Title: The Anatomy of Perception
Author: AJ Rose
Publisher: The Grim Writer Press
Pages/Word Count: 378 Pages
At a Glance: The Anatomy of Perception is another intense, complex, fabulous story from AJ Rose.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: In the beginning, there was wreckage. Dane Perry’s mother was dead, and the father who always said he’d amount to nothing blamed him. Dane swore he’d become something. He would be someone.
In the middle, there was escape. Rebuilding his life from the ashes of his mother’s memory, Dane found success as a respected surgeon, and love in the form of Craig Dahl, a talented artist who became his everything. But there was also darkness, lies, and a crumbling foundation just waiting for the ground to shift.
In the end, there was a spectacular fall, illusions shattered, and for Dane, nothing more to lose. He was broken, damaged, and left with fierce demons. But from the bottom, the only way left is up. Dane renewed friendships and salvaged his career. The only thing he cannot replace is Craig. But Dane has a plan. Brick by brick, his foundation is rebuilt, and all he needs is for Craig to listen one last time.
In the beginning again, there’s hope and tatters of love. Can Dane repair the damage with Craig? Can he rescue the only thing he amounted to that ever truly mattered?
Content Warning: This book contains vivid descriptions of symptoms of PTSD and events that can cause anxiety. Reader discretion advised.
Review: Dane Perry may have made something of himself – graduating med school and becoming a promising surgical resident – but underneath it all, he’s a mess. The really cool part about reading this book, though, is that when we first meet Dane, he’s already well on his way to getting his life back together. I love how AJ Rose begins her new novel The Anatomy of Perception. The start of this book means everything…Is it the beginning of the rest of their lives? Or, just one more thing that Dane is going to have to survive?
The chapters alternate between ‘Present Day’ and dates in the past, beginning with when Dane first sees Craig. This can be tricky to pull off, but Rose handles it beautifully. There was one section toward the end where I wondered if there was a timing discrepancy, but it wasn’t enough to distract me from the story; I was way too invested and riveted at that point to worry about it. I have to admit that the Present Day chapters were my favorite. They were like a balm, a little ray of hope in between the other chapters, where things were basically falling apart for our guys.
I grew to love Dane so much as the book progressed. He was so strong, even when it seemed he couldn’t be anymore, when the pressure and the lies finally broke him. The man he becomes, though, is amazing. It’s clear that he is NOT going to give up on getting Craig back. Seeing him fight for Craig with everything he had in those present day chapters was fantastic. And I loved that, during the process, he knew his limits and stuck to them, which showed how far he’d come.
Ok – let me get to Craig and some of the other characters. I love, love, LOVE Craig. If anyone should be up for sainthood, it’s him. But, he isn’t just some pushover or unrealistically nice guy. Far from it. He’s a passionate, beautiful man who loves Dane deeply and finds amazing amounts of patience, understanding, and kindness when he needs it. In fact, one of the things I loved most about him was how much he loves Dane, and how he was able to find that trust and love again in spite of how hurt he had been by him.
I also loved Dane’s best friend Holly in ridiculous amounts. She was Dane’s savior on many occasions, going way above and beyond. Loyalty like that is rare and incredible. Other notable, wonderful characters are Dane’s brother Dylan, who I had so much respect for, and the Chief of Surgery, Dr. Noble. Both have smaller, but VERY powerful roles.
In the spirit of being thorough, I’ll also mention the ASSHOLES. Dane’s father, who doesn’t deserve to breathe the same air as any of the others. Annnnnd, of course, Dr. Sabrina Ballard, who, every time her name appeared on page, I had a fit of Tourette’s and mumbled “Whore, slut, bitch” over and over. To say I hated her would be a gross understatement, and the BEST and most satisfying scene of the entire book deals with her being put in her place.
I did have a couple of little issues…There was a LOT of extraneous medical stuff in the first half. I felt like I was both reading a book AND watching an episode of Gray’s Anatomy, when all I really wanted to be doing was reading what happened to Craig and Dane. That got much better in the second half, however, and I was able to stay more deeply involved in the pertinent parts of the story. I also wanted more out of the epilogue, which definitely felt a bit rushed.
Those small things aside, I loved this book. The Anatomy of Perception is another intense, complex, fabulous story from AJ Rose. Definitely another one that should be added to your collection!
You can buy The Anatomy of Perception here: