The Right Wrong Number
I follow Katie Warren on Instagram. What prompted me to read this book (got it free this month from KU), I won’t lie, is how Katie was going on about the evil cat named Fishsticks. Apparently he has a fan club. I had to find out about Fishsticks.
I’m glad I did.
Julian and Liam’s love story is sweet. I might call it a meet cute that goes wrong. I’m not sure.
Julian has been dealing with severe depression for a year since his husband, James, was killed in a car crash. His best friend, Nora, has moved in to help take care of him, and Fishsticks. Fishsticks has also lost his human. James was the only person in the world Fishsticks liked, and now he is stuck with two people who just don’t scratch his chin properly or recognize Tuna Tuesdays. Nora encourages Julian to “talk” to James. Julian finally decides to give it a try, and sends a text message to James’ phone number. What he doesn’t know is someone else has that number now.
Liam is sick of the dating scene, one night stands, and never having a fulfilling relationship. He’s tired of putting up with his friend Oscar and his obsession with sex. If Oscar isn’t dragging him to Hooter’s at lunch to ogle the waitresses, he’s dragging him off to the bar to pick up women. When he starts getting text messages from Jules, he assumes they are from a heartbroken girl.
The two strike up a friendship through text messages and then decide to meet. Liam discovers Jules isn’t a girl and Julian discovers Liam is the cute guy he was flirting with at the vegetable stand, if you can call telling a dumb tomato joke flirting. From here this turns into a love story about finding love after loss and a “gay for you” story.
Only I don’t know if I would personally call it a gay for your story. It felt better than that.
Part of the book is about Liam coming to terms with falling in love with man. He goes through this entire thing trying to figure out his sexuality and then realizes he’s “gay for Julian.” Only it feels more of an “I found my person” thing rather than an “I’m gay for this one dude” thing.
I was talking to a friend about the “gay for you” trope and how they avoid it like the plague because the stories tend to come across as biphobic. Katie Warren handles the trope beautifully and it never comes across that way, even when Liam is struggling with figuring out his sexuality. This is very much a case finding love in unexpected places.
The thing I really like about Liam is he doesn’t think it necessary to keep his relationship with Julian in the closet. The only person he’s not okay with telling is Oscar, because Oscar is…well…Oscar is a bit of a tool. The moment Julian and Oscar meet by chance doesn’t go well and nearly ruins the relationship.
In the end everyone gets a happy ending, even Fishsticks.