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April & Oliver

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Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April's brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, my Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April's brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April - and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. 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 of his own--secrets he hasn't shared with anyone, even his fiancee. But April knows, and her reappearance in his life derails him. Is it really April's life that is unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral...towards salvation.

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Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April's brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, my Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April's brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April - and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. 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 of his own--secrets he hasn't shared with anyone, even his fiancee. But April knows, and her reappearance in his life derails him. Is it really April's life that is unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral...towards salvation.

30 review for April & Oliver

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tarryn Fisher

    I really, really adore April & Oliver. April reminded me so much of my Olivia I felt bonded to her immediately. I like dark, angsty books with twisted love stories. This book delivered all of the above.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰

    "In Venice we saw the bridge of sighs...Everyone should stand there once in their life." "These are young people Reina" says Mr. Bergfalk "What they need is to be in love, not standing on some lonely bridge." "You think there's a difference?" This book destroyed my soul and tore me apart until I was nothing but a vessel of emotions and pathos. And the worst part, the worst part is - I would do it all over again... There are little gems, that we as readers come across and from start to finish it "In Venice we saw the bridge of sighs...Everyone should stand there once in their life." "These are young people Reina" says Mr. Bergfalk "What they need is to be in love, not standing on some lonely bridge." "You think there's a difference?" This book destroyed my soul and tore me apart until I was nothing but a vessel of emotions and pathos. And the worst part, the worst part is - I would do it all over again... There are little gems, that we as readers come across and from start to finish it evokes an explosion of emotions from us but the main emotion we are left with during the end is jealousy. Jealousy because we envy those who can go through the story experiencing it for the very first time. "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 voila, the rest of your life you’re green.” ❁ ❁ ❁ ❁ ❁ ❁ ❁ ❁ The Story April and Oliver isn't a book I would recommend to everyone, because this is the type of story that would mean something completely different for each individual. It is the type of book that you will have to analyze from a literary perspective because not everything is black and white. You have to read between those wonderful, wonderful lines. It's tragic, It's gut-wrenching, It's up-lifting, It makes you feel. I would say go into this with very little prior knowledge about the story and let it all come down and hit you like a ton of bricks. The pain is worth it. The Writing "How about passion? Does that enter the equation?"... "Its overrated" she says. "The stuff of wars." The most beautiful characteristic of this book is it's writing. It is lyrical and leaves you feeling so many things at the same time with not even trying to. I loved that it was written in a way that even minor details and small fractures to the story added up after a couple chapters. A word would be repeated, or a saying, or a memory and I understood. I understood as if I was the character themselves. The Characters These characters made my heart ache. Every single one of them was damaged in their own way and we saw that. Through such a humane and mundane way - it was breath-taking. We saw them grow and understand themselves, we saw them hurt for each other. April and Oliver as characters will always store a place in my heart, it is only fair as they made my heart go through so much. I am mentally tired but I still want more. While reading this, I had a cover of Miracles by Coldplay on and once you listen to it and emerge yourself in the story - theres no going back. Every time that song plays now, I will be reminded of this story. The presence of tears will be guaranteed. Nana. Nothing I can write will do her justice.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    April & Oliver... Oh, April & Oliver... you duped me. The description of this book on the jacket is one of the best (and most misleading) pieces of marketing material I've come across. It sounds like you're going to be drawn into this alluring friendship that's been wrapped in sexual tension for years and all these scandalous secrets about them will fall into your lap, leaving you salivating and wanting more. Here's the gist of it. Warning - spoilers ahead. April's brother, Buddy, dies. O April & Oliver... Oh, April & Oliver... you duped me. The description of this book on the jacket is one of the best (and most misleading) pieces of marketing material I've come across. It sounds like you're going to be drawn into this alluring friendship that's been wrapped in sexual tension for years and all these scandalous secrets about them will fall into your lap, leaving you salivating and wanting more. Here's the gist of it. Warning - spoilers ahead. April's brother, Buddy, dies. Oliver (who is actually April's cousin somehow) comes home with his fancy pearl-dotted new fiance, Bernadette, for Buddy's funeral. April makes a whole bunch of brainless decisions like getting back together with her ex-boyfriend who she just threw out and has a restraining order against and who apparently murdered his ex-wife... anyway, Oliver keeps cleaning up all these little messes April is making out of herself while Bernadette suddenly takes a backseat in Oliver's life. Being an extremely jealous and possessive neurotic, Bernadette eventually tells Oliver he can't talk to April anymore, which is impossible because they are COUSINS... and leaves him at the altar on their wedding day. Blah, blah, blah. The story ends with Oliver sending a postcard to April from his travels across the world, which is what he decided to do after Bernadette dumped him. The postcard is blank... apparently this counts as keeping his promise to Bernadette that he wouldn't "talk" to April anymore. Who the hell cares? The bitch left your sorry ass. The end. April, you're an idiot. Oliver, you're a candy-ass. Bernadette... I have some more choice words for you that are simply too bawdy to list here. FAIL.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    One of the best books I have read this year! Review: Let me start by getting the minor negative out of the way. While her prose is nothing short of lyrical and thought provoking the narrative takes some getting use to by skipping from present to flashback scenes very quickly she tends to make the transitions awkward. Quickly adapting to this style I was completely enthralled and never put my book down. What I liked. Everything! My favorite quote is from Nana. "All your life you're yellow. Then one da One of the best books I have read this year! Review: Let me start by getting the minor negative out of the way. While her prose is nothing short of lyrical and thought provoking the narrative takes some getting use to by skipping from present to flashback scenes very quickly she tends to make the transitions awkward. Quickly adapting to this style I was completely enthralled and never put my book down. What I liked. Everything! My favorite quote is from Nana. "All your life you're yellow. Then one day you brush up against something blue, the barest touch, and voila, the rest of your life you're green." This book is not light and fluffy and for those of you that seek a storybook HEA this may not be the book for you. If you love books that are deep with rich characterisation then you will want to read April and Oliver. The last few pages were hauntingly beautiful. I found myself rereading them over and over I just didn't want it to end! Reread: April 2011 Exactly the same as before AMAZING!! When I say the last few pages were amazing I would only add that I could not put it down so be prepared to lock yourself away and lose yourself in this beautiful love story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

