Black Iris by Leah Raeder is a phenomenal book. It's dark and twisted and sexy, and completely different from anything else I've read, plus the writing is absolutely gorgeous. I was going to include some quotes in my review, but when I realized how many I had highlighted in my Kindle I decided to dedicate a separate post to my favourites.
*All quotes taken from the ARC of Black Iris, provided by Atria via NetGalley*
“That’s the formula. Broken girl + bad boy = sexual healing. All you need to fix that tragic past is a six-pack. More problems? Add abs. It’s Magic Dick Lit.” ~ 10%
“Most of the time romance isn’t even about love, anyway. It’s about escape. Fantasy. Salvation from the mundane. It’s a racier version of religion and we all want to be saved. Save me from boredom, from exhaustion, from my undersexed body, from microwave dinners and reality TV, from going to bed alone or with a vibrator or a cat. Save me from my desperately ordinary life.” ~ 10%
“Hatred is a poison and you cannot carry it inside your skin without getting sick, too.” ~ 25%
“Falling for someone is like pulling a loose thread. It happens stitch by stitch. You feel whole most of the time even while the seams pop, the knots loosen, everything that holds you together comes undone. It feels incredible, this opening of yourself to the world. Not like the unraveling it is. Only afterward do you glance down at the tangle of string around your feet that used to be a person who was whole and self-contained and realize that love is not a thing that we create. It’s an undoing.” ~ 28%
“Strength is not in the body, it’s in the mind. It doesn’t lie in flexing your muscles and crushing those who oppose you. It lies in being the last one standing. By any means. At any cost.” ~ 31%
“Maybe I was trying to prove him wrong. Or maybe I wanted to be a monster on my own terms. If the world was going to constantly knock me down, I could at least choose the way I fell. Controlled descent.” ~ 47%
“Before I left I eyeballed myself in the foyer mirror. Aside from the dark petal of hair slipping over an ear I was pale as death. Ghost flower with see-through skin, my veins blue roots. A black iris blooming in snow.” ~ 60%
“Maybe all you need to pull you back from the ledge is to know someone would miss you if you fell.” ~ 60%
“Jealousy is the rust that eats away at morality’s hard steel. It’s cancerous, and once it starts it spreads and spreads.” ~ 62%
“She knew I was crazy. She was crazy, too. All writers are.” ~ 67%
“If I was gay...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.” ~ 88%
“Scars tell a story. My whole life was written on my body. How are you supposed to leave the past behind when you carry it with you in your skin?” ~ 93%
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.