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Cut Both Ways

2.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,456 ratings  ·  343 reviews
Will Caynes never has been good with girls. At seventeen, he’s still waiting for his first kiss. He’s certainly not expecting it to happen in a drunken make-out session with his best friend, Angus. But it does and now Will’s conflicted—he knows he likes girls, but he didn’t exactly hate kissing a guy.

Then Will meets Brandy, a cute and easy-to-talk-to sophomore. He’s totall
ebook, 340 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by HarperCollins
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L.G. I think this book satisfies a different kind of need. It provides a more authentic look at teens in a coming-of-age kind of way. There are no apologie…moreI think this book satisfies a different kind of need. It provides a more authentic look at teens in a coming-of-age kind of way. There are no apologies in this story, and that appealed to me, but I can see how it might not appeal to everyone. (less)

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Average rating 2.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,456 ratings  ·  343 reviews

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Steph Sinclair
I was actually hoping to be the black sheep amongst my friends when it came to Cut Both Ways. I wanted to be that lone wolf, singing praises for this book. So it's unfortunate that I have to agree with everyone else and say this book was terrible .

I knew going in that this book involved cheating, so I was ready for that. And I'm generally okay with unlikable characters, which is what Will essentially is. But I was really looking forward to seeing how Mesrobian handled sexuality and the boxes
Whitney Atkinson
2.5 stars :(

I was ready to love this book. From the cover to the premise, I could not WAIT. But it became clear pretty early on that this book and I would not be the best of friends. The writing of this book really put me off. I guess I was expecting it would be more lyrical, a raw portrayal of self-discovery, but the word choice was so crewd and there's so much vulgar language and material. I think this was due to the (female) author trying to emphasize that she's writing from a male point-of-v
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I can’t change it, the truth that I want both of them. Brandy and Angus.”

This was a YA story about a boy who had a girlfriend, but also cheated on her with his gay best friend.

Will was a bit of an odd character, and while I understood that he didn’t know if he was gay or straight or somewhere in between, kissing someone else whilst you have a girlfriend is still cheatin
Jessica Folded Between the Pages of Books
This book sounded so damn good, but it ended up being rather problematic.

1) Will felt so disconnected from everything. There was no emotion at all, even though emotional things happened. It felt like he was in a fog, which just made no sense. It made the book incredibly boring, even when things happened.

2) Where is the plot??? Seriously, what was the point of this book? Books are still supposed to have actual plots, right? Where there's some sort of story, with a climax and a resolution? This bo
Apr 18, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Badly written book about an immature brat who makes horrible life choices. I wouldn't judge the book so harshly if it wasn't for the fact that it's so pretentious. It tries too hard to be an Important Book that addresses Important Themes For Confused Teens, and I just... no. Don't read this stupid book, especially if you're a teen. There are better books out there.

And, look, I'm not a prude but there is a lot of sex in this book, and it's not safe sex. If sex is an important part of your YA book
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is hard to read a book when, at first, you realize the narrator speaks, thinks, acts, reacts exactly the same as you do. Will Caynes is more than just my spirit animal; Will Caynes is my life. Every frame of this paginated film portrays experiences I've witnessed, felt, or partaken of. Will's mother IS my mother, top to bottom. Tom (Will's dad) and Garrett's friendship reminds me too much of my dad and his closest friends. That pivotal moment with Jay yelling, Tess yelling, Will sometimes yel ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
The advance reviews for Cut Both Ways have been less than stellar, but I kept my hopes up since I’d liked Mesrobian’s prior novels and BISEXUAL LOVE TRIANGLE YES YES. Well, sadly, I very much see why the early reviews aren’t that great. I was actually feeling pretty 3 star about it, but the more I’ve been thinking about this book, the less I like it. The ending was horrible and, with the time I’ve had to think about it, I’ve just gotten angrier and angrier about how this book turned out. The fol ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

For a subject I am passionate about, this book bored me to tears. The writing was so bare and emotionless; it felt like reading a stream of high school boy consciousness rather than any coherent narrative. I felt zero emotion from Will--it was like reading a play by play of events, like he was watching things happen to him rather than experiencing anything. So little introspection. So passive. I wanted to hit pause, sit Will down and ask him how he felt about everything.

