All the Better Part of Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing for providing me with this ARC in exchange for this honest review.

Dnf at 43%. I feel almost apologetic for this, but not quite, as NetGalley can appreciate my having to read and review ARCs in continuous stream and not slogging through something that isn't quite capturing and holding my attention.

That being said, there's a nice, simple fluidity about the author's style of writing. Unfortunately, the something deeper I'm craving isn't there, and the earnest tension I'm craving is nuanced and not really explored.

I don't think this book is for me, but if it manages to keep you hooked after 43% then I'm sure it will be rewarding by the end. Maybe.
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The writing was really good and I could totally see what the author was doing here. If for some reason this book captures your attention give it a go. There's a reason why I requested it.

Unfortunately, though the elements of the story were well put together it just wasn't for me. Possibly more to do with where I'm at, than any fault of the actual story or the author.

Would definitely recommend to others.
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(4.5 Stars) Sinter and Andy Such a delight to read...and omg bi pride all over this cover. Check out my video review —> https://youtu.be/N5l7FwPhfEQ
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**2.5 stars

Ok.  I am having a difficult time with this.  I got to a point that I was ready to stop reading and give up, but I pushed through and am kinda glad I did?  I have very mixed feelings about this book.  

Let's start at the beginning.  Sinter is an actor currently in London and his best friend Andy is in Seattle.  They haven't seen each other in seven years, but text every day and have grown up together.  Andy is gay and Sinter is discovering that he may be bi-curious/bi-sexual and that he may have feelings for Andy.  But--as the reader--I have no clue what brought this on.  It kinda is just there all of a sudden and he begins these flirtations with his best friend over text and then eventually comes out to Andy.  And with Sinter's visa coming up he decides to move back to the States--move in with his best friend--and give it a chance between them.

But there's also Fiona, the director of the current movie he is filming who he has attraction and mild flirtations with.  They end up having sex before he jets off to explore things with his best friend.  She's heartbroken and he feels bad, but really what can he do?

Andy and Sinter pretty much get started in the exploration part of their friends-with-benefits arrangement right away and I was disappointed.  The only interactions we got between them were the many texts and they weren't meaty.  We get some history of the two of them, but not enough to really solidify a bond of such friendship and certainly not enough to make a connection like this believable.  I wanted more of their history and I wish we could have gotten more page time of them reconnecting and building a new relationship.  

Add on top of that Sinter's parents being religious homophobes (really, anti anything "normal") and his need to have a relationship with them and you'd think there was enough to really flesh out a solid story.  But then......

I knew it.  As soon as Fiona asked to talk to Sinter and I HATED IT.  She was pregnant.  I almost stopped reading then.  There was already enough angst with Sinter discovering his sexuality and love for his best friend, being scared of coming out, and his relationship with his parents.  But then you add a pregnancy and unrequited love on Fiona's part.  The only thing that saved this was the fact that Fiona wanted to put the baby up for adoption and Sinter wanted to keep the baby and they worked it out.  Butt I just felt like it was unnecessary.

THEN I didn't really like how Andy reacted or really, how anyone reacted to the pregnancy news.  Andy came around in the end, but still.  And again, this story almost seemed like it was Sinter-centric and there was very little Andy and Sinter relationship development.   I don't know if it's because they have history, but I didn't really get a chance to want them together before shit was hitting the fan.

AND THEN, as if they hadn't gone through enough, Sinter decides to fight for Andy and then Andy gets in a car accident while Sinter is meeting his daughter and getting her from London.  There was just sooo much going on that I felt was so unnecessary.

BUT, I have to say towards the end I was getting major feels.  I don't know if it was because all the baby stuff was hitting way to close to home for me or if it really was sweet, but that got me.  And the end with Andy and Sinter was super sweet and I did tear up, but at the end of the day, I wish the story was kept simpler and really just focused on character development and the development of Sinter and Andy's relationship.  

So, I didn't hate it, but I didn't really love it either.  I smiled, I teared up, and I got a little bit of an ache in my chest towards the end, but it took too long to get there and there were just too many unnecessary situations for me.
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I voluntarily read and reviewed and advanced copy of this book, received through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I started reading All the Better Part of Me with very high expectations. The colours of the cover, the summary, the fact that -finally- we seem to be getting more novels about bisexuality. I was ecstatic. And the book delivered for approximately the first third of the novel. After that, let's call it like this for the sake of avoiding spoilers, came "the surprise". 

