Life After Joe
It's not the breaking up that kills you, it's the aftermath.
Ever since his longtime lover decided he'd seen the "heterosexual light," Matt's life has been in a nosedive. Six months of too many missed shifts at the hospital, too much booze, too many men. Matt knows he's on the verge of losing everything, but he's finding it hard to care.
Then Matt meets Aaron. He's gorge...more
sometimes you read a thing that gets you between the ribs and pins you like a bug in a box.
because what you've read are things that are inside you, and you're afraid of them, and now there they are, out in the open.
i understand much better now, why someone i used to know liked to save books like this for a rainy day.
for when the rest of it becomes just too much, and too little.
for when he needed a taste of home.
because even if the things i fear are given names, reading this wa ...more
"I didn’t know what I was to Aaron, but to me, he was—oh God, so much—warmth and life, proof I could, despite all post-Joe expectations, find it in my heart to fall in love again."
“Come in. For God’s sake, come in and…f*ck my brains out.”
He put his hands on my shoulders again.
“I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my time,” he said quietly. “But I’ve managed never to screw someone as drunk, stoned and fucked-up as you.”
Amazing! I just finished and I still don't know what to say exce ...more
I ADORED "Life After Joe". In only 100 or so pages it packed an emotional punch that rivals any book that I have ever read.
Matt has been in a tailspin since his partner since childhood left him for a woman. Meaningless sex, non-stop drinking; life is a blur for Matt at the moment. Only the green eyes of a reticent stranger at a bar seen to draw Matt out from his haze of misery. Aaron seems perfect to Matt; intell ...more
In a nutshell
Matt is supposed to be a doctor and drowns in self-pity by swallowing every crap he can get his hands on. He's stoned, drunk and unhappy all. The. Time. Plus, he fucks everybody on two legs. Disgusting. Let's keep it simple. He's a sobbing mess of a depressing alcoholic. But of course it's not his fault (yes, it's also his fault). Joe, the little mean fucker left him for…(view spoiler)[a girl. Yep, the vilified ...more
The writing itself is lyrical and lovely.
It really is that simple.
They teach us who we are, and how not to feel alone. They give us hope. And, sometimes they give us a framework to confront the things that terrify us. Perhaps it seems a strange thing to say about romance, this most dismissed and devalued genre that it supposed to pander solely to goodfeelz and fantasies. But, for me, it is precisely the safety of romance, the metatextual certainty ...more
I listened to the audio version of Life After Joe. Although Matt’s accent through me off the first few minutes of listening, it grew on me. This was a quick and emotional story that started off a bit depressing, but ended up being beautiful. My only real complaint is that ending. I really wish we would have gotten more with the ending. Still, a great read I would recommend!
Why haven't I read Harper Fox already? (Thanks Plainbrownwrapper for giving me that boot in the ass.) She's been sitting in my TBR shelf for too long. And it wasn't even this book. But I digress, the story's key here.
It had angst, it was darker than I expected and it made me think. Love stories like these. Two damaged men who quietly turn their affections on each other while mucking their way through life and their problems.
Love between a suicidal, damaged, drunk of a doctor resident, Ma ...more
Locations such as the Powerhouse club, Fenwicks department store, the Laing Art Gallery, the Half Moon Chambers building but also the very atmosphere of Newcastle, cold but welcoming, harsh but sparkling with ...more
Matthews has been dumped by Joe, his childhood friend and only lover. Since the break-up, he’s drowning, loosing himself in booze, pills and meaningless sex. He’s really going down : it’s raw and depressing. And there comes Aaron, respectful, understanding, supportive and so passionate. And Matthews realizes that there can be a life after Joe, even if Aaron’s life still remains unspoken about and triggers Matthews’ ...more
Wow, that was good.
Since losing his longtime lover, Matt has been a hot mess. His days have been an endless cycle of drinking and anonymous sex, while his career suffers. He doesn't care, until he's turned down by Aaron, the hot serious man at the bar who always sits alone.
As always, Harper Fox's writing is marvelous. Evocative and poetic prose without becoming purple. I could really feel the loss that Matt felt.
Matt's self destructive behaviour doesn't make him particularly likable at ...more
As it turns out, Aaron isn't as far out of reach as Matthew thinks.
This was a great story. There's an emotional poignancy in Matthew's self analysis, and ...more
Matthew is a mess. He’s a drunk who lives off of one night stands. Matthew and his partner, Joe, were supposed to be each other’s HEA, until Matthew discovers Joe’s infidelity for two years and that he wants to be with the woman he’s been seeing. When he meets a man, Aaron, who’s unwilling to treat Matthew as such, Matthew decides there might be a reason to straighten up.
