Author: Michael Rupured
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Oliver Crumbly, Tellumo Magnamater
Sub-Genre: May/ December. Contemporary
Tellumo Magnamater is a fresh-out-of-college, first-year English teacher at Salt Lick County High School in Kentucky. He rides the bus to and from work, and every day he walks to the gym behind his small efficiency apartment to exercise. Perhaps because of being raised by two lesbians, Tellumo is attracted to older men. He sets his sights on fifty-something available bachelor Oliver Crumbly. But Tellumo isn’t the only resident interested in Oliver.
Peggy Tucker, a widow approaching her sixtieth birthday, is determined to marry again, and she thinks Oliver is her perfect match. Despite Tellumo and Peggy striking up a friendship at the gym, neither realizes they are interested in the same man. But the joke might be on both of them. Oliver, a retired history teacher, is the original crotchety old man who hates everything and everybody—especially young people.
Whippersnapper was a very interesting read for me. It’s a May/December romance, but in my opinion, the romance between Oliver and Tellumo isn’t the focus of the book. Instead it is a tale of three characters and how they evolve throughout the story.
Oliver is a grouch. He’s been through a lot in his life and he’s survived through many things. He can’t cook, he likes things the way they are, but deep down he is a lonely man. When the much younger Tellumo places himself into Oliver’s life, he’s not sure how he feels about it. I enjoyed watching Tellumo give Oliver’s life a breath of much needed fresh air. When it comes to having a relationship, Oliver hasn’t had the best luck but Tellumo is determined to have his chance.
I liked these two men together. I enjoyed watching both men open up to one another. It was obvious they grew to really respect and like one another. The romance between them really doesn’t happen until midway into the novel. I do wish there had been more sexual chemistry and a stronger emotional connection between them, but I did enjoy their banter and liked watching them begin to fix each other into their lives. I guess in the end, I just wanted more of them together, so I did feel a little cheated. I wanted more romance.
The third character who has a POV in this book is Peggy. She is a middle aged woman who is trying to get her life back together. I liked her, but her story distracted me from the two main characters. All in all this is a really good contemporary novel of the lives of three characters…Oliver, Tellumo and Peggy. The romance between Oliver and Tellumo was sweet but I would have liked it to be the main focus of the story itself…still this was a good book with likable characters.
Reviewed By: Gabbi
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