Photo via Goodreads.
The Sexual Compass was an interesting read diving into the question: can someone take a substance to cure or initiate homosexuality?
I have never read a story quite like this. Often authors don’t dive into touchy subjects like this one, but Michael Reed did an excellent job! He touches on subjects like straight men wanting to dive into the world of homosexuality, and gay men who want to be heterosexual for a female partner.
The story itself seems to follow three people (although I’m not entirely sure because it’s all in first person and there wasn’t anything that made it obvious it was three different narrators) telling their stories.
One narrator is a young mother who often goes to a “gay club” meeting and seems to wish for a relationship with one of the gay men in the group. Characters like these, that seems very real and are clearly well planned out, make up a good novel. I applaud Michael Reed for his believable characters and their back stories. I could pinpoint someone in my life who was almost identical to his characters. Realistic characters? Check!
The setting is very realistic as well. It is set in modern time where this discussion could actually happen. Overall, the setting is believable as well.
There were two “problems” I saw with this novel. The first issue was that I had a hard time figuring out which character the narrator was switching to at times. All of the chapters are first person, and it does switch between narrators. Sometimes I would think I was following Susan and in reality I was following someone else completely! I wouldn’t realize this until pages later, so I would have to go back and re-read which would confuse me and throw me off. I was often wondering which situation happened to which character.
My second issue, which really isn’t much of an issue, is that I would have liked it to be longer. It is only a short novel, but I would have liked some more relationship development between the characters, or more strife and action. The plot moved well, but having more drama would have been entertaining. This one is more of a personal opinion, nothing that made me dislike the novel.
I also had a question for the author: what were the random pictures in the middle of the novel? I could place them as settings in the book, but was that the real purpose for them? It had be a little confused when I saw the pictures, but they were very nice to look at.
Overall, I liked it! The original idea was realistic and a big topic in today’s society. I would definitely suggest many people to read this book! It’s a great original idea and is it good taste!
Four out of five stars – due to the confusion about the narrators.
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.