Cover Image: Conventionally Yours

Conventionally Yours

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Member Reviews

I really like this sweet and tender, slow burn new adult contemporary. In Conventionally Yours, Annabeth Albert breathes new life into the opposites attract and forced proximity tropes by placing them within the very fun and deeply weird gamer culture. 

When their teammates drop out due to emergencies, geeky, never been kissed and anxious virgin gamer ends up on a cross-country road trip with a sweet, popular competitor. Alden is neurodivergent, sweet, nerdy and sheltered. Conrad is big and handsome like a Disney prince, but his shiny exterior masks a very tender and vulnerable side and troubled family history. They start as intense rivals, pretty close to enemies, and to the author’s credit, their awkwardness together lasts a realistically long time. Intimacy develops slowly and naturally so that when Alden and Conrad do finally get together, it's deeply satisfying and well earned. 

One thing to note: this is more of a dramedy than a romcom. The humor is gentle rather than laugh out loud, and the emotions run deep. These are sweet, soft boys falling in love for the first time, and it's lovely. That said, one of this book's greatest strengths is that it is so deeply dorky. We get an insiders view of competitive table top gaming, and it's a completely convincing, adorkable world. There are dragons and mage frogs and scrolls and cosplay-- the gamer geek speak runs thick. 

One of my favorite examples: 
His gif was one of a big dinosaur eating leaves. Herbivore food? Too healthy for me ;) See you then, I replied, my soul lighter than I would have thought possible. Just having him to share this with made a huge difference, his little tips and texts powering me through two more games. I warned him about saving scrolls versus fire demons, and he reminded me to be patient with ogres. 
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Conventionally Yours is a big, warm hug.

First of all, thank you to Melia PR on behalf of Sourcebooks for providing me with an e-arc of Conventionally Yours. And to be honest, I had no plans to read this book for a while. While on a bit of a fantasy high, I have been putting contemporaries on the back burner. But, after reading a few books that didn’t have much romance, I found myself craving something romantic and gay.

And Conventionally Yours was already loaded on my Kindle, ready to go.

Honestly, what a lovely book. Our protagonists, Conrad and Alden, both play fictional card game Odyssey in their local games store. They don’t get along, Alden being cold and to the point and Conrad being a bit of a show off and known for his partying whilst at college. But, the opportunity of a lifetime in the from of free tickets to the biggest Odyssey convention in the U.S means a week’s road trip for these seemingly opposing players.

Ugh, that lil’ summary alone should make you drool!

I had no idea this would be a road trip book, even if the synopsis said so. I saw the cover, and assumed these characters would meet at the convention. And sure, the convention is in the book, but it’s the getting there that changes everything. I loved both Alden and Conrad, each struggling with what to do with their futures and how to do it they way they want it. Alden has pushy parents, and is possibly on the autism specturm (undiagnosed). It was amazing to see a neurodiverse character actually flourish in a story that wasn’t about it being a burden. Conrad, plus other characters, became more empathetic towards Alden, and actually took the time to understand him, rather than Alden having to change his behaviour to appease the others characters’ comfort.

Plus, Conrad, my sweet Conrad, who’s dealing with the possibility of becoming homeless, dropping out of college, and past family trauma that he can’t get out of his head. Both of these characters have soul searching to do, plus being forced to get along in a car and the motels along the way, it’s the perfect enemies-to-lovers scenario.
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"Conventionally Yours" ticked a lot of boxes for me: the enemies-to-lovers trope, a roadtrip where the characters find love, neurodiversity, LGBTQ+, a geek angle (in this case, a card game in the vein of Magic: The Gathering) that is just a regular interest and where the characters aren't made to feel 'lesser' because it's what they enjoy. Bonus points for chapters told in alternating perspectives between Conrad (cool, alleged playboy, barely keeping his head above water but no one knows) and Alden (uptight, bossy, neurodiverse but not open about it), so I really felt like I understood who they were, their individual challenges and histories, and how they went from enemies to lovers. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and am thrilled to hear it's planned as part of an ongoing series!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC!
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I love when characters are just free to be nerds. I really appreciated that both the main characters had two different backgrounds and they are both so lovable. I just want to hug both of them and tell "just be you and don't let other peoples expectations bring you down". I loved the fact that the story was centred around a road trip as it gives the two mains a lot of time to get to know each other and start falling in love. :) Alden and  Conrad are lovable and downright cute. I loved that convention that they went to. I reminded of when I was younger and we played Pokemon and YU GI OH! It was a blast. My brother probably still has all the cards. :)

*Thank you Netgalley for providing me a copy for an honest review*
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I'm so excited this is a series because I've fallen for this group of characters! I was immediately drawn into this story and while gaming may not be my forte, a good roadtrip and convention is.

