Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It’s no secret that am a huge Jay Northcote fangirl but I think, with this latest in the Housemates series, he’s absolutely on top of his game.
All the Housemates series have a charm to them which comes from exploring life as young adults either at university, or just graduated from it, the excitement of independent living, the freedom of exploration, the tentative emotions that come with the first serious “grown up” romance.
This one though has what I suspect is just more than a little bit of Jay himself as it examines the complexities of being a gay trans man finding their feet in the world.
We see Ben learning not only to deal with his own thoughts, anxieties and feelings, but also with adding in a significant other as his relationship with Sid developed.
I loved Ben, I wanted to hug him so badly and tell him how amazing he was to take the steps to being his own true self. But Sid, I fall at the feet of Sid for demonstrating, in his words and actions, how to be the best support for Ben and in taking his time to learn what made his boyfriend comfortable.
I hope people read this, the more diverse books looking at all aspects of the LGBTQ+ world the better. Jay has included a helpful glossary at the beginning of the book with resources on where to find out more information.
But I also hope people read this because it’s a beautiful love story about finding your self confidence and living an authentic life in partnership with someone who helps and encourages you to do so. And that applies to people of any sexual orientation, any colour, any race. Love does not discriminate.
Plus amazing cover from the fabulous Garrett Leigh which matches the beauty inside.
P.S. – Jay, we best be getting Johnny and Ryan next 😉
#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an unbiased opinion and honest review.
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Book page on Jay’s website: https://jaynorthcote.com/my-books/starting-from-scratch-housemates-5/
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34373132-starting-from-scratch
Series Information and Links
The Housemates Series is a collection of standalone stories set around a student house in Britain. This new adult series focuses on themes of self-discovery and sexual awakening.
Helping Hand (Housemates #1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010EAQOKA
Like a Lover (Housemates #2) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014O4TCMY
Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates #3) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H7V027A
Watching and Wanting (Housemates #4) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MT9PQBR