    What a moving and suspenseful story of relationships and how childhood mistakes/experiences can influence one's adult life. And the ending is just gorgeous. This is not a story for the faint of heart though, it's as much about love as it is about violence and also about where the two converge. I adored it and am about to read it again because there is a symmetry to the story that I think would do well for a second reading.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I feel kind of guilty giving this book only 2 stars, because it's clear the author is talented. Unfortunately, what she failed to do in "April & Oliver" was create characters worth caring about. April is brunette, wild and troubled but has a heart of gold. Her step-brother's half-cousin (or something like that, another flaw was the incredibly complicated relations between the characters) is her True Love and has been since they were kids. But he's a straight-laced lawyer-to-be who put aside h I feel kind of guilty giving this book only 2 stars, because it's clear the author is talented. Unfortunately, what she failed to do in "April & Oliver" was create characters worth caring about. April is brunette, wild and troubled but has a heart of gold. Her step-brother's half-cousin (or something like that, another flaw was the incredibly complicated relations between the characters) is her True Love and has been since they were kids. But he's a straight-laced lawyer-to-be who put aside his promising career as a pianist for something more practical. He also has a fiancee who is kind, blonde, pure and sympathetic. Shockingly, the book is about April & Oliver's unconsummated relationship, and their burning yet unspoken desire for each other. There are some "Wuthering Heights" themes here, which I dig. But I just couldn't care about the characters. April habitually dates abusive men, works in a bar and seems generally unconcerned about her life. Oliver is so in love with April that even his fiancee knows it, but he refuses to admit his feelings to anyone, preferring to play with both women's emotions, albeit unintentionally. I felt most sympathetic towards Oliver's fiancee Bernadette, though I cringed at her depiction. She's classically beautiful, educated, classy, wealthy -- in short, uninteresting and not worthy of the amazing Oliver (if you've suffered through the movie "The Family Stone," think Sarah Jessica Parker's character but more polite). The book fairly bangs you over the head with the Madonna/whore comparison of Bernadette and April, which I think this flattens both characters. But it's a debut novel, so I look forward to Callahan's next offering. Oh, one more thing.. the cover is gorgeous.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Misty Baker

