Wednesday, November 13, 2013

REVIEW: The Dark Light of Day by T.M. Frazier

Warning: This is not your typical romance. The story of Abby and Jake contains disturbing situations, graphic violence, sex, rape, strong language, drug use, and all types of abuse.

Abby has been through hell and has survived one of the most brutal childhoods imaginable…barely.

To the outside world she's just a loner with an attitude.

When her grandmother dies in a tragic explosion, Abby is left with questions-and nothing else.

Homeless, sleeping in a junkyard, and on the run from a system that has failed her over and over again, she meets Jake, a tattooed blue-eyed biker with secrets that will rival her own.

Two broken souls that can't be healed. They can't be saved.

Abby & Jake must reveal to one another their most guarded secrets and discover if they can embrace the darkness those secrets hold-and the darkness within themselves.

If they can accept one another for who they really are, they might be able to learn that love isn’t always found in the light.

*stand alone novel, HEA in a twisted kind of way, no cliffhangers, no sequel*

Sweet Mercy. I was warned about this book. It will tear you apart. It will fuck with your emotions. I was nervous, I’ll admit it. But I underestimated just how much this novel would rip me to shreds. I mean, this isn’t my first rodeo when it comes to fucked up situations in books, but ladies and gents, this one ranks right up there with some of the best. Or worst. I guess it depends how you look at it. To me, a book that can evoke that emotion is something worth praising…even if certain parts made me feel physically nauseous. And I’m one hundred percent not exaggerating when I say that. So I’ll pass along the same disclosure that was voiced to me: pre-fucking-pare yourself. And make sure you have booze on hand. Lots and lots of booze.

Abby’s childhood was horrifying. Is that word even strong enough to describe it? No. No…it’s not. She was brought up in a house with drug-addicted parents who treated her more like an animal than a human being. Actually, people treat animals a hell of a lot nicer than how they treated Abby. How this girl survived is nothing short of a fucking miracle. After enduring years of torture, she is taken in by her grandma and as Abby’s luck would have it, the one person she actually learned to care for is tragically taken from her. Now at 17 and freshly graduated from high school, she finds herself homeless, broke, and at risk of being put back into the foster care system.

Jake is no stranger to abuse. After two tragic deaths involving family members, his father starts to drown his sorrows at the bottom of a bottle, and takes out his anger on Jake. Because Jake is a constant reminder of what he lost, and he has no qualms about voicing that publicly. How can you survive living with a father that wishes you were dead? When his father comes dangerously close to taking Jake’s life one particular night, Jake leaves and vows never to come back. But eventually he does…and because he does, he meets the one person who needs him as much as he needs her.

This book. Jesus H Christ. I’m trying to think of where to even start with all this. I felt like my heart was run through a fucking meat grinder, then thrown into a blender and pulverized. I ached for the pain that both Abby and Jake had endured throughout their lives, and it evoked 8,027 levels of emotion throughout the 2 days that I was sucked into their world. To be honest, I probably would have finished it sooner but I kept having to stop and remove myself for a little while. Why? Because just when you think shit can’t get any worse, T.M. calls your bluff and guess what? Shit can and does get worse. At around 54%, I was raging mad. I mean, more pissed off than I think I have ever been while reading a book. I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to kill a mother fucker. My skin was crawling, my stomach was turning, and I had to take a step back and breathe. I had to give myself a break from this cruel world I was living in through these characters, and get my shit together. And the jaw dropping plot twists go right up until the very end, so don’t think once you get past 54% it’ll be smooth sailing. It’s a rough ride, y’all. This is a pretty accurate depiction of me around that 54% mark...

All cringe worthy moments aside, this novel was pretty incredible. The writing is graphic, descriptive, and hauntingly real. T.M. makes you feel like you’re there right alongside these characters through the good, the bad, and the really fucking ugly. The connection between Abby and Jake was something special. It’s two fucked up people finding light in each other. Their relationship does happen abruptly, but it’s not your typical “insta-love.” There’s a process, and it’s actually believable.

I will say that this story does have a HEA (it’s in the blurb, so I’m not counting that as a spoiler), albeit the ending is…well…in keeping with the overall darkness of this novel. That’s all I’m gonna say! I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a daaaark romance. It really is an incredible story, it just takes some strength to get through the rough parts. But just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I promise. And that ending light is worth every second spent in the dark. 


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