Reviewed by Ami
Title: Make a Circle
Author: Elliot Joyce
Series: Warmest Wishes – 2018 Advent Calendar
Heroes: Lucas & Oliver
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 33 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Pagan punk musician Lucas is fully prepared to spend this Yule with the rest of the band and his beautiful bass guitar when Oliver, his boyfriend of almost a year, asks if he wants to join the rest of the Han family for their annual winter celebration. It comes as a shock since Ollie has gone to great lengths to keep the two apart, and Lucas always assumed he was the reason. Since they’re planning to be together long-term, Lucas can’t say no to meeting Ollie’s parents, but he better brush up on his manners and his Mandarin because this is going to be a holiday season like no other—and it has some surprises in store for both of them.
This is the first time Oliver Han brought his boyfriend Lucas to meet his family, just in time for the Han family to celebrate Dōngzhì Festival – or Chinese Winter Solstice Festival – which date falls near Christmas as well. Lucas is rather worried that Ollie’s family will hate him; he doesn’t speak any Mandarin, he is, well, the white guy. Lucas is not aware that Ollie has his different reasons, and his own worries, for postponing bringing Lucas before.
I loved my first Elliot Joyce’s book that I read back in April, which was why I respectfully requested for this one. Turned out to be another winner! Despite it being short, but I thought Joyce was able to deliver a sweet and heartwarming holiday story about a young interracial couple.
I loved reading how Lucas is both feeling a little out of place, but at the same time, he makes sure that he is there for Ollie. I’m not going to spoil much about Ollie’s reasons, but I can totally understand Ollie dragging his feet. These two are really, really, sweet to each other. And I enjoyed reading about some of the traditional activities celebrating the Dōngzhì as well, like making the tangyuan.
So, it’s a nice clash-culture kind of holiday story. Although I wish the author explore more about Lucas being a pagan – I imagine it’ll be kind of fun seeing him explaining that to Han’s family *laugh*
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*