Dovid Rosenstein is a blind YouTuber from Seattle with over 6 million subscribers. He and his sister, Rachel, upload videos that keep viewers entertained and coming back for more. When Rachel shows Dovid Sam’s video game channel, Dovid is instantly captivated by the Irishman’s voice and can’t understand why Sam has only 400 subscribers. That changes when Dovid gives Sam’s channel a shout out and Sam gets tens of thousands of new subscribers.
Sam is overwhelmed, but grateful, and when he dedicates his next episode to Dovid, it initiates a round of messages between the men that have both of their hearts racing. Dovid is immediately captivated by the man who sounds adorable and Dovid knows that even if Sam is on the other side of the world, he’s definitely falling in love. The men want to explore what they feel between them, but the distance and their insecurities doesn’t make it easy.
Dovid and Sam were both perfectly likable characters, but this book was not the one for me. Dovid is a highly successful YouTuber and that is how he and his sister make their living. We are told they have over 6 million subscribers, but their videos lacked any kind of excitement for me and although Dovid and Rachel are twins and the best of friends, they lacked chemistry between them on the videos as well.
When Rachel is looking for a gaming channel, she stumbles upon Sam, who has a small following. Although Dovid is not a gamer, he is captivated by Sam’s voice and presentation and gives him a shout out. What happens next is a series of hesitant messages between the two of them as Dovid helps Sam manage the influx of subscribers to his channel. The pace of this was incredibly slow for me and not a lot happens. The guys are so unsure of how to communicate with each other and they are constantly apologizing for every little thing. It’s never stated specifically how old they are, but early to mid 20s seemed reasonable for where they were in life. However, their interactions with each other came off as much younger, more like they how early teens would interact.
Dovid has been blind since he was a child. We are only given glimpses of how he navigates the world. We know he uses earbuds to hear his messages, but when he is cooking or doing other tasks, we are never shown any conveniences he uses as a blind man and that would have given his character another layer. We are only told lost his vision at a child, and while a specific age was not given, it seemed to be very early in his life. Yet, Dovid is able to visualize when Sam tells him that he has red hair and freckles and blushes often. It’s never made clear what, if anything, Dovid can remember from when he had sight as a child, and it was inconsistent.
Sam is a quiet, loner type of guy with an overachieving brother and Sam’s relationship with his parents is strained and they don’t treat him well. Sam is also too passive in his relationship with Dovid and went along with everything Dovid said. As Sam’s relationship with Dovid grows, Sam is also figuring out where he falls on the asexual spectrum. Dovid is a more physical and sexual person and while Dovid respects Sam’s needs, it’s never really clear if this relationship will fulfill both of their needs in the long run. The guys also spend most of their time apart as they live in different countries.
A good portion of this book read like an introductory tutorial on how to be a YouTuber and how to set up a Patreon and it all had a dry feel to it. There was nothing to draw me in here and the book was too long for the story that was there.