Cole Riann's Reviews > Neon Yellow: Obsessive Adhesives

Neon Yellow by Andy Slayde
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Mar 19, 2011

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bookshelves: m-m, m-m-contemporary, jessewave
Read on March 18, 2011

** 3.5 stars **

Neon Yellow: Obsessive Adhesives tells the story of Jason and Spencer. Jason is a playboy. Well, maybe not a playboy, but he certainly never wants for a date. He is easy-going, incredibly sexy, self-assured, and until his friend Sky settled down with his partner, Jason was content to play the field and have as much fun as he could on a nightly basis. Now, seeing how happy Sky is with his new man, Jason decides that it couldn’t hurt to keep his eye out for someone that could give him more than a night of fun, and almost immediately, Jason realizes that he’s already found that person and has been looking at him across the office for months. Spencer puzzles Jason. At first thought Spencer seems bland and boring — an accounting nerd. Yet, the more he gets to know Spencer and the more he gets the shy man to blush, he realizes that Spencer is possibly one of the most interesting men he has ever met. Behind the glasses, the button down and bland office attire, and away from the office where Spencer is always dutifully at work, Jason comes to know a new side of Spencer — passionate, innocent, and beautiful.

To Spencer, Jason represents the unattainable man. He is sexy and outgoing and Spencer cannot allow his new attentions to go to his head. He knows that for men like Jason, this innocent flirting is just a fun game. The minute he gives in, Jason’s attentions will wander somewhere else and he, painfully shy and a virgin at 22, will be heartbroken. Why would someone like Jason be interested in him anyway? Surely it must be some kind of game. Spencer is used to games and he is used to being picked on, bullied, and made fun of — which is why he gives no thought to each successive neon yellow post-it note attatched to his computer screen every morning at work. For the past month these little notes have been waiting for him and as time passes they seem to get more and more dangerous. What most would consider stalking, Spencer knows is probably just an office game to make fun of him again, or possibly to out him in front of everyone. Then, as he gets to know Jason on a personal level and finds that the man isn’t like the persona he projects, the notes become dangerous, ultimately leading to vandalism, breaking and entering, and a possible threat on Jason’s life.

This book is a good, solid read. I liked the characters quite a bit. I sometimes felt like we could have gotten to know Jason a bit better, as much of the story focuses on Spencer, but they were both well drawn and likeable. I liked reading about a character like Spencer who is incredibly innocent, but not for some dramatic reason or by nefarious outside actions in his past — he is simply a shy man who has found life easiest to navigate by staying alone and keeping out of other people’s ways. I liked that when he found he could trust Jason, we saw him bloom before our eyes. Spencer is incredibly passionate about geology. He is a self-professed rockhound, spending whatever free time he has in Herkimer, NY looking for Herkimer Diamonds. The progression of their relationship is slow, though it only spands a couple of weeks. The romance part of the story was done pretty well, though I would have liked to see a bit more time go by in the middle, before the climax of the story, just so that the changes in Spencer didn’t seem rushed.

For all that this book had going for it, however, I still wish there had been more, simply because it didn’t feel complete. Perhaps the reason is that I’m tired of reading about the stalker theme, but I didn’t feel like this aspect of the novel worked. The suspense and abject fear work well to bring Jason and Spencer together, but the rest of the sub-plot didn’t make much sense. If the story had been significantly lengthened so that we have time to get to know all of the secondary cast of characters well (as they are, they aren’t really fleshed out), the the identity of the stalker would have made sense. As the story progressed and neared the scene which reveals the stalker and all of the plot comes together, I didn’t really have any candidates for who it could be. It is a bit like a mystery in the way it should be constructed — there should be some red herrings and a plethora of secondary cast members, where from 2-4 should be possible candidates and 1-2 probable candidates. Yet, I didn’t even know the possible suspects that they considered and we only met one of the characters who they considered might be the stalker on the page. So, when the time came for the big reveal, it fizzled and didn’t pack the punch that I had hoped for, simply because I had no clue why this character was stalking Spencer. In essence, it felt like the whole sub-plot was present to capitalize on the hurt/comfort theme, and when you take it away, then the story is actually a sweet romance that I would have enjoyed reading much more by itself.

For the full review, please visit Reviews by Jessewave.
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