And what was tha
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
Rep: male bi mc, gay li

i'm so disappointed by this book. i was looking forward to it so much but it's literally like the author just goes "ah bisexuality -> cheating" and there's not much else to it. neither is there really a conclusion to anything and it's so frustrating. there are no stakes ((view spoiler)) and so nothing gets resolved. not to mention the mc is a dickhead and a creep who is continually lusting over girls' bodies,
Dec 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
SPOILER WARNING: This "review" is nothing but spoilers. They're behind a cut on Goodreads, but out in the open elsewhere.

If you're looking for closure, you won't find it here. The story kind of trails off, and might bother some readers. It works fine for me, though, (view spoiler)
A copy of this novel was provided by HarperCollins for review via Edelweiss.

When I finished Cut Both Ways I was shaking. Shaking in fucking anger, I tell you. And then I thought to myself: what did I just read? Followed closely by: why did I just read this?

For some reason, I thought, shortly thereafter: I shall rate this book Two Stars.

Now, I’m thinking: what? Why two stars when it had me shaking in fury. When it had absolutely no point. When the main character was an absolute asshole. I don’t k
Lukas Anthony
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: has-some-gay
I can't believe I'm about to complain about a YA book not focusing enough on the love triangle.

I'd heard about this book floating around ever since it was announced and I read the blurb on goodreads. I sort of have a soft spot for LGBT YA, I mean I know i'm not it's target audience anymore and the stories are usually overly cliche and tend to end on the cheesy side, but I can't help it, once I start one, I get involved. This one interested me from the start because it tells the story of Will, a
WARNING: Mature content in this book and likewise talked about in this review. Recommended age 17+

*Full review @ The Story Goes...

**An advance copy of this book was provided via Edelweiss for review**

This book follows 17-year-old Will or The Supreme Douchebag. Will's never kissed anyone and he definitely wasn't expecting his first kiss to be with his best friend Angus, who is gay. Will doesn't think he's gay, but he does like kissing Angus. Angus is not a supreme douchebag, but his character is
Hannah McBride
I really was pulling for this book. Even when I started seeing negative reviews of CUT BOTH WAYS coming in, I still had hope. But unfortunately all I got was justification for all the 1 and 2 star reviews.

Will is a jerk. There's no other way to say it - well, there is, but I'm gonna try to keep the cursing and swearing down to a minimum in case there are children around.

If this was a book about Will struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and how it affects his family friends and relatio
♫✯Em loves Hollenstein✯♫❤the summertime and butterflies all belong to your creation❤
just skimmed in the end. didn't grab at me. the mc was too TMI.. too much 'need sex' and 'jerking off'. i get that he's a teenage boy but i didn't like being in this horny boy's mind. plus he cheats on his girlfriend the whole time and never gets a serious consequence from her or Angus- i mean yeah, his parents kick him out but he stays with both of them, with Brandy having no idea about Angus.
I'm pretty sure. i did skim. not the book for me, but props for having a male bisexual character. ther
May 07, 2016 added it
Shelves: dnf
Mesrobian is a strong writer. There are no false notes in this book about a teen with divorced parents splitting his time between two very different homes. All the kids talk like kids, think like kids, carry on relationships like a kid would.

But I definitely got a little depressed reading this one. It was like a really long, warm hike in the hills with the sun trained on the back of your neck throughout. There were beautiful moments -- Will and Brandy's courtship, Will's newfound pride in himsel
Aug 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Ugh...I got to page 36 and I was done. I only got 11 percent of the way through. I heard this book involves cheating, and I am NOT up for that. At all. There is no excuse for cheating in any format, in any way. Also, this boy. Ugh. While I get that Will is a teenager, I don't appreciate how he basically views girls as sex objects. When Brandy is first introduced in the story, he talks about her as a younger, sexy girl. But he just stares at her the whole time in a disgusting way. Says nothing ab ...more
Review also appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I received a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Ah, this book.

Going into Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian, I was intrigued. I knew that this story was going to offer a different kind of story, especially because of the interesting synopsis. The synopsis pulled me in and the slow pacing and immature and blunt writing made me want it to end. But what does one do with a book that had so much potential before we were introduced to t
Kai (CuriousCompass)
Angry Straight People Reviewing This Book: OMG THIS IS THE WORST BI REP EVER WRITTEN!!!!!!!

