Tuesday, February 28, 2017

ARC Review: Driven by M.B. Mulhall

Eighteen-year-old Oliver’s troubles don’t end when he’s released from prison. He has nowhere to go, and he can’t even think about moving past his crimes while trying to survive homelessness.

Helping an elderly woman after a fall guides Oliver into at least a temporary home. In exchange for odd jobs and some assistance, he’s welcomed into a life with the old twin spinsters, and it seems too good to be true. The neighbor, Simon, certainly thinks it is. He doesn’t trust Oliver or his motives. Oliver is used to that kind of judgment, but it isn’t helping him overcome his guilt. Maybe Simon is right and Oliver doesn’t deserve happiness—or any of the other feelings stirring in a heart Oliver thought he’d closed off for good.

Oliver has two options: let the pain of his past swallow him and destroy all hope for the future, or move on to the new possibilities in front of him. Choosing to live won’t be easy, and Oliver might not be able to do it alone.

Todd's rating:

I found this one to be just okay, but definitely not love.

For much of the book, it didn't really feel like there was much going on, especially for a 210 page story.

Plus, although the MC's are 18 and 'a number slightly larger' (we aren't told a definitive age,) to me the story read much more Young Adult than New Adult.

Same as with the book, I 'liked' both Ollie and Simon, but it wasn't love. For one, they didn't actually spend that much on-page time together, which is about the only way to sell me on the 'feels.' Second, we weren't given all that much backstory on either, except for 'the big accident' and 'the stupid thing after,' which wasn't enough to get me that invested.

The majority of the drama was from Ollie beating himself up with guilt, but there was a sub-plot about prostitution and drug dealers, which I was fairly 'meh' about.

Other than a few semi-chaste kisses, the story is sex-free, which was a slight disappointment. Maybe if there had been a few racy scenes, the book would have had more of a New Adult feel for me.

The book was fine, but didn't give me nearly the same level of excitement that I got from reading just the blurb and picturing where the story might go from there.

This one was well-written and extremely well-edited, but left me wanting a bit more, so I'd have to rate it at around 2.75 stars.

My ARC copy of the story was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.


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