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Review of Not Quite Out by Louise Willingham

by Matthew Cornford
Review of Not Quite Out by Louise Willingham

I guess my first question about Not Quite Out is; Where do I start?

I think before we really get into the review, there are a few things you need to better understand about myself and my reading style. I’m an Auditory Digital Reader, which means I read the book as if the voices are in my head. I can scan read but I never enjoy the book as much. Being an AD reader, it often means I’m slower and tend to plod. I normally get through two books a week by picking a book up twice a day and get through 50 pages per sitting. I competed Not Quite Out in one sitting, in 5 hours. I could not move, and I couldn’t put it down. At one point I even refused eating my dinner until my partner stuck it in my lap and forcibly removed the book from my hand.

I was kindly sent this book by the author Louise Willingham, who you may have noticed has been causing a sandstorm of interest via Twitter and Instagram. Because I’ve kept a close eye on her posts over the last couple of months, I’ve had a reasonable idea of the plot, the boys and what might be happening in this novel.

There isn’t a chance I’d spoil your experience of this book by giving too much away but I will discuss the outline of the story, my thoughts of the two boys and my own experienced with regards to the topics within the book.

Not Quite Out by Louise Willingham

William, this shy and fragile young boy at Keele University studying to become a Doctor. A self-proclaimed NERD and complete light weight when it comes to alcohol. Yet what William shows you through this book is the passion and utter surrender of oneself to another. To discover the faults and weaknesses of somebody and the ability to look past them to see the brightness they hide within.

Daniel, a tall handsome blonde Russian whose been drawn into a world of sex, drugs and… an abusive relationship. You can’t help but fall for Daniel from the first moment he’s mentioned on the page. This vulnerability he so honestly portrays just makes you want to whisk him up and save him from the horrors of the world.

From start to finish the book is written from Williams perspective as he attempts to rescue Daniel from the tight grips of an abusive partner. It flows in a conversational style while never forgetting to supply you all descriptive details you need to just fall in love with every character. The plot flows in the direction you would expect for a young love, coming of age YA novel but certainly does have a few plot twists to keep your interest peeked.

Willingham did a spectacular job of creating sexual suspense. I was made to turn every page expecting a first touch, kiss or embrace. While they are there throughout the book, I would say I was defiantly left wanting more, yet that may have been the idea. The ones that are there are pure, innocent and incredible moving. While having all the above causing a wonderful euphoria at every page turn, we are brought down to earth rapidly when tougher subjects are approached. Let’s not forget the first page of this book states “This book contains references to abortion, PTDS, drug addiction, abusive relationships and self-harm.” While drug addition is of course a main focus of the book the other parts are approached in a softer more general term.

We won’t discuss how this tail ends, as of course you must discover for yourself wither Daniel can be saved and if William can be his one saviour.

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