Reading Ms. Fisher's two novels has often been likened to watching a train wreck happen before your very eyes. When I read [b:The Opportunist|13312527|The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies, #1)|Tarryn Fisher|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1374526831s/13312527.jpg|18518411] I felt like a witness on the sidelines, powerless to stop it. And then I read [b:Dirty Red|15832316|Dirty Red (Love Me With Lies, #2)|Tarryn Fisher|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1364298887s/15832316.jpg|21568137] and felt that I was the mastermind watching my evil plan unfold.
Leah is undoubtedly the very zenith of mean-girl perfection.
I. LOVED. IT.
When I first found out that book #2 was written in Leah's POV I wanted to grab [a:Tarryn Fisher|5410816|Tarryn Fisher|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1336086252p2/5410816.jpg] by the shoulders, shake her until she's nauseous and scream "WHY?!?!?!"
to her face. I mean, isn't it enough that we had to stomach this horrid girl in book #1? And now we get a full book? Hell, no! Why would I want to read her
book? But then I realized that I put off reading [b:The Opportunist|17845934|The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies, #1)|Tarryn Fisher|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1366834764s/17845934.jpg|18518411] for so long because it seemed like a really uncomfortable idea and it ended up being a favourite. Surely Ms. Fisher will work her magic once again and make me like [b:Dirty Red|15832316|Dirty Red (Love Me With Lies, #2)|Tarryn Fisher|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1364298887s/15832316.jpg|21568137]. I was wrong. I loved it more.
I've noticed in my reading pattern that I'm usually drawn to the "crazy" heroes. The beautiful and broken, the mentally unstable and the unreasonably possessive, jealous and needy - I gravitate to them. So it wasn't surprising when I found myself fascinated with Leah, and dare I say, maybe more than I was with Olivia. I'm not saying that I like her better, or that I even like her. But there was just something that was so magnetic about her. It wasn't just getting front row seats to the master manipulator's performance. I inhabited her brain and heart. I thought and felt
her thoughts and feelings. I lived
her every heartache. I felt
her desperation. She is a survivor and she will fight and never give up, even if it means fighting dirty.
The alternating narration of the past and the present was again, seamless. In a way, [b:Dirty Red|15832316|Dirty Red (Love Me With Lies, #2)|Tarryn Fisher|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1364298887s/15832316.jpg|21568137] was an easier book for me to read because I was already conditioned to hate Leah. I wasn't rooting for her to get a happy ending. I could care less if she redeems herself. I just wanted to get to the bottom of things and inch closer to a possible closure (I'm not even getting my hopes up for a HEA) between Olivia and Caleb. Now that I've finished reading it I feel like re-reading the two books again in order to map out a timeline and find hidden "clues" along the way.
So we got to know Leah better in this book and found out that 1.)
she really is as awful as she seemed, and 2.)
sad events in her childhood and her present life do have something to do with how she is. Did I feel bad for her? Sure. Did knowing her background made me relate to her? Somewhat. But it's kind of hard to feel for someone who is deliberately evil and unapologetic about it. I truly think she's messed up and insecure and that she needs to curb her addiction to power over everyone and everything. Caleb and Olivia aren't any better though. In fact, I've named them The Terrible Trio
, comprised of the proud player, the cunning controller and the master manipulator.
What I loved most about my reading experience with this series so far is how thought-provoking the story is. Nothing
is set in black and white. Who is good and who is evil? Does the end justify the means? Can trust be built again when the foundation has been made out of lies? Was there even a foundation to begin with? These were some of the questions I found myself asking throughout the book.
So if you're feeling a little defiant and getting out of your HEA-riddled comfort zone, I recommend you read this series. It's different, it's gutsy and it's sooo honestly written.