The first part of the book was great. I was very excited about it. Sinter is this adorable theater geek who -kind of- looks like a rebel and has all the emotional baggage that make this book so compelling.  His relationship with his parents is strained at best, but the relationship with Andy, even if most of it is seen through messages in this part, is CUTE with capital letters. I. was invested in that couple from the very first line. Sinter is a really endearing character, he can be awkward, he can make. mistakes, but the author narrates it in a very compelling way, reflecting the constant feel of confusion Sinter feels over Andy and Fiona, the director of his first big acting role. 

What I call the second part of the book, or the other two thirds, comes after "the surprise" Sinter finds out about when he decides to go back to the USA and work out what his relationship with Andy is going. "The surprise" makes Sinter reconsider everything he had wanted until that moment and has a big impact in his life, affecting his relationship with many people, including Andy. While the writing style was still good and engaging, I couldn't enjoy the book as much as before from this part. To me, "the surprise" was an excessively dramatic element and maybe a tad too cliché. I would have preferred if Sinter was made to examine his life choices because of another reason instead of this one, it just felt unnecessary. Also, something else I wasn't thrilled at all was Andy's pressure on Sinter to come out AND something that, once again for the sake of avoiding spoilers, I'm calling "the incident". Another unnecessarily dramatic cliché.

Overall, 'All the better part of me' is a cute and fun YA novel in some aspects, not so good in others. Many of the conventional elements from the YA genre (questioning your sexuality, falling for your best friend,  pursuing your dreams) are there, even some of them fell flat. If the summary seems interest, it's worth giving it a chance, it's an enjoyable light read with an endearing main character.
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I liked this story but it didn’t live up to my expectations to love it. The blurb and the letter written by the publisher excited me and I couldn’t wait to start. But when I did, I quickly realized this wasn’t as appealing as I’d hoped. I hate to admit this but I read a few chapters and stopped for a few days and then went back and read a chapter and stopped. Somewhere around the time Sinter came back to the US, I decided to DNF. And then I pushed a little farther and Sinter’s BFF, Andy, snagged me. Before I knew it, I was not only engaged by Andy, but I started to like Sinter, at least enough to keep going. 

Life happens even when we are deeply immersed in a story, and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that sometimes outside forces in real life heavily influence my mood, which in turn heavily influences my enjoyment of a book. In this case, waiting awhile helped me. And after Sinter was given exciting, or rather shocking, news from Fiona, his English girlfriend, I started to read in earnest. Andy was a wonderful character: a strong friend, a kind lover, a brilliant developer, and a source of many of my tears. No spoilers, but I will say that he does indeed provide tear fodder in both a positive and a negative way. But I loved him even more by the last page. 

Sinter? I struggled with Sinter. From his total cluelessness about Andy’s feelings to his free love with Fiona, to his decision to let Andy go to Toyoko, there were so many instances in which I wanted to smack him, I can’t even list them all. But there were positives, including his decision about being a family man. Again, no spoilers, but what happened, and how he managed it, changed my opinion of him. He didn’t fall apart when his world teeter-tottered, and he faced major decisions with grief, good grace, and humor. 

The author’s writing style is polished, the main characters interesting, and the host of secondary characters, from friends to family, were diverse and supportive. I advise readers to keep going if, like me, the early chapters don’t grab you. Overall, I can now say I liked the story, and after all my false starts, I enjoyed how it played out. It’s a good story for those who enjoy friends to lovers, sexuality awakening, long-distance lovers, and for those who enjoy a sprinkle of UK in their books.
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My main conundrum with this one was the two disparate narratives (the pregnancy and the coming out) which never quite married up. It felt a bit like two novels mashed together and it didn't always gel as well as it could. For a book marketed as being explicitly about bisexuality (hence the cover!) I was disappointed in the weight given to the pregnancy storyline. I felt also that this book suffered from the same problem that many books about mlm written by women has, which is the potential fetishisation of mlm. I'm not sure there is a way around that beyond being aware of it.

