Member Reviews

I ended up not downloading this one becuase a friend of mine gifted it to me. I read Reverie a while back and absolutely loved it. I think I loved Be Dazzled more than Reverie, but I'm not sure why, I don't think it's the writing style per se, but maybe the genre? A friend of mine agreed with the fact that they thought contemporaries fit the author way more, so maybe it was that.

I loved the two different timelines, however, we see yet another example of classic YA wirting, the bad mom. And the overprotective, slightly homophobic mom, and eve nthough it might end on a good note, I'm so tired of these clichés.

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This book is wonderful. If you're looking for a feel-good contemporary YA with a gay protagonist, go no further. Or rather start with this one and then move on to the other wonderfully queer books because there are more and more coming out every week!

This story is told through two different timelines, before and after the break-up. The way the chapters intertwine is done so well. At the end of every chapter I didn't want to put down the book. This is a fun and quick read.

There are so many relatable queer moments in this book. I wish this book had been around for me as a teen. I highly recommend this book to queer teens into cosplay and other nerdy things. There's a lot of fun geeky references. I give this book a 5/5. Ryan La Sala is quickly becoming an automatic pre-order.

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This book is a wonderful queer RomCom. I loved it. The setup and setting is great. Cosplay meets enemies (former boyfriends) to lovers.
It’s Next in Fashion or Project Runway goes Comic Con. It’s sweet, it’s nerdy, it’s loveable - and humorous on top.

The characters are well developed with dreams and fear - and a lot of heart. I loved how passionate they were about Cosplay. That was really great.

And the message if the book: Fight for your dreams and find Friends, who Support you while doing it, is just awesome.

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Such a fun, relatable, down to Earth, adorable, exciting read!

I couldn't put it down, after the first page I was hooked, the characters stole my heart. The cosplaying detail was amazing, I haven't got the skill or the knowledge to do what they do, and it helped so much the way this world was created.

Working at conventions myself I loved reading this and seeing how it looks from other people perspectives.

I had to stay up late to finish it because I needed to just keep reading!

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This is such a happy and hilarious book! Gay romance with panache!
Simply loved it! It is such a heart warming story and so so relatable!

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What is BE DAZZLED about? It’s about Raffy, a boy who loves arts and crafts, and loves to build cosplay costumes…a gay boy who is out and proud, but hiding his crafting in the closet (pun intended).

First, I've had this book for months and months and more months and I've been hesitant to read it because I'm usually not a big fan of second chances or reunited lovers. But OMG Raffy and Luca were the cutest couple, even when they weren’t a couple.

Second, the book is told in a Now & Then timeline…also another thing I’m usually not a fan of, but somehow it worked. Everything worked with this book.

Third, there’s COSPLAY!! All the vivid colors and craft supplies and craft store shopping made me want to pull out all my crafting bins and start making something.

Now I need to find my copy of REVERIE and see if it is as impressive as BE DAZZLED.

4.5 Stars because I really wanted to see more of the makeup between Raffy and Luca.

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I had a lot of fun reading this book. Having experienced cosplay and the glee of seeing favorite characters portrayed by fans at conventions, I was right at home with the setting. It was satisfying to see the main characters work through their relationship issues and especially to see the parent's change of heart at the end. This book was very uplifting and hopefull.

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Cute, funny and touching. Be Dazzled is the choice for when you need a light story.

Written in first person from Raffy's point of view, Ryan La Sala gives the reader a great cosplay competition with ups and downs, happiness and sadness, love and ... not so much hate. With chapters interspersed between the present moment and the past of the protagonist's life, we follow how he met his ex boyfriend Luca, and how he will react when competing against him.

Despite being a light story, there is no shortage of moments to talk about important topics such as controlling parents, exposure, a troubled relationship and the dreaded "coming out of the closet".

I confess that at first it was not easy to get attached to the characters and much less the story, what kept me reading was the curiosity to know what would happen with the competition, but the more I read, the more I found myself rooting for these characters.

