The Book Review
I have been a fan of K.D. McQuain’s for quite some time. This incredible author was one of the first authors to request one of my reviews at the beginning of my book blog journey. His books were also some of the first books on my review list that I knew I had to keep reading. You sometimes get lucky and find that author that writes as if they are writing with you in mind. K.D’s style just gets me, and every time I dive into a K.D. McQuain book, I know I’m in for a great read!
Now time for Capitol Punishment, a piece of historical fiction focusing on the LGBTQ+ community. This is a step away from the fantasy, and vampire books, and a step towards coming of age, activism, and a take on the 1970s. If you want to feel all the feels, this book is for you. It’s R rated and raunchy (as one would expect), but also touches on so many important aspects of a young LGBTQ+ man’s life – experimentation, coming of age, your first love, your first loss, and the gay community. The 1970s were an interesting time with lots of homophobes prancing around, but it was also a time when many LGBTQ+ individuals started allowing themselves to come out more (even if the world was mighty messy).
Caleb is our lead, and this is his journey in his sexuality and his life. He goes from a rebellious teenager with an urge to discover himself in grande New York, to a brilliant man focusing on change. He goes through a self-discovery full of drugs, one-night stands, and sex clubs. Eventually, he grows into a man seeking his first love and redeeming many dark moments that get thrown his way (whether they are his dark moments or not). His story was told by K.D. McQuain brings enough shock factor but also teary-eyed hope. I was honestly marveled by how incredible this book was. It covers so much in almost 400 pages and shows how much K.D.’s writing has improved over the years. All of the applause his way, because this book sits in my top reads for 2022.
This book doesn’t gloss over the dark and imperfect side of things. While New York may seem all glitz and glamour, the dark and honest side of this story really brings out what it may have been like to be LGBTQ+ in the 1970s and 1980s. It was a different environment then, but one we need to reflect on to learn from. From the bullies and jerks to the limited rights and the fear and loss surrounding AIDs…We had and still do have a long way to go. This book packs an emotional punch in the gut from all sides.
Emotional. Raw. Revenge. Freedom. Justice. Rights.
If you want a glimpse into the LGBTQ+ movement in the 1970s, this is the book for you. New York has never shined so bright.
Five out of five stars.
I received this book for free from the author, K.D. McQuain, in exchange of an honest review.
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