Are you looking for angst? Go no further, I have what you want...

Taking a Chance - A.M. Arthur

I've pretty much read everything thing written by this author with the exception of a couple of stories that appear to be out of circulation and the one thing that has been a constant is the fact that with each new book the stories go to a higher level of being angst ridden.


'Taking A Chance' is the final chapter in this trilogy and it's probably the story that I've wanted the most. It's Elliott and Augustus. Elliot has been a consistent character in the previous two books especially #2 Finding Their Way. Which really was over the top and then some on the angst and drama scale. Which is maybe why this one didn't seem quite so bad for me or maybe it's just because I really wanted Elliott's story.


So let's highlight some of the angst here (I'm putting this in a spoiler tag, so if you plan on reading this book you might want to skip over this and if not enjoy) This is your final warning these are SERIOUSLY HUGE spoilers.


Now I just need you all to bare with me on this, I'm going to try and keep it short...eerrrr shortish but I make no promises here so let's start with Elliott...


Elliott's angst is off the charts he's dealing with being fresh out of rehab, self esteem issues, trying to get his life back in order, guilt +++ amounts of guilt for pretty much everything, but lets not quit there. No he needs more shit raining down on his parade. Let's add some more stressors how about if his best friend Boxer's cancer recurs can't have the man staying in remission that'll never do, and lets add Elliott's mother who he's estranged from to the mix because in the midst of all this she needs to die and really that's not enough so...let's give him 2 sisters both of them being total bitches but we'll make one a bit bitchier than the other and they're not going to tell him about his mother until after she's dead because we wouldn't want to give him the chance to say good-bye to her because that might take us out of the category of total bitch and we can't have that and of course it's all Elliott's fault because he's gay. I know let's make him HIV positive as a result of all his promiscuous behavior because loosing his job, his home and becoming a drug addict who ends up in rehab isn't enough. Then just for good measure when Elliott finally seems to be getting himself together and he's ready to move to his own place because he's been living with his friend, Tori and her husband who of course is unemployed (just so Elliott can have something more to add to his stress free life) his cat that he loves and adores should disappear on moving day. Thankfully he reappeared but not until after Elliott had made a panicked needy call to Augustus. Oops almost forgot about Buzz, he was Elliott's first love and that didn't end well so of course Elliott has issues about what happened. Those aren't all of Elliott's issues but a big chunk of them. Let's move on to Augustus.


Augustus (or Auggie to his friends) where shall we start here. Let's start with the fact that he's the person that Doug was cheating on Elliott with (this is covered in books 1 & 2 of this series) and while he recognizes Elliott. Elliott has no clue who he is so of course we need to keep this a secret because he is so guilt ridden over his part is Elliott's downward spiral that he really isn't thinking straight and there's also the fact that he feels an incredible attraction to Elliott but more importantly there's all the crap in his life starting with his misspent youth as a drug selling, gang member who feels totally responsible for the fact that one of his sisters was shot in the head as a result of a rival gangs retaliation for an act of aggression the gang he belonged to committed. This has left his sister with an ABI (Acquired Brain Injury)  and of course his family holds him responsible and so does he. Then there's his failed marriage from his attempt to be straight add to this the fact that he's not totally open about his sexuality because of his career. He won't deny he's gay if you ask him directly he just isn't waving any rainbow flags around. Oh and let's not forget the added stress of his best friend Connor's youngest child who has CF (Cystic Fibrosis) and of course this leaves Connor's oldest child with guilt over the fact that while she loves her brother a part of her wishes he wasn't there because she feels like she never gets any attention from her parents (and I have to say given the family dynamics this child's feelings are not surprising. Having a chronically ill child can be a huge stressor for any family and feelings or resentment by siblings is neither unusual nor should they be unexpected). Now really are you going to be surprised when I tell you that our outrageously gorgeous Auggie suffers from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome...stop laughing it really is a serious condition and stress can definitely be a contributing factor and in this instance it takes things off the chart).

(show spoiler)

So after all that stress, worry and anxiety you'd think I would be a wreck, right? Nope, not me because at the end of it all when the crap keeps getting heaped on to the pile it reaches the point of ridiculous and you guessed it I had a good laugh. Ironically I also saw spots where opportunities to add to the angst pile were missed and sincerely appreciated them. I think what made me feel a bit better about this story than the previous book was the last 40 or 50 pages of this story. The ending for me was realistic and all things considered it was pretty low angst as well. Overall I liked Elliott and Auggie. They were cute as a couple and for me they worked. So while book #2 only got 2 stars from me. I'm 'Taking a Chance' and giving this one 3.5 angst ridden stars.