Tuesday, June 2, 2015

ARC Review: Despite the Odds (Odds Are 1) by Chris T. Kat


Blurb:
Never judge a book by its cover.

Michael Campbell can’t hold a job for more than a few days. He’s lucky his foreman is giving him another chance with the solar panel project at an elementary school in Atlantic City. When he spies a man walking strangely in front of the school, Michael laughs, assuming he’s drunk or high. Little does he realize that Joshua Stone, a teaching assistant, has cerebral palsy, and he’s having a bad muscle control day. Taking a tumble right in front of the handsome construction worker is just his luck.

When Michael learns the truth, he feels bad for his cruel behavior. He offers to give Joshua—and his tricycle, the Racing Rhonda—a lift. Joshua accepts the help, and suddenly there’s a gorgeous man breezing into his life, turning his world upside down. But Michael has more issues than his inability to hold down a job, and neither man is sure if they’ll be able to overcome their fears in order to be together.


Dani's rating:





I love stories that feature disabled MCs. I like to read about imperfect people finding the happiness they deserve. The blurb drew me in, but the story didn't live up to my expectations.

The beginning is promising, with cocky but scattered Michael laughing at a man he thinks is drunk. Michael feels like a heel when he finds out that the man, Joshua, isn't weaving because he's drunk but because he has cerebral palsy.

Michael slowly redeems himself, and he and Joshua begin hanging out as friends. Their friendship somehow transitions to a more romantic relationship. Sort of.

Let me be clear: There is NO sex in this book, save for one brief oral scene at the 90 percent mark. Yes, 90 percent.

Did I mention the book ENDS at 91 percent?




Neither MC feels complex or real. Michael's dyslexia and even Joshua's medical condition are at once too present and not present enough. There is almost no struggle to these two getting together.

I assume the men are in their early- to mid-20s, but they both act much younger. Michael is insecure because he thinks he's dumb. And Joshua is insecure because he believes himself to be a "cripple."

I didn't feel the chemistry or connection, and cringed every time Michael called Joshua "princess." The relationship struck me as childish and weirdly co-dependent.

Some page time is given to Joshua's friend Sarah and her issues, but those are brushed aside too.

The theme of hurt/comfort never felt fully developed, and the characters were one-dimensional and uninspiring.

There was a bit of sweetness. I really liked the scene where Joshua visits Michael at Michael's apartment for the first time. I also though the ending was a decent HEA, but apparently there is a sequel for these guys.




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An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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3 comments:

  1. Angela:
    Thanks for your review. I was really looking forward to this book because i love characters with a disability. This book caught my eye because one of the main characters has Cerebral Palsy . I have it on my wish list but after reading your review i'm cautious in buying the book.

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  2. Angela, thanks for your thoughts. I really enjoy reading about imperfect MCs. I think they more than deserve a HEA but are often overlooked in fiction. I don't think Joshua's cerebral palsy was fully explored; I felt like it was a little too easy, maybe. But there was still some sweetness to the story. You may like it more than I did.

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