Read abroad by LizJacobs Online


Nick Melnikov doesn’t know where he belongs. He was just a kid when his Russian-Jewish family immigrated to Michigan. Now he’s in London for university, overwhelmed by unexpected memories. Socially anxious, intensely private, and closeted, Nick doesn’t expect to fall in so quickly with a tight-knit group of students from his college, and it’s both exhilarating and scary. HNick Melnikov doesn’t know where he belongs. He was just a kid when his Russian-Jewish family immigrated to Michigan. Now he’s in London for university, overwhelmed by unexpected memories. Socially anxious, intensely private, and closeted, Nick doesn’t expect to fall in so quickly with a tight-knit group of students from his college, and it’s both exhilarating and scary. Hanging out with them is a roller coaster of serious awkward and incredible longing, especially when the most intimidating of the group, Dex, looks his way.Dex Cartwell knows exactly who he is: a black queer guy who doesn’t give a toss what anybody thinks of him. He is absolutely, one-hundred-percent, totally in control of his life. Apart, maybe, from the stress of his family’s abrupt move to an affluent, largely white town. And worrying about his younger brother feeling increasingly isolated as a result. And the persistent broken heart he’s been nursing for a while . . .When Nick and Dex meet, both find themselves intrigued. Countless late-night conversations only sharpen their attraction. But the last thing Nick wants is to face his deepest secret, and the last thing Dex needs is another heartache. Dex has had to fight too hard for his right to be where he is. Nick isn’t even sure where he’s from. So how can either of them tell where this is going?...

Title : abroad
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 34917076
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 372 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

abroad Reviews

  • K.J. Charles
    2019-02-19 02:01

    A spectacular debut. This is a really lovely coming of age story with a closeted MC, a Russian immigrant to the US turned American foreign exchange student in the UK, falling for an apparently confident but kind of messed up friend. It's immensely realistic about young love, finding yourself, student life. The group of friends is beautifully drawn, the sense of friendships making and shifting is intensely real, the dialogue crackles, and the emotions of love and loneliness and not belonging are vividly real. Deeply impressive especially for a first book and I'm dying to read the next.I got an early copy of this because the author is an online mate, but as ever, I don't leave reviews I don't mean. This is a terrific book.

  • Elsa Bravante
    2019-02-09 03:08

    He de confesar que aunque la premisa me interesaba mucho, y conozco a la autora (no somos amigas) de los SM y me cae bien, me sentía muy escéptica con este libro, lo primero que pensé es: otra nueva autora con mil estrellas de la gente que hay alrededor. Pues bien, no podía haber sido más injusta y haber estado más equivocada, porque la verdad es que es una historia adorable, llena de realidades, diversidad, tierna, bella y muy bien escrita.Nick es un inmigrante ruso en Estados Unidos que viaja a Londres para estudiar durante un año, allí conoce a un grupo de amigos, con los que comenzará un viaje personal de conocerse y reconocerse a sí mismo. Nick evoluciona, reflexiona, crece personalmente y tiene que afrontar conflictos relacionados con su carácter, su historia, su cultura y su sexualidad. Todo esto no lo hace solo, lo hace acompañado de sus nuevos amigos, dos de ellos, Dex, el chico del que se enamora, y Lizzie incluso tienen sus propios POV, pero incluso los que no los tienen no se quedan en personajes secundarios planos, todos tienen su propia historia y son interesantes por sí mismos.Es un libro de coming of age donde el MC principal no solo descubre, reconoce o afronta su sexualidad, todo ello está muy relacionado con su condición de inmigrante y la herencia de su cultura rusa/judía, lo que le hace un libro todavía más interesante. Y aunque mi background no es comparable con el de Nick y yo emigré a una edad mucho más avanzada, muchos de sus sentimientos los he sentido como míos en algunas situaciones que he vivido. Aunque quizás la aceptación de su sexualidad por parte de Nick es el tema principal, se interrelaciona con otros muchos, su incipiente historia de amor destaca entre otro muchos temas. Y ahí precisamente está mi conflicto con algunas partes del libro. Como ya comenté hay tres POV, Nick, Dex e Izzie, todos relacionados, fundamentalmente el de Dex y Nick, Izzie está viviendo su propio viaje personal, y aunque me gustó mucho leerlo y es un personaje estupendo, en algunos momentos sentí que me cortaba el ritmo de la otra historia que estaba leyendo, no estoy segura de si me ha gustado o habría preferido otro libro distinto para Lizzie.El libro está escrito de una forma muy bella, las emociones saltan de las páginas, fundamentalmente las de Nick, pero no solo las suyas, es una montaña rusa emocional en la que no puedes evitar sentir ese grupo de amigos como tuyo y el deseo de saber qué les pasa y dejarles en un lugar feliz. Bien escrito, con la introducción de temas importantes y muy actuales como la inmigración, la diversidad sexual, cultural y racial, parece que en algún momento la autora va a darnos alguna lección pero lo evita permitiendo al lector pensar y que forme sus propias ideas. El libro está lleno de conversaciones interesantes que provocan el parar un momento la lectura para reflexionar sobre lo que los personajes están hablando.Absolutamente todos los personajes son adorables y queribles, pero creo que es Nick el que más brilla, formemos una cola para abrazarle y decirle que todo va a ir bien.Una muy buena novela debut y un libro coming of age maravilloso. Estoy deseando que salga el siguiente.

