Friday 28 April 2017

Review ~ Olive Juice by TJ Klune

Book Description:

It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:

I want to see you.

He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.

David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.

Phillip offers redemption.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars

“I haven’t got my fill of you yet.”

Olive Juice may be a short story but what it lacks in length is more than made up for in raw, honest, emotional and heart breaking prose that just transports you into the lives of David and Phillip Greengrass. There is no sex in this book whatsoever and yet this was one of the most passionate books I had read. This book was from the heart, two broken, decimated hearts but none the less two hearts that beat as one no matter what the world threw at them.

Olive Juice is the pain of a series of “little deaths” and not “la petite mort” that our guttural minds often run to. But a series of events and memories that little by little slowly kill a piece of your heart and soul. But how much can one heart and soul take? This book, for me, was hard to read and I cannot say why without spoiling it. But this was a book I could relate to, not from experience but how I would I feel in the exact same situation and the reality does not even bear thinking about.

“Each of those memories was a death. A tiny, little death.”

It is this ability to empathise that really brings home just what these two are going through and the emotional ramifications thereof. How words cannot be unsaid, how things said in anger, while true in the moment, if you had thought about it would have never passed your lips. How when you are hurting those that bear the brunt are the closest to you and yet they will be the ones to piece you back together once you have fallen apart.

“I breathe because I have to. It’s an involuntary action. I ache because it’s all I have. I live because I don’t know how to do anything but. And the deaths aren’t little. They’re big. They’re bigger than you could ever know. I take steps because if I don’t, the bigger deaths will catch up to me, and I can’t have that.”

This was an angst fest, it hurt from start to finish and while I was way off base in the first instance, I soon began to piece together the truth. With flashbacks to the past, where life was great, the sun was shining and the unicorns played on the front lawn we were given an insight into how life was…before and it is then that the present really hits home.

“Because the not knowing was the worst thing of all.”

This was incredibly emotional, stunningly written and despite the content and storyline was a book that I embraced with huge hugs and a lot of tears. I love this authors voice, his words have that power to transport, fantastic character connection as always and that emotional connection that I crave. I would have loved Phillip’s POV and as with any short it is never enough, and at the end I was left wanting more even though it ended in a good place. 

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