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The Erstwhile Tyler Kyle by Steve Hugh Westenra

This is a story I never imagined I needed in my life, until I read it and fell deeply in love with Tyler Kyle. It's a little sad since he's fictional, but he can (and will) forever be my celebrity crush. 😂💜 I usually shy away from romance in books, but this queer tale tugged so hard at my heartstrings and I wouldn't change a single bit of it.

Tyler's actress mother Virgie disappeared when he was twelve, leaving him with a mountain of unanswered questions. As an adult, he makes a living through pursuing other answered questions: investigating claims of cryptids and spooks all over the place with his best friend Josh, for their show Discovery Bang. When Tyler receives a mysterious video of his mother, he takes off on his own to try and find out what happened to her. Add in a full cast of mysterious characters, Tyler's internal conflict as he deals with his feelings for Josh, and conspiracy theories, and you've cooked up a batch of The Erstwhile Tyler Kyle.

Steve has written one of the most hilariously relatable characters I've read in quite some time, and does a brilliant job of incorporating laugh-out-loud humor into an elaborate, haunting mystery that's constantly pulling the rug out from under your feet. The things that go bump in the night on Echo Island are nothing to shake a stick at, and the notoriously skeptical Tyler has one hell of a time trying to sort out what they are while simultaneously unearthing everything he can about Virgie's past.

You don't know who or what to trust, what's real and what isn't, or anything else, quite frankly. This story is a brilliantly constructed game of Jenga™️ and you never know what piece will be the key, or how the entire tower might come down when it inevitably does. I can't emphasize enough how well done this is!


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