Xan West's Reviews > Worth the Wait

Worth the Wait by Joey W. Hill
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Jun 01, 2016

did not like it
bookshelves: do-not-read, nope

So there are things about Hill's work that I often enjoy, like the depth of detail describing D/s dynamics. I enjoyed that about this book somewhat, though rope is not my thing at all, but not nearly as much as usual, because there was less to those dynamics in this book. I did like the theater aspect of it very much, and that's actually one of the most compelling things about this book, how much detail there was about theatrical production, what it's like to try to do community erotic theater.

Overall, I found the plot of this book incredibly irritating. It took the easy trope-filled lazy road Every Single Time.

I also didn't like these people, and was not rooting for them as individuals or as a couple, mostly because they were not really people, just cardboard cutouts. They were so thinly drawn, barely there at all, and even meeting characters I actually did like in prior books (e.g. Marcus and Thomas) was not very satisfying this time around. The characterization I usually get in Hill's longer works was diminished by the sheer amount of terrible plot that was forced into a book too short to hold it.

Other stuff that really pissed me off about this book:
There was a secondary character who was marked alternatively as both genderqueer and drag queen that was set up as an amusing spectacle because of that character's gender. That character was also a blatantly racist caricature. The racist caricature is a common thing in Hill's work. This sort of transmisogyny and transphobia is less common. Mostly trans people are just erased from her universes altogether. The fatphobia in this book was also really in your face in a way that is a bit unusual for her work. It's usually less blatant and I think in this case was really wrapped up in the ableism around diabetes, which deserves a few paragraphs.

As a dominant with diabetes and related disabling conditions, I wanted so much more from this story about a diabetic dominant who was grappling with disabling conditions related to his diabetes. I honestly would have been very happy with a low fanfare diabetic who was managing ok and it wasn't a big plot element. (Cuz yknow that is often what it's like to have diabetes for many people, and that kind of representation is incredibly rare and very needed.) But if you are going to talk about medical complications and disabling conditions related to diabetes, I need a much more complex, nuanced portrayal that is not steeped in ableism.

Instead, I got a romance that was hugely tragic because he was sick, a set of health problems that needed (and got) medical miracles right and left, and an intense amount of (supposedly justified) disrespect towards his bodily autonomy and privacy. In other words, this was deeply and intensely ableist. This book made it very clear that this character would not deserve a loving partner unless he did everything "right" to manage his disease and got rescued by ridiculous plot twist miracles that made it so he was dramatically less ill.

This is a miracle cure tragic love story at it's core, and the other elements feel rather low key and tacked on, including the BDSM & the theater stuff that I liked.

Spoiler trigger warnings ahead:

And then there is the gratuitous plot elements that seemed to be there for no reason other than to prop up this dominant's masculinity and to show that he's sick. And if that were a rescuing a kitten from a tree sort of thing that would be bearable. But he rescues his love interest twice, from lethal danger. Once the danger comes from another top's negligence. The other time he rescues her from a stranger who is about to sexually assault her. There is no real reason for either of these plot choices, and they really pissed me off, especially the sexual assault which somehow does not result in trauma of any sort because she is rescued. This dominant rescuing thing is a trope that Hill relies on a lot, and I often have a bit more tolerance for it, but it particularly irritated me in this book because it felt *so* gratuitous and lazy and happened more than once for basically no reason. And because it seemed to be there to prove that he was a man even though he was sick.

If you are a fan of Marcus & Thomas from earlier books you may want to read this with caution, but otherwise I would not recommend it.
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Reading Progress

June 1, 2016 – Shelved
June 1, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
June 2, 2016 – Started Reading
June 3, 2016 – Finished Reading
February 8, 2017 – Shelved as: do-not-read
February 8, 2017 – Shelved as: nope

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