Reviews of Playing With Dolls
"I actually finished reading Playing With Dolls over the weekend, but it had such a profound emotional impact on me that I needed to take some time to regroup, to distance myself from the text, and attempt an intelligent review. [Korin Dushayl] has accomplished something remarkable here, crafting a story that works on all levels - educating, arousing, inspiring, empowering, and (most importantly) emotionally connecting with the reader."
"A sensitive and believable account of a young man's struggle to both sexual and social self-realization."
Sharazade, erotica writer, editor,
reviewer, and publisher
reviewer, and publisher
"The element of how one is labeled versus how one experientially comes to self-identification held a captivating tension for me. ... the everyday details in the story created a realistically immersive landscape that made it easier to viscerally identify with the characters."
"All in all, it was a great read, and I believe it would appeal to pretty much anyone interested in BDSM literary themes (although it is about so much more than just that). Whether a seasoned veteran of "the lifestyle," a curious novice, or just someone who enjoys erotic/kink fiction; You will find commonalities and relate-able experiences. I look forward to seeing more work from" Korin Dushayl.
"In general I found the progression of encounters to be appropriately more exciting and sensual as Jesse discovers what he enjoys. The book is oddly insightful in regards to the main character's slow revelation of finding himself through gender expression and sexual exploration. He begins to assert himself by choosing a career and life path that he wants rather than appeasing his parents. I enjoyed the varying degrees of information on the BDSM community, and even the fact that some of the characters didn't quite know the proper guidelines that go along with BDSM, but that's also an aspect of Jesse's education. This book is a delightfully sexy read that effectively evolves into Jesse pursuing possibilities for himself rather than just accepting what others have planned out for him."
"This book is a must read for anyone who ever had to learn how to be comfortable in their own skin. Playing with Dolls is a unique and emotionally charged book. It is a must read for anyone who is interested in erotic literature. While it does have significant BDSM content, the sex is not gratuitous and lends a very important and fun to read aspect to the book. It also gives fairly decent (yet fictional) insight into the spectrum of relationships that can be seen in this secretive community. Although the main character is transgendered, anyone with a heart will be able to understand his plight and root for him on his journey of self discovery. No matter what your sexual practices are it is impossible not to identify with the main character's deeply emotional longing for friendship, acceptance and love. This is a beautiful coming of age story with a feel good ending that anyone can enjoy. I loved it!"
"It's always fun to read a book that is partly set somewhere you've been, like Paradise. [Korin Dushayl] has done a great job depicting a young man's journey in discovering his true self. And the part about Paradise was fun and accurate (including the bad coffee...we're working on that)."
Allena Gabosch, Executive Director Center for Sex Positive Culture
"I could identify, with quite a bit of Jesse's dilemma of trying to determine who and (or), what he might be. I see a really interesting question of who-vs-what in how our identities grow and evolve. Besides the question, I also found his story personally empowering for me as a reminder about self-acceptance as my identity continues to evolve. That's something that I find my thoughts turning back to on a frequent but irregular basis still."
Morgan on Goodreads
"This was a delightfully refreshing story of alternative lifestyles. I love the emotional depth Jesse is given and his journey to self discovery. On my own path, I found recently that after years of the label 'bisexual switch' that this didn't cover who I am. I love a boy that was born female. Perhaps it is my turn to delve deeper into the well of knowledge my community has to offer. Thank you, Korin, for writing this!"
EveLyn K. Karhnet on Amazon
"This book is a delightfully sexy read that effectively evolves into Jesse pursuing possibilities for himself rather than just accepting what others have planned out for him."
J. on Goodreads