Sunday, July 22, 2012

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: April & Oliver by Tess Callahan

Release Date: June 3rd, 2009
Publisher: Hachette Book Group (Grand Central Publishing)
Page Count: 326
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher, via My Chaotic Ramblings, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

A devastating tragedy serves to reunite two friends from childhood in this emotionally riveting and sexually charged first novel... 

Since childhood, April and Oliver have been soul mates who shared a palpable attraction. Now, after years of being separated, their wildly different paths collide with the sudden death of April's brother. The sensual tension builds as Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student, finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April. But even as Oliver attempts to "save" his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend, and herself, it soon becomes apparent that Oliver has some secrets—secrets he hasn't revealed to anyone.

Yet April knows. Is it really her life that's unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral... toward a surprising revelation.

What Stephanie Thinks: This is my second review for Melissa at My Chaotic Ramblings (nearly a year after my first -.-;;), for April & Oliver, a book I really really really REALFJIOUGSLDFY loved. People who don't like complex, convoluted storylines, beware; this is not your type of read. Topics broached include self-harm, domestic abuse, rape, statutory rape, adultery, premature death, suicide, depression, and pretty much all the fucked up things in life. It's tragic and cruel and sexual, but not at all able to be categorized as erotica (or even romance for that matter). Its genre should just be contemporary depressing fiction. But it's stunning—depressing in a remarkable, hopeful way. Check out why I give it 9 hearts:

Stephanie Loves: Oh lordy. Callahan is such a powerful writer, I couldn't just choose one quote, couldn't even narrow down to two! So enjoy these four: "From time to time, she feels Oliver look her way, his glance grazing her skin like a swatch of sun between clouds, a warmth so brief she shivers.— gorgeous, no? "What Oliver fails to understand is the range of possibilities; that people can destroy themselves and one another and the whole planet with nothing stepping in to stop them; that [April] can destroy him without even trying. It wouldn't take much, she thinks, to let her thigh relax against his, blood rising to the surface of the skin, until they began to consider the harmlessness of a moment longer. And another.— so real, so lifelike, "'This is what I think. Addiction is just a way of trying to get at something else. Something bigger. Call it transcendence if you want, but it's a fucked-up way, like a rat in a maze. We all want the same thing. We all have this hole. The thing you want offers relief, but it's a trap.'last but not least, "'Did [the kiss] feel like a rewiring of your body, every cell switched places?' ... 'It's like this,' Nana says. 'All your life you're yellow. Then one day you brush up against something blue, the barest touch, and voilà, the rest of your life you're green. — one of the best analogies ever!!

Radical Rating: 
9 hearts: Loved it! This book has a spot on my favorites shelf. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