Bad Boy by Elliot Wake
Pub by: Atria Books
Pub Date: Dec 6 2016
**Received for free in exchange for an honest review**
Absolutely worth the binge read I did. Although I’ll warn that I went into this book completely blind. As in, I didn’t know about the synopsis, the author or that Cam Girl and Black Iris are really good starters before Bad Boy. Bad Boy spoils the aforementioned books, so honestly it’s up to you to read those first.
Renard Grant, “Ren” is a trans-boy who has found fame on YouTube documenting his ever going journey to claiming his true identity. He’s also a part of Black Iris, a vigilante group that makes sure that online misogynists get their due through severe punishments for trolling women. After a botched mission, Ren was targeted and everything he had worked for is questioned.Ren is a beautifully flawed and real character that I absolutely adore. His friends in Black Iris are well developed characters that helped flesh out what Ren was going through.
I got an education on the process of transitioning (although I doubt that was the author’s intension), the need to have a good support system as well as what happens when it’s absent. Bad Boy also shows that even after accomplishing the goal, there are always struggles that are needed to overcome on an everyday basis, because believe it or not, its what makes us human.
One of the most stunning part of the novel is that Ren compares himself to another character constantly but we see that the other character does the same. He found himself looking up to Ren for what he has done for himself. There is a message here for everyone to stop searching for the perfect way we’re supposed to be. Its enough to be a continuous work in progress: it strenghtens us.
I love the way that Wake writes. This is my introduction to his writing and he writes in a way that makes you want to keep reading. The prose is packed with allusions as well feeling as if you’re in the scenes with the charcaters. I felt as if I was in the club, dancing and observing the events that unraveled within those walls. I felt the suspense that was weaved into the novel but I found that there was way too much foreshadowing that gave away the culprit so early and easily. I think this was purposely done because the focus of the novel wasn’t the suspense as much as it was about getting to know the mental, physical and emotional state of Ren.
Bad Boy gripped me by surprise with its plot and I’m not disappointed. I’m looking forward to reading the previous books as well as Wake’s future works.