Saturday, April 8, 2017

Book Review: Red Water by Kristen Mae

He was trying to kill her, too…

Malory Shoemaker would prefer just about any place over the beat-up trailer she’s had to call home since her mom died, so even her tiny dorm room feels like an upgrade. And though she sometimes still hears her father’s whispers in her mind, she’s excelling at school, making new friends, and has even attracted an enigmatic admirer.

But when her new love interest begins to reveal his more unsavory appetites, Malory finds herself a hapless participant in sick games that force her to confront her nasty inner demons. As the game intensifies, so do the whispers in Malory’s head. Now she must decide: accept the fate she’s always believed inevitable, or risk losing the only person who ever made her feel like she was worth fighting for. But how do you let love in when the only thing that feels right is pain?

Erotic and disturbing, Red Water slithers under your skin with its dark, unflinching examination of the psychology of self-loathing and the secret, unspeakable lust for depravity that lies dormant within us all.


This is probably the most difficult review I've had to write in a long time. In all reality, probably the hardest review I'll have to write for years to come. 
I think the thing that I most want to communicate with people who decide to read this review is that it's not that I don't like this book. When I first picked it up, I really didn't know what to expect. I've never read anything by this author before and I was really in the dark as to how this might play out. I was immediately a fan when I found out that the main character, Malory, played the cello. I've played the cello since I was 9 years old ... holy crap ... that's almost 3 decades! So I completely understood what Malory was going through with the trials and tribulations of that. I think it's difficult for people who don't play an instrument or sport, for that matter, to understand the dedication and constant turmoil you put yourself through as you try to master something that seems so daunting at times. 

Unfortunately, I connected with Malory on another level also. Dating a guy that is abusive, no matter in which way, can be difficult. My dark times also happened in college, just like with Malory. I'm not totally for sure if that was the reason I had to skip paragraphs and pages of this book or what. But I'm sure that's not too far off base. Malory gets herself into this psychologically, emotionally and physically abusive relationship. Thinking that this was a romance novel with a twist was not anywhere near the truth. This is a novel about that abuse. It's about a chick's need to be in an abusive relationship because she thinks the kind of treatment she's getting is love. She accepts it. Craves it, even. 

This was a very dark, very disturbing read. If I was basing my rating just on how this book made me feel, I wouldn't give it any damn stars. I would have used it for kindling in a trashcan fire. That was my first instinct. But then I finished the book and I stopped and really thought about it. How amazing is an author if they are able to evoke such strong emotions from the reader? If she can make you absolutely HATE a character, make your stomach turn, make you want to cry ... that's got to mean she's pretty badass, right? I think so. 

So maybe this wasn't a book that I would read again. Ever. But that doesn't mean it wasn't well written. It doesn't mean that the story wasn't this deep, dark, black hole that sucks you in and won't let go. And it most certainly doesn't mean that it wasn't a good book. It was ... if you really enjoy the perversion that plagues some of our most inhumane population. While I'm glad that I read it, I'm also glad that I'm done.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: April 19th, 2017

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