Gwen & Art Are Not in Love
by Lex Croucher
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Pub Date 28 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 12 Dec 2023
St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books
"A total, rollicking delight. Gwen & Art gave me the same cheeky, swoony, giddy, irresistible high of the first time I saw A Knight’s Tale. Lex Croucher is one of my favorite romcom authors, and they should be yours, too." - Casey McQuiston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Kissed Shara Wheeler
Heartstopper meets A Knight’s Tale in this queer medieval rom com YA debut about love, friendship, and being brave enough to change the course of history.
It’s been hundreds of years since King Arthur’s reign. His descendant, Arthur, a future Lord and general gadabout, has been betrothed to Gwendoline, the quick-witted, short-tempered princess of England, since birth. The only thing they can agree on is that they despise each other.
They’re forced to spend the summer together at Camelot in the run up to their nuptials, and within 24 hours, Gwen has discovered Arthur kissing a boy and Arthur has gone digging for Gwen's childhood diary and found confessions about her crush on the kingdom's only lady knight, Bridget Leclair.
Realizing they might make better allies than enemies, they make a reluctant pact to cover for each other, and as things heat up at the annual royal tournament, Gwen is swept off her feet by her knight and Arthur takes an interest in Gwen's royal brother. Lex Croucher's Gwen & Art Are Not in Love is chock full of sword-fighting, found family, and romantic shenanigans destined to make readers fall in love.
"In this frivolous medieval romp of a queer rom-com, Lex Croucher toys with Arthurian legend to delightful effect." - Entertainment Weekly
“Fun and genuinely funny, with lovely friendships and first-rate dialogue. Gwen and Art may not be in love, but I fell for both of them.” - Rainbow Rowell, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Simon Snow trilogy
“Gwen & Art Are Not in Love was exactly what I needed right now—a delightful, heart-warming, hilarious historical romp, overflowing with queer panic and terrible jokes. I loved it.” - Alice Oseman, New York Times bestselling author of the Heartstopper series
Available on NetGalley
I swear it seems like Croucher's books just keep getting better and better!
Gwen & Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher was a fun historical romance!
This exciting new YA queer medieval rom-com debut was just a ball to devour!
What a special retelling! I mean seriously how can you not love this book just by looking at this amazing covert art?
This time-period always fascinates me and Lex nailed it with her unique style and brilliant writing.
Her characters are sweet, brave, funny and so delightful. They were beautifully written.
A compelling and immersive read.
The story is paced perfectly and full of surprises.
A heartwarming and satisfying romance. That I could not have loved more.
"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.
This one is added to the list of the EASIEST 5 stars I've ever given. You know it's good when you sit 4 chapters in and know you can go ahead and click all the stars in your head. Don't go into this expecting a retelling because it most definitely isn't. It's the queer rom-com of my dreams that younger me most definitely needed. It's honestly refreshing to know that so many YA readers who are just starting out will have something like this to connect to and most likely cherish the rest of their lives. Reading this was as easy as breathing and I flew through it so fast, at times, I slowed myself down on purpose. Our main character's are a delight and the f/f m/m relationships sell you from the very start. I'm a lover of both the light and MAINLY the dark when it comes to reading but sometimes pausing and finding something like this blows me away. I absolutely can't wait to purchase this and re-read it over and over. I don't want to spoil the plot because there's quite a bit of time before this comes out but PLEASE try this when you're given the chance!!!!
I have been impatiently waiting for this book ever since I first heard about it - and oh did it deliver. Croucher crafted such an entrancing story reminiscent of the classic knight tales. The characters - especially Gwen and Art - are so wonderfully written and effortlessly relatable. This novel is truly such a beautiful gift for every queer person that’s ever wanted our own fairytale.
This book more than exceeded my expectations, which are pretty high already for a Lex Croucher book. I saw it marketed as a queer retelling of Arthurian legend; however, the book is so very much more.
In fact, the Arthurian content is more of a backdrop for the setting in a time when Arthurian legend is regarded more as fairly recent history which creates the socio-political landscape the main characters have to navigate. Art, Gwen, and Gabriel have a destiny- which is to basically re-enact the traditional roles of the Arthurian trio. Unfortunately, none of them are temperamentally suited to these roles.
Art and Gwen have been destined from birth to marry. At first, they think they hate each other, but they gradually learn what they really hate is having the terms of their lives dictated. They rebel- at first against each other, and then against the system that has boxed them into these roles. When Art discovers Gwen has a thing for Lady Bridget and Gwen finds Art kissing a cute blonde guy, they join forces to help each other live their own lives. Gwen and Art do grow to love each other. They may not be IN love like the story is supposed to go, but their banter, vulnerability in showing someone else who they really are, and support for one another will have readers calling them their new comfort characters. In contrast, Gabriel tries to do his duty, to be the king that Arthur was and that his father wants him to be. This is made quite complicated by the fact that he's by nature an academic who values social justice and is hopelessly in love with Art. Gabriel sees no path to a life where he can have what and who he wants without letting down the country. The stakes are raised when the threat of rebellion looms over Camelot and England.
