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Abroad

(Abroad #1)

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  398 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Nick Melnikov doesn’t know where he belongs. He was just a kid when his Russian-Jewish family immigrated to Michigan. Now he’s in London for university, overwhelmed by unexpected memories. Socially anxious, intensely private, and closeted, Nick doesn’t expect to fall in so quickly with a tight-knit group of students from his college, and it’s both exhilarating and scary. H ...more
Paperback, 372 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by Brain Mill Press (first published June 17th 2017)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  398 ratings  ·  135 reviews


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K.J. Charles
A spectacular debut. This is a really lovely coming of age story with a closeted MC, a Russian immigrant to the US turned American foreign exchange student in the UK, falling for an apparently confident but kind of messed up friend. It's immensely realistic about young love, finding yourself, student life. The group of friends is beautifully drawn, the sense of friendships making and shifting is intensely real, the dialogue crackles, and the emotions of love and loneliness and not belonging are ...more
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: Russian Jewish gay mc, Black gay mc, bi mc, Indian lesbian side character, trans mlm side character, Black character, mlm side character, lesbian side characters

read it just for nick (the russian boy) explaining to a western boy why communism does, in fact, suck balls

also for all those kids, i love them
Anyta Sunday
What a wonderful NA LGBT romance!

There are many, many things to love about this book.
The writing is punchy and strong.
The characters are diverse and likable.
The setting is nicely integrated into the story, and explores the loneliness of moving to a foreign country.

I loved all of this, but I especially loved the sweet, slowburning romance between Dex and Nick.

The book is written from three different points of view: Nick, Dex, and Izzy. Their issues are relevant to younger adults and I think r
...more
Ariadna
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actual rating is 4.5

I'd heard about this book for a while. It's gotten an overwhelming and, imo, well-deserved amount of good reviews.

TBH, I was surprised that we got 3 POVs- each one with a v. distinct voice.

One of the things that really got to me was the way it explained that realization and acknowledgement of what it means to be queer. How that queerness shifts the way people will observe, analyze, and become part of the world. I loved the honesty in each character (both main and secondary.)
...more
Sleepless Dreamer
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
More like 3.5 but I'll round it up because the diversity here is great!

Abroad is the tale of Nick, who is a Jewish-Russian immigrant. He decides to study abroad in London and the story mostly focuses on him befriending a gang of queer pals. 

I thought I would adore this book. From university themed, to Judaism, Russia, and queerness, this is incredibly up my alley. In fact, I'm struggling to think of the last book I read that felt so attuned to my passions in life. 

Truly, I loved the parts where
...more
Gillian
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Oh my word, what a gorgeous book this was! This story had everything - nuanced, interesting characters, gentle humour, tenderness, romance, sex (so hot!) - and once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. I'm not going to write a long review, I just want to encourage everyone to read this. You won't be disappointed.
Rafa Brewster
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

Reviewed for Just Love
I received an advance review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Abroad really spoke to me. I mean, it really spoke to me in a way that a book hasn’t done in a while. Perhaps because many parts of the story mirrored my own experiences at Nick’s age when I left home and moved overseas, not even realizing I was in search of something. But mostly this book spoke to me because it was just that beautifully written.

What must it be like to know yourself and to l
...more
Bárbara
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I should probably learn from my past mistakes and stop having expectations altogerher. This book was a huge disappointment for me.

I just couldn't relate to any of the characters- which resulted in basically being unable to care for any of them at all. I would have DNF it embarrassingly early on, if it wasn't for the fact that I have an ARC for the second volume- that will be fun!

The writing was mediocre at best. Not only because of the fact that the author was incapable of making a very specif
...more
Fenriz Angelo
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was skeptical at first but Abroad is a really good debut novel by new author Liz Jacobs.

The things that i liked most of the book are: 1. The effortlessly diverse group of friends, 2. As a YA/NA book, the characters read like actual 20-something years old ppl. 3. Thank god it's not narrated in first person, that helped a lot. 4. The character's struggles felt real and when they adressed it it wasn't in a preachy tone, they left both the characters and the readers to come to their own conclusion
...more
Kelly
Jul 15, 2017 added it
Shelves: contemporary, queer
Thoughts after finishing: this book isn't so much about finding and accepting an identity as realizing that identity isn't something that can be adequately defined. At some point you have to abandon labels - stop listing what you are and what you are not, what you can't be or don't believe you can be - and accept that you are "you." Yourself. You're different. Maybe more different than everyone else's different. When you're eight, different sucks. It's painful at fourteen when you really don't w ...more
Lenore
Apr 28, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: lgbt, ya-na, russian
I'm reading the hell out of this book when it's out!
Suki Fleet
Really lovely writing!^^

