BE DAZZLED by Ryan La Sala

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Raffy practically drags May from the car to the convention center. He can’t risk being photographed before he finishes gluing moss onto May’s face. All the other cosplayers got dressed at home, but they didn’t havr famous artists for moms–artists who for some ridiculous reason don’t consider crafting an art and don’t want their sons to go to art school. But Evie is not going to stop Raffy from entering–not entering, winning–the biggest cosplay competition in Boston. And once he does win, he won’t need Evie’s support for art school. He’ll have sponsors. Fame. He’ll finally be out of Evie’s shadow and surging into his future as a crafter.

But Raffy never thought about the one other person who could throw him off his game: his ex-boyfriend Luca. And when Luca doesn’t only show up but shows up in a costume Raffy designed, it’s impossible for him to keep his cool. Is it possible that Raffy’s hopes for the future could self-destruct as violently as their relationship?

This rom com is adorable and uplifting. By alternating between past and present, La Sala threads the suspense of the competition through the build-up and collapse of Raffy and Luca’s relationship. It’s definitely a page turner! I loved the evolution of Raffy’s relationship with his mom (and Luca’s!) and the depth given to the secondary characters (May and Inaya especially). A well-written, engaging, funny book for fans of YA realistic fiction and/or romances.

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