Member Reviews

Thank you SO MUCH Netgalley and Sourcebooks Publishing for giving me the ebook ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

THIS BOOK. THIS. BOOK.

This book reminded me why I love to read. Raffy's voice comes out so clear from the first sentence that I was instantly transported into his life, and I got to experience everything that happened in such a vivid way that I never wanted to leave. This book flows with such a magical glittery fantastical pace, and all the characters are fantastic.

I really cannot praise this book enough. It is phenomenal and inspiring and deep but not preachy and I loved, loved, loved it. The best book I've read in a very long time. The queer romance the world needs so badly is expertly executed with tons of style and a degree of detail that pulls you in but never overwhelms.

READ THIS BOOK. LET YOURSELF BE DAZZLED. I know I was.

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Everything about this queer YA romance novel was fabulous, glittery, and bedazzling. It was such a fun read, with characters full of charm. Plus cosplay--freaking cosplay! And crafts and all the things you never really see in a book but wished you had. I wanted to be there to see all these amazing costumes come to life. And Raffy is adorable, clever, and hilarious and keeps you reading all the way to the end. A fantastic sophomore book from LaSala. Can't wait to see what he'll dream up next!

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Young Adult Contemporary Romance. Rafael is a cosplay artist with a decent livestream following. He is determined that this is the year he will not just attend a Con but win it and get some sponsorship for his future. He had planned to do this with Luca, but since Luca became his ex Rafael recruited his friend May to join him. This story is told in two timelines, the present and the past (from about 13 months ago to 5 months ago) which shows on one hand how Rafael feels after the break-up and on the other hand how their relationship was while they were together.

This book was pure escapism-- the wonders of two boys falling for each other amid the backdrop of wonderful cosplay creations. I loved reading the detailed descriptions of the costumes. The chemistry between Raf and Luca was great. My only complaint is that I would have loved an epilogue!

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the chance to read a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Be Dazzled in exchange for an honest review!

I know this book is likely going to be compared to Geekerella (because convention) and Simon Vs (because every story with a cute MLM plot line is) and as someone with a... distaste for both of those, I'm here to tell you that regardless of your feelings towards 'similar' books, you need to read this.

After falling in love in a live stream chat then sequin aisle then crafting-lair, Raffy and Luca are the perfect, storybook couple. Or are they? Told in 2 timelines, one where Raffy and Luca are rival competitors at a cosplay convention, the other (starting place 13 months earlier) where we watch how the two went from strangers to ex-boyfriends, Be Dazzled is the geeky MLM romance everyone's tried to write that few have properly achieved.

Exploring both Luca and Raffy's not-so-great relationships with their parents, the challenges of being out while dating a closeted person, and the power of glitter, Be Dazzled shines from beginning to end.

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You know what this book is??? It is absolutely delightful. There's so much love of art and creating here, affirmation that no art is "silly", that being only focused on the competitive aspects can make you forget why you love this. I've been struggling with loving art for a while and then THIS BOOK comes with reams of glitter and cloth and a stressed, anxious cosplaying crafter queer boy who makes beautiful things despite the world telling him he's ridiculous -- and it stole my heart.

I know it's far too early for a review but!! Put this one on your TBRs. (Also I have not yet read Reverie but I will be!!)

Crafty Raffy
One thing though If you have an Australian accent these do not rhyme. But anyway, I loved Raffy so much. He is STRESSED. The whole book he is stressed and anxious, but brilliant and clever. He sews and crafts, he sketches and designs. Like my mind boggles at the detailed creativity of cosplayers. This is such a skill set. He enters a prestigious cosplay contest which could really help him if he won...but the twist is: he's competing against his ex, who he not only taught how to craft, but who has stolen one of his designs. But it's way way more complicated than that. The book is told in "then" and "now" so we get to see Raffy and Luca's relationship developing. And then the fall out of it in the present.

I loved their dynamics together! Luca is the floppy haired, puppy-dog eyed, soccer jock who is closeted from his family but wants to explore glitter and softness. But only if he doesn't "risk" anything. And Raffy is super uptight to the point of shoving everyone away, but Luca is so soft for him and Raffy melts at the idea someone respects his craft... Their relationship is wholesome and heartbreaking.

Best thing: all the details on the making and building of the cosplays! Because I have no idea how people do it and I was fascinated! (I used to sew as a kid too, so there were some fun nostalgia feels.) And there's the cons and craft store explorations and silly scenes and high stress scenes.

Literally the only thing I wanted more of was deepening the angst, just raising the stakes of the fallouts a bit more.

I just loved reading this. It felt like a glittering warm hug. So many things I love are wrapped deeply in these pages, and it is unapologetically gay and explosive and chaotic and imaginative.

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Be Dazzled is really cute. I love all of the characters, they are very distinct. I especially love Raffy, the main character. I've never read a book about cosplay before and there was so much detail, it was interesting. I would highly recommend this book at my library.

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This was such a great, fun, loud read!

This book slayed me on so many levels. I felt so strongly for Raffy. He feels like he has to live up to the expectations of this huge force in his life - his mom. With a famous artist as a mother, especially one who doesn't approve of the way he shows his own artistic creativity, he has to hide some major parts of himself. It's not even that she disapproves of his sexuality, but that she disapproves of him on a totally different level. How hard that must be.

