April & Oliver by Tess Callahan

Title: April & Oliver: A Novel, Author: Tess CallahanApril & Oliver. Finished 6-6-18, 3.5/5 stars, fiction, 326 pages, pub. 2009

Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April’s brother. 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. Even as Oliver attempts to “save” his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend and herself, it soon becomes apparent that Oliver has some secrets of his own–secrets he hasn’t shared with anyone, even his fiancee. But April knows, and her reappearance in his life derails him. Is it really April’s life that is unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral…towards salvation.  from Goodreads

I very much disliked April and this book for about 100 pages.  The only reason I continued is that I remembered so many fellow book bloggers loving it when it came out.  I thought I must be missing something, only that’s not quite right.  I don’t think I was supposed to like April for a while.  This young woman was a complete mess and I didn’t really understand her on any level.  So, what changed?

The book begins as April’s brother dies in a car crash.  April grieves, hides the death from her grandmother, and is beyond prickly with her remaining relatives.  She also has one of a string of abusive boyfriends in the picture.  But, as scenes with Oliver, her childhood best friend who comes back to the area with his fiancée, flesh out more of the younger April, the characters start to grow on me and all of the sudden I am looking forward to seeing where their chemistry takes them.

This is not a sunny, beach reach kind of book.  This is a rainy day read that will ultimately satisfy.  I’m glad I stuck it out.


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