Book Reviews

Social Skills by Sara Alva

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / New Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 23-March-2013

Book Blurb

Music is the only form of communication Connor Owens controls. No matter how badly he wishes to fit in, friendly banter and casual conversations have never been his thing. College is yet another social universe he has no clue how to navigate—until he meets Jared, a football player with chestnut eyes and a cocky grin that holds the power to shatter his self-imposed prison.

Jared's attention opens Connor up to a new realm of emotional and physical intimacy. But as Connor's self-confidence grows, so does his fear that everything will fall apart. Because in this socially stratified world, how long can a relationship between an introverted violinist and a closeted football player really last?

Book Review

I very much enjoyed this sweet, college-based story that explores the relationship between  a shy music student and a second string footballer. Having read a fair share of nerd/jock love stories, I have to say this one rates among the best, largely due to great pacing, good character development, solid supporting characters, and simply excellent writing. I also have to give perks to the author for her choice of cover; it matches the book perfectly and I carried that riveting image of Conner with me throughout the story.

Conner Owens is absolutely adorable, and I challenge anyone who reads the book to say differently. Shy, clumsy, certain that he missed the “social gene” that everyone else seems to have in droves, Conner is that part in each of us that has ever doubted our purpose, our appearance or even our intelligence. Simply put, Connor Owens is highly relatable, and I believe that is what makes this book work so well. I give the author major credit for not having our shy hero suddenly turn into “Mr. Cool” overnight. Rather we are carefully taken through Conner’s trials and errors as he tries to navigate his inner demons, his smother mother, an odd group of artsy types determined to win his friendship, and, of course, his new tutee, handsome footballer, Jared.

Jock Jared is a charismatic specimen of the athletic species; talented, good-looking, outgoing and seemingly at ease with the world. Sure he needs tutoring and he’s not first string, but he’s got a lot going for him and he knows how to get anything he wants. When he sees Conner, he wants Connor, and he goes after him like he’s going for the winning touchdown. Despite appearances Jared, has his own share of worries, he simply deals with his challenges differently; turning a blind eye to things he doesn’t like about himself for one. He’s pretty deep in the closet, has a girl he’s stringing along, and his initial attraction to the introverted music student is not only because he finds barely able to speak, Conner, irresistibly cute and shy, but because those same traits also make the freshman apropos for his need to remain closeted.

The story revealed within this novel is one of growth, love, and understanding that…the grass is never greener on the other side… It just looks that way because it’s not your grass. I don’t want to reveal more, but in my opinion if you’ve ever had a period in your life when you were certain others were privy to some secret “how to be cool” code, well it’s highly likely that you will enjoy this novel. It made me smile, laugh and at times brought a sting to my eyes, and that is what a good book does. I can’t use one word for this little gem, so I’m gonna go with: “Enchanting, sweet and adorable with an underlying edge of realism.”

Thank you, Sara Alva, I’m looking forward to more of your work.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 95969 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 02-February-2013
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link