Title: Take the Long Way Home
Author: J.A. Rock
Genre: Contemporary/ Young Adult
Length: Novel (223 pages)
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (January 20th, 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts
Blurb: Dresden Marich has failed out of high school three months shy of graduation. He’s infatuated with his online friend, Evan, alienated from his family and former classmates, and still trying to recover from his father’s death six years ago. He’s also keeping a troubling secret about his older brother, Gunner, who is away at boot camp.
Then Dresden meets Caleb, a judgmental environmentalist who’s hardly Dresden’s fantasy come true. But Caleb seems to understand Dresden’s desire for rough sex, big feelings, and, ultimately, safety. As Dresden becomes embroiled in a farmers market drama involving Caleb, a couple of bullying tomato enthusiasts, and a gang of vigilante vegans, he discovers he might be willing to trade a fantasy relationship with Evan for a shot at something real with Caleb.
But Dresden fears telling quick-to-judge Caleb his secret, and the news that Gunner is coming home sends him fleeing to California for a chance to meet Evan in person and hopefully fall in love. When the encounter doesn’t go as expected, Dresden faces a choice: stay in California and carve out a new life, or take the long road home to his family, Caleb, and a past he must face if he has any hope for a future.
Product Link: http://www.loose-id.com/take-the-long-way-home.html
Review: Wow this book was depressing! I mean seriously full of angst, it left me feeling unsettled and sad. I usually like Rock’s writing, all her books are well written and coherent; so is this one, but it didn’t quite work for me.
This is told in 1st person present and it’s one of my least favorite styles; however, I have to admit it worked in this book but I still would’ve preferred something different. This is the story of 18-year-old Dresden, a high school dropout, who is suffering from depression, has some metal issues that stem from his inability to deal with his father’s death and from the lack of professional help. His world is sad. His mind is an erratic place that left me feeling frustrated and sad.
I believe he just needed to know where his place in this world is, and I believe his mother’s shortcomings as a parent affected his ability to understand and like who he is. Rather than a romance, this is more a coming of age story, a story about a teenager learning who he really is, making mistakes and learning from them, learning to appreciate the people who matter most and finding his own purpose in life.
Caleb is a 24-year-old (young) man who befriends Dresden;
I’m not sure how I feel about Caleb. He goes from a nurturing and caring person, who seems to understand that Dresden has some problems with self-esteem, to someone who engages in heavy kink in a blink of an eye. Don’t get me wrong, I love kink in my books, but here it felt….wrong.
They didn’t take the time to know each other and figure out where this need for kink is coming from, which was absolutely necessary considering that Dresden needs it because of his inability to otherwise express any emotional feelings. The kid’s got issues and it was plain to see; and introducing autoerotic asphyxiation so fast into their sex life, when none of them had any experience with it seemed irresponsible.
Also, there was no chemistry between them despite of the intensity of their sex life.
On the positive side, I have to admit the author did a fantastic job creating the perfect mindset for an 18-year-old boy; I never once doubted it was an insecure, immature, smart, troublesome teenager doing all the thinking and talking. And there were some humorous parts that helped me finish this story because without them, I would’ve given up on it half way through.
Some would say there’s a HFN ending but I’m not so sure I can see it that way. I mean I agree that Caleb and Dresden are together and things between them are better, Caleb made peace with his brother and with what happened between them years ago. But Dresden is far from being ok psychologically speaking. I still think he’s a work in progress that only just began.
I recommend this book but only to those who enjoy dark, depressing, angsty stories.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *