Black Iris by Leah Raeder Book Review

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Release Date: April 28, 2015

Pre-order links:

Amazon | B&N |Kobo| iTunes


The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA Todaybestselling 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.

Melanie’s 5-BONE CHILLING Stars Review:

What in God’s name did I just read?! Those were the exact words that came at me the moment I finished Leah Raeder’s Black Iris. This book was unlike ANYTHING I have ever read before. Black Iris is bone chilling; It is eerie and the author’s words will continue to haunt you far into the nights ahead. No joke, this was just… WHOA.

I feel like I fell down a rabbit hole unable to breath, my equilibrium dizzy with anticipated fear. My eyes, equally wide open, unable to look away from the beautiful TRAIN WRECK happening right before my very eyes. There was no way I could have prepared myself for the characters and the plot of this book. I had zero inclination as to the direction that the author was going to take me into. Leah’s words were violently pulling me by the collar into the dark, my shaky legs hopelessly dragging behind me. The setting of each and every scene of this book was written with such clarity that as a reader, I felt like I was really there; making the experience that much more powerful. I was just completely BLOWN AWAY by this.

Laney, the female protagonist in the story is startling. I didn’t know how to feel about her because her character was such an enigma… HOW COULD I FEAR THE VICTIM? How could I be AFRAID OF THE HEROINE in this book? But goodness, I felt exactly just that. I was fearful in so many levels. Like a chameleon, her ability to change colors—to become someone so entirely different from the person whom you’ve just encountered so quickly just MESSED WITH MY HEAD so much. The famous Taylor Swift line, “I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream” just continuously played in my head like a broken record in every encounter with her. My gosh, did the author do a tremendously genius job with her. Add on to an already Oscar winning worthy heroine like Laney, a primary cast that just completes the ferocity of the story. Well, it just made for a DAMN GOOD BOOK!!!

Laney’s relationships—

With her mother, the rootof who she is, of what she is made of. The goosebumps a constant friend during every single scene between them. Her mother was unflinching; so sure of everything around her even when she had no idea WHERE she was, WHO she was, WHAT she was doing. Both the biological and behavioral implications in their relationship really show you just how prevalent she was in Laney’s being.

Blythe, though physically the very opposite was the mirror image of Laney. Their intensity was enough to power an entire nation. I was alight with wonder and at the same time filled with trepidation; confused by the fire that was set ablaze within me. There was so much conflicting sensations buzzing around me that I just shut myself out from everyone and everything that was happening around me. The way that the author was able to create the bond that these two shared was again, UNLIKE ANYTHING I HAVE EVER READ— and I have read many that struggled to create this sort of relationship between two female characters. Amazing, just UGH SO AMAZING!

Armin’s role in Laney’s life was brilliantly done. I often found myself sympathizing for him and thought him to be the sort of under dog in the whole scheme of things. I found this funny because he was the primary face of masculinity in this book. He played his part so well; patient and hungry for love. Always craving a connection with someone and Laney becoming that person for him. His desperation for love and happiness blinding him from the consequences of not only his actions but most especially that of Laney’s.

EVERYTHING… EVERY SINGLE THING about this book was CRAZY. I felt myself going crazy; felt the darkness swallow me whole without apology. I will forewarn as has the author that Black Iris has so MANY trigger points— this book has zero inhibitions. It’s shockingly honest; enough to warp your thoughts and emotions. It was sensational, it was unforgettable and looking back, regrettable because once you dive in, there is no putting yourself back together. Black Iris is haunting and you will need an open mind to survive it. BRAVO and major accolades to Leah Raeder for reaching DEEP into her own personal ghosts to share this with the world. It was done impeccably well and still has me reeling 2 days post-read.


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