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The Cranberry Hush

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,419 ratings  ·  216 reviews
Vince Dandro might be going through the quietest quarter-life crisis of all time. He lives alone, works in a comic book shop, and has a crush on his coworker he can't seem to act on. Like an old comic book, his life's colors have started to fade. Everything brightens when Vince's long-lost friend Griff appears on his doorstep in the middle of a blizzard. They were roommate ...more
Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 262 pages
Published March 6th 2011 by Ben Monopoli
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,419 ratings  ·  216 reviews


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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*Price drop to $0.99 at Amazon US, 3/31/16!*

Do you remember that time that you had an aching crush on someone incredibly unattainable? You must be able to think of someone right away- everyone has that one person. Whether it was a person who was so out of your league it was not even funny or someone who only saw you as a friend- the "what ifs" about that guy or girl can haunt you.

Thank you Ben Monopoli for putting into words that experience, that purgatory of crush-dom.

"The Cranberry Hush" is
...more
Breann
The Cranberry Hush took one look at my expectations and said, “That’s what you expect from me? Cute, straight boy finding his long lost love and having tons of butt sex? Here, let me take that, *takes expectations from me and tosses it* and show you something real.”
"That was how it was – there were some weeks, even months, where nothing happened, where I was the same person doing the same ordinary things. And then there were weeks that changed everything."

This was one of those weeks for Vinc
...more
Lady*M
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, glbt
I'm still incapable of writing a coherent review, because I literally sobbed through the last 20-30 pages (it's difficult to say when you read e-book). Two things are for certain - one, this is not a book I would reread often, because it's heartbreaking and two, I will, without any doubt at all, buy the next Monopoli's book.

The book is heartbreaking as only growing up can be - that age when you are finally leaving your youth behind. It is also hopeful, as hopeful as this age, when you finally s
...more
LenaRibka

but nothing happens without a million pieces falling into place beforehand

I'm in love with this book, with this quiet but very emotionally intense story.
I'm in love with Vince, Zane and Griffin.
I'm in love with the writing of Ben Monopoli. I don't know how to describe his writing style, but it's something that you don't come across very often. It's exceptional. It feels three-dimensionally, you're not an observer, you're inside the story, it feels so NORMAL and unbelievab
...more
Ann
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ann by: Justin
When I first saw the title of this one I really had no idea what it meant.

Did I miss another pop culture drive by? Is this some new drug the crazy college kids are taking? Where's my Urban Dictionary? Am I too old to know what's going on? Nah, that can't be it. *yells out window* "You kids get off my lawn!!!"

The title refers to none of those stupid things and is only relevant to this amazingly wonderful book. To explain would give away spoilers and no description can do it justice as the way i
...more
Sheri
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Graduating from high school is one of the most exhilarating and terrifying times in our lives. Maybe it was a year or two ago, maybe it was a decade or two ago. Regardless, I’m sure you remember it. Freedom is thrown into your lap and suddenly tough decisions must be made. Where will you go? What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Gah! Growing up is not easy.

Choosing which fork in the road you should take can be scary as hell. If you choose college, heading off to a University is some
...more
Skye Kilaen
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Two mid-twenties guys who graduated from college but can't seem to figure out adulthood. Not usually my cup of tea, but Ben Monopoli knows how to break my heart in a good way. Vince, who is bi, had an unrequited crush on his straight best friend Griff that was so painful, he ended their friendship before college graduation without explanation. He's been kind of floating through life ever since. When Griff shows up unexpectedly at Vince's house during a snowstorm, Vince can't help but hope (again ...more
Jay Bell
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This morning I woke up and thought, "I wonder how Griff is doing." Funny, since I don't know anyone named Griff, but after reading The Cranberry Hush, I feel like I do. Monopoli pulled me effortlessly into the world he created, first by his lush descriptions that had my imagination working overtime, and later by the subtle wit that had me smiling and sighing in equal measure. His characters are just as seductive as his writing style, all of them so real and human that you'll swear you know someo ...more
Cole Riann
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Damn. This book was just as difficult to read as it was wonderful. I think I'm still too close to read about that period of my life that was eerily similar to Vince's and be able to really look back on it in retrospect. Plus, for anyone who has ever felt the empty heaviness of unrequited love -- this book really hits that sore spot. Well done, Ben Monopoli. I look forward to your second novel.
Charles
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A terribly powerful and painful book. It's a story experienced as much as read. It reached into me and found all the strands of remembered loneliness and longing, gathered them together, and crushed them until I could hardly breathe.