What I loved about this story:

1. I loved the LGBTQ representation and found all of the characters very likeable and realistic. I immediately connected with Alden's character and I enjoyed the enemies to lovers romance between him and Conrad. Conrad's back story made me shed a few tears and my heart broke for him so make sure you have a tissue or two near by.

2. The roadtrip aspect of this book made me want to pack up and hit the road. I'm a huge fan of road trips and this story made me nostalgic for past road trips taken with friends.

3. I liked the way this book covered neurodiversity. As the mother of a neuro diverse child, I really liked the way the author addressed this topic.

If you're looking for a YA enemies to lovers romance, look no further because this sweet book is one you won't want to miss.
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While I enjoyed reading this one (I needed the audio to continue listening when I couldn't be actively reading) I felt like something was missing with this one. It may have been the chemistry between these two not really working for me, but I also think it is just that new adult romances don't always hit right with me. This is slow burn, but at times just felt slow without the burn - give me the burn!

Conrad and Alden were both relatable and likable characters. They are finding their way and as they find their way they just become more likable to me.
These two do not get along. They snipe at each other constantly and that vibe was so real it hit a chord with me. Have you ever been around someone who just rubs you the wrong way? Everything they say or do you can read something else into it? And that something else is 99% negative. Yeah, that was these two - I felt it and I understood it!
And then they progressed past their dislike by getting to know each other and it was endearing.

The story is relatively low in steam, which is a bit of a detour from Albert's usual fare. It is also a bit gaming heavy. And, for someone like me, all of the game play went right over my head. There was enough of it that at times it felt redundant and tiring to read.

But, if you like all the tropes, this one had them!
🔸Rivals to lovers
🔸Frenemies vibe
🔸Slow burn
🔸Forced proximity
🔸Just. One. Bed.
🔸Road trip (!!)

If you like gaming, frenemies or any of the other tropes above, you will likely enjoy this book.
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This was really soft and made me feel really soft, really good, nerd feelings. That's the best way for me to describe it. I love the characters and the relationship and the look into geek culture. I just... yeah. Loved all of that.

I also liked the diversity in the rep we saw. There were several queer characters and a non-binary character whose gender identity wasn't made into a big deal which I loved to see because we so rarely get that.

However, I really wasn't a fan of the only sapphic characters being the over bearing mothers of Alden whose main personality stemed from how they wanted to fix his anxiety and neurodiversity. It made me feel very icky. There were so many mlm characters and that's great! But it came off very weird in the end once I realized that.

In fact almost all the characters were male, except for Alden's mothers, a few mentions of sisters and the non-binary character, and I really would have appreciated seeing even one main female character. Or one that contributed to the plot in anyway.

I still really loved the characters and how Alden's anxiety was talked about but there was just something keeping it from becoming a new all time favorite.
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If you're looking for something cute and adorable to pick up this summer, look no further than Conventionally Yours. I enjoyed this book so much!!

I will say, the game play did play a large part in the book, and it mostly all went over my head, but also, I really liked that they actually played the thing they played on the page. So many times I read a "sports" romance, where there's actually no sport on the page. So, like, when do you do the thing you're supposed to be doing all the time? While I understood nothing about the game, I loved that it was included and such a big part of the book.

I am a sucker for a road trip romance and the "only one bed" trope and this one certainly delivers that. In adorable ways. I will say, if you're the kind of person that minds fade-to-black, this is fade to black- so walk in with that knowledge.

I loved watching both Alden and Conrad open up and really start to think about what their future looks like. I loved watching them talk through their struggles and coming to into their own and coming to terms with themselves.

Also, even though they didn't spend a ton of time in Jersey, I do love that their journey begins in a college in New Jersey.
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Conventionally Yours was a sweet enemies to lovers romance focused around a dungeons and dragons type of game, a road trip and amazing characters! 

Conrad and Alden were both flushed out extremely well and I really enjoyed how much they hated each other on the outside. Since it was told in dual POV i loved learning what they were really thinking and feeling. 

I had one major issue with this book which caused me to drop a star in my rating. Now I know its a story and the character was like that, but the line, "“you want to teach elementary? But you’re so smart....teach a few years, then work on being a principle or something important”. 

