Bookclub Charlie Carillo Fiction Non-Romance

“Raising Jake” by Charlie Carillo

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I have always been so fascinated by the relationships males have with one another.  Whether it be young boys or gown men, male bonds have an unspoken essence that female relationships just don’t have.  When boys are young, and they have a disagreement  they bite or push each other and then they get over their issue and move on.  As teenagers, they disagree and possibly punch each other and then laugh about it and move on. When they are gown men, hopefully they are past the bodily harm phase but not always, and they use a few choice words, share a beer (or drink of choice) and move on.  Are you getting the pattern?  There is just something about male camaraderie that I really envy.  I don’t want to say that there is NO emotional baggage because sometimes there is, but with guys, 99% of the time what you see is what you get.

That being said, books based on male relationships have always appealed to me.  I am a sucker for almost any book where the main characters are brothers, best friends, fire fighters (swoon), Navy SEAL (swoon and drool), and especially fathers and sons (no swooning.. just a sweet sigh).  When women authors (which is  most of the books I read) write stories, they are able to capture the emotion, the sexuality, the passion and humor in the heroes they are creating.  However, I have learned from some of my favorite male authors, that when men write the stories, they are able to capture the grit, charm, internal conflict and humor that can only come from a man’s perspective.

In Charlie Carillo’s ”Raising Jake,” Carillo is able to take the reader into the to world of a tormented man, Sammy, who just so happens to be a tormented father and son as well.  This is a multi-generational story that takes place through the eyes of a man.  That alone separates it from so many other books I have read.  I can compare Carillo’s writing to that of Jonathan Tropper, my all time favorite male author.  While Carillo does not have Tropper’s sense of humor, he definitely makes up for it with his ability to give each character a depth that will leave you heart-broken and elated at the same time.  In the course of one weekend, and the handy tool of flashbacks, we learn about Sammy’s life before and after fatherhood, we meet Sammy’s awe-inspiring (and title inspiring) son Jake and Sammy’s father Danny.  These three men are the beautifully crafted characters that will put Mr. Carillo on my favorite author list.

I loved reading “Raising Jake”.  I felt like I was riding on the bus with Sammy and Jake and taking the life tour that was so desperately needed for each “boy” to finally become the man he needed to be.  I felt Jake’s confusion and Sammy’s guilt and my own desire to hug them both.  This is not just a book for my wonderful ladies who so faithfully look to me for book suggestions.  I would go out on a limb to say, maybe your husbands (boyfriends) would like this too.

If you are looking for more of a concise book review, please check out my review on If you go to “Raising Jake” in the Kindle section, I am listed as Lnp416. Check it out.

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