Overall, it's a great book despite the somewhat troubled beginning for me. Not to mention that it is an LGBTQAI + story that does not end in tragedy, so I definitely recommend it.

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Loved the characters and the cosplay plot of the book! I would have loved more scenes at the convention and I wasnt sure I understood the relationship with the Mother, but I have already been recommending this book to teens. Love the relationships between the friends.

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This book was simply delightful. It had everything: conventions, crafting, cosplay, LGBTQI+ representation, heartbreak, romance, and so much more!

I loved the way it transitioned from then and now to tell the story of Raffy, Luca, May, and Inanya. Centred around Raffy and Luca’s shortlived relationship while prepping cosplays for convention competitions, the dual timelines really help the reader understand what happened to set the stage for the ending.

It had magic and whimsy and I loved the crafty details. The book was full of representation and care. It was a shout out to those of us who are quirky, nerdy, and different. It’s okay to be different and you should follow your dreams! This book shows that if you stay true to who you are and live your truth you can and will succeed.

I loved it and really hope there is a sequel! There are so many ways this could become a series!

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This book is fantastic! I've read my fair share of LGBTQ books but Be Dazzled is unlike anything else. I love that Ryan La Sala took us into the intersection of crafting, cons, and gay teens. While the competition is stiff, the book is just plain fun.

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The setting of a comic convention with the twist of a reality competition show had me intrigued and I enjoyed this part of the book the best! It gave me a longing to be at a con again. There's a cheery, fantastical element to the events and I liked the detail in the process of making the outfits to become a cosplayer. I also loved Raffy's friendship with May and I appreciate that the book doesn't try to create conflict between them just for the drama.

However, the plot itself is weak and predictable. I've read similar books about an out gay character who falls for a closeted bisexual boy where the main character is treated quite terribly and yet the other guy is forgiven in 2 seconds. This book falls into the same trap. On top of that, the book is written in two timelines (Now and Then) and we never found out why Raffy and Luca broke up until the end of the book but they've already made up by then. So because of that I didn't feel invested in the relationship and I found it hard to root for them. And after all the hardship they went through (including abusive parents), everything is brushed aside in a single conversation. I'm a sucker for happy endings especially for LGBTQ+ characters but it also has to make sense. In the end, this book left me disappointed.

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Hello to one of my favorite reads of 2021. (I know it's still early, but I am certain this will remain one of my favorite reads this year.) I'm putting this on the list of underrated YA, right next to Rayne and Delilah's Midnite Matinee. I loved this book so so so much that I wish I could give it more than 5 stars.

Raffy is a cosplayer. But not a casual cosplayer. He is a cosplayer with big dreams and a lot of ambition. This is the first year he's competing in a BIG con, and if he wins, his dreams of going to real art school after graduation will get to come true. He needs this scholarship to prove to his mother (and to himself, really) that what he's doing and creating is it's own kind of art, and it's the kind of art that makes him happy to be alive.

Enter Luca. Luca watches Raffy's livestreams of his work, and after a fortuitous meeting at Raffy's favorite craft store, the two hit it off and become inseparable. Raffy is out and is comfortable with his sexuality, but Luca, who is bi, is not yet out to his family and is trying to preserve his macho-jockness to them, because that's who they want him to be. I don't want to say more here because SPOILERS but the two of them are authentic and beautiful together and apart. I love them both. I love their love story.

This is the story of their relationship, of their love of cons and cosplay, and what it takes to be the best at what you love to do. This is a love letter to nerdy, ambitious teens everywhere. I think, ultimately, this is such an important book because Ryan La Sala sees teens. He understands teens. This is a book teens (and the people who love teens) will love because they will see themselves in it. They are all complex and well-rounded characters and I feel like I'd love to be best friends with all of them.

I loved the way the novel was written too. This book was told one chapter in the present, one in the past, and it was so effective. There was an event that happened in the current chapter, and the past chapter related to the one we just read. It was such a fun way to get to know these characters and their story. The whole book takes place in one weekend, but we really get to know these characters.