    **A 3.5 Review** There are these two sayings: “You can’t love someone else, if you don’t love yourself.” “If you love someone set them free, if they never come back, they were never yours to begin with.” I used to think these two sayings were mutually exclusive. It was only a significant amount of time and heartache that taught me otherwise. But these two saying (as clichéd or predictable as they have become over the years) have been the foundation of some of the most dramatic literature ever writte **A 3.5 Review** There are these two sayings: “You can’t love someone else, if you don’t love yourself.” “If you love someone set them free, if they never come back, they were never yours to begin with.” I used to think these two sayings were mutually exclusive. It was only a significant amount of time and heartache that taught me otherwise. But these two saying (as clichéd or predictable as they have become over the years) have been the foundation of some of the most dramatic literature ever written. (Jane Eyre…Wuthering Heights…) Why? Because these two saying not only establish love, but they also decimate it, contrive it, and then try to mend it. Let me let you in on a little habit of mine. It’s not horrifying (like most of my habits) but it does explain my mind-set (80% of the time) when chosing books to read and review. I love Independent Films. While most of you are sleeping (which, to be honest, is probably what I should be doing) I stay up late and drown myself in sarcastic, intellectual on-screen banter. The reason I love these films is because they tend to break the mold of what is predictable. They do not always end with peace or happiness. They tend to strain silence to the point of awkwardness, and self-deprecation is usually a standard. Also a standard, the two sayings above. To me, Independent Films are the books that someone, somewhere couldn’t figure out how to write, so they put it on film instead. April and Oliver is the product of someone finally learning how. “Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April’s brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April – and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. 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 of his own–secrets he hasn’t shared with anyone, even his fiancé. But April knows, and her reappearance in his life derails him. Is it really April’s life that is unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral…towards salvation.” In the interesting of saving time (and clarifying the synopsis for those of you who like “simple”) April and Oliver is a novel about two beautifully screwed up individuals who have a hard time excepting reality. April cannot overcome the stigma of being ” the damaged one” while Oliver struggles with the expectations of being “the perfect one.” Hurting or subsequently taking care of the other is all they know how to do. And they do it well. Both of these characters are amazingly portrayed. They are also frustrating, infuriating and (at times) incredibly depressing. Tess Callahan, without a doubt, had a clear vision as to what she wanted her characters to depict and she delivered in breathtaking (heartbreaking) style. For instance, A & O was written in companion narrative, meaning that both April and Oliver were allowed to have a voice. Doing so opened a flood gate for emotional connection. From April we got to experience the aftermath of loss, violence, twisted passion. From Oliver: penance, duty, desire and longing. Separately they are compelling, but together they were down right mesmerizing. In short, I had a difficult time putting it down. I’ll be straight with you. There is probably only 5% of you out there that will read this book an appreciate it for its depth, idiosyncracies and tortuous plot. The other 95% of you will think I’m bat shit crazy. That I’m a glutton for literary punishment. You are probably right. But I have a firm belief that the best books out there are the ones that make us uncomfortable. And April and Oliver had me cringing from their poor choices or disillusioned beliefs significantly more than sighing over their sweet moments of reverie (which I’m still not certain they even had.) The plot was jumpy at times (especially during the flashbacks.) The family entanglements were a tad confusing, and chances are (until the last 10%) you will HATE if not one but both of the lead characters in this novel. But Callahan’s ability to create life changing sentiments with only a few flowery words will keep you flipping the pages hoping for the best. “All your life you’re yellow. Then one day you brush up against something blue, the barest touch, and voila, the rest of your life you’re green.” Chick lit lovers will probably enjoy this book more than most, but lovers of tumultuous relationships will appreciate it as well. Dive at your own risk, lifeguard not on duty. Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: “It is difficult to know at what moment love begins; it is less difficult to know that it has begun.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lolly K Dandeneau

    April and Oliver? Sexual tension? Really? This book duped me with the advertising as it did another reviewer here. One expects deep tangled bonds, soulmate love, earth shattering secrets and instead gets pathetic, been done a million times before crap . April wasn't realistic with her bad boy loving ways, but I guess only 'sluts was it?' fall for abusive men. I feel like Callahan read a psychology book on victims of sexual abuse and decided, hey- lets make her a tramp because afterall, that's wh April and Oliver? Sexual tension? Really? This book duped me with the advertising as it did another reviewer here. One expects deep tangled bonds, soulmate love, earth shattering secrets and instead gets pathetic, been done a million times before crap . April wasn't realistic with her bad boy loving ways, but I guess only 'sluts was it?' fall for abusive men. I feel like Callahan read a psychology book on victims of sexual abuse and decided, hey- lets make her a tramp because afterall, that's what victims become! I hate when authors play psychologist! Oliver was weak and underdeveloped, TJ was your typical shady character and didn't seem real at all! Buddy was the lucky one, he escaped the story. She could have done so much more with Buddy and what happened to him. I was left scratching my head at the end. Give me tragic, open ended, or even happy endings but for the love of all readers- don't give us weak endings. Nothing written here was earth shattering and no secrets weigh you down with their heaviness. I did not feel the love in the story, I didn't feel any childhood beauty and I didn't even sense friendship. It seems as though the author tried to think of shocking themes and throw them in, but there was no meat to it. I didn't even feel passionate enough to hate Quincy. Please, please engage the reader! If you are going to pull the QUINCY storyline card, one must think about how victims of that abuse really feel and convey that, or else don't bother.

