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Cut Both Ways

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2.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,214 Ratings  ·  320 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
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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…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)
April I wish it had a sequel...but no, I do not think that she intends for this story to continue.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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 so
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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
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Aly's Bookish Wonderland
WARNING: SPOILERS. I can't tag them because I need to vent like a motherfucker, so proceed at your own risk.



Someone please tell me this is a joke.

I was so excited when I was approved on EW for this. I can't even explain HOW excited. But I kept putting it off because I wanted to read it when I could savour it. When I knew I had a day with nothing to do and it was just me and this book and a billion cups of coffee. I wanted to wait until I could sit down and the couch would bear the imprint of my
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Sarah
(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 cheating,
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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
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Ren
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
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Anthony
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
tonya.
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
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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
charlotte
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, like every time a f ...more
Krista Wright
May 18, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm still confused by this book, and what the point of it is. For the most part, I found this book entertaining to read. I liked the way his parents' divorce was portrayed, and I liked seeing how everything affected his relationship with each member of his family. However, all of the characters were terrible. It is impossible to like Will or ever feel sympathy for him in any way. I've seen a lot of reviews on here saying he wasn't treating either Angus or Brandy fairly, and that is true. I don't ...more
Tez
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)
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FlimsyGlass
Oct 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
I absolutely hated this book. There was no plot; no arc, no climax. Will was borderline boring. I don't see how Brandy and Angus were both able to love him.

At first, I was really excited about reading this book. The plot seemed really interesting and like a story about self-discovery and acceptance. The beginning wasn't bad. Until it was. Will had a goddamn girlfriend. He doesn't feel any remorse, any regret, any guilt for what he does to her. He's in a committed relationship, and although I fou
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Shay
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
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Chiara
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
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Lukas (LukeLaneReads)
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbt-characters
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
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Hannah (The Irish Banana Review)
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
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Anna
Wow this was actual shit. There's not even a proper ending. This whole thing is going to be spoiler because it's not worth reading. At all!

We have a book that handles bisexuality... and separation of families... and alcoholism... and sex... and life after high school. Wait, what was the book about again. The story tries to accomplish so much that nothing makes sense or there's no room for any of these issues to be properly utilized. Oh, wait and cheating. There's that in the book, too. Some book
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♫✯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
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Dayla
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
...more
Lauren Koerner
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
Ian
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
...more
Andrew
Aug 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf-or-wnr
It- I just- Review to come- Let me think-

- Okay, review time, I guess.

I'm not completely sure what to say and I believe I'm going to end up making no sense, but here it goes.
I did not enjoy this book, I thought it was okay at first (which is why the two stars) but I didn't finish it in the traditional sense (I skimmed through the remainder of the book) and I have no plans to fully complete it. I felt like the author tried to fit so many problems and issues into the one story that I didn't know w
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Kassie
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 wo
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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.
Lisa
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
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Kaitlin
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
*I received an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Cut Both Ways was one of those books I just kept reading for the sake of reading—not as much for the story (what little I could find) or characters. For the most part, I just didn’t react much. I didn’t connect with the characters enough to feel for them, which then made any event that was supposed to have shock value fall flat.

What was in the book? There was family issues, weed, kissing, thoughts of sex, sex, cheating, more sex,
...more
Rizal
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Hello!

PLEASE NOTE: I do all my bookish things on BookLikes now:

carriemesrobian.booklikes.com

This profile will remain but I won't be here frequently to answer messages or respond to notifications. My email's below if you'd like to contact me apart from here or BookLikes.

I teach teenagers about writing and books at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

Here is my main author site, where you can
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