Title: Olive Juice
Author: T.J. Klune and Derrick McClain (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 30th 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary
Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 1 flame out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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.
If you haven’t read this, then do yourself two favors:
First: No spoilers. Because you have to go into this blind, okay? Seriously, please don’t read any spoilers because you’ll miss out on the total emotion of this story.
Yes, it’s heartbreaking. Sure there’s a happy-ish kind of ending, but the reality of the story (of how this happens every day) left me…bereft and just kind of…shattered.
And Derrick McClain? Well, he just shattered me all over again. His narration has the kind of emotion you hear from people who have lost everything. Who have hit the bottom of tolerance for the world and all its cruelty.
The story is so well crafted, and seen solely through David’s POV, it renders your heart in two while still giving glimpses of hope and redemption and love and perseverance.
Because the not knowing was the worst thing of all.
When you didn’t know, you were stuck in this limbo.
You didn’t know who to focus your anger on.
So it went wherever it could, that focus.
And sometimes, it went toward the wrong person.
I just want to find David and Phillip and give them long hugs.
This is not a fast paced narration. There is a deliberateness to McClain’s voice work that, to some, might seem slow.
The writing, for me, was brilliant. The writing needed narration that would really be just as brilliant. It needed a narrator who would pull the nuance of emotion and brokenhearted pain and weave it throughout the spoken words without crushing the listener.
Most of all the narrator needed to pull off the ending. To render hope where it seemed hopeless.
Derrick McClain delivers on all counts.
And second: If you love a good Hurt/Comfort story and can stand some heartbreak and maybe even some wookiee cry face…buy this.