Ren has been in love with his best friend for the past three years. He has no intention of confessing, but he can't seem to move on. Calliope has spent most of her life dancing. She's decided to put other interests before it now, but it's hard to let go of something she fought so hard for. Ingrid plans to start over in college, to go beyond what held her back in high school. It's much easier in theory than in practice.
Less Than Three is a collection of three short stories about a group of friends. Together, they shoulder their way through romance, all-nighters, and the occasional dragon.
First of all, because Téa Belog is someone I've been following for years on Tumblr (the Percy Jackson fandom is FULL of amazingly talented and skilled people, I swear), so finally picking up their book, even though I've never spoken to them and we're not mutuals or anything, felt incredibly rewarding and I can't help but feel a sense of pride regarding the fact that she has a whole book published! Yes!!! I'm so happy for her 😭😭
Second: this is EXACTLY the type of thing that I myself love to write in my spare time! I love short stories, and I love college stories, and the fact that reading Less Than Three meant reading exactly what I love about writing felt so good?! Like, I'd never really found a book that captures precisely what I like to do in my own writing, and now I've stumbled across this one and it was just perfect for me.
Third: IT WAS SO. GOOD. The entire friend group was so full of different people and I loved every single one of them. In two hundred pages, Téa managed to make compelling characters and managed to make them go through character development and that is ADMIRABLE! Short and sweet!!
I just had such a wonderful time reading this book and I can definitely see myself coming back to it if I need a little bit of comfort!! I read it on Scribd, but I might just need to get myself a physical copy 👀
This book is cozy. It follows a group of queer friends in college, who deal with fairly typical college kid problems. There's no huge drama or giant conflict. There is a nice growing friendship and the issues that pop up within friendships, families and romances, especially for young characters on their own for the first time. The book is well written, and has a light-hearted sense of humor and fun characters. I enjoy the different points-of-view in all three parts, and that we are able to learn more about the characters from both an inside and an outside perspective. My personal favorite was the third part with Indrid, I think because her struggles with friendship really resonated with me, but all three parts are well written! I might have enjoyed Cal's story a bit more if I understood more about dance. Ellil's and Ren's budding romance was very cute and sweet, and I very much enjoyed reading that.
Overall, a great book, and I enjoyed my time reading it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
A really cute, light read, though the writing was a little weak in places and needed more varied sentence structures. The characters were great and relatable and I’m not sure I could pick a favorite. I really felt the different characters’ voices in each of the three sections, and only wish we had two more! I think the first section was my favorite ‘cause I enjoyed the flashback aspects, though I would have enjoyed more cohesion between past and present. The middle section dragged on for me because I know very very little about dance and the excessive name dropping of various dance moves was pretty alienating. I really wanted to enjoy the deep moment of Cal dancing in the dark but I had no idea what she was doing, and that was kinda a bummer. Overall, though, this reminded me of the good and bad of college, and made me miss the social aspect of it. I’m happy not to go back, though!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I have a soft spot for college stories and found families, which made this book my cup of tea. I really enjoyed how varied the personalities were within their friend group, and how different each narrator’s thoughts and struggles were between each story as well. It almost felt like 3 separate genres, and I felt myself having to reboot a bit between POV changes. I particularly liked the last story, and the change in storytelling was really fun and kept things fresh on every page. I wouldn’t mind if there was a sequel in the works...fingers crossed! This book gets more than three from me. <3
There is something so sweet about stories following the real problems of college students. Stories don't always have to be these incredibly dramatic things that we consume, sometimes they can be sad and wholesome. But most importantly, I love seeing characters accept their existence and what that means to the world they're trying to fit into. I love this book 💖
The story follows the lives of 4 college friends and as you read it, you will become increasingly convinced the author has lived their experiences because of how true they ring. The conflicts are real and reflect the genuine struggles of young adults being given their first taste of freedom while juggling their studies, families, personal identities, internal battles etc.
The dialogue is witty and fun and the stories never drag (you're definitely sad once they end). You come to really connect with these characters and I found myself laughing when their d&d sessions mirrored ones of my own and cringing at their all-nighters and holding back tears when things hit a little too close to home.
Their gender identities and sexual orientations are so seamlessly incorporated into their characterizations, it doesn't feel like representation just for representation's sake. They very much reflect real world friendships, particularly friendships of those in LGBTQ+ circles. Their racial and ethnic backgrounds are also handled beautifully and with care and I dare say more authors would do well to read pieces of literature such as this one.
I've read a lot of books set in college, and I have my own experiences as a college student to compare them to. And none of those books have held a candle to Less Than Three's masterful, delicate portrayal of college life.
We're told the stories of three people in a friend group, allowed to interpret the stories of the others through the narrators' eyes and little details which, while mentioned in passing, end up being crucial to form a bigger picture. Belog paints a complex emotional picture for each character, expanding on their histories, their perspectives, and their dreams. And not one paragraph felt like clunky exposition, rather these chapters felt like the reader was being introduced to the character as a real person and making observations in real time.
Belog's work is a masterful character study of complex young people with diversity deftly woven in and realistically reflected in each character's outlook. It's a book with a heart, a quiet read which evokes the feeling of staring out of your dorm room window, listening to the rain, no matter who or where you are.
A heartwarming (<3) collection of three stories following a group of five friends in their first year at college and the personal challenges they face*
The cast are a fun mix, with some entertaining dialogue and great interactions/relationships. While each of the three stories primarily focuses on one or two of them, all five appear to greater or lesser extent throughout, so you get continued investment in all of them even if you're done with 'their' story.
(*While I can't personally speak to the accuracy of the LGBT or mental health elements that are explored, they certainly read to me as honest, realistic & where applicable sympathetic)
These three stories are delightful. A beautiful snapshot into the lives of the five characters, complete with the terrible decisions that we've probably all made during our time at uni. The characters and their friendships are really well written, and the struggles they're going through are super recognisable. Well worth reading this book!