Review: Make a Right

Make a Right
Make a Right by Willa Okati
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I chose Make a Right because I like Willa Okati’s writing and the men seemed a touch angsty, which I adore. While the story succeeded in being romantic with a lot of elements fans are sure to love, I couldn’t quite connect with one of the main characters which kept me from truly enjoying this story. The right reader, however, will find this an easy, enjoyable book to read with very strong love conquers all and soul mate themes.

The story starts with Tuck and Cade in some kind of religious home for runaway and homeless teens. After living and surviving on the streets for so long, both young men are damaged. They form a connection though and the story then fast forwards ten years of mostly blissful happiness. Yet about six months ago Cade left Tuck for reasons unknown. After being together for so long and truly believing they are soul mates meant to be together, Tuck just can’t let go. When he receives a wedding invitation from friends and near sisters, Tuck seizes the opportunity to get Cade back. The two men both have secrets, fears, hopes, and dreams and whether they can find their way back to each other is anything but easy.

Right away the story cements the concept that Tuck and Cade are meant to be, soul mates, and destined to be the loves of each other lives. So almost immediately you know it’s just a matter of time before the two work things out and get back together. The remainder of the ~200 pg story is the back and forth between the men as they try to figure out what happened and if/how they can fix things. Narrated exclusively from Tuck’s third person perspective, the story delves into the extremely complicated relationship and characters. This somewhat works as Tuck is a very engaging narrator with a lot of strength and likable characteristics. He’s stubborn, loyal, helpful, and above all completely committed to Cade. He’s rough but also tender and loving. He’s a great flawed and messy character that easily carries the narrating duties.

Unfortunately the story could have really used Cade’s perspective as well. The entire breakup hinges on this deep dark secret Cade is unable to tell Tuck and thus has made their past ten years anything but easy. The story doesn’t show any of the past ten years of happiness but instead picks up when they’re broken up so there’s very little understanding of what their relationship has been up to now. For almost the entire novel Cade is telling Tuck they’re over, to stop trying, and that he wants to be alone. Yet of course Tuck doesn’t listen because deep down Cade doesn’t really mean that. The fact that this is true and the lack of Cade’s POV makes Cade a bit of a difficult character to connect to. He’s remote, often cruel, quick to hurt Tuck, yet clearly wants to be back together. The fact that Cade forces such a long separation is difficult to understand, even considering the reason. When the final reason comes out I actually agreed with Tuck that he should leave Cade, partly because these two have such a difficult and complicated relationship full of secrets and lies that I’m not sure even a fated love can survive.

Of course I want to believe it as will most fans so hopefully others won’t be as bothered by this. The supporting characters and great background all lend an air of angst and much needed edginess to the story. The writing and actions tend to be somewhat repetitive, we’re told Tuck and Cade are stubborn bastards over twenty times, and the cycle tends to be Tuck and Cade have sex, Cade regrets it while Tuck sees it as a step forward. For all of these potential problems, Okati writes an easy story to read with a lot of external interest in the setting and secondary characters. They’re not especially well rounded or even that important but they move the plot along and help get the two men back together. I think this type of story will appeal most to those fans of soul mates/love conquers all themes. It’s not a homerun but it’s an enjoyable enough story, especially if you can connect and feel for Cade’s plight.

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