Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review - The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher


It’s just a book. It’s just a book. It’s just a book.

It’s NOT JUST a book!

Why, oh why, do I torture myself so? Is my life that unexciting and drama free that I thrive on reading these roller coaster storylines containing complex, seriously flawed characters that are fucked in the head? Holy INTENSE Book Hangover! This book was just…indescribable. There are no words. My head is pounding. My eyes are throbbing. I’m utterly frustrated and unsatisfied! Yet, I LOVED it! This story CONSUMED me. And it has earned well-deserved placement on my favorites list.

Reading it was agonizing and tormenting. I felt like I was suffocating. And. I. Loved. Every. Minute. WTF?  Call me a masochist if you must. I couldn’t put the damn book down.

Tarryn Fisher’s Goodreads blurb states:
“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.”
Congratulations! You’ve accomplished 100 times over what you set out to do with The Opportunist. It was so very well written. I was dragged into the thick of it from the get go.
“I’m Olivia Kaspen, and if I love something I rip it from my life. Not intentionally… not unintentionally either.”
Told mostly from Olivia’s point of view, the author brilliantly alternated the story from present to past enabling the reader to see both the beginning of Caleb and Olivia’s relationship as well as their present day status. I found myself consistently rooting for them even while knowing what the future held in store. The writing flowed beautifully even with the changes in direction. There was no question of whether I was reading about the past or the present.

There was something about Olivia that I really liked. Maybe I understood her. Maybe I felt sorry for her. Maybe I just wanted to mother her. But most of all, I wanted to THROTTLE her! I screamed at my Kindle! Let him in! Just. Let. Him. In.
“Because I am a llama and you are a bird and WE are not compatible.”
But she didn’t listen to me. She wouldn’t, she couldn’t. To say she was lacking self-esteem is putting it mildly. She was one extensive tragic mess! Understandably so. Scars from her youth were rooted deep within. Her childhood left much to be desired. With both parents deceased by her senior year in high school, she was alone in the world and her walls were built up so high and thick that no one was ever getting in, through or over those walls. Least of all Caleb Drake.
“Caleb Drake was a notorious name on campus and I had no intention of joining his fan club.”

“I certainly didn’t care what effect he had on the females on campus. Caleb Drake meant nothing to me. He would never mean anything to me. I was un-shmoozable. The end.”
Un-shmoozable. I love it!

Caleb Drake. Big man on campus. Handsome jock. Popular with the ladies. Wealthy family. Smart, sexy, and confident. Oh, did I mention the British accent? Hellooooo! What every girl wants and everything Olivia was afraid of.
“Handsome, fictional men were so much easier to stomach than real life ones who smelled of Christmas and looked like a Calvin Klein model.”
But for some inane reason, Caleb wanted Olivia. I say inane because well, she really gave him a run for his money. Maybe it was the challenge. Many a guy loves a good challenge. If it was a challenge, that challenge eventually gave way to falling. Seriously falling. Head over heels falling. In. Deep. Love. Eventually Olivia fell too.
“For once, I understood the Caleb mania. He was like a jalapeno, bright and smooth, but dangerously hot. A small part of me wanted to bite him.”
As did I. Actually, a rather big part of me wanted to bite him. I also fell in deep love with Caleb and Olivia along with their gut-wrenching story. Mind you, they are both profoundly flawed characters. At first glance it appears that Caleb is nothing short of perfect. He’s funny, sexy, patient (boy was he patient) and ever so gentlemanly. But as the story unwinds, we soon discover that he too has his secrets.

Make no mistake about it, this was a tumultuous read with twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, some of which made me stop and scream, HOLY EFF! Some of which caused me to raise my arm and almost throw the Kindle against the wall. And then there was the ever so present thorn-in-my-side, Leah. Leah Smith aka manipulative redheaded BITCH! HATE doesn’t begin to describe my feelings towards this particular character. Evil woman! PURE EVIL! But Cammie, she was a hoot. Olivia’s college roommate and best friend wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. I greatly admired her and wouldn’t mind having her for a friend.

My emotions were running wild throughout the entire book. I was up, I was down, I was at my lowest of lows and highest of highs. I laughed. I cried. I hoped. I prayed. And then I was left with a great big gaping hole in my heart. The writing was superb and the story telling phenomenal. This is most definitely on my list of top faves of the year. Now, I need to get through the rest of this series. I only hope my bruised heart can take it.

P.S. Tarryn, did I mention that I love Tatu? Whenever I visit family in Fort Lauderdale, I make sure to go there. The ambience, the atmosphere, it’s so eclectic. One of my very favorite restaurants.

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