Cover Image: Conventionally Yours

Conventionally Yours

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book! It was sweet!

These frenemies find themselves road tripping together to the nations biggest convention/competition where they will both compete for a spot in the professional league. 

They both NEED the win for very different reasons but both are important. They both learn so much on their road trip together can they really accept each other once the competition pits them against each other

I really enjoyed their story, it was cute and sweet and honestly just a nice fun summer read.
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This book was just so absolutely adorable! 

Card game rivals, Conrad and Alden find themselves unexpectedly road tripping together to a huge Odyssey game tournament. Both guys have their reasons for needing to win, but their relationship unexpectedly changes over the course of their adventure. 

This book was just so sweet and fun. I loved hearing from both these gamer guy's perspectives. I think each of them were written with their own distinct voices, something I appreciate in multi-perspective stories. I also found the scenes in which they played the card game to be quite entertaining. 

This book moved quickly and I couldn't put it down once I started reading it.
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This book was super cute! There were portions of it where I felt it was a little long, or taking a long time to get to certain scenes, but overall I loved the story. I've never known much about tabletop gaming, and even though this was a fictional game created by the author, others have said it's realistic, and it was an interesting introduction to the gaming world for me! More than that, the romance at the center of the story was very sweet and realistic. I really enjoyed it!
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Thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the free advance copy of this book. 

Conrad and Alden are both top-level players of the card game Odyssey and they do not get along. Their former professor regularly features them, along with a few other friends, on his YouTube channel "Gamer Grandpa." When their professor presents them with tickets to an upcoming Odyssey convention and the chance to play in a tournament with the prize of a slot on a pro tour, Conrad and Alden both jump at the chance, before realizing this means they've committed to a long road trip with someone they hate. 

CONVENTIONALLY YOURS is both super sweet and super thoughtful. Both young men in the story are already out and in their early 20s, so rather than being a coming out novel, it focuses on post-outing life, both the good and the bad. Conrad struggles with being disowned by his family and having to scrape together rent every month, and Alden, who seemingly has it made with his two moms, struggles with people constantly misunderstanding and trying to "fix" his neuroatypical qualities. 

I also appreciated that this was a hate-to-love romance where the two leads realized the error of their ways and fell in love slowly, over the course of many conversations. Though their initial physical attraction was strong, it was really the kindhearted way each showed the other they were worthy of love that made this book special. 

Content warnings for homophobia, getting outed, neurodivergence, chronic poverty.
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This was such a cute read! If you are a fan of gaming conventions, road trips, and enemy to lover stories, this is the book for you! The ending was perfect and I loved the character development.
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CUTE ALERT! This book made my stone-cold lil heart so happy. M/M gamer enemies to lovers relationship serving all the laughs, cuteness, and steam 👀. Conrad and Alden are stuck in a vehicle together while they road trip cross-country to compete in a tournament. I absolutely loved the parts where they are on the road. The back and forth, the exploration of their backstories - *perfection*. Honestly, these two have my heart forever. The tournament portion of the book is fairly short, and while it did seem to drag a little, you don’t need to know how the game actually works to enjoy the story. And I absolutely loved the ending - which does not happen very often. ⁣
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Thank you Net Galley and the publisher. I have enjoyed reading this. Love it so much! Wonderful storyline and great characters.
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Ahhh this was so cute! I am not a gamer or into comics or anything of the sort and was worried I wouldn't be able to enjoy the story but everything was so well done. My favorite part of the entire story was how casually queer it was. While yes the two MCs are gay, there were a ton of queer side characters who just were. We had Peyton, who uses they/them pronouns, Professor Tuttle and his husband, another professor's daughter is casually mentioned with another woman and the term partner, and identities such as aromantic and asexual were mentioned. And this type of behavior was ALL over the book and it was glorious. I wish more books would start to normalize queer lives because we exist and we don't always need big stories or fancy coming out plots, but just acknowledge that we're here.

As for the actual story, I loved Alden and Conrad and their complex lives. Personally, I like characters who have histories and flaws, not ones who have picture perfect lives. I can't speak for the neurodiverse rep in Alden's case and urge you to look to ownvoices reviewers for how that representation was done. 

