Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link: Amazon
Time to Upsize by Graeme Aitken picks up Stephen’s story right after his ex-boyfriend Ant has moved to New Zealand and his best friend Blair has relocated to London. Both went in pursuit of the “love of their life” which turned out to be only a poor imitation. Still there they were and Stephen was left with just Strauss as friend and companion and a limping acting career to boot.
Lest you think that Stephen has become any less self-centered or less crazy for that matter, think again. Once again Stephen is up to his old ways of getting the most out of a relationship with the least amount of input. He stumbles upon cute twenty-something Blake and begins a three-year relationship complete with house and living together.
However, even though Blake is (or seems to be) content with Stephen being the dominant one in the relationship, Stephen begins to feel those age old feelings that he needs more—more variety, more partners, more sex. He begins to cheat on the side, brushing away any guilt with the idea that Blake himself welcomed threesomes occasionally and even though clandestine and anonymous sex in the saunas was not quite a threesome, still it wasn’t really cheating. Welcome to Stephen’s suspect point of view.
All was floating along with seemingly a hitch when the neighbor across the street moved out and well-hung gym bunny Rick moved in—then Stephen’s world turned upside down as he began to realize that Blake was not all he seemed, nor was he any longer content to be Stephen’s second choice.
Graeme Aitkin is a remarkably funny writer. He has a very real gift for creating characters that are larger than life and oh so compelling to read about. His dialogue is smart and cutting, his characters constantly plotting and thinking—just a pleasure to read and spend time with on the page. My only hesitation in giving this novella five stars was the middle section or the set up of Stephen and Blake’s relationship. In contrast to the description of Ant and Blair’s moves and the subsequent three-year partnership, this establishing of the couple seemed a little slow—rather dry in comparison.
I felt it lacked the quick pace and sharp witticisms that the rest of the book offered in spades. While it was understandable to establish the setting where the final sections of the book were to take place, this mid section seemed disjointed and a bit dry. But thankfully the author moved us right back into the finer methods he employs in his writing in the latter sections of the novella and I found myself laughing and hoping that book two in this series of three will be just as witty and fun.
Overall, Time to Upsize was an incredibly good sequel to Graeme Aitken’s first novel, Vanity Fierce, and I recommend it to you dear reader!