Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Cupid Painted Blind by Marcus Herzig | ARC | A Book Review

What's the most effective way of coming out? Is there a foolproof way of telling your parents and friends that you are gay? 

Matthew Dunstan is a freshman in high school. For his first few weeks in high school a lot of things have happened already. He came out to his sister and friends. His cute crush is best friends with his arch-nemesis who hates homosexuals. And he had the misfortune of being paired with an ugly and weird new student for a school paper. It seems like the rest of his life is starting already. Welcome to high school!

Cupid Painted Blind by Marcus Herzig Book Review

This is very honest and blunt. No holds barred. It talks about love and of that-dreaded-big-coming-out. It is like having a conversation with your gay friends. Everything is said as it is. No hesitations. No second-guessing. Straight to the heart of the matter. As bold as it gets. Like rehashing your latest most embarrassing experience. You relate it as how you saw the events unfold. The devil is in the details. And like our embarrassed friend, we exactly know how she felt. We know how her face went beet red and wished the earth just swallowed her whole. This is how I felt for Matt. I empathize with him, not that I am gay. I am totally straight, just so you know. But because we all know how it feels to hide a secret from the people whom we should not be withholding anything from. Secrets are messy. A lot of relationships and friendships have been destroyed because of them. And if only I could do the coming out for Matt, I would have done it for him already. But then again, as Zoey (Matt's sister) said, it would be like dragging him out and not coming out. Wise advice.

One of the very important points that the book raised was about having a choice in the matter. What if people were given the choice to be not gay? Would they have preferred to be straight just so they would not have to go through all the ridicule, knowing they actually have a choice not to? I think this is a very logical question which everybody should think about. And this should be our first thought every time we face someone who is gay. I think this would really make a big difference seeing it from their perspective. It would be really unnerving to realize that if we were in their shoes, we would know that the shoe does hurt. Excruciatingly.

Saying that "Love is blind" is so cliche but then it is how it works, oftentimes. Cupid Painted Blind is loving not with the eyes but with the mind. I totally agree. What will you do with prettiness if he has no personality at all? And if all he does is talk about himself?  I love this about the book. It has a way of baring things out just as they should be. Plain and simple. This is about loving, free of the superficial. This is loving with everything about the person, including their overloaded baggage. This is accepting and embracing.

I wasn't sure I would appreciate this book but I was not surprised that I did. We all need to feel accepted, regardless of our gender preferences. So, Matt is definitely not alone in feeling like he has to make a good impression on everyone. But I realized, as you grew older and more exposed to experiences in life, you become less concerned of pleasing everyone. You only care about the feelings of the people you love most. Those that are not in your immediate circle of influence, you tend to tolerate or not be bothered at all. To hell with them!

I give the book four arrow-pierced hearts. Yes, if I were Matt's sister, I would be extremely happy that he has found someone to love and for accepting that person for all he is. I think this book should be read by everyone. Especially those who are homophobic or uncomfortable with homosexuals. I think this is a good way of making these people understand what our LGBTQ friends are going through. It is time we recognize their feelings and their fears. Time to treat them our equals which has been long overdue. It's time we give them their own space under the sun, for them to achieve their aspirations and dreams. Enough of the discrimination, bulling and name-calling. We should give them big hugs for coming out of that dark and lonely closet space.

This is my first time to read a LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) novel. This has been an enriching experience. This is very brave of Marcus Herzig to sort of open the closet and letting all the skeletons out on display, thereby, freeing all the demons.

I noticed that Herzig has a really good sense of humor - such as naming the characters like Sandy Lauper (sounds like Cindy Lauper), using disastrous weather phenomena for nicknames, and I love those really witty shirts worn by Chris. 

...nobody has the guts to stand up to them, because deep down inside we all share the lackadaisical mentality of all silent witnesses of bullying and name-calling and their selfish feeling of relief that at least this time the target was someone else.

- Marcus Herzig, Cupid Painted Blind - 

Published: September 29, 2016
Kindle Edition Release Date: October 21, 2016

Thank you again Marcus Herzig and for the giveaway.