  9. 4 out of 5

    DeAnna

    It's been a long time since I've closed a book for the last time and cried. Maybe it was my mood or maybe Tess Callahan created such real, fleshed out characters that I became emotionally involved. Callahan's writing was lyrical & amazingly I found little to criticize. The fact that she didn't rely on the generic theme of the man running to rescue the damsel in distress impressed me. I like it when characters fix themselves before the author brings them together. Relying on a man to fix your It's been a long time since I've closed a book for the last time and cried. Maybe it was my mood or maybe Tess Callahan created such real, fleshed out characters that I became emotionally involved. Callahan's writing was lyrical & amazingly I found little to criticize. The fact that she didn't rely on the generic theme of the man running to rescue the damsel in distress impressed me. I like it when characters fix themselves before the author brings them together. Relying on a man to fix your screwed up life is less believable than wizards or time travel!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    DNF @ 35%. Not bad by any means, just not for me. The writing is quite lovely but the story was a bit too bleak for my liking.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Zizz

    THIS ONE JOINS MY LIST OF BEST BOOKS EVER READ. Tess Callahan's writing style is like poetry. She stirs up your emotions with almost lyrical sentences. This book is just plain gutwrenching yet hauntingly beautiful. I read this whole book with a heavy heart. It pretty much sliced me open at every single page. I wanted to cry and I rarely cry when I read. If I thought The Sea of Tranquility was sad, this took me to a deeper grieving level. This book will not take you to a happy place - not a singl THIS ONE JOINS MY LIST OF BEST BOOKS EVER READ. Tess Callahan's writing style is like poetry. She stirs up your emotions with almost lyrical sentences. This book is just plain gutwrenching yet hauntingly beautiful. I read this whole book with a heavy heart. It pretty much sliced me open at every single page. I wanted to cry and I rarely cry when I read. If I thought The Sea of Tranquility was sad, this took me to a deeper grieving level. This book will not take you to a happy place - not a single moment of light. Despite the heavy tone, this book is perfect for me - even that ending which will probably leave a lot of people dissatisfied (view spoiler)[I think a happy ending of a reunion would have been out of character given the tone of the entire book. After all, nothing was ever explicitly defined or said in the book. Instead, we were only made to feel that constant yearning from Oliver and to a lesser degree April as her solution is to always run away from him. Instead we get a blank canvas of an ending. I am more than happy to assume that there is a happy ending for April and Oliver as I draw it out from the last few pages of the book... In her pocket is Oliver's letter. She stares at it, remembering hide-and-seek, how good he was at keeping still. When she found him, it was because he summoned her I would like to think that the story ends with him summoning her as he used to. And I'd like to believe that this time around she stops running away - bringing them to a full circle. In the upper-left corner the faintly typeset address of a B&B has been circled in the same blue pen as her name on the envelope. Below that, nothing is written. Not a word (hide spoiler)]

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Presley

    To its credit, I raced through this book, devouring every word quickly. So why didn't I give it five stars? A few reasons. The beginning was very confusing and it took a bit for me to get used to the flip-flop of time-periods. There was no real indicator at times that the author decided to go back in time, and I had a hard time distinguishing between the present and past. Once I got used to the format, it became a little easier. Too many people introduced all at once, without really any clear intr To its credit, I raced through this book, devouring every word quickly. So why didn't I give it five stars? A few reasons. The beginning was very confusing and it took a bit for me to get used to the flip-flop of time-periods. There was no real indicator at times that the author decided to go back in time, and I had a hard time distinguishing between the present and past. Once I got used to the format, it became a little easier. Too many people introduced all at once, without really any clear introduction to who they are. I didn't get everything straightened out in my head until about 70 pages in. It shouldn't take that long. April was a weak character. I think maybe the author wanted to show that she was strong because she barely reacted to the abuse heaped on her, but with her lack of decisions and her need to be protected all the time by people around her while she made stupid decision after stupid decision, she just simply came off as weak. The book focuses on this twisted, garbled love that two childhood friends have always had for one another when in my opinion, I would have preferred reading a story of how one friend was able to help the other regain control of her life, through her own actions. Instead we get a load of self-pity. Lovely.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    This is a beautifully written story of two childhood friends reunited by a tragedy which causes each to re-examine their lives and choose a different path. I truly cared about these characters.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I had mixed feelings while I read this book. I went into it hopeful -- I had heard great things about this debut novel by Tess Callahan which I thought was a sweet love story about two long lost loves. And in some sense, that's what it was. Callahan tells the story of April and Oliver, two childhood friends who have lost touch through the years. They are brought back together after the untimely death of April's younger brother. Both characters have changed. Oliver has done well for himself, is i I had mixed feelings while I read this book. I went into it hopeful -- I had heard great things about this debut novel by Tess Callahan which I thought was a sweet love story about two long lost loves. And in some sense, that's what it was. Callahan tells the story of April and Oliver, two childhood friends who have lost touch through the years. They are brought back together after the untimely death of April's younger brother. Both characters have changed. Oliver has done well for himself, is in law school, and is engaged to the ever sophisticated Bernadette. April has continued to work in her late father's bar and is in an abusive relationship. At some points I enjoyed the story and at some I didn't, but in the end April and Oliver left a lasting impression. The main reason, I believe, for the high acclaim over April and Oliver is the lyrical prose in which Callahan constructed her novel -- writing that is fairly atypical of an author's first work. It flowed so beautifully (much like the cover illustration) and kept me engaged, even through scenes where the plot movement slowed its pace. I failed to realize before picking up this book that the tone would be as somber as it was. Maybe I should have picked up on Publishers Weekly's description of it as a "uniquely funereal love story". There were also times when I felt the characters (mainly April) and the tone were almost too melodramatic. I wanted to scream at everyone to lighten up! I was not a fan of April's character, but I have to note this was not a negative reflection on the writing. One other thing I did not care for in the storyline was the origin of April and Oliver's relationship. Rather than being "childhood friends" (this is not a spoiler, as we learn this up front) they are actually "family". Though they are not blood-related, they initially thought they were and, therefore, were raised as cousins. I had a difficult time getting over the fact that they were "cousins" and had the same relatives, and yet, had a sexual tension between them. But there were times when I was able to forget this minute detail and appreciate the nuances of their relationship. Callahan utilized an interesting technique in combining the current storyline with flashbacks from the past. The main portion of the novel is written in present tense. I generally don't care for this tense, but find that talented authors can ingeniously engage the reader and make them forget -- Callahan mastered this. The flashbacks, however, were written in past tense, and rather than separating these thoughts by paragraph breaks, the author went directly from one line to the next. One second Oliver might be completing a specific action, and the next line would state "Oliver remembered" and then continue on with a memory. The juxtaposition of the tenses was, in my opinion, a risky method of narration, but worked surprisingly well. During some brief moments, I felt somewhat bored with the slow plot movement. This novel is truly more of a character study and, therefore, lacked continual movement. However, the characters were beautifully developed. Over the course of the book I felt as though I genuinely got to know the characters who were real and complex. Surprisingly, I think my favorite character may have been Oliver's fiance, Bernadette. She was a wise and self-less character whom I would have liked to learn more about. I often wondered what the story would have been like from her point of view. These characters have stayed with me much longer than when I turned the last page of the book. I think this is one of the true talents of an author -- the ability to combine beautiful writing with character development so the reader continues to think about the characters for long after. One last thing I want to point out is the beautiful cover. I am drawn to this cover every time I see this book in the store. (There are some scenes that take place at the beach and it does have significance to the story). But what I see is that it's gorgeous, yet dark and intense. In that way it is the perfect visual representation of this novel. I definitely recommend this title and look forward to reading Tess Callahan's future works.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Rose

