Olive Juice, by TJ Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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.
Hurt and Loss
Olive Juice is one of the most difficult books I’ve ever read. It’s one of those books that rips you apart from page one. It’s unforgiving. It’s full of heartache, turmoil, pain, hurt, tears… so many tears. I cried all the tears. So many of them that I could not see the words without constantly blinking to get them out of my eyes.
This is a story about three people. Three people who love deeply. A story told from David’s POV and David is hurting. He’s been hurting, you can see that, for a long time. It’s a deep hurt… so deep that it breaks you. It broke me.
Olive Juice is told in a unique way. A way that I found important to the story itself. It actually helped me keep in the moment, stay in that bubble throughout its entirety. It’s also kind of confusing in the beginning because… what is going on? But wait. Just wait.
Olive Juice also has a few moments of levity. Moments when through my tears I cackled and laughed so hard. I smiled and cried and felt that deep love these characters shared.
Olive Juice is a book that can’t be reviewed in the conventional sense. To say anything really about the story would be a disservice to a future reader. Avoid any and all spoilers before reading. There is tragedy within that if you knew, if you had any idea where David is coming from, what happened, it would spoil it all. And if possible, may I suggest you read this when you have a quiet afternoon to yourself without interruptions. But have someone to hug after… I hope you have someone to hug after.
As I said, Olive Juice broke me. But in the end I was patched back together. Maybe not made whole, but I was left with hope. Maybe a promise. I do know that I’m grateful for Olive Juice. There are no punches pulled. The angst is high. The pain is real… visceral. Melancholy. It’s also an example of the beauty of love. What love can do for you, to you, make you. That’s the thing about love. When you love with everything that you are, everything that you have, it’s a double edged sword. It can bring you to the highest high, but also the lowest low. But love is worth all of those lows. It is.
I feel like I should be saying more. I feel like there is no way to make you understand how amazing and tragically beautiful Olive Juice is. My heart is still broken from it. Probably will be for a long time. But I really am better for it. This book made me feel. And feeling, that’s one of the most important things for me when I read a book. Highly recommended.
When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, over two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder. But that’s okay, because he’s recently become a full-time writer, and can give them the time they deserve.
Since being published, TJ has won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance, fought off three lions that threatened to attack him and his village, and was chosen by Amazon as having written one of the best GLBT books of 2011.
And one of those things isn’t true.
(It’s the lion thing. The lion thing isn’t true.)
You can purchase Olive Juice from:
Barnes & Noble
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.