I’m starting a new tag! Megan @bookslayerReads recently started this tag and I loved the idea. I’ve decided to do a Standalone Sunday every fortnight so I don’t get too overwhelmed with book tags! My first Standalone Sunday is…
Title: Black Iris
Author: Elliot Wake (formerly Leah Raeder)
Publication Date: April 28th, 2015
Genre: New Adult; Contemporary; Romance; College; Dark; Suspense; LGBT+; Mental Illness
For my first Standalone Sunday, I’ve chosen Black Iris by Elliot Wake! This book is seriously badass, and I like it for several reasons:
1. The Protagonist: Our protagonist, Laney, is very complex. She’s strong and vulnerable; wicked smart and sometimes stupid; gives zero fucks and cares too much. She’s someone you root for but also someone you dislike at times – she’s pretty pretentious. But overall I found her sympathetic. She experiences a lot of shit and I really love how flawed she is.
2. WHAT DID I JUST READ??: This book is pretty dark and I don’t read dark novels often, but this novel really had me hooked. It tackles a lot of difficult subjects (mental illness, suicide, and drug abuse to name a few) so maybe it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I gave it a chance and I loved it!
3. The Writing: I love Wake’s writing. It’s beautiful and poetic and raw. It’s very heartfelt and it really has a strong impact given the tough subject matter:
“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.
I didn’t feel sorry. I felt bad. As in bad girl, not guilty. And feeling bad made me feel so fucking good.”
4. Sexuality: Protagonist that not only openly discusses her sexuality in her narration, but also voices her opinions on the prejudice she faces because it:
“If I was gay […] I wouldn’t have to explain that I fall in love with minds, not genders or body parts. People wouldn’t say I’m ‘just a slut’ or ‘faking it’ or ‘undecided’ or ‘confused.’ I’m not confused. I don’t categorize people by who I’m allowed to like and who I’m allowed to love. Love doesn’t fit into boxes like that. It’s blurry, slippery, quantum. It’s only limited by our perceptions and before we slap a label on it and cram it into some category, everything is possible. That’s me. I’m not gay, not bi. I’m something quantum. I can’t define it.”
It’s been a long time since I’ve read this but it’s always been a novel that’s stuck with me. It was such a good reading experience!
What are your thoughts on Black Iris? What is your Sunday Standalone novel? Let me know in the comments!