    I have a blurry relationship with this book. I really thought I would love this book after reading reviews about how this book was going to be a beautiful read. And I was so excited to read it after picking it up yesterday at the bookstore; however, I was slightly disappointed by how repetitive the story became with its main characters. Scarred by her childhood, April grew up living a destructive life. Her knack for bad boys was trouble and she fails to correct her lack judgement with men. Her q I have a blurry relationship with this book. I really thought I would love this book after reading reviews about how this book was going to be a beautiful read. And I was so excited to read it after picking it up yesterday at the bookstore; however, I was slightly disappointed by how repetitive the story became with its main characters. Scarred by her childhood, April grew up living a destructive life. Her knack for bad boys was trouble and she fails to correct her lack judgement with men. Her quiet cousin was her white knight so to say, but he already has a princess and ended up screwing that up big time. This book makes me wonder if some men would ever be happy with what they have.. I still can't quite decide if I love or hate the ending, considering I spent my whole day rooting for them to just get it over already. I guess the lack of a happy ending made it slightly more memorable. I was hoping that April and Oliver would finally get together after how much emphasis is placed on their sexual tension throughout the whole book. But no, it doesn't happen, NOT EVEN A PASSIONATE KISS! (blasphemy!!) and they became strangers. I guess that's what would happen in real life when you find out you're in love with your non-related cousin and realized not only did she manage to destroy her life, she destroyed yours. You know what? The author needs to write a follow up novel about Bernadette, she seems sweet and lovely.. She thought she found the right one but nope! Guy's a dud - he doesn't have the balls to fight for what he wants and couldn't get over a childhood crush. Overall, the book deserves a decent 3 stars for being an easy read and for the decent attempt to entice its readers to care for its characters' outcomes. But minus one because I had to skip some pages because it was becoming so predictable.. Minus another because it was just gloom and more gloom with no light at the end of the tunnel, not even a glimpse throughout the whole book. I would recommend this to those that love gloom on top of gloom and characters that come off as sort of weak, with very little backbone / cajones.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was very good, and a nice change of pace from all the YA fiction I've been reading. It was a totally different type of page turner, not so much suspence but you really want to find out what happens to the two leads, throughout all their trials and hardships. The flashbacks make everything that more palitable. I read straight from 8pm to 3 am just to finish it. It's funny though, the climax you basically expect from the novel never happens and in some ways this was both dissappointing and no This was very good, and a nice change of pace from all the YA fiction I've been reading. It was a totally different type of page turner, not so much suspence but you really want to find out what happens to the two leads, throughout all their trials and hardships. The flashbacks make everything that more palitable. I read straight from 8pm to 3 am just to finish it. It's funny though, the climax you basically expect from the novel never happens and in some ways this was both dissappointing and not- why does everything have to be predictable? This is the main qualm with the slew of teen novels I've read over the past year. But it would have been nice to have a bit more resolution at the end. We'll never know if April takes Oliver up on his request and if April will ever finally be with someone decent. It would have been nice to finally get to see April actually experience love and how that affects her, as opposed to her continual unemotional resignation to her lot. It's a story that will stay with me though. Such wonderful writing and beautiful language.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Dark, depressing, really messed up people. Just my kind of thing. I don't know that I'd recommend it to a lot of people, because lots of people don't want to read about things that are dark & depressing. Or they don't like ambiguous endings. I don't mind that either. I like the dark & depressing & the messed up because I can relate. I can't relate to cute little stay at home moms with their cute little babies, who live in a big two story house and visit the park every morning while t Dark, depressing, really messed up people. Just my kind of thing. I don't know that I'd recommend it to a lot of people, because lots of people don't want to read about things that are dark & depressing. Or they don't like ambiguous endings. I don't mind that either. I like the dark & depressing & the messed up because I can relate. I can't relate to cute little stay at home moms with their cute little babies, who live in a big two story house and visit the park every morning while their husband goes to work at the law firm so he can pay the housekeeper or the cook. I have no relation to that, no experience with that. But a screwed up relationship between a guy & girl who grew up together, know way too much about each other, are inexplicably drawn towards each other, even knowing that they shouldn't be? People who make really bad decisions in their life and screw things up continually? Yep, that I can understand!

