Review: Driven by MB 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.

I loved the blurb and the promise of this book, it is fair to say though the writing style didn't quite work for me.

I liked the way MB Mulhall set up the story; chapter one gave me a taste of something terrible to coma and it did make me want to read more. It was dramatic enough, written with just the right amount of information given and withheld and I was absolutely eager for more. Moving on into the story, I liked the whole premise of it and I liked the characters (particularly the twins!) 

Unfortunately, that is where I stopped liking it. For my taste the writing style didn't work, it tended to be a bit overly dramatic for my tastes and sometimes reasoning for actions and reactions felt convenient. I had eye-rolling moments. Several of them - but (and I know I harp back to this time and again) what is an eye-rolling moment for me, is the cherry on the top for another reader. Plenty of my very closest reader friends and I disagree on writing styles. (MY own sister doesn't like Harry Potter. I mean, that's nearly worthy of disowning, right?) All I can say is what didn't work for me. 

Some of the descriptions were a bit over the top for my liking. One scene that stuck in my head was how Oliver is absolutely petrified of getting into a car, it is a main theme of the book - yet when he does sexy thoughts of Simon help him not realise the journey had past. For me this felt like a big WTF because there is no way I could relate to it. Not the fear, but the way dirty thoughts overcame the fear. They felt so unrelated and unbelievable to me - yet I'm sure that many other readers wouldn't have thought twice about this. Or, you know, liked the way Oliver was distracted from the fear.

I did absolutely hate Oliver's mum and I really didn't like the way she was given some redemption. It was too little too late. I'm not saying that she shouldn't be allowed the redemption, but it was just given because of circumstances and ... well, it pissed me right off to be honest. I understood her pain, I really truly did, I can't imagine it. but she was still Oliver's mum and Oliver needed her. I was so angry at her.

I don't know, it's not a bad book but it really wasn't for me. Check out other reviews because they're probably saying something completely different.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
For more information see Harmony Ink Press or Goodreads.

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