Let me start this review on a more positive note this is probably my favorite quote from the entire book. Ironically it's between the MC's from book #1 (Watch Me) Break You.
"Goddamn it, Mr. Storm. I almost shot you. That would have pissed me off." Dima has such a way with words, doesn't he?
'(Watch Me) Body You' is the second book in Avril Ashton's series 'Run This Town' which is loosely connected to her series 'Brooklyn Sinners' (you can easily read either series independently) There is a bit of character overlap which I really enjoy having read The Brooklyn Sinners it's fun when characters from a series I've read show up in other books by the author.
As much as I enjoyed the first book in this series '(Watch Me) Break You' this one did not hold the same intensity or my interest as book 1 did. For me there comes a time in a story when the author needs to quit making the same point over and over and over again and move on with the story. I reached that point at about 12 to 15% for the author it was somewhere around 52% point. So needless to say I got a bit bored. The first half of this book was essentially Israel's (or Is as he's called most of the time) struggle to deny how he feels about his 'best friend' Reggie. It was very much an 'I'm not gay' theme reiterated in several different variations combined with Reggie's struggle to hide his feelings because being friends with Is was all he'd ever have and that's better than nothing or maybe it's not. I understand that this is a very key component of the story but no matter how important once a point is made then to continue with making that point takes me to the point of 'I have no fucks to give' and I was nearly there but thankfully we finally moved on.
I say thankfully because once the story started to progress I found myself once again engaged and my interest in Is & Reggie's relationship returned. It was definitely the last half of this book that I enjoyed the most and that kept me reading until the end.
We got more background on Reggie and a bit on Is, there were glimpses at Tek (he's one of our MC's in the upcoming book 4 being released soon, I hope) progress was made in other parts of the storyline as well and I enjoyed the last half of the story considerably more than the first half. The pages flew by and before I knew it I was done and once again liking this book considerably more than I had expected after the beginning.
However, there are 2 things in this book that really irritated me. Things that I didn't factor in when I was rating the story...
The first one being...can we please, pretty please work on editing better. I'm not talking about the instances of street slang and just general slang terms that are dusted about throughout this story. I'm talking about the multitude of typing, grammar and just general basic mistakes that should have been caught in the editing. Seriously if this book was professionally edited I hope whoever did it is smart enough to never admit to it because it does not speak well to the quality of their work.
and secondly the street speak and slang used was a little disconcerting especially when characters were drifting in and out of using it sometimes it seemed like it was happening mid-sentence. I don't have a problem with the use of it especially in stories such as this where the majority of the characters are the people who in the real world use this type of speech. My problem is not all slang or street terms are familiar to everyone and they don't necessarily have the same meaning in different countries or even in different parts of the same country.
For example, thank heavens for the Urban Dictionary or I'd still be wondering what the hell this title meant. According to the Urban Dictionary the word 'body' can mean 'to murder or kill someone' or in certain areas such as West Orange NJ to be extremely drunk, however the word 'bodies' can refer to the number of people you have sex with or to a bare-knuckle fist fight between two opponents with the only rule being no face or low blows.
So we have a book filled with gangs, sex, drugs, booze and these are the street terms that can be applied to the words 'body' or 'bodies' is it any wonder that some readers may feel the need to scurry off to google while reading thus breaking the spell that the author has worked so hard to create. It's a rather daunting task for an author to use a word or phrase that isn't necessarily familiar to everyone in an effort to enhance a particular setting and/or theme that they've created without disrupting the readers enjoyment of the story with lack of clarity as to the word or phrase's meaning within the content of the storyline and this is why even though I mention this as something that irritated me, I didn't factor it into my rating of this book. Maybe I was the only one who had this particular problem with this story, if so than really it's not the author...it's me. So while I chose to mention this in my review I also chose not to consider it when rating this book.
Overall, not as good as the first book but not bad enough to dissuade me from reading book 3, (Watch Me) Unmask You. Hopefully the street slang will be clearer after having read this one, but if not I do have the Urban Dictionary bookmarked, so it's all good.