Review: Black Iris by Leah Raeder

Posted April 24, 2015 by Holly in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Black Iris by Leah RaederBlack Iris by Leah Raeder
on April 28, 2015
Published by Atria Books, Simon and Schuster Genres: Fiction, General, New Adult, Romance, Suspense, Thrillers
Format: eARC
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The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Unteachable, which was praised for its “lush, haunting prose, deft storytelling, and scorching sensuality” (M. Pierce, bestselling author of the Night Owl trilogy), and called “one of the best forbidden romances” (Lauren Blakely, New York Times bestselling author).

“Love is not a thing that we create. It’s an undoing.”

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.

I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My Review

Black Iris is a brilliant, jaw dropping, mind screw. It’s intense, it’s dark, and at times made me question what I was reading. Leah’s writing is undeniably descriptive and evocative and I can’t get enough of it. This isn’t your traditional NA style book and that’s one of the things I loved about it. It broke up the uniformity. It’s honest. It’s real. It’s gritty. Did I mention it’s dark? It opens your eyes to the real life bullying and harassment kids have to deal with just because they may be different. There were twists I NEVER saw coming- total “well, eff me sideways!” moments. Normally I can figure out plot twists from a mile away, but the twists in Black Iris left me gasping out loud saying “G.T.F.O. out of here” and had me looking around like “did anyone else just see this?” Along with a look at the complicated side of romance, we see lies, secrets, betrayal, and tension so thick you need a chainsaw to cut through it. We have characters whose redemption qualities come into serious question. I kind of want to high-five Leah for being able to write a story that’s close to her heart and for doing it 100% her way. I know this one won’t be for everyone, but, if you’re looking for a different kind of romance that breaks the new adult mold, this is it.

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About Leah Raeder

Leah Raeder is a writer and unabashed nerd. 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


About Holly

I'm a born and raised Jersey girl (not as seen on TV) who loves escaping in books. I Google everything and I hate rain. I have a deep love for Starbucks, shopping, and HEAs. Stay as long as you'd like. Stalking is highly encouraged :-)