This book exceeded my expectations. ‘I Choose Pain’ is an adult story that digs through layers of not only the struggles of a Black man, but a gay man, and a human being. Before I get into this review, I must say that this book is on my list of favs so far! Just when I thought the drama couldn’t get any more riveting, I was taken by surprise.
This story follows the lives of four men living in Baltimore. Lionel, who is the main narrator, along with his close friends Peep, Corey and JoJo. The first few chapters detail the lives of these men, taking us through their childhoods and showing us the raw, and devastating events that shaped them into the men they have become. While the story seems to center more around Lionel than the others, I must say that Corey’s backstory got to me the most. His recollection of childhood abuse and being a foster child, was emotionally hard to read, and all too realistic for Black children in the system. The backstories of these men was most definitely the highlight of the book for me. It allowed me to become invested in these characters, clinging to the pages, and wanting to see how things turned out in the end for each of them. Even the secondary characters shined through, which is always a thumbs up for the author, and essential for a memorable story.
This book was pretty long, but the word count is definitely justified. Although there are few parts that could’ve been trimmed down a bit or cut out completely, (ex. Some of the lengthy dialogue and exposition). But overall Eros did a great job writing this story, and creating these three dimensional characters. I believe the ending gave the readers what we wanted, closing out with a satisfying epilogue. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great read. I call this book ‘The Black gay version of Sex & the City’ when describing it to friends. If that sounds like something that would be up your alley, don’t hesitate to pick up a copy!
The book can be purchased on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/Choose-Pain-Novel-Eros-Artiste-ebook/dp/B07FPTX7N4
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