  18. 5 out of 5

    K

    I read the first and last fifty pages and skimmed the rest. Could not make it through, despite delicious premise (childhood friends reunite, there's supposed to be loads of sexual tension, the seemingly straitlaced boy has a dark secret or some crap). The writing was so flat and mediocre, it hurt.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brandi

    A deeply poignant tale of yearning, regret, and truth. I adored April & Oliver.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lise *friends don't flag*

    Another wonderful debut novel. Beautifully written, so full of emotion and what an ending.... Thanks to Tarryn Fisher for bringing this story to my attention.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    “All your life you’re yellow. Then one day you brush up against something blue, the barest touch, and voila, the rest of your life you’re green.” – Nana Let me start off by saying I did really like April & Oliver, but there were a couple things that held me back from really falling in love with it. We’ll get to those issues later on. As much as I love the happily ever after stories (who doesn’t?!), I have recently realized that I love books that have twisted, f*cked up relationships just as m “All your life you’re yellow. Then one day you brush up against something blue, the barest touch, and voila, the rest of your life you’re green.” – Nana Let me start off by saying I did really like April & Oliver, but there were a couple things that held me back from really falling in love with it. We’ll get to those issues later on. As much as I love the happily ever after stories (who doesn’t?!), I have recently realized that I love books that have twisted, f*cked up relationships just as much. Relationships aren’t always unicorns and rainbows; they’re also tornadoes capable of mass destruction. Unfortunately, it seems like April was content with the latter. April and Oliver were best friends throughout their childhood, but drifted apart after high school. Oliver moved away and went to college while April stayed in New York and worked at her late father’s bar. They went from being best friends to complete strangers, and it’s not until the sudden death of April’s little brother, Buddy, that Oliver is jolted back into April’s life…only he’s not alone. He has his fiancée Bernadette in tow. Regardless, Oliver attempts to help April anyway he can even if it may appear that he is more anxious to spend time with her than his fiancée. I kind of went back and forth between liking Oliver; at first, it seemed like April was the self-destructive one and Oliver was simply a good friend who didn’t quite know how to deal with her situation. My opinion of him changed about halfway through the book though. He seemed to want April more, but refused to admit it...or act on it…and that made me mad at him. Not because he wanted April, but because he wasn’t honest enough to admit it to himself, and more importantly, to Bernadette. April warned him that she would only cause problems for him, and yet he still couldn’t leave her alone. I didn’t expect him to drop her like a bad habit given their past, but it just upset me that he wouldn’t own up to his feelings not only for his sake, but for Bernadette’s! Surprisingly, I didn’t dislike April. I knew going into the book that she would be a bit self-destructive, but I didn’t realize the extent…and yet I still found myself in her corner. You learn about the issues she had with Quincy, her father’s partner in the bar business, and you realize why she is so f*cked up. She’s one of those girls that believes she doesn’t deserve a good man because of her past and her dump truck full of baggage. Instead of realizing her worth, she goes back to an abusive relationship with T.J. because she feels like that’s all she’s good enough for; it’s so sad. She was so used to masking her pain that when she was physically hurt, it didn’t affect her. One instance in particular was really disturbing, and I’m sure you’ll know exactly what part I’m referring to once you’ve read this book. I felt for her from page 1 up until the very end, and somehow I felt bonded to her. Now, I didn’t give it 5 stars for a couple reasons. The first being that I felt so bad for Bernadette and the way Oliver “looked right through her” on multiple occasions that it made me dislike him. The character of Bernadette was so sweetly written and had such good intentions that it broke my heart a little to see her start wondering if maybe Oliver did feel something for April. I probably still would have been upset had Oliver handled things differently with her, but the fact that he continued to hide his feelings from her upset me. I was also hoping for more of a physical connection between April and Oliver, and unfortunately there isn’t much of that; not that I would condone him cheating on Bernadette (it would have made me dislike him even more), but I feel like we only barely scratched the surface of their physical connection, and I would have liked to delve a little deeper. All in all, I really liked this book and it is definitely one of the better books I have read recently. I found myself really drawn to both April and Bernadette more than any other characters, which made my emotions play tug-of-war with each other when it came to their relationships with Oliver. Did I want Oliver with April or Bernadette? I don’t think I can answer that, because I haven't really made up my mind yet. I’ll think on it, while you go out and pick up this book. Seriously. Go now.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mishel Forte

