Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wicked Reads Reviews – Take the Long Way Home by J.A. Rock

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.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Take the Long Way Home was frenetic. The writing style was chaotic and all over the place, yet it's so raw it draws you right in and captivates you. There is an unpolished quality to the writing, not necessarily correct grammar and sentence structure, yet it's ingenious nonetheless. I feel as if it were properly edited, it wouldn't have the same feel, which would be a shame. The narration is as if Dresden is speaking directly to the reader.

Dresden is lost, suffering from the loss of his father, dealing with wounds of the past, and at the cusp of his adult life. He does destructive things that impact his future while not even trying to find himself. A chance meeting with a flannel-clad stranger changes his life, giving him a sense of calm, safety and security, and unconditional love.

The flow is just as quirky as the narrator. The love interest is solid yet flawed and endearing to read. I laughed often, snorting at Dresden's inner monologue. I marveled over the imagery. It wasn't necessarily meant to be funny, but some of the thoughts were so off the wall, I marveled at the author's ingenuity.

Not a con for me, but Grammar Nazis and readers who need a smooth flow will have great difficulty with the chaotic writing style, as well as readers who need a major conflict instead of just the conflicts we struggle with in daily life.

Genre: Dark Content | Taboo | LGBTQ | M/M | Contemporary | Coming of age | New Adult |
Would I recommend: Yes, especially to those who like a long, winding path to the conclusion, without all the bells and whistles, as Take the Long Way Home concentrates on the human condition.
Would I read more by this author: Absolutely.
Sexy time: Smoking hot | Kink | roleplaying | Every sex scene was necessary if the reader is deep enough to recognize the psychological impact. While there was a healthy dose, I found none of it gratuitous.

J.A. Rock is the author or co­author of over fifteen LGBTQ romance and suspense novels, including BY HIS RULES, THE GOOD BOY, and WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater arts from Case Western Reserve University, and has worked numerous odd jobs, from standardized patient to haunted house zombie. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. She grew up in Ohio and West Virginia, but now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker. – Loose Id bio

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Take the Long Way Home by J.A. Rock to read and review.

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