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Review: April & Oliver

July 3, 2009

April & Oliver

Cousins April and Oliver grew up very close, but drifted apart when Oliver went away to college.  Now that they’re adults, April seems to be attracted to violent, abusive men and Oliver has given up his beloved music.  Oliver has  returned to the East Coast to attend law school and he’s brought his fiancee, Bernadette with him.  April and Oliver are re-united at the funeral for April’s brother, Buddy, who April loved as if he were her own child.

April and Oliver are drawn together and Bernadette can sense the attraction between them.  As the story unfolds, they discover that much of their lives have been complicated by lies that they thought were true.

I found April & Oliver, by Tess Callahan, to be a brooding, gloomy novel, yet I couldn’t put it down.   The secrets to the past unfold slowly, but the character development is so good, I just had to know what was going to happen next.  I became attached to April since she is such a kind soul (especially with her grandmother) so I kept hoping she would make a good decision when it came to the men in her life.  I became angry when her past was revealed.  Oliver is a confused, kind-hearted soul who needs to come to terms with his feelings.   This book serves as a reminder of the dangers of keeping secrets.  I loved this book, even though it is a little dark, and think it would make a great choice for a book club to read.

This is Tess Callahan‘s first novel and I certainly hope it’s not her last.  You can listen to an interview with her on Blog Talk Radio.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books.

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39 Comments leave one →
  1. July 3, 2009 6:12 am

    I’m glad you liked it. I really enjoyed this book and I can’t say enough about Tess Callahan. She’s got so much class!

  2. July 3, 2009 6:29 am

    Sounds really interesting. I would definitely read it.

  3. July 3, 2009 7:37 am

    This book is definitely going on my wishlist. And I like the simplicity of the title. Thanks for the review Kathy.

  4. July 3, 2009 7:39 am

    Great review! I still have to write mine! I agree with you and think this author is just an amazing writer!

  5. July 3, 2009 7:56 am

    I had already added this book to my TBR list based on reviews on other blogs, but now I think I might move it up on the list! Great review!

  6. iwriteinbooks permalink
    July 3, 2009 8:07 am

    Oh, I’m glad this is getting good reviews! It’s on my list but it’s a bit far down. I may have to move it up.

  7. July 3, 2009 8:07 am

    I just love books like this where you can’t wait to find out whats going on. Thanks for the review!

  8. July 3, 2009 8:13 am

    I’m glad that I stuck with this one, but it was not a favorite. I didn’t care for April at all, until I consciously “gave her a break”. It’s terrific that you loved it. Not being able to put a book down is such an exciting feeling.

  9. July 3, 2009 9:02 am

    I always like books with secrets from the past. Sounds dark, but entertaining!

  10. July 3, 2009 9:10 am

    Dark is okay if the book makes you think and would be a starting point for a book club discussion. Great review (as always!)

  11. July 3, 2009 10:28 am

    I will have to keep this one in mind for my book club!

  12. July 3, 2009 11:23 am

    i actually have this book in my TBR pile–i saw it mentioned on another blog and the review grabbed me. you’ve reinforced my interest with your review and i’m going to get to it before labor day!!!

  13. July 3, 2009 11:48 am

    Thanks for the review Kathy…I actually just received this one in the mail yesterday from a contest that I won, so now I’m definitely looking forward to starting this book!

  14. July 3, 2009 11:57 am

    This sounds like a book that you have to be in the right mood to read. Broody, gloomy and dark sounds like a good winter book for me. I have a friend who loves books like this. I have to say that these kind of books do make you think.

  15. stacybuckeye permalink
    July 3, 2009 12:09 pm

    This is on my wish list. Thanks for reminding me that it is for a time when I was dark and brooding.

  16. July 3, 2009 1:46 pm

    This one is on my wish list. Thanks for the great review.

  17. July 3, 2009 2:21 pm

    How the heck did I miss this one? Sounds great, love your review!

  18. July 3, 2009 3:12 pm

    I am so glad to see you loved this book as I won it last week. It sounds like such a good read.

  19. July 3, 2009 6:17 pm

    What a great review. I’ve had my eye on this one. The cover is stunning too.

  20. July 3, 2009 6:43 pm

    Oh, dear. “Brooding and gloomy” are not my thing. I’ve got an ARC of this one but, fortunately, it was a library find and not from the publisher. I think I’ll give it back!

  21. July 3, 2009 8:20 pm

    I saw this one today at B&N and thought it look good. Loved your review and I am requesting it from the library!!!

  22. July 3, 2009 9:08 pm

    When you mentioned gloomy at the beginning of your post, I wasn’t sure…but I’m glad I kept reading. I think I’ll have to give this one a shot.

  23. thebookresort permalink
    July 3, 2009 9:23 pm

    I love the cover. I am adding this to my list. Thanks!

  24. July 3, 2009 9:34 pm

    This sounds like a book I think I’ll like and then be depressed by! Glad you enjoyed it, but I think I’ll keep in the back burner for now.

  25. July 3, 2009 9:53 pm

    I actually kind of like gloomy and depressing books every once in a while!

  26. July 4, 2009 12:12 am

    I read about this in Book Page. But, I trust you more:)

  27. July 4, 2009 8:45 am

    It sounds like an interesting story. I love good character studies and secrets from the past.

  28. July 4, 2009 10:31 am

    I am so disappointed my library doesn’t have this yet. I’m going to have to get on them about that because I really, really want to read it now. Great review!

  29. July 4, 2009 11:01 am

    Great review! A little “dark” is good from time to time, especially if you can get attached to the characters. It’s on my TBR list!

  30. July 5, 2009 6:50 am

    Thanks for a wonderful review. I have this book in my TBR pile and though it is brooding (which is not typically the tpe of story I like) I’m very much looking to stepping outside of that box to read it.

  31. July 5, 2009 6:44 pm

    This sounds like an interesting book. I hadn’t heard of the author before. Thanks for the great review, Kathy!

  32. July 6, 2009 9:28 am

    So glad you were compelled by this one, Kathy. It’s one of my faves!

  33. July 6, 2009 9:51 am

    Definitely sounds like an emotional read! I love stories with a hint of mystery in the background. I’ll look for it!

  34. sdechantal permalink
    July 6, 2009 10:58 am

    I think this book looks so good! Thanks for reviewing.

  35. July 7, 2009 1:13 pm

    I’ll have to keep this one in mind. I’ve heard good things about it. I like dark stories, and I’m curious about the characters’ secrets.

    –Anna

  36. July 8, 2009 12:08 pm

    I’ve seen this book and even read the description a few times, tempted to get it. Your review makes it sound even more compelling!

  37. July 9, 2009 2:07 am

    This sounds like a good one and like Anna, I’m curious about the characters’ secrets.

  38. July 10, 2009 10:28 am

    ooo, a gloomy novel you couldn’t put down…this sounds like a perfect book for me.

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