Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Elena Reviews: The Otto Digmore Difference By Brent Hartinger

Title: The Otto Digmore Difference 

{The Otto Digmore Series #1}

Author: Brent Hartinger 

Publication Date: February 21st, 2017

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, GLBT
“Road trip!” 

Otto Digmore is a 26-year-old gay guy with dreams of being a successful actor, and he’s finally getting some attention as a result of his supporting role on a struggling sitcom. But he’s also a burn survivor with scars on half his face, and all indications are that he’s just too different to ever find real Hollywood success. 

Now he’s up for an amazing new role that could change everything. Problem is, he and his best friend Russel Middlebrook have to drive all the way across the country in order to get to the audition on time. 

It’s hard to say which is worse: the fact that so many things go wrong, or that Russel, an aspiring screenwriter, keeps comparing their experiences to some kind of road trip movie. 

There’s also the fact that Otto and Russel were once boyfriends, and Otto is starting to realize that he still might have romantic feelings for his best friend. 

Just how far will Otto go to get the role, and maybe the guy, of his dreams? 

Author Brent Hartinger first introduced the character of Otto Digmore in 2005, in his Lambda Award-winning books about Russel Middlebrook. Back then, Otto was something pretty unusual for YA literature: a disabled gay character. 

Now, more than a decade later, Otto is grown up and finally stepping into the spotlight on his own. The Otto Digmore Difference, the first book in a new stand-alone series featuring Otto, is about much more than the challenges of being “different.” It’s also about the unexpected nature of all of life’s journeys, and the heavy price that must be paid for Hollywood fame. 

But more than anything, it’s a different kind of love story, about the frustrating and fantastic power of the love between two friends. 

*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

The Otto Digmore Difference was a very nice surprise! The story itself had a wonderful flow to it that I immensely enjoyed and the writing made it extremely easy to read. It took me a while to really get into it but once I did, I couldn't stop. Otto's story frustrated me in the best way possible because it made me realize the hardships of the world we live in go deeper than we would've thought. Not that I wasn't aware but, this book made them even more real in the sense that its main character was very realistic and the obstacles he encountered in the book, are very relatable and can happen to anyone. With or without scars. The world has made it clear that, it's going to judge whatever you decide to do with your life and underestimate your achievements. I can personally attest to that.

That's what I loved the most about this book. Its authenticity and originality made it even more unique in my eyes. Connecting with Otto on such a deep level was something very unexpected for me and I found myself livid at how certain characters behaved. Otto's journey was one of self-discovery and self-acceptance, which is something I admired very much. He was a more than likable character who I feel like every reader can relate to! Life has been very unfair to him because of circumstances he can't control nor change.

Also, if you pick up this book expecting some very cliche story about whatever cliche stories are made of, you will be positively disappointed. It focuses on so much more than just the romantic element that we're so used to overshadowing everything else. And the answers to life's problems are quite difficult to come across. You really have to work for them which makes this book unpredictable and full of surprises. They're hidden between the lines and wait for the reader to discover them.

It's a beautiful, poignant and very raw read which makes us realize that, scarring can be overlooked when you go above and beyond to hide it but, when it's in plain view and you're in Otto's situation, the world will have no qualms about staring. And its people will be ruthless about it. I feel like it's definitely something that can define you and have a positive or negative impact on your personal life and career, depending on the circumstances. This part really hit home because I was very insecure about my scars once. But thankfully, I managed to overcome my fears and since then, I've never allowed them or myself to make me feel bad or unworthy. Because sometimes, there's nothing worse than us criticizing our own selves.

Pursuing happiness means that we have to separate what we want to do with what we have to do in our lives. There's a balance between the two and we have to find it with the help of others, like Otto. Being famous because of his role in a popular TV show certainly did not guarantee his happiness. On the contrary, he was very lonely and didn't know how to approach life in order to achieve that happiness.

The road trip Otto embarked on with Russel was very important because it helped him discover himself and figure out what he wanted to do with his life. Despite their flaws, I loved the relationship between these two characters and was rooting for them from the beginning til the end. Russel supported Otto through it all and played a big role in him realizing that, life is so much more than missed opportunities and happily ever afters. You have to work for these and if something doesn't go your way, you have to pave another one yourself.

The Otto Digmore Difference was an impeccably written story that left me feeling quite refreshed. The life advice that comes with it is the biggest bonus ever and will make you realize a thing or two about yourself! The plot is very moving and the characters themselves go from clueless and still searching for the meaning of life to mature and trying to understand it and make the best choices in order to find happiness. And, always remember that it comes in the simple things, the things that you had no idea you needed in order to feel it.

Until the next post,


  1. This is a beautiful review, Elena. I'm so glad you loved Otto's story. It's one I really found a lot in as well, and I can't wait for the next book.


    1. Thank you! Can't wait to see what the future holds for Otto!


Thanks for stopping by and commenting!