Mandatory Release by Jess Riley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first Jess Riley book that I've read but the description sounded like something right up my alley! I am so glad that I took the time to read this one and I think I may have found a new author to seek out! I love books with an underlying darkness, a sense of snarkiness and good writing. This book has all three in abundance!
The storytelling in this novel is excellent and I really loved getting to know the characters that Jess Riley created here. The characters all felt real ... alive, flawed and wonderful! They just came alive on the page, making me care about them and their journey in the novel! There are two primary characters in this novel - Graham and Drew. I came to love them, identify with them and I admit that I was a bit sad to say goodbye to them at the conclusion of the book.
The novel has elements of a love story but it's so much more than that. In fact, calling it a love story makes me a bit uncomfortable because its so much more than a simple romance. This novel is really about love, friendship, growing, and healing. The characters in this book are broken but fighting back ... and not letting themselves get pulled down into the vulnerability of their situations. I love that there is such hope and raw emotion packed into this book. I was so taken with these characters and how they grew through the course of the book. The rawness of these characters and their experiences is what really makes this book special!
I see that Jess Riley has been compared to Jonathan Tropper (who I adore) and I would agree that they have a very similar sensibility and that they both write complex characters who feel real. If you're a Tropper fan, I suspect you'd enjoy this book!
Bottom line - I recommend this book! Especially if you like great story telling, well developed characters and enjoy fantastic dialogue! And if you like to laugh, I suspect this will also be one you'll enjoy because I literally laughed out loud numerous times while reading this one! Anyway, I will definitely be seeking out more of Jess Riley's writing in the future! This one comes out on July 16th so I definitely recommend you pick it up then!
NOTE: I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher for purposes of reading and reviewing the book.
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