  • Anyta Sunday
    2019-01-26 03:17

    What a wonderful NA LGBT romance! There are many, many things to love about this book. The writing is punchy and strong. The characters are diverse and likable. The setting is nicely integrated into the story, and explores the loneliness of moving to a foreign country.I loved all of this, but I especially loved the sweet, slowburning romance between Dex and Nick.The book is written from three different points of view: Nick, Dex, and Izzy. Their issues are relevant to younger adults and I think readers of YA and NA would enjoy this excellent debut from Liz Jacobs.This book can be read as a standalone, complete with a happy for now end.Please do not let the confusing subtitle on Amazon (The Hellum and Neal Series in LGBTQIA+ Literature 5// and it mentions the book being book 5 too. It's not. It's the first book.) deter you from giving this book a chance. It's really lovely, and I look forward to reading more Liz Jacob romances!

  • Ariadna
    2019-02-06 04:22

    Actual rating is 4.5I'd heard about this book for a while. It's gotten an overwhelming and, imo, well-deserved amount of good reviews. TBH, I was surprised that we got 3 POVs- each one with a v. distinct voice.One of the things that really got to me was the way it explained that realization and acknowledgement of what it means to be queer. How that queerness shifts the way people will observe, analyze, and become part of the world. I loved the honesty in each character (both main and secondary.)Nick and Dex's romance is super slow-burning and yet that fit with who they were. Their issues (both big and small) were such that having the two of them get on the insta-love route would've cheapen the relationship. FTR, although the book is getting marketed a romance, the actual romance doesn't happen until the final third of the book. When I said super slow-burning, I meant super slow-burning. ;)The rest of the romances (which would be spoilery to discuss in depth) rounded up the experience of LGTBQ+ people liking, lusting after, and falling for each other. For me, though, the core of this novel's awesomeness was the immigrant story. I identified a lot with Nick in how he had to weigh his family's expectations after immigrating to a new country vs. who he is regardless of where he's at. That idea of potentially becoming too much of a foreigner or a stranger to your countrymen yet not able to disappear or be assimilated into your new country. That chasm between the here and there and where one can yield or compromise. Particularly the last third of the novel, during which we get to hear Nick talk about his thoughts on belonging somewhere. Gods, talk about being hit with wave after wave of FEELS. My heart also went out to Dex. His desire to reconnect with his little brother were hurty in a good way. Like some readers, I did struggled a bit with Izzy's chapters. At least, at first. In a way, it's because I hadn't expected her to be such an integral part of the novel. IIRC, she's not even mentioned in the blurb. So, I was a little like 'bzuh?' once I saw that she had her own POV in the book. It didn't help that she was the kind of v. extroverted and nosy person that would drive me up the wall IRL. Thankfully, the story went further than her shiny personality. My best guess is that her story worked as a bridge between this book and the next one. Or, at least, that's how I'm interpreting it. #YMMVTL;DR: A superb and tremendously strong debut that goes deep into themes of LGTBQ+ friendships, immigration, and coming of age. The cliffhanger is soft, but deffo leaves you wishing you could pick up Book 2 right away.

  • Rafa Brewster
    2019-02-05 23:08

    4.5 StarsReviewed for Just LoveI received an advance review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.Abroad really spoke to me. I mean, it really spoke to me in a way that a book hasn’t done in a while. Perhaps because many parts of the story mirrored my own experiences at Nick’s age when I left home and moved overseas, not even realizing I was in search of something. But mostly this book spoke to me because it was just that beautifully written.What must it be like to know yourself and to like what you know? To take up space the way they did and not feel strange or ragged around the edges? To know that you belonged somewhere, inside and out?Abroad is a tender romance and a contemplative look at queer identity and the different ways it intersects and overlaps with the other aspects that make us who we are. Specifically, it’s the coming-of-age story of Nick, a shy, sheltered 20-year-old Jewish Russian-American immigrant who leaves close-knit family to embark on a study abroad program in London. Serendipitously, he is taken under the wings of cool and confident Izzy and soon finds himself a fixture in her and her flatmates’ lives. While the prospect of new friends and new experiences proves just enough to entice Nick out of his dorm room on occasion, it’s his growing fascination with broody, mercurial Dex that eventually forces him to look within himself and face his deepest truth.He wasn’t Natali and her confidence in who she was. He wasn’t Dex and his grace, his easy pride and acceptance of all that he contained. Nick was the product of all things unspoken, all things fearful and untold. A few of the things that impressed me about the book were the complexity of the characters and the strength of each character voice. The book managed to not only depict Nick and Dex’s stories in touching and precise detail, but it also painted a vivid portrait of the rest of their friends. The depth and scope of Izzy’s story however was quite unexpected and altogether too distracting for me, despite how much I adored her. It was an exciting detour at first but the longer it went on the more it took away from the slow and delicate build of Nick and Dex’s romance (which at that point was still in its formative stage). Looking back, I think it spoke volumes to the pull of Nick and Dex’s story that I couldn’t wait to get back to them.Dex had been north, and Nick a compass needle. When Dex had moved or spoken, Nick had felt the pull of him. The hardest thing he’d ever had to do was fight the urge to watch him…. Secure and powerful, like a manifestation of steadiness. Dex was everything Nick wasn’t, and everything he longed for.The ARC I received was positively riddled with all manner of errors (all of which should be cleaned up in time for release I’m sure) but I can say in all honesty that none of this even remotely took away from my enjoyment of the gorgeous writing. Whether it was discovering the sights and quirks of a new city through Nick’s eyes, witnessing Dex’s frustration at not being able to help his brother, or just hanging out with the gang down the pub, the author’s writing shone and the dialogue (be it American, Brit or Russian) felt authentic and nuanced. My only complaint is that the word “strop” appeared what felt like a million times in the book (or maybe just a dozen; it was one of those unfortunate things where it got overly repeated during an early scene so my brain noticed and recoiled every time it appeared thereafter).Overall, Abroad was a slow and gorgeous read and I cannot recommend it enough. It ended on a lovely HFN for Nick and Dex, and a cruel, tantalizing tease of the rest of Izzy’s story. Which I now realize I desperately need right away. Help.

