Hello my lovely follower. Today I wanna share my blog tour post in celebration of J.R. Gray’s Forsaken, a story about a religious man who is struggling with his faith & his beliefs. You can find my release blitz post here. Edit: The review is now added to this post. 🙂
Read this post for an excerpt & don’t miss the giveaway.
Good luck & happy reading. 🙂
*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*
This book was honestly not the easiest to read & review because of the heavy topic and the things Titus has to deal with.
With Titus we have a main character who lived his whole life in a toxic community, one which told him to be faithful and serve & worship God. As being chosen to be the next Prophet he as a special treatment in the compound, but when he met Angel, who he thought first about a fallen angel from heaven, he comes across that his sheltered life isn’t that happy as it seems. More and more Titus sees the ugly sides, the manipulation and what the current Prophet is doing.
I really can’t grab the feelings I had while reading. Titus is such a warm, caring soul, he is really believing he is doing the right thing, was tought and told this his whole life but was also okay with it to a certain point. His faith is still there during the book, he really searches for a balance between his faith, his beliefs and his “broken” part, how he calls being gay. It’s heartbreaking how he endured the things, how he is well-aware that he is different but is feeling guilty because he doesn’t know anything else.
I was impressed by some of the side-characters, like Titus’ brother Peter and Angels neighbour and friend David. They had sometimes strong appearances and I would really hope to see them further.
There were a few surprising elements with Peter and how it was woven into the storyline and seeing what he is dealing with is as heartbreaking as Titus’ harm.
Although the book has a HEA for Angel and Titus the whole compound isn’t magically disappearing and that’s what was struck most when I finished the book. The thought about how the Prophet and all the others in the compound going on, still believing they are doing the right thing, and even if Titus is living his life, it’s actually still the same. It was honestly a bit disheardening and I’m not sure how to deal with the end. The author’s preface was also pretty telling and very honest, adressed the book’s topic and actually it helped me for getting a better understanding, still my heart is hurting, thinking that this book is a pretty good display of how those compounds are working, what expectations the members have to fulfill & that even reporting some crimes doesn’t help because they aren’t seen as such.
The book had it’s lighter parts – and they were like small silver linings shining through dark clouds – and the emotions between Angel and Titus were there, but sometimes it felt a bit surreal, the connection was a bit blurry but on the other hand, their two lives are total polar opposites and this way J.R. Gray did a great job in actually displaying this. Angel is aware of Titus’ toxic environment, but he is also living his life to certain aspects and can’t really understand – having sympathy, yes, but not totally get it – what Titus has to endure.
The sensual parts were there, pretty good delivered but sometimes blacked out and kept vague. I was a bit surprised at first but it was also fitting, because the intimacy is palpable and it isn’t actually totally necessary to “be there” all the time. It was definitely a nice suprise and also gave a different display of Titus and his lust, his passion and his feelings.
I really want to recommend the book to those who want to read an honest book about faith, what it means to live in a cmpound, where brainwashing is the daily routine, where the lives are dictated by the words of the Bible and used as weapons by the leaders, without actually seeming the harm & hartred they spread. The book gets 5 out of 5 stars and I really keep this a long time in mind. A remarkable book, with an HEA, and even with some delightful scenes, a heartclenching and heavy book.
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Titus has lived and breathed religion his entire life, tucked away from the rest of the world in a compound in northern Wyoming. He’s destined to be the next leader of the church, deemed so by the Prophet.
God spoke and with His word He created. But God made a mistake. Titus isn’t worthy. He was born sick and it’s solidified when he rescues the most beautiful man he’s ever seen.
Torn between fidelity to his faith or his soul, Titus must reconcile the two parts of himself before he’s discovered hiding among the chosen.
Titus’ head was pounding but so was his heart. He was cursed to replay the kiss in his head, possibly for the rest of his life. The fall had jarred his brain and lodged it in his mind. And therein was the problem with sin. Once you had a taste, it was hard to stop. Men were addicted to sin.
Angel looked up at him. Those big dark eyes. He didn’t want to keep staring but he did.
“How are you feeling?” Angel looked back at his book, but his eyes weren’t moving, so he wasn’t really reading.
“The Advil is starting to work.” Titus closed his eyes, fighting back every emotion in his body. He didn’t know what he felt. A little of everything, and it was overwhelming his ability to function.
How could God have made him this wrong?
“You don’t look so good.”
“There is way too much in my head.” He was really tired of all his emotions showing on his face. He needed to learn how to lie better. More so now that he knew what he was. What if he was asked outright? Another wave of anguish crossed his face, and his eyes sprang open when another hand grabbed his.
Angel tugged on him. “Come down here with me.”
He relented to the tug and slid onto the floor. Angel was dangerously close, again. Bad things happened when he was this close. But Titus didn’t move to put space between them. Maybe he wanted bad things to happen.
Author bio – J.R. Gray
When not staying up all night writing, J.R. Gray can be found at the gym where it’s half assumed he is a permanent resident to fulfill his self-inflicted masochism. A dominant and a pilot, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. He frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns and conversations, to jot down notes or plot bunnies. Commas are the bane of his existence even though it’s been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder. If Gray wasn’t writing…well, that’s not possible. The buildup of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave, insanity or both. The idea of haunting has always appealed to him. J.R. Gray is genderqueer and prefers he/him pronouns.
There is a giveaway to win one of 2 e-copies of Forsaken by J.R. Gray
Your chance to win *click*
Please note: the giveaway is not sponsored, administered or endorsed by Mikku-chan / A World full of Words.
Release blitz hosted by/through A Novel Take PR.