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Friday, May 22, 2015

The Dismantling by Brian DeLeeuw

The Dismantling by Brian DeLeeuw is a book that's a bit out of my usual reading scope, but it worked for me regardless.  It tells of Simon Worth, a young man who has lost his way.  Simon has never gotten over his sister Amelia's accidental death and the guilt he feels for not saving her.  He drops out of med school after having what was essentially a breakdown in his anatomy class.  He's not sure where to turn as his school loans are vast and he doesn't want to ask his father for help.

One of his classmates, Katherine, tells him of a job that might be available with a company called Health Solutions.  The job would involve working with organ donations and helping to match individuals who need transplants with people who are willing to donate.  The only problem is that Health Solutions is a front for black market organ donations.  Simon needs the money though and he convinces himself that he will still be helping people.

Things are fine for a few months, but then Simon is involved in arranging for the company's first liver transplant.  Lenny Pellegrini, a former NFL football player, needs a new liver.  Nevermind that Lenny is an alcoholic and has other problems as well.  He can't get on the transplant list, but his friend is willing to foot the bill for a black market liver.  Simon finds a donor, a young woman named Maria Campos, who flies to New York from Los Angeles in order to facilitate the operation.  All seems like it's going well - and then it doesn't.  Everything falls apart and Simon and Maria are running for their lives.  Buying and selling human organs is highly illegal and someone has a lot of money at stake.

This book had a lot going on, a number of issues it touched on - maybe too many.  There were black market organ transplants - illegal certainly.  There was the question of how well the NFL has supported and taken care of players - ex-athletes with depression and debilitating problems because of past injuries and multiple concussions and also those players' subsequent abuse of alcohol and drugs.  There were teenagers who were abused or traumatized.  There were unhappy people around every corner and moral questions that each character faced and dealt with.

I found the book highly readable, but the characters not particularly likable.  I either despised them or was frustrated with them and their choices.  That being said, the story was fairly gripping and at under 300 pages, moved swiftly.  I'd probably try this author again.  I give this book an almost two thumbs up.

Thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours and the publisher for sending me The Dismantling.  You can see the rest of the tour here.  Brian DeLeeuw's website is here.

30 comments:

  1. It is sometimes good to read something a little outside the norm - it sounds like you enjoyed this one although I may have problems with the number of 'issues'

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    1. I did enjoy it and look forward to seeing what the author will write next.

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  2. This sounds like an intriguing read but I think those issues would somewhat affect my reading. Still, I may want to give this a thought. Thanks for your insightful review!

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    1. It was interesting for sure, Melody.

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  3. A challenging book if not enjoyable!

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    1. Challenging is a good term, Margaret. As I said, a little outside my norm and that's not bad.

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  4. It does sound like there's a lot going on here, but I find the black market organ donation aspect fascinating!

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    1. Yes, it was interesting and I'd have liked a little more about that actually.

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  5. Sounds interesting, although unlikable/unsympathetic characters are always a problem for me.

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    1. Me too, Susan. It's tough for me to care about characters, even if they are supposed to be the ones we are rooting for if I want to smack them.

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  6. Despite being a little outside my comfort zone this sounds like a good read. I can deal with unlikable characters if the plot is fast paced and interesting. Thanks for sharing I probably wouldn't have considered this one otherwise.

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    1. The plot was interesting - the black market organ trade was intriguing. I kind of wish there had been more about that.

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  7. I find unsympathetic characters a problem, as well, but the book sounds interesting!

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    1. It was and actually the whole NFL player health question was intriguing as well.

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  8. This sounds like an interesting read, although I usually don't do well with a book with unlikable characters.

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    1. I understand. I'm trying to overcome my 'need' to like all the characters I root for.

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  9. This sounds very different. I don't need likable characters for a book to work for me. Sounds like there would be a lot to discuss.

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    1. You are right, Ti. There would be a lot to discuss. Lots of moral questions. Like - could black market organs ever be the right path to take?

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  10. Nice post. Sounds interesting.

    Thanks for sharing. TLC Book Tours have some amazing books, don't they?

    Have a great reading weekend.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! Yes, TLC has a bunch of good ones.

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  11. I actually rather like when the characters are unlikeable. They seem more real to me. Between the synopsis and your thoughts, you have me very interested in this one. Imagine the discussions you could have with others!

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    1. Absolutely, Michelle. The more I think about it, the more I could see this as a good discussion book. Moral questions abound. Lots of room for disagreement.

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  12. It's good to go outside the comfort zone occasionally, isn't it? And it sounds like you picked a good one. Not sure I'd be interested in the NFL aspect (being a Brit) but the organ donation aspect is a great premise for a story...

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    1. Yes, NFL issues might not be as relevant to a Brit - LOL. However, it is good to shake things up sometimes.

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  13. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

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  14. I've seen this book around and wondered what it was like. It seems like Simon's personal story could be a book. The novel sounds intense but also a bit interesting at the same time with the organ donation and NFL players.

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    1. Yes, Monica, I think that was my problem in a way. I wanted to know more about Simon's issues and the black market organs and also the NFL problem. There was a NFL player support group mentioned and I wanted to know all their stories. LOL

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  15. It does sound like a lot is going on for such a short book. Glad you liked it :)

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!