Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Andre in Flight by Laura Lascarso

When up-and-coming Miami painter Martin Fonseca encounters youthful pretty boy Andre Bellamy washing dishes in the kitchen of La Candela, he swears he’s known him before, intimately. But Andre only arrived in Miami weeks ago, after running away from small-town Alabama and his abusive father. When Martin discovers Andre trading sexual favors for a place to stay, he offers him a room in his studio apartment. As roommates only.

What starts as a playful friendship turns into something more as Andre begins posing for Martin, whose true passion is painting fantastical portraits. Martin’s obsession with Andre grows until they are sharing more than just flirtatious conversation. But when an eccentric art collector buys one of Martin’s paintings, Martin’s past jealousies resurface and threaten to destroy what he and Andre have so lovingly built.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

To be totally honest, I'm not entirely sure how to review Andre in Flight – so bear with me, please.

Laura Lascarso is a new-to-me author, and I was more than surprised at the levels of emotion woven into the story. The main reason I'm finding difficulty reviewing is simply because I don't wish to give anything away.

The best thing an author can do for me is surprise me – being a writer myself, I can usually see the path the author is taking, along with the Band-Aids covering plot holes. I usually have to read a book rather quickly so I don't stumble and begin editing or plotting. It's a rarity when I can just read and find enjoyment along the way, instead of the tedium as if I'm working.

Lascarso surprised me because I didn't know where she was going with this, but I knew it wasn't an average romance novella with some heavy between-the-sheets action. There was something roiling beneath the surface, and I read feverishly to find out.

On the surface, Andre in Flight looks like the usual waiter meets dish-washer trope – one an artist and the other an aspiring chef. Thrown in is the age difference, the adult and the runaway minor, giving off a taboo vibe. The artist and his muse, on a journey of stardom... but that is not what the book truly is.

This is a fast-paced novella, for which I'm thankful. I believe if the book was any longer, it would have thrown the pacing off, then delved into fluff territory. I appreciate the ability to tell so much story in so few pages, without being beholden to word-count for the sake of word-count. For those who only enjoy longer books, know it was a fully fleshed-out concept from start to finish, with a beginning, middle, and end, leaving the reader to use their imagination by mulling over the emotions and reasons behind them without pages upon pages of redundant inner monologues.

This is a thinker piece. If a reader looks deeper, there are many layers to Andre in Flight, with a twist in which I won't describe. I'll be thinking about this novella even as I'm reading other books.

I look forward to reading what Laura Lascarso creates next.

LAURA LASCARSO lives in North Florida with her darling husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. Her debut novel, Counting Backwards (Simon & Schuster 2012) won the Florida Book Award gold medal for young adult literature. She aims to inspire more questions than answers in her fiction and believes in the power of stories to heal and transform a society.

Andre in Flight is Laura’s first full-length work with Dreamspinner Press but hopefully not her last.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Andre in Flight by Laura Lascarso to read and review.

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