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REVIEW: Franklin in Paradise – John Patrick

Franklin In Paradise - John Patrick

Genre: Post Apocalyptic, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Bi, Gay (Autistic), Trans FTM

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Life is good for eighteen-year-old Franklin. He lives on the spectrum, structuring and organizing his days, avoiding messy situations and ambiguity. But what he really wants is a boyfriend.

Twenty-one-year-old Patrick has a past he can’t seem to shake, and a sexual identity that’s hard to describe—or maybe it’s just evolving.

When a manmade virus sweeps the globe, killing nearly everyone, the two young men find themselves thrust together, dependent on each other for survival. As they begin to rebuild their world, their feelings for each other deepen. But Franklin needs definition and clarity, and Patrick’s identity as asexual—or demisexual, or grey ace?—isn’t helping.

These two men will need to look beyond their labels if they are going to find love at the end of the world.

The Review

Northwood, Maine several years after COVID. Could things get worse?

Franklin Marshall’s parents have taken a trip to Puerto Rico. This gives Franklin a chance to invite his long time friend Tyler over. He likes Tyler, and at seventeen getting ready to turn eighteen, he wants to kiss him.

All of a sudden, chaos breaks out. News reports start coming in with a dangerous snow/ice storm that’s coming, then an epidemic, a health crisis in South Korea, and North Korea getting ready to launch nuclear missiles.

In the midst of all the uncertainty, Tyler shows Franklin a porn video and tells him an idea that he has. Franklin doesn’t want to watch the video – confuses him and makes him uncomfortable, and he doesn’t like what Tyler is suggesting.

A strange dream, odd occurrences, and a land-line call from his mother warn Franklin about what’s taking place all over the world. As the storm get’s worse, Franklin tries to get Tyler to stay, but in a panic Tyler leaves for home.

Franklin heeds the news reports and makes decisions about what to do to be safe. The most important thing of all “stay inside.” As days goes on, he realizes his neighbor is dead. He’s also running out of needed supplies. He’s still not sure if he should go outside.

Then someone knocks at the door. He meets Patrick Larson. As they talk, Ptrick realizes Franklin has followed the “stay inside” orders. He explainsthat the order to stay inside was already too late.

Now Franklin has to make hard choices in order to survive. They travel together, and as they come across nothing but devastation, they start to wonder if they are the only ones left alive on Earth.

John Patrick creates a fascinating story of great devastation, anchored by two wonderful characters: Franklin Marshall and Patrick Larson as the two young men learn how to survive together. This perfectly written novel is suspenseful, terrifying, warm, emotional, and humorous. It also feels very realistic.

I commend John Patrick for giving special attention to autism and gender identities: demisexual and asexual. Patrick Larson who is demi, is patient, kind and understanding, no matter the frustration that comes with dealing with Franklin’s quirks. But Patrick has his own troubles too.

The author’s insight into Franklin, who’s autistic and gay, is both brilliant and heartfelt. He walks us through the process that Franklin needs to follow so he doesn’t have meltdowns. Franklin is such a lovable character. He deals in black and white, and always has questions about the way the world works. Franklin’s also very smart. It’s fascinating watching these two characters navigate a world turned upside down.

Patrick’s a few years older than Franklin, but he immediately understands Franklin and respects his boundaries. Patrick takes on the responsibility to explain things to Franklin, which creates moments of frustration. But Patrick’s feelings for Franklin never falter.

Paradise Shaker Village is incredible. The author does a beautiful job in the description of this marvelous place that has existed since the 1800’s. The self-sufficient community became a living museum, and exists today as Shaker Village in Maine.

Throughout the story, the two young men meet a number unique characters that make this novel more interesting: Sara Nakamura, Loris, Stan (RIP), Emily and Vet. And last but not least, Prissy and Roscoe.

I had Franklin In Paradise in my TBRs for a while and I was surprised when I read it – it’s an amazing story, not at all what I expected. I’m so glad I did, and can’t wait to read the sequel, Undercover in Paradise.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 


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