3.5 stars. Struggling to pinpoint why, but this took me a bit to get into and didn't blow me away. Still, it was an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday3.5 stars. Struggling to pinpoint why, but this took me a bit to get into and didn't blow me away. Still, it was an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday evening.
Hannah was broken and sad, but still had agency and strength. Her emotional arc was great. I loved Sean full stop. Sexy and sweet and strong. I kind of wish the racing had been more of a Thing, though. Seemed like an after thought.
I think Hannah's issues were handled with grace and realism, and I appreciated that they weren't immediately erased once she fell in love....more
Up until the end, this was a solid 4-stars for me. But then all Miles' very apparent mental health issues went *poof* because he realized he could lovUp until the end, this was a solid 4-stars for me. But then all Miles' very apparent mental health issues went *poof* because he realized he could love again. *heart kite*
I'm very tired of reading characters given mental health issues for the sake of backstory or conflict. Address them realistically, or find some other way to keep your characters apart, please....more
For a subject I am passionate about, this book bored me to tears. The writing was so bare and emotionless; it felt like reading a stream of h2.5 stars
For a subject I am passionate about, this book bored me to tears. The writing was so bare and emotionless; it felt like reading a stream of high school boy consciousness rather than any coherent narrative. I felt zero emotion from Will--it was like reading a play by play of events, like he was watching things happen to him rather than experiencing anything. So little introspection. So passive. I wanted to hit pause, sit Will down and ask him how he felt about everything.
And what was that ending? Can you call it an ending if there wasn't any story to begin with?
Full disclosure: this book contains graphic descriptions of rape fantasies, and flashbacks to a rape occurring.
It is not for everyone. I'm not even sFull disclosure: this book contains graphic descriptions of rape fantasies, and flashbacks to a rape occurring.
It is not for everyone. I'm not even sure if it's for me. As a rape survivor, I'm...conflicted in my enjoyment. But as a reader, I'm so appreciative of the care and consideration Lilah Pace put into this story.
At its heart, ASKING FOR IT is about a woman coming to terms with the shame she carries from her rape, and finding a way to redefine that experience for herself, and own the sexual awakening that was stolen from her.
This was not a new, exploitative take on the BDSM trend, and never felt as though it was pushing boundaries just to see how much it could get away with. It was smart and methodical, and most importantly Safe, Sane, and Consensual. Jonah was an "alpha" with a dark past (a character trope I LOATHE in romance/erotica), but he was also a real person with real needs, and one who respected boundaries--and Vivienne.
Vivienne's needs were unconventional and certainly could have been damaging to a person dealing with the after effects of rape, but so much of her growth came from frank and realistic conversations with her therapist--refreshing in and of itself.
ASKING FOR IT was hard to read in places, and I feel a little ashamed of how much I actually enjoyed living Vivienne's fantasies with her, which I think is part of the point. This is erotica done in the best possible way--one that uses sex and sexuality to heal, to grow, to teach, and to shed light on things kept in the dark.
I'm very much looking forward to the sequel. ...more
I wish I liked this as much as I wanted to. I should leave it at that until I have my thoughts in order. But...
Warga got so much right when it came toI wish I liked this as much as I wanted to. I should leave it at that until I have my thoughts in order. But...
Warga got so much right when it came to describing what depression feels like--the black slug that lives in your heart and devours your joy--and I was excited to see how her characters' perspectives would change, how she could heal them enough to embrace life.
But I am so tired of reading books billed as realistic takes on mental health, beacons of hope, etc etc who use romance as a cure for depression.
I'll be fair and say I think this is one of the better stories out there. There was some growth outside of the budding relationship, and there was at least a mention of seeking professional help (though it was met with distaste and resistance both times).
But when so many of the characters' epiphanies are catalyzed by fluttering hearts, a look, a touch, an offhand comment from a love interest, it cheapens the message. When Roman attempts suicide on his own to save Aysel because he loves her, when Aysel encourages Roman to live because she loves him, when Roman refuses to talk to a therapist and Aysel tells him he still has to talk to her, what does that say? It says their love is bigger than their disease.
And it's not. Love is not the answer. Love is never the answer when it comes to mental health.
That lifelong sadness Aysel described? The feeling quiet and isolated and alone even in elementary school? That's a sadness that no amount of friends, boyfriends, attentive mothers or academic accomplishment can fix permanently.
For a little while? Sure. But what happens when she goes off to college and is alone again? When her relationship with Roman is strained by distance? When she finds classes to be more challenging than she anticipated?
Without mental health care--be it therapy, be it medication--that black slug is coming right back.
You want to write a realistic YA that deals with mental health issues? Write about that. Write about therapy and the three different drug combinations you've tried to even yourself out. Write about finding ways to enjoy life EVEN WHILE you're dealing with depression. Show people it's possible to have depression AND fall in love AND be happy AND STILL have moments of crushing doubt and sadness.
But save the bullshit about love magically erasing the dark shadows and showing you life is worth living. I'm not here for that.
(This rant brought to you by several YAs missing the point of mental health stories, not just MH&OBH.)...more
A little meh on this one. Felt a little bit like a Frankenbook (no, I'm thinking of Frankenbook's MONSTER); too many elements harvested from books inA little meh on this one. Felt a little bit like a Frankenbook (no, I'm thinking of Frankenbook's MONSTER); too many elements harvested from books in the same genre, cobbled together to make a new story. It was entertaining, and I liked most of the characters quite a bit, but there just wasn't much original here. The plot points were either predictable, or so full of holes you could drive a truck through them.
I should note I listened to the audio for most of this read, and found the narrator to be awful. The wrong inflection constantly! So, that definitely added to my lack of engagement. YMMV. ...more