Review: Black Iris by Leah Raeder - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.

Review: Black Iris by Leah Raeder

My Thoughts

A dark and gritty psychological thriller brilliantly woven together
in Raeder’s lyrically striking style. Both chilling and evocative,
Black Iris draws you in and keeps you captivated until the very end.

4halfstars

Synopsis

Black Iris coverThe next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling 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.

My Review

“I’m the black iris watered by poison. The wolf that raised its head among sheep and devoured its way, ruthless and bloody, to freedom. I never forgave, never forgot.”

This book is an experience. An immersion in a story that is both vibrant and shadowed. It felt intimate, cathartic—a purging of wild emotions, unrestrained and honest. Leah Raeder’s writing is spectacular. As a voracious reader and lover of poetry and prose, it’s just the kind of writing that calls to me. It’s beautifully evocative and lyrical. A literary undertow that pulls you deeply into a story that’s all dark edges and twisted realities. I felt swept away, and as the story crested and receded, raged and stormed, I was caught up in every word and emotion.

This story seems to be about so many things… love, desire, hate, revenge, forgiveness, addiction, hope and hopelessness. But despite Raeder exploring all these themes in this suspenseful and dark exposition, it almost seemed to distill to a singular, cohesive motif—acceptance. Acceptance of one’s life, one’s self, one’s choices… whether those choices are bad and ugly and violent, or painful and hurtful and scarring.

Laney Keating’s story is dark. It’s one big thorny tangle of emotions and situations that have her living on a razor’s edge. She’s grown up with a mother who suffers from bipolar disorder, who has made it clear that she’s passed on the darkness inside her own self to her. She’s fed and nurtured the poison inside of Laney, who has also struggled with her own desires, her own inability to fit in with the “normal” kids. And when a moment of honesty sparks an endless stream of rumors and brutal taunting, her life begins to spiral, only to crumble on itself when her mother makes a choice that changes Laney’s life forever.

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

When Laney meets Blythe and Armin, things fit into place in way she couldn’t have imagined. It was perfect. She had found two people that took her in as she was. Who lit her on fire and ignited emotions she’d kept suppressed for too long.  They were inseparable. Euphoric.

“For a moment we were all alive and invincible, immortal.”

But when Laney’s past and present violently collide, the darkness inside of her threatens to consume once again and she’s pulling Blythe and Armin into this dangerous game of retribution and rapture.

What I found really interesting is that I saw Laney’s story almost like a quiet, but violent unraveling. We experienced her extreme highs and lows. We saw her tortured emotions and conflicted actions. We also saw her fall in love. Saw her finally yielding to her innermost desires. There was this sense of freedom, that perhaps was deceptive (perhaps not), even when things were bad and bloodied and hazy in a chemically achieved euphoria.

“I adore you…. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

The story twists in so many unexpected ways, adding more dimension to an already rich and edgy storyline. There was a lot of suspense as questions of what was really transpiring plagued me. The book is written in a way that goes back and forth in time, jumping months. Admittedly, the approach confused me at times despite trying hard to keep a straight timeline in my head. The story is slow moving, unraveling every deceptive inch of the plot over time. But as I mentioned above, the real beauty of this novel was not only it’s striking prose, but also the intimacy and rawness of these character’s experiences. I thought Black Iris did an amazing job of showing the dynamic and elastic complexities of human sexuality. And for some of these characters, it was also particularly fascinating to see how mental illness, together with a sort of nurtured depravity, affected their choices. A really stellar job by author Leah Raeder.

“We’re in this together now… No doubts. No regrets. Even the smallest crack will shatter us. We have to be hard. Unbreakable.”

add to goodreads 3

Connect with Leah

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦

follow vbb 3

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Subscribe by Email

 

 

 

 

Subscribe for Updates:

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On Facebook

SuperWebTricks Loading...

