Six months ago, I was happy. I was simply Naomi Carradine.
One month ago, I was admitted into a psych ward.
Yesterday, Lachlan visited me. Kissed me. And told me that I’m starting to lose my mind.
Hours later, Max haunted my thoughts, reminding me I’m not crazy and that he needs my help.
A few minutes ago, I drifted further from reality, trying to unravel the past.
And now…everyone thinks I’m insane. But, I know he’s real, and I know he needs me.
Do you believe me?
What a mind-fuck! God, this is totally unlike anything I’ve ever read before…
4 STARS FOR NAOMI, LACHLAN, MAX & LANA!
This stand-alone novel begins by introducing us to Naomi, who has been admitted to a mental institution, by her family, against her will. Everybody thinks she is crazy, but Naomi knows that the things she sees and remembers aren’t just in her head. She knows she isn’t making it up. She knows she isn’t insane. As Naomi continues her therapy sessions with her doctor, her story unfolds.
“Just remember that even the purest of souls have darkness in them. It might be hard to spot. Perhaps they’ve perfected the art of covering it from the world. Or maybe it’s hidden in a dark corner of their mind. But it’s there. No one in this world is scar free.”
For a while with this book I was totally confused. And it frustrated me. I couldn’t work out what was going on or how I was supposed to feel. It made me want to flick forward and find out what happened so that I didn’t feel so completely in the dark. But I didn’t. I stuck with it.
“Listen closely. Hang on to every word. But most of all, please believe me.”
However, I did guess the climax pretty early on. Once I’d guessed the plot twist, things became quite obvious and then, once again, I just felt like racing ahead and getting to the point. To see if I was right, to find out how it would all turn out, etc. I just wanted answers and it made me impatient. I do tend to be quite an impatient reader anyway and this book was not good for my impatience. Lol.
I think, one of the problems for me was that my tolerance for things that trigger our suspension of disbelief isn’t very high. I can’t read paranormal/urban fantasy novels because I just can’t buy into them. I even have trouble with things like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Unless it’s Disney (because Disney can do what it likes) I want it to be believable. I’m not necessarily a realist, because I have to have a happy ending, but I want to believe in what I’m reading! It’s just the way I am. I can’t switch that off. I have to be able to believe the things I’m reading, so the possibility that Naomi might have been sane and seeing the things she was claiming to see, hearing the voices she was claiming to hear, was just beyond what I could accept. So for me, there were two options, either Naomi was clinically insane and was hallucinating, or the book was a no-go.
If anyone ever doubts whether madness exists, they only need to look right here. It drifts throughout every room. It slides down the sterile hallways and attaches itself to every patient, stripping them of their hope and covering them with despair.
The writing, though, is fantastic. I can totally appreciate how Calia Read drip fed the reader with clues, inferences and memories of Naomi’s, gradually, unravelling the mystery! And I applaud her for an incredibly original, intriguing, suspenseful, well written, superbly developed novel.
This book is much more mystery/suspense than it is romance. There is a definite romance element and some very steamy sex scenes, but the focus of this book is Naomi’s mental health and what has lead her to be sitting in a psychiatric facility. I didn’t really feel like we got a chance to fall in love with either Max or Lachlan fully.
“Tell me what you’re fighting and I’ll fight with you,” he whispers into my hair.
Of the two of them, I preferred the memories of Lachlan. I loved the flashbacks to her childhood and teenage years, where she and Lachlan were crossing the line from friendship to romantic interest.
“I’d do anything with you… for you… to you.” He leans down; his eyes level with mine. “I’m thinking you have me under a spell.”
I didn’t feel much of a connection to Max at all. I felt that the flashbacks of him and Naomi were a little rushed, a little vague and slightly confusing. In hindsight, I get why, but at the time, again, it was something that frustrated me.
The ending was absolutely the best bit of this book. It was brilliantly executed and everything that I hoped it would be after Calia Read has lead on such a wild goose chase. It was emotive, gave you the answers you’d been craving but was just ambiguous enough to leave you reeling, even at the very end. And I have to say, despite all the times I felt frustrated with this book, and even though I’d guessed some of the mystery pretty early on, the ending made me want to go back to beginning and read it with fresh eyes all over again, now that I knew for certain what I knew. And even though I’d guessed right, it still made my head spin.
“I’ll accept that in order to unravel my story, I need to be destroyed first.”
For those HEA junkies, like me, this book does have a fully resolved happy ending. Honestly, through most of the book you will wonder if that is even possible, but that is part of what makes the ending of this book so great. Calia Read takes a totally fucked up situation and does the impossible by resolving it in a believable, satisfactory way!
“Life moves forward wether you’re okay or not”
So, I’m in two minds with this book. Parts I loved, parts drove me mad, parts were a little slow… I’ve given it four stars, because it isn’t quite a five star read, but it’s brilliantly written and totally original. I love when an author throws something at me that I’ve never even imagined before, let alone already read. And that’s exactly what Calia Read has done here. Very nicely done!
Have you read it? Tell us what you thought?
• Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥
• Ending: Happy ending
• Length: 362 pages
• POV: Naomi’s POV.
• Narrative: First person. Present tense.
• Series: ✗
• Can this be read as a standalone? Yes
• WARNING. This book includes…
Sexual content. Rape. Child abuse. Death. A very confusing situation…
• Writing: Great
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