Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: Full Circle

Full Circle
Full Circle by Kaje Harper

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As the author said it herself, this is not a romance, though it has romantic elements and, not to be forgotten, some hot erotic scenes. This story is all about hurt/ comfort and the healing powers of love, and yet it’s as different from the usual similarly-themed fare as night from day. Where other stories use the “if you love it, set it free” trope merely to create some angst in preparation of the big reunion, this story follows through with it to the bitter end. I found this admirably consequent, realistic, and very, very well done. Convincing, too – it fits both characters to the minute detail.

Although the characterizations were as consistent as the plot, I had slight problems with the character of Jamie. Though he changed from a self-pitying, self-destructive Saulus to a mature, reasonable Paulus, and though this process was beautiful to watch, he lost me later with his self-inflicted loneliness. Some kind of love/hate issue with a character, I guess, and it was probably only me, but I just don’t do martyrs. It was really mostly the way he interacted with Heath, Toller’s son, what saved Jamie for me.

Toller, on the other hand, was fantastic. Given room to grow, he unfolded like a flower, and I could totally believe him turning into the proud, self-sufficient man as who he was pictured in the end. He’s someone who doesn’t want nor need charity, but can accept a generous gift with grace and put it to the best use, his own and the giver’s. A personality you’d like to see your own kids grow up to be.

The writing was gripping, smooth and well-paced; the story pulled me in right from the first sentence. Toller’s dreadful past isn’t glossed over, but revealed little by little, which made it bearable for me – alongside with the characters. Again, very well done. And if the forefinger of morale shows time and again, what about it? It fits the story. If I have one niggle it was that the characters had to suffer so much – I wanted to shout, too much! – even if I’m aware there are even worse fates out there.

This isn’t a light and fluffy read, the book deals with serious issues like loss of loved ones, AIDS, rape, abuse, and addiction, and it DOES have a nontraditional (though hopeful and positive) ending. It was still a beautiful story, and it certainly will stay with me for a long time. Warmly recommended.

Full review at www.reviewsbyjessewave.com

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