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"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde

Louder Than Sirens, Louder Than Bells

Louder Than Sirens, Louder Than Bells - K.D. Sarge

I'm really not sure about this one. First of all, I loved the title. Loved the song going with it, too. The story, though? Hm. Let me try to make explain it a little.

I'm a fan of flamboyant characters. Most of all because I hate how hard it is for these guys in real life to be their true selves. In the straight communtiy, they constantly have to put up with ridicule, cruelty and lack of understanding. I'm so sick and tired of people spouting crap about how these guys are so "fake", and they should stop trying to be a woman, and that "real men" would never wear make-up or do this or do that. T


he gay community really isn't that much better. The ignorance and cruelty coming from a lot of gay men and women when it comes to flamboyant guys is unbelievable. It amazes me in the worst way how ingnorant people can be who actually have to fight their own stigma all the time. And don't get me started on all the crap about how these guys destroy the image of the "regular, normal gay guy" and how nobody who is gay wants to be with a woman, but with a real man, and how these "queens" damage the image of gay people "LGBTQA+ activists" want to promote. The nice, regular gay man, who looks and acts and talks and lives like every other straight man does and therefore has to be accepted uncondictionally. At the same time they refuse to live by their own standards and treat someone who doesn't exactly fit THEIR promoted image with the same ignorance and cruelty everybody else does. Drives me up the wall every damn time. And stop calling these guys feminine all the time, damnit! They're not! They are guys with make-up, or nail polish, or lip gloss or whatever else! Nothing more, nothing less. If I stop wearing make-up and never paint my nails pink, does it make me a more "man-ly" woman? No? Then stop using the generalized BS to put someone you don't know or understand into neat little boxes! Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn, as my grandma would say. Sorry for the rant, just had to say it once.

So, back to the book. As I said, it's always nice for me to see a flamboyant character portrayed in a book, who doesn't "tune it down" because he can't and shouldn't have to, wether at home or when he is in public. On the other hand his struggles, everyday-problems and fights are portrayed very well. And I enjoyed the dance of the two MCs around each other quite a bit. One could argue that Lukas was too one-dimensional, just too good. But in the end, it worked somehow.

What made it difficult for me to read was the stream-of-consciousness-feeling of it all. You have to like it to really make it work, and it just isn't that great for me. Details, minutes like hours and weeks like seconds - it all comes together in a long description that is "one-sided" and more often than not leaves me with a tiny little bit of a "WTF"-face. And I wasn't quite comfortable with the ending. The marriage as a "fix" was hard for me to swallow. Of course they put it somewhat into perspective and I got the feeling that both guys knew that things wouldn't automatically be all rainbows and sunshine from there on. Still, it didn't sit right with me. The side characters in the end also were somewhat... overwhelming? I like diversity in my books, and creative "world building", but here I struggled a little bit with the last part of the story.

So, I really liked it, but I also had some problems with it and I don't feel comfortable with an exact rating. But I'd definitely recommend it. Just take it with a little bit of salt. Or sugar. Whatever floats your boat.