Black Iris

Leah Raeder. S&S/Atria, $15 paperback (384p) ISBN 978-1-4767-8642-1
Like an afternoon special on bullying gone impossibly dark, Raeder's (Unteachable) dizzyingly intense, drug-addicted queer teenage revenge fantasy takes its reader on a sexy, bloody journey of pure emotion that's by turns expressed, denied, and turned back in on itself. Delaney Keating, viciously mistreated in high school for her attraction to girls and damaged by her unstable mother's suicide, falls into a love triangle with two of the dramatic inhabitants of underground dance club Umbra: DJ and patient medical student Armin, and impulsive, fierce, deliciously sensual Blythe. She pulls them into her scheme of violence against her abusers in a heady mélange of lust and bloodlust, while the triad pulls against itself with internal jealousies. A twisting timeline dancing over a year's events makes every moment seem both immediate and angrily steeped in memory. Major themes include depression, mania, and the ways that the use and abuse of drugs affect access to the reality of self and the world's essential nature; but the soul-searching always comes in the context of action, everyone around hit by the shrapnel of exploding feelings. This is an exhilarating ride for our inner underdog, craving a taste of what it would feel like to just get back at everyone if we were reckless enough not to care about the consequences. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/02/2015
Release date: 04/28/2015
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4767-8643-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-8949-6
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