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Tommy O’Shea is raising his seven younger brothers and sisters without any help from his drug abusing father and stepmother. Since he was fifteen years old, he’s managed to keep the children fed and out of foster care. It takes up every ounce of his energy and the last thing he needs is romance complicating his life further.
Rookie cop Bobby McAlister doesn’t belong in Tommy’s harsh world, but Tommy can’t push him out. As their unlikely friendship turns into a tentative relationship, they weather the daily storm of Tommy’s life with a lot of laughs and more than a few arguments.
Tommy isn’t used to trusting outsiders, and he’s never asked for help in his life. But when a tragedy strikes the O’Shea family and threatens everything he’s fought for, he’ll have to learn to do both to recover from the brutal hit.
I’m not quite sure what I expected when reading this book. But, I’m certain I was pleasantly surprised.
Stories about kids w/ deadbeat parents, who have to do whatever they can to keep their siblings/family together, who scrape just to survive and do it all over again day after day…they HURT.
I watch this show on tv, “Shameless“. It’s a bit of a dark comedy, very dark. But what gets me is this group of kids, dysfunctional and messed-up, in survival mode – the only lifestyle they know is using means legal and illegal to stay together.
The Last Thing He Needs reminds me a bit of Shameless…but without the comedy. Is this book angsty? Well, I don’t think the relationship is angsty. The life Tommy (the oldest) and his siblings lead is…hard, and sad, and I wanted to do whatever I could to help them. But, what makes this book special is that despite all that, there can be love.
Meet Bobby…rookie cop, former classmate of Tommy, wants to be the knight-in-shining-armor, but mostly just wants to love Tommy. Bobby is a hero in so many ways…but in the best way – he won’t let Tommy push him away. He fights to stay in the guy’s life, to help him as much as he can, and to support and love him. *sigh*…now THAT’S romance!
I spent a lot of the book waiting for the other shoe to drop…for the next tragedy to befall the O’Shea children. And that kind of anxiety is not healthy. But, the small bits of love that Bobby keeps grabbing for with Tommy…they were like a balm to heart. And watching Tommy give in and let his walls crumble a little bit at a time? I felt relieved, and happy, and hopeful.
Now, once Bobby’s mom enters the picture, I feel the book becomes a bit too fairy tale and loses it’s edge. But, I was too devoted to seeking out some peace and anything good for this family, I was ok with what she brought to the table.
Really, really great book. Enjoyed it immensely…
*Also, cute little Christmas short with the same characters, “Everything He Needs“…tear jerker, in the best ways…