  • Gillian
    2019-01-30 03:10

    4.5 starsOh my word, what a gorgeous book this was! This story had everything - nuanced, interesting characters, gentle humour, tenderness, romance, sex (so hot!) - and once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. I'm not going to write a long review, I just want to encourage everyone to read this. You won't be disappointed.

  • Izengabe
    2019-02-20 00:15

    Pues sintiéndolo mucho, lo dejo en un tres, no me ha entusiasmado. Bien escrito, con buenos personajes, temas tratados con realismo y madurez... Pero no ha hecho click, y eso que estaba deseando que me gustara porque es muy mi tipo de libro... (carita triste)Una de las cosas que no me ha convencido es la conclusión, me pareció que los hilos argumentales se cerraban a la vez y de forma un tanto brusca. En general me quedé con la sensación de que la autora intentaba tocar muchos temas y eché en falta que tratara algunas cosas con más profundidad.La portada es preciosa, necesitamos más portadas así en el género xD(Creo que no se trata técnicamente de un YA, lo meto en esa balda porque las baldas son para mí y yo me entiendo xD)

  • Fenriz Angelo
    2019-01-27 05:22

    I was skeptical at first but Abroad is a really good debut novel by new author Liz Jacobs.The things that i liked most of the book are: 1. The effortlessly diverse group of friends, 2. As a YA/NA book, the characters read like actual 20-something years old ppl. 3. Thank god it's not narrated in first person, that helped a lot. 4. The character's struggles felt real and when they adressed it it wasn't in a preachy tone, they left both the characters and the readers to come to their own conclusions. Surprise read tbh, I related a lot with Nick, Dex and Izz were cool too, tho i'm still ambivalent about the importance of adding Izz's PoV and own sexual discovery, while i thought it was cool and honestly the best f/f i've read xD i also think it rested Nick's story or distracted the reader. However, the journey of the 3 main characters is just beginning and i will definitely wait for the next installment. :)

  • Suki Fleet
    2019-02-15 22:10

    Really lovely writing!^^ Hoping there's a sequel as wow, that ending really wasn't enough of an ending! :)

  • Lenore
    2019-02-18 06:23

    I'm reading the hell out of this book when it's out!

  • Kelly
    2019-01-23 22:07

    Thoughts after finishing: this book isn't so much about finding and accepting an identity as realizing that identity isn't something that can be adequately defined. At some point you have to abandon labels - stop listing what you are and what you are not, what you can't be or don't believe you can be - and accept that you are "you." Yourself. You're different. Maybe more different than everyone else's different. When you're eight, different sucks. It's painful at fourteen when you really don't want to be different. It's unpleasant in an existential way when you're twenty-something. I moved from Australia to England when I was eight, and old enough to know I was different. I was teased for my accent and called "Skip." I was also mistaken for an American, which horrified me because I didn't want to be that different. When I was eleven, we moved to America and people asked me how I'd learned to speak English so well, because Australia wasn't on their map. I have always had an accent and it's pretty much always the first thing people ask about. "Where are you from?" There's a conversation in Abroad about this odd phenomenon. And it is really weird. When I visited Costa Rica recently, I was asked about my accent. Because I didn't sound American. And it got me to wondering if I could tell the difference between Spanish-speaking accents. Before I get sidetracked - I do get a little tired of people asking me to "say something" because my accent is really cool. But I'm also really used to taking it as flattery of a sort because when you're different, you really want some aspect of yourself to be "cool," because that's how you find acceptance. When your mother clings to the way things were done in her country, acceptance is... fleeting.After living in America for nearly seven years, I moved back to Australia at the age of eighteen and became something of an immigrant for the third time in my life. Because I was no longer Australian. I was... nothing, really. Not American, not English, not half and half or a quarter of this and a bit of that, which is what most Australians are anyway. I was just this intensely displaced person who didn't really fit in. I hadn't watched the same TV shows growing up. I'd read different books in school. My clothes were wrong. My family wasn't usual. I used different words and did things in a weird way. Again, for the third time. Now I'm back in America, an immigrant for the fourth time, and... now I'm just me, with my accent that's Australian to the Americans and not quite Australian enough for the Australians. I say some things in a British way because I learned those words over there. I can never quite decide how to spell anything, because my identity is hopelessly skewed. I cling to some things, but have let go of others. We're not going to start on religion and sexuality. I'd be here all day, though Izzy's experience was like reading a chapter of my own life. The way she described a certain kiss? I've had that conversation, and the startling realization that, okay, I'm not exactly who I thought I was.Anyway, all of this is to say that I found the idea of being "not supposed to exist" intriguing. Obviously I'm not a gay Russian Jew, or a (gay) black Englishman. I do wonder, though, whether everyone can identify with the alienation that both Nick and Dex feel, or whether my experience of this book is pretty much colored by the fact I've had to do the new country thing so often. Whether it's about labels or experience.

