BLACK IRIS by Leah Raeder
Atria Books Paperback | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781476786421 | On sale: April 28, 2015 | $15.00
eBook: Atria Books | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781476786438 | On sale: April 28, 2015 | $5.99
ABOUT BLACK IRIS:
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.
Mindfuck. This book is a total mindfuck.
That perfectly describes Black Iris and the psychological turmoil I experienced while reading.
I thought my first experience reading Leah Raeder’s Unteachable was intense, but this book displays a whole different level of her literary genius. It’s powerful and deeply personal which makes the reader connect in an indescribable way.
The novel captivates you from the moment you begin reading. I am generally not a fan of making highlights in books. When I started reading more e-books I rarely took advantage of the highlight feature on my Kindle. I loved that I was able to highlight and flag things without marring the book, but I’ve still remained a bit conservative in that respect. Something has to really speak to me for me to highlight. Black Iris seems to be the exception. I found myself constantly highlighting wanting to savor and remember every moment, marking the words that moved me so I could go back to them later and relive the experience. The writing is profound, lyrical and undeniably haunting. There is a pain and complexity to this book that I’ve never experienced before as a reader. It is as though you are watching someone come to terms with their very existence and how they begin to accept every part that makes them a whole. The book is sexual, but doesn’t fit in any particular mold. The romantic aspect of this book is complex and at times troubling. I worried about how toxic some of the relationships in this book had become at one point, but there was such immense beauty in Laney’s coming to terms with who she was. Bit by bit, piece by piece, as disturbed as I was at times by her actions I understood them in a way that made me question my sanity.
There are writers I dislike, writers I like and then there are the writers that I love. The ones who I know will repeatedly produce outstanding content. The author whose writing seeps its way into my veins, searing their name into my soul. Leah Raeder managed to win me over with Unteachable, but Black Iris gripped my heart solidifying my love for her writing and a deep respect for her as an author. It is addictive, flawlessly unique and oddly refreshing. It is unlike any book I’ve ever read. Black Iris is raw, wild and completely unpredictable. It crosses boundaries and takes you through a journey of acceptance, revenge and pain unlike any book I’ve ever read. It examines human sexuality on a deeper level than I’ve ever contemplated. It describes how fierce love between human beings can be, the effects of non acceptance from society as well as self and how deep an individuals experience can brand them and to what lengths someone will go for retribution. Love is love — Reader’s brilliant, dark and poetic writing capture this message beautifully. I voraciously devoured Black Iris and I hope you will too.
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