I experienced the sad and lonely holding pattern of Vince's life, and his forlorn hope as he is confused and tormented by the return of the boy he could never have, but could never fully let go of.

The first night after reading, I couldn't sleep because I myself could
...more
Maya
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
This one didn’t work for me.

The story had potential to be something I’d enjoy: Vince (25 yo now) has been in love with Griffin since their first year in college but it’s an unrequited love. Just when he’s about start dating another guy, Griffin shows up at his door after 4 years of no communication. It’s a good conflict that could lead the story in different directions – past and present intertwine, and friendship and love get mixed up. So I was interested to see where this would go.

But it was
...more
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: bi mc, gay side character

this is a bizarre little book. it's not the fairy tale romance you've come to expect from lgbt novels (the ones that aren't tragedy porn, that is), which isn't to say this story is tragic or underwhelming. it's actually just very real thanks to all the indecisions, the detours, the small flashbacks & finally - the overpowering feeling of having a crush on someone you probably shouldn't have a crush on.

if it's still not clear, by bizarre i mean lovely and overwhelmin
...more
Mandy*reads obsessively*
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
I really like this book.
It was different than anything I have read in a while.
I could identify with the MC, and felt for them, and i was wondering how the author would pull of an ending that made me happy.
It ended well, and left me hoping for another story.... somewhere down the road.
Jason
This story is one among many, many contemporary first-person m-m novels. Vince is pining for Giff. Giff is Pining for the ‘true one’. Zane is pining for Vince. Vince is a whiny, self-indulgent obsessive lunatic. It’s all so predictable, if it was teenagers, but with adult characters it’s almost absurd. Just shut the fuck up you’all.

With flashbacks we learn, once Griff does a snowy, and at the end seemly undeveloped surprised visit to Griff—a trip no less from Boston to the Cape even though their
...more
Katharina
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ben Monopoli must have looked into my head, foraged around and then put together all the chaotic and disjointed pieces, added lots of new ones that make SENSE of them and brushed them into one little piece of art.

It was eerie sometimes to hear my own thoughts - for which I very often don't even have words, only dimly but still weirdly distinct feelings - in someone else's voice and in someone else's head. To see someone else experience maybe not exactly the same situations as I have, but the sa
...more
Juri  D
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Taco flavored kisses for the people who read this.

This book made me kind of cry.
This book is realistic.
This book made me want to jump my roommates.

There is no HEA here, just a HFN... with a lot of potential at the end. I feel really sorry for the other love interest as... well, he will probably never be truly happy. There is a lot of nostalgia, as one of the characters misses college... a lot, and mentions it nearly every other chapter. If you find yourself the type of person who misses the p
...more
Beatrice
Slight spoilers may be scattered here and there. I'm not quite sure about the quality of this review - this is more of a reflective thing than something recollecting the finer points about this book, but hopefully I may be able to share with you the wonder it brought to me, and maybe - somewhere along the way when you yourselves are reading this book - you'll feel the same way too, or maybe feel different.

There aren't a lot of coherent things I can say about this book. More than anything, though
...more
Anthony Ashley
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
The self-publishing bubble has not only created some new names as surprising best-sellers, it has also loaded genre lists on Amazon and B&N with a whole lot of crap. I've been burnt so frequently since buying my Kindle that I won't buy anything anymore if I haven't previewed it. So, yesterday, I was doing a whole lot of previewing when I came across this story, and I was pleasantly surprised. Only my glancing up at the clock at 1:00am last night prevented me from reading it in one sitting.

If you
...more
Steve Leonard
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
For a short time in college Vince Dandro and Griff Neal were best friends. Inseparable. What one of their friends even called 'Lifebuddies.' But then one day Vince walked away from the friendship – his love for Griff just too much for him to take.

