FIRST CHAPTER EXCERPT:
BLACK IRIS by Leah Raeder
April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot said, and that’s because it kills. It’s the month with the highest suicide rate. You’d think December, or even January—the holidays and all that forced cheer and agonized smiling pushing fragile people to the edge—but actually it’s spring, when the world wakes from frostbound sleep and something cruel and final stirs inside those of us who are broken. Like Eliot said: mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. In the deepest throes of depression, when sunlight is anguish and the sky throbs like one big raw migraine and you just want to sleep until you or everything else dies, you’re less likely to commit suicide than someone coming out of a depressive episode. Drug companies know this. That’s why antidepressants have to be marked with the warning MAY CAUSE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.
Because what brings you back to life also gives you the means to destroy yourself.
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.
Atria Books | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781476786421 | On sale: April 28, 2015 | List price: $15.00 | eBook ISBN: 9781476786438 | eBook list price: $5.99
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Summary from Goodreads: First rule of breakups: There’s no going back.
For three years, seventeen-year-old Grace Evers has regretted breaking up with
That day, she lost her boyfriend and best friend. And let’s be honest, it’s
impossible to just be friends with the one person who gets you, faults and all,
and loved you anyway. It’s impossible not to think about how it felt to be held
by him, or the way he looked right before he was about to kiss you with the
most perfectly yummy kiss goodnight.
And now that things are over between them, they’ve become strangers to one
another. Sage won’t even look at Grace, let alone talk to her!
Breakup life sucks and Grace is utterly miserable, doing whatever she can to
ease the pain of losing Sage. She’s spent the better part of high school
pretending to be something she’s not and hanging out with people who probably
wouldn’t notice if she wasn’t there. Crappy dates, backstabbing friends, and
Sage’s cold shoulder have taken their toll.
So when her parents propose going away to their house on Lake Michigan for the
summer, Grace is thrilled. No more massively bad dates with horrible kissers or
lunch with frienemies. Just three months of swimming,
herself for a totally awkward family vacation of disastrous proportions. How
can it be anything but awful if Sage won’t even acknowledge she exists?