Title: F*ck Love
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Release Date: Available Now
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SYNOPSIS:Helena Conway has fallen in love.Unwillingly.Unwittingly.But not unprovoked. Kit Isley is everything she's not—unstructured, untethered, and not even a little bit careful.It could all be so beautiful...if he wasn't dating her best friend. Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.Until she doesn't.PURCHASE HERE:
With the turn of the very first page of F*ck Love came two hungry hands that reached into my chest and clutched my heart. I felt like I was being squeezed as I read, clawed at the most unexpected times. It's such an inexplicable effect Tarryn Fisher has on a reader and I wasn't prepared for my PTSD from LMWL to rear it's ugly, beautiful head so starkly, so unexpectedly, so immediately. This story was nothing like LMWL, an altogether different storyline transpires within these pages, but somehow such similar emotions seep through her words. There's this unexplainable sense of foreboding in this story, a melancholy tone carrying me along as I read, similar to the somber tone that wept from The Opportunist. It's difficult and delicious all at once.
Fisher's writing in this book is so smart, so wickedly honest, so gritty. It's melty and jagged and exquisite all at once. Her characters are just the same. It's near impossible not to fall in love with them and their quirks and their snark, but there's an authenticity about them that makes them rough around the edges, ugly in all of their glorious humanity. Tarryn Fisher consistently crafts her stories around the ugly side of love, the wicked, hurtful, flawed side of her characters and F*ck Love is no different in that respect. And when a story is that honest, when characters are that real, anything can happen. This story is painfully unpredictable and I both hated and loved that. F*ck Love filled me with a twisted, tangled mess of hope and dread, joy and sadness, longing and fear. I don't trust this author. I don't know what to expect with her stories, how much realness will be woven into this fiction, how angry or spiteful or content she may have felt while writing THE END. I'm not convinced this author believes in cookie-cutter romances or happy endings and for a romance reader, there's nothing more terrifying.
"But perhaps art isn’t supposed to make you feel good, but just to make you feel. Does it cure the numb? I don’t know." <---That. That's the perfect way to describe my insides as I read F*ck Love. Did I feel good while reading this book? F*ck no. I felt empty. I felt dread. I felt honest to God fear that I would come away feeling terrible once it was over. But I felt. And that's the point, isn't it? This book is some kind of dark and twisted torture. The glutton in me held on to hope for some sweet, heartfelt conclusion, but the darker side of me that enjoys the pleasure pain of heartbreak, the brutality of loss, the grief of unrequited love... well, that reader was just happy to hurt.
This story is messy and heavy and it makes you question everything. What is right and wrong anyway? What constitutes bravery and strength and weakness? Is it ever okay to covet thy best friend's boyfriend even when a connection feels so real and right and wrong all at once? I questioned the authenticity and bias of every player in this game. Were they all genuine victims to an onslaught of unexpected, unwanted feelings? Or were they all soulless liars? F*ck Love is a thought provoking, emotionally-taxing gut punch that drowned me in an odd state of mania where I forgot what's right, what's wrong, what can never be, and I just hoped that Tarryn Fisher wasn't feeling especially maniacal when she wrote the last chapter and that maybe I'd be able to function at life in the days ahead. That still remains to be seen.
“You are supposed to be with me.”
What words are these? They startle me, and at first I think I’ve heard him wrong. He’s leaning across the table while our significant others are twenty feet away, waiting in line for our food.
“You and me,” he says. “Not us and them.”
I blink at him before I realize he’s making a joke. I laugh and go back to looking at my magazine. Actually, it’s not really a magazine. It’s a math journal, because I’m super cool like that.
“Helena…” I don’t look up right away. I’m afraid to. If I look up and see that he’s not joking, everything will change.
“Helena.” He reaches out and touches my hand. I jump, pull back. My chair makes a horrid scraping sound, and Neil looks over. I pretend that I dropped something and reach under the table. Under the table are our shoes and legs. There is a blue crayon lying at my feet; I pick it up and resurface.
Neil is at the front of the line ordering our food, and my best friend’s boyfriend is waiting for my response, his eyes heavy with burden.
“Are you drunk?” I hiss. “What the fuck?”
“No,” he says. Though he doesn’t look so sure. For the first time, I notice the scruff on his face. The skin around his eyes is sallow. He’s going through something, maybe? Life is being bullshit.
“If this is a joke, you’re making me really uncomfortable,” I tell him. “Della is right there. What the hell is wrong with you?”
“I only have ten minutes, Helena.” His eyes move to the blue crayon, which is resting between our hands.
“Ten minutes for what? You’re sweating,” I say. “Did you take something, are you on the crack?” What type of drugs make you sweat like that? Crack? Heroine?
I want Neil and Della to come back. I want everything to go back to normal. I spin around to see where they are.
“Stop saying my name like that.” My voice shakes. I make to stand up, but he grabs the crayon, then my hand.
“I don’t have much time. Let me show you.”
He’s sitting very still, but his eyes remind me of a cornered animal: frightened, panicked, bright. I’ve never seen that look on his face, but since Della’s only been dating him for a few months, it’s a moot point. I don’t really know this guy. He could be a druggie for all I know. He turns my hand over so it’s palm up, and I let him. I don’t know why, but I do.
He places the crayon in my palm and closes my fist around it.
“You have to say it out loud,” he says. “Show me, Kit.”
“Say it, Helena. Please. I’m afraid of what will happen if you don’t.”
Because he looks so afraid, I say it.
“Show me, Kit.” And then, “Should I know what this is?”
“No one should,” he says. And then everything goes black.
Tarryn Fisher is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of eight novels. Her newest novel, F*ck Love, released on New Year’s Eve, 2015 and she is currently working on the third installment of Never Never. She is the co-founder of Clothed Caption, a fashion blog she runs with her friend, Madison Seidler. Tarryn resides in the Seattle area with her family. She loves rainy days, Coke, and thinks Instagram is the new Facebook. Tarryn is represented by Amy Tannenbaum of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.