Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller Publication.Date April 28th 2015 Pages: 368 Published By: Atria Author Leah Reader Black Iris on Goodreads My review copy: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:
The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA Todaybestselling author of Unteachable.
It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn't worth sticking around for.
If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.
She's not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.
But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it's time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.
Which was the plan all along.
Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.
She's going to show them all.
“If I was gay, I wouldn't need an asterisk beside my name. I could stop worrying if the girl I like will bounce when she finds out I also like dick. I could have a coming-out party without people thinking I just want attention. I wouldn't have to explain that I fall in love with minds, not genders or body parts. People wouldn't say I'm 'just a slut' or 'faking it' or 'undecided' or 'confused.' I'm not confused. I don't categorize people by who I'm allowed to like and who I'm allowed to love. Love doesn't fit into boxes like that. It's blurry, slippery, quantum. It's only limited by our perceptions and before we slap a label on it and cram it into some category, everything is possible.”
“Girls love each other like animals. There is something ferocious and unself-conscious about it. We don't guard ourselves like we do with boys. No one trains us to shield our hearts from each other. With girls, it's total vulnerability from the beginning. Our skin is bare and soft. We love with claws and teeth and the blood is just proof of how much. It's feral.
And it's relentless.”
“I never wanted to be saved. I wanted someone to follow me down into the darkness.”
Oh. My. F**ing. God.I can't. I just can not.
I was supposed to be on the tour for this, and I was really forcing myself to get through this because, you know, so many people seemed to have loved it, the publisher raved about it, I was told it was some sort of new groundbreaking, life-changing, orgasmic reading experience, but all I got out of this was a freaking reading slump and a groundbreaking, life-changing, non-orgasmic headache.
This book is just too pitch-black and messed up for my taste. It's heavy. No, scratch that. It's THE heaviest book I have ever read, and I got through Ulysses and a whole year or mandatory Holocaust reading without any problems. But Black Iris? It's a freaking black hole of doom. It's so convoluted, so all-over-the-place, so filled with abuse, drugs, suicide attempts, revenge, toxic relationship, angst, depression, repulsive sexual acts, pathology... it's just too much of a downer.
I don't understand what is the point of all this? I don't think being rejected by someone you had a crush on explains or justifies all of the shit that takes place in this story. The main character should probably be locked up in a mental institution - she is a danger to herself and everyone around her. This isn't cool or hip or impressive or even darkly twisted in a sexy kind of way, it's just fucking sick to the core. So yeah, I totally dig Leah's prose, though she could maybe tone it down a notch - just a notch, and yeah I did enjoy some of the sexy scenes and girl-on-girl actions - these were done extremely well. I'm just not sure why this book had to be so drastic and shocking in every aspect. I mean, for fucks sake, who hasn't been rejected at least once in life? I sure was. I also lived through like 3 years of bullying and that was even before I went to high school. Yes, it made me depressed and yes, it was hard to face the ball-sucking reality of my life at the time, but I did not turn to alcohol, drugs, putting out to strangers or murder plotting. That's just... not how this works.
And don't even get me started on the jumping between timelines. I did not know which way was up and it was just tiring to try and make sense of it all. I tried. I really did. For a moment I thought I could actually like this book, but this yet another Beautiful Disaster type of read for me. Totally not my cuppa tea.