Book Review: 'Not Quite Out' By Louise Willingham.

I came across Louise Willingham on Instagram and was immediately drawn to the title and cover of her book. Once I read the blurb, I knew I had to pick it up. I purchased this gorgeous signed copy of 'Not Quite Out' from Queer Lit UK and I love it. 


William Anson is done with relationships, thanks. He's starting the second year of his medicine degree single, focused, and ready to mingle with purely platonic intentions.

Meeting Daniel, a barely recovered drug addict ready to start living life on his own terms, might just change that.

There are two problems.

One: William isn't out.

What's the point in telling your friends you're bisexual when you aren't going to date anyone?

Two: Daniel's abusive ex-boyfriend still roams the university campus, searching for cracks in Daniel's recovery.

No matter how quickly William falls for Daniel, their friendship is too important to risk ruining over a crush.

William is fine with being just friends for the rest of forever.

Well, not quite.

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Will and Dan totally captured my heart. I cared about them deeply and wanted to see them both happy, safe and in love. I thought Will's caring nature was incredibly sweet and he just made me think of those moments in life where you love something with all your heart and you feel like you are on cloud nine. I sometimes worried when his friends talked about him being obsessed with Dan, he was very enamoured with him, but it was hard not to smile at how much he adored him and the love that he had to give. It was very much the can't eat, can't sleep, can't breathe kind of love and that made the book a truly wonderful escape. Isn't it lovely to get lost in that kind of love sometimes? It was intense and so pure and cute and vulnerable and honest and I really loved that. 

However, that didn't mean love didn't come without it's struggles and troubles. Louise wrote about many heart breaking topics such as abuse and abortion and also how difficult it can be to come out, even when you are surrounded by supportive friends and family. Will went back and forth with just coming out with it but then always finding it too tricky to get the words past his lips. Sometimes it felt like no big deal and he just wanted to say it but couldn't, and other times it was like he was paralyzed with fear of not knowing what would happen when he said it. This part pulled at my heartstrings and I loved Will very much in these moments. I could relate so much to the battle going on in his head and I feel it's certainly a message in being more open and less judgemental of others as you never know what they are going through. Furthermore, what might be easy for you might be ridiculously hard for others and we should always keep that in mind and be considerate of other people. 

Will and Dan are drawn to each other in difficult circumstances and what Dan has been through is incredibly scary and gut wrenching. I liked that they didn't give up on each other. And though I imagine this kind of journey is different for everyone, I liked that Will was protective and that he sometimes had to be bold when it came to keeping Dan safe. I know we as individuals can make our own decisions and we are our own people and we shouldn't try to control or change our other halves, but when it came to looking after Dan, sometimes Will did need to put his foot down to show he cared and to protect him. But he always made sure that Dan spoke to a professional too and got help from the right places as well. One of my favourite things about their relationship was how much they valued communication and closeness. Sometimes it was just with a look, but they could tell when the other was lying and knowing they couldn't get away with it often spurred them to be truthful, except in the case of Will coming out, but that just meant that by the end you are fully invested in what their relationship could be once this barrier was taken away. Their closeness and contentment in cuddling each other too was...swoon!!! 

I think 'Not Quite Out' is an absolutely gorgeous read with so much heart. It's raw, emotional and is a beautiful read for everyone but I think it's extra special for those questioning their sexuality, figuring it out or like Will, struggling a little with quite how to bring the words out into the universe. In that regard, it is very much a hug in a book and I highly recommend picking 'Not Quite Out' up today! 

Happy Reading.

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