Published by Atria on April 28, 2015
Genres: dark, Romance, New Adult
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling 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.
Oh, holy hell! Black Iris is INTENSE! Leah Raeder certainly grabbed my attention with this book, that is for sure. I don’t read books this dark and, well…messed up that often. Sometimes I will read a dark book. Or sometimes I will read a book with a totally f-ed up in the head main character, but I hardly ever read books that take it to the level that Leah Raeder did. Black Iris took me out of my comfort zone…and then some. And I have to say, I really, really liked it. Maybe that makes me a little dark and messed up too. I don’t know. But what I do know, is that this book deserves every bit of attention it has gotten and more.
Black Iris is first and foremost a revenge story driven by the main character, Laney. From the moment, that Laney broke the “fourth wall” and told us that she was not going to be likeable or a hero, I knew I was going to like her. And her idea for revenge molts and changes so many times throughout the story. It really becomes a journey of self discovery, however unintentional that may have been for her. This book will not be for everyone. Laney is crass, and out there and so totally unapologetic in everything she does. I loved that about her, but I can see that she (not to mention the abundant drug use in Black Iris.) might be off putting to some. But Laney is Laney.
Black Iris is hard to explain. It almost took on a life of its’ own for me. It is dark, and crazy, and so different from what I normally read that I just kept lapping up every well placed word Leah Raeder wrote. And let’s talk about her writing for a second. I really really dug her writing style. It was all at once conversational, and then also metaphorical, abstract, poetic and kind of grandiose. I know that makes no kind of sense, but I swear that is what it seemed like while I was reading Black Iris. I felt like I was sitting in the same room as Laney watching the events unfold, and then in the next scene I was removed and watching something important unfold far away. Black Iris has layers, man. So many layers. If you are brave enough to take a dip in a deep, dark pool of depravity with truly beautiful writing, you should be reading Black Iris. But be warned, this is not just another contemporary new adult romance.
Note: This book satisfies #75 on COYER scavenger hunt-Step outside your comfort zone and read a book in a genre you have read less than 5 times this year.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: