Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Blog Tour Review: Black Iris by Leah Raeder

by Leah Raeder

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.

4 Star Review by Allison East

I love Leah Raeder’s writing. Unteachable was one of my favorite books- and not just teacher/student; favorite overall. And the writing in this book is no different- in fact, it may have improved. Her writing is super eloquent and well thought out, and so brilliant. This book is completely different from Unteachable, but in a fantastic way. It’s definitely darker- and that’s even an understatement for what it is. And it’s something you just HAVE to read.

“Falling for someone is like pulling a loose thread. It happens stitch by stitch. You feel whole most of the time 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 revealing 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.”

This is romance, this is suspense, this is a bit of an f/f- so if that scares you off, put the book down. But if you LOVE romance, and you LOVE Leah’s writing style, you can very well get over any hang up you might have. Laney Keating is the anti-hero. In the very first part of the book, Laney’s entire universe is shattered spectacularly. I mean- it more than sucks- and its bad. And as a result, she self-medicates with concoctions of drugs. She is on a quest to simply find herself, find someone who can love her- and even though she is an unreliable narrator I believed everything she said.

“Most of us can’t even fix ourselves. We’re all saddling horses in the night, trying to outrun the darkness.”

And the secondary characters- Armin and Blythe, they are equally as intricate and add so much to the rest of the story- that I think if it was a book about just Laney, I wouldn’t have been drawn to it as much. They had a place and a story to tell all on their own.

“I loved her fire, he said from far away.”  

“I didn’t know that I would burn.”

This book is a heck of a mind screw- as in, I had no idea where it was going, and no idea where I was going to end up- and that’s ok. Because sometimes in the world of YA/NA/Romance or whatever you read- it’s nice to have a break in the monotony for once. And this book is told in past and present, morphing from one into the other, and those are just glimpses. And those glimpses had me questioning everything in the book. The descriptive dialogue was totally intriguing. And the love, the hate, the betrayal was enough for me to put down my kindle and just breathe for a few minutes before picking it back up. I really loved her writing, and most of all the plot twists that I was clueless about until the very last page. I drank in her words and swallowed them down, and they were downright delicious.

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

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