Saturday, October 10, 2020

REVIEW: Better Than People by Roan Parrish



Every Roan Parrish novel I've read, I've enjoyed and Better Than People continues that trend.

This is the story of Simon and Jack. Simon is probably the shyest character I've ever come across and Jack, a cantankerous one--at least on the surface. Putting them together might seem insane but the way that Roan Parrish writes them, they truly work. As we get to know them, we learn that Jack is really intuitive and kind and battling some hurts and Simon is witty and gentle and ....also battling some hurts.Watching them in my mind's eye as they get to know each other and fall in love was heartwarming and I was so glad that the conflict was relatively gentle--I seriously could not have handled Roan Parrish doing anything too torturous to these two. 

The thing I most appreciated about this novel was Parrish's treatment of Simon's shyness and anxiety. She never had Jack try to "fix" Simon and she gave me some really great insight into what some of my more anxious students might be feeling. It was instructive and helpful and a really good reminder about how it costs absolutely nothing to extend kindness and grace to anyone who needs it. 

As the title of the series indicates, I believe we're going to see more of the secondary characters and I look forward to seeing that, as well as how Simon and Jack are perceived from an outside perspective, should we be so lucky to see them again.

My only complaint is that Jack was completely fascinated with a house miles away and that fascination just kind of disappeared. I'm hoping it's because it's going to tie into another book in the Corbin Wale was tied into this one. 

A very solid, heartwarming read that has me excited for chilly, sweater weather. 



Simon Burke has always preferred animals to people. When the countdown to adopting his own dog is unexpectedly put on hold, Simon turns to the PetShare app to find the fluffy TLC he’s been missing. Meeting a grumpy children’s book illustrator who needs a dog walker isn’t easy for the man whose persistent anxiety has colored his whole life, but Jack Matheson’s menagerie is just what Simon needs.

Four dogs, three cats and counting. Jack’s pack of rescue pets is the only company he needs. But when a bad fall leaves him with a broken leg, Jack is forced to admit he needs help. That the help comes in the form of the most beautiful man he’s ever seen is a complicated, glorious surprise.

Being with Jack—talking, walking, making out—is a game changer for Simon. And Simon’s company certainly…eases the pain of recovery for Jack. But making a real relationship work once Jack’s cast comes off will mean compromise, understanding and lots of love.

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