Meatworks by Jordan Castillo Price



Desmond Poole is damaged in more ways than one. If he was an underachiever before, he’s entirely useless now that he’s lost his right hand. He spends his time drowning his sorrows in vodka while he deliberately blows off the training that would help him master his new prosthetic. Social Services seems determined to try and stop him from wallowing in his own filth, so he’s forced to attend an amputee support group. He expects nothing more than stale cookies, tepid decaf and a bunch of self-pitying sob stories, so he’s blindsided when a fellow amputee catches his eye. Corey Steiner is a hot young rudeboy who works his robotic limb like an extension of his own body, and he’s smitten by Desmond’s crusty punk rock charm from the get-go. Unfortunately, Desmond hasn’t quite severed ties with his ex-boyfriend, and Corey isn’t known for his maturity or patience. Meatworks is set in a bleak near-future where cell phone and personal computer technologies never developed. In their place, robotics flourished. Now robots run everything from cars to coffee pots. Taking the guesswork out of menial tasks was intended to create leisure time, but instead robots have made society dependent and passive. Desmond loathes robots and goes out of his way to avoid them. But can he survive without the robotic arm strapped to the end of his stump?


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Mare's Review


It takes a certain ingenuous faith – but I have it – to believe that people who read and reflect more likely than not come to judge things with liberality and truth.”  ― A.C Grayling

I’m pretty much not going to write a coherent review, this has been decided since my fingers landed on the keyboard. My 1st 8 years of life was in the ghetto (well what’s classified as a ghetto here). The place where I grew up was Scarborough. 2 bedroom apartment, shared a room with my sis. When the grandparents came down from the former Yugoslavia there was 6 people to 2 bedrooms.

We got out of the ghetto, with a lot of hard work by my dad, moved to a house in the burbs. Bought all the latest clothes, brand name, no way were we going to Bi-way. Makes me laugh cause as an adult, the dollar store has some amazing deals.Once a month  I go and end up spending a crazy amount of cash and come out with bag fulls of shit that would cost me over 200 in Walmart or Target. But as a child/tween/teenager you take for granted all the shit.

The friends, the social elements, the wanting to fit in, it’s so high school. People grow out of it right? Well some don’t. Still haven’t and probably never will.

JCP wrote a compelling story, to me. a story about hope, and healing and maybe finding oneself. She made me “reflect” on people in the past, the one’s who grew up vs the ones that didn’t.

Desmond and I don’t have shit in common but he reminds me of someone I know so much that it kind of feels uncanny. Scary. Sad.

Desmond’s a people pleaser, wants to be accepted.

So were you, you stole cars for joy rides and drag raced to be cool. 

Desmond hung out with some pretty shitty people.

So did you.

Desmond didn’t want to grow up.

Neither did you. 

Desmond had Jim.

You had her.

Desmond plays Russian Roulette by sticking his hand into a bot.

You literally played Russian Roulette and lost a friend.

Desmond drinks in depression.

You snort and drink to forget.

You can’t help someone if they don’t want to help themselves. But it’s hard to watch someone you love spiral down a path of self destruction and know that trying to help would only be in vain. That you are actually more a hindrance than help because you knew the person that came “before”. And… the memories of “before” are just that.. memories… The feeling of having 2 working hands, the job you took for granted, the body that warmed you for a little bit… the little person that wanted to look up to you, that little person that didn’t comprehend the in’s and out’s and the why’s and how come he doesn’t want to see me.

The struggles and the fights, moving on. It’s all a part of growing up. Who doesn’t fold the “before” around them like a blanket because the “after” is harder to deal with. When swigging back Vodka or snorting lines makes you forget and feel free cause you’re flying so high that you feel amazing. That coming down tho, I don’t know, must be a bitch no?

No matter where you come from, rich/poor, ghetto/burbs we all have problems.

It’s how you deal with them that counts.

And this is where they differ….

Some take the easy way out. They keep travelling on the road of nowhereville, and one day you receive a link and you see that person in the news for doing a crime, said to be largest heist this city has seen. You almost want to stop reading but you can’t cause your like a deer in the headlights, stuck. And all you feel is just an immense sense of sadness because hands down you know, in your heart of hearts, that THAT is at least a decade right?  And in a decades time that little person will be in their lates 20’s… maybe married? Maybe a dad? And you missed it all…

For what???? For alot of fucking nothing.

Desmond, in the end I think he had hope. He dealt with his loss. He realized that he had to deal with the cards that were stacked in his deck, that it was the only way cause he could keep going the way he was but he wasn’t going to get too far. Corey was….. like a breath of fresh air. A new start. A fresh beginning. Still an ass, still lazy but dear Lord I hearted you hard Desmond.

This book isn’t your conventional M/M romance. No. It was REFRESHING. It was real life.  It was a stellar hands down 5 star read. It was realness, it was raw. It was just freaking right.  No hearts and rainbows here.

“Those personal aspects that made it hard to write must be the very aspects that made the story impossible to abandon.” JCP

I couldn’t agree more.


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Filed under A Must Read, LGBT, Mare's Review, Uncategorized

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