The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know by Brent Hartinger
"Russel Middlebrook is twenty-three years old, gay, and living in trendy Seattle, but life isn't keeping up with the hype. Most of his friends have a direction in life—either ruthlessly pursuing their careers or passionately embracing their own aimlessness. But Russel is stuck in place. All he knows is that crappy jobs, horrible dates, and pointless hook-ups just aren't cutting it anymore.
What's the secret? What does everyone else know that he doesn't?
Enter Kevin, Russel's perfect high school boyfriend. Could rekindling an old flame be the thing Russel needs to get his life back on track? Or maybe the answer lies in a new friend, an eccentric screenwriter named Vernie Rose, who seems plenty wise. Or what the hell? Maybe Russel will find some answers by joining his best friend Gunnar's crazy search for the legendary Bigfoot!
One way or another, Russel is determined to learn the all-important secret to life, even if it's a thing he doesn't even know he doesn't know."- summary from Amazon
I am so happy that there are more Russel Middlebrook books being written. I love reading about my favorite characters growing up (see also Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot, coming in June!) and taking on new adventures. Russel is dealing with what every person just out of college is going through- having a crappy job, dealing with loser dates (or dates who seem really good at first, but turn out bad), and trying to use sex as an answer to your problems.
I love that Hartinger always includes some crazy outlandish side plot to move the action along and provide a parallel to what's going in Russel's life (as well as his friends). This book has the search for Bigfoot, which is masking a bigger issue in Gunnar's life. It always adds a fun layer to the more realistic problems that Russel and his two friends deal with, like polyamory, which is dealt with very delicately. Occasionally, the narrative can get a bit preachy on a few subjects, but Hartinger is still such a good writer (and the lectures/rants are still in Russel's voice) that I can usually overlook that sort of thing.
Overall, a fantastic fifth installment to this wonderful series and I'm eager to see where the story goes next, especially with that ending (but no spoilers!)!
FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.
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