My heart broke and was put back together by Sorry, Bro. By the fears Nar has of coming out, the community she might lose, and her own struggles against the sexism and racism with her job. At the same time, the romance, the friendships, and family put it all back together again. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
When Nar’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 wealthy engineer who catches her eye—it’s Erebuni, a woman as equally 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 Nar’s double life, though—the closing event 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, determined to claim her happiness: proudly Armenian, proudly bisexual, and proudly herself for the first time in her life.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: homophobia, racism, sexism
Sorry, Bro is one of those books which is not afraid to explore the fear of coming out, the fact that the world conveniently forgets about atrocious acts, and our very hurtful mistakes. It explores these themes of identity and being Armenian-American, the sexism within the workplace, and Nar’s fears about coming out. This one I think straddles the line more towards fiction with a romance story line – think like The Heart Principle – which I ended up loving.
The exploration specifically of an Armenian-American identity and the process to re-claim and discover our identity resonated strongly with me. As a transracial adoptee, I’ve always had a complex relationship with my hyphenated identity. And seeing this explored in Sorry, Bro struck a chord. Nar is endearing in her relatability, not in these picture perfect wistfulness, but in a very real genuine way. The ways we can lash out, make mistakes, have to broach difficult conversations.
(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)
Sorry, Bro is multi-layered. Truly devoted to Nar as a character, it’s a story about being brave. About finding our own voice irregardless of the things others want from us, project onto us, and what might be the easiest. These risks and fear, loss and grief, that are part of the process to be ambitions, daring, and authentic. Find Sorry, Bro on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org, & The Book Depository.