Hoping there's a sequel as wow, that ending really wasn't enough of an ending! :)
Laura
Liz Jacobs’ spectacular debut is a story that will resonate with everyone and touch every reader’s heart. This raw, heartbreaking yet hopeful book features an exquisite coming-of-age storyline and a tender, realistic look at modern romance. One word: unputdownable.

~~~~

Where do I begin even trying to review this lovely book?

Perhaps I should say that if you want a novel with characters that you will undoubtedly connect with, read this book. Or perhaps I should say if you want to cry buckets and h
...more
Eugenia
I must confess that I was drawn to this book by its glorious cover. The blurb intrigued me, being an immigrant myself. What I was not ready for was the high level of quality in prose, dialogue, characterization, and plot.

This was a long book, but I felt like mere minutes had passed from when I began reading the first page and swiped to the last. I was engaged entirely by this NA queer romance that navigates through themes of exclusion, isolation, acculturation, racism, and sexual identity. There
...more
Chris, the Dalek King
He’d started asking himself why so long ago, it felt like a part of him. At thirteen, he had been just as desperate to have the answer as he was now, at twenty. Why me? Why couldn’t I be normal?

He’d run four thousand miles from home, but all he’d done was get closer to the question. Why had he thought England would be neutral ground? If anything, it was like a conductor, and Nick was standing on it, entirely exposed.

Four thousand miles, and nothing was getting easier.

It was getting worse.

For
...more
Carol (bookish_notes)
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017, 5-stars
Have you ever wondered what a story would look like if every character was a precious cinnamon roll? Because look no further, Abroad has it covered! This is a exceptional debut novel that is a coming-of-age story with a whole cast of characters. And after reading this, I just kind of want all their stories? But this book is primarily focused on Nick, Dex, and a character the blurb doesn't mention - Izzy. Nickolay "Nick" Melnikov is Russian-Jewish and he and his family immigrated to the United St ...more
Aleksandra
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was amazing novel and truly a wonderful experience of reading about parts of my identity I don't often see in books.

Abroad is a contemporary NA novel about twenty year old Nick Melnikov who comes from USA to London to study British history as international student in university. He meets cheerful and passionate Izzy and grumpy-at-first-sight Dex. The discoveries about themselves, coming of age, figuring your sexuality and being BFFs follows.

I love this book because a) engaging writing, b) s
...more
Skye Kilaen
What can I say about this amazing duology? The basic description was enough to pull me in: Nick, a closeted gay college student with anxiety, who was born Jewish in Russia before emigrating to the U.S., studies history abroad in London and falls for Dex, a black British engineering major. What I didn't realize when I started is there's a second plot interwoven with this, in which their female friend, film student Izzy, has her own POV and moves from believing she's straight to accepting her bise ...more
Sarah
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This was a super cute new adult romance. Nick has moved to England to complete his university study. Alone in a new country he meets and becomes a part of a diverse group of friends and meets Dex. I enjoyed the slow burn romance between him and Dex, it made for some pretty sweet and steamy reading. Nick is truly struggling with his identity and coming out and Dex was utterly perfect for him.

For me though, the real star of the show though, was Izzy. Her story is intertwined with Dex and Nick’s a
...more
Maraia
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Maraia by: Anna
4.5 stars
Ellie
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 I-am-completely-overwhelmed stars!

It's such a tender, heart-wrenching story of finding yourself and your place in the world, exquisitely told!

I'll try to review it properly soon
Ceyda
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this book surprised me in the best way possible, I love it
Jojo
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is just beautiful. I was a little bit in love with all of the characters, not just the 3 Pov characters or the romantic couple, but all of their friends as well. Every one of them was unique and sympathetic and THEY ALL ACTED LIKE YOUNG PEOPLE. I have read so many books with 20 year olds who think and act like 40 year olds. Here, college kids feel like college kids. The dialogue in the group scenes is one of the best things in this book. It is so fun and realistic. Just well written. I ...more
Katie
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is such a sweet, loving book about being queer and lost, going out into the world, and dealing with what you meet there. As told through the eyes of some students, some of whom MAY fall in love. It's funny, too! I have been an exchange student in my time, and this rang every bell of recognition for me in terms of the vulnerability but also hilarity of that experience.

This book specifically talks about that queer experience in the context of diaspora. Dex is second generation, Nick remember
...more
iam
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to iam by: Aleksandra
Shelves: lgbtqia
I absolutely adored this book.

The cast of characters was wonderful and diverse, both the protagonists Dex, Nick and Izzy and the supporting characters. I liked all of them, and their thoughts, feelings, words and actions really resonated with me, even though my identity doesn't entirely overlap with theirs.
I've not encountered many books that ring so true to me, and that made me love Abroad.

I was a bit surprised by how explicit the sex scenes were, but they fit in well and were very well wr
...more
˗ˏˋ eg ˎˊ˗
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, read-2017
4.5 stars

Gloriously good and so very important. It had such a range of diverse and nuanced characters along with thoughtful and powerful discussions about identity and belonging.. just wowwowow!! Here's to seeing more books like this one in the future!!
Josh Evans
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly like this book more than I thought. Writing was engaging and we get 3 povs. The sex scenes were surprisingly explicit. Not something I was expecting but happy to read. Overall a good read.
kinda-leo
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is so good! I can't wait till the next one!! :))
Isabella ~Mikku-chan~
*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*

This book was so great. Sensitive and sweet, without being sappy, just honest and real, and therefore a true gem.

Nick is a young student who travels from America to London, England to study British history and meet there Dex and the crew. The group is a colorful bunch of guys, everybody a bit eccentric but kind and like a huge family.

The POV switches between Nick's experiences as well as Dex but is also shared with
...more
rin ( ̄ヘ ̄)	 read/watch mo dao zu shi
god this was noice and relatable as hell. one of the main character (nick) is russian and he's closeted gay and HIS MINDSET IS SO DAMN RELATABLE LIKE WOWIE W O W I E i feel u
also i related to nick so much because he's also shy, overthinking and socially anxious and if that ain't me, like, his every thought? i went through this


apart from that, the book is so diverse, i'm shook! in the main cast, there are gay & lesbian poc characters, a bisexual character realizing that she's bi, a trans characte
...more
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Trysts and Testos...: Abroad 13 10 Apr 02, 2018 03:16PM  

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Liz Jacobs came over with her family from Russia at the age of 11, as a Jewish refugee. All in all, her life has gotten steadily better since that moment. They settled in an ultra-liberal haven in the middle of New York State, which sort of helped her with the whole “grappling with her sexuality” business.

She has spent a lot of her time flitting from passion project to passion project, but writing
...more

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