Wendy reviews ‘Remember All The Things You Don’t Want to Forget: Prequels’ (Southern Scandal #4) by Julia McBryant. Self published November 14, 2019, 44 pages.
Ellis, Quinn, and Amory have a happy daddy-boy-boy relationship. It took them a long time to get there — and they’re still healing from their journeys. Quinn used sex to cover up his deep well of loneliness. Ellis had lost himself. Amory had his home and his god ripped away.
This collection of short, impressionistic vignettes tells the story of how they got there. Told in McBryant’s lyrical, almost dream-like prose, Remember All the Things You Don’t Want to Forget shows how small events in Quinn, Ellis, and Amory’s lives — and sometimes not-so-small-events — shaped them, and brought them, almost inevitably, to each other.
These short snippets show their lives before they came together, and offer a glimpse of how the three fit together. Rather than short stories, these are small moments in the lives of three people who came to love one another — three people who were waiting for each other all along.
Full of the lyrical prose and attention to detail you expect from McBryant, these character studies offer a different perspective into Quinn, Ellis, and Amory in many events that are hinted at, but never detailed, in other Southern Scandal books.
Note that while Christmas Cousins, Southern Scandal #3, is still on preorder, this book contains no spoilers for it, and they can be read out of order.
*A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review
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This series of shorts are not stand alone. They should be read after both ‘I Wish I Were Special’ and ‘Beautiful Boys’ and take place before the events in those books.
This is a super short read so I will try not to get too spoilerish but I think it’s also a super important part of this series. These boys (I can call them that because I’m old lol), have been driven to be the people they are both separately and together. One of the things that I learned early on in McBryant’s amazing universe is that the characters have more to them than mindless hot sex. This prequel sheds some light on three of those characters.
Grabbing Bubbles: Quinn
Didn’t take me long before I was crying while reading this one and I only cried harder the more I read. It shows a series of events that shaped Quinn from early on… like, not being able to have your favorite toys because they aren’t deemed masculine enough. Not being able to express yourself as a child because it won’t “look” good to your parents contemporaries. Not letting the kids at school see how they affect you. Meaningless hookups, drugs and alcohol to hide the pain as a young man. Still having a tiny bit of hope that someone will see you.
Taking the Dare: Ellis
Thought I might get a breather with this one… nope. Crying took a little bit longer to start, but, UGH! What it must be like for Ellis to be always preforming. Always doing what is expected. The southern culture of manners and etiquette when you’re screaming inside. Having a support system when you thought you’d be left all alone then having it ripped away. Being a caretaker. I mean deep in what makes you, you, caretaker but never finding someone to care for. Yes, I was crying for this character too.
This one showcases the fear that I know more than one young person from a religious family must feel. Having been conditioned from a very young age to think that the very thing you are is wrong. That the God you believe in with everything you are will turn his back on you and you will end up in Hell for who you love. But Amory, even while afraid, doesn’t lie to hide who he is. It changes the direction of his life and for someone who is surrounded by people, he’s very alone.
GAH! I was UGLY CRYING after only 44 pages! The things that these boys lived through and the loneliness that they all experience. It’s heartbreaking and that’s why this short is important. It lets you know that there is more to this world than you see on the surface.
10/10 Pots of Gold or 100% recommended
Julia McBryant lives in the prettiest city in the whole world with her roving nebula of German Shepherds. Southern born, Southern bred, and when she dies, she’ll be Southern dead, Julia loves gold glitter, brand-new pens her children haven’t stolen, and notebooks full of character details.
She also enjoys unicorns, caffeine, and unicorns on caffeine.
When she isn’t writing she’s writing.