I could go on and on. I loved it. I know my teens will love it, and I can't wait to give this book to them. It's a love letter to teens, to cons, to anime, to cosplay. If you are a nerd, have ever been a nerd, and have ever been a teenager, you need to read this.

Content: There was language, kissing, a fade to black sex scene. I'd give it a solid PG-13 rating.

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Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!

Rating: 3.5 stars

I was a little hesitant before reading this one as I wasn’t the biggest fan of the authors debut, “Reverie”, but I wanted to give this author a second chance and I’m really glad I did because on the whole I enjoyed “Be Dazzled”! The main character, Raffy, was super loveable, I loved his voice and he was definitely the highlight of the book for me.

I also enjoyed the switching timelines, which I don’t usually like in books but it worked really well here!

The main issue I had was that I didn’t love the side characters or the love interest that much. I didn’t like how some of the storyline was wrapped up in the end, especially with Raffys toxic mum and his “friend” Inya.

Overall, if you love fandom books, queer characters and super fast paced plots, I would 100% recommend checking this one out!

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This started out strong, but the more descriptive the craft making got, the less interesting things were. There was some real drama to hash out but I found myself skimming and skipping whole sections because I became bored. I love that Luca's family was so open and accepting in the end, but there was this big build up of him not being able to be his true self and then it was no problem at all. And Raffy's mother was just plain neglectful. I feel like this could have been so much more but it all kind of fell flat. There were parts I thoroughly enjoyed, and parts I could have done without. Overall, not the worst thing I have ever read.

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Ryan La Sala is capable of writing in so many genres with the same creativity, fantasy, and queer-centeredness that so many teens will connect with. Be Dazzled is a delight of a read, with dual timelines tackling the story of a breakup between two boys. Artistic teens will love the description of cosplay competitions, crafting and making, and streaming culture, and others will connect with the portrayal of a relationship where you give too much of yourself until you set firm boundaries. I loved this book and can't wait to see what Ryan writes next.

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I really liked this book. Characters were really likeable and it was a really compelling story.Really liked the back and forth in time.

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This was the lighthearted gay rom-com I was in the mood for, and it was cute and funny, and I'm glad it exists. It's a YA second-chance romance as Raffy and Luca have already broken up when the novel starts, but there may still be a spark there... I'm not sure second-chance romances are my favorite trope, but it wasn't painful in any way. Predictable? Yes, but I absolutely did not care. Pick this up for something light and fluffy with relatively low stakes.

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This book was received as an ARC from Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was intrigued by this novel being a huge fan of project runway and reading this book, I was amazed on how much I did not want to stop reading and I wanted to know more about Raffi and what how much passion he had for bedazzling, stitching, and making patterns for his own clothes. I (like most readers) was interested in his relationship with Luca and why they broke up and when Raffi finds out that they have to compete together in the cosplay competition, my stomach just dropped and how can you not read on. I think that was Ryan La Sala's intention while writing this book. Just when you thought it could not get anymore interesting, it does and those are the types of books I love to read, anytime, any day. I know our teen book club will love this and I am excited to hear what their thoughts are.

We will consider adding this title to our YA collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

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Be Dazzled was an excellent YA romcom and I don’t know why I haven’t heard more about it! The description called it “Project Runway goes to Comic Con in an epic queer love story about creativity, passion, and finding the courage to be your most authentic self.” I don’t know about you but that definitely sold me and the book delivered!!

Raffy is really into cosplay and loves the challenge of creating the costumes. He has an online channel where he streams live as he works on his projects and now is the big moment - the major cosplay competition. However Raffy’s ex Luca is also there competing.

The story is told in alternating timelines between currently at the competition and a year ago when Raffy and Luca first got together. I really enjoyed this story so much and think it would make an amazing Netflix movie - I would love to see all the costumes come alive on the screen!

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the advance reading copy!

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