Title: Atheists who Kneel and Pray
Series: Standalone
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Release Date: July 13, 2017

Yara Phillips is a wandering muse.
She dates men who need her, but always moves on to something new, never staying in one place for very long.
David Lisey is in need of a muse.
A talented musician lacking lyrical inspiration. When he first sees her, he knows he's found what he's been looking for.
Yara believes she can give David exactly what he needs to reach his full potential:
A broken heart.
David’s religion is love.
Yara’s religion is heartache.
Neither is willing to surrender, but religion always requires sacrifice.
I've admittedly had a bit of a bumpy road with Tarryn Fisher's last few books. I've loved some, I've left some, but none have given me the elusive feels I had through the Love Me With Lies series. Until now. In Atheists Who Kneel and Pray, a refreshing and intensely complex storyline, Fisher once again weaves love and infatuation with narcissism, bad choices, deception and the inability to just grow up and say what should be said. Instead, her characters, in all their brokenness and all their flaws, try and fail miserably at keeping the shards of their broken hearts in one piece by doing all the wrong things. And it hurts to watch. So so so much, it hurts. But I loved that pain, that heartache, that hopelessness laced with a glimmer of hope that maybe... just maybe... there'd still be a chance for them despite the fact that it felt so impossible.

Reading this book made me feel like I had a weight inside my chest, a heaviness that just wouldn't ease up at all until I reached the last page. I kind of hated that feeling. I also kind of loved it.

True to form, Tarryn Fisher had me reading much of this book completely infuriated, my heart often heavy with unwanted emotion. I was equal parts confused and frustrated at times, but through it all, despite the somber tone in this story, remained a sliver of hope. I stand by the notion that with Tarryn Fisher, you never know what you'll get. I stand by my opinion that I don't trust her, because I'm never convinced she truly believes in romantic happily ever afters in their traditional sense. And I suppose that's why I keep going back for more, for that uncertainty, for the emotionally turbulent stories full of flawed, messed up characters that riddle their own journeys with intense love and fiery heartache.

I have to be really honest here. The beginning of this book, the first quarter or so, I felt a bit disconnected, enough so that I almost considered DNFing. I didn't get where it was going and I was impatient. But then something happened. This little scene that had almost nothing and yet had everything to do with the storyline itself flickered the story to life, and I was transfixed. And once those fiery emotions were lit, I was consumed. I'm a reader that lives for pain, for anguish, for jealousy and rage. So for me the rest of the book was completely unputdownable. It only grew in intensity and angst with each turn of the page and it made everything that happened in the beginning just click into place.

Atheists Who Kneel and Pray is a messy, emotionally turbulent story of a screwed up woman who has no faith in the lasting power of love, doesn't believe she's worthy of it, but she tries to fake her way through a relationship anyway with a man who she inspires. She goes through the motions because it seems right, because she wants to believe in love and commitment and marriage even though her mind and her heart can't come to the same terms. I'm not going to lie and say I didn't spend much of this book trying to figure out exactly what was up with Yara. Yara is not an easy character to relate to. Her emotions, her distrust, her insecurity I understood. I even came to understand why she never felt worthy of love. But her actions, her reasons for always running, her narcissism, how unapologetic she was when she hurt people, I struggled with that for a while. But as this story evolved, that woman came to understand herself and she grew and changed and accepted, and because of that, so did I.

The Love Me With Lies series is still my favorite Tarryn Fisher storyline, but Atheists Who Kneel and Pray is a close second. It's angsty and heavy in all the ways I love a book to be, but with Fisher's signature storytelling, it settles in and twists in the way only her stories do. This book will hurt to read, it'll absolute infuriate most. But it's an honest look at what it truly means to love. It's messy and broken and it doesn't fit in the boxes we want it to, which is why I appreciated it so much.

Jessica's Rating:

Tarryn was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. She immigrated to America with her parents when she was thirteen, and spent the next eighteen years in South Florida where she earned her degree in Psychology, wrote her first novel, and had two children. In 2012, on a whim, she moved her family to Seattle, Washington where she currently makes her home safely away from the sun. Tarryn is the founder of Guise of the Villain, a fashion blog, and has written eleven published novels. Tarryn is a Slytherin.