  • Laura
    2019-02-05 01:00

    Liz Jacobs’ spectacular debut is a story that will resonate with everyone and touch every reader’s heart. This raw, heartbreaking yet hopeful book features an exquisite coming-of-age storyline and a tender, realistic look at modern romance. One word: unputdownable.~~~~Where do I begin even trying to review this lovely book? Perhaps I should say that if you want a novel with characters that you will undoubtedly connect with, read this book. Or perhaps I should say if you want to cry buckets and have your heart broken then mended again, read this book. You know what: just read this book.This new adult novel is hyper realistic in regards to the accuracy of student life, romance and sexuality, friendship, race, and finding one’s place in the world. It’s a book about Nick, a Russian immigrant from America who leaves his tight-knit family to move to London as an exchange student. There, he is taken under the wing of bighearted Izzy, and finds himself part of a loving, effortlessly diverse group of friends. He meets moody Dex, one of Izzy’s best friends, a confident, openly-gay black man who Nick finds himself equally afraid of and drawn to. As Nick grows closer to Dex, he has to face a truth about himself, a truth that terrifies him to his very core.So I am forming the Protect-Nick-Melnikov-Society-2k17 because he is one of the gentlest, sweetest main characters I have read in a long time, especially for a NA novel. He suffers from crippling anxiety and all of his interactions with people are imbued with fear, unease, and Nick trying to make himself as invisible as possible. Nick’s experiences with anxiety are so realistic, there were many moments I had to put the book aside because I could see myself in him. His character voice is raw, intense, unembellished – Abroad is not typically a heavy read, but many scenes were for me.Dex is Nick’s opposite in every way: confident, out, extroverted … it’s easy to see how someone as deep in the closet like Nick is could fall for someone as strong as Dex. But appearances are deceiving, and Dex is struggling to help his family, specifically his little brother who is one of the only black boys at his new high school and is growing melancholy. His feelings for Nick were tender, and he was incredibly aware and sensitive of Nick’s anxiety, which I highly appreciated. Dex is depressed and lonely after his failed relationship and reading his renewed spark of life due to Nick’s presence was just beautiful.Although the novel focuses on Nick and Dex’s budding romance, another character has a POV: Izzy. It was quite a surprise to be reading Izzy’s POV, but the more I did, the more I came to love her and her storyline. It was an exciting relief from the Dex and Nick’s heart aching storyline, since Izzy’s plot revolved around strong female friendships, partying and enjoying life, and discovering an important facet of herself. My only criticism of this book is not even about the book, it’s about the blurb and the fact that Izzy’s story came as a surprise. The blurb only mentions Dex and Nick and their romance, despite the fact that Izzy is a POV/main character. That’s not a dig at the author by the way, she can’t control what the blurb says; it was just a little disheartening to see a wlw storyline erased from the blurb, especially when m/m romances are so venerated by readers and f/f stories are often ignored. By not including Izzy in the blurb, it felt like that was the case here too (although not in the actual reading of the book). Does that make sense? TL;DR: Izzy should have been mentioned in the blurb – she’s a star, I want more of her.Jacobs’ writing is vividly powerful and engaging; I flew through the book, despite some of the scenes literally hurting my heart. Jacobs writes with authority and the precise detail of a #OwnVoices author. The three character voices, and subsequent secondary characters, were distinct and real – so real that I felt as though I knew these characters, that they were my friends. They were authentic, nuanced, complex people – real people. I would recommend this book based on the characters alone, they’re that amazing.Do yourselves a favour and read this touching novel. It’s a powerful, captivating story that I could not put down. Give me the second book ASAP, Jacobs!______________________________3rd book for #TheReadingQuest - category: A book with a one word title

  • Bárbara
    2019-02-13 05:19

    I should probably learn from my past mistakes and stop having expectations altogerher. This book was a huge disappointment for me. I just couldn't relate to any of the characters- which resulted in basically being unable to care for any of them at all. I would have DNF it embarrassingly early on, if it wasn't for the fact that I have an ARC for the second volume- that will be fun! The writing was mediocre at best. Not only because of the fact that the author was incapable of making a very specific set of experiences seem relatable despite not being universal; on top of that, it was altogether just plain... bad. Also, I get that this was a slice-of-life thing, but some thing resembling a plot would have been nice. It wasn't enough with having each pov character's personal journey (not when it was plain and unoriginal- and not like I haven't seen the same stories thirty million times before, thanks). To wrap this mess with a pretty bow, someone should please give this author a crash course on how to write sex scenes: there were two sex scenes in this book, and both dragged unnecessarily, and were close enough to put me to sleep. Not the most pleasant of experiences (and I've had all four of my wisdom teeth removed at once- which entailed me having my mouth open for almost 2 hours- yay, fun). It almost felt like the time it took to read each sex scene was equivalent to the amount of time spent reading the rest of the book. I was close to tears. Please, make it stop. I can't explain how relieved I am to be done with this- however temporary it may be. All I know is that I'll be taking some time before I start the second volume- my brain can't handle it right now. This deserves a one-star rating. The only reason I'm giving it two is because there were *some* parts I didn't completely despise. But from what I've seen so far, I wouldn't want to extend my commitment with this author further than I've already signed up for.

  • Eugenia
    2019-01-25 01:17

    I must confess that I was drawn to this book by its glorious cover. The blurb intrigued me, being an immigrant myself. What I was not ready for was the high level of quality in prose, dialogue, characterization, and plot.This was a long book, but I felt like mere minutes had passed from when I began reading the first page and swiped to the last. I was engaged entirely by this NA queer romance that navigates through themes of exclusion, isolation, acculturation, racism, and sexual identity. There is so much packed in this book, but I never felt preached at nor lectured to. I got to live life through the eyes of three MCs.The two main MCs are Nick and Dex. Nick's family emigrated to the US from Russia when he was a young child. He chooses to study abroad in London for a year during university. Dex is a British university student, his family going back several generations in the U.K. The men appear to be polar opposites. One is white, small, thin, shy, and deeply in the closet, awash in Russian guilt over his un acknowledged sexuality. The other is black, tall, thick and very proudly gay, comfortable in his own skin. Appearances are deceiving however in this book, and not just for the main characters. There is a secondary character, Izzy, who also plays a very large role in this novel and who gets her own POV from time to time. While I was not ready to have a female POV in what I perceived to be an MM romance, I appreciated it and felt that it added to the themes of self and identity. Be warned readers, there is an f/f scene in here (which was pretty hot, I must say).In this book which deals so strongly with sexual identity, the sex took a back seat, although it was forever present as underlying tension. What scenes we do get, though are excruciatingly lovely and sexy and fit right where they should.A stunning debut! This Liz Jacobs is definitely on my radar.

