Black Iris (Leah Raeder)

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Laney Keating’s senior year of high school sucked. It started with one moment of weakness, one stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors started. Slut, they called her. Queer. Pillhead. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mom 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, filter-less Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who becomes closer than a sister.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully responsible for everything, the boy who broke her down completely—she decides maybe it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Because that was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one of them. And Laney is going to show them just how true. She’s going to show them all.


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I must be into this whole vengeance thing right now. First Marrow, then Bang, and now this. I don’t even really know what I just read. At all. Like… yeah. Ever read a book so weird and think “Oh my God, I hope no one ever judges me for liking this book so much”. THAT is what this book did to me. I am almost ashamed to say how much I loved Laney. And Blythe. And Armin. Hell, even Zoeller. Most people probably won’t even give this book a chance. The subjects this book touches is dark and gritty and eye opening. There is psychologically and realistically screwed up characters. If that is what you love, indulge in this beauty. Let it take up all of your time and emotions.

I have always told myself to always keep an open mind and to always go into books blind. No spoilers. No reviews. (I have learned that lesson one too man times and man ruined books later). This book is an example of why I do that. I was shocked and appalled but fell in love at the same time. You have different time frames to follow and different people to follow but being inside Laney’s head (past and present) won’t ever get old. I think I actually highlighted 97.8% of this book. I even got the eBook AND the paper back copy.

“I am a creature with a vast capacity for patience, and for violence. For watching. For waiting. For taking the moment only when it is perfect and sure. I’m a hunter, like my mother, patient and watchful and still, my fangs full of black venom.”

The writing that Leah Raeder spews on the pages is glorious and refreshing. She makes writing look so beautiful. You get torn between two different people. Two people who are both light and dark. But the deeper into the story you get the more you learn about each person. Is one really the light in Laney’s life? Or what is the whole story here? I couldn’t get through this book fast enough. I wanted to devour it all in one setting.

“Armin bought me everything I wanted and Blythe destroyed everything I wanted to destroy.”

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