Conventionally Yours is an adorable LGBTQIA romance written by Annabeth Albert. The two main characters, Conrad and Aiden, are both gamers and often play against each other for the online video blog Gamer Grandpa. Their game of choice of Odyssey but their tactics are on the complete opposite of the competitive spectrum. This of course leads to alot of headbutting and dislike between them.
Gamer Grandpa receives complimentary tickets to Odyssey Con West. At first there are going be three of them traveling together with their professor/mentor. The professor has the entire trip mapped out for a road trip with each of them splitting the driving and the cost. Unfortunately, the night before they leave the professor winds up in the hospital. He asks the others to continue on the pre-planned trip and reluctantly they agree. They barely make it a night before Conrad and Aiden find themselves continuing the journey on their own.
The close proximity forces them to start relying on each other; and even slowly seeing each other in a different light. With their down, their real personality begin to show – not the standoff version of Aiden or the casual cockiness Conrad – and each realizes that they may have misjudged the other. I love a good hate to love troupe and this one is just so cute! It didn’t feel rushed; and while the close proximity may have played a role in brining them closer together, the feelings that emerge may actually have always been there.
The road trip portion of the book brought a smile to my face. There were so many fun moments and each stop/state brings something new for each character. Part of the plan for the road trip was to shop at some independent game stores with merchandise from Grandpa Gamer and the opportunity to play some of the locals and have it recorded for the video blog.
Both Aiden and Conrad have outside pressures that make them use Odyssey as an escape. Conrad constantly battles a feeling of being worthless as he tries to hold a job so that he can pay for his medicine; and prove his father wrong. Meanwhile Aiden has felt pressure from both of his mom’s as they tried to “fix” him and cure his neodivergent behaviors so that he could be a norm kid. While each of the characters have different videos and experiences, it is these views and experiences that allow them to be there for each other.
Conventionally Yours was a little slow to get into but my gamer brain loved the breakdown of Odyssey. The beginning was also a good introduction to the characters and their dynamics. So when they hit the road together, I couldn’t wait to see what happens. The book is told in fuel perspectives so we get to see have each of them is thinking, feeling, and overthinking about their new situation. There is a companion novel Out of Character which features their gaming buddy Jasper. Hopefully, there will be an appearance by Conrad and Aiden too.
Rating: 3.5 Stars