  • Chris, the Dalek King
    2019-02-21 06:09

    He’d started asking himself why so long ago, it felt like a part of him. At thirteen, he had been just as desperate to have the answer as he was now, at twenty. Why me? Why couldn’t I be normal?He’d run four thousand miles from home, but all he’d done was get closer to the question. Why had he thought England would be neutral ground? If anything, it was like a conductor, and Nick was standing on it, entirely exposed.Four thousand miles, and nothing was getting easier.It was getting worse.For years Nick Melnikov has loved England. Getting a chance to study in London should be the highlight of his life. And it is…except for the fact that be it in England, Michigan, or Russia, Nick is still very much the same person he has always been. Alone, unsure, and desperately wanting to be someone else. Turns out that you can run (or fly) several thousand miles and still find yourself stuck in the same damn place as before. Even as he slowly gets used to the strange food, and even stranger people, he can’t help but feel that his hoped-for journey of self-discovery was a bit of a rip-off (and a terribly expensive one at that). Yet he has to hope that there is something more to be found in England than just a fancy degree.Going into this book I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. There was quite a bit in the blurb that caught my fancy, but having never read anything by Liz Jacobs before I had no clue if her writing style would work for me. And part of me would have felt downright awful if I didn’t end up liking the book, since my interactions with the author herself have really made me like her as a person. I do try my very hardest to separate the author from their work when I go into a book with the intention of reviewing it, though.That being said, it just makes me doubly happy when I can say that an awesome person wrote an awesome book and you should go totally check it out.From what I know about Liz Jacobs, I had a fair bit of certainty that the Jewish and immigrant aspects of this book were going to be handled very well. But not only did these parts of this book feel real, they were also just fun to read about. Not all of the facts behind that part of the story–especially the treatment of Jews in Russia during and after Communism–were fun in and of themselves…but they were incredibly intriguing. It is something I’ve not given a lot of thought to, but I must admit that I am now wanting to learn more about it. It never got preachy or lecture-y, but the way Nick talked about his past in this story was so damn well written that it made me curious. I love when books can do that.I was also really happy with how the story handled Nick’s issues with being gay. After having to deal with the whole “coming out” issue myself over the last few years I must admit that my tolerance of closeted characters has great increased. While I would happily live in a world where everyone could just be whoever and whatever they are, I know that I am probably never going to be alive long enough to see that. And while this struggle with being true to yourself is hardly an untapped theme in gay romance, I really appreciate it when authors can write characters whose struggles feel organic to who they are, instead of just needed plot points. I truly felt I understood why Nick didn’t want to come out. Not to his family, not to his friends, and not even to himself. It is a fucking scary prospect, having to rewrite your own identity, and Nick’s fears and stumbles along the way to self-realization came across as honest and relatable.That is pretty much how I feel about the romance here as well. I have always been a huge fan of the slow-burn in romance stories. I have a hard time buying insta-love in almost all its forms. Plus, man, I just love a book of pining and sad puppy-dog eyes. So the long wait to see Nick and Dex Cartwell finally get their shit together was a real pleasure for me. And because of all the issues the two of them have in their pasts, I think all the waiting and pining was kinda necessary. Especially on Nick’s side. By the time they got together I bought everything about them as a couple. I didn’t need the book to explicitly state their love because it was damn obvious on the page. The telling here is great, because I think they both need to hear it, but sometimes it feels like authors just want us to take it on faith that the love is there, instead of actually taking the time to show us. I need the showing, though.I knew going in that there were a few scenes that involve a f/f romance and, I won’t lie, I was worried how those would affect my enjoyment of the story. Sex and the female body can sometimes be a huge trigger for me, so I typically just avoid it to be safe. But for some reason, for like the last couple weeks it really hasn’t been an issue, so I thought this would be the perfect time to read this book. And I’m really glad I did give it a chance. Not only did those scenes not bother me, they ended up being like really good. They’re kind of spoilery, so I won’t go into much detail, but I found myself enjoying the moments we got to spend with this character. Like with Nick, I think she was very well written, and the things that happen and the things she chooses to do in this book felt natural to who she was. I’m really glad my issues did not get in the way of getting to know her and her story.As far as debut books go, you really can’t get much better than this. I have a few minor quibbles with the pacing in some areas, and I would have loved to have spent a few more chapters getting to know more about Dex, but overall this was a bloody brilliant book. The writing was incredibly well down, and all the characters felt completely realized. And yes, my god do I want to read a book about Jonny and Lance. Here’s hoping that Liz Jacobs gives us book two sometime in the near future.4.5 starsThis book was provided free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.

