My rating: 1 of 5 stars
TW: suicide, self harm, abuse, transmisia, mental illness, homomisia, pedophilia.
This book handles consent (or the lack of) horribly. I was literally the vomit face emoji throughout the whole book, and there was no consent given in many situations & it’s not addressed directly or handled in a sensitive way. It’s all swept under the rug or laughed off and the MC still remains an ahole.
Also as an ownvoices trans reviewer and as an ownvoices ace reviewer, I thought that the author handled the portrayal and representation inaccurately. We have a trans character who committed suicide and was on life support, and Vivian isn’t portrayed in a positive way. She was portrayed as emotionally abusive, and also her partner Miles at first treats her in a transmisic way. Miles and his parents also fall under the “white savior” trope, because Vivian’s (black) parents are abusive and unaccepting
The way that Miles treats women and how he sexually objectives many situations where he has some disgusting and disturbing inner monologue. The way that he touches people without their consent, the way that Vivian’s suicide is a vehicle for him to further the plot. And then at the end, her family deadnames her which is so disappointing that she couldn’t leave as her true self.
About 90% of the books is just have sex in Iceland, and or trying to look for sexual experiences in Iceland. There were two gay people, and one of them was an evil pedophile (of course). During a trip to a body of water for a swim, our MC misgenders a nonbinary person by saying that they’re “one of the girls”. There’s also the naked trans trope which was unecessary.
As a trans and ace person, everything that the author did was rough and incorrect in regards to representation. There are lots of quotes and receipts that I don’t have on hand, but I recommend reading a fellow trans person’s thread about their thoughts on the quotes. The worst book that I’ve read in a long time, would not recommend.
**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own**