Saturday, September 28, 2013
Review: Junk by Josephine Myles
by Josephine Myles
Published August 27th 2013 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Formats Available: Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Acrobat for Sony, eBook ETI-2, EPUB, HTML, Mobipocket/Kindle, Rocketbook
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Letting go is the first step to healing…or bringing it all crashing down.
When an avalanche of books cuts off access to his living room, university librarian Jasper Richardson can no longer ignore the truth. His ever-growing piles of books, magazines and newspapers can no longer be classified as a “collection”. It’s a hoard, and he needs professional help.
Professional clutter clearer and counselor Lewis Miller thinks he’s seen it all, but even he has to admit he’s shocked. Not so much by the state of Jasper’s house, but by the level of attraction he still feels for the sexy bookworm he remembers from school.
What a shame that Lewis’s ethical code forbids relationships with clients. As Jasper makes slow but steady progress, though, the magnetic pull between them is so strong even Lewis is having trouble convincing himself it’s a temporary emotional attachment arising from the therapeutic process.
Jasper longs to prove to Lewis that this is the real deal. But first he’ll have to lay bare the root of his hoarding problem…and reveal the dark secret hidden behind his walls of books.
Contains a level-headed counselor with a secret addiction, a bespectacled geek with a sweet tooth, a killer “to-be-read” pile, embarrassing parents, a van called Alice, and deliciously British slang.
Hoarding. Although this word does scare a lot of people, especially after seeing all those reality shows that allow us lowly folk to take a peek into the private lives of hoarders and groan in disgust at the hoards of waste in their homes, it rarely crosses our minds that we are all hoarders in a way. Take for example the books we readers have. Have you taken time out to find out just how many books - ebooks that is - you have in your storage file? I took a peek into mine and found that I am almost done up with my one terabyte external hard drive and am about to get another. Shocking? Not really. A friend or two - okay, make that several, friends of mine have several external hard drives tucked away someplace filled to the max with all of their favorite books. Think about equating that ebook hoard into physical books and we may just find ourselves in a similar or worse situation than Jasper. Ever thought about the shopaholics? They are hoarders too.
In Junk, we have Jasper, a hoarder of information. The hoarding has a psychological background and it may really have started out as a behavior that he mimicked from his mother. It just turned for the worse due to feelings of guilt he was going through. His was not that serious a hoarding problem, at least not compared to those who hoard animals and food no matter if either are dead or alive. So the chances for recovery was quite high.
We also meet Lewis, a psychology major whose job it is, is to help out these hoarders. He does not go into homes and barge his way through, he waits for those who ask or call for help and he and his sister will go through the process - months of process - of cleaning up with those seeking help. He just never expected that his dream boy from high school would be calling for help.
This is where we get into a conundrum: Lewis has always been attracted to Jasper and it seems Jasper was in the same situation. Thing is, there is now a barrier: the therapist/client kind. Hmmm, what to do, what to do? Should they act on it, there is always the transference issue. Should they not act on it, they both would never get over wanting each other and this disrupts their daily normal lives.
This is where I was going tsk, tsk, tsk over and over in my mind. My background just kept shaking her head in disapproval. Transference is a very basic and very common occurrence in any therapeutic process. It makes the situation hard for both therapist and client and the seeming recovery of the client is always held in question. So there I am, shaking her head and wanting to toss this book out from disapproval and on the other hand, here I am, a hopeless romantic, wanting to find out how Josephine Myles would go about this book to get the two men their HEA ending.
The twist to the story that made up for the whole transference issue was a good move by the author. Making sure the contact was cut, allowing the two men to get out of their situation and yet allow Jasper to heal himself with some help, made up for the highly unethical situation they were in. I know, I know, this is fiction and so anything goes, right? Well, true, but my background kept holding me back and it was difficult. It was this last move to make a clean break which gave me the satisfaction that things were going the right track for both Jasper and Lewis.
Having said that, I do realize that many would find this move a pitiful attempt to get the men together. I would disagree. To be honest, many therapists and clients who go through a similar situation usually ignore the process and just go through with their love affair. This leaves a lot of questions hanging out, some never get their answers of whether they are in a true relationship or just a continuation to their sessions. Then there are those who go and break the professional help relationship, ask another therapist to take over the case, make a temporary clean break and take up later on. Guess what? These relationships do work. Well, for most of them. For some, not at all.
In defense of Jasper and Lewis, theirs is a type of relationship that was hard to resist. They had each found the other attractive in the past. It was not their intention to meet again as a client and therapist. This is not an unusual situation, either. Many do meet this way.
Reading Junk, I was obviously more focused on the therapist/client relationship. I also loved reading the almost clinical rendition of how the therapy session works in these types of cases. It was a beautiful job on the author's part. She must have gone through a lot of research and consultation to get to the nitty gritty of the therapeutic technique. Mind you, she gave it a romantic twist so it does not come out all psychobabble and so it read very well. I love psychological stories, obviously, but it sometimes it takes a talented writer to make it more interesting and not too technical.