Uncovering Ray by Edie Dansford

uncovering-rayTitle: Uncovering Ray
Author: Edie Danford
Series: Ellery College, #1
Genre: New Adult Romance
Length: Novel (309 pages)
ISBN: 9781619226418
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (April 28th, 2015)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts
Reviewer: Zane
Blurb: When the right love uncovers the wrong secrets…

Hey, man–you a chick or a dude? Dealing with the same old boring question is a downer for college drop-out Ray Fayette, especially when it’s asked by the low-tipping, over-privileged students at the Ellery Diner.

When six-foot-five, muscle-bound straight arrow Wyatt Kelly publicly smacks down a fellow frat bother for caveman behavior, Ray’s interest is sparked. Wyatt’s not-so-subtle attraction sparks a few other things too.

But getting to know Wyatt proves dangerous. His sexy smiles and smart questions slide under even Ray’s prickliest defenses. Worse, his academic mentor happens to be Ray’s ex-stepfather, the dictatorial jerk who just kicked Ray out of his house. Again.

Wyatt suggests a housing arrangement that has surprising appeal—there’s space available at his frat house—but he’s unaware just how complicated Ray’s “identity issues” are. Ellery College kicked out Ray for a reason—a reason that could deep-six Wyatt’s academic career and Ray’s newly hopeful heart.

Purchase Link: https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5411/uncovering-ray

Review: Edie Danford’s “Uncovering Ray” brings us into the genderqueer world – a world where the individual does not identify as either male or female. Is Ray a boy or a girl? Does it matter? Perhaps it wasn’t supposed to, but it did matter to me. I wanted to just go with the flow and be this really cool person and just feel like “Well that’s just Ray, not a ‘he’ or a ‘she” but nope. I fell into the trap. The whole book, I wanted to know. Is Ray male? Is Ray female?

Wyatt succeeded where I failed. Apparently he took one look at Ray and that was it for him. While I applaud and appreciate this, I never felt I got a true glimpse into Wyatt’s head in that regard. I wanted to know if Wyatt questioned himself, questioned Ray’s gender. That being said I loved Wyatt. I loved the idea of a guy being just that cool. He seemed older than his years… whereas Ray seemed younger.

The story itself is of Ray, who Ray is, with and without Wyatt. Ray is messed up, much like many young adults that find themselves in the unique position of not identifying specifically with one particular gender. Ray’s history is a little vague at times, but you do see the struggle, the battle with family, society and self to be, quite simply, Ray.

While the first half of the book seemed to move a little slowly for me, it was the lead in, the build-up for the conflict and strife ahead. There is romance and sex; there’s angst, upset and resolution, all of which surprisingly had me in tears, both happy and sad. I’m not much for book crying, but Ray tugged at my heart.

It is eventually revealed whether Ray is female or male.

Surprisingly, as much as I wanted to know, the reveal defeated the point for me. If it really didn’t matter, then Ray should have remained… Ray.

Kudos to the author for some really difficult accomplishments – while I’ve read other genderqueer books, this is the first that did not inundate me with excessive use of pronouns, did not have me stopping every few paragraphs to wonder whose point of view I was reading. A main character without a specific gender role is not easy to read, and really, for a good part of the book, there was no male, no female. There was only Ray.

The start of this series has definitely captivated and held my interest. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the second book, simply because I want to read whatever it is that Edie Danford is writing next. If you’re looking for straight up MM or even MF this is not for you. If you’re willing to read something different and think you can keep an open mind, take a chance and give this a go. It challenged me; I think it might challenge you. Who knows? You might come out of the read looking at things a little bit differently; I know I did.

** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through www.mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com **