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Black Iris Paperback – April 28, 2015
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Praise for Black Iris:
"Like an afternoon special on bullying gone impossibly dark, Raeder's dizzyingly intense, drug-addicted queer teenage revenge fantasy takes its reader on a sexy, bloody journey of pure emotion...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." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
"Raeder is a true, original talent." (Jennifer L. Armentrout #1 New York Times bestselling author)
"Risky, brave, bold. Heart-breaking, captivating, and sensual. There aren’t enough words to describe this suspenseful powerhouse of a novel. Raeder’s gorgeous prose and raw characters will keep you flipping to the very end. Black Iris is one of the best books I’ve read this year."
"Intense and visceral, Black Iris is as sharp as a knife and beats with a heart that is double-edged and dangerous." (Lauren Blakely New York Times bestselling author)
"Provocative, seductive, and skillfully written, Black Iris is a story that stands out from the crowd." (K.A. Tucker USA Today Bestselling Author)
"Raeder masterfully weaves a dark, twisted, dangerously sexy quest for revenge with a raw, honest search for kinship and self-acceptance. Black Iris demands your attention, your heart, and an immediate reread." (Dahlia Adler author of Last Will and Testament)
"Lyrical, vivid, and poignant, Unteachable is one of best forbidden romances I've ever read." (Lauren Blakely New York Times bestselling author)
"Unteachable infuses the complicated dynamics of forbidden sexual tension and untamed passion, all while managing to break your heart. Easily one of my favorite reads." (Gail McHugh New York Times bestselling author)
"With lush, haunting prose, deft storytelling and scorching sensuality, Leah Raeder weaves a love story that obliterates convention. The best book I’ve read this year." (M. Pierce bestselling author of the Night Owl Trilogy)
"Leah Raeder's writing is skillful and stunning. Unteachable is one of the most beautifully powerful stories of forbidden love that I have ever read." (Mia Sheridan bestselling author of Archer's Voice)
“Equally wicked as it is beautiful. This story is one of the best reads I've read to date. My book hangover afterward was real. It honestly opened my eyes to all things LGBTQIA+ and the importance of treating mental illness. Overall a very note-worthy read that everyone should digest at least once.” (Book Baristas)
Praise for Cam Girl:
“Raeder’s beautifully broken characters are so full of life that they leap off the page and demand that the reader pay attention to them…it’s a must read for anyone wanting a sexy deep dive into a tangled psyche and a difficult life.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
"Cam Girl is a beautiful exploration of gender and sexuality that begs readers to question how well we know those closest to us, including ourselves. Raeder's trademark sensual lyricism is in full effect here, but it's the fraught yet tender relationship between Vada and Ellis that will have you glued to the pages until the oh-so-perfect ending." (Dahlia Adler, author of UNDER THE LIGHTS)
“Raeder keeps the action moving as readers try to figure out the dual mysteries—what happened on the road that night, and who is Blue?" (Booklist)
“Gripping, emotional, relatable, and yes, romantic (in all the best ways) read. Whatever Raeder writes, I will always want to read and recommend.” (RT Magazine)
“Raeder’s best book yet. It has the grit, language, and heat you’d expect, but there’s more. Raeder has clearly dug down and bled and studied the mirror to reveal the ugliest and most beautiful parts of herself, and human nature. CAM GIRL is a rich and unflinching narrative.” (Emery Lord, author of Open Road Summer)
About the Author
Leah Raeder is the author of Unteachable, Black Iris, and the forthcoming Cam Girl. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago. Visit her at LeahRaeder.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
I love this book. I love this book so hard.
Love. Sex. Revenge.
It's beautiful. It's raw. It's messy. It's perfection in book form.
This isn't a real review. This is me loving a book too much. This is me wanting more. This is me trying not to completely fangirl over Leah Raeder and her amazing book.
Laney is a self professed unreliable narrator. That's essentially the truth, considering you don't know her true motives, her history, who she really is until you do much much later in the book. I appreciated that but it would have felt more effective for me, as the reader, if she drew me in and made me like her before I realized she was a liar. Laney was reliable. She was reliable in her unreliability. I knew out of the gate not to trust her words or her thoughts because they were muddled by drug use, mental illness and a skewed sense of reality. Unfortunately, I never connected with Laney in any form. I didn't dislike her, I was just indifferent. And indifference was worse because I just didn't care. I felt disconnected from all of it.
I was such a fan of Unteachable, so it pains me to not have liked this book. No, wait. I can't even say I didn't like it, because to say I disliked it would mean that something bothered me or angered me or lost me. I wasn't lost because Black Iris never really found me. I just know that when I come away from a book, any book, I should feel something. And sadly, this wasn't a book that made me feel anything at all.
I had zero intent on writing this mini review since everything has been said and done about Black Iris, but I want to properly do it nonetheless to show my appreciation for this book.
Plenty of things struck me the most about Black Iris. one of those is it is beautifully written. I love the pretentious, lyrical, sexy tone of the book. It is poetic which made a lasting impression on me.
I consume books and have read hundreds of them and so far, I’ve only found two characters who declared, “I don’t fit in the mold, I don’t fit in the default and that’s perfectly fine with me. Not everything has to be labeled.” These include Connor Cobalt from Addicted Series and the protagonist of this story.
“If I was gay,” I told the ceiling, “I wouldn’t need an asterisk beside my name. I could stop worrying if the girl I like will bounce when she finds out I also like dick. I could have a coming-out party without people thinking I just want attention. 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.” I glanced at Josh. “That’s me. I’m not gay, not bi. I’m something quantum. I can’t define it.”
It’s so amazing to read stories that makes me see a little bit of myself in them…stories that perfectly captures my identity. And that’s the power and beauty of reading.
Review and playlist also posted at Young Adult Hollywood.
If your looking for insight into the life of: sexually free & ambiguous leading ladies, mental disease, consuming revenge, and the affects of drugs, mental abuse, and bullying have on a person, or all of the above I would whole-heartedly recommend this book. If your looking for a safe and warm romance look elsewhere
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