out. It makes me want to read it again. And yes you’re right that friends can be secretly in love for 8 years – perhaps longer – i dont doubt that at all. You’re also likely right that when they do confess their feelings it is always the weak, unexpected moment and not the finally something so bad they break. It’s a very “slice of life” or “true to life” themed story and I love that you feel so strongly.
Discussing books is one reason I got into reviewing so feel free to say your thoughts whenever! I think your english is fine and I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t your first language. Not to mention I shudder to think of writing in german. I’d be afraid to even comment somewhere.