Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Candy Man by Amy Lane

Pages: 132
Date: December 30, 2014
Grade: 5
Kindle / Own

The blurb:

“Adam Macias has been thrown a few curve balls in his life, but losing his VA grant because his car broke down and he missed a class was the one that struck him out. One relative away from homelessness, he's taking the bus to Sacramento, where his cousin has offered a house-sitting job and a new start. He has one goal, and that's to get his life back on track. Friends, pets, lovers? Need not apply.

Finn Stewart takes one look at Adam as he's applying to Candy Heaven and decides he's much too fascinating to leave alone. Finn is bright and shiny—and has never been hurt. Adam is wary of his attention from the very beginning—Finn is dangerous to every sort of peace Adam is forging, and Adam may just be too damaged to let him in at all.

But Finn is tenacious, and Adam's new boss, Darrin, doesn't take bullshit for an answer. Adam is going to have to ask himself which is harder—letting Finn in or living without him? With the holidays approaching it seems like an easy question, but Adam knows from experience that life is seldom simple, and the world seldom cooperates with hope, faith, or the plans of cats and men.”

My thoughts:

“He wanted a job, he wanted to get back in school, and he wanted to find his own place before June. Friends? Lovers? Pets? Need no apply.”

So, the moment has arrived. I’ve just finished my first book by Amy Lane. Most if not all my reading buddies have been raving about her forever. Most if not all of them have also been mentioning hankies and snot sobbing. I’m not very good with angsty books; the urge to walk away from them too often wins out over the curiosity to find out how it will end. But, I love a good story well told. Rumour had it Candy Man wasn’t too angsty so I thought it might the right title for me to sample this author. I was right. In fact I was so right I’m now kicking myself for not taking the risk earlier. I guess late is better than never, and now that I know what I’ve been missing I’ll make sure to catch up as I can. 

So, about this book and its author: let me begin by saying I loved Amy Lane’s writing. It felt as if she were sitting next to me, telling me the story. I could almost hear her voice – even if I’ve no idea what it might sound like. The words flowed with an ease I envy and pulled me along, deeper and deeper into Sacramento and the character’s lives.

I liked the mildly magical touch to the story. I adored Darrin – Candy Man’s owner -  knowing who Adam would be and what he needed before even meeting him. I enjoyed his meddling, whether Adam appreciated or not and I’d like to think we might see him interfere in other lives in the future.

Adam broke my heart from the very first page. His pain and angst flowed off the pages to the point where I could almost feel and taste it. And yet, he continues to try and do the right thing. If he’s stand-offish or tries to push someone away it’s not because he’s selfish, it’s because he wants to protect the other person from what he considers his own badness. His conviction that his badness is contagious and could hurt others was devastating.

Finn was Adam’s exact mirror image. Happy go lucky with a heart of gold and enough confidence to carry two people forward, his determination to make Adam believe he is good enough, worthy of friendship and love and as deserving of a happy future as everybody else, was uplifting and ensured an almost constant smile on my face while I read this book.

And then there’s Amy Lane’s words, some of them so beautiful they made me stop and read them multiple times before continuing with the story.

“Right now you and me are – we’re a sketch. And we could be a real great picture someday, with ink and oils or watercolour, and hell, we may even be a movie. But not right now.” - Adam

It is somewhat ironical that hot upon the heels of a review in which I said I don’t usually like romantic comedies and rarely find my sense of humour in sync with the author’s, I find myself reading Candy Man and laughing out loud on several occasions. I may just have found myself an author whose sense of humour hits my funny bone in exactly the right spot and way. I don’t know. I do know it gives me yet another reason to read more of Amy Lane’s books. Who knows, one day I may even be brave enough to try those angst-fests.

“...it’s one thing to deal with a bad situation ‘cause that’s what you got stuck with from the very beginning. But if you’re making a fresh start, maybe you don’t have to carry all that bad bullshit with you. Maybe the stuff that hurts should be the first thing to go.” – Adam

No comments:

Post a Comment