Jakob wakes up on his 34th birthday from a dream involving his best friend Leo. Trying to shake it off, his birthday doesn’t get any better when Jakob finds a smoking hot blog that he thinks is written by Leo. The catch is that the stories all involve Jakob and Leo in the starring roles and outs them as a couple. That’s impossible and of course not true. Jakob is straight, is not having a sexual relationship with his best friend, and the stories are all false. Or are they?
It goes from bad to worse when Jakob’s Facebook account is hacked and his identity is stolen. This new version of his life is laid out there for everyone to see as the stories go viral. With Leo out of town, Jakob’s existence takes on a life of its own. The blog is being constantly updated and shared and Jakob cannot stop reading it. He could deny it all. He should deny it all. But denying it all would also mean denying the thread of truth that the stories are built upon.
Slash fiction (as defined by my source of Urban Dictionary), is “fanfiction depicting a sexual and/or romantic relationship…between two characters of the same gender.” That is what this book deals with in its entirety. This is also a story within a story.
The book delves heavily into what really is the truth and takes on some philosophical tones as Jakob discusses this very topic in class with a professor. The words are there, the video looks real, the stories are hot, there is a glimmer of truth to be seen because there was a kiss once upon a time, so it all must be absolute.
The first part of the story is devoted to Jakob. He’s a PhD candidate and wakes up to a virtual nightmare. Now the way in which Jakob found the first post seemed fairly random to me. He then walks into an existence where the entire world thinks that he is involved in a sexual relationship with his best friend and the stories are not only written in Jakob’s voice, but there is video attached. What’s a guy to do? Well, Jakob promptly freaks the f* out. When Leo won’t take his calls, Jakob has no choice but to confront him in person.
The next part goes to Leo’s POV. He is secretly in love with Jakob, but would he go this far? The kiss in question is an issue that is gone over many times from many perspectives. The same scene is shown many ways through many filters driving home the point of how easy it is to alter reality, especially when there is an audience waiting as words and photos and people can all be manipulated.
I have enjoyed Bohm’s writing in the past and was looking forward to this new release. The way the story is constructed puts us right in the slide of emotions right along with Jakob. I did have some issues with the overall plot and more importantly how it all came together, or didn’t come together, for me in the end. The explanation of the true story behind the blog posts was not well conveyed and maybe that was the point. While it is clearly stated how the posts were created, there was a lot left open. What exactly did happen to Jakob’s phone and who was texting him? How exactly were the videos created and who altered his Facebook account? I was left with so many questions and there were no clear answers given. The ending also fits with the theme of the book and remains ambiguous. This story also would not fall into the category of a true or traditional romance and, while I was fine with that aspect, it is important to note if that is what you may be looking for.
This could be a choice if you enjoy slash fiction or are heavily involved in all things virtual and viral. But it’s unfortunate that the most memorable parts of this book for me will be the parts that still remain elusive.