TT Kove’s writing style is very simple–though not in the same way that I said of Aimee Nicole Walker–and it took a bit for me to get used to. However, once I did, I realized that its simplicity allows for the direct yet soft-spoken tone of her words to paint these quietly complex pictures of life struggling to be lived. It’s a great vehicle for her preferred subject matters–characters dealing with issues of self harm, mental illness, disability, suicide, and abuse among other things. The unadorned language has a way of highlighting the character’s tortured pasts, not-so-stable presents, and bleak futures without romanticizing them. You see them working through it, fighting through it. They relapse, they lash out, they heal, they break, they heal, and then they break again. Their ups and downs make for perfectly questionable happy endings and decidedly unhappy endings, both of which I’m a fan of.
Another thing I’m a fan of is the “everybody’s gay” universe. Some people turn their noses up at that, but it’s totally based in reality. People try to surround themselves with people who they’re comfortable with and, for most people, that means people with similar experiences. Even if they don’t know the other person’s story, sometimes you can just feel it. Sadly, though, the same can be said for people who seem tortured in some way. Again, Kove makes it work without turning it into a joke or a parade of tragedy. I really appreciate that.
Most of her stories are set in her home country, Norway, and though I’ve never been, there’s a stillness, an almost coldness about her stories that I think are a byproduct of that culture. It’s rather refreshing.
Oddly, even though I’ve read about 80% of her offerings and I’ve had this and a review for the More universe in drafts since July, this is the first thing I’ve posted regarding her work. Can’t really explain why, though I hope to get out more at some point.
The images featured in this post are covers from the More universe. She’s since re-released the books with new covers, which I think is a tragedy, but I’ve already started lamenting the state of M/M covers in another post, so I’ll hold off on that for now.