  • Carol (bookish_notes)
    2019-02-05 03:57

    Have you ever wondered what a story would look like if every character was a precious cinnamon roll? Because look no further, Abroad has it covered! This is a exceptional debut novel that is a coming-of-age story with a whole cast of characters. And after reading this, I just kind of want all their stories? But this book is primarily focused on Nick, Dex, and a character the blurb doesn't mention - Izzy. Nickolay "Nick" Melnikov is Russian-Jewish and he and his family immigrated to the United States from Russia when he was ten. His life has always been about making himself fit in and not stick out for being different. He is on his way to study abroad in London as we start the story and we join him as he learns to embrace the new school year in a new country, alone.Nick is quickly swept into a tight group of friends who come from all walks of life. Nick is nervous around others and thinks pretty intensely over everything he says before he says it. He gets anxious around others, but he wants the closeness they have with one other and he longs for it, even if he doesn't know how to express that out loud.Among the group of friends Nick meets are an electric and energetic Izzy and seemingly dour Dex. We get to see their stories as they get to know Nick and as they come to realize aspects of themselves they hadn't realized before.Anyone reading the blurb might not be expecting Izzy's storyline. I think it's more of a setup for the second book? It did initially throw me off, but I came around to loving Izzy's story and wanting for her to find a HEA too. The main pairing in this book is Nick and Dex. And boy, is it a sloooooooow burn. But, it is a rewarding one. This book is less  romance, or at least in the general sense, and more about a story of outsiders finding a family with one other.I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll keep this short. Nick's story is the most heartbreaking, because Nick is such a sweetheart and he deserves all the friends and all the hugs. Nick has always felt like an outsider his entire life, but all he's ever wanted to do was fit in with the other students. To be less Russian, to not look like a Jew. But he also wants to love the parts of him that makes him who he is without the thought of it sending him into tremors, sleepless nights, and panic attacks. I love Nick and I also love Dex. Dex is completely unapologetic and confident in who he is as a queer black man and he owns it. The secondary characters were just as intriguing and I just want to know more about each and every one of them.There's a sort of innocence and coming-of-age feel about this book that I usually only get from YA novels, but what makes this NA is definitely the inclusion of some very hot sex scenes. For readers expecting to go into this book just expecting m/m scenes, note that there are also f/f scenes. But also note that all of these scenes are hot.Just a side note really, but there are quite a few instances of Russian in this story. It is a lovely addition to show Nick and his mother or sister conversing, but if anyone's reading the e-book, just note that highlighting the words doesn't translate because the Russian has been romanized and I guess (on Kindle at least) the Translate app doesn't recognize it and expects the original Cyrillic script instead.There's no cliffhanger for Nick and Dex's story, but maybe it feels like a HFN since there's going to be a second book that will probably revolve around the same group of friends? In any case, I thoroughly adore this story and I can't wait for book two!!!***Thanks to BrainMillPress for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review***

  • Aleksandra
    2019-01-31 05:19

    This was amazing novel and truly a wonderful experience of reading about parts of my identity I don't often see in books.Abroad is a contemporary NA novel about twenty year old Nick Melnikov who comes from USA to London to study British history as international student in university. He meets cheerful and passionate Izzy and grumpy-at-first-sight Dex. The discoveries about themselves, coming of age, figuring your sexuality and being BFFs follows.I love this book because a) engaging writing, b) slice of life type of story done right, it's very character driven and I enjoyed every minute of it, c) wonderful diverse cast of characters.I'm not in habit of saying much about the plot, because I don't want to spoil anything. The story is soft, earnest and delightful, that's all I'm going to say.The characters!First, Abroad is #ownvoices novel for Russian Jewish rep, queer rep and experience of immigrant coming to USA from Russia. Thanks to helpful goodreads page, I now know that Liz Jacobs is Russian Jewish herself and she's currently living in USA with her wife.Nick Melnikov (or Nikolay Melnikov) is Russian Jewish immigrant, he's gay but he's so far into closet he can't even admit it to himself. Thank you ages of cultural/traditional homophobia of Russia. Also Nick has anxiety and panic attacks. It was clear that the book is #ownvoices because all the Russian language was grammatical and contextually correct (so important to me! Many of the books I've read messed it up ridiculously). There were several reference to Russian culture that I've got and I'm sure non-Russian readers might've missed them but they were dead to my heart. Nick has an older sister Zoya and she's literally the best.Important things that Abroad has three protagonists, Nick, Dex and Izzy. I've talked about Nick, let's move to the other two.Dex is chemistry student (final year) black guy. He's gay and he has recently had a messy break up so he's grumpy and still deal with it. Also there are some things going on in his family, especially younger brother. He lives in London and his family doesn't. Dex is such a sweet guy, I loved him from page 1. Dex's best mate is Izzy.Izzy is film student (final year), she's chubby, ginger and the boss. During the course of the book, she realizes she's bi. It's worth mentioning that Izzy's mum has agoraphobia. She visits her and we can see a bit of them together. Izzy and her mum have such wonderful supportive relationships. I loved it.Supporting cast is also delightfully diverse. Natali is Indian lesbian, Johnny is trans, Alex is black fellow chemistry student as Dex. Plus about three more lesbians? Bless. The book has wlw content and mlm content (both between main and side characters).One of the other strongest points of the book is "squad goals" and dynamics between friends. The book has such a strong presence of friendship and platonic relationship. I can't say that all the relationships are flawless, but they are realistic and it's evident that they all care for each other.I can't wait to read the sequel! Abroad does end on definite note but some things are left unfinished, Abroad simply needs the sequel so I can spend more time with my new mates.Highly recommend! Beautiful heartwarming ownvoices debut. Don't miss on the book!Trigger warnings: internalized homophobia, fear of coming out to probably unsupportive parents, transphobic parents, alcohol consumption, several sexual explicit scenes, characters with anxiety, agoraphobia.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-12 21:55

    This was a super cute new adult romance. Nick has moved to England to complete his university study. Alone in a new country he meets and becomes a part of a diverse group of friends and meets Dex. I enjoyed the slow burn romance between him and Dex, it made for some pretty sweet and steamy reading. Nick is truly struggling with his identity and coming out and Dex was utterly perfect for him. For me though, the real star of the show though, was Izzy. Her story is intertwined with Dex and Nick’s and I found her completely addictive to read and I have my fingers crossed that she gets her own book. A great debut.

