Kat's Reviews > Wallflower

Wallflower by Heidi Belleau
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it was ok
bookshelves: m-m, transgender-and-gender-bender, boys-in-our-books-blog, wallflowerish-heroine

Kudos for exploring gender bender in a m/m romance!

I'm a big proponent of blurring the lines in this genre, in order to allow for a broader aspect of the glbt spectrum to be dragged into the limelight. In Wallflower, the author toys with gender fluidity by letting her MC, Rob, a scrawny Chinese-Canadese gamer-geek, occasionally dress up as his female alter-ego: the confident and sexy Bobby. At the same time, I'm sorry to say that the story as a whole left me pretty much unaffected. But let's get to the good stuff first, k?

Bordering on social disorder shy, Rob's main source of human contact is the online game Kingdom of Elves (hey, aren’t real addicts supposed to play WoW instead?). It doesn't help that his sister is a gorgeous social butterfly and that Rob is not only gay, but also identifies as a girl. Part-time anyway. And not from the waist down: he likes what he packs there. It was interesting to see this awkward guy setting his first steps on the road of becoming a girl and struggling for acceptance. I'm not spoilering anything by saying that Rob, being the delicately boned creature that he is, pulls off being a girl effortlessly. Telling his friends and his brand new boyfriend about his secret....now THAT's another story!

Sweet 'n angsty stuff, you guys!

The scenes in which Rob transforms himself into Bobby are a joy to read. I rooted for him when he tried out long hair and make up for the first time. But in general, I didn't end up being as engaged as I'd hoped. The writing felt too clunky for that. For example, the fact that Rob's an extreme case of wallflowerness was told in detail rather than shown through his behavior. In my eyes, the latter's always preferable. The introduction of several male side characters, that Rob seemed interested in and therefore – mistakenly – popped up on my radar as potential relationship material, needlessly complicated matters. Also, the plot was a bit too thin for my liking and interspersed with convenient surprises and twists (thereby nipping intriguing gender bender dilemma's in the bud).

And some might say I'm looking for an excuse to talk SEX again....

BUT I have to say: the sex in Wallflower was the thing that weirded me out most. It seemed in complete dissonance with Rob and his bf's nerdy teenage personalities? I'm not referring to the 'tiny guy topping big boy' thing here, which may or may not turn you on. No, the sex scenes in Wallflower consisted of cliché-ridden, vulgar dirty talk. The type you come across in unimaginative porn. There's a time and a place for that stuff (and even then I appreciate a little more originality). In Wallflower, it struck me as terribly out of character for these dorky boys and left me feeling somewhat sad. Apparently, parroting explicit porn is the norm these days.

Overall, I think this could be a great read if you’re looking for an uncomplicated, cute romance (and not-so-cute sex scenes, lol!) with a twist in the form of a gender fluid character.

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Reading Progress

September 2, 2013 – Shelved
September 2, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
September 2, 2013 – Shelved as: m-m
September 2, 2013 – Shelved as: transgender-and-gender-bender
September 10, 2013 – Shelved as: boys-in-our-books-blog
September 10, 2013 – Shelved as: wallflowerish-heroine
Started Reading
September 13, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 51 (51 new)


message 2: by Crispy (new)

Crispy The cover guy looks emaciated.


Vivian ♪(┌・。・)┌		Really? O.O He looks like a rather normal, healthy size to me.


message 4: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat well, I definitely don't find him attractive at all, but emaciated he is not. I think he's supposed to portray a trans character though. So I get why they picked him.


Vivian ♪(┌・。・)┌		He looks a bit like a Vietnamese boy *crinkles nose*.


message 6: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Good thing arranging marriages is considered uncivilized these days then, no?


Vivian ♪(┌・。・)┌		Mhm. Very good thing. Not that it stops them for speculating... *eyeroll*


message 8: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Maybe if they're really good at this matchmaking business.. I mean, this guy's half Vietnamese, half American...not too shabby!


This dude has a Chinese father and a Dutch mother.



message 9: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Oh, helloooo! 100% Vietnamese.



Vivian ♪(┌・。・)┌		Halfies aren't allowed! And fine, yes to the 100% Viet guy, but really? ONE person. *eyeroll* There's bound to be at least one attractive person in a race.


message 11: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Of course there are more attractive Viet guys around..just not that many? And mostly only on pictures for me. IRL I'd probably eclipse them. they'd be like tiny Ken dolls. Which is not very sexy at all.


message 12: by Julio (new) - added it

Julio Genao depends on how you like to play with your dolls...


message 13: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Julio-Alexi wrote: "depends on how you like to play with your dolls..."

Hahaha, oh shut up!:D


message 14: by Julio (new) - added it

Julio Genao :-P


message 15: by Crispy (new)

Crispy Loederkoningin wrote: "Oh, helloooo! 100% Vietnamese.
"


I'll have this one please, expect a stamped self addressed envelope soon.


message 16: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Even is he's 4.9 ft?