I did listen to the audio after the book was released and absolutely love one of the narrators and that could've swayed my opinion slight'y but overall I really enjoyed this. It was nerdy and cute and I was pleases to realize it was NA not YA which was quite exciting.
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Awwwwww......I liked this book. It made me feel like I understood a little bit about tabletop gaming and it’s culture. And I feel a bit better informed about neurodiversity, too. I can also say that I really dig me a gay love story. Who knew? This book had so many warm moments and sweet, yummy feel good things to enjoy. I dug it. 💜📚
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I adored this book. The two MC's slow burn into relationship-land was written so well. I enjoyed the plot, and the not quite friendship/friendship between Alden and Conrad was wonderful. It was truly a journey of two young men finding themselves and each other.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for my complimentary copy of this book.  I really enjoyed Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert.  In Conventionally Yours, Annabeth Albert creates a m/m romance that combines elements of a road trip with gamer convention.  I found these elements to be a fun combo.  I really know very little about the card game industry so learning more about all of that was great.

The story switches viewpoints between Conrad, a happy, go lucky extrovert who is struggling with a family who has cut him off completely, and Alden, a neurodiverse gamer who has a hard time relating to other gamers.  The story follows these two on an epic road trip from New Jersey to Las Vegas where the two will participate in a tournament for their favorite game, Odyssey.  In the book I think Albert does an excellent job of connecting the reader with both of our heroes.  She shows their strengths and weaknesses and you can't help but love both of these flawed individuals.

Another aspect of the story I enjoyed was how the story explores different quirky little places as part of the road trip.  I've done enough road trips myself that it was really fun to see where the guys would stop on their adventures.  

So if I had to pinpoint a weakness for the book I'd say that the road trip part of the book was a little long.  I think it is a vital part of the book, it is pivotal in getting to know the characters, I guess I just wanted to get to the tournament faster.  (I will acknowledge here that I often feel this way with road trip or quest type books, I start get distracted if they take awhile.)

In summary, I think this is a fun, enjoyable m/m romance that would really appeal to people who enjoy relatively low angst romance.  If you are a gamer, I think you'd love this book.  If you are someone who likes a lot of action, this may not be the choice for you.
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I hate to do this but this was a DNF for me. I felt the characters acted younger. It read more like YA rather than new adult. This book had the potential- one bed trope, convention and road trip. I am sad that this was a miss.
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One of my favorite things about her books is how, even though there’s a happy ending, no one has to compromise their individuality to get the HEA. It’s okay for the couples to have different aspirations or reservations about the relationship; they’ll work through it in the end. She does nerdy queer romance with a happy ending very, very well, and that is my jam. There’s some light angst here, mostly of the college-students-finding-their-way variety, but it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows—she does touch on heavier subjects as well. It’s new adult, so there’s not as much heat as in her adult books, and I feel like the emotional connections between MCs in the adult books are also stronger. And the “aha!” moments they each had at the con seemed a little affected. But this was a super cute book, with some of my favorite tropes (Enemies to lovers! Stuck on a very long journey with only each other for company! And the hotel room only has one bed!), and I devoured it.

This one is somewhat similar to her #gaymers series and it definitely helps to have some idea of how gaming works. I am vaguely familiar with D&D (like, that third cousin twice removed you see at family reunions and could maybe pick out of a crowd but you don’t know anything else about them kind of familiar) and I didn’t fully grasp the strategy of Odyssey. And even though this is a cute new adult romance it is also very much about playing Odyssey, so if you’re not into learning the ins and outs of a fictional RPG being played at a professional level you might not want to begin your Annabeth Journey with this one.

And! It’s the first of a series! So there will be more!
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This is a sweet story about Conrad and Alden who are opponents who are traveling together to a large convention. It tells the story of how they go from being not friends to being each other’s everything.
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Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this novel.

This book had a lot of great tropes that I really adore; enemies-to-lovers, only one bed, road trips etc, and while I'm not the biggest lover of "fandom/fan culture" books, I thought I would give this a read anyway as the cover is stunning and I love queer books!

I loved how casually queer this book was. We have a main m/m romance with a few f/f and m/m side characters as well as a non-binary side. The romance between Conrad and Alden was very sweet, their gradual move from "enemies" to friends and then eventually lovers was great. 