The dialogue is the truly outstanding feature of this book. Each character has a distinct voice and the banter is not only clever, but effectively drives the plot. Much of this book, including the dialogue, is anachronistic, but that's rather the point. Come for the enemies to lovers, enemies to friends, and found family. This is delightful and moving and one of the best reads of the year.
Amazing delightful queer YA retelling. I saw someone describe this as a knight’s Tale, but make it Gay. And that is a PERFECT description. This book was an absolute joy to read. I laughed. I cried. I wanted to give everyone a big hug! The banter is incredible and you will simply fall in love with all the characters. I adored Sidney and Gwen so much, but truly- every character is just so well written and colorful. This is my top comfort read of the year so far! And I’m not even a big YA fan. Excellent!
Absolute perfection! As a queer fan of fantasy, it's so rare to find a story that combines both of these interests. The story is fun to follow and will be a hit with Young Adults and Adults alike. The main characters are lovable but also well thought out and complex. Hearing the story from both Gwen and Art's point of view was a great choice! Taking place decades after King Arthur of Camelot's rule, any fantasy fan would find themselves enjoying the ride.
I am a huge fan of King Arthur retellings and this one stood out to me the most in cover art and synopsis-wise. This was really different from all the others I had ever read. Art and Gwen just becoming allies and just having their own side relationships was simply everything I was expecting and more. I love the found family trope that is within this novel and all the shenanigans. The pacing is great and so are the dialogues between characters. I am sad that I have to wait until November to get my hands on the physical copy but it is worth the wait. Thank you for giving me the e-arc copy. I needed this queer retelling of my favorite classic tale King Arthur's adventures.
4.5 stars. Thanks NetGalley for the arc ! This book made me feel all the feels. I loved this book so much! The representation was perfect, the story was adorable but also powerful, the flow and pacing was perfect! I wish I could read about these characters forever! Arthur is one of my favorite characters in a book and his relationship with Sidney was my favorite pairing. Thanks again NetGalley for the opportunity !
Gwen & Art Are Not in Love is a tale full of adventure, mishaps, blackmail, and misunderstandings. Gwen, princess of England, has been engaged to Arthur, future duke and distant descendant of King Arthur, since birth. Their relationship up til now has consisted of pranks, insults, and broken bones, but Gwen's parents have decided it's time for the two to start preparing for the wedding. There are a few issues with this: Gwen catches Arthur kissing another boy, and Arthur finds Gwen's diary where she daydreams about kissing the beautiful and strong knight, Bridget Leclair. If you like LGBTQIA+ stories with lovable characters, you'll enjoy reading Gwen & Art Are Not in Love.
“A Knight’s Tale, but make it queer.” If you heard that sentence, knocked over your pint of ale in excitement, and demanded of your trusty companion, “who do I have to joust to read THAT?” then this is the book for you!
Yes, okay, I LOVED it.
(1) The perfect amount of historical (in)accuracy, especially for YA. When people are like “you have to know the rule book before you can throw it out”… well I don’t think that’s necessarily true but I do think you need to know the *history* book before you can throw it out and this author absolutely does. Ngl I saw her previous books and was like “oh god, somebody else writing unrealistic under-researched Regency romance? Just throw ‘em on the pile I guess.” And now I have to go pull ‘em OUT of the metaphorical pile so I can read them because clearly this author knows what she’s doing! And this is the kind of book where you can tell you’re just getting a snapshot - there’s so much more that you just get to see the edges of. Which is WILDly impressive to pull off in this almost theme-park-medieval tone.
(2) I want to say specifically that this book’s plot? Genius. Just… reeling me in like a fish! I NEEDED to know what was going to happen. And it works because there are four main characters and a bunch of others and yet they all feel so sharply drawn, like all the author had to do once she’d figured them out was toss them in the same setting and then take notes as incredibly compelling chaos ensued.
(3) I mean, Gwen & Art & Bridget & Gabriel… lovable, bad decision-making teenagers, all of them! There was a moment maybe two-thirds of the way through where Gwen was the emotionally perceptive one and I literally laughed out loud in astonishment and delight.
Just… Ah! How is this book so GOOD?! Look it starts strong, ends strong, and is also strong in all the parts in the middle. Did I mention the plot??? I was on the edge of my seat needing to know what was going to happen with the cultists and Art’s dad, I just KNEW there was something brewing and I was so stressed and yet somehow it all worked out happily but sadly but perfectly??
THIS IS NOT A RETELLING!
You’re going to see the tile and think oh they’ve retold the story of Arthur and Guinevere and I can assure you that’s not what this is.
This is a story about Gwen (Gwendolyn) and Art (Arthur) and it’s about friendship, coming into your own, love, fear and the occasional battle. I really enjoyed this book and all the characters that were introduced. It’s on the longer side but it keeps you coming back for more and the last 10 chapters or so are great.
