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Black Iris by [Raeder, Leah]
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Length: 385 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Unteachable, which was praised for its “lush, haunting prose, deft storytelling, and scorching sensuality” (M. Pierce, bestselling author of the Night Owl trilogy), and called “one of the best forbidden romances” (Lauren Blakely, New York Times bestselling author).

“Love is not a thing that we create. It’s an undoing.”

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2257 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (28 April 2015)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LD1OJZ2
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #119,110 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 102 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It’s so amazing to read stories that makes me see a little bit of myself in them…stories that perfectly captures my identity. 16 June 2015
By Sue @ Hollywood News Source - Published on Amazon.com
Black Iris is not only provocative and alluring, but it also explores sexuality, the sexy side of f/f romance which every genre lacks and the gritty reality about mental illness, queer phobia and drugs.

I had zero intent on writing this mini review since everything has been said and done about Black Iris, but I want to properly do it nonetheless to show my appreciation for this book.

Plenty of things struck me the most about Black Iris. one of those is it is beautifully written. I love the pretentious, lyrical, sexy tone of the book. It is poetic which made a lasting impression on me.

I consume books and have read hundreds of them and so far, I’ve only found two characters who declared, “I don’t fit in the mold, I don’t fit in the default and that’s perfectly fine with me. Not everything has to be labeled.” These include Connor Cobalt from Addicted Series and the protagonist of this story.

“If I was gay,” I told the ceiling, “I wouldn’t need an asterisk beside my name. I could stop worrying if the girl I like will bounce when she finds out I also like dick. I could have a coming-out party without people thinking I just want attention. I wouldn’t have to explain that 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.” I glanced at Josh. “That’s me. I’m not gay, not bi. I’m something quantum. I can’t define it.”
It’s so amazing to read stories that makes me see a little bit of myself in them…stories that perfectly captures my identity. And that’s the power and beauty of reading.

Highly recommended!

Review and playlist also posted at Young Adult Hollywood.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black Iris is a twisted head game 6 May 2015
By 1987 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am going to start with what I really liked about this book. It was poetically descriptive. The authors writing was fluid and had a good hook. I loved the quotes used and greatly admired the author for writing a twisted thriller that veered from today’s often typical formula writing. I love that Leah leaves the comfortable topics behind in her writing. I had a somewhat hard time following the book. It jumped from past to present and I often didn’t grasp what was going on. For most the book this really bothered me. When I got farther in and the book started putting pieces of the puzzle together, I got it. I did think the ending was abrupt. I don’t think the author intended for a nice clean happy ending with rainbows and butterflies and I liked that. However, I still was left with some lingering questions. Maybe this is where we the reader can decide what we want to happen or see happening and I like that option, too.
Character wise I felt that both Laney and Blythe came across as sociopathic more so than the people that bullied Laney. Armin, I don’t really know what I think of him, I am still pondering that and will likely go over the highlighted areas of the books some more. I liked that Laney and Blythe ended up together and sort of wished something for Armin, I just don’t know what. He was a very confusing character by the end, they all were. I think this book was full of good mind F***ery since I am still thinking about it days later. I like that I didn’t see pieces coming. I thought Leah did a good job of leaving the predictability behind.
21 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let it marinate my bones, sink to my marrow, and become part of me. 29 April 2015
By blu - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Leah’s lyrical, dominating prose unfolds a story so visual, it invades your senses, like a movie projected with surround sound.

Living in the mind of the narrator, Laney, was unbelievably stunning and unspeakably unnerving. Walking hand and hand, intertwined through the highs and lows of her life. Her voice creating a hum through the body, uprising your inner darkness, making you question the way you look at the world-- do you see it as beautifully and broken as she? It wreaked havoc on my emotions, creating a steadfast mood, my eyes glossy from unshed tears, experiencing dark themes long forgotten, and making me feel alive, emerged.

