Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review - Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher


Tarryn, you did it again.

I have seriously despised quite a few book characters in my time: Elena Lincoln, Bekah Bridges, Christa (can’t remember her last name), Anthony Rawlings (but only for a little while) to name a few. They are the ones that immediately come to mind.  But Leah? Leah! LEAH!!! She takes the cake! She’s the whole damn shebang! She’s the epitome of all of these despicable characters wrapped up in one dirty, red-headed package! Leah gives new meaning to the word BITCH. And…she knows it! And worse, she doesn’t care. She makes the above mentioned characters look like halo-wearing angels. Allow me to describe her in one word:


I couldn’t read this book fast enough only so I could be finished with Leah. HATE is just not a strong enough word. But yet, there’s this little, tiny, eensy-weensy, small, somewhat mature part of my being that actually feels sorry for her. I mean, can you imagine feeling so badly about yourself, being so insecure that you need to resort to a shitload of foolish trickery just to keep your man. MOVE ON, BITCH! Let. Him. Go. You know your second choice in his eyes. Don’t you think you deserve better? Oh, wait, I forgot…no you don’t, since your self-esteem has hit rock bottom.
“I knew he never loved me like he loved her, but I wanted him anyway. I knew his love for me was conditional, but I wanted him anyway. I knew I was second choice, but I wanted him anyway.”
I get it. I really do. Leah is emotionally damaged. And from reading her history, it’s easy enough to understand why. But there comes a point in one’s life when it’s time to grow up, stop blaming the parents and take responsibility for your own happiness. No more excuses. Get yourself a good therapist and work out your issues. Geez, this woman is truly insane. I can hardly believe the tactics she pulled. She sure is clever. I’ll give her that! And what’s even more unbelievable? He fell for it. All. Of. It. I love you, Caleb, but really? Really? You couldn’t see through all of these shenanigans? What planet are you living on? (And can I live there with you too?) Caleb, you’re just too good for her. Why don’t you see that?
“I have done a number of things to keep this man. I have lied and cheated. I have been sexy and meek, fierce and vulnerable. I have been everything but myself.”
Hmmm…actually, I think she has been herself. To say Leah lacks a conscience is putting it mildly. Let’s take a look at the ABC’s of Leah:

this Appalling, Bitter Bitch.
is Conniving, Calculating & Cruel.
Dirty, Devious, Deceitful & Despicable.
she’s Evil, Foul, full of Guile,
a Heartless, Irredeemable, Jackass & Killjoy.
a Loathsome Loser,
whose Manipulative, Malicious & downright Mean behaviors
are Nasty & Outrageous.
she’s forever Plotting
and Quite deft in her Reprehensible Schemes, the Shrew.
Twisted & Unscrupulous,
not to mention Vicious, Vindictive, & Vile.
you’re Warped & Wicked, you Wretched
obnoXious eXcuse for a human being.
You, my dear dirty red, amount to nothing but a big fat ZERO!

Have I made my feelings for Leah clear enough? Just in case, here’s a little quote directly from the mouth of the MANIPULATIVECONNIVINGMOTHEREFFINWHOREBITCH herself:
“This was perfect. I was about a ten on the poison scale. If he needed venom, I could inject it directly into his neck.”
Okay, so now that my feelings for Leah are crystal clear, let me just say that despite my loathing for the main character, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book. It’s absolutely brilliant. Once again, Tarryn Fisher has aptly displayed her ability to suck the reader immediately into the storyline from the very first chapter.
“I am who I am. My name is Leah, and I will do anything to keep my husband.”
Sheer genius! An entire book in the point of view of the most hated character in the history of fiction (at least in my history of fiction)? Who would have thunk it? (I know that’s not a real word.) But hey, if you read The Opportunist, there’s no denying that you absolutely must read Dirty Red. You NEED to. Because there’s so much more to be learned. And to be inside Leah’s screwed-up, psycho head is just mind-boggling.
“No! I think. I am not the poisonous snake. Olivia is. Everything that I’ve had to do is her fault. I am innocent.”
It’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it? Innocent, my ass! Leah is every psychologist’s dream. With her warped sense of reality she’d be quite the specimen to study! And with every flip of the page (or rather, swipe of the screen) my thoughts went something like this, “WTF?” “Really? WTF?” “OMG! WTF?” And so on and so on and so on.

Then there’s Sam. Sam, the manny. Good old say it loud and proud, Sam. He added such comedic relief and believe me when I say that the comedic relief was sorely necessary.
Leah: “How do I get him to come home?”
Sam: “Get a new personality and learn to shut the fuck up.”
Watching the relationship between Sam and Leah unfold was titillating. He was very adept at handling her and I knew there would always be something of a humorous nature during their interactions. Truthfully, I don’t know how the hell he put up with her. But he did. And he did it with such finesse.

Thank goodness I can immediately move on to the final story in this trilogy, Thief, which is written in Caleb’s point of view. I'm anxiously waiting to find out what was going on inside his head during his relationship with Leah. What the hell was he thinking getting involved with this psychotic bitch?
 “You look like trouble. When I was growing up, my mother used to tell me to never trust a redhead.”
Ummm…hello? Oh, wait, I’m a redhead and I’m not trouble. (Or, am I?)

This book doesn’t lack for anything. It’s well written, emotionally disturbing, full of the angst I love, and overflowing with Leah’s necessary evil. It also includes frozen veggies. Lots and lots of frozen veggies. (Don’t ask, just read.) All of these attributes contribute quite nicely to a very affecting read. Don’t miss out on this fabulous series (beginning with The Opportunist) by the very talented Tarryn Fisher. Reading these books will be time well spent.

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