4-star,  Entertaining,  Laugh-out-loud,  M/M

Tell Me It’s Real (At First Sight #1) by T.J. Klune

T.J. Klune is a true master of over-the-top and entirely inappropriate humour. I adore it, and I snort-laughed so much. It wasn’t pretty.

However, I listened to the audio book, with the equally fabulous Michael Lesley narrating. And I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have enjoyed this story half as much if it hadn’t been for his excellent voice acting.

Because even if I think Klune is a brilliant writer and the king of immature jokes (of which I’m obviously a fan), if I’d have read this book myself I would probably thought it too much. Too exaggerated. Too silly and fantastical.

The combination of Klune and Lesley, though? Effing spectacular!

Synopsis: So the story starts out with a rant. Well there’s a lot of that in this book because of the MC, Paul Auster, who’s a neurotic over-thinker with a vivid imagination and huge self esteem issues. The story is told through his POV and his insane – and absolutely priceless – monologues.

Anyway, it’s starts with a rant where he introduces himself in all his non perfect glory. The story premise is that he, a regular, slightly over-weight gay guy, is always overlooked in queer books and movies (and by movies I mean porn). The guys in these books or movies (porn) are always ripped and have humongous dongs. But this was his story dammit and he had a soft belly and just an average sized dick, but he’d still get his happily ever after.

Well, not like that’s news or anything. All over-weight individuals are overlooked in popular culture. Since forever. Unless they’re that funny character or the butt of a joke.

Anyway, I still thought it was an awesome start to the story (bc T.J. + Lesley = perfection) and so funny. But. Then the rest of the plot was outlined and – surprise! – Paul’s love interest, Vince, is of course both ripped and gorgeous. And that was just weird and had me feeling very conflicted.

Because what? Someone who’s a bit over-weight deserves a hunk too?

Implying that “normal” people are in fact not as worthy or desirable, the beautiful ones are way better. And for Paul to be truly happy, he needs someone super hot since he can’t get the same level of happiness with another regular person. That kind of contradicts the entire initial rant.

I mean WTF.

Sure, to balance out Vince amazing looks, he’s dumb as a post. But I still have very mixed feelings about the whole I’m-a-chubby-guy-who-gets-a-guy-who-looks-like-a-runway-model thing.

However, despite my reservations, the story is still extremely entertaining. And I laughed so much listening to Paul’s antics while being pursued by the oh so sweet but very persistent Vince.

Not only are Paul’s excessive monologues super awesome, but there are so many other great characters. There’s his best friend, the drag queen, Helena Handbasket. There’s his overly supportive (bordering on intrusive) parents. There’s his nana with the talking, very homophobic, parrot. Paul even has a two-legged dog named Wheels. (Okay, that might sound terrible but it’s actually hilarious. I promise I don’t enjoy reading about injured animals).

But the best thing about this story is without a doubt Sweatballs! That has to be the most amazing cuss-word in all of history and I will absolutely adopt it as my own. I mean come on:


So this is a super funny read (listen). But it really is very over-the-top in true T.J. Klune style, which might not be for everyone. But, the story premise didn’t really sit well with me so I can only give it a 4-star rating.


I'm a Swedish book nerd reading mostly steamy English romance novels. And since there is so much good stuff out there, and so much shitty stuff too. I just want to give credit where it's due (and diss the rest).