Raffy is such a wonderful human. He is full of life and full of love, not to mention the fact that he is brimming with creativity. He is full of the most beautiful individuality. He loves what he loves, and even at risk of detrimental quality of life (if his mom were to learn of his predilection for cosplay and dressing up so flamboyantly), he strives for greatness in his craft. But he measures himself to what he thinks he needs to be in Evie's eyes... in Luca's eyes... in the judges eyes...

I loved the cosplay aspect of this book. I love the idea of creating these beautiful costumes and presenting them as an extension of yourself. I also loved the relationship between Luca and Raffy. When they are at their best they shine bright. And when they are at their worst, you still root for them so hard. I sure did! I love that La Sala does such a great job of shattering that masculine gender role. Why can't men wear pretty things? Does that not mean they are still men?

This book meant a great deal to me and the characters will stick with me for a long while. It just made me feel so hopeful.

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A fabulously gay romance YA incorporating crafting and cosplay! Yup.. that literally sums up the whole story.

Be Dazzled to me was a fast paced and fun read. It was cheesy, funny and so cleverly narrated. I honestly enjoyed the storyline and exciting plot.

Besides that, I like how this story which was written from the main character, Raffy’s POV goes back and forth between the past and present in alternating chapters. I thought it was a brilliant way to create adequate suspense and leave readers mind blown at the end.

As for the characters, I think they developed pretty well although I would have liked to know the background of the characters’ family a bit more. My fav character was Luca, not just because he was hot, but because I like his cheeky personality 😬

Overall, I enjoyed this fun and easy read which I devoured in a few days. It represented the LGBTQ+ community in a very positive manner and also made cosplay seem like the coolest thing ever!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Sourcebooks Fire through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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This was such a fun read! I loved the plot and how, in the last third, it felt like a reality show. And I really loved the romance, it was such an adorable relationship!

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Be Dazzled is a loving, funny and highly emotive love letter to the world of cosplay. It's an original plot with likeable characters and a very lovely read.

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Have I ever expected my love of Boston, Art, Anime, and all things Queer to be combined in one book? Probably not without a ritual sacrifice, if being honest. Yet La Sala appears to have done this for me. It's so refreshing to read something so funny, goofy, sad and tender - sometimes all at once. To go from something as fantastical and cosmic as Reverie to something as equally fabulous but centered in the real world would be a challenge for many but Ryan La Sala's confident style and strong sense of character helps make the jump in genre a smooth transition. I look forward for the world to read this and see what other ideas that La Sala conjures up next.

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It was a very cute story and I liked the universe it gravitated around: cosplay. It was very original and I learned a lot about making costumes. I thought the relationship between Raffy and Luca even thought I'm not sure I liked going back and forth in the past and present. A very good story and I'm definitely going to pick up the author's first book.

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5/5 fucking stars

Thank you so so so so so so much to the publisher and Netgalley for providing this e-arc.

So, where should i start? I'm not the most precise reviewer with the most rigid format and flowery writing but i'll try to word out my love for it more precisely. I love it. The mix of Evie's elitism, the amount of detail when it comes to crafting and the relationship in its whole were just some of my favorite details about this book. And not to mention the love interest being slightly based off of the author's past significant other whom has a somewhat large media following, just adds another layer to Luca Vitale's already wonderful personality. The 2 timelines intersecting was a cute way of keeping you hooked that i really enjoyed. A slight critique of mine would be the fact that a 17 year old would place high in a national convention competition where i presume there would even be foreign visitors who might compete. Again, i love it very much. Can't wait to pre-order when it becomes available in Italy. Oh and i want to also give points to the author for adding such iconic pop/drag culture references. To sum this book up: "I haven't had any complaints"

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In romance novels, it's very difficult to make both characters flawed but loveable. One half of the couple is always more likeable than the other. This book's leads have just the right balance of chemistry, extenuating circumstances, and growth to make for an enjoyable and more realistic romance arc.

I will say that sometimes the main character, Raff, is not the main catalyst of action, but I think that works for a YA novel where so many things are not in teenagers' control.

This book is also a fun celebration of nerd con culture. Plenty of descriptions so that everyone understands the pop culture and sewing references.

An excellent second novel. I look forward to more.

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This is very voicy, which I wasn't sure about at first, but I ended up really enjoying it. I also liked the way it was told with the alternating then and now chapters. That really worked, and definitely added some interesting notes to the ending. This was just a whole lot of fun, and I really want more books with cosplay.

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I really like Ryan La Sala's writing. I read his other book Reverie and was blown away by it. This book was funny, charming and geeky.

I will admit that I had a hard time getting into this book, but mostly because I read fantasy and dont read more contemporary books. Also as a geek who has done cosplay I cant seem to want to read about it.

However I would still recommend this book if you want a queer geeky ya read. In general I recommend this author I look forward to his future books.

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I absolutely loved this book. Ryan La Sala is one of my favorite authors to follow because he is hilarious, and I'm so happy to know now that his humor translates amazingly into his books. I loved Raffy and Luca so much and their story. I don't know much about the world of cosplay, but I loved learning about it through this book! I'll definitely be recommending this to people!

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