Book Review: Not Quite Out by Louise Willingham
I read Not Quite Out in 2021, the year it came out, and I’ve been wanting to review this book since then. This year, it’s 2023 now, I decided to start reviewing books on my website and voila, here we are!
Not Quite Out is a queer, cozy, and charmingly “problematic” book. William is a second year medical student at Keele University who is struggling to come out as a bisexual. Not even to his friends. But it all gets even more complicated once he meets Daniel. Right away Will knows that something is off with Dan, and it doesn’t take long for him to learn that Dan is stuck in an abusive relationship. On the top of that he turns out to be an addict and that’s where the story gets a little dark.
Dan’s life has always been in a tight corner and trust doesn’t come easy to him. But Will is adamant, he wants to help and he will do anything to make Dan feel better. It does sound like an unhealthy obsession but over time, as these two get to know each other better, you, as a reader, see that it all is for the best (but no spoilers here!).
Now Will has to figure out how to come out to his friends, not let Dan get back to his ex-boyfriend and drugs, and tell Dan how he really feels about him.
The good news is, after meeting Will, I don’t think Dan would ever want to get back to his old life as well, because even though there are ups and downs in their relationship, and William’s chaotic energy and his obsession with helping Daniel, it is in this relationship that Dan can finally be his true self.
As for other characters, I can now tell with great confidence that I loved them all, but it wasn’t like that when I only started reading the book. One of Will’s friends, Peter, at first, seemed to me like an absolute jerk but maybe that happened because of how engrossed in the relationship of Dan and Will I was from the very beginning. And Lilley, Will’s ex-girlfriend—you get to really love her by the end of the book.
Not Quite Out is a slow burn with a unique love language.
'You okay?' I keep my hand in his hair because I can't move it. I just can't. He's still staring at me, like he can't decide if I'm really there, so I smile. 'You worried me, Dan."
— Not Quite Out by Louise Willingham (page 93)
It explores abusive relationships, addiction, abortion, and eating disorder as well as coming out and friendship.
The book is written from William’s point of view which, as to me, compliments so greatly to the atmosphere of the story. Needless to say that I personally loooove books written in the first person point of view.
Also grab the companion novella, called Marshmallows
Not Quite Out Audiobook: YOU CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN!
Now, you can help Louise (and all of us, fans of Not Quite Out) turn it into AUDIOBOOK, that would be so cool! Join Lou on Kickstarter here. Exclusive merch, e-book, mini-book, and so much more. Let's help make it happen!