It’s nice to find an amazing book. But someone to gush about it with? Now that’s priceless! You look forward to every email, every text as they read the words you’ve read and talk about the scenes and characters you’ve both come to love. I’ve talked about Birdie Bookworm a lot on my blog. We’ve been reading buddies for years, and one of my favorite things about her (aside from her sparking personality,) is that she is always up for a recommendation. We took it one step further this time and did a reading exchange. She’s reading the first book in the Five Boroughs series, Sutphin Boulevard. (Just when you thought I was done gushing about Santino Hassell…yeah. Not so much.) And I’m reading Olive Juice by TJ Klune. Since one of the definitions of ‘manic’ is ‘showing wild and apparently deranged excitement and energy,’ and that totally captures our feelings for the books we swapped, Manic Monday was born. Be sure to click here to read how Birdie fared with our swap. We hope you enjoy this feature!
Olive Juice by T.J. Klune
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA
Published on April 26th, 2017
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Olive Juice was a beautifully written story about two men who were torn apart by a devastating event, and I’m going to make this review purposefully vague so as not to spoil it for anyone. It’s clear from the very beginning of this story that David and Phillip had a very strong bond once upon a time, but something happened to change that. And over the course of one night, it seems that Phillip and David are either going to part ways, for good this time, or they’re going to reconcile. But no matter which way things end up, this single evening is going to be filled with emotions that run the gamut. This story truly was heartbreaking. There was so much love here, longing so tangible that it was enough to wreck the reader. The familiarity between these characters was enough to convey their adoration on its own. I also loved that these men were in their early 50’s. You rarely see protagonists that age, and it was nice to read about a couple who had so much history.
The only portion of the story that I didn’t care for was the part where I felt like the reader was deliberately misled. I think the events leading up to the evening taking place were emotional enough to stand on their own without trying to add the shock factor. Instead of feeling like ‘Oh my word. That’s what happened,’ I was a bit underwhelmed. Like I said before, I think what happened could have had just as much impact, if not more, had the truth been revealed from the beginning.
So, a short review for a short story, but I thought it was beautifully written and would go into more of what made me love it if I was willing to spoil the ending. But I’m not.
Final Verdict: I really enjoyed the book Birdie Bookworm picked out for me to read. Seeing what TJ Klune could do with so few words in Olive Juice, I am definitely curious to see what he could accomplish with a full length novel. And if my heart will be left intact.
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