Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

4 "I Saw the Beauty in the Ugly" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat... and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.
Have you ever noticed how there is a certain ugliness in too much perfection and yet a subtle beauty in flaws? That is how I feel about Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher. This is not a perfect book, but within each dark and disturbing scene there is an honesty and within the twisted and unsettling story, there is beauty.

“You’ve been silent your whole life. You were silent when we met, silent when you suffered. Silent when life kept hitting you. I was like that too, a little. But not like you. You are stillness. And I tried to move you. It didn’t work. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t move me. I heard everything you didn’t say. I heard it so loudly that I couldn’t shut it off. Your silence, Senna, I hear it so loudly.”

The first time that I had ever heard of Tarryn Fisher, is when I picked up and read, Never Never, a novel co-written by both her and Colleen Hoover. Given how much I actually loved that particular read and having read some of Ms. Hoover’s other books, I decided to read one by Ms. Fisher and I’m really glad that I did.

Mud Vein is a love story, but as I say that, in that same breath I will tell you that it isn’t, it’s so much more than that. If your idea of a love story is passionate sex, roses, the waxing of poetic words, HEA’s and perfect heroines and heroes, then this will definitely not classify as a love story to you, it doesn’t have any of that, but yet…

Filled with intrigue and classified as almost too weird to read on my book list, Mud Vein, pushes the limits of human reasoning and explores the human psyche in a unique and disturbing way. From the very beginning of this book, I was immediately guessing as to what was going on. I needed to figure it out before I reached the end of the book, I wanted to be able to say, “Ha-ha! I already knew that! You can’t get me Ms. Fisher.” But she did “get” me and even though I kept reading page after page, waiting for the next shoe to drop, it never really did and I liked that. In telling such a twisted story, she kept me engaged from the start and kept my mind swirling with possibilities throughout, only really to end it in the most anti-climactic fashion. After going through a myriad of emotions that began at the opening page, it seemed that Ms. Fisher then gave her readers a simple peace at the end, which was unexpected, but welcome.

“I folded the page over and over until it was the size of my thumbnail, square upon square upon square. Then I ate it.”

This story is really unlike any that I have read before. Yes, the basic premise is one that can be categorized with other books in publication. Girl and boy meet, girl and boy try to disparage and fight their feelings for one another, then girl and boy experience something together that causes them to realize and express their feelings to one another, but that is about where the similarities end. Ms. Fisher puts her own spin on things and the result is definitely read worthy.

I can’t say that I really liked Senna, our heroine in this story, but by the end of the book I understood her and in doing so, I came to appreciate her. She was weird, hard to relate with, annoying and often times almost too eccentric to believe, but the vulnerability within her, shown to us in rare moments and actions, are the moments that I held onto and that is what struck a chord within me. I have never been as eclectic as Senna, nor have I ever been as closed off or aloof, but I have been that “scared little girl” wanting nothing more than acceptance and once I saw that, all of her other character flaws muted in their vibrancy and I started to see things in a new light.

“As far as I was concerned children had bipolar disorder. They were angry, unpredictable, emotional ambulance-sirens with pigtails, grubby hands and food-crusted mouths that twisted from smiles to frowns and back again as quick as a breath. No, thank you very much. If I wanted a three-foot warlord as my master, I’d hire a rabid monkey to do the job."

As I stated before, this is a love story and it’s not a love story. There is so much wrong that happens in this story and yet, so much right, but at the root of it all, there is love. It begins in love and it ends in love, regardless of all the messed up in between.

“Tell me a lie, Isaac.”
His fingertips trace a curlicue on my shoulder.
“I don’t love you.”

Overall, yes, I recommend this book. It’s not typical and some parts will make you shake your head wondering, “What in the hell am I reading?” But I think that if you are able to momentarily lower your guard and acclimate yourself into a mind that is as damaged as it is flawed, you will also see the underlying meaning behind it and the beauty within it. Too often we resent so much the down pour of rain upon our heads, that we never see the beauty of the rainbow it yields.

Happy reading, until next time book nerds…

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