However, I found myself pretty bored throughout and to be honest, not much happens. There are a few conflicts here and there, the parents of both the main characters were huge letdowns for me personally. 

Overall, a quick and easy queer read with loveable main characters, I'm sure I'll be reading more by this author in the future!
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Received an e-arc copy from netgally.

I’m still deciding if I’m gonna rate this 3 or 3.5 ⭐️.

Anyway, I think romance between the characters were decent and fun. I also think that the bedroom thingy was intense in my part.

The start was fast paced but it did slow in the beginning of the road trip and went on like that for some time which I think bored me to the point I thought it was forgettable for a little. The whole gaming thing also was kind of boring to me as I’m not a gaming person so I can not really understand the whole game thing.

The thing with the romance of the leads was what kept me going, their relationship developed and character development was done nicely, I think. I love how they ended up close. And I also relate to those pushy parents by the way 🤧 THE PRESSURE IS NO JOKE. It’s like you couldn’t breath and have no freedom to choice on how you run your life.

Overalls I think this was a good read for me. I really love the romance part.
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3 stars

I've started picking up romance novels as something nice to read before I go to bed rather than trying to take in all the information of the fantasy/sci-fi/other heavy genre I'm also reading. Conventionally Yours seemed like a good fit for me with it being a little geeky. 

This may get spoilery. I'll try not to.

The story follows Alden and Conrad on their road trip to a card game convention in Las Vegas in a love-to-hate romance. They are part of a popular Youtube account called Gamer Grandpa (alongside Jasper and Payton, and of course, Gamer Grandpa) and viewers love to watch the animosity between them. As with every love-to-hate romance, they realise that they have viewed each other incorrectly for a long time.

I have to say that I liked the card game more than the romance. I've read another review on here that says the opposite but I wanted to see the guys playing card games more than I wanted to hear about all the 'feels' they were having about each other. The romance itself was fine. I did think it went from 'I really can't stand you' to 'I want your mouth on my mouth' all of a sudden and within a day of the road trip. I would have preferred if they hated each other for at least half of the trip and finally realised the opposite at the convention.

I enjoyed it while I read it but I don't think it'll stay with me for a long. It looks like it may be a series and I'd only read it to learn more about the Odyssey game than the relationship between the lads.

This book was given to me as an ARC from Netgalley.
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I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a book less this year.

When I read the first thirty percent of the book I was bored and skeptical that I was going to enjoy the book, but I was fairly confident that I’d be able to give it an average rating. At that point I hadn’t actually found anything that was actually upsetting I just found both POV characters to be a little boring and not people I was invested in. That said, I did initially enjoy the group dynamic that the book set up at the game shop.

Then Albert systematically eliminated every potential side character in the most comedic of ways and left me alone for the bulk of the book with these two characters.

To me it never read like either of the characters really grew from their experience being together, it was reall more like at some point you have to just get over that this is the person that you’re stuck with for the week and get over it. I never felt the chemistry between them and I really only wanted them to bone so that perhaps something exciting might happen. 

A lot of the complaints I had about the book are rather petty, so I won’t spend time on them here. And I will take time to recognize that Conrad didn’t map the trip, but the idea that this man was so bent on not seeing his relatives in Kansas and still signed on for a trek through the state when alternate routes were certainly available was a choice, as was visiting Denver when the book talks about how he had bad experiences with his asthma there as a child and yet was still caught off guard.

All of the things that popped up to inconvenience the characters of this story felt incorporated in such an obvious way that robbed them of feeling like a moment that I could actually enjoy. 