    April and Oliver grew up together and were inseparable. Looking after each other and Buddy, April's younger brother, seemed to fill the days of their youth. They are cousins through a marriage between Nana and her second husband. But that never stopped the sexual tension from growing between the two since adolescence. And as life takes them down their separate paths the two become strangers. However, after the sudden and tragic death of Buddy, April and Oliver find themselves battling their mutua April and Oliver grew up together and were inseparable. Looking after each other and Buddy, April's younger brother, seemed to fill the days of their youth. They are cousins through a marriage between Nana and her second husband. But that never stopped the sexual tension from growing between the two since adolescence. And as life takes them down their separate paths the two become strangers. However, after the sudden and tragic death of Buddy, April and Oliver find themselves battling their mutual attraction once again. April also finds herself facing her troublesome choices in life head-on as she spirals down into her grief over her brother. Her pick in men haven't always been the best and the powerfully abusive relationship she's in now is making her life all the more complicated. Reckless and broken, April struggles to get away from past demons that continue to haunt her. Oliver on the other hand has always been the cautious one. He was more or less a musical prodigy when he was younger as he played and composed his own music But instead of attending Julliard, he turned it down and went to Standford. He now attends Columbia as a law student which he thinks is more practical. He met his fiance' Bernadette and now prepares for a safe and happy future. But after returning home he can't seem to stay away from April. He feels that it's somehow his responsibility to put her back together as she falls apart. Their attraction soon alerts the sweet Bernadette that Oliver may not be the man she thought she knew. And Oliver notices his safe and solid future may be slipping away. Callahan did a wonderful job with the characters. I couldn't help but come to care about both April and Oliver and even some of the secondary characters. Although April is utterly troubled with her self-destructive behavior I found that I couldn't dislike her for it. It was frustrating though, seeing her constantly choosing the wrong men or the wrong things just because that's what she was used to in life. Definitely made me want to shake the woman. Oliver is a pleaser. Always putting others and their wants over his own. I can't imagine the life he would have had if he continued with his dream of composing music. His big heart though seems to get him into trouble. He can't save the world, no matter how hard he tries. I found Nana, the grandmother, the most interesting character. Although she's somewhat senile she is, in my opinion, one of the wisest people in the book. It's like she knows more than she should about things and it's kind of spooky but comforting at the same time. After Buddy dies, the entire family chooses not to tell her in fear of troubling her over-worked heart. And yet I think she knew deep down that Buddy was gone. Overall this book was an emotional journey with very real human characters. The ending wasn't a happily-ever-after. Instead, it leaves the reader with a lot of room for their own interpretation. It is a wonderful debut that I think so many people will come to enjoy. I know I'll be on the lookout for more from this author!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paigu

    Highly predictable characters (conflicted "nice guy Oliver, his goody-goody blond and bland fiancee Bernadette, "bad/slutty girl with a heart of..." April) and storyline. Unfortunately, I foresee this as coming to a theater near you sometime soon. Despite the cliches, I actually liked the book. I know many people hate Oliver and April but I liked April's character because despite the "cantaloupe colored miniskirts" and horrible choice of men, she seemed inherently a decent person (her kindness t Highly predictable characters (conflicted "nice guy Oliver, his goody-goody blond and bland fiancee Bernadette, "bad/slutty girl with a heart of..." April) and storyline. Unfortunately, I foresee this as coming to a theater near you sometime soon. Despite the cliches, I actually liked the book. I know many people hate Oliver and April but I liked April's character because despite the "cantaloupe colored miniskirts" and horrible choice of men, she seemed inherently a decent person (her kindness towards her grandmother, her friendship with Oliver throughout high school despite them obviously being in different social groups). And heck I even liked boring Oliver just because of his excellent taste in classical music (ha ha). Plus this book had a great ending (not really what you'd expect). My only other criticism, other than this book having a predictable plot, is the author tries too many cliches and then abandons them mid-stream. Oliver's dream of being a concert pianist is not quite developed, yet the author tries to force the symbolism of the piano as being representative of April/Oliver's relationship. Doesn't quite work.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mishelle LaBrash

