Looking for a new author to try? Here’s everything you need to know about Alexis Hall, whose books include Boyfriend Material, Glitterland, and Something Fabulous.
What He Writes:
Queer romances, mostly (but not all) M/M, mostly (but not all) contemporary. Plus some mysteries. And some steampunk adventure stories. And some literary pastiches. He’s incredibly prolific.
What Makes Him Unique:
He writes a new bio for every book he releases.
But really, his voice is one of the most unique author voices we’ve ever found. No matter the particulars of a book, in terms of time period or subgenre, his books are recognizably his.
Hall’s books cater to a pretty broad range of audiences—historical romance fans, urban fantasy fans, rom coms that are actually funny fans…His books also span a range of heat levels, from no sex (Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble) to firmly closed door (Boyfriend Material) to waxing rhapsodic about the glories of anuses (Something Fabulous) to full-on erotic romance (Arden St. Ives).
However, his narrative voice remains remarkably consistent. Expect tongue-in-cheek literary and pop culture references, absurdist comedy, and single POV narration that, even when done in third person, really captures the unique voice of a character. His narrative voice is very very British; class conflict frequently plays a role in his romances. Also expect extremely messy POV characters who are dealing with trauma or mental health issues.
Why We Love Him:
Hall excels at writing books that are hilarious while simultaneously thoughtfully grappling with serious issues the characters are dealing with. When we pick up one of his books, we know we’re going to laugh at least once, and that we’re also going to be punched in the gut with emotion.
How We Feel When We’re Reading His Books:
He Might Not Be For You If:
Look, there are messy characters, and then there are Messy Characters, and Hall writes the latter. Being in someone’s head as they’re processing anxiety, depression, and trauma is not always pleasant or comfortable. This also means that his protagonists are not always particularly likable.
Sometimes the comedy veers into the too-absurd and silly territory, so if you prefer your comedy more understated, Hall may not be the author for you.
Steer clear if you don’t like profanity.
“‘Polite and well reasoned’?” Oh God, now Tarleton had gone back to repeating everything Valentine said. “Have you not read a single novel?”
“I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”
“Well, if you had, you’d know that ‘polite and well reasoned’ are not qualities people look for in marriage proposals.”
“For heaven’s sake”— Valentine tried, and failed, to keep the impatience from his voice—“if we lived life as though it were a novel, we’d spend all our time becoming embroiled in improbable adventures and spouting nonsense about filling our vast and empty souls with joyful aches.”
“Yes,” said Tarleton, “and?”
Struggles with mental health (depression, anxiety), trauma, and characters who act like general wankers.
The Bottom Line:
Hall is a brilliant writer whose books don’t always make us swoon, but they do always make us feel.
Boyfriend Material probably has the largest crossover appeal.