A Holiday Romance That will Make Your Heart Grow Three Sizes.
YOU'RE A MEAN ONE, MATTHEW PRINCE
by Timothy Janovsky
"The WELCOME TO WIND RIVER sign flies by out the window. Population: Who fucking cares."
You're a Mean One, Matthew Prince by Timothy Janovsky is just the sort of cozy, feel-good story I seek out during the holiday season. While technically part of a series (Boy Meets Boy #2), it can be read as a standalone.
The main character, Matthew Prince, is a spoiled, self-absorbed, certified "rich kid" who has been banished to his mother's hometown after impulse-buying a small island. Penniless (or as penniless as the uber-wealthy can be), his parents send him to stay with his grandparents for a lesson in humility. Enter Hector Martinez, the handsome, long-haired, flannel-wearing college student with whom he's forced to share a room for the duration of his stay. He sized Matthew up the moment they met. The two could not be less alike, but planning a gala and the magic of the holiday just might change all of that.
The book is written from Matthew's POV, but the reader's journey more closely resembles Hector's. At the beginning of the novel, it's challenging to have anything but disdain for Matthew. He possesses one of the worst cases of "poor little rich boy" ever seen. All of his troubles are of his own making, and he clearly feels zero accountability for his actions. But like Hector, we see him grapple with his mental health, grow, and reveal his vulnerable, honest, and kind parts.
Holiday romances aren't known for their onerous plot lines, so if you're looking for something unpredictable and sensational, prepare to be disappointed. This book goes precisely where you think it's going. And while there is some heavy subject matter (mental healthy and mild homophobia), it's primarily cheerful and lighthearted. The side characters were delightful and provided additional LGBTQ representation. The sex scenes were slightly more involved than fade-to-black, but not by much.
All in all, this is a lovely little holiday-themed romance that makes good on giving its reader the much coveted HEA.