The cover drew me in and the characters made me stay, I laughed and felt their struggle as the chapters went on. Would love to see what they’re up to now story down the line.
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and something I’ve been really wanting more of is medieval stories. This book delivered all my wishes and dreams on a silver platter. I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did. By the first chapter I was hooked and didn’t stand any chance of escaping.
The relationship between Arthur and Gwen is probably one of my favorite relationships of all time. They give off the biggest sibling energy and I love how it’s carnage every time they’re near each other. Their banter was top tier.
I loved all the characters. They were giving everything that can be given. I just really loved the development between Gwen and Art. It really was just two siblings wanting to beat each other up (out of love) and I was there for it.
I usually have complaints but there really isn’t anything I’d change in the book. I thought it was ridiculous and over top but Lex did it in a way that wasn’t cringy. It was executed really well. I’ve been having to fight the urge to reread since I read it. It was a very enjoyable book.
It's 3:04 am, I've just finished this book, and I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes just completely wrecked. There are so many books that I love and have so much to say, but this is not that. This is one that I love and cannot fathom words encapsulating how I feel about it. "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more" or however that quote goes. The important thing is that this book reached into my chest and wrenched my heart out, but in a very loving way, if that's possible. I love queer love stories, I love queer historical love stories (we've always been here!!), and I love queer found families. For me, this was everything I'd hoped it would be, and then some.
Firstly, I’d like to say how much I adore this cover! It’s so lovely and I couldn’t stop staring at it while reading the book.
Secondly—this book! I was nervous because this has been an anticipated read of mine but I had no reason to be. I enjoyed the main characters and their relationships. Crouch does such a beautiful job curating these endearing and wonderful characters with seemingly real personalities and ambitions. I absolutely busted out laughing so many times! This book was so fun, witty and honest! I absolutely adored Arthur and his grumpiness and sarcastic comments.
Any who, I AM SO HONORED I GOT THE CHANCE TO READ THIS NOVEL. It hooked me immediately and I love how much we focused on all the side characters as well. I really enjoyed the storyline and wow my heart melted so many times.
I think this one even topped so many other YA queer novels this month, and I can't wait to tell everyone to buy it when it's in stores or be annoyingly persistent about it when I’m at the library.
Haven't even finished this book yet and I wanted to write my review already. This book is so delightful!
Blurbs I would write if I was an author:
"Highly captivating from the first page"
"Lovely, funny, scintillating"
"Made me believe in love again"
Seriously one of the most entertaining books I have ever read and I haven't even finished the story yet. I seriously do not want to stop talking about this book.
Will update when finished!!
Update after finishing:
Literally the best book I have read so far this year. This is five stars, first-rate, blue-chip, the holy grail of books. I was so impressed with this book and the author. I am so excited to read more by this author.
The romance was light and fun, but also explored some heavier elements. I am a fan of all the relationships in the book.
This book is super sweet, delightful, but also pulls at your heartstrings.
Thank you so much NetGalley and Wednesday Books for a copy of this. It was amazing!!!
A absolute joy to read. This is the third book of Lex Croucher’s I’ve read and I can’t wait for there to be more. The story is laugh-out-loud funny and incredibly clever. The characters were relatable and charming. I will be recommending this to everyone.
That's it. I have a new favorite book. I don't know how anyone could read this book and not immediately fall in love. I was enjoying myself thoroughly from the very first page and that delight stayed strong until the last page had turned. I laughed so hard throughout most of this book and I absolutely adored every second. It was witty and fun and absolutely amazing in every way. The only thing I didn't care for was the moment the book came to an end.
Thank you to NetGalley for this truly amazing ARC!
This book made my heart SO happy!! I haven't laughed out loud this much reading a YA romance in forever, and the fact that it had LGBTQIA rep as well was icing on the cake.
First of all, having the two main characters NOT be love interests in the story was amazing! Their banter and friendship was one of the best parts of the book, but there were so many good parts it was hard to choose.
The found family vibes made this entire book's description of Heartstopper meets A Knight's Tale so accurate and heartwarming.
This was an easy fast paced read with great storytelling and a perfect balance between plot driven and character driven story. I would gladly read more about these characters!
Okay yes, I love a queer romance, so fun and cute etc, etc....BUT GOD THE FRIENDSHIP WAS WHERE IT WAS AT. Rarely do novels make me feel like gooey, mushy fanfic does, where you're rolling around clutching the book to your chest because it's so cute...this one definitely did!
Reading a book in the medieval-fantasy genre was completely outside of my comfort zone. I tend to shy away from books that I don’t know anything about. However, what really sparked my interest and drew me in was it was the YA and LGBTQIA+ take on the subject/genre. I’m really glad I was given the opportunity to read this book.
