For an indie book, Confused Spice by Mathis Bailey could be nothing but success — a story that will appeal strongly to the LGBT community and fans of coming of age literature. Johan isn’t living in the sunny, peaceful atmosphere one could expect for a man of his age. He lacks confidence in himself and gets into occasional conflict with his mother. One gets the impression that he can’t really stand up for himself, but then Pierre Jackson happens, and he discovers the power of friendship while beginning to identify with his own voice. It’s a new and exciting experience, but are Pierre and Johan ready to take their friendship to a new level? And what could it cost them?
I was hesitant and uncertain when I picked Confused Spice for review, and although I am not a fan of this genre, I did enjoy the story. There is a psychological depth to the novel that will appeal to many readers and I loved the way the author developed conflict, especially internal conflict throughout the story. The characters aren’t monumental, but they are compelling enough and real, and they will, undoubtedly, reflect the dilemma in which many gay couples find themselves. At the beginning of the story, Johan is a shaky, self-doubting, and easy-to-handle kind of character, but as the story progresses – thanks to the encounter with his gay friend, Pierre – he begins to take more control of himself.
Bailey’s prose is beautiful, very accessible, and it is sprinkled with stunning descriptions and engaging dialogue. The plot has many surprises and it’s hard to guess what will happen to the characters next. The novel also features powerful themes like friendship, homosexuality, self-awareness, and much more. Although this is not the kind of book that can be described as absorbing, it is an interesting read and it raises very serious questions for contemporary readers while offering insights into the psychology of gay couples. Mathis Bailey is a promising author and I will definitely be interested to read what he writes next.
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