Anna (Bananas) I'm so happy you're reading this. I'm interested in it and a Loco review will certainly be of use.


message 18: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Thank you! It's a bit of a mixed bag so far... And apparently not transgender, but gender bender! Whatever though, as long as it's queer.;D


Anna (Bananas) Ohhhh, nice pics. Just saw them. More hot Asian men please, or I could just haunt that blog....


message 20: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat LOL. I'm in the mood for Asians myself.

I should beep up Vivian.

Or just hunt more halfies. Those are the best.


Anna (Bananas) Godfrey Gao - nomnomnom


message 22: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat YES Godfrey!


message 23: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat And what do we have here! The Filipino-Canadian Paolo Roldan. Great villain.




message 24: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Hao Yun Xiang. Chinese.






Anna (Bananas) Have I mentioned I love you?

There's just something about Asian men and women. I love Gong Li.

Doesn't this book have a Native American guy too? Also droolworthy.


message 26: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Maybe, but I don't mind being told over and over again.:p

You're right. This book has an Inuit guy as well. But he might as well have been an all-American dude. Didn't really get any exotic, cultural vibes from him.


Anna (Bananas) Damn. Well, is it any good?


message 28: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Hm, can't say that I'm completely captivated by it, no. Damn shame.


Anna (Bananas) Too bad. :/


message 30: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Looky what we have here, a waxed and pumped up Asian male. I'm not sure where he's from exactly.. Viv? You know where he's from?




Camille Adams 1. Those guys = fucking hot!
2. Those guys...damn!
3. Why can't nerds get their nasty talk on? *smirk*
4. Great review...detailed.


message 32: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 03, 2013 01:14PM) (new)

Filth is a really great MM story that deals with transgender issues, and is also one of my top 5 favorites ever. Would -really- recommend anyone to give it a read. :) As long as you don't mind 3rd person POV. And also maybe ignore the cover.


message 33: by Rebecka (new)

Rebecka "Rear entrance video"? Classy. Also just noticed how dangerously close together the like and flag buttons are on handheld devices. And how buggy the GR comment field is.


message 34: by Anna (Bananas) (last edited Oct 03, 2013 05:40PM) (new) - added it

Anna (Bananas) Oh, a new pic on 9/23. Mmmmm
Also, fantastic review as usual. Very helpful.

Rebecka has a good point about the Like and Flag buttons... GR sabotage?


message 35: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Camille wrote: "1. Those guys = fucking hot!
2. Those guys...damn!
3. Why can't nerds get their nasty talk on? *smirk*
4. Great review...detailed."


LOL. Good morning to you too!:D


message 36: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Rebecka wrote: ""Rear entrance video"? Classy. Also just noticed how dangerously close together the like and flag buttons are on handheld devices. And how buggy the GR comment field is."

I know, right? It's ridiculous. They WANT us to hit that flag button. It's a depressing situation overall. Luckily there's always still Azis.


message 37: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Anna (Bananas!) wrote: "Oh, a new pic on 9/23. Mmmmm
Also, fantastic review as usual. Very helpful.

Rebecka has a good point about the Like and Flag buttons... GR sabotage?"


Thanks amiga!:)


Anna (Bananas) Azis?


message 39: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Anna (Bananas!) wrote: "Azis?"

Omg! *rubs hands in sweet anticipation*

It's a shame I'm still at work and can't link you to my favorite Azis vid.


Anna (Bananas) This sounds fun. :)


Anna (Bananas) I can't believe you're on GR at work. I would never.


message 42: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat You don't dare to do so or you're a workaholic?

I didn't either. Until maybe 2 weeks ago something snapped in me and I was like; fuck it all. I only live once.

I draw the line at Tumblr though. I sort of accidentally opened it the other day and my boss chose exactly that moment to surprise me with a social call. totally freaking freaked. I almost died. Never, ever again.


Anna (Bananas) Yolo! Ugh

Tumblr at work is a disaster waiting to happen. Ha
And I'm at work right now.


message 44: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Thought you were scared to log onto GR during work. And no wonder, considering the books and people you acquaint yourself with here..;)


Anna (Bananas) I know, right? Shady and dirty, the whole lot of ya.


message 46: by Rebecka (new)

Rebecka Can I tempt you decent professional ladies with some Uriel Yekutiel in Arisa? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srOFk...


message 47: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Here's Rebecka with her shiny links. Let's get the party started.


message 48: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat Heck, I found my next holiday destination. Maybe the guy with the sunglasses can be my tour guide.


message 49: by Rebecka (new)

Rebecka A friend of mine was recently there, and she said the city was unfortunately legendarily ugly :/ But, with beauties such as Uriel and his eternal hunk (he features in ALL the videos), who cares?


Anna (Bananas) I like the hunk, although poor thing didn't get any love.


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