On Twitter

𝗚𝗜𝗩𝗘𝗔𝗪𝗔𝗬 𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗘 ☀️🏖 I’m teaming up with friends to help THREE of you jump into summer with $125 PayPal Cash or a $125 #Amazon gift card!!!⁣

Here’s how to enter: ⁣

1. Follow: @authorrsgrey @EJ_MELLOW… https://t.co/ZysSK8mac2

Do you read paranormal romances? That was one of the genres I read heavily when I was a teen, and certainly now too – I love them! @WaterhousePress sent me UNDEFEATED (out today), which is Volume 5 in the #BloodBlond… https://t.co/tbwdysQqkN

Excerpt: Undeniable by #MelanieHarlow! @jennw23 https://t.co/q2GO898AV6

Excerpted: Undefeated by @HelenHardt! @waterhousepress https://t.co/mzcyQtFqcy

TGIF friends!!! Getting ready details ✨⁣⁣
⁣⁣
@lauramercier tinted moisturizer in Natural⁣⁣
@fentybeauty bronzer in I$land Ting⁣⁣
@marcbeauty shadow in O!Mercy⁣⁣
@HourglassMakeup SL in Bronze⁣⁣
glossier Lash Slick… https://t.co/7kznUdIUxN

What are you reading next? Do you keep a reading schedule of any kind? I’m starting THOSE PEOPLE by @louise_candlish and so excited about it. I loved her last novel, OUR HOUSE and looking… https://t.co/ErQMbuXTDg

The Unhoneymooners is live! We both have eaaaaarly flights in the morning so may be slow to reply, but happy book birthday friends! If you get your copy, THANK YOU! send us a pic so we can celebrate together! https://t.co/qxroq2rdjg

#diptyqueParisgiftedme the 34 BOULEVARD SAINT GERMAIN ROOM SPRAY and we have been loving it. As you guys probably know already, I always have candles burning, wallflowers plugged in... I… https://t.co/UgXxBrpzE7

𝙉𝙀𝙒 𝘽𝙊𝙊𝙆 𝙍𝙀𝙑𝙄𝙀𝙒 📖 Have you read THE BRIDE TEST by @hhoangwrites?! In this latest (available now), a desperate mother tempts a young Vietnamese woman with the opportunity of a lifetime —… https://t.co/pb7MKb4RbR

Review+ top rec: Aurora Rising by @amiekaufman & @misterkristoff! https://t.co/iizf7U7lye

Review + top rec: The Bride Test by @HHoangWrites! @berkleyromance https://t.co/IUI5utxjLx

Jon watching a CGI dragon destroy an entire city in detail while being told it wasn’t in the budget for him to pet Ghost #GameofThrones

Me looking at my twitter feed after seeing what David & DB did to Jaime’s character growth #gameofthrones

My greatest joy is being a mom to my two beautiful boys. And luckily, I have the best example for a mother—a woman who is deeply loving, brave and talented, and who taught me everything I… https://t.co/JOx9fsKchJ

Friday read 📖 What are you reading now??? @ Café No Sé https://t.co/YP1SburzFL

Everyday makeup essentials 💄💁‍♀️ @vilmairisblog

#flatlay #flatlays #blogger #bloggerstyle #fashionblogger #flatlayphotography #flatlayinspo #flatlayoftheday #accessories #flatlaytoday #flatlaysquad #flatlaylover #flatlaynation #flatlaylove #flatlaystyle https://t.co/7AeCogoVFd

#freshbeautygiftedme this 🌹 Deep Hydration sleeping mask and I’m loving it. I leave it in my skincare fridge and it feels wonderfully cool and hydrating. It’s got 2 steps: a cooling gel +… https://t.co/YTKUdtS31M

I finally finished AURORA RISING, and as expected, I absolutely loved it!!! 💫 @misterkristoff and @AmieKaufman write such amazing, addictive books and this space adventure is no… https://t.co/Ex4bxP9nhg

Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend? I spent most of the time reading, and yesterday was of course all about margaritas for Cinco de Mayo and Game of Thrones! I love Sundays!… https://t.co/OfVso4atke

Load More...