Book Review: You Are the Reason (The Tav #2) by Renae Kaye

You Are the Reason (The Tav #2)My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Own
Publication Date: August 7th 2015
Publisher:Dreamspinner Press
Point of View: 1st Person (Davo)
Genres & Themes: M/M Romance, LGBTQA+, Cross Dressing, Contemporary


Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays, who are femme and girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme—including relationships that last beyond fifteen minutes.

Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub in fright. That’s where he meets Lee, who is cute from her cherry-red hair, to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed—but how is that possible? He’s gay. Isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy—he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.


“When I was eleven years old, I worked out what it was like to be gay. Being gay meant you were a boy but liked girly things. Being gay meant you were bashed at school and ridiculed by the sports teacher. Being gay was not good.  I didn’t want to be gay.”

This is a much needed book. We talk about diversity, and diversity comes in so many ways. The story that we’ve never heard, the one that’s never been written, and even the ones we’re scared of writing or reading. W didn’t even know we needed it, that it hadn’t been told. Everyone needs a voice, their story to be told and I feel like this novel was it.

“Being different, yet still the same. Being the same, but different.”

“We were all born a certain way, but that in no way made us the same.”

There’s this Youtube couple that I love, and on occasion I’ll scroll down to the comments, and in every video they post I can guarantee that I’ll read about how they’re not the “stereotypical gay couple” or they’re not “stereotypical gay” and all I say is, “what the flying ducks?” Honestly, why would someone write that. You never hear about how someone isn’t the stereotypical straight person or straight couple. It’s like people find it baffling that there’s all kinds of people in this world, almost as if we’re all unique individuals.

“When I was thirteen, I worked out what it really meant to be gay. Being gay meant you ha a choice. You could be one of those gays who liked girly things…”

I don’t know how anyone can read the synopsis of this book and get this horrible idea about what it’ll be about. Books are a journey. What most readers forget is that there’s character development. Good or bad character development is character development. Repeat it after me, please. LGBTQ+ has all kinds of stories, coming out to parents and friends, but most importantly, coming out to yourself. Not everyone accepts it at first, but what happens when you accept it, but their is internalized hate because of the outside hate? I feel like that what this book is about.

“Just like being gay was no different from being straight. Didn’t I have a job, pay taxes, own a house, watch football, eat a burger, and cheat at Monopoly—just like a straight person?”

Internalized hate, and not even recognizing it. Saying your gay, but saying you’re not one of those gays, and what does that even mean? We need stories like this, because I fear that many people have gone and are going through this, the homophobia, and biphobia, and transphobia and every lgbtq+ phobia has effects on the people being attacked.

You are the Reason is a beautiful and needed journey of a man who knows he’s gay, but due to someone’s hate has had lasting consequences on his view of himself and what it means to be gay. It talks not only about sexuality, but how the male gender views the female gender. Why is being like a girl bad? Gendering color and toys, and clothing. Why? With the recent news that Target will stop the gendering of toys this book couldn’t have come at a better time, and I recommend you read it. I do.

“Together they were an equilateral triangle—each side bonded to the other with equal strength, no one bond larger or smaller than the other. And together they were the strongest shape known.”

I loved how Davo described love and partnership. This novel had it all; two characters who grow, and have so much to offer. To each other and those around them. Lee and his endless love and positiveness, and Davo and his skewed, but not evil view of seeing the world, but willing to listen and admit when he’s wrong. 

“He was my smile in the morning. He was my last thought at night.”

“He’d helped me discover some things about myself that I didn’t like and was working on changing. He’d helped me grow.”

I’m always looking for why the characters for in love with each other or why they like each other. When I read things like that then itjust makes me feel connected, because they’re not being completed by being together, but helping the other; grow, learn, be the best they can be for them and for each other.

Loved Lee and Dave, individually and together. 

“Your horse and my horse have the same father. ‘Captive Prince’ is his name.”

And if I didn’t already love this book, this little tidbit made me love it even more. Renae Kaye do you know about Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat? *squeals*

“When I was eleven years old, I worked out what it was to be gay. When I was twenty-seven, I understood that being gay was a matter of mechanics. But being Davo meant doing what I felt was right. To me.

All I want to say is to the people who say that “oh he’ll be changing, they always change,” with this derisive voice then all I got to tell you is thank god you’re perfect. To everyone else; we’re all changing, every day, every minute. And you can definitely change from day to night, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We’re all learning and changing, it is never too late.

Magic 8 Ball, should everyone read this book?


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