Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Books I've Read: Ultimatum

I'm going to be honest, I didn't love this one.  I thought it was going to be much more exciting than it actually was.  And the cover is terribly misleading...

The book takes place over a couple of days as Oscar and Vance watch their father die in a hospice.  Vance's sections also feature a series of flashbacks showing his life in the months leading up to this point and the relationship - or lack of - between he and Oscar.

I was frustrated by both brothers as characters.  Yes, they were very different and struggled to find common ground on which to base a relationship, but that's not uncommon.  Just because you're related doesn't mean you are alike in any way.  But when you've lost your mother, and have to deal with an alcoholic father, you'd think there might be some level of camraderie or support for one another.

Nope.  Not in this book.

Which was its real failure, because without even that little bit of humanity, the ending rang false.

This is one of those really frustrating books which felt like it had the potential to be something amazing.  Something powerful and hard-hitting that would offer an emotional kick to be felt for months afterward.  

But it didn't.  And I was disappointed by it.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

It’s not Oscar’s fault that he’s misunderstood. Ever since his mother died, he’s been disrespected by his father and bullied by his self-absorbed older brother, so he withdraws from his fractured family, seeking refuge in his art.

Vance wishes his younger brother would just loosen up and be cool. It was hard enough to deal with their mother’s death without Oscar getting all emotional. At least when Vance pushes himself in lacrosse and parties he feels alive.

But when their father’s alcoholism sends him into liver failure, the two boys must come face-to-face with their demons—and each other—if they are going to survive a very uncertain future.

1 comment:

  1. Just reading that blurb makes me go, yeah, because who would get emotional over their mother's death or anything? Well, I guess the self-absorbed part is accurate anyway.