Me, an Actual Bi™: Wow I relate to this so much it actually allowed me to come to terms with my own bisexuality & start to come out. I love the main character and his struggle, I don't forgive him for cheating but I get why he did it, and the open ending doesn't bother me at all. This is some of the best, most realistic bi rep I've read so far.

SO, YEAH. Do with that what you will. I thought this was fanta
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-contemporary
This book is the realest representation of high school romance & LUST I have ever read. And I love that on top of that fact it included a plotline where the character is likely bisexual.

I personally loved reading the author's note after where Carrie writes, "I don't know what Will's identity is. Even if I did know, I think it's more interesting for a reader to contemplate what he is and what he might be than for me to label him with certainty. What I do know is that we need to work for a world
Debbie Narh
But actually...what even is the point of this novel? Because I've had a few weeks to think about it and....nothing. I seriously don't know. ...more
Lisa (lifeinlit)
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Will is your typical teenager stuck between two divorced parents. Two very different environments as well. His father is on the poorer side. Since he works in construction, he decides to redo his house. When Will stays with his father, he is staying in a house that’s in shambles. He sleeps in the attic. And he’s most often alone, since his father is always out, usually secretly drinking and hiding it from Will and the family. Will’s mother has remarried and now has twin girls. Though Will of cou ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A contemporary story about exploration, acceptance, and teenage angst.

Opening Sentence: You get used to it, divorce.

The Review:

I am absolutely pleased that the young adult book world has begun to publish diverse stories. And I’m not talking about ethnicity. I’m talking about love in all the places. Carrie Mesrobian’s Cut Both Ways was an anticipated read for me. I was excited to read about a story about exploration and acceptance. There was a go
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Cut Both Ways is one of those books that captures your heart right from the beginning. Yes it is a story that may not be for some but every one should give it a try.

You have a straight guy who has a gay friend. They hang out together and every thing is normal between them until one day the lines are crossed for them and one is more confused than the other. For Will he is straight in his mind and heart but when it comes to Angus Will is not sure how he feels about him and what he wants from him.

Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, queer
Home feels like Angus and it feels like her and I wish I could tell him that—tell both of them that.
2 stars purely for the writing & depiction of Will's dysfunctional family. Otherwise, just a complete disappointment.

I felt exactly the same finishing Cut Both Ways as I did after watching American Hustle: that I was in the hands of a master, but the characters fell short. I slowly but surely became irritated with Will and by the end I was probably one rung down from completely disliking him.
Aug 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardbacks, read-2018
hello horrible writing, even worse main character and basically a book about a super horny teen guy that blames everything in his life on his sex drive without having any reason at all to do so other than being a horrendous human being!

the only positive thing i can say about this book is that at least the main character is not a real human!

i wanted to love this book especially after seeing the rating of this book, i wanted to be one person that could come on here and say: but look there are thos
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

I’ve read my fair share of LGBTQ+ novels this year and had pretty good luck with them so far. I’ve been loving the YA trend of diversity, so I knew I had to pick up Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian, despite its extremely low ratings on Goodreads. While I usually stray away from books that are lower than 3.50 on Goodreads, I’m grateful that I decided to pick up Cut Both Ways because of the raw, humane way Mesrobian tells the story.


Even though I personally hav
DNF at 26%.

This is a story of a sexually confused, perpetually horny teenager. Literally all there is to this story is sexual encounters with both girls and boys, house renos, and working in a kitchen.

I disliked the writing in the 26% of the book that I read. There is wayyyy too much discussion about how a restaurant kitchen works. Way too often, Will notices exactly what Brandy, Angus, and other women are wearing, and describes it down to the last detail while wondering why he likes it.

And th
Jul 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was quite honestly one of the worst, most disgusting books I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading. Based on the concept and the synopsis, I was excited. I hoped it could be a good example of representations of male bisexuals in YA lit. Boy, was I wrong.

I’d say I hated Will, but I don’t even care about him enough to say that. The only characters that seemed realistic to me were Angus and Brandy. The only characters I could feel SOMETHING for.

The cheating bisexual trope is so, so harmful.
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