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Olive Juice by TJ Klune

JB
 
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Olive Juice by TJ Klune

Book Info

Authors
About the Author
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, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.
 
 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.)

Genres
Publication Date
April 26, 2017
Pages
121
ISBN
978-1-63533-502-6
ASIN
B06Y2LMDMM
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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A Shattering Story of Love, Loss and Second Chances
(Updated: April 27, 2017)
Overall 
 
5.0

The first MM novel I read was Bear, Otter and the Kid by TJ Klune. I knew then that I'd found a genre and an author that was extraordinary. TJ writes novels that have a truly unique voice. He has written contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, thriller, dystopian, and even some books that simply defy classification. His unique and priceless sense of humor is present in many of these books, and they're superb. In Olive Juice, however, we see TJ's literary skill turned towards a much more serious and heartbreaking story. You may smile, or even giggle occasionally, but as this story unfolds I guarantee there will be tears, and he'll break your heart before he skilfully puts the pieces back together. Mostly. When TJ promises "Wookie Cry Face", he delivers. 
 
David Greenhouse is a fifty-three-year-old man with thinning hair and a little paunch. He is thinner than is normal for him but has been hitting the gym trying to improve his health, even as he lives an isolated existence in his tiny, barely furnished, apartment. There's a sadness to David that's hard to pin down, a feeling his life is not where he thought it would be. One day he receives a text from Phillip. "I want to see you." He agrees and, on a cold winters night, meets with the one person who can offer him redemption. 
 
Phillip Moore is fifty-four and also slightly, though more healthily, built. He is less conservative, in dress and manner than David. Less shy and reserved. More outgoing. When he enters the hotel to meet David, however, he is subdued and unsure. Their greeting is awkward and as they go to sit at their table in the hotel's dining room, it's easy to imagine one or the other abruptly leaving. And so it begins. 
 
Olive Juice is a novella that reads like a novel. I was totally emotionally attached to these two broken men from the very first page. Little moments; like David taking an hour to tie his necktie properly, or Phillip wearing his ridiculous shoes; drew me into their characters absurdly quickly. By half way through I was so utterly riveted to their conversation that I burnt dinner. I adored every detail, every nuance of their characters. I adored them. This novella literally broke my heart. I cried for their circumstances. I cried for the love in their hearts, just waiting for a second chance. I have not had such a visceral reaction to a story for a very, very long time and that's all down to the master storytelling of this incredible author. I've loved all TJ's novels, but this story will literally stay with me forever. If you're looking for light and fluffy then this is not the story for you, but if you're looking to be moved beyond words and left smiling while you cry then I cannot recommend this novella highly enough.

JB
Top 10 Reviewer 73 reviews
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