Brammer’s voice will be familiar to fans of his column. He is both kind and piercingly funny, often in the same sentence. He slips in and out of queer slang without pause; he is just as sure-footed in contemplating the awkwardness of gay sex as he is in describing his family in Oklahoma. Brammer’s tone lends levity to the weighty subjects he extrapolates upon ... Brammer has been honing his sharp-witted persona for years online, but here, in book form, unbound from the constraints of a column or character limit, his queer advice is more personal and affecting. His voice is intentional, considered and more intimate than ever, but he does not lose the directness and clarity he’s spent so long cultivating ... isn’t really a book of collected advice columns; it’s a memoir through essays, and he uses the form to mine the depths of his own experience. With that comes a vulnerability never clearer than in the first and last chapters ... The book as a whole works through Brammer’s genuine discomfort with being looked to for sincere advice ... a master class of tone and tenderness, as Brammer balances self-compassion with humor. Throughout, Brammer bridges his identities and his sensibilities; he is at once the self-deprecating Papi and the kind sage John Paul. He leaves his beloved reader with the solace that, by practicing kindness in our reflections, we can find lessons for ourselves and teach others to do the same.
Anyone who has grappled with their own identities will relate to Brammer as he wrestles with insecurities and forges ahead through the haze of depression ... Brammer’s talent as a storyteller lies in extracting profound meaning from seemingly minor events and feelings ... a testament to turning past struggles and humiliations into fuel for a brighter future, and to owning your experiences by reframing the narrative and finding agency in the retelling.
... readers are likely to become addicted to these stories; they’re that good. Beautifully written, the stories run a gamut of emotions that readers will share. Some are wistful; some, melancholy; others, sad or poignant or bittersweet. The subjects of the stories—Brammer’s quotidian life—are made fascinating with the author’s deeply introspective musing and self-analysis. Brammer comes to know himself very well, and readers will be delighted to make his acquaintance, too.