Thursday, May 7, 2020

REVIEW: Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher

Dear Opportunist,

You thought you could take him from me, but you lost. Now, that he's mine I'll do anything to keep him. Do you doubt me? I have everything that was supposed to be yours. In case you were wondering; he doesn't ever think about you anymore. I won't let him go....ever.

Dirty Red

Leah Smith finally has everything she has ever wanted. Except she doesn't. Her marriage feels more like a loan than a lifelong commitment, and the image she has worked so hard to build is fraying before her eyes. With a new role and a past full of secrets, Leah must decide how far she is willing to go to keep what she has stolen.

BUY IT: Amazon | B&N

Shel: I don' the fuck. Just what the fuck. How the hell am I supposed to stay on my reading calendar and meet blog obligations when all I want to do is barricade myself in my room and read Thief and then send Tarryn emails (which I would probably delete) and then do that daydream thing where I get to be friends with someone like Tarryn (or, more specifically, Tarryn) so that all I do is inhabit the kinds of fucked up worlds she writes about via conversations about future book worlds that I know are swirling around in that brain of hers. 

*yells for Court who is 3 states away* COURTNEYYYYYYYYYYYY. Tell me to put down Thief and do the responsible thing..because all I want to do is read Thief. 

How did you guys do it? How did all of you OG Tarryn fans wait this out? The waiting for Thief must've been a killer. I have it right here in front of me and it's taking superhumanwillpower to not read it now. HOW DID YOU GUYS NOT DIE WAITING? 

*takes a coffee break*
*tries to get my head together*

Okay guys. Here's the deal. Writers like Tarryn Fisher are the ones that I want to read. The ones that I very grudgingly put the book down at 2 AM because I'm reading with one eye open because I'm too fucking tired to stay up. The ones that I then wake up, blurry eyed, 5 hours later and don't even get up to pee so that I can finish reading the book. Her books,and books like hers, are the ones this blog was born to write about. HOW DID WE GET OFF TRACK? <--- a blog post for another day, I assure you. 

Books like The Opportunist, Dirty Red (and I'm sure Thief once I get to it), Mud Vein, and Marrow are the ones that I text Court about.  I send her things like:

"this book is so addictive"
"I can't wait for you to read it"

"I was up all night and early this morning. It was so worth it"

These are the books I go to twitter and facebook and I tell you you MUST read. 

So, what is it about this book (now that I've freaked out for half a page)? 

First, in case it wasn't clear, you really need to read The Opportunist. So do that.  Now that you've done that, you know. You know that even though this story is told from Leah's perspective--it begins and ends with Olivia + Caleb. Those two consume Leah. Isn't that telling? That this is Leah's book and she still cannot escape Olivia? Rather than this book being about Leah: justifying Leah's actions, garnering sympathy, turning us against Olivia, it's about how she is a complete shell of a human being. No scratch that, she isn't a shell she's filled--filled with her obsession with Caleb and filled with her loathing for Olivia. 

Isn't that sad? I think it is--it's sad that Leah's world isn't really her world--it's a world focused on Caleb and Olivia. I mean, sure, she made it that way, but how sad..right? I bet that many readers who love this series probably use Dirty Red as a reason for why they hate Leah and you know what? I get it. She's a liar. She does despicable things. She's so consumed with her hatred and scheming that she doesn't even seem to appreciate what she has. She's shallow. 

But you know what? Even with all of those horrible traits, I recognized some other things too. She loves Caleb--or the idea of him and what he represents: status, protection, safety, winning, love. She also had a really shitty upbringing. It doesn't excuse her behavior but it definitely explains it. And, if I'm going to be honest here, I thought Leah was hilarious and ridiculous (when I wasn't completely exasperated with her for never seeing Caleb for what he was doing to her).  I bet Leah would be a great friend--she's fierce, protective, and plays dirty.

What this book showed me is ...and I know people are going to hate me for this...but Caleb is a dick. He knew he should not have married Leah and he did. Then, he continued the farce again and again. He's a liar. I mean is he worth the path of destruction he's left in both of these women's lives? Why?  I guess that's what we'll figure this out in Thief. Or, his dickish ways will be confirmed. Or maybe both. Maybe I'll understand him better and will forgive all of this? 

Maybe these books are a lesson about love? Obsession? Or maybe for some, love like this can't be reasoned with, ever...and there's something in that too? I DON'T KNOW. I'm all twisted. I want to be all Olivia + Caleb foreva and FUCK LEAH. But, I can't. They're all fucked up. 

A couple of things that really have no bearing on anything: 

I love Sam. That guy won the book. I kept waiting for him to pop up and throw some truth on Leah and he never failed me. 

Seth. WTF.

Mattie. Thank god for her.

Leah's friends/family?--Wait. She didn't really have that. Those people were not friends or family.

Estella. Please for the love of all that's holy, please let her not get screwed by this completely screwed up situation.

Also..that last line of Leah's to Caleb. WHAT THE WHAT?

What was in that blue box at Olivia's birthday? I think it was the penny. Or something from their past.

Now I want Jumba Juice. 

Read this series and all of Tarryn Fisher's books. I need her to make a ton of money off these books so that she can write all day every day and have adventures so that she can dream up new stories and write more. 

About Tarryn Fisher:

I would like to write a novel that every, single person loves, but not even J.K. Rowling could do that. Instead, I try to write stories that pull on people's emotions. I believe that sadness is the most powerful emotion, and swirled with regret the two become a dominating force. I love villains. Three of my favorites are Mother Gothel, Gaston and the Evil Queen who all suffered from a pretty wicked case of vanity (like me). I like to make these personality types the center of my stories. 
I love rain, Coke, Starbucks and sarcasm. I hate bad adjectives and the word "smolder". If you read my book-I love you. If you hate my book-I still love you, but please don't be mean to me; I'm half badass, half cry baby.

Find her: Website | Twitter | FB

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