Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review ~ Black Iris

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Author: Leah Raeder
Format: eBook, Paperback & Audio
Pages: 384
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 04-28-15  
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.

My So-Called Review:

If I’m lucky; each year 2, maybe 3 books come along that totally & completely crush the world around me, and I mean this in the best possible way! These rare books leave you feeling like your guts have been torn out; ripped to shreds and cast into oblivion, never to be seen again. With no knowledge of how you got there you’ll find yourself sobbing on the floor because what you’ve just read was so beautiful - so devastating, like liquid poetry for your soul and now you have no idea how to continue on in your life cause it’s over. These kind of books make you want to change all your previous 5 star reviews to a 4 cause they’re just not worthy of being in the same category, how did you ever think they were?? Damn I love books like this! I crave them deep down in my core, forever searching for these elusive books that cause this kind of soul crushing reading experience. I can tell you the exact moment that I read my last one; it was October 20, 2014 and I still talk about that book & its characters weekly to random people. It has been 7 LONG months but finally, FINALLY it has happened once again!! 

Two little words that brought me to my literary knees………BLACK IRIS

“I am not the heroine of this story. It’s the truth. I’m diagnosed borderline and seriously fucked-up. I hold grudges. I bottle my hate until it ferments into poison, and then I get high off the fumes. I’m completely dysfunctional and that’s the way I like it, so don’t expect a character arc where I finally find Redemption, Growth, and Change, or learn How to Forgive Myself and Others…….Fuck Forgiveness.”

I’m not going to give any additional description about the plot, anything you need to know going in is already said in the synopsis and knowing any more would seriously ruin your experience. What I will say is that Leah Raeder is genius, pure and simple! Never has teen angst and intensely addictive female friendships been written so beautifully, raw and honest. Leah brought it all back for me; the pain and confusion, the insecurities of being young and sexual yet not fitting the “normal” mold. Both Laney and Black Iris are complex, gritty, dark and suspenseful, I dare you to read this and not to FEEL………

“….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.”

Prepare yourself for a majorly delicious mind-fuck! Twisting back and forth through the previous year of Laney’s life is like getting a glimpse into the darkest places of the human psyche. You’ll think you’ve got it figured out, placed all the pieces in their proper order. Read a few more pages and you’ll realize you’ve got no clue!! There’s no fast paced action here and there doesn’t need to be, this is just one long, delicious slow burn of story…….hate, revenge, desire, addiction, hopelessness as well as love, forgiveness, acceptance & hope

“Falling for someone is like pulling a loose thread. It happens stitch by stitch. You feel whole most of the time even while the seams pop, the knots loosen, everything that holds you together coming undone. It feels incredible, this opening of yourself to the world. Not like the unraveling it is. Only afterward do you glance down at the tangle of string around your feet that used to be a person who was whole and self-contained and realize that love is not a thing that we create. It’s an undoing.”

On a closing note, Black Iris is riddled with sexual tension throughout and has some of the HOTTEST F/M/F and F/F action I’ve ever read! I actually woke my hubby out of a deep sleep so I could read him one of the intensely charged F/F scenes! Needless to say…….. he started Black Iris two days ago ;) BUT if that’s not your thing, then you probably want to skip this one, although you’re seriously missing out!!! Highly, highly recommended this book to anyone and everyone! Thank you to Leah Raeder for writing what is currently my favorite read of 2015!!

“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 blood is just proof of how much. It’s feral.”


  1. Wow! This one sounds amazing, and the quotes you've shared are fantastic; they definitely show the author's skilled writing style, it's almost lyrical. It's unfortunate that this is not something I would enjoy, but I do know a few friends who would! I'll be letting them know ;)

    Claudia @ My Soul Called Life

    1. Yes, she's got a very lyrical style to her writing, it's so addicting!! That would be awesome of you to pass along this title to friends that might like it :) I certainly know it's not for everyone which is why I put that disclaimer in there & chose some of the quotes I did (there were soooo many to choose from!) I'd hate for someone to pick it up based on my gushing review & then go OMG what the heck am I reading?? LOL

  2. Wow! Blurb sounds cool! I love those quotes! :D

  3. I am so excited you liked this one. I LOVED IT!!! I think this is one of the best books I have read this year. The writing is so beautiful and I love how unreliable a narrator Laney is. Actually, Laney is a pretty bad ass character. She is messed up, but I love it.