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Lili St. Germain is well-known for being dark, dramatic, gory, and extremely twisted. This book however, took all that to a whole other level. I’m not one to have many qualms over sensitive topics or trigger warnings. I’ll read almost anything. BUT this book, I must admit, was really difficult and uncomfortable to get through. There were times when it was almost painful to keep going. That’s not to say it was bad, it’s just not a book for everyone. I think you need a strong stomach and mind to read/listen to this book.
First off, let it be known that this is NOT a romance. Like not even a little. It is, however, one huge black hole that’ll leave you hollow, confused, and utterly depressed. If you need some ray of hope at the end of your dark reads, you will not get it here. This story is BRUTAL! Essentially everyone in this book is depraved in one form or another. Cassie, our anti-heroine, is a serious mess. You’ll know just how much of an understatement that is at the end of the book. *Plays “Issues” by Julia Michaels* Leo, our not quite hero, is also quite damaged. I found him very contradicting as a character, so he didn’t fully work for me, but he was the only one I had slight sympathy for. I really appreciated the story being told from their POV’s, because the story unfolded in such a fascinating way that leaves you with your jaw on the ground.
The narrators, Zachary Michael and Natalie Naudus, did a really impressive job at bringing these wild characters to life. They knew exactly when to emphasize the crazy, the creepy, and make you believe the lies and manipulation the characters spewed.
There were some editing issues in both the audio and actual text. The story contains some inconsistencies that were not edited out or explained. The audio had repeated sentences that weren’t cut out, as well as awkward, longer than necessary pauses between words during a sentence.
This is a long book and the slow build-up, while important, can seem never-ending. That being said, St. Germain is very descriptive and creates fantastic inner monologues for her characters. This story is a puzzle and every piece is dependent on the other in some way. In the end, you’ll likely get a good measure of satisfaction when all is revealed, but maybe not considering there is no real form of a happily ever after. If you feel like being taken out of your comfort zone and thrown into a world of crazy darkness, get this book!
Leo and Cassie were high school sweethearts however their lives started to change the day that Leo found a dead woman in the well outside his home. It affected him deeply and one year later he was found guilty of drunk driving and his passenger ended up in a vegetative state.
Nine years later Leo is released from jail and returns home however the Cassie he finds is not the Cassie he left. Her life since he left has not been easy and her eyes look weary and he knows he should stay away as her stepfather is the Sheriff and anything he does could send him back to jail but he is unable to stay away from the woman he loves.
You may think you know which people are evil and which people are victims but with each new twist of this dark story your opinion may change. This story is not so much about romance but more about how the events in your life and the people in your life affect who you are as a person and the actions you take.
The narrators did an excellent job at bringing the story to life. They managed to balance the emotion and darkness of this story perfectly which kept you enthralled to the very end. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.