Rating: 3.75 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
“The way I see it, that guy Murphy had it right every time. Do you know him? He’s the one who wrote Murphy’s Law: “If anything can go wrong, it will.” It’s actually a quote of the fourth law of thermodynamics, and the originator is unknown. (I read that on Wikipedia, but that’s beside the point.)
The long and short of it is, things go wrong in my life—always have”
When the vacant room in Cole Reid’s campus apartment is filled by none other than star soccer player, Ellis Montgomery, Cole is sure that his senior year will be unbearable. Cole doesn’t have the greatest history with jocks as a whole after being beat up by his high school baseball team when he was fifteen. Although undoubtedly attracted to athletic men, Cole has chosen to keep his distance in order to avoid further pain and embarrassment. But now there’s Ellis.
Ellis Montgomery is everything Cole despises. Outside of being a jock, Ellis is messy, inconsiderate, lacks boundaries, and his friends are loud. But when Ellis forces Cole to relax and tries to make a basic friendship work, Cole realizes that there is more to Ellis than being a messy jock, and against his better judgment, Cole starts to really enjoy having him around. When Cole decides to tell Ellis that he’s gay, he’s surprised when Ellis kisses him, a kiss he doesn’t want to end. He’s even more surprised when Ellis immediately runs away afterwards.
Interfering friends and a camping trip lend help in bringing Cole and Ellis closer together. But when they return and things turn intimate between them will Ellis, the self-professed virgin, be able to handle his first time with a man? Conflicting emotions, fear of being wrong, and fear of losing Cole lead Ellis to make a few deliberate mistakes, but will he be able to correct them before he loses Cole permanently?
I’ll be honest, the first thing that attracted me to this book was the title. I know it’s a little weird, but quirky titles like this one lure me to find out if the story lives up to the oddity of the title. My Roommate’s a Jock? Well, Crap! definitely lives up to the strangeness of the title. It’s a story of geek meets jock, a story of opposites attract, and a story of all of the friendships and the relationships in-between.
I really liked this story. I mean, who doesn’t like the jock and the geek? It’s classic enough to be a fairy tale almost. This story has many different layers, themes, and soap boxes – self-acceptance, coming out, virginity, acceptance of others’ differences, homophobia, hate crimes, and equal rights… to name a few. For Cole, it’s a journey avoiding an entire group of people (jocks) because of one horrible experience to befriending a soccer player and eventually entering into a relationship with him. For Ellis, it’s a journey of self-discovery, openness, and trust. And for their friends and family, it’s a journey of trust, acceptance, and unconditional love. The friends, the family, the homophobia – they’re all wonderful additions and lend great support to this story. All around it’s a heartwarming story with hidden lessons along the way.
One of the downfalls of this story for me is the inconsistency of Cole’s character. I really like him as the pessimistic, sarcastic, snarky, uptight, OCD man he began the story as. He’s a man with definite ideas and boundaries. But my first quibble is with how quickly he changes his mind about jocks after meeting Ellis. There is a period of time, about a week, that Cole has a problem with Ellis mostly because of his jock status, but after “the talk” they’re suddenly friends and Cole has no problems with any of the other jocks that are Ellis’ friends. My second and biggest quibble with Cole is the change from the snarky man to a weepy, whiny, extremely mushy one. It’s a complete one-eighty and not one that I liked.
I really liked Ellis, though. He’s a glass-half-full kind of guy, pretty much always happy and always friendly. Finding out who he is and what he likes is his goal in this book. His feelings for Cole change his entire outlook on life and cause a lot of confusion and fear, but once he knows who and what he is, he never looks back. Ellis’ character is constant and progressive. He learns and grows from his mistakes and pushes forward. There is a little mushiness to his character, especially when talking about his feelings, but not nearly as bad as Cole.
My final quibble is with the writing. The story itself flows pretty well and is nicely paced. And this first thing is probably more of a personal issue, but the entire story is way over exclamated (pretty sure it’s not a word, but it’s all I can come up with). By that I mean the over usage of the punctuation mark. There are exclamation marks riddled throughout this book making characters seem over-excited or yelling for no apparent reason. And second, the writing, especially towards the end, was super cheesy and full of mush. It was awkward coming from or talking about two college students.
In the end, I liked the story, but I would have liked it more had it be more consistent all around. The basis of the story was a good one, but it lacked several qualities to make it a great one. Overall, I think this is one of these stories I would tell you to read at your own risk. It has its good points and bad points. And whereas the good outweighs the bad mostly, the bad is still there, and still irritating.
P.S. Dreamspinner has generously donated a copy of this book to our Jock Week Giveaway so be sure to stop by and check it out!