  • Jojo
    2019-01-30 04:21

    This book is just beautiful. I was a little bit in love with all of the characters, not just the 3 Pov characters or the romantic couple, but all of their friends as well. Every one of them was unique and sympathetic and THEY ALL ACTED LIKE YOUNG PEOPLE. I have read so many books with 20 year olds who think and act like 40 year olds. Here, college kids feel like college kids. The dialogue in the group scenes is one of the best things in this book. It is so fun and realistic. Just well written. I am into that.Nick is insecure and self conscious and so, so sweet. He spends the whole book learning just to exist as himself, as someone worthy of friends, whose words and thoughts have value. This is his coming of age story; Nick taking tiny steps toward being Nick. I don't think anyone could read this book and not absolutely love this character. He wants to be so good in all ways and second guesses and berates himself for every imagined misstep. It reads so realistically that it was almost painful. I spent half of his chapters cringing because I related so much to him. He is wonderful, but he made me glad I'm no longer young.Dex, Nick's love interest, is awesome in every way. He's all self-assured and confident and sexy. But when he has no idea what to do with his little brother's feeling of alienation and he turns to Nick for help relating. Dex never thinks less of Nick for his insecurities, even when Nick thinks less of himself for them. That left hearts in my eyes. Big, soppy hearts. Izzy is lively and fun and the perfect foil to Nick. Her self discovery is effortless. She is so comfortable with herself that she can just roll with her evolving identity. I can't wait to see more of her in book 2. The other friends are all interesting and individual and there is JOHNNY!! The sweetest cinnamon roll to ever have been. I hope he someday gets his own book. Or at least a short story. fan fiction. I don't care. I just want more Johnny.One thing to understand is that this book has pretty much no external conflict. The closest thing it has to an action scene is Nick and Dex making spaghetti. This is a book is about characters and their internal growth and struggles. The writing is gorgeous and those internal conflicts are thoughtfully and sensitively explored. Liz's writing is elegant and kept me fully engaged even without any dead bodies or gun fire. In short: I loved this book and you should read it. Like right now.

  • iam
    2019-01-28 01:19

    I absolutely adored this book.The cast of characters was wonderful and diverse, both the protagonists Dex, Nick and Izzy and the supporting characters. I liked all of them, and their thoughts, feelings, words and actions really resonated with me, even though my identity doesn't entirely overlap with theirs. I've not encountered many books that ring sotrueto me, and that made me loveAbroad. I was a bit surprised by how explicit the sex scenes were, but they fit in well and were very well written, just like the rest of the book.The ending is a bit abrupt and feels unfinished, and I'm very glad I'm reading this after the second and final book has been released already.

  • Katie
    2019-02-22 21:55

    This is such a sweet, loving book about being queer and lost, going out into the world, and dealing with what you meet there. As told through the eyes of some students, some of whom MAY fall in love. It's funny, too! I have been an exchange student in my time, and this rang every bell of recognition for me in terms of the vulnerability but also hilarity of that experience. This book specifically talks about that queer experience in the context of diaspora. Dex is second generation, Nick remembers leaving his childhood home. Their different experiences and responses are completely integral to who they are, and I found it really moving to see something that is so important to so many people I love portrayed so well.I really can't be rational about this book, I love it.

  • rin (lorenzo)
    2019-02-17 23:58

    god this was noice and relatable as hell. one of the main character (nick) is russian and he's closeted gay and HIS MINDSET IS SO DAMN RELATABLE LIKE WOWIE W O W I E i feel ualso i related to nick so much because he's also shy, overthinking and socially anxious and if that ain't me, like, his every thought? i went through thisapart from that, the book is so diverse, i'm shook! in the main cast, there are gay & lesbian poc characters, a bisexual character realizing that she's bi, a trans character, and a lot of other queer characters awit also deals w many other issues, like immigration or mental health for example and it's just soo gooodi loved it :^)

  • ˗ˏˋ eg ˎˊ˗
    2019-02-20 02:12

    4.5 stars Gloriously good and so very important. It had such a range of diverse and nuanced characters along with thoughtful and powerful discussions about identity and belonging.. just wowwowow!! Here's to seeing more books like this one in the future!!

  • YullSanna
    2019-01-28 04:58

    Неординарная история. Вернее, неординарный авторский стиль. Мне понравилось по большей части. По меньшей части остались смешанные чувства... Странно, что при честной оценке в 4 звезды у меня пока нет желания читать вторую часть. Беспокоюсь, что не будет ХЭ. Переживать не хочется.