Leah Raeder (unicorn rainbow pooper :D) is brilliant. This is the kind of book that captures you so completely you find yourself wanting to read it again, and again, and then again for good measure. Let it marinate my bones, sink to my marrow, and become part of me. Everything I loved about Unteachable and more. I will not say anything about the plot, I went in with the wildest of ideas and I still came out shocked and mind f*cked. To read Raeder (;)), is an experience and all I can say is--READ IT!
36 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not sure that I read the same book as all the 5 star reviewers 29 April 2015
By Carole Wooten - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
1 Star

I didn't like this book at all. I was so excited to get an early copy of this book because I saw everyone raving about it on Goodreads. I just knew that this would be a book that I would fall in love with based on all the 5 star reviews that I saw. I am not sure that I read the same book that everyone else read. I disliked everything about this book. I almost stop reading many times but I kept waiting for that magical moment where I would fall in love with this story like I had expected. Now that I have finished the book, I can honestly say that I wish I had listened to that little voice in my head telling me give up on this book early in the story and move on to another.

I didn't care about the characters. There isn't a single one of them that I like in even the smallest way. These are not nice people. The main characters spend most of the book under the influence of some kind of substance. They spend the entire book thinking about sex, drugs, more sex, and more drugs. I have read and loved books that have a strong focus on both sex and drugs before so it isn't really the sex or the drugs that were the problems for me. These characters didn't feel real to me. I felt absolutely no connection to them in any way. I can't even say that I hated any of them because none of them made me feel anything.

I didn't like how this book jumped around in time. This has to be one of the most confusing reading experiences of my life. I was constantly having to stop and figure out where on the timeline each chapter was happening. I have read a lot of books that used flashbacks or a dual timeline that I have really enjoyed. This book would jump around in time in a way that made no logical sense to me. I think that the story would have been so much easier to follow if things had jumped around less.

I didn't like the writing style. Descriptions sometimes seemed to go on forever and in the end didn't make any sense. The author would also insert little comment about how the typical novel would go from this point and I will be honest every time this happened it drove me crazy. I can't tell you how many times I would read a sentence and think huh? Then I would read it again and wonder what kind of image those words were really supposed to help me create.

I didn't like the story. I thought this book was one of the most boring things that I have read for the first 60% or so. Things got a little more interesting at that point but that is just because something finally happened. Even after there was a little action, I still never felt connected to the story. This story just never grabbed me. There was never a moment where I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. I was incredibly let down by how this story ended.

I wouldn't recommend this book. I do think that many readers will love this book. Almost all of the reviews that I have seen up to this point have been very positive so I am definitely in the minority with my opinion on this one.

I received a copy of this book from Atria Books via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black Iris is dark and completely manic, a compelling story of revenge! 28 April 2015
By Robin Segnitz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was intrigued by the synopsis for Black Iris by Leah Raeder. When the cover was revealed in January, I fell in love with it. The cover is full of rich color and is absolutely stunning. It’s one of the most beautiful book covers that I have ever seen!

Black Iris is not a typical new adult novel. It’s a story of dark revenge, and there may be triggers for some individuals. It’s a story about a girl who is bullied for her attraction to females. There is a female/female relationship in Black Iris, but there is also a male/female relationship. Both types of relationships are represented. There is drug use and addiction. Attempted suicide. Mental illness. Violence. Blood. Hate crimes and vengeance. I’m not really sure what this says about me, but Leah Raeder snared my attention with this extremely dark story.

Delaney Keating is targeted by Brandt Zoeller in high school. One meaningful gesture towards the girl she has a crush on destroys her life. Zoeller makes sure he gets deep inside her head, underneath her skin, completely breaking Laney down. Now she wants revenge. She becomes the predator. A hunter. Little wolf. Laney has a plan. She has her prey in sight, and she wants revenge on everyone involved.

Black Iris is a story written in layers. Each chapter is labeled with a name of a month. Raeder leaps back and forth between present and past with each new chapter. I found this confusing at first because I was attempting to keep up with all of the shifts to the timeline. But then I decided it was easier to sit back and experience Black Iris as it unfolds. There’s a reason Black Iris is written in this style. Raeder was meticulous with her writing, slowly revealing bits and pieces of information in a very calculated fashion. The plot of Black Iris builds to a fever pitch over the course of the entire story until the big picture finally snaps in place.

I knew I would be stepping outside of my comfort zone when I began reading Black Iris, but I enjoy reading dark novels. Psychological thrillers are some of my favorites. The writing is poetic and creative. The story is spellbinding. Unique. It made me think. When I finished reading Black Iris, I immediately began reading it again. All of those cryptic passages suddenly made sense. Black Iris is disturbing. It’s intense. Completely manic. I am giving Leah Raeder a 4-star rating for Black Iris and including it on my list of favorite novels for 2015!