Saturday, July 13, 2013

Review: On Tinsel Wings by Augusta Li

On Tinsel Wings
by Augusta Li
Published July 5th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
Heat Rating: 2
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Patrick Harford sees hope as magical and beautiful, too delicate to hold—and everything in his life has proved him right. An unhealthy home leaves him hiding in the shadows as he tries to come to terms with his sexuality.

Patrick finds solace among the performers at the Allegaheny Mountains Renaissance Faire, where he discovers a love of performing and costumes. As he starts to come out of his shell, he meets Yu Elion, an apprentice blacksmith. Yu gives Patrick a glimpse of fairy-tale love.

But just when hope starts to blossom, it withers. Cynical after a past filled with failed relationships, Yu keeps Patrick at a distance. Working two jobs has disastrous consequences. And an obsessed fan takes things a step too far. After seeing all he’s built start to crumble, Patrick doesn’t know if he has what it takes to try again on his own, and Yu might not have the strength to be the one Patrick needs.

I once! had the chance to go to a gay bar and see an actual performance done by some drag queens onstage. It was all done on a dare arranged by bridesmaids (myself and two others) to take our ultra-conservative bride-to-be to a drag show. It was one of the most enjoyable nights ever experienced. It was fun, entertaining and definitely an eye opener - especially for our bride. We even took bets that we were not looking at drag queens but women pretending to drag. Well, we all lost, but honestly? I saw that night some of the most beautiful "women" ever and the most creative shows. That "beauty" in drag is how I imagine Patrick.

The writing was flawless, as usual. This is something I expect from Augusta Li. She has a writing style that is straightforward and yet poetic, and then there is her sense of humour. Though subtle, it is ever present. I loved her poem list, music list and, oh yes! there is the Captain Jack himself. I totally agree, super sexy Barrowman is one sexy dude.

Patrick, I love this guy. He may be a teen but he had gone through so much in life and still came up smiling, and persevering. I love survivors like him. They may be victims or just get curve balls in life, but they are tenacious in their determination to survive and they chalk up life's disappointment to experience and say "lessons learned."

Then there was Yu.

I was not comfortable with his character as a person, especially his tendency to indecision. I personally do not get attracted or trust anyone who are indecisive so this personality of Yu prevented me from liking him. The two manage to iron out their relationship but this occurs way late into the story. So all the time nothing was happening, I was actually praying that someone other than Yu would pop up and get Patrick to smile a real smile.

Overall, On Tinsel Wings is a dramatic and emotional read. For those who like HFN endings, this is a beautiful story of strength and determination. Patrick is a gem of a character and I absolutely love his newfound family circle.

Bookshelves: hfn, mm-contemporary-romance, young-adult

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