Now, a few years later, it's Griff who suddenly walks back into Vince's life. Literally. Unknown to each other, they've both been struggling in navigating the post-college void, unable to move forward with their lives. Over the course of the next week y
...more
Natalie
Apr 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Charming and unexpected. This story didn't go in the direction it could so easily have gone, and I loved it for that. It's beautifully written; I hope to read more from this author in the future.
Onyx
*Long Review*

Ben Monopoli's The Cranberry Hush is a magnificent love story. No, not a romance, but a story about love: love between friends, unrequited love, idealized love, and the bond between soul mates. It is real and wonderful, tender and painful all wrapped up together, and I will never forget this story.

Our bisexual main character Vince is drifting through his life, living alone, working in a comic book store and mired in his own nostalgia. His best college friend, Griffin, shows up durin
...more
Johanna
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, favorites
This is a story about Vince and Griff who are both trying to find their place in the world and about a kiss that ought to solve everything. This is a story about friendship, love and life. As we know, life is a series of difficult questions that rarely have easy answers to them. Sometimes, when looking for those answers, you feel both happy and sad at the same time. And that's how this book made me feel. Immensely happy and desperately sad. But the feeling that remained when the last page was re ...more
K.Z. Snow
I don't know how many stars to slap on this novel, because the fact it deserves five and I can't bring myself to award it five gives me the guilts. This is an extraordinary story, beautifully crafted and laced with unpretentious wisdom. I love its quiet intensity. I really, REALLY love the author's writing. But for the odd and jarring device of using "..." to indicate (I think?) dumbfounded silences, or something, this story was a joy to read. Except, except (and this seems so damned petty of me ...more
Daniel
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm
Repost 2012 Review:

This is a book about a young bi-sexual man named Vince. Vince has people who love him. But Vince is in an abusive relationship with his imagination. I spent most of this book wanting to stage an intervention. Cranberry Hush tells the story of what happens when the object of Vince's fantasies drops into his life again.

There are a lot of reviews already, so I'm not going to say a lot. Cranberry Hush is well written. I feel like it's a really good book about a really bad situatio
...more
John
Jun 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Bit of an unexpected read, really. It's a tale of two friendships, happening four years apart, between the same two fellows. I really enjoyed the well written story, though it took me a while to warm to a few of the characters and to fall into step with the the book's pace. Once there, however, it really grew on me. There's a comprehensible structure to the novel, and it does not (in my opinion) meander. Good writing craft at work here, I think.

The Cranberry Hush has a mood: nostalgic, reminisce
...more
Td
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: angst, sniff, bittersweet
Not what I was expecting. In this case, that was a good thing. Could've done with a few less flashbacks even as informative and important as they were. Not that big of an issue, though. My heart hurts and it feels both full and empty. I need to make a couple of calls, reach back 20 years, reconnect, go down memory lane, laugh, cry and torture myself some more. Lovely reviews already, check them out.
Karel
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nomance
This is perfect.

Nostalgic and sweet, it tells a story about a love that is unconventional but beautiful all the same. It's as much a lesson as it is a story - about life not always working out the way a movie might and about friendship, and how it is as a form of love - all wrapped up in beautiful prose. The story can be overlong at places, but the last 30 or so pages managed to make-up for just about anything. It's not a romance novel; it's a love story, and a very beautiful one at that.
Dee Wy
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, m-m-contemporary
This novel is both the first I've read by Ben Monopoli and the first time I've read a story about unrequited love. I worried that this might be a depressing read, and there were some sad moments, but they were far outweighed by the wonderful friendship that Griff and Vince enjoyed. That foundation made the story perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will look for more titles by this author.
Pixie
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: man-on-man-luvin
I absolutely, with everything that I am, loved the fuck out of this story. Loving someone is always complicated. How you can love and adore someone so much it makes your heartache…but just NOT in that way. This book was excellent and while I hoped for a different ending for Vince as I too adored Griff I was actually more comforted by the ending I did get.
Joyfully Jay
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sammy
A Joyfully Jay review.

4 stars


Even though this books was released in 2011, it still stands out as an intriguing story about understanding relationships and recognizing that even though you may not get the end result you desire, there is still hope. For instance, Vince, a twenty-something post grad, lives in a sort of childish existence, remembering yet avoiding the idea of being in love with his former college roommate. When Griff shows up on his doorstep, essentially forcing Vince to confront h
...more
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Ben Monopoli lives in Boston with his husband, Chris. His newest book is Mateo Was Here: A Novella.

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