Review: Caraway Carter – PS

Author: Caraway Carter
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Mm Contemporary

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Summary: Looking back, it was kind of crazy to put a down payment on a fallen-down train depot I’d never actually seen, in a state I’d never actually been to, and use it to build a life with a guy I’d never actually met, but love makes people do crazy things. If you’ve ever been in love, you know what I mean.

But before the plane had landed, I found out that Sam—the guy I’d met online and had been talking to for four years—wasn’t really Sam. He wasn’t even a guy.

I already own the little train depot, and I can’t go back to my old life. And Fairville is such a lovely welcoming town. Did I mention James? He’s made sure that I’ve had a really warm welcome.

All I want is to build a great little bookstore, and have a relationship based on humor, honesty, and hardbacks. I see some tough choices ahead of me.

Or maybe I don’t have to choose…

Review: Normally I write a review straight through but I think with this one I’m going to have to do a what I liked/what I didn’t because I was having such a hard time organizing my thoughts. So….
What it is: Gus has been talking to a man online for four years and has fallen in love. He uproots his life to buy a train depot in another state in order to be with this man he loves. However, on his way there he finds out that he’s been catfished. There is no Sam, man of his dreams. There is only a female student who used him for a project, the train depot he now owns in Fairville, and a willingness to move forward. Enter the townsfolk of Faireville, who take Gus under their wing and help him in every way. Especially James.

What worked for me :
Gus himself. He has just gone through a horribly stressful time, has completely changed his whole life and still approaches things with dignity and optimism, even when things look bleak. The fact that he isn’t a doormat made me like him all the more.
The idea of the train depot itself. It was a joy to read this beautiful building coming back to life.
Despite the fact that normally any kind of cheater is a definite no go for me, James has a history that usually would make me cringe. And it did, but I also saw what it all did to him. “So I got “worth it”. Because I am. And I need to remember this.” Yes, James you do.
The way the townspeople rallied around and helped. Sometimes it seemed a little much but Gus needed it and so I was on board.

What didn’t work for me:
Supposedly “Sam” is a female student who used Gus for a project. The issue I have with that is she is a 21-year-old creative writing student. Meaning that she started this charade when she was 17 or 18? “She’d said she didn’t believe a guy could be so lonely as to sell everything he owned…”

I didn’t understand when Gus says, “…but I vowed, in that moment, not to be the whore I’d been in California.” Was he whoring around while being in love with Sam?

Sam and Kelly. Period. I couldn’t find anything redeeming about these two, from their actions before Gus arrives in Fairville all the way through the book.  I think they really soured my perception of the story.

So this is a sweet book, despite the angsty overtones of the catfishing (and get rid of Sam and Kelly, really!) and I enjoyed it. I honestly felt like the depot, or maybe the whole town, was just as much a character as anyone.

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