Like teachers don’t get enough shit from everyone in the real world. We have to read it in books too. Hugely disappointed. And sad.
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I think my main issue with this book is that it relies so heavily on being enemies-to-lovers but doesn’t give us any real reason for them to be enemies. To be fair, enemies to lovers isn’t my favorite trope, and this book definitely didn’t change my mind on that. There were some cute moments, but mostly these characters really annoyed me with their constant overreacting and cutting comments. It’s not my favorite romance, but I will probably pick up the spin-off/next book.
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If you've followed my blog for any length of time you'll know I'm a huge fan of Annabeth Albert's work and will pretty much read anything she releases, so I was excited to pick up Conventionally Yours, her most recent book, which is a New Adult contemporary book. It features some of my favourite tropes - road trips and enemies to lovers and also celebrates geek culture, which is great.

Conrad and Alden are both members of a gaming group for the popular card game Odyssey. Along with their group-members, they're also part of an on-going vlog series about the game, and are relatively well-known within the gaming community, especially for their rivalry. The opportunity to attend the biggest Odyssey conference comes up and the two 'enemies' find themselves on a road trip to the event. The chance to compete in a tournament is important to both, for very different reasons, and despite their initial animosity towards one another, this trip might just be the opportunity they need to learn more about one another and find that they've got more in common than they think.

Admittedly, this is not my favourite of Albert's works, but it was still a very enjoyable read. While I'm not much of a gamer (in any format) I do appreciate the culture that builds up around those games and fandoms. People often become like family and I think that's a huge underlying thread throughout this book. I think much of what I loved about this book was the way it celebrates geeky culture and how it can be a huge support to people who might otherwise not have much to hold on to. Fandom is a big part of many people's lives and this book highlights that importance.

I liked the contrast between Conrad and Alden - one is living (minute) paycheck to paycheck and needs the tournament win to survive, and the other is bucking the life choices his mothers have made for him. One is fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants and the other is straight laced and this is part of the conflict between them. They both struggle to see the truth beneath the others' exterior, but once they're forced to spend time together (forced proximity is a GREAT trope) they have to develop a bit more empathy for the other person.

Albert's books are not (in my experience) super-fast reads, but the pacing in this one felt extra slow, which is probably my biggest issue with the book. I felt that, at times, we could have moved through scenes a bit quicker and kept up the momentum, but upon reflection, this is really about the characters and their slow journey to realising their mutual attraction to one another, so just keep that in mind if reading. 

While Conventionally Yours may not have been my favourite of Albert's works, it is definitely still a book that I enjoyed. It had enough great characters, great character and relationship growth and enjoyable fandom-love to keep me entertained.
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Conventionally Yours By Annabeth Albert (2020/06/10)
Rating 3.5/5 Stars
Disclaimer: Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher (SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca) for providing me with an ARC to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.
TW: Homophobia, Anxiety, Panic Attacks 

This story follows Conrad and Alden as they are forced to road trip together so that they can participate in the Odyssey gaming convention that will essentially change their lives. Both characters have distinct reasons to win the competition and will stop at nothing to do so. Conrad needs to win because he is struggling financially, and Alden needs to win because he doesn't want to go to medical school. 

I really enjoyed this book, It took me a while to get into the story but after the 30% I was hooked. I really liked the enemies-to-lovers and forced proximity plotline. It was fun to see the characters learn about each other, becomes friends and then eventually lovers. Conrad and Alden were really cute and awkward. Their relationship felt real and genuine. There were many scenes that were really relatable especially for people who simply don't know what to do with their lives or unable to stand up for themselves.  I loved how it followed a diverse cast of characters and that we had a Jewish MC. I loved how Alden was neurodiverse, I feel like that's a topic that is not always brought up in fiction books. I think people who are gamers will really enjoy this book because the plot is so game heavy.

I liked how Conrad and Alden were able to overcome their issues and put their love first.  Although this is targeted as a new adult book there were many fade -to- black scenes which made me feel like this book fell on the YA side of things. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to people who are looking to get into NA but are hesitant to do so. I would have liked to see a redemption arc for Conard’s family. I feel like the ending was too rushed and we didn't really get to see them make much of an effort to repair things with him until the very end. 

Once again thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC copy  in exchange for an honest review.
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🌈 Review Time 🌈 

Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert is a new adult romance about two rival gamers, Conrad and Alden, who have to road trip across the country together to the biggest Odyssey gaming convention of the year where they’re both eyeing up winning the tournament and the opportunities winning would open up for them. 

