Rating: 4.5 stars
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Jake was 18 when he fell in love with cocaine — which led to stealing from his parents, which led to an overdose, which led to pills, which led to his policeman brother arresting him, which led to rehab and now the military. But Jake is still an addict and, even though he has been sober for 7 years, the drugs still call to him. When Jake relapses in a spectacular way, his brother CJ is there once again to pick him up and Jake tries again to get it right. Having a sponsor for the first time seems like a start, but Jake’s new sponsor, Felix, has only been sober for a year, is similar in age to Jake, and Jake immediately thinks of all the filthy things he wants to do to Felix. But clearly, that can’t happen.
The moment Felix sees Jake, he wants to sponsor him. Well, he wants to do a lot more to him than that, but staying sober is number one in both of their lives. Felix’s mother died when he was young and his father is an addict and a vile person. Felix was bullied in school and has always longed for a family and a best friend. He wants everything with Jake and the two of them fit perfectly together. But two addicts living on the edge can lead to a whole lot of tragedy and Jake and Felix are a love story about to implode.
From the first chapter, I was all in with Felix and Jake and the writing here is the kind that pulls you right into the story immediately. We meet Jake first, as he’s on the edge once again and in need of help. The book is told in first person POV from both Jake and Felix and, for me, that’s the best way to understand the characters.
Jake and Felix are inevitable as far as a relationship goes. They know they have lots of issues between them and they know they shouldn’t be in a relationship right now, but they truly need each other in all of the ways. While their chemistry sparks all over the place, their need for each other is what drives their story to another level.
Their addiction comes from different places, with Felix having a horrible home life with a repulsive junkie father, and Felix needs constant reassurance after his harsh life. The men are cognizant at all times that they walk a fine line every day and, since they can’t have drugs, they become addicted to each other and sometimes it’s easier not to care about anything else. The author does a great job of showing the struggle the men have with drugs and how it affects everything in their lives. While Jake has a family that will do anything for him, his addictions can color over everything in an instant.
The pace of the book is great as Felix and Jake meet, fall in love, and struggle. There are several tragedies to their story and even though they want a future together and want to be committed to each other, life is incredibly hard for them. There were a couple of plot points along they way that made me think twice if things would play out that way, but I was able to move on with the story.
If you like angst — because there is plenty to be found here — The Tragedy of Felix and Jake should be your next book for an addictive love story set around high stakes odds.