ARC Review – Darkhearts

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing Darkhearts by James L. Sutter. This one is available now wherever you pick up your books.

Perfect for fans of Red, White, & Royal Blue and Perks of Being a Wallflower, Darkhearts is a hilarious, heartfelt novel about fame, romance, and what happens when the two collide.

When David quit his band, he missed his shot at fame. For the past two years, he’s been trapped in an ordinary Seattle high school life, working summers for his dad’s construction business while his former best friends Chance and Eli became the hottest teen pop act in America.

Then Eli dies. Suddenly David and Chance are thrown back into contact, forcing David to rediscover all the little things that once made the two of them so close, even as he continues to despise the singer’s posturing and attention-hogging. As old wounds break open, an unexpected kiss leads the boys to trade frenemy status for a confusing, tentative romance—one Chance is desperate to keep out of the spotlight. Though hurt by Chance’s refusal to acknowledge him publicly, David decides their new relationship presents a perfect opportunity for him to rejoin the band and claim the celebrity he’s been denied. But Chance is all too familiar with people trying to use him.

As the mixture of business and pleasure becomes a powder keg, David will have to choose: Is this his second chance at glory? Or his second chance at Chance?

***Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***

THE DRAMA!! The main character in this book was so damn messy. He was petty, jealous, and really, really selfish. His inferiority complex was also extreme and caused him so much trouble in his relationships. There were some serious borderline personality vibes with his constant testing of his friends and then blaming them when they didn’t chase after him. He was A LOT and quite unlikeable for most of the book. So, if that doesn’t sound like a fun POV to read, this probably isn’t the book for you.

I kept reading because I really liked Chance, the love interest, and wanted to learn more about him. I’m a sucker for stories about secret celebrity love, especially when it’s queer. I enjoyed that aspect of this book a lot. It made sense to me that Chance would gravitate to David because he was someone who knew the real him and not just the fake persona crafted for the masses. I liked seeing them rekindle their old friendship, even though David was a hot mess express. Chance was honestly way too good for him, but David grew on me by the end despite it taking way too long for him to figure out he was being an absolute ass.

The place where this book fell incredibly short for me was its portrayal of grief. The death of the boys’ friend is what sets the book in motion and rekindles their friendship. However, any real impact from the death seemed very limited. David didn’t really seem to care all that much, which made him seem even more of a selfish ass, and while there were snippets of Chance grieving, it just didn’t feel like enough considering how close he was to the boy who died. I just wanted to see more of them both processing their loss and its impacts, especially since the death should have also been a major blow to Chance’s career. Honestly, this circles right back to me finding Chance’s story much more interesting than David’s, and I think I would have liked this book much more if the POV had been switched.

It also didn’t help that the rest of the characters were pretty flat. The best friend seemed to only be there to provide sex jokes. The dad was honestly almost as insufferable as David. All of their ridiculousness did make for quite a bit of fun banter, though. I don’t think this book will be for everyone, but if you enjoy stories with a huge amount of drama, a selfish and petty main character, and secret celebrity relationships, this is the story for you. Chance did some really heavy lifting to keep this book enjoyable for me, but your mileage may vary. Therefore, I rate this book 3.25 out of 5 stars.

2 thoughts on “ARC Review – Darkhearts

  1. […] Darkhearts by James L. Sutter – 3.25⭐ – This book was so dramatic. lol. The main character was intensely unlikable for most of the book, and I’m fairly certain he was in the budding stages of a personality disorder. I still enjoyed the book, though, because the love interest, Chance, was such a sweetheart, and I’m a sucker for stories about celebrities dealing with relationship drama amidst the turmoil of their fame. See all my thoughts in my review! […]

Leave a Reply