The writing was fantastic. I loved how the dialog was more modern but still fit in with the time and setting. One of the reasons I tend to shy away from books set in medieval times is because I have this connotation that they will always be written in very slow, and hard to understand “middle English”. This was not the case with this book. The conversations and banter between characters was laugh out loud funny. There were parts of this book where I was audibly chuckling at some of the things being said. Each character was lovable in their own way and they were all written in a way where I was able to feel a connection to each of them. It was easy to sense how each character had a bond with one another and how different each of the relationships were. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I feel like it’s the kind of book where there is something for everyone: The trust and friendship between siblings; between two best friends and confidants; same-sex feelings or relationships that must be kept hidden; the relationship with parents who don’t understand and more.
This book had almost as many action scenes as it did romance, which surprised me, but it was really well done. I was able to get a sense of what was happening and a feeling for what the characters were going through without it being too gory or graphic.
I’m once again so happy that I had the opportunity to enjoy this ARC thanks to Net Galley. I’m also an admirer of author Lex Croucher and that my eyes are now open to a whole new genre. Five stars!
A straight up fun romp through a medieval romance that doesn't take itself too seriously. Every turn in this book was more entertaining than the last, and it kept up the sweetness and romance all of the way though. Qwen & Art Are Not in Love does not disappoint!
A medieval, queer rom com? Yes!!! From the first few chapters I knew this was going to be one of my favourites this year. I was just hoping the ending wouldn't disappoint (with the usual miscommunication-two-week-breakup in every romcom, which I hate!!) but the end had me literally at the edge of my seat, trying to read faster and faster to get to the end sooner, I was so stressed.
This novel had both the romance AND the comedy. I've never laughed at a book before this one, I was constantly grinning. The chemistry between all 6 MCs, the banter, the jokes, it was all *chef's kiss*! I caught myself looking at upcoming pages and getting excited when I saw a lot of dialogue, all the conversations were so fun and interesting or cute and flirty!
This book also doesn't skimp out on character flaws, sad, scary and stressful moments either! It's a good balance of happy and sad and the characters even reflect on their lows - they don't just ignore them!! That was one of my favourites parts, one character goes through something hard and the next chapter they go over how it made them feel and how they'll get through it. It was awesome.
Last but not least, the couples!!!! The romance!!!! The flirting!!!!! It was perfect. I love all these characters ❤️
I can't wait to buy the physical copy once it comes out. I WILL be rereading this! Thank you NetGalley for the ARC!
For lack of better words, this book left me BREATHLESS. This was anything and everything I ever could have wanted in a book, the characters were absolutely sublime, the plot had wonderful highs and lows that left me absolutely desperate to keep reading. This is genuinely such a phenomenal book that I highly suggest everyone read. It was funny and sad and tense, and the way that everything built up to the finale was perfect. I cannot fully express just how satisfied I felt reading the last few pages.
Gwen & Art, officially the cutest book I will ever read, and I stand by that statement wholeheartedly. Nothing could have prepared me for how much I was going to LOVE this book! I am a huge historical book girlie, and this book was easily one of the best books I read in the historical YA genre.
All the characters in this book were really likeable, which was nice while reading because it really felt annoying to have to read scenes with any of the characters. They were funny, sweet, loveable, and just so preciously cute together that you can't help but falling in love with them all!
Their love stories deserve so so so so much love, because Gwen & Art deserved all the happiness in the world and they got exactly that. I am truthfully in desperate need of more of all the characters, it's never too early for a girl to dream of a sequel with more content right? This was genuinely one of the best books I've ever read and I can't wait to read more for Lex!
Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an eARC!
This book was so much fun. Such and amazing concept and the way it all fit together with the twists and turns and resolutions made this a plot to remember. I will definitely be recommending this book. I look forward to reading more by this author!
As someone who spent a lot of time watching and rewatching A Knight’s Tale as a youth, this book was a treat. It was filled with truly funny banter, enemies to friends, medieval games, and a group of young adults changing Camelot for the better. The ending was so wholesome and lovely, exactly what I wanted for this story.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing this ARC for my honest review!
The cover art and synopsis drew me in, but I didn’t realize just how much I’d love this book. This fun, historical rom-com was everything I want in a story, and more. Gwen & Art Are Not in Love has easily become one of my comfort books and I’m looking forward to diving into Lex Croucher’s other novels after this.
This book has so much hear, and what really drove the story for me were the characters. The characters are all flawed, charming, and also so very relatable. Quite honestly, I set the bar low for rom-com characters, and Croucher’s cast definitely exceeded my expectations and raised the bar a million times higher.
Also, the dialogue? The banter? Absolutely top notch. I often find the dialogue in romance novels sufficiently eye-rolling, but Croucher’s characters seriously made me laugh from the get-go. Seriously, I’ve never had a book that’s made me laugh out loud before Everyone was so loveable and fun, you can’t help rooting for them throughout the entire story!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for my ARC in exchange for my honest review!
