Does anyone major die?: Nope. No death here.
Who ends up together?: Adam and Reese end up together.
The Detailed Spoiler: Reese is a shy comic book nerd who frequents a comic book store where a fellow comic book enthusiast, Adam, works (partly because his mother owns the shop). The story starts off with Adam and his two roommates, Hunter and Free, standing in the shop discussing a New Years Eve party that they are planning at their house. Hunter tells Adam that if Adam brings a date to the party, Hunter will not invite a bunch of random strangers like he did at last year’s party. After Adam’s roommates leave the store, Reese asks Adam to draw some illustrations for a comic book series that she is designing as both a school project and as a kickstarter campaign to launch her career. Adam is somewhat annoyed by Reese, but he sees the opportunity as a way to get a portfolio together for his work as a comic book illustrator/color artist, so he agrees. She gives him her number and he texts her his. This is where we see that the two of them may have some chemistry, although they don’t discuss it with each other. Reese dials up her friend and publisher, Julie, to tell her that Adam will be working with them. Reese then heads off to her job at a local coffee shop, excited for both her comic book and the chance to hang out with Adam. Reese and Adam work on the comic book story, and we start to see that it is closely connected to Reese’s experiences growing up. When Reese meets Adam at the comic shop to look at his first drafts of images, she is angry to see that he made the female characters overly sexualized, but Adam explains that is how comic women are drawn. They agree to work on the character to make her less sexualized. While they are working, Reese asks about a male character that she had seen Adam drawing the day that she asked him to help with the comic book. Adam says he doesn’t know much about the character yet, but he does know that he wants him to be black like himself. The two of them have a deep discussion about race and gender in comic books. We also start to see that Adam is most likely using the character to depict a version of himself. Reese tells him that she will work on character development for the character, since Adam is more of an artist than a writer. Reese invites Adam to her home to work on the comic. Adam agrees, but hopes Reese doesn’t think its a date. He internally expresses that things between them could never work out because they are too different. When Adam comes over, Reese and he decide that Adam’s character will act as a mentor character to Reese’s comic heroine. The two of them take a break to watch a movie and we notice more romantic tension between them, although Adam does not want to admit it. Reese’s mom comes home from work and sees Adam. He feels that she gives him a weird look because he is black and thinks that she doesn’t want him with her white daughter. They finish the movie, but Adam feels awkward. At his apartment, Hunter questions Adam about a date to the party, but Adam says he still doesn’t have one. The next time Adam sees Reese, she brings him coffee because he is so tired and he loves it. Adam shows Reese some more illustrations and she gets teary eye’d from happiness. He thinks he has done horribly, but she laughs and tells him that girls get emotional sometimes. Adam’s mom walks into the store and he gets nervous that Reese will find it weird that his mother is white, but Reese and his mother already know each other from the comic store and Reese doesn’t even mention the color differences. His mother sends them away and tells them to get dinner. They go to a diner where Adam overhears two African American women talking poorly of Reese for ‘stealing a black man’. He doesn’t mention it to Reese, but internalizes it and adds it to the list of reasons why things would never work out between the two of them on a romantic level. The two of them continue working together and Reese decides that it is time for Adam to meet Julie. Julie is a very feminine and beautiful girl with completely different style from Reese and Reese gets jealous thinking that Adam likes that type of girl, which must be why he hasn’t been reciprocating her feelings for him. After Julie leaves the comic shop, Reese invites Adam to come to game night with her friends, where they play a role playing game similar to Dungeons and Dragons. Adam has fun, even though Reese’s ex boyfriend is there and treats Adam poorly. Afterwards, Adam asks Reese if her comic book character is based off of her real life experiences and Reese admits that her father was abusive towards her mother and that they left him when she was ten, which is all reflected in her character’s story. A few days later, Reese goes to Adam’s house where they discuss how Adam’s character has become more of a romantic interest to Reese’s character. Adam kisses Reese. His roommates interrupt them. Hunter starts nagging Adam about a date to the party again and Adam blurts out that Reese is his date, hoping that she plays along. She agrees, but Adam regrets kissing her because he thinks a white and black person could never be together. The night of the party, Reese asks Julie for help making her look sexy, so Julie dresses her up in a tight dress and heels. When Reese arrives to the party, her plan works and Adam is unable to resist her. They end up having sex in his room. Afterwards, Reese regrets it, thinking he only slept with her because she looked like the type of girl that Julie is. She leaves before Adam wakes up. He tries texting her but she is short with him because she regrets everything. Meanwhile, Julie informs Reese that their comic Kickstarter campaign went viral and they have met the money they needed for the comic book project with some to spare. As a result, she has to see Adam again to work with him. They have a hard time with their story, and it is obvious to the reader that it is reflecting their own story so that is why there is a problem. They talk about what happened at the party and Reese tells him she thinks he doesn’t want to be with her for who she is, that he wants someone like Julie. He tells her she is wrong, and that he can’t be with her because she is white. Adam believes his father couldn’t handle the criticism of being with his mother because she is white also. As a result, he tells Reese that he is scared he won’t be able to stand the criticism either. Reese tells him that is unfair and not a fair way to decide a relationship between the two of them. He says that even her mother judged him and Reese says that his mother didn’t care that he was black, but that she doesn’t trust any man because Reese’s father was abusive. She tells him she feels sorry for him and to call her when he finishes more sketches. Then she leaves. Adam goes back to the shop and tells his mom what happens and she tells him he is completely wrong. She says that the relationship between herself and his father failed because of a poor marriage, not because of race. She tells him to live his life and be happy not caring what others think. Two weeks later, Adam and Reese are working together again when he kisses her. He expects her to be happy that he has decided to live his life and not be afraid to be with her, but she doesn’t believe him and storms away. He realizes that he has to prove his love to her. He sets up a series of drawings with himself and Reese together as comic book characters and leaves them in various places so she will find them in the order of the story. She finds the last two when he gives them to her on the steps of her house. The images show them kissing and being happy together. Adam tells Reese that he no longer wants to hold back his feelings or feel scared of an interracial relationship. They end happily together and working on their comic.
My Feelings: This books was unbelievable to me from almost the very beginning. I liked Reese as a character, she was pretty normal if not a bit naive. Adam, however, was just not developed well. He was standoffish in the beginning, which would have been fine if it didn’t turn out that the reason he acted that way was because Reese was white. Reese seems ‘color blind’ so to speak, throughout the whole book, never seeming to care that Adam is black. Adam, however, seems to make all of his decisions based on the fact that Reese is white. His mindset of being attracted to her but cutting her off completely because of the fact that he thinks he can’t handle dating someone of a different race was completely unbelievable. I could understand if something traumatic had happened to him, but he is basing his opinions solely on the fact that his black father left his white mother. Hardly seems like a good enough reason to close off a relationship that is clearly working well. There was no reason other than Adam was afraid if people trash talked his relationship with a white girl he might not be manly enough to handle it and would run away. That was just silly to me, especially after they slept together. He slept with her and then still tried to play it off as if it were an issue of race. I think the idea of them writing a comic together was really cute to begin with, but when the characters directly reflected Reese and Adam it got a bit ‘cheesy’ to me. The whole story just seemed to flop in all aspects. Its a shame, too…because this story had potential, it just wasn’t executed in a believable manner. I won’t be reading any of the other books that are coming out in this trilogy because the writing style and plot development was just too unbelievable.
My Review Post for This Book: His Work of Art Review