Goodness, this woman can write romance! I swooned and swooned, over and over, until I was a gooey puddle on the floor, made up of only squishy sensatiGoodness, this woman can write romance! I swooned and swooned, over and over, until I was a gooey puddle on the floor, made up of only squishy sensations from my heart. Antisocial just proved to me that I don’t need sex in a novel to lose myself, I need romance. This one was had no sex, with Skylar being grey-sexual, but my Lord did it have all kinds of romance. An author who can make me weak-kneed just from hand holding deserves all the accolades! I was so committed to these characters I lost myself in the book until 1am! On a weekday! I rarely do that, if ever, which proves just how flipping good it was.
I also prefer my romance novels with a slow burn, as opposed to instalove. I want to read them slowly falling for each other. Not only is it more realistic, but it gives me a chance to fall in love too. Boy oh boy, did I fall in love with Xander and Skylar. They were seriously magical. Xander was cranky, and prickly from the beginning, so reading him slowly melt for Skylar made it hard for me to breathe. Just like how reading about Xander breaking through Skylar’s shell to the sensitive sweet boy inside made me clutch my hands together and squee. They were so adorable I’m running out of adjectives to describe them!
My favorite part was how I started reading with an expectation of which character would go on an emotional journey, there’s a character-type that’s always expected to change. It’s always the character that’s most like me. Except, Heidi chose not to go down that path in Antisocial. Instead, the story gets turned on it’s ear and flipped around the other way. I love how Heidi said it was okay to be introverted! Plus, it was more about how Skylar and Xander emotionally save each other! Even better, in the first couple chapters I felt sure I knew what the final conflict was going to be, the usual romance novel plot device, but Heidi Cullinan just didn’t do it. She gave me what I always ask for in reviews -a healthy, loving, understanding relationship. One built from acceptance and patience. Ugh, these two were just perfect for each other.
All the side characters were pretty great too, but there’s a special spot in my heart for Unc. There’s just something about the loud, silly, giant-hearted best friend that gets me every time. Plus, the entire group made me wish I read more Manga (or watched it!). It’s this whole world of stories that I’ve never even dabbled in. I want to read Fullmetal Alchemist and tour Japan!
I only have one critique. Having been raised by my step-father, and having a little sister who was adopted into our family, I wish there had been a positive blended family in Antisocial. I have a happy and healthy relationship with my step-father, and my parents love my sister completely. It would have been awesome if the author also decided to turn the evil step-parent trope on its head. There’s so few stories that do, I can only think of two, and it would have been nice to read.
Either way, Heidi Cullinan is still one of my favorite romance writers and I will still auto-buy absolutely everything she writes. Everything I’ve read by this author has been exceptional. You should try reading her too.
Thank you to Heidi Cullinan for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.