This is my favourite book I've read in a LONG time. Every character spoke to me on a deep level. It was witty, sappy, silly and beautiful all at once. The found family between Gwen, Arthur, Gabe, Bridget, Sidney and Agnes made my heart happy. Gabe is my favourite character due to his sensitive, sweet soul. I loved everything about this book; from the Arthurian lore, the battle scenes and the soft whispers between characters. This book is amazing. I need everyone to read it.
Gwen & Art may not be in love, but the friendship that they develop throughout the story is absolutely lovely. The medieval themes and political tension is cut so nicely with the softness of the romances. Set a few centuries after the OG King Arthur, these young main characters were all so likable and I was deeply invested in each of their happiness(es). There were so many moments I was just squealing from the cuteness. This is the queer representation that is needed in the YA genre!
Wow wow wow!
This blew me away. This is my first book by Lex Croucher and she did not disappoint. I was originally drawn to this story because I am obsessed with anything Arthurian legend related, but I loved that it was so much more than that. It had everything you could want in a medieval romance -- queer characters, action, romance, royalty, and profound loyalty. It's funny, witty, and warm with super lovable characters. It really was a joy to see all the characters growing and coming together as a found family. The characters were quite literally ride or die and made the most rag-tag squad ever. I was even surprised that there was a prolonged action sequence that really brought the 5 stars home for me at the end.
It used on Arthurian legend to set up the plot and characters without leaning to heavily on the myths and magic of it all. It was a super cool twist for a Arthur-Merlin-Morgana nerd like me. It had just enough historical mentions, but never felt overly done like you were getting hit on the head with Excaliber.
All around a super fun adventure! Read if you enjoy medieval romances with queer characters and also a bit of action! Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for a chance to read early in exchange for an honest review!
I was absolutely tickled by this book when I first heard about it. The title is so fun and the cover instantly drew me in. This was such a lighthearted, genuinely lovely read that made me laugh. The book did not disappoint. (As if it could!) This book is perfect for anyone with as soft spot for romantic comedies, hijinks, and historical novels that aren't afraid to get a little silly! If you're looking for something to fill your heart along the lines of Galavant, Merlin (BBC), Ever After (1998), and A Knight's Tale, but a little more queer, pick up Gwen & Art Are Not in Love!!
This was a delightfully fresh YA, and very queer take on Aurthurian legend. With all the lady knights, pet cats and birds, stolen kisses with princes, mortal wounds, snarky servants, cultish rituals, and grand gestures, there's so much to love about Gwen and Art are not in Love.
This book is set in the medieval era but is by no means historically accurate. Nor does it try to be. It feels very much like an especially cheeky episode of BBC's Merlin, but if Merlin were written by people who believed Arthur and Merlin should have had a lot more make out sessions.
I LOVE THIS BOOK OMG! It's like a mix between Heartstopper and Red, White, & Royal Blue, both of which I loved! So naturally, I enjoyed this one as well!
The writing is so beautiful! I love how the scenery and emotions were written! The plot is amazing and I knew I was going to adore it the moment I read the synopsis!
I am so in love with the characters and the relationships! The rivals to friends, the romance, and the side characters were all so lovable and unique! Gwen and Bridget made my heart melt and the way Arthur slowly crept into Gabriel's heart-*sobs*
One of the best books I'll read this year and I'm so excited for the reception when it gets released! I highly recommend it and I really hope you'll love it as much as I do!
I haven’t had this much fun with a book in a long time. It’s funny and charming and the characters feel like real people and it was all just so delightful!
Great concept, absolutely adored the characters. The Arthurian influence on this world was really engaging and fun. The way the story unravels is also interesting, you really fall in love with the characters, it’s funny, relaxing, sweet but also there are undercurrents of things happening below the surface leading to a conclusion that’s thrilling and tense. I couldn’t put it down and had such a good time reading it.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
first off, this book is FUNNY. i was maybe 6 pages in, hit with one ridiculous riverdale reference, and i didn’t stop laughing. lex has this way of being so effortlessly funny in their work that it’s a joy to just turn the page and see what new hilarity awaits you.
second, the characters. omg, this book had me hair-twirling, kicking my feet giddy & in no time, i found myself a little bit in love with all of them.
arthur and his swagger and sarcasm - “needing to be constantly entertained” as a front for his pain; gwen’s snarky, anxious mouth as she navigates the world and her heart; gabriel with his ink-stained fingertips and messy hair, struggling with his destiny; the dreamboat knight, lady bridget, filled with so much ambition, courageous and confident— to quote gwen, “god, i hope she stabs me.”
I LOVED THIS BOOK AND CANT WAIT FOR ITS RELEASE.
GOD this is probably one my favourite books ever now? It was absolutely hilarious and both romances were so so sweet and paced perfectly. Definitely not your traditional romcom and I LOVED that. The author found a way to write about queer issues in arthurian-ish times and still make it so seamless and emotional and heart-wrenching. So many quotes from this book made me so emotional and I love Lex Croucher for that. Gwen's not-like-other-girls arc specifically WAS SO GOOD, as well as Arthur validating her bisexuality and the struggle with Arthur and Lancelot's letters. Each and every relationship that the characters had, be it Arthur and Sidney's friendship or both of the romances or Gwen and Agnes learning to trust each other, was so well fleshed out. I have no complaints. Just. Everything.
