Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Belle Aurora - Raw

Growing up the way I did, you’d think I’d be more screwed up than what I actually am.
Soon as I turned sixteen, I left that bump in the road I called home and took my chances on the street. Best decision I ever made.
Now, at the age of twenty six, I’m educated, employed and damn good at my job. My friends have become my family. Like me, they know what it’s like to grow up unloved. But the saying is true. The world makes way for those who know where they are going. That’s me.
I know where I’m going and I’ll get there eventually. On my own terms and at my own pace. But then there’s him. I feel his eyes on me. I see him hiding in plain sight. He watches me. He makes me feel. It’s unconventional. But it’s real.
I’m sure you’re wondering how a person falls in love with their stalker. So am I.
This isn’t a story. This is my life.

Comment: Honestly I can't remember why I ever thought this would be a good book for me but somehow I convinced myself or I saw some good review from friends and thought why not, maybe this one will work despite being clearly targeting new adult crowds and having BDSM elements, two things I normally dislike. I guess we all have a certain masochist side after all.
Still, I was ready to be proven wrong and this would be awesome.

This story follows Alexa, someone we are told is very smart, beautiful, has a good and steady life and by all means, is intelligent. She has had not so good experiences in her past, her parents were severely negligent, she was a runaway for a while but she grew up to be someone witty and professional and her current occupation, with some reasonability, proves it.
The "hero" is Twitch, later on known as Tony, someone who apparently decided to stalk her every where. He does it so often, eventually she realizes it but instead of being afraid, Alexa feels protected by her stalker. (Who wouldn't)
Things change when Twitch saves Alexa from being raped and their weird relationship moves along from that moment on. But could they have a real relationship and not just a fantasy of it?

I will write spoilers about this book because I can't help myself. I'm certain this works for many and it's clear the author knows how to write a fluid story but I won't be able to help myself from criticizing.

I won't take too long because I still feel amazed by how much I could bad mouth this book.
I fully understand why readers liked the story, there's a certain sense of risk and hope that makes some parts of the novel feel good and it's certainly true often one feels like reading non stop. I think the author has talent and maybe something else by her, with different themes would suit me. But this story didn't and I found several things in it that annoyed me, mostly related to the main character, Alexa.

The story feels like a handbook on how NOT to behave:
Should you easily accept a stalker might be your dream man?
Should you think there's something remotely romantic or realistic that if someone does that, it will result in a love story?
Should you try drugs just because?
Should you start something with someone without knowing much about that person?
Should you let that person treat you like an object?

Alexa does all this and she is a professional! I mean, in contemporary times. Ok, there's some notion that whatever you do in your bedroom or privately with your husband/boyfriend/partner, consensually, is up to you. I'm not criticizing here the BDSM or her behavior when they are in that sort of atmosphere/set. Although I don't fully understand nor enjoy reading about BDSM, I couldn't care less about it here.
What makes me mad is how Alexa, someone that has a job trying to show kids or vulnerable people how to be strong, how to fight for their lives and a chance to be happy or having a positive life, will let herself try drugs and be in situations that clearly are wrong and stupid! I spend most of the time while reading hoping she would tell herself she was better off with someone else!
I mean, she tries drugs. And she's clever. And she has no reason to try them. What kind of message is this? Yes, it's fiction and yes, people do it, but I can't just understand why someone with a brain and a steady life would.

The relationship might have its moments but Twitch is quite annoying too. Ok yes, real people aren't perfect and fictional characters either but after all the bad things Twitch suffered through and knowing why and how to be a better man he still chose to keep his stalker facade and drug dealing. And he let teenagers in it too.... I mean, this story focused on almost all the elements I hate to read about and I think if Alexa was secretly a sex addict I would scream. (Not that I don't respect people with addictions and how difficult it might be to fight them, it's just an example)
Even Alexa's attempt rape was staged by Twitch himself! Come on! And when we (sort of because I never thought he had credible reasons) understand his reasons to stalk her or to have tried to make her pay somehow it's like... that was it? So illogical.

Then the end is an obvious attempt to make us cry or something because a kid both Twitch and Alexa liked dies, right after having the guts to ask a girl out and Twitch dies too and oh Alexa is pregnant. But Twitch isn't dead after all and keeps on stalking her and the kid...
Really, I was so annoyed, so angry at Alexa and I kept thinking how I would change everything in this story. Because the idea is there and I think it has merit, two people trying to make it work, having a kinkier sex life and facing obstacles...but so many things got on my nerves...

I guess I could talk a lot about this after all, but I'll leave it here for now. I won't say I never read anything else by the author again but about these characters definitely not.
Grade: 3/10

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