This debut novel by Aaron Foley, author of How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass, follows three Black gay millennial men looking for love, friendship, and professional success in the Motor City.
With Boys Come First, Aaron Foley offers a delightful novel about romantic and career ambitions, friendship and the particular charms of and challenges faced by gay Black millennial men in Detroit...Boys Come First is rich in flavor and detail, benefiting from Remy's comprehensive knowledge of Motor City neighborhoods, Troy's hyperlocal concerns for his school and Dom's perspective as he returns from afar...The changing demographics of contemporary Detroit, by class but most pointedly by race, are front and center...Foley's novel shows range, with its fun, silly and pathos-filled handling of the love-and-sex storylines, serious commentary on social issues and an endearing representation of sincere (if troubled) friendships...Unforgettable characters, madcap fun and mishaps converge in this sweet and, finally, aspirational story.
... unfolds the romantic and professional misadventures of this group in the dishy, funny style of Armistead Maupin and Candace Bushnell, albeit with even more cheerfully raunchy sex ... And like Mr. Maupin’s and Ms. Bushnell’s iconic series, Boys Come First is also a tale of the city, in this case Detroit in the throes of gentrification. The dilemmas of family—and what such a thing might look like for gay men—are fruitfully bound up in broader questions of community as Detroit’s manic development threatens its identity. Mr. Foley knows the Motor City as intimately as he knows the workings of dating apps like Scruff and Grindr, and he details both with the swagger and fluency of a quality TV script. The only mystery, in fact, is which will come first: the HBO option or the sequel.
Nonfiction author Foley spares no detail in this fiction debut set in the Motor City, including depictions of sexual relationships...Foley creates a rich setting and strong characters...Each chapter shifts perspectives among the three men; Dominick’s and Troy’s chapters are written in third person, while Remy’s is written in the first to show his strong sense of self...Readers who enjoy character-driven romance, especially LGBTQ+ fiction, will appreciate this book...Some may be put off by the explicit sexual content, but the plot and the strong characters should keep them turning pages.