The Official Description: Movie star 102: The headlines are never what they seem.
Quellcrist wasn’t new to fame or the effect it had on a relationship. He’d been married in the spotlight for as long as he’d been famous. But that was before Hale. He knew it was going to test him but even he hadn’t known the toll that months apart would take on his fledgling relationship.
Long days of shooting, different time zones, calls every day dwindled to days without calls, and rumors were all over the rags. Through it all Quell had to battle his own worst enemy but he didn’t know how to win against something inside him. Depression ate him whole and pain took over.
There was so much more at stake than losing his boyfriend, he was losing his best friend. His lifeline, the love of his life. Was there any way to come back from the damage done?
Can they rewrite their ending?
Just the facts: M/M contemporary romance. Celebrity romance. Slow burn. Friends to lovers. Stuck together. Forced proximity.
A touching story about finding a way to love and live with depression – Kinzie Things
My thoughts bit: “Rewritten” is the second book in the “Unscripted” series by J.R. Gray. In the first book actors, Quellcrist King and Hale begin shooting a TV series with a gay relationship between a pirate and a prince. The roles they play in the show ultimately bring them together. The second book in the series picks up as the two actors move on to other film sets.. and sadly, this takes them away from one another at a time when their relationship is very fragile.
We learned in the first book that Quell deals with severe, chronic depression. Unfortunately, as the two men try to move on with their careers and a long-distance relationship the begin to fall apart for Quell. For Quell, depression becomes something that almost paralyzed him. He cant’ talk to the people he needs most, he can’t even pick up the phone. If you’ve never been thought something like that, it’s almost impossible to understand – I get that. Gray has written Quell’s depression in a way that is so authentic in its stark reality. Even as this character is spiraling down, “drowning” as he puts it, he is unable to reach out to anyone.
Across the world filming his own movie, Hale is heart-broken, alone, and lost. He’s being ghosted by the man he loves. Even when the two men are forced together they can’t seem to find a way to speak to each other.
This book brought me to tears more than once! I am not ashamed to admit that. I really felt for Quell and his inability to simply hold out his hand for help. It’s something that I know people with depression struggle with and Gray has written this character in a way that makes me sincerely thankful. I see a bit of myself in Quell and that’s unusual. There are many characters in books who are “depressed” but this is one of the first times I have read a character that really expresses the utter inability to act that many people experience.
This book is a romance, sure, but at its core, there is a lot of communication that needs to happen. When it does, it’s very revealing. Both characters are struggling to move forwards. Both of them know that they love one another but they are also struggling to understand if being together is the best choice for them. The emotions these characters feel are vibrant, painful, and well-written and the conversations are realistic and heartfelt.
If I have any concerns at all, it’s that every so often I found it difficult to remember whose POV I was reading. That’s in part because it’s Gray’s style as an author to not use the names of the main characters very often during dialogue. I still felt this book like a gut punch… so it clearly didn’t bother me too much!
This series is great. If you’re a fan of the romance genre I’m sure you will enjoy it. The second book is a bit heavier… but the same fun banter and supporting characters are still present. If you or someone you know lives with the challenges of mental illness… I think that you will appreciate this book even more.
Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) descriptions of character with severe and chronic depression, characters discuss suicide, very intense emotions
About J.R. Gray: Gray is a cynical Chicago native, who drinks coffee all day, barely sleeps, and is a little too fashion obsessed. He writes realistic and damaged characters because everyone deserves a happily ever after.
Giveaway: To celebrate the release of REWRITTEN, J.R. Gray is celebrating with an Instagram Spotlight Tour and Giveaway. Check out the hashtag, #RewrittenTour, on Instagram, comment on any host photos by tagging a friend, and you’re entered to win e-copies of book 1 in the series, UNSCRIPTED. All details are here: instagram.com/anoveltakepr
I received an ARC of Rewritten by J.R. Gray via A Novel Take Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review.