Goodreads’ Book Description:
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.
I will start off this experience by saying there is no way I can possibly narrow my experience with BLACK IRIS down to coherent sentences.
“Scars tell a story. My whole life was written on my body. How are you supposed to leave the past behind when you carry it with you in your skin?”
To say that I loved this story, the characters, the dark and gritty feel of the words written on this book’s pages is probably the biggest understatement of the year. My love for BLACK IRIS is feverish; it knows no bounds.
“What brings you back to life also gives you the means to destroy yourself.”
Laney’s quest to find some sort of peace with herself and her demons took me on the craziest (literally) ride of my literary life.
Side note: if you thought you were confident with your sexuality before reading BLACK IRIS, I can assure you that your confidence will wane after finishing this book. The second I closed the story, all I could think was, “What am I!? Am I gay now!? Is this how it starts for me? I will have to adapt; I am no longer the same person I was before this story, clearly.”
Leah Raeder creates this world filled with terrible, ignorant people who make you want to rip your eyeballs out (sorry, graphic?) and characters who need their voices to be just a little bit louder, who need to be heard just a whole lot more.
“Nothing hurts more than being alive.”
My heart ached from beginning to end with this story. There was romance, a ton of suspense, a more thorough view on what life is like to be queer, and a shining bright light on the ever-so-important theme of mental health. Being a psych major, this story screamed importance to me; the idea of educating yourself on mental health, even if you believe it does not pertain to you, is crucial to understanding the people around you.
“Sometimes all you know about where you’re going is that it’s away from where you are.”
BLACK IRIS was jarring, admirable, complex, beautifully poetic and astonishingly brave. This story will forever be imprinted on my soul. I’m entirely infatuated with the characters, the darkness that tinges the pages of this book, and the overall theme of overcoming personal demons before they have a chance to pull you under.
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 THE AUTHOR:
Leah Raeder is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago. Visit her at LeahRaeder.com.
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