Bad Boy (Elliot Wake fka Leah Raeder)

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Vlog star Renard Grant has nothing to prove: he’s got a pretty face, chiseled body, and two million adoring video subscribers. Plus the scars on his chest and a prescription for testosterone. Because Ren is transgender: assigned female at birth, living now as male. He films his transition and shares it bravely with the world; his fans love his honesty and positivity.

But Ren has been living a double life.

Off-camera, he’s Cane, the muscle-bound enforcer for social justice vigilante group Black Iris. As Cane, he lets his dark side loose. Hurts those who prey on the disempowered. Indulges in the ugly side of masculinity. And his new partner, Tamsin Baylor, is a girl as rough and relentless as him. Together, they terrorize the trolls into silence.

But when a routine Black Iris job goes south, Ren is put in the crosshairs. Someone is out to ruin his life. He’s a bad boy, they say, guilty of what he punishes others for.

Just like every other guy: at heart, he’s a monster, too.

Now Ren’s got everything to prove. He has to clear his name, and show the world he’s a good man. But that requires facing demons he’s locked away for years. And it might mean discovering he’s not such a good guy after all.

I liked this book because I love Blythe, Armin, Laney, and Ellis. I loved Black Iris. So that is a plus…?

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Bad Boy is actually very melodramatic and actually kind of hmm, “weird”. I found the whole idea of “Black Iris” very unrealistic in this book and it made me see Laney, Blythe, Armin and Ellis in a different view point. I found them to be rude, heinous, sad and honestly I think I would have preferred not to see them again at all because Elliot ruined them for me. There, I said it. I didn’t like how he portrayed them at all. I wish he had actually compiled a whole new story line and plot for Bad Boy and Ren. I feel like I would have actually enjoyed the book more.

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So, one minute we are following Ren around Umbra with Black Iris and all of their plans and the next minute Black Iris gets thrown in the back seat for pretty much the ENTIRE book and we are kind of just thrown into Ren’s struggle with transitioning into a male and his struggle with his personal life. So yeah, I’m a tad confused as to what the plot of this story is. A trans gendered man struggling? Or crime fighting vigilantes? I feel like it was 87% a memoir or autobiography of Elliot’s personal life.

And that’s OKAY! I just don’t feel like the two other plots should have been thrown in there if that was the case. Give it a different story completely.

The writing wasn’t even as good as Unteachable or Black Iris. Where was the prose? The flow? I would recommend reading Black Iris first (which was tremendous) because it follows the same people and story line. But at the same time, if you read Black Iris first and absolutely love it I’m afraid you won’t like Bad Boy.

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