If I was rating this book based strictly on Chris this would probably be at least a 4 star rating because I really liked Chris. Chris is a young man whose education came from the school of hard knocks and I think he may have repeated a year or two but in spite of all that he's a pretty upbeat and resilient young man. Along with a laundry list of medical issues Chris has been through some pretty spectacularly bad life events. So the fact that this young man keeps going, keeps trying and putting himself out there for the world to trample is pretty impressive.
Unfortunately my rating is for the book in it's entirety and that didn't go as well. I had a bit of an issue with the fact that his half-brother Matt and Matt's best friend Jase who also ended up being Chris's boyfriend, not one but two of the people who were suppose to be looking out for Chris's best interest were also two of the people who drugged him. Yes, it was 'just a sleeping pill' and yes, it had been prescribed for Chris because on his laundry list of medical issues is insomnia and I have to admit I don't know about anywhere else in the world but where I'm from if you drug someone without their consent and they are conscious and you don't have medical PoA for them it's illegal. It doesn't matter how good your intentions or what your reasons were, so now we have 2 of the people that Chris is suppose to be able to trust that have not only betrayed his trust but I'm betting they've broken the law to do it.
I actually started out liking Jase but as the story progressed I felt like he shifted from being attracted to the Chris he met, to wanting to help Chris be 'the best person he could be' which not a bad thing until it started to feel like Chris being the best person he could be meant that he had to change and be the person that Jase wanted him to be, which meant no more GoGo dancing, no more wearing make-up. Really? Jase pick your battles in the scheme of things why does a little make-up matter? To me this felt totally like a control issue on Jase's part and this may well be my issue I'll take ownership of it but sometimes there's a fine line between helping someone and trying to control them and Jase crossed it on more than one occasion so his white knight armor got a little tarnished in my eyes.
The ending of this book is one humongous cliffie...I mean serious vertigo inducing, hang on to your stomach as you look over the edge of that cliff and I have to admit I'm not sure if I'm going to make the leap on this one or if I'll just cut my losses and walk away from the edge. i guess I'll need to think about it.
Optical Illusion was a story that should have pulled at my heartstrings, made me cry for all that Chris had been through. I should have been wrecked and yet filled with happiness that he found a good place. He found family, friends and a good man who was falling in love with him. I get that but you see the problem was I didn't "GET IT"...I didn't feel it. I saw the words and I understood the story, but I didn't feel the connection. I'm not going to say it was me but neither will I say it wasn't me. There are a lot of reviews out there from people who got it. They got the story and they made the connection but there are also ones who like me didn't.
I think it comes down to sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. In the end all we can each do is decide for ourselves.
A review copy of 'Optical Illusion' was graciously provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing in exchange for an honest review.