    Hauntingly beautiful, totally capable of fracturing not only your heart, but your soul. Like Kelly, whom recommended this story to me, (thank-you BTW) says, this story is the type that will linger. For me, it was a mirroring journey, seeing myself in April in such an eeringly real, and disturbing way. From the very first word, on the very first page, my pulse sped up, and I began fighting the tell all lump in my throat for the 24 hours it took me to read April and Oliver's story. The tears finally Hauntingly beautiful, totally capable of fracturing not only your heart, but your soul. Like Kelly, whom recommended this story to me, (thank-you BTW) says, this story is the type that will linger. For me, it was a mirroring journey, seeing myself in April in such an eeringly real, and disturbing way. From the very first word, on the very first page, my pulse sped up, and I began fighting the tell all lump in my throat for the 24 hours it took me to read April and Oliver's story. The tears finally won, on the last page, on the very last sentence. My one, and only complaint, is the feeling of being cheated somehow, eventhough I get what Tess Callahan was doing with this story, and the ending, I wanted to read more.. I didn't want it to end.. I needed more. An amazing new voice, an effortless and remarkable new talent. Bravo Tess Callahan, and a sincere Thank-you. You will never know how close to home this book came for me, and the healing it somehow managed, throughout the pages. Thank-You.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Luisa Fer

    Lately I have been trying to read many of the New York Times review of books and I keep giving up on them. Today in my favorite literary blogger finally put words to it: They are constricted to a certain style. Silly me I hadn't noticed until I put a hold on this book at the library, went eagerly to get it and then closed it before reaching page 50. I confess I jumped a few chapters just to see if it would get better, but no. This is a story that has been told over and over again. The good guy w Lately I have been trying to read many of the New York Times review of books and I keep giving up on them. Today in my favorite literary blogger finally put words to it: They are constricted to a certain style. Silly me I hadn't noticed until I put a hold on this book at the library, went eagerly to get it and then closed it before reaching page 50. I confess I jumped a few chapters just to see if it would get better, but no. This is a story that has been told over and over again. The good guy who is in love with the troubled girl. The troubled girl has a difficult life. The guy is engaged to a respectable, rational, generous, lovely girl. The storyline has been recycled so much that it needs a truly original voice, or genius writing to make you feel any sympathy for the characters. I recently read Anita Brookner's Altered States which is pretty much the same story line, but this book has made me squirm, cry, get angry, etc.. I think I'm done with the New York Times book review and stick to my literary blogs.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Yael

    This book took me to a sad, sad, sad place. Gave me a huge dose of grief, love and hope. Its so beautifully written I highlighted more than 10 quotes I loved. Such a compelling, detailed and slow paced narrative. I was so enthralled I couldn't put it down. What can I say, I crave stories that make me feel. This one didn't disappoint. I guess its better if you go into this book without knowing what to expect. It will allow you to fully experience it in your own unique way, without any expectation This book took me to a sad, sad, sad place. Gave me a huge dose of grief, love and hope. Its so beautifully written I highlighted more than 10 quotes I loved. Such a compelling, detailed and slow paced narrative. I was so enthralled I couldn't put it down. What can I say, I crave stories that make me feel. This one didn't disappoint. I guess its better if you go into this book without knowing what to expect. It will allow you to fully experience it in your own unique way, without any expectations. You should be warned: If you're looking for a happily ever after finale this book is definitely not for you. Although, I may be wrong, who knows?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dominique

    April & Oliver was a heart-wrenching love story. It was such an emotional read. I had read another readers review and she stated, “This book is not light and fluffy and for those of you that seek a storybook HEA this may not be the book for you.” Yes, the ending was not storybook but it was also not disappointing, in fact it gave me hope. I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully written story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shay

    I can't review this book right now because I'm still reeling. But, this is one of the best books I've ever read. I feel sad. I feel angry. I feel hopeful. Superb writing and a gut wrenching-this-is-real-life-love-story.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    I hated this book for at least 100 pages, but it slowly grew on me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris(tine)

    finished and really enjoyed it. loved her writing and adore the characters, especially the chemistry bw the titular characters. looking forward to future releases from this author.

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