Review of Leaving’s Not the Only Way to Go by Kay Acker
This was a good one. After a busy week, that left me exhausted and falling asleep while attempting to read, Leaving’s Not the Only Way to Go was the book I needed to keep me awake. I heard good things about this book from my fellow reviewer friends and I’m happy to say that I agree. I don’t know where Bella keeps finding all these great new authors, they must have a magical wardrobe that they pull them out of, well however they find them, it sure is impressive.
This didn’t feel like the average romance story, and I loved that fact. I get bored from the same old and this felt like the breath of fresh air I didn’t know I needed. I was glad to be reading a book with a main character, and a main secondary character, that had autism. I want my books to be diverse and, as an aunt to a teenage boy who has autism, I’ve noticed how lacking characters on the spectrum are in WLW fiction. From my personal experiences with my nephew, I thought Acker’s writing of her characters was well done with realism and honesty.
In fact, I thought parts of this book hit a little close to home being about a main character coming home and changing her life, to take care of a dying parent. The same thing happened to me and it even took place in my home state of Vermont. That is something else I have to give Acker credit for because her setting felt true. Every once in a while an author will set a book in Vermont, but most have a Hollywood version of what they think Vermont is supposed to be. It was obvious to me that Acker actually knew what Vermont was like since she captured both the pros and the cons of living here.
Since I covered the setting and well-done characters, you are probably wondering about the romance. The romance is slow-burn and really about the characters being friends first, before anything more. I liked the pace and thought it felt true to who the characters were. Anything faster-paced would have felt very inauthentic. I was also happy with the bit of spark that the sex scenes gave their relationship. While I think the characters really clicked together, they didn’t have a lot of sexual chemistry build-up. So the sex scenes really gave their relationship, and the characters, this passion that was otherwise missing.
My only complaint is that I wanted more time for the ending. The big angsty moment happened too late in the book so it rushed the ending. I’ve decided this year that anyone who has the big angst moment at 90% or later, I’m going to automatically take a star off for affecting my enjoyment. I’m sick of rushed endings so I’m taking a stand in 2021. Luckily, this book’s angst moment happened just a few percentage points before that cut-off, but the problem was that it was still late enough to rush the ending. Every romance fan I know (including myself) loves a good HEA of at least HFN. Let us enjoy the HEA moment and please don’t rush it on is. If you have to have a quick ending at least give us an epilogue. I think this book would have really benefited from having one.
While this had the bump at the end (which I’m chalking up to just being a newbie bump) the rest of this book was a well-done romance. I really enjoyed this read and the overall feel of the book. This is an impressive debut book and I will absolutely read the next book Acker puts out. 4 stars.
A copy was given to me for an honest review.