BRB about to force every customer that interacts with me to preorder this title! 10/10 would die for every character but specifically Gwen and Gabriel (and also Sidney and Arthur and Agnes and Bridget).
Thanks to the publisher for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!
Heartstopper meets the Guinevere Deception in this gorgeous coming of age queer romance! Gwen & Art Are Not in Love is a literary masterpiece of character design, romance and humour. There is just enough plot to keep the story moving while still giving lots of time to the developing friendships and love stories. One of my favourite parts about this book was the focus on the platonic friendship that grows between Gwen and Arthur. It is a great reminder that enemies-to-disgruntled BFFs is just as good as enemies-to-lovers. This book is perfect and I will be buying a copy for everyone I know.
I have been in a bit of a slump for a while with not a single book able to hold my attention for more than a chapter or two - until Gwen & Art Are Not in Love! I can't recall the last time a book made me laugh quite this much while reading it. If you were a fan of the Swan Princess animated film growing up - in particular the "This Is Not My Idea" song in the beginning - then this is absolutely the book for you. Arthur, Gwen, Sidney, Gabriel, Bridget are all so fantastic, the dialogue equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking at times, with plenty of twists and surprises to keep the reader on their toes.
Arthur and Gwen might not be in love but I certainly am. I cannot wait to have this one on my bookshelf. Honestly, I wouldn't mind a sequel! It ends quite nicely but I am not ready to say goodbye to this dramatic and lovable cast of characters.
Everything I want in a book is found in GWEN & ART ARE NOT IN LOVE. Lex Croucher's upcoming young adult debut is a gorgeous exploration of love, friendship, history, and self-discovery that joyfully tears down the notion that we must sacrifice our truths to be happy and make a difference in the world. It is a queer, medieval rom-com that follows the unintended betrothal of the princess of England and the descendant of King Arthur himself. I haven't read a book this year that has made me laugh, cry, and read with such fervor as this one has, and I can't wait to be as passionate and infuriating about it in the coming year.
If i could give this book a million stars, i would. I haven’t laughed so hard at a book in so long! This is exactly what I needed to start off the year. This book is the perfect combination of rom and com. I will definitely be thinking about this book for the rest of 2023.
A big thanks to @wednesdaybooks for this ARC. I LOVED THIS! It was the type of book that made me mad when people would interrupt me. It was LGBT+ rep at its best and Arthurian historical. It gave me the feeling of falling in love at the Renaissance faire! Hilarious and heartfelt! #GwenandArtAreNotinLove
This just might be my favorite read of the year! From hilarious scenes that will have you laughing out loud to scenes with so much heart, you will have leaky eyes, this book has it all.
Combining historical romance and contemporary queer romance, a delightful mix of both! I loved the characters and the court drama in Arthurian legend,. A big yes from me.
I really enjoyed this book. There was a lot more emotion than I was expecting which was a very welcome surprise. Seeing the romantic relationships play out as well as the found family trope was awesome. I loved Gwen and Arthur’s friendship as well as arts and Sidney’s friendship. The writing was very compelling and easy to follow. Awesome book 10/10 would recommend
Gwen and Art Are Not in Love was a fun ride. I loved how the author wove the Arthurian history into the narrative. More than that, I loved the characters. They were all a great mix of flawed characters you root for, get annoyed at, and fall in love with. Special shout out to Sidney for always being hilarious and endearing, and Bridget for being so strong in her expectations. Can't forget Gwen and Art both equal parts tragic and heartwarming. We love a good enemies to friends arc.
I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced read. This book is carefully balanced between historical and modern, indulgent and serious. It has it all—sword sapphics, pining gays who share custody of a cat, scheming siblings, and a token straight couple with a refreshing lack of drama. My only reservation with this book is that once I reached the end it still felt like some of the loose threads weren't resolved, particularly those having to do more with magic and myth. I may have felt that way because I assumed right out the gate that this would be a fantasy novel, and it wasn't. But I can also hold out hope that those issues will be addressed in a sequel (pretty please??). Either way, I will certainly be reading more Arthurian retellings and more from Lex Croucher.
Thanks Netgalley and St. Martin's press for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
So, so charming! what a sweet book. I'm not generally into romcoms, but the combo of queer and Arthuriana goes a long way for me. I love a lot of things about this book: I love its nebulous "post-Arthur" Camelot, where Arthur Pendragon and Morgana and Mordred etc are ancestors slowly passing into myth but still recent enough that everyone's naming their kids and possibly-magical pets after them like they're celebrities; I love the way this book offers predictable but warmly satisfying plot beats and conflicts and resolutions without ever feeling rote or boring. I love how hopeful it feels, and how self-indulgent. Why yes, I DO deserve to read about cute queers understanding themselves and changing the world around them, especially when there are lady knights and bookish animal-loving boys and tender friendships involved.
