Review of Envy by Sara Winters

EnvyEnvy by Sara Winters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Warning: The following may contain spoilers. Couldn’t get everything I wanted to say out without them! So, yeah, sorry!

umm… This is difficult. This was certainly unique and different. I am not sure… There is homoerotic content in this book, but I am not sure I would classify it as MM… so, yeah… difficult…

Jamie and Brian are in their mid twenties and have been friends for years. Both are single and oh yeah, Jamie is a girl by the way… Brian is a boy and gay. But Jamie is definitely a girl. With boobs and flirty pouty girlish behaviour.

Jamie reads gay romance and erotica and watches gay porn and – like we all do – wonders what it would feel like to be a man and gay. And yes, her wonders about this is mainly about the sex. What does sex feel like, if you are a man?

After a night out with Brian, her wish somehow comes true and she wakes up as a man. This story revolves around the 24 hours Jamie spends being a gay man, trying to navigate with the help from best friend Brian.

I am very unsure how to rate this story. It was different certainly and had some interesting pointers and questions about stereotypes and behaviour, both in gender and sexuality.

Jamie creates a bit of a stir whereever she goes, as her mindset has obviously not changed and she is still her pouty flirty girly self on the inside, used to getting better service, reduced prices and smiles along the way if she uses her looks and her boobs on the men she encounters. She doesn’t get into conflict, but she may as well have…

I liked the book and I thought it had some interesting points. I enjoyed Brians’ rant about women seeing gay men as objects, walking talking sex toys, and he may be right up to a point. But this is a very multi faceted point. Obviously I can only speak for myself, but to me it’s really about safety I think – in real life that is. Gay men are safe! I can be as outrageously sex-kittenish as I like, I know he is not going to think I was “asking for it”… Because he has no interest, ergo he is safe.

Porn? well it’s hot. And porn is sexual objectification, that is what it is. No matter your gender or orientation. Straight men watches lesbian porn for the same reason straight women watch gay porn. Romance books? The social stigma adds another layer to most of the stories that makes them so much more interesting than MF romance – and again, the sex is hot!
But the fact that I get extra mushy and go aaaawww if I see men kiss out in public has nothing to do with sex, I am not sure I can explain it, but it makes me warm and fuzzy inside. It makes me happy. Love is love and it’s wonderful to witness.

So yes, Brian may have a point about the objectification and I did actually enjoy his rant – and I kind of felt that Jamie deserved it at the time. But realistically speaking: She only had 24 hours to work with. There was no way she was going to be able to fully experience what it means to be a man and gay in our society. So I can’t really blame her for just wanting to embrace the things she could experience: namely the sex.

The ending ruined the book a bit for me unfortunately. I didn’t feel it was right. After Jamie’s monologue about taking the chance and accepting what you can have – for however short a time – it felt wrong to leave the book thinking that there was a chance between the two down the line… I would have much preferred if that was it: One encounter, a once in a lifetime opportunity which they took and yes it will leave them changed, but a long the way it would make them grow closer as friends.

Sex and love are two very different things. The fact that Brian loves her does not make him straight or even bi. To insinuate that he could change sexual preference due to love makes the story what? Straight for you? As I said in the beginning, I was having a hard time defining this.

But whatever it is, I did enjoy it and found it an interesting and recommendable read.

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