April & Oliver by Tess Callahan

4 Gold Stars out of 5.

The other day Jenny & Gitte asked me if I would like to review one of my “darker reads”.  I think Jenny said  “Yo’, beautiful,  amazing Megs you should do a review on one of those dark messy books you love so much.” At least I’m sure that’s what she said! (dream on Megs…J&G)

First off I had to find a book that they hadn’t read (let me tell you, that’s not easy…have you seen how much these girls read???)  I decided to go with April and Oliver.  But here’s the thing…. how do I review this dark, unclean, honestly real book without giving spoilers of the unexpected ending? And even more so, how do I do it without using any swear words? (J&G said NO swear words sheesh!)  I have no idea but here goes anyway.

This is no fairytale read, it’s not shiny and it’s not gimmicky. It will throw you into a dark place, cut you and leave you wondering why.

April and Oliver were inseparable childhood best friends/cousins (not blood related) who are now basic strangers reunited after the death of April’s younger Brother Buddy, whom they both helped raise. That’s where the cliché storyline stops. Oliver arrives back in town to find April’s life in pieces scattered all around town. From her abusive boyfriend to her dodgy apartment April and Oliver couldn’t have grown further apart.

April is dysfunctional, self destructive and simply a mess. Her life isn’t daisies yet she’s almost content with it. She has terrible judgement in men and her life decisions are usually effed up, but you don’t hold it against her, you always want her to get her act together and once explained you understand where her life started spiraling  She isn’t a bad person and she never whinges about her lot in life, she gets on with it,  however how she gets on with it is her problem.

Oliver is practical and sweet. The opposite of April, he has his life in order with a beautiful (bland?) fiancée and a budding law career. Oliver has always been about going for the safe option and pleasing everybody else first which became as frustrating as Aprils misjudgments  Of course Oliver has his own secrets, secrets that maybe mean he’s just as broken as April.

Sexual tension between these two is not in your face but is most definitely felt. Oliver has trouble finding the line between helping an old friend and admitting his feelings to himself. April pushes him to the absolute brink without meaning to. But don’t expect major romantic fluff with this, you’ll be disjointed if that’s all your after.

The hero in this book was easily Nanna, what a legend. Believe me that’s all that’s needed to sum her up.

The book changes between the present and at times I became confused, ok yes it is easy to confused me but this really was occasionally hard to follow. While I loved her writing style, I did get a bit bored during some of the more descriptive scenes and some of the slower chapters.

I know a lot of people were put off by April and I get why, she is hard to love at times, but I really felt like I had the right back story to understand her.

I can’t describe the ending without giving anything away but I really liked it. After the initial shock of course. I’ve read books with a similar ending and felt ripped off but this was done perfectly.

April and Oliver is so ugly its beautiful. It has the same feel of Tarryn Fisher’s “The Opportunist”  but goes maybe that little bit further. If you’re not into dark books, don’t read this, I don’t think you will like it. However if you’re like me and enjoy looking out dirty windows and treading a thin line of naughty fun and self destructive misbehavior, then you need this in your life.

Megs “I swear on my life Jenny said “Yo”.    Gitte: “I believe you Megs”!

Thank you so much to our Guest Reviewer Meghan Gladwell.  Great review!


Filed under Guest Reviewers, Our Reviewers, Tess Callahan

3 responses to “April & Oliver by Tess Callahan

  1. I read this book at the beginning of last year. It was deep. I enjoyed it though. Nice review.

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