Guys. I LOVED this book. It was the exact kind of witty romance I love and also included a lot of tropes that ALWAYS get me. Road trip? ✅ Rivals? ✅ There’s only one bed? ✅ I could go on!

Point being, this book had a lot of elements that I always love, but it also had a lot of elements that I thought were unique or I hadn’t read about before. I’m definitely not a big gamer, so I thought maybe the parts of the book that focused on the game would bore me, but I found them so fun and felt like I was actually watching them play and rooting for them. I also think the author handled the topic of neurodiversity and the wide spectrum of people that fall into that category really well.

I just really loved this book and know I spend half the book grinning at my iPad like a weirdo. I also had to force myself to stop reading at 2am otherwise I would’ve stayed up all night and read this in one sitting. Overall, highly recommend to anyone looking for a fun romcom. 

Thank you to Net Galley and Sourcebook for the gifted e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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A rivals-to-lovers romance that was as sweet and sassy as it was adorable.  

Introduced to the two complex characters of Conrad and Alden, we soon discover that while on the surface these men may be opposites in so many ways, they have a whole lot more in common than either could have imagined. 

While the pace was a little slow at times, the characters' depth kept me turning the pages and wanting to follow their journey as they battle in the game of Odyssey (which was delightfully nerdtastic!) and battle with the own journeys and growing chemistry and connection. 

A delightful romance that was fresh and original.
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Pretty cute rivals-to-lovers road trip romance, centered around a game that I assume is supposed to be like Magic: The Gathering. Neurodiverse main character; the other main is experiencing housing insecurity and poverty after his parents learn he's gay. The tension between the two is believable without being overly antagonistics, which is nice, because I am one of those readers who has a hard time with characters who straight-up dislike each other.

I appreciated that the main points of conflict were resolved without having gross misunderstandings--both characters had a lot of emotional growth, without negating their very real challenges.
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Conventionally Your is a cute, poignant romance with main characters who slowly became to have such profound impact on me. Conrad and Alden are so different, but they also have a lot of things in common and it's absolutely fascinating to follow their journey and the realisation of how intertwined their feelings are. The two point of views are equally compelling, although I did relate to Alden a bit more, with his hung-ups on social interactions and not making friends easily. This is rivals to lovers type of story, where first impression and years of competitive gaming together has moulded Conrad and Alden's opinions of each other. It's fascinating to see them to get to know each other better during a road trip to a convention, and to witness how years of preconceptions began to fall apart.

If you're not familiar with the game Odyssey, which Conrad and Alden actively play and attend a gaming tournament, don't worry, it will not hinder the enjoyment. I have never played Odyssey, only vaguely heard the name, and never been into gaming and its community. Albert beautifully weaves the gaming into the story without info dumping anything concerning the game, but still explaining enough through the characters actions and reactions that the reader can keep up. Therefore, I can highly recommend Conventionally Yours for everyone - it is a riveting romance, full of heart-warming and funny moments, as well as deep, absorbing conversations.
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Aside from the adorable factor, this book managed to sneak in a lot of relatable and important things. You don’t often find romances with characters who have real traits, whether they’re struggling with poverty and homelessness or characters who are anything but neurotypical. It was fantastic to see this in a fun, enemies to lovers romance book. Albert also incorporates gaming and convention culture seemlessly, so that all of the elements to this story make it more enjoyable. This was a cute, fun read that I’d recommend to anybody, rather than a book I would recommend to people with it’s character’s traits in mind, and that’s why it’s genius. It shouts to the world that people are different and people have struggles and they still have their adorable, romantic happily ever afters.
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I really loved this nerdy book, although I was kind of stressed about what was happening occasionally (COMMUNICATION, BOYS, COMMUNICATION). Besides that, it was super amazing and the ending was just perfect! I am so glad I was able to read this book! 
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I was so sad to DNF Conventionally Yours at 26%. I was really excited for this one (MM! Theres only one bed!), but I struggled to feel connected to the characters. They honestly felt a lot younger than they were supposed to be? I may try reading it again in the future, but its a DNF for now.
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LOVED!! Could not put this book down I was so involved in the story between Alden and Conrad.  This really took me on a journey from the hurt that you feel when Conrad talks about the situation with his family life to laughing and the dialogue between Alden and Conrad driving together across the country.  I really loved that Conrad finally realized that he was capable of love and loving someone as well as believing in himself.  Then you have Alden who was finally able to stand up to his moms and tell them what he wanted from his life.  I can not wait to read Jaspers story and hopefully Payton will have  a story as well.
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