Posted in Reviews

Review: Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni

Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni

Recommended: sure
for learning about Armenian (or Armenian-American) culture, for an LGBTQ character embracing who she is for the first time, for lovable characters (except maybe the MC sometimes)


When Nareh Bedrossian’s non-Armenian boyfriend gets down on one knee and proposes to her in front of a room full of drunk San Francisco tech boys, she realizes it’s time to find someone who shares her idea of romance.
Enter her mother: armed with plenty of mom-guilt and a spreadsheet of Facebook-stalked Armenian men, she convinces Nar to attend Explore Armenia, a month-long series of events in the city. But it’s not the mom-approved playboy doctor or the wealthy engineer who catch Nar’s eye—it’s Erebuni, a woman as immersed in the witchy arts as she is in preserving Armenian identity. Suddenly, with Erebuni as her wingwoman, the events feel like far less of a chore, and much more of an adventure. Who knew cooking up kuftes together could be so . . . sexy?
Erebuni helps Nar see the beauty of their shared culture and makes her feel understood in a way she never has before. But there’s one teeny problem: Nar’s not exactly out as bisexual. The clock is ticking on her double life—the Explore Armenia closing banquet is coming up, and her entire extended family will be there, along with Erebuni. Her worlds will inevitably collide, but Nar is determined to be brave and to claim her happiness: proudly Armenian, proudly bisexual, and proudly herself for the first time in her life.


Shockingly, the main character is actually my least favorite character in this one. She’s generally okay, but the other characters really really shine. I love her mother. I love Diana. I love Erebuni, SO much. I think I’d rather read some things from her perspective, really! Maybe it’s the slight age difference with Erebuni being a few years older, but she seemed WAY more mature (or perhaps Nareh is just particularly immature in some ways). Erebuni was full of grace and compassion and love for all around her and it was beautiful to watch.

The villain or conflict is more nebulous than average because it’s really just Nareh’s fear that causes issues. Not that her fear isn’t sometimes understandable, but it’s such an interesting concept that there’s really nothing holding her back but her own attempts at predicting the future. Once again, fear was the culprit.

The proverbs were interesting starts to each chapter, but honestly a lot of the time I either didn’t see how it related to the content of the section (esp the one for the epilogue seemed like a stretch) or just fully didn’t understand what it meant. xD I assume that’s because I’m not Armenian and lack the subtleties to really see the importance in some of the referenced items, but might also be partly from translation. Regardless, I enjoyed seeing them in the start of each chapter.

And of course I loved learning about all the little Armenian pieces of culture! There were the more obvious moments, like Nareh attending the seminar about the genocide, that is intended to teach the main character and the reader through her. But there were also smaller moments sprinkled in, like their apparent love of brandy (very specific?) and various superstitions. I adore learning about superstitions and folklore-ish traditions from different cultures, and this had lots of that embedded into each moment. I’ve already been looking up some of the references within the book, and am hoping to find more to read about them.

Overall this wasn’t a terrible read, but I feel like the most memorable aspect for me in 6 months will be that pomegranates are seen as a sign of longevity and fertility, and maybe a vague recollection that the MC was kind of a shitty person at times. So sure, go for it if you’re curious! But I don’t think it’ll be a re-read one for me.


Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

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