Status Update, by Annabeth Albert
Release Date: December 7, 2015
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Adrian Gottlieb is winning at life. He’s a successful video game designer with everything a man could ask for, including a warm comfy ride to Denver and a date for his sister’s wedding. But he finds himself in need of a total reboot when he’s left stranded at a snowy campground in Utah. Holiday plans? Epic fail.
That is until Noah Walters offers him shelter for the night and a reluctant cross-country ride. Nothing about the ultraconservative geoarchaeologist should attract Adrian, but once he discovers Noah’s hidden love for video games, the two connect on a new level. Soon, a quiet but undeniable chemistry sparks.
Something doesn’t add up, though. As the miles accumulate and time runs out, Noah must face the most difficult choice of his life. Meanwhile, Adrian must decide whether he’s ready to level up. Is their relationship status worth fighting for, or has this game ended before it’s even begun?
Noah and Adrian are many things, none of which scream “romantic lead”. Noah is so far in the closet that he might as well be in Narnia (Christianity metaphors included). As a professor at one of the most conservative colleges in America, he is a gay man who doesn’t even dare utter the g-word, let alone act on it. So when he meets super-flamboyant Adrian, every alarm in his head goes off.
“I’m not worried about catching anything,” he said truthfully. One couldn’t catch what one already had. (ePub pg. 47)
Adrian is not the kind of character that I particularly enjoy reading. It’s not his flamboyance that bothers me, but instead his naivety. He’s also the kind of geeky that comes off as annoying more than charming. Pop culture references make him seem a lot younger and more immature than he actually is, and I can’t figure out how he manages to hold down a job when he can barely function as an adult.
And can someone PLEASE TELL ME why they don’t call the police when Adrian’s ride takes off with all of his belongings… including his laptop and wallet?! SERIOUSLY?!
But once the awkwardness is set aside, the relationship between Adrian and Noah is actually very lovely. They initially bond over video games, but it turns out that they work well as a couple, too.
It was safe and okay to let go with him. He had been trapped in a stiff, three-piece-suit of a life, and Adrian was gradually freeing him, one button, one kiss at a time. (ePub pg. 92)
I would have liked a more balanced relationship though. Noah uses his relationship with Adrian to grow as a person, to learn more about who and what he is, but Adrian… doesn’t change at all.
I liked the novel, but I found myself struggling to accept and enjoy the characters. There were too many plot points that were glossed over, and I spent too much time wondering why they didn’t do something, instead of enjoying the things they actually were doing.