Friday, 24 April 2015

Black Iris by Leah Raeder

Holy hell, this book.

If you haven't read Unteachable, then you have no idea what Leah Raeder is capable of. If you have, then you know that this woman can write. Black Iris obliterates whatever genre this book will be pigeonholed into. It destroyed my Top Favourites list and moved its psychotic pages into my Top 3. It knocked Unteachable off the freaking pedestal, shoving it to the ground, knocking the bejesus out of it with a baseball bat.

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.

As I pasted the above description, I actually read the synopsis for the first time. It makes the book sound lighter than it actually is. And it's not. For me, this was a story about the most flawed, unstable, and scary characters that I've come across in pretty much all my years of reading (and I read It when I was 11). There are twists and turns in this story that actually had me waking up in a cold sweat. There are scenes that will having you wanting to tap out; give up reading at 32% because you know that Ms. Raeder is a genius with her carefully selected words that make your skin crawl to the point on unbearable torture.

The caption has it pegged as "The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel...", and for the love of all that is holy, that statement couldn't be more accurate. In a book with characters that give Keyser Söze a run for his money, the ridiculous chemistry between the three main characters (and ALL that they do with it) is OFF.THE.CHARTS.

Now while you may be captivated by the cover and the synopsis, please know that this book will not be for everyone. The characters are flawed beyond redemption. There's violence, drug use, and hell of a lot of what I'm pretty sure are triggers for some readers. But if you give it a chance (and I'm begging you that you do), I'll take this opportunity to hope that you enjoy this bat-shit-crazy ride.

NOTE: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. And that's exactly what you just got.