REVIEWED by Christie
AUTHOR: Heidi Cullinan
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 341 Pages
RELEASE DATE: August 8, 2017
A single stroke can change your world. Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten college to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour. Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself. Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.
After reading the blurb for Antisocial, I was quite intrigued. As a huge fan of yaoi manga, I instantly felt compelled to read this book. Turns out, this sweet, low angst, coming of age tale is a bit of a detour from the usual books that I like to read, but I definitely enjoyed it nonetheless. If you are looking for a breath of fresh air between heavier books, I recommend Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan.
Xander is quite simply grumpy and antisocial. Well, to be more accurate I would label him as “tsundere” (if you’re familiar with manga/anime). But anyway… Xander would rather focus entirely on his project and drawing manga. As most introverts can understand, he honestly would rather not “people”. But, all it takes is that one person to worm their way under an introvert’s skin and things change dramatically in their closed off world. Skylar is the confident, self-assured extravert who manages to do just that.
Like I said earlier in the review, this is certainly different from the books I normally read. In fact, I have never read anything centering on asexuality. But, Heidi Cullinan did a beautiful job weaving this sweet opposites attract tale between two college students. Sadly, this is only my second Heidi Cullinan book, and this absolutely must be remedied asap, that’s for sure.
It is helpful if you like or have experience with manga/ anime, but it is not necessary to enjoy this story, altho, you may not get the lifestyle or a lot of the references. But, please do not let that dissuade you from getting this book. Tho there is no actual sex in this book, the make-out sessions get steamier as the book progresses. Which is fine with me because it adds to the coming-of-age-ness of this lovely story. Do get this book, I highly recommend it.