Aside from those queries, I found it enjoyable. The narrative voice was always consistent and engaging, and Ringle is a highly competent writer. The book was a quick read in the best ways; the prose flowed and it never jarred, which is a compliment indeed. I think if perhaps it had been marketed as less of a book about bisexuality and more about one man's life experience outside of but including his sexuality, I would have got on with it better. It's a good book and I'm glad I read it.
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I received this copy from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. I enjoyed the first part of the book, it was cute and silly and the characters were funny and it was relatable having a flawed character like Sinter. I found annoying and exausting how many times people wanted to force him to come out. The second part was so full of drama and twists and it was exausting again, tbh.I feel like the whole self discovery could have been handled better
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I loved this book. I don't think I have related to a male lead character harder then I did with this book, Within the first 50 pages i was already telling all my other bi friends to pick this up on release. cant wait to pick up a copy myself to re-read. .
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So, despite the author's note at the start of this book, somehow the first half of this still came off as a straight woman writing her m/m fantasy love story. There was just something about it that didn't feel wholly right. I did like Sinter and Andy, and eventually their story felt more real, but Andy remained a one-dimensional character throughout. There was no depth to him, there was no personality there. He was kind of just THERE, super quick to accept that Sinter liked him despite never having outwardly shown an interest in guys before, he was extremely okay with sleeping with his lifelong best friend without commitments, and he was totally on board with raising a kid he didn't really want. It just felt as though everything was about Sinter and what Sinter wanted and needed out of life and how Andy just kind of molded into that.

Which, like, yeah, he was a great boyfriend, I suppose. But I also just wanted to see something real there. I wanted some actual emotion between the two of them rather than just Sinter suggesting something and Andy immediately being on board.

I loved Fiona and Sebastian and low key wish we could have gotten more of them because they were grand and I need them to live happily ever after. I liked Fiona and Sinter's relationship and the fact that he actually wanted to keep the baby while she didn't. I feel like that's not something we really see a lot of in these kinds of situations; a man wanting to be a father and a woman not. I really loved that.

Overall, it was a decent enough love story, and I think the baby definitely made it more interesting, because before that, the whole first half of the story was rather bland and meh. But baby Verona made everything a tad bit better.
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A really sweet friends to lovers book. Poor Sinter is going through a lot, and you just want the best for him.
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I liked this book. It took me a few days longer to read than usual for me (for this length of book), I think because I wasn't particularly drawn back to it with any urgency as I have been with others recently.

Don't get me wrong, it is a nice read. It is everything I thought it would be - a m/m romance, struggles with questioning sexuality, family, friends, coming out, homophobia, unaccepting parents. At one point near to halfway I did think, this is too nice (other than Sinter's mum and dad being unsupportive), I can't see where it is going! But then an event occurs which in hindsight I should've seen coming, but I didn't so it came as a good twist at just the right moment. The plot picks up pace from there on with another event which again moves things on for the characters involved.

It is the first book I've read with a bisexual main character so that for me was very interesting to see how he was portrayed and his interactions with both men and women. It is also my first New Adult read, straying away a little from my usual Young Adult titles. I can see a distinctive difference between YA and NA that I wasn't sure would be there, but I liked it! It is still young, fun characters but with more “grown-up” issues without being middle aged humdrum.

Whilst addressing some important issues this book is a light, nice read. Ideal Summer reading, to take on holiday or just spend a couple of days relaxing with.

*I received an e-arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
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Thanks to NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

To start here, the reason I requested this book is because I'm bisexual. The cover immediately pulled me in. And then to read the summary about a 25-year-old man considering his sexuality for the first time, which is not a plot you hear of often, I was really excited. Unfortunately, this book missed the mark in a big way in my opinion.

All the Better Part of Me by Molly Ringle follows Sinter, a 25-year-old actor who is exploring his sexuality and trying to find work as an actor. Upon reflecting back on his friendship with Andy, he realizes that he's been in love with his best friend all along. The only trouble is that Sinter is London, working on a film directed by Fiona, a woman who has strong feelings for Sinter. The story continues from there, following Sinter and Andy as they try out a friendship with benefits and develop feelings. 

I had a hard time with this book because up to about the 50% mark, I enjoyed it well enough. Nothing life-changingly amazing, but a book I liked enough for a 3 or 3.5 rating. It seemed we'd run through most of the plot summary, so I was getting curious where the rest of the book would go... And then... the baby plot started. Now, personally, I find surprise baby plots to be some of the least interesting twists. It's just not interesting, it's never discussed in seriousness. It's always some kind of half-consideration of abortion with a vague reasoning for why they can't, and then someone convinces someone to keep the baby by saying that it'll change the meaning of their life. As someone who doesn't plan to have children ever, this always rubs me the wrong way. And this book even tries to show a character like me, and it still just didn't land for me. The "You either want a kid or you don't, so don't bother doing any other research into how much work it takes to raise a kid!" discussion did not sit well with me. Neither did the "even if my kid's a neo-Nazi, I'll find a way to bond with them!" reflection from Sinter. That just isn't something I can get behind ever, but especially not in our current climate. And having seen the note about sensitivity readers in the acknowledgments, yikes, where y'all at? The more I type and reflect on this book, the more I do see some of the earlier problems. The idea that Sinter can't be bi without touching a dick, Sinter saying he's "livin' the bi life with Andy," Andy worrying that Sinter will leave him for a woman (if I never read this kind of plot with a bisexual character again, it will be too soon), Andy essentially pushing Sinter out of the closet with no empathy. Wow. Yikes all around. Not to mention, the insistence that you should never cut off communication with your parents no matter how terrible they are... Sinter even tries to cut them off and it lasts... oh, maybe a month. I can't get behind it. 

