Completely Yours is the story of two recluses, one physical and one emotional, who meet at a comic book convention and find their happily ever after through an online role playing game, ala World of Warcraft. It’s also a shockingly real story of how family and friendships form in our society, what grief looks like when it reshapes people’s lives, and how making a commitment to someone can bring freedom in unexpected ways.
Kiera likes her life just as it is. As the art designer for online juggernaut World of Leokin, she works erratic hours, eats even more erratically, and almost never leaves her house. She prefers it that way, not only because it allows her ultimate creativity for her work, but because it keeps her heart quite safe. She’s part of the founding team of the game/world and her only real offline relationships are her two best friends. Those two finally convince her to leave her apartment and venture out into the greater Boston area, which is where we find them when the story opens. They’re all attending a comic convention when the ceiling collapses and their casual day out turns into something else.
Zac – a paramedic with a savior complex so big it’s probably visible from space – is called to the convention center to deal with the melée post-collapse. He’s an on-the-go guy and his PoV lets us know he thinks most of the people crawling around the convention center are weird at best and freaks at worst. He is stopped in his tracks by the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, despite the fact that she’s in costume. Her friends are carted off the hospital – neither of their injuries are serious, but do require attention – and he doesn’t want the girl to be alone.
In an exchange that warmed my sociologist/social worker heart, Keira becomes his geek translator for the rest of the afternoon, helping Zac assess costumed injuries versus real ones and putting folks at ease by using their common language. It’s a subtle acknowledgement that different cultures come with different languages, even sub-cultures, and the ability to speak that language is a sign of empathetic respect. I knew I’d like this book during that opening.
Keira has no interest in a relationship, really. Sex sounds good and Zac is just about the hottest thing she’s ever seen, but emotional vulnerability? Hard pass. In her understanding of the world, people bail on other people the minute anything gets tough. She retreats to avoid pain and we’re told that she’s only barely let even her friends into her emotional world. This is a girl with walls, and they are strongly erected and reinforced by years of pain. She’s not a bitch, she’s not mean, she just doesn’t believe the risk of pain is worth hypothetical pleasure.
Zac, however, is stubborn. He’s already half in love with Keira from their first bit of time together, so he demonstrates that love for her the only way he knows how; he continually shows up in her life, but on her terms. She hates phone calls, so they text back and forth for most of the book and those text conversations are where most of their emotional disclosures happen. He’s pretty judgemental about her online world, but eventually tries to understand why it’s so important to her. He attempts to learn her language, and she attempts to learn his.
One of the major undercurrents of the book is that Zac’s younger sister lives with him. A while back, they lost another sister in a tragic accident and the family has all reacted quite differently. His sister, for example, has traded a life full of cheerleading for a life lived largely in the World of Leokin, a choice Zac does not understand. She bonds with Keira quickly, as Keira is a rockstar in the girl’s eyes, and Keira helps translate his sister to Zac. In turn, the sister helps translate Zac and teaches Keira that just because people hurt her in the past doesn’t necessarily mean Zac will.
The crisis climax of the book comes during a party and the rebuilding from that point is the pinnacle of the hero’s journey. Keira spends the book slowly deciding to trust, while Zac’s character arc spikes at that party. The rebuilding of this world after that event is real, raw, and lovely.
This is an opposites attract, love-at-first sight story with such a dose of reality that it surprised me. Readers should be aware that there is an excerpt for the next book included in the ebook, that was fifteen pages on my e-reader, so adjust expectations for file size thusly. I would absolutely recommend Completely Yours to anyone who loves video games or nerd culture, anyone looking for a story where the biggest character leap is the hero’s, or anyone who simply wants a good read for holiday travel.