The most glaringly bad thing about the book was the voice. It read so young for something with protagonists as old as they were. I can respect a chaste romance, and I can respect not having lots of graphic sex scenes, but this book needed something. It constantly felt like the narrative was talking down to the reader, as though it was trying to market to a teen audience the boring love story of two men in their mid twenties, it was just not something that worked. Then to make things worse the final three chapters almost definitely felt tacked on, from the weirdly constructed fade to black sex scene to the odd time skip to the fact that this is mareketed on Goodreads as the first in a series when the book goes out of its way to not include any kind of meaningful side characters and sitting through more of Conrad and Alden’s sotry is the last thing I’d want to do.
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Road trip! This is one of my favorite plots with its forced proximity trope. Add in the shared hotel room dilemma – sorry sirs, only one bed available – with feet brushing up against each other in the night and furtive glances as they change clothes. What’s not to love? Conrad and Alden, the young men starring in Conventionally Yours, find themselves on a cross-county road trip to the massive fan convention and tournament for the Odyssey card game. Prize money and a seat on the pro-tour are on the line. As they travel from New Jersey to Las Vegas, they find they have embarked on more than just a trip; they’re on eye-opening journeys of self-discovery. Can Alden learn to accept himself as he is and stand up against parental expectations that don’t match his own dreams? Can Conrad learn to love himself so that he can allow others to love him? He needs to understand that having lost the love of his parents doesn’t mean no one will ever find him lovable.
“And I can’t say I know what you’re going through. But I do know what it’s like to believe you’re broken when really all you are is … you.”
Conrad and Alden are enemies from the local game store where one of the professors at the nearby college hosts a YouTube show with the store regulars playing each other. More often than not, the two men compete against each other because their fierce rivalry plays well to their audience. When they score some VIP tickets to the game con in Vegas, Conrad and Alden end up alone for most of the trip when the others must cancel. The forced time together naturally leads to them getting to know each other – and themselves – better and challenging their preconceived biases and ill opinions of the other. The enemies to lovers and opposites attract tropes play out well. Annabeth Albert catches the undercurrent of their derisive and cutting remarks perfectly – how an otherwise normal sounding statement rips at the other’s insecurity or anxiety, or how an actual encouraging word is perceived as pity. But by the time they hit Ohio, both Conrad and Alden are starting to wonder why they hate each other and why they are starting to care about the welfare of the other.
Alden is a neurodiverse character, but the nature of his diversity is left indeterminant. Ms. Albert provides Alden with many of the hallmarks of various neurological disorders without the need to slap a label on it. He has difficulty reading people, awkwardness in social situations, experiences anxiety, and interprets things literally. In fact, these characteristics could imply many different disorders or difficulties, or none at all. His neurodiversity is mentioned to explain some of his quirks, but it’s not dwelt upon or made a focus of the story. I commend Albert for her deft handling of the subject.
Alden is a fantastic character: vulnerable, annoying, unintentionally funny, nerdy, anxious, caring, and thoughtful. He is under intense pressure from his mothers to sort out his future. Conrad is likewise a multilayered, likable character with his own anxieties pertaining to the daily struggle to maintain work and shelter while trying to plan a better life for himself. Both men envision winning the tournament as the answer to their woes. Problem is, of course, only one can win and where does that leave their burgeoning relationship? It seems presumptuous that it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that either Conrad or Alden will win the tournament, beating the pros and all the other players across the country.
As the story begins to wrap up, both men take steps toward healing by listening to the other reveal their internal struggles, fears, pain, and worries of the future. Both show great growth as they learn about each other and their hard edges are smoothed away. Broadening their view outside of their own problems gives them a greater perspective in their own self-examination.
There were a couple of negatives in the book for me. First, I found it to be overly long. I wouldn’t call it boring because I did enjoy the entire book; it was just too much, a bit tedious, and I began to skim just a little near the end. Second, I was disappointed at the low level of steam. It reads more like a young adult novel, but clearly it’s not. I expected much more heat like in Albert’s Out of Uniform series.
As far as the actual game play went, I liked being immersed in the Odyssey lingo. It was just enough to feel part of the action, like a spectator, but not so much that I felt I was reading gibberish.
Overall, I found Conventionally Yours to be a pleasurable read. I felt I was right along on the journey, both in the car and in the minds and hearts of Conrad and Alden. I would recommend this novel for its cozy love story and fun enemies to lovers interplay.
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I read this in one sitting. I’m talking not even a bathroom break. I loved this book so freaking much. It just goes to prove that if it’s well written with compelling characters and a solid plot, I do actually like romantic novels.

I loved the geekiness of this book. And I loved Conrad. And Alden. Gah. I just wanted to reach through the pages pick him up and put him in my pocket, all safe.
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