RATING: 4 stars out of 5
Danny and AJ have been online friends for years, and secretly in love with each other. When the opportunity to attend a comics convention comes up, they decide to go and share a room. But friendship online does not always translate to friendship offline, and both are anxious about how the meeting will go, and the friendship change, when faced with challenges easily avoided behind the safety of computer screens…
“You’re perfect.” AJ smiled up at him as they walked.
Danny smiled shyly and looked down at their joined hands.”I’m not.” He squeezed AJ’s hand. “But it’s awesome that you’d say that.”
“You’re not literally perfect, but you’re perfect to me,”AJ clarified. “Perfect in all your imperfections.”
Defying Convention is the first Cecil Wilde’s book and the first book with a transgender MCs I read. I’m so glad I got a chance at review it. It was an unexpected surprise.
AJ is a non binary, they don’t want to define themselves as female or male gender. They’re a funny and affectionate geek with pink hair and pink bunny slippers.
Danny is a transman, an insecure young man that suffers from panic attacks.
They’ve been best friends online for five years and this is the first time they meet in real life. The occasion is a comics convention and at the same time their five years anniversary. Most of all they’ve been in love with each other but just haven’t realized they already were in a love relationship, even if they haven’t met before.
I think they are perfect together cause they keep each other safe. Especially AJ is so protective and respectful of Danny’s issues, they understand him like no other can. While the cute Danny still can’t believe AJ is real, sometimes he thought he made them up in his mind. Having bad issues with physical contacts, it is so sweet to see him open up with AJ, who are so touchy feely.
In some ways this book was instructive too. I wasn’t aware of the meaning and use of specific terms in the transgender world.
First of all, the author chose to use they/them/their when they referred to AJ and I admit it wasn’t easy to read. I was ready for the use of it/its but I looked out and I understand why they chose them. Still, sometimes it diverted my attention from the story. Nevertheless, as you can see, I chose to follow the author’s lead and so I used the same pronouns in my review too. I want to respect their choice.
I also appreciated how the author addressed some transgender issue. Reading about Aj being so resigned in their everyday challenges, made me want to hug them. I totally understand it’s a serious subject but this is a light and funny book so I was glad it was handled lightly.
Of course this is not an m/m romance, so you need to be ready to read about sex between a transman and a Non Binary friend (with women’s parts). There isn’t a lot of sex, just one scene and really hot(LOL). Reading only m/m books, I can say I usually am very strict and don’t want woman parts in my books. In this one I was well aware of what I was going to read but it didn’t bother me, cause of course AJ has a vagina but I didn’t think of them as a woman. I was pretty good to try to be neutral as they wished.
I realized in Defying Convention the author chose to tell us not much about how AJ and Danny met online and became best friend, perhaps showing us some particular moments in their online time. They gave us just this brief time frame, these five days needful for them to finally be physically together and maybe try to be a couple. I usually am so greedy I always want to know more about everything. In this case I believe focus on “the now” was the perfect choice, at the end we’re talking about a book of just 65 pages.
I’m a sucker for sweet characters, AJ and Danny were so cute together it was impossible not fall in love with them. Add a good writing and a funny story, I can totally say this book was a winner to me. Highly recommended.
Cover designed by Aisha Akeju: I really like it and it totally fit the book.
kindle 65 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2015 by Less Than Three Press