Carole Bell's Reviews > Better Than People

Better Than People by Roan Parrish
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really liked it

** spoiler alert ** When animal loving Jack breaks his leg and can no longer take his pets for the exercise they need, Simon, a man who craves four legged companionship, comes to the rescue. Soon they discover they have more in common than their love of pets. Simon and Jack are just the sweetest, softest and most heart warming pair you could spend an evening with, but both have real issues to work out. Simon has debilitating social anxiety, and Jack is an artist who no longer creates art and is having trouble sleeping in the wake of a work partner’s betrayal. But these two get along like a house on fire almost from the start. Together they work through some of their heaviest baggage, though the narrative makes clear that it's not a matter of trying to "fix" anyone. They love each other completely not in spite of any perceived faults, and they mourn each others' pain without trying to change who they are. There’s angst in the story, but overall there was fairly little stress for me in reading it, because these people are very good to each other, and they have loved ones who are good to them as well. The writing is emotional and evocative and beautifully done. This was exactly the steamy and emotional comfort read I craved.

One of my favorite scenes comes near the end. IT'S A SPOILER:
“Are you crying?” Simon said, instantly attentive. “What’s wrong?”
Jack shook his head.
“I’m so fucking in love with you.” He wiped his cheeks. “So when do you think you might wanna—”
“Now. I live here now.” He turned around the room, addressing the animals. “Pack! I live here now!”
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Reading Progress

August 25, 2020 – Shelved
August 25, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
August 26, 2020 – Started Reading
August 26, 2020 –
7.0% "“Thanks for walking with me.” Bernard smiled a sweet doggy smile and Simon couldn’t help but smile back. Animals didn’t make him feel self-conscious. They didn’t make him feel like he was drowning. They gave and never required anything of him except kindness.
He’d discovered this as a child, around the same time he’d discovered that other children could not be counted on to be kind. Not to him, anyway."
August 26, 2020 –
15.0% "Listen:

Being gay didn’t bother Simon. It was being attracted to boys that was the problem. Because boys were awful. They seemed intent on making his life miserable in order to make their own more amusing, and the indignity of finding them beautiful or intriguing was humiliating."
August 26, 2020 –
68.0% "Jack listened. “Someone who listens—really listens? That’s not someone to throw away, Simon. That’s someone you fight to talk to because when they listen it’s worth it. That’s someone you have to listen to right back. Did you?”"
August 26, 2020 –
76.0% "He would have gladly protected him from the whole world if he’d only
been there. Yet here Simon sat, battered by the waves of the world, but so beautiful, so strong, so kind he took Jack’s breath away."
August 26, 2020 – Finished Reading

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