by Leah Raeder
Narrator: Grace Grant
Length: 11 hours and 33 minutes
Genres: Dark Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4 cups
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.
Dark, twisted and unexpected Black Iris by Leah Raeder grabs hold of the reader and does not let go. I was pleased for the opportunity to review the audio version of Black Iris narrated by Grace Grant. From its unreliable narrator to the dark, jaw dropping twists this dark, suspenseful tale is one you will not soon forget.
- If unreliable narrators and dark tales filled with violence, addiction and damaged soul’s intrigues you then grab those earbuds. Raeder’s writing is beautiful, twisted, gripping and utterly soul wrenching. It is a story about vengeance, hate, prejudice, loss and love. Black Iris visits all those dark places your mother warned you about. Grace Grant does a brilliant job capturing the characters and setting the tone as she guides you down the rabbit hole.
- Our protagonist Laney Keating is an unreliable narrator and like her or love her, she takes the reader on one twisted mind-f@ck of a journey as she seeks revenge. Learning her story and traveling with her will have you cringing, feeling sorry for her, loathing her, understanding and misunderstanding her. It is like watching a train-wreck you do not want to see but you cannot quite turn away.
- I loved Raeder’s writing style it was almost lyrical as she weaved in quotes from authors and poets that eloquently expressed Laney’s feelings. Throughout this twisted tale, she addresses some dark subjects that include mental disease, drug addiction, lesbianism and bisexuality. We witness multiple partner encounters, prejudice, revenge and death. It is sometimes cruel, shockingly truthful at times and touches on the darkest aspects of humanity. Shocking, brilliant, and what the bloody hell all came to mind as I listened.
- Black Iris held me spellbound even as I shuttered. It was like a haunted fun ride at the Jersey shore. I held on because I could not imagine where the story would turn next. The last quarter of the book had me gasping as Raeder took even this experienced rider through unexpected twists and revelations. Her ability to make you loathe and love the characters was impressive and she took her time fleshing out the story and provided a satisfying ending for the reader.
- Black Iris is dark and I loved this twisty tale, but my friend and I talked about the book and maybe it is our age, but we both felt that it romanticized drug usage and alcohol addiction. Part of this stems from the author’s writing style and her poetic interpretation of the character’s emotions and mindset. I am not saying it was not portrayed correctly in the story but I am giving you fair warning, this is not a read for unstable or impressionable young minds.
- Raeder takes a no holds barred approach to drugs, mental illness, death, and prejudices, particularly against lesbians and homosexuals. It is dark and may be disturbing for some readers.
Black Iris was a mind-tripping tale that I won’t soon forget. For me, the audio version enhanced the ride by notching up the suspense and bringing the characters to life. Leah Raeder is an author whose works I plan to continue reading.