#11

Black Iris by Leah Raeder

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The description from Goodreads:

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.

Let me start off by saying Unteachable by Leah Raeder was one of my favourite books in 2013.

I stumbled across Black Iris on Goodreads, bought the digital edition and started it right away. I did all that despite the fact that I’ve purchased 18 new books in the last 2 months and they’re all just waiting, on my bookshelf, to be read. #insatiablebookproblems

I prolonged finishing this book as much as I could. After a couple hours of feverish reading I found myself at 53%, completely spellbound, in a panic about finishing it too quickly.

I loved everything about this book. Let me list them all:

-the past and present chapters
-the complicated, flawed, sexy characters and relationships, especially between Blythe, Laney and Armin
-the picturesque settings
-how intense and dark the story is
-the sweet, sweet sexual tension
-I didn’t anticipate the twist in the story
-the way the book ended (except for Armin)
-the way the author’s writing makes you feel

Reading Leah Raeder books carry you up and away in the moment, you feel drunk and high on fuzzy, warm, sexy feelings and then you plummet to feel the horrible things too. Her books are an emotional rollercoaster and this was no exception.

Black Iris is full of poetic, lyrical writing, which I usually don’t enjoy but I didn’t seem to mind it.

This is such a good book. It’s so dark and sexy and addicting, I loved reading it and I loved the way it made me feel.

I give this book 5 stars.

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2016 Reading Goals and Must Reads

So I definitely didn’t read as many books as I previously had hoped. I’ll admit, much like all of my other goals, it was definitely too lofty.

In 2016 I’m committing to reading 30 books. Considering that in 2015 I read 19, I think 30 is an attainable number.

A few of the books I’m looking forward to reading in 2016 are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

The description from Goodreads:
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it. 

I haven’t read many short stories but I love all things Gillian Flynn so I’m excited to check this out.

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Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

The description from Goodreads:
Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art and her best friend—and sometimes more—Ellis Carraway. Ellis and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.
Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.
Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.
She’s got nothing left to lose.
So when she meets some smooth-talking entrepreneurs who offer to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night stripping on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.
It’s just a kinky escape from reality until a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they chat intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. It’s an easy decision: she’s starting to fall for him. But the steamier it gets, the more she craves the real man behind the keyboard. So Vada pops the question:
Can we meet IRL?
Blue agrees, on one condition. A condition that brings back a ghost from her past. Now Vada must confront the devastating secrets she’s been running from—those of others, and those she’s been keeping from herself…

I read Unteachable by Leah Raeder a year and a half ago and really enjoyed it. The premise of Cam Girl sounds interesting, we’ll see.

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All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The description from Goodreads:
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

I’ve heard nothing but great reviews for this book (it won a Pulitzer!) but think you really need to be in the right frame of mind for it. None the less, looking forward to reading it.

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Tampa by Alissa Nutting

The description from Goodreads:
Celeste Price is an eighth-grade English teacher in suburban Tampa. She’s undeniably attractive. She drives a red Corvette with tinted windows. Her husband, Ford, is rich, square-jawed, and devoted to her.
But Celeste’s devotion lies elsewhere. She has a singular sexual obsession—fourteen-year-old boys. Celeste pursues her craving with sociopathic meticulousness and forethought; her sole purpose in becoming a teacher is to fulfill her passion and provide her access to her compulsion. As the novel opens, fall semester at Jefferson Jr. High is beginning.
In mere weeks, Celeste has chosen and lured the lusciously naive Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his teacher, and, most important, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after school; rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works late; body-slamming encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom between periods.
Ever mindful of the danger—the perpetual risk of exposure, Jack’s father’s own attraction to her, and the ticking clock as Jack leaves innocent boyhood behind—the hyperbolically insatiable Celeste bypasses each hurdle with swift thinking and shameless determination, even when the solutions involve greater misdeeds than the affair itself. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress driven by pure motivation. She deceives everyone, and cares nothing for anyone or anything but her own pleasure.
With crackling, rampantly unadulterated prose, Tampa is a grand, uncompromising, seriocomic examination of want and a scorching literary debut.

I picked this book up a while ago and after a couple pages I put it down. I think this is another book you really need to be in the right frame of mind to read.

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Hidden Bodies (You #2) by Caroline Kepnes

The description from Goodreads:
Charmingly murderous anti-hero Joe Goldberg continues his twisted quest for the perfect love in this thrilling follow-up to the “deeply dark yet mesmerizing” You. When Joe follows the woman he wants to marry to the West Coast, he never imagines that his obsession will lead him to such tragedy.

You is the last book I read and I raved about how much I enjoyed it on this blog. I was excited to find out there was a second part to it, then equally bummed to find out it hasn’t been released. Hidden Bodies will definitely be a pre-order.

How many books are you committed to reading next year? Let me know!