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Published by Atria Books on November 3rd 2015
Genres: F/F, LGBTQI, Romance, Suspense
Purchase links: Amazon
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Source: Atria, NetGalley
Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art, and her best friend and soulmate, Ellis Carraway. Elle and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.
Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.
Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.
She’s got nothing left to lose.
So when she meets a smooth-talking lothario who offers to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night taking off her clothes on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.
It’s all just kinky fun till a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they open up to each other intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. She agrees, because she’s starting to fall for him. And when he asks to meet, she says yes. Because she’s dying to know the real man behind the keyboard.
Even if one of his conditions is to bring Ellis. The girl who wants nothing to do with her anymore.
Now Vada must confront the past she’s been running from. A past full of devastating secrets—those of others, and those she’s been keeping from herself…
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
Book Review: 5+++ stars
It’s been about 4 hours since I put the book down, I still feel raw, restless, teary, I still feel that sting in the bridge of my nose a tell tale of my imminent ugly crying face, except is not happening, it’s just there burning.
I don’t know how this review is going to end up, I don’t know if this will be an open letter to Leah, the fantastic author, an ode to Ellis and Vada the two faces of the same coin, or if it’s going just to be an emotional rant, but I do know is that whatever this becomes will come from the place my heart and soul is right now. I don’t want it to be mechanical and detached, I’m good at that, it sort of happens when you’ve had to keep your emotions close to your chest during most of the important parts of your life.
I have to start saying I wish this book translated to spanish so I can shove it to my mom, my sister, my immediate family that spent so many years rolling their eyes at me, saying I spend too much time thinking about stuff, or most often than not, ignoring me.
“Sometimes when you absorb all the hate and cruelty meant for someone else, it gets inside you”
Since I cracked the book open (a big feat if you got it on kindle) and I read the dedication “For all the girls I’ve lost” I felt my heart tear, I didn’t have context, I thought about the girls I have loved, the girls I didn’t and the girl that was the hardest to love, myself. Am I lost to myself? I thought I had found me but apparently is hard to keep track.
“Names have power. They give contour to ideas. Lines to color inside, or to break free of.”
And then the wonderful prose, the painting analogies while creating a whole universe in my head in which my heart was being pulled and controlled by words and feelings and suddenly I was a puppet here, my entire being was consumed by the pain and horror, the relief and love, the darkness and sadness, the sense of loss, the finding of oneself, the facing of fears, the rebuilding and strengthening, the kintsugi of it all.
I wanted to tell you my story, to give another layer as to why this book is so damn important, but I think that would mess up the reading experience for someone that’ll dip their toes in the big pool of identity and sexual acceptance. So now I’ll just praise Leah’s work, because there are not enough adjectives to describe how beautiful this story is, how it twists your guts and messes with your feelings. Makes you question how you relate to the world and when a book achieves that, it’s when it’ll change history.
I recommend this book to everyone, to anyone who is questioning themselves, to anyone who found peace in themselves, to someone looking for a beautiful story, to someone who is looking to feel like they fit in the world, to you that want to enjoy an incredible story. Read this book, start a conversation, make a change.
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