  • Ellie
    2019-02-23 22:55

    5 I-am-completely-overwhelmed stars!It's such a tender, heart-wrenching story of finding yourself and your place in the world, exquisitely told! I'll try to review it properly soon

  • kinda-leo
    2019-02-24 03:57

    This is so good! I can't wait till the next one!! :))

  • BookWorm 221
    2019-01-25 23:10

    www.bookworm221.tumblr.comThis is really complex book and surprisingly real and accurate as to people sometimes relate to each other, I don’t think I’m explaining myself very well but that’s how I felt the entire time I was reading it, like I could picture these characters so easily because their voices seemed so familiar to me, the way they talked wasn’t overly complex it was real and down to the point.Let me tell you a little bit about the book, so we have Nick who has wanted to go to London for the longest time, he is studying British history and is finally able to go abroad to study one semester in a university in London, from the moment we meet him we know he is holding back who he truly is, he seems to unsure of himself and at time it could get annoying but then I would stop and think about my own experiences or how I would react to the things happening to Nick and our reactions and actions were pretty similar. So Nick meets this group of people and let me tell you each one is so unique and each one brings something important to the group, their personalities get along so well and you immediately get the feeling that they are more than friends, they are family. And in this group we meet a lovely guy called Dex, he has been out since he as a teenager and is proud of it, so when he meets Nick (his total opposite) he wants nothing to do with it but after some meaningful conversations they both start to realize that maybe they could be more than friends.Now, things obviously don’t run smoothly, there are many other things that are at play and for most of the book you are wondering if and when they’ll finally get together.I’m happy so say that this book is more than the romance side of it, we also have healthy friendships, ones were you talk about your feelings and you support one another, and we also see how families react to their children being queer, we see both sides which I think is very realistic because sometimes books only focus on the good ones and not the bad one and vice versa.Liz Jacobs to me is a unique voice, I like that this book is own voices because you can tell that she knows what she is talking about, she explains things in a way that makes you understand the characters so much better. I can’t wait for part 2.Keep Calm and Read OnInstagram and Twitter @bookquotes221

  • Sonja
    2019-01-24 06:02

    OH MY GOD, THIS BOOK.I feel like this book was MADE FOR ME. First of all, it's set during one of the protagonists' year abroad. Nick's Russian-American, heading to England to study in London and meets a group of English people that take him under their wings. Including Dex, who he has the MOST INTENSE AND AMAZING slow-burn romance with. And it truly is amazing and made me want to jump up and down in expectation on occasion. Like, I cannot accurately describe how viscerally I reacted to this book sometimes, how much it made me ~feel. (view spoiler)[Literally, both times they were making or tried to make spaghetti bolognaise, I wanted to crawl out of my own skin because the sexual tension was so palpable. When they kissed and Nick ran away was SO FUCKING MUCH. I also just LOVE LOVE LOVE anytime Nick opens up to Dex. Heart-to-hearts are my fucking kryptonite and I so rarely get them from M/M romances, where they're usually THE BEST because dudes who express feelings are the best. (hide spoiler)]And if that wasn't enough, beyond these two wonderful boys who are so wonderfully amazing, there's a third POV with some (view spoiler)[super great F/F, including one of the hottest F/F sex scenes I've read in a long time (hide spoiler)], which surprised me considering that that character isn't mentioned in the book's description at all. Anyway. Izzy's great and I loved getting her outside POV on Nick and Dex, but even more so, I just loved HER and all the things she went through. I also super loved that she (view spoiler)[went to a gay club, kissed a girl, went home with her, and was just like yup cool guess I'm bi. There was no internal conflict for her (external, yes, but that's a different story) and that's so rare. I'm also really into her and Nat's story/conflict and I can't wait to see what book 2 brings for them, whether it's shippy in nature or not. (hide spoiler)]Basically, if you're into slow-burn romance, books set in college, M/M, or F/F - READ THIS. I could not put this book down and I'm going to start book 2 immediately.

  • Natalie
    2019-01-29 00:13

    hello i am broken by this brilliant debut and will never be the same again omg! *reaches ending, screeches!!* ok fine just note there's bit of a cliffhanger that will have you gasping and wailing for book 2 as i currently am!! >.> lol alright so let me be somewhat coherent here. I didnt know what to expect, but JFC i am blown away by this book. Nick is my precious son. Dex is my grumpy child. Izzy just let me loooove you. I loved that Izzy's story occurred simultaneously, alongside Dex and Nick's, and still in keeping with the overarching theme of self-discovery and finding oneself. I have to say Izzy really resonated with me. That club scene was hooooot as hell, and her coming out conversation with Dex was so heart wrenching and made me feel all the feels. And oh my precious Nick. i always fall for the awkward ones, can't help it and Nick is the most awkward child my heart was breaking for him throughout, as he struggled through finding a place in his newly found friend group, his budding attraction to Dex, actually admitting to himself he's gay (hugs him so tight) What I also loved about this book was the diverse group of friends (Main guy Dex is black queer dude, their friend Jonny's a trans guy, Nat who's a gay, Indian girl) and each character was so distinct, personality wise. queer group of friends hello yes so here for it! I think there was one token straight in the group? lol .ALSO HOLY GOD!! Dex and Nick were the slowest of burns I almost couldn't stand it (hahah just kidding i love the torture of a slow burn romance) Dex teaching Nick to cook was hands down one of my favourite scenes, the other being Izzy's *cough* night of self-discovery at the club with Ruby ;)So now i'm gonna need book two because *sobs* that ending I just want to read more Izzy/Nat stuff pleeeeeaaaase

  • Carly
    2019-02-02 06:06

    Somewhere between three and four stars, this book suffers from me having too high expectations. It was very highly rec'd. If I were expecting it to be simply 'good' it would have been much more enjoyable. This book isn't really romance and it's not really YA. I guess that technically makes it New Adult but I'm still not convinced that's a genre with it's own identity and not just some muddled combo of romance and YA. This is a character-driven book about a group of college friends. There's almost no plot. I don't understand why there are two books when this is clearly only half a book on it's own. It must have been chopped in two to fit into the conventional length of one of those genres I mentioned. The pacing is also off because of this. The book didn't pick up until roughly 48% in. Which would have been a respectable 20-something % if the two were one really long book. But on it's own it's too late. All these complaints being said, I'm going to read the second one immediately