I also could have guessed without reading the acknowledgements that the author comes from fandom (and I'm presuming from a fanfiction background specifically), and I mean that in the best way! A lot of my recent favorite books have been written by authors who cut their teeth on fic, and I wish I could articulate what ties them together for me but I find it hard to pin down. In this book, it comes through as an almost folkloric sense of how things should proceed (which is maybe also a romance thing, but I don't read romance enough to know), the pleasure and comfort of understanding the structure, like listening to a new piece of music and sensing when the drop or the bridge or the chorus will come in. The charming banter and the straightforward queer delight really feel like they come out of fic culture to me too. So truly delightful!
Well done! Very much enjoyed this retellings with the Camelot tie ins, the compelling characters, and the humor. Will be featured on a future episode of Your Rainbow Reads podcast.
This book was everything I expected it to be and more. The characters were amazing and relatable and the writing was great. This book has it all from wit and humor to heartfelt and emotional scenes. It’s slow paced but in the best way possible. Definitely an amazing and worthwhile read!
Amazing. Wonderful. Brilliant!
Anyone who knows me knows I love anything based on Arthurian mythology, especially when there’s some sort of twist. I loved that this book used the mythology while using fresh characters. They were all so well written, flawed but still lovable. Gwen, Art, Gabriel, Bridget, even Sidney and Agnes, I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite. (Maybe Gabriel just because he’s also a bookworm lol)
I can definitely tell you which character I hated the most and that’s Arthur’s father. No redemption arc would ever be good enough to make me not hate him. I also very much dislike all the doctors who ever dismissed Bridget’s pain.
This is my first book by this author but I will definitely be reading more!
I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Gwen and Art are Not In Love is a charming twist on Arthurian stories that picks up generations after King Arthur with royal siblings Gwen and Gabriel. Gwen is engaged to the seemingly vapid and rakish Arthur, and Gabriel has eyes for nothing but his books as he prepares to one day be king of England. When Gwen and Arthur are forced to get to know each other better, they find that pretending to grow close will give cover as Arthur pursues handsome men and Gwen the dashing woman who steals her heart as the only female knight in the tournaments.
There’s something charmingly lighthearted and Shakespearean in the humor of this book, and though at times it included injury or a bloody battle, it still felt reassuring and safe to read. Ultimately, it was funny, warm, and powerful, and I adored in particular the conversations both Gwen and Gabriel have with Arthur about honoring their authentic identity, and not apologizing for who they love.
I also particularly loved the very end of this; there’s a little nod that feels like it ties the re-envisioned Arthurian story and all its twists nicely together.
This is my first book by Lex Croucher and after this, I will be seeking out the rest of their backlog! The utter joy I felt reading this book was unmatched. This is a book I wish I’d had as a queer teen but it warmed my heart as an adult. A true delight!
Thank you Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the ARC!
This was the medieval royalty, coming-of-age, self discovery, YA, queer romcom I didn’t know I needed!
I love love loved all the characters. Each one, even side and minor characters, are beautifully written and you can’t help but love every one of them. Gwen and Art going from enemies to friends was probably my favorite part and I loved their banter!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I’ve always been intrigued by the legend of King Arthur, so I knew I would enjoy this at least a little bit. Even though this isn’t a retelling, I liked how parts of Arthurian legend were incorporated into the story and how the character used the history to shape their own stories.
My first Lex Croucher but definitely not my last!
(Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the arc!!)
I can’t stop smiling and giggling. This book blew me away. It was one of my most anticipated reads of the year for a reason. I don’t have a single bad thing to say about this book. The plot was great, I adored every single character, and the writing had me laughing and gasping out loud. What a perfect book that I would give six stars if I could.
I am absolutely amazed about how much I loved this book and how much it means to me. I went into this book not really knowing what to expect. The plot seemed pretty straight forward and obvious BUT NO. There are so many beautiful layers to this story. This book was about coming out and accepting yourself. But it was also about choosing your own destiny and carving your own path. The character development in this story amazed me and it felt like watching your kid grow up. This book had me tearing up for the characters, but also had me laughing out loud and kicking my feet. The side characters absolutely made the story for me. This book was the definition of found family and I could only hope for friends like theirs.
I will start off by saying that I don’t typically read historical fiction or YA super often, but I had to read this one because I love LGBTQIA+ characters and I dabble in historical fiction and I am so glad I read this one! The characters were well-written, the story line was fantastic and although it’s historical fiction, it plays so well in this book. I thought the story was heart felt, the found family was amazing, and the whole thing felt really good. I needed this book right now.