I just can’t believe how good this was and how phenomenal ...more
And that did it. Drove Matt over the edge, and six months later he is drinking every night, sleeping with any man he can find, and getting very close to blowing his residency at the hospital and not becoming a doctor ...more
Don't let the lovely writing fool you, though. The story is often dark, perhaps too real ...more
BUT--that meant I actually got some sleep last night, because if I hadn't had all those problems, I would have been up ALL NIGHT reading, and probably re-reading this book. It was that good.
Anyone who has ever been shocked by a breakup--particularly o ...more
Her angst (examples below) makes me want to curl up in a pillow filled window seat somewhere and just look at the rainy ocean and enjoy my feelz.
What the fuck was I? A flicker in the dark yearning hopelessly towards another, which perhaps had forgotten my existence by now.
"Don’t leave me,” he ...more
Again, at first, I thought maybe I hadn’t made such a huge mistake after all. Fox will never be one of my favourite authors but her stories are entertaining and I do have certain reading moods when I devour emotional anguish like candy. Yeah, no.
Matt is a horrible self-pitying mess with the worst taste in friends and chi ...more
Wow! This was another exceptional book by Harper Fox! It's the third one I read and I loved all of them!
It always takes me a little while to get used to her writing but when I do, it grips me completely. And she always manages to create an intensity that is amazing and a little frightening. I was so in tune with Matt and his emotions that I felt like living through all of his struggles myself. Maybe that's the reason why, in the end, I couldn't really connect with Aaron. I didn't ha ...more
There was never any review written and now the time has gone. But I remember in any case, what a wonderful fine and nicely told story about Matthew and Aaron this was. A bit special and quite different. A 100 pages novella to remember.
Really good - highly recommended.
I LIKE - emotional and sad but with new hope
That's right after having read this book at least 5 times, with the most recent being this past weekend when I was fortunate enough to share this reading experience in a buddy read with the awesomeness of Christelle, Josy, Lila and Natalie. It's high time that I attempted to review what is one of my absolute favorite books ever.
I'm not really sure that I know how to explain this book but here goes...'Life After Joe' is the story of what happens when one man's relationship ends. Fo ...more
This story should have had me enthralled. I love a vulnerable guy, an A-hole ex, a white night and all the mixed up baggage in between. So this should have been a 5 star read. Sadly it barely makes it to a 3 star, more a 2.5
For me the writing style was not my cup of tea. In places it was long winded and flowery. I don’t mind a little description, but the poetic prose that was used was a bit over done for my taste. Matthew also failed to bring out my ...more
4.5 stars. I'd read Driftwood some time ago, so I thought it was time to try another title. There was a great deal of emotional punch packed into this little novella. Matt has been betrayed by his long-time friend and lover, Joe. He has fallen into deep depression, exacerbated by alcohol and self destructive behavior. Matt has seen Aaron frequenting the same bar he does and although he deflects Matt's advances initially, they eventually become lovers. ...more
I wasn't expecting this story. I wasn't expecting these characters either. And yet, I found myself gripped by both, emotionally connected to them in a way that I find exceedingly rare. This story was raw and beautiful and meaningful.
I... Well, I think that to say anything more would muck it up instead of making the jumble of thoughts and emotions roiling inside of me right now more clear to you, so I won't.
But I hope you read this book and love it as much as I do.
Everyone seems to have given it 4 or 5 stars and I can see why, it’s practically perfect and the writing is objectively awesome. Which leaves me in the awkward position to acknowledge that I don’t much care for Harper Fox’s writing. She’s a terrific writer, but her words don’t seem to touch me at all.
I read only one other of her books years ago and I gave it 4 stars, but I’m starting to think it was only due to the fact that I could objectively see the writ ...more
I wanted to read this due to a largely positive review and a new publisher. While I didn’t like the book as much as the other review, Life After Joe is a solid contribution to the genre. It’s not perfect and some of the angst goes overboard while the writing tends to be awkward and wordy. The characters are well rounded and interesting, with depths that are well portrayed among the angst. The story is strongly character driven and those romance fans who love underdog protagonists with a ...more
There is drama, but it felt real. I didn'nt find the story sad, I didn't shed tears while reading it at all. This is all about hope, new beginning and finding love again.
I liked the MCs. Aron is portrayed dark and mysterious but at the same time gentle and affectionate. It doesn’t get much for him to make Matt come to his senses and find his focus o ...more