Crazy Stupid Bromance takes toxic masculinity by the throat

Hello book lovers, I hope your reading this week is going great, or you found a new tv show or even a kdrama to binge. I’m currently reading the second novel in the Shadow and Bone trilogy. Today I wanted to review a recently released romance novel.

I ended my year by reading Lyssa Kay Adams’ Crazy Stupid Bromance. This novel is both funny and dramatic and includes a chunky cat named beefcake, who’s a little on the naughty side. This book immediately caught my attention.

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“Beefcake opened his mouth and dropped the remains of a dead mouse on his chest”

Bromance bookclub Lyssa Kay Adams

Summary:

Alexis and Noah are best friends in love, but they’re both too afraid to act on their feelings and ruin their friendship. Feelings start to unravel when Alexis’s long lost sister comes to her and tells her their biological father needs a kidney to live.

Thoughts:

This novel grips toxic masculinity by the throat. All of Noah’s friends work towards undoing all the toxicity they’ve been taught and work towards expressing their emotions and appreciation for their male friends. The novel is also self-aware and deals with heavy issues such as sexual assault, death of a parent, and abandonment. This novel even has a Karen character who is just as difficult and ignorant as IRL Karens.

I loved all these things but I especially loved the way the male characters work to undo toxic masculinity. It’s refreshing to see and I hope their are more group of male friends who do the same thing. I hope this theme is present is more novels and films because that’s where I find the most macho alpha male bs. Can it go?

However I did notice that this novel lacks POC characters, which I think is ironic given how self-aware it is. I don’t see why it couldn’t tackle racism as well when it intersects with some of the other issues this novel has. Alexis has her survivors of sexual assault group, and Noah has the bromance book club. I think both these areas would be good places to have some POC characters. Although I do wish the author considers making a POC the main character in future novels.

I loved that Alexis owns a cat cafe because, despite these growing popular in recent times, there aren’t many stories that feature one. I also enjoyed that the cafe isn’t just a hangout spot but became a meetup place for other survivors of sexual violence. I thought that was super cool to feature, and included the Karen subplot to go along with it was genius.

My other favorite thing about this novel is that it doesn’t hinge on Alexis and Noah finally becoming a couple. The two begin dating halfway through the book, and we watch them navigate their relationship and Noah supporting Alexis through her transplant surgery for the rest of the novel. I love the long pining in romance novels but reading this one was refreshing.

Additionally, how could I forget my other favorite character in this novel, Beefcake. Beefcake is Alexis’s adopted cat who doesn’t get along with others, especially Noah. The first time Noah spends the night, Beefcake comes into the room and drops a dead rat onto his chest. A threat? Possibly.

“Wh-what’s he doing?”

“It’s called making kitty biscuits.”

“It’s called tenderizing the meat.”

Bromance bookclub LYssa Kay Adams

Beefcake warms up to Noah eventually and learns to tolerate him. 

Beefcake provided lots of laughs in this series, and I’m glad he existed in this novel. I would buy a beefcake keychain, is all I’m saying.

If you would like to order your own copy of Crazy Stupid Bromance and support independent bookstores, check it out through my bookshop link. If you want to browse more of my favorite novels check out my bookshop store front.

Until next time booklovers I’ll be busy living in libros,

Gaby

2 thoughts on “Crazy Stupid Bromance takes toxic masculinity by the throat

  1. I think having more POC characters would have made the theme of countering toxic masculinity even stronger. It’s cool that it’s there at all, and it sounds like it was well done. However, tackling toxicity along with POC identity would have added more nuance.

    Liked by 1 person

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