I've seen some other reviews where people have loved this book, and I'm glad it's working for other readers. It just ticked so many tropes that I don't like, and I didn't enjoy it.
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This may be one of my favorite reads of the year. I absolutely needed a story about an emo guy in his twenties who comes out (eventually) and fall in love with his gay best friend. There were many pieces of this book that made it special for me, first off the bi representation, then the emo music references, the theatre jobs, the adorable text/email conversations, and the romance. As someone who came out as bi at just about the same age as Sinter, I found a lot to relate with him about. Honestly, I just loved this one. I cannot wait to get a physical copy when it is released.
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This was no Red, White & Royal Blue. 
Another amateurish dip into the oversaturated New Adult romance market. 
This was worse than the normal bad NA book because it was both pretentious and dumb at the same time.
The decisions the characters made didnt make any sense (other than to fuel the plot) and if I hadn't been sent this book for review by the publisher then I wouldnt have finished it.
Once again diversity wasn't enough.
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A lot has already been said about the plot, so I will just note that I loved the developing relationship between Sinter and Andy with all of its twists and turns and revelations and growth.. This is a quick and easy read with two heroes who work hard to find their happy ending, along with numerous secondary characters who share in their story and contribute to the plotline. Recommended!
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I absolutely loved this book. It’s definitely a 4.5-5/5 stars. This is a romantic contemporary novel following Sinter who comes out as bisexual and has a relationship with his best friend Andy. I adored the writing style. It flowed very well and the pacing was perfect. It’s written in first person present day but we get flashbacks of Sinter’s life in high school with Andy and with his parents. There is mix media which is fantastic. You get to see emails between Sinter and his parents and text messaging between Andy and Sinter (which is so cute)!  I loved the romance. It was sweet and hilarious. Sinter and Andy have great chemistry with tons of humor, flirtation, and banter. I caught myself smiling numerous times. Sinter is such a likable character. He is unique and owns his style and what he loves to do. He isn’t afraid to wear makeup and pursue his acting career despite his parents being closed minded and not supporting who he is. Overall this was such a fantastic book and I highly recommend it! It’s one I will be rereading for sure. 

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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What a book! AtBPoM follows Sinter Blackwell, an aspiring actor who is beginning to question his feelings for his best friend, Andy. A quick and easy read, this novel did a great job of bringing up timely (but universal) topics such as sexual identity and homophobia, and kept me up all night long in order to see if there would be a happily ever after. I really identified with Sinter and his struggle to choose between continuing a relationship with his homophobic and religious parents, verses striking out and finding his own happiness. Overall, a joyful and romantic romp!

A special thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This is definitely a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ book!! 

It was hard reading what Sinter goes through with his sexuality. Not it specifically but how he is treated by the people who are supposed to be his family. He has his best friend Andy who had come out as gay years before and I am so glad he has him in life. Their friendship goes through struggles, Sinter goes through his struggles with himself and there’s an unexpected life event. This book was truly amazing and I found myself crying through the entire 2nd half. 

This comes out September 3 and when it does, I highly recommend it.
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All The Better Part of Me follows Sinter Blackwell, a 25 year old aspiring actor temporarily living in London who, at the start of the book, is beginning to question his sexuality and his feelings for his childhood best friend, Andy. The book follows Sinter as he struggles to define his identity, both to himself and those around him, alongside his burgeoning career and personal relationships. 

This was a quick, easy read with an engaging main character and a sweet central relationship that you could root for. Sinter was a unique voice to follow as he balanced his career, his relationships, and coming to terms with his own identity. Queer new adult books are hard to find, especially those that feature a bisexual male MC, so I definitely applaud this book for its representation – one of the side characters is trans, too, which is great, although we don't see them much. 

Whilst I enjoyed the book, I think it could have had more weight focusing on just Sinter's sexual identity exploration and less on the drama happening around and to him. I also didn't really like that he was essentially given an ultimatum by the person he loved on coming out to his family, who were homophobic throughout the book and would not have given Sinter a safe space to express himself. Coming out is incredibly personal and should only be done on your own terms, not those of someone who is pressuring you into it.
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