Clubbed Two: Anxiety, Anger, Activism by Robert A Karl

Clubbed was easily my favorite read of 2021, and when I was given the chance to ARC Clubbed Two: Anxiety, Anger, Activism, I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed in the least.

From the Blurb

CLUBBED TWO is historical fiction, set in Philadelphia from 1982 to 1992. Club Sanctuary can be seen as a metaphor for the greater LGBTQ community, but it is written as a real place, with characters who are fabulous, funny and flawed.

The author combines historical characters and events with fictional ones, creating a story that's entertaining, informative and emotional. The love story between the two main characters, Joey and Henry, serves as a vehicle for connecting the stories of diverse, Queer characters.

This second book in the CLUBBED series continues the story as the LGBTQ community fights prejudice and ignorance in an effort to be recognized as people worthy of respect. Will the community be torn apart by fear, or will they come together to support PWAs (People With AIDS)?

Experience the drama, the beauty, and the excitement as well as the music, fashion and fads of the 80s with Clubbed Two: Anxiety, Anger, Activism.


Sarah C's Review:

Book one ended with the start of the epidemic and book two takes us through some of the worst of it. However, this book does not focus on solely the epidemic. This book doesn't focus only on the people that Joey lost from his Club Sanctuary family, though there are many in that. This book focuses on the queer joy that could be found even in the darkest times.

And it was beautiful.

Like the first book, this is written in a memoir style. It tells the story of not only Joey and his husband, Henry, but of a lot of other gay boys who come through Club Sanctuary. We see happy endings and love found. We see tragedy. We get updates on some of the characters from book one - some that broke my heart and others that made me glow. There are some characters, like Karl and Carl, who stand out and have begun to live rent free in my head since I read the book just as they did in Joey's head throughout the story. There is even a cameo from two of the characters from another read I greatly enjoyed in 2021: Dancing Before the Crash.

This book is not a traditional romance. There is love found in its pages, but its not going to follow the same line as many books in this genre. This is the kind of book that will make you laugh and then, three paragraphs later, have you ugly crying. But it is a book that will still leave you revelling in the queer joy that could be found even in the darkest of hours.

Because as Joey says: every day is a great day to be gay.

There are some content warnings for drug use, alcohol use, on and off page character death (its the AIDS epidemic), infidelity, homophobia, and cancer. This book is beautifully written but does have a fair amount of pain, given the topic matter. It is also quite a bit spicier than the first book. Karl definitely turned up the heat. Clubbed Two: Anxiety, Anger, Activism also does end on a cliffhanger.

Now I just have to wait the impossibly long wait for Clubbed Three. 

Rating: 5 Stars