ARC Review – Syncopation by Anna Zabo


stars echo

: aromantic & pansexual mc, gay mc, m/m

Life was chaos, and Ray knew that for a fact. He’d always lived in the whirlwind.

– Oh, Ray. To say I’ve wanted to hug him at every turn would be an understatement.

Oh god, I loved this. Syncopation was my first read by Anna Zabo, but I’ll be sure to read more of their books in the future. But this fantastic novel is out today so right now, you should know that Syncopation :

features an aromantic main character as well as on-page discussions about aromisia, which pleased me a lot (note that I’m not aromantic, even though I recognize myself in many parts of this identity. God, I saw so much of myself in Zavier, it’s… both enthralling and unsettling. But as it is, I can’t say for sure if the representation was well-handled. I’ll be sure to check reviews from ownvoices readers, and you should, too)

centers the story around Ray, Mish, Dom and Zavier’s friendships dynamics and complicity, and that was glorious and endearing and GAH, I loved them all OKAY?

focuses on consent a lot and it gave me life – who said consent couldn’t be sexy, because I need to throw this book into their hands, like, YESTERDAY.

pictures such a gradual growth for Ray & Zavier’s relationship, from sort of enemies to reluctant allies to friends to best friends with benefits – slowburn at its best, really (they’re so precious) (MY HEART)

gives central place to trust, first because the MCs engage in BDSM sex, of course, but dismissing the other ways they learn to rely on trust would be a shame ; perhaps I’m wrong, but what I got from Syncopation is both an ode to – rightfully earned – trust, and the recognition of the utter difficulty – but ultimately so rewarding – journey that one must take to let it go. As someone who doesn’t give her trust easily (understatement of the year), it meant everything.

Some readers complained about the pacing, and yes, that’s true, Syncopation is slow – but that’s actually something I loved very much about it – I savored it, from start to finish. The only reason I ever stopped reading is, you know, to sleep. So.

TW – (highlights to see) Talk of alcoholism, talk of drugs, minor violence (Ray throws a bottle in anger), homomisia/queermisia, slurs, involuntary drugging, anaphylaxis, hospitalization, bullying, invasion of privacy, ableism, emotional manipulation

– Buy it – 



*arc kindly provided by Carina Press through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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