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Who the hell cares? The bitch left your sorry ass. April, you're an idiot. Oliver, you're a candy-ass. I have some more choice words for you that are simply too bawdy to list here. View all 5 comments. Jul 18, Kelly rated it it was amazing Shelves: One of the best books I have read this year! 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. My favorite quote is from Nana. Then one da One of the best books I have read this year! Then one day you brush up against something blue, the barest touch, and voila, the rest of your life you're green.

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! 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.

View all 8 comments. Dec 25, Miriam rated it it was amazing. 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. View all 3 comments. Nov 11, Rachel rated it it was ok. I feel kind of guilty giving this book only 2 stars, because it's clear the author is talented. 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. 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.

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.

But it's a debut novel, so I look forward to Callahan's next offering. Oh, one more thing.. It was only a significant amount of time and heartache that taught me otherwise. 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. 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. April and Oliver is the product of someone finally learning how. 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. The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral…towards salvation.

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. Doing so opened a flood gate for emotional connection.

From April we got to experience the aftermath of loss, violence, twisted passion. Separately they are compelling, but together they were down right mesmerizing. In short, I had a difficult time putting it down. You are probably right. But I have a firm belief that the best books out there are the ones that make us uncomfortable. The plot was jumpy at times especially during the flashbacks.

Dive at your own risk, lifeguard not on duty. Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: Aug 23, Lolly K Dandeneau rated it did not like it. This book duped me with the advertising as it did another reviewer here.

April & Oliver by Tess Callahan

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? 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? 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. View all 7 comments. 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. The fact that she didn't rely on the generic theme of the man running to rescue the damsel in distress impressed me.

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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. Relying on a man to fix your screwed up life is less believable than wizards or time travel!

Nov 20, Elizabeth marked it as didn-t-finish Shelves: 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. 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. Below that, nothing is written. Not a word hide spoiler ] Nov 14, Lydia Presley rated it liked it Shelves: To its credit, I raced through this book, devouring every word quickly. So why didn't I give it five stars? 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. 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.

  • April and Oliver by Tess Callahan - book review!
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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. Apr 15, Sue rated it really liked it. 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. Nov 27, Jenny rated it really liked it Shelves: 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.

Oliver & April mate

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. 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.

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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. Jun 12, Olivia Rose rated it liked it. 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.

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Her q I have a blurry relationship with this book. 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. 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.

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.

Jan 22, Allison rated it really liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

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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'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. After spending their childhoods together, April and Oliver haven't seen each other for many years. It is only after the death of April's little brother that they find their lives overlapping again.

April is reckless, damaged, and struggling from one day to the next whereas Oliver is mature and sensible. He is now a law student, engaged to the sweet, gentle Bernadette who is the antithesis of April. Seeing April's life in tatters, Oliver tries to rescue her from herself, yet the more entangled he becomes the more his own seemingly perfect life starts to fall apart. I loved this book. It was one of those wonderful, engrossing reads.

I finished it late at night, reading on and on because I absolutely could not put the book down to sleep without having found out what would happen. I actually felt a pang of despair when I turned the last page and there was only half a side of writing left to read - it didn't seem possible that the resolution I wanted could possibly fit into so few words.

I should probably proffer the warning that this isn't a cheerful book. It's actually quite traumatic reading, and even after I'd finished reading it I lay awake for a long time with my brain on overdrive, thinking the whole story through. But sometimes that can be just the right sort of book to read, one that whirls your emotions, making you think. But if you're looking for a comfort story, a happy little tale to read on the beach, then this definitely isn't it!

The story, although it has some lighter moments, is really quite dark. It deals with family secrets and lies, grief, abuse, love and obsession. I didn't particularly like April, or Oliver actually, but I still felt completely invested in their stories and eager to see what happened. The magnetic attraction between April and Oliver is well portrayed, the way they utterly understand each other and are almost able to communicate entirely through glances, yet at the same time they are barely able to speak in person without sniping at each other and their lapses into aching, painful silences rang true.

The growing tension between them both adds to the drama that builds through the story.