I generally avoid Historical Fiction, but I make exceptions for books that play fast and loose with Historical specifics. By this I mean I love books similar to the film, "A Knights Tale", or books like "My Lady Jane" and "A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue". This book did this. Yes, it takes place in Britains past, there are known Historical figures (some more fictional then others), and more. But, the style of speaking is more similar to modern day speaking, making for a more accessible book. The premise itself was fun, with a betrothed couple who hate each other and secretly love others. These secret relationships are queer, with one character being Gay and the other one Bi. The story follows these relationships while maintaining a sub plot with clashing political parties and ruling. Overall a quick fun, and funny, read that I will be purchasing for my library and recommending to my readers. (Thanks to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for the ARC)
Lex Croucher has managed to bring these LGBTQIA+ storylines together so well for this book! This has become one of my favorite books to date, especially for this year. The story flows so well between Gwen and Art's point of view. Most YA books aren't well fleshed out like this story is, with such a great message built in. I cannot wait to read more of their work in the future! All characters in this book felt so easy to visualize and fall for. A definite high recommendation to anyone who wants a good and mostly cozy read!
The tagline says Heartstopper meets A Knight’s Tale. One of my favorite movies of all time (RIP Heath) meets one of my new favorite graphic novels? I SWOONED! Such a good book! 10/10 Recommend!
I LOVED this novel so much. There was a lot that I enjoyed about this story. The characters, the love plots, the miniature war planning in the background of the story.
I don’t read as much lgbtq+ stories as much as I’d like to & this story had both a mlm story and a wlw story that tie together so WELL. You really get the best of both worlds with this story. Who doesn’t want a lady in knight and shining armor?!
I can’t say much about this book without giving the story away or including spoilers but this was one of the best books i’ve read this year!! im so happy i got to read an ARC ecopy of this book; This book releases in November 28, 2023 so keep your eyes out for this book because I will surely be buying a physical copy of this book.
Oh my stars what a DELIGHT this was! The banter is witty and well paced. The friendships are believable and strong and real. And the fantastical nature of the arthurian setting is just picture perfect. If you are a fan of A Knights Tale or BBC's Merlin and the implied and shipped relationships within it you are going to have a GREAT time. I can't believe the world has to wait until November for this. Its the kind of read that you will just NEED to talk about chapter by chapter, page by page with someone. This book is so good I am GIDDY
I preordered a copy for myself before I even finished it. I always get sucked in by the words "queer retelling", even though I never end up liking them, but there's so many things I loved about this, and I think Croucher executed them all really well. FIrst, I appreciated that it wasn't a true retelling that took itself too seriously. In fact, the nods to Camelot and Arthurian legend and figures worked extremely well in forming the background and the plot. And FINALLY a hist. fic. author who can work in themes of repression and internalized homophobia and still make an uplifting novel full of community and queer joy. I loved seeing all the relationships grow: romantic, platonic, familial, and the banter and dialogue made me laugh out loud at parts.
I had a wild time reading "Gwen & Art Are Not in Love," and I loved every page. This story full of queer characters takes place in the arthurian timeline and has such a fun cast of characters, my favorite being a cat named Merlin (or Lucifer, depending on who you ask). As it was not a retelling, I had no idea where the story was going to go, and it did not disappoint. Croucher did a great job developing these characters and their stories, I care deeply for each of them dearly.
What an incredible book! I absolutely adore the writing, the characters, the setting, everything! I could read a million stories of the whole gang and never get bored. Thoroughly enjoyed this book, thanks so much for the ARC!!!
This book was a delight! I'm a sucker for any Arthurian retellings, and even though this wasn't quite that, it was really interesting to see what Croucher created as an extension of that world. The characters felt like real people and the representation of LGBTQ characters at different stages of personal acceptance was something I feel like queer people with definitely be able to relate to. As a high school teacher, I would absolutely recommend this to my older students (only older students solely because of the language).
Gwen & Art Are Not in Love is such a delicious romp through a historical setting with a completely new twist. Between the hilarious disaster teens, whip-smart dialogue, and all the gay angst, Croucher takes an old story and refreshes it in a way that isn't just fun to read, but makes a powerful statement about living your authentic self. Fans of the Arthurian legend will be delighted with all the nods and easter eggs, but one need not know the story of King Arthur to enjoy this. Croucher's diverse cast of characters are hilarious and empathetic, and you'll find yourself cheering for every single one of those kids to find their place in the world. Highly recommend for fantasy and romance readers, alike
I LOVE THIS BOOK.
Clever, gay and amazing. This book is a work of art and everything I need in my life. I’ll take 1000% of these retellings okay?
Let's be real this is one of those books I was going to read regardless of quality. I mean queer re-imagining of King Arthur? What's not to like?
Imagine then my wonderful surprise to find that this is a story onto itself! Instead of re-imagined legend, it's a re-imagined medieval period wherein the Arthurian legend has taken on a pagan like following. The titular Gwen and Arthur not being the Guinevere and Arthur Pendragon of legend but instead two gay teenagers stuck in an arranged marriage.
What follows is a hilarious and action packed romantic comedy which was exactly the lighthearted fluff I needed in my life. Truly a wonderful time.