Tag Archives: The Man I Love

The Ones That Got Away by Suanne Laqueur Reviewed

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The Ones That Got Away (The Fish Tales, #4)The Ones That Got Away
by Suanne Laqueur

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

my thoughts

Plenty of fish in the sea. But none like the ones that got away.

Author Suanne Laqueur gives her readers an intimate, guided tour of the award-winning novel, The Man I Love. From the embryonic chapters written over twenty years ago to scenes cut from the final draft, you’ll witness the crafting of an emotional journey and the evolution of the beloved characters within The Fish Tales.

Includes never-before-seen material and an excerpt from Laqueur’s next novel, An Exaltation of Larks.

my thoughts

It’s the first time for me to read a book like this. That said, I’m sort of lost of how to review it.

All I can say is that I have enjoyed the book. I felt like I got to know the characters more after reading this book, specially Will. I also felt like I got a glimpse of the author’s mind with this. Reading it was like watching a mother from the time she got pregnant till the time she gave birth to a baby. And a beautiful baby at that.

I enjoyed reading even some of the scenes that does not really make any sense nor appear in any of her book. It kind of makes me look forward to what might be in store for me as a reader in the future.

Since I love the Fish Tale series, this book is a great bonus to the collection.

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Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur Reviewed

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Author: Suanne Laqueur
Length: 491 Pages
Release Date: June 20, 2015

blurb
Suanne Laqueur’s award-winning debut novel The Man I Love thrilled readers with its memorable characters and depth of emotion. Erik Fiskare’s journey of love, recovery and forgiveness captivated hearts but also left questions unanswered. Now Daisy Bianco has a chance to tell her story.

It’s been three years since a single lapse of judgment cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he’s chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her or acknowledge her betrayal. Alone and shattered, Daisy attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik’s unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the Lancaster shootings, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John “Opie” Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again.

Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the college years with Daisy’s present life. Supported by John’s patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me.

In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they are trying to evolve without being fully resolved. But when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.

my thoughts

 

Apologies… if you hate spoilers you might not want to read this. I don’t know if I can help myself in not spoiling it because I’m still emotional about the book. Now that I got that out of the way… here I go…

First of all, I want to give the author my applause. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a retelling of a story the way I did with GMYT. I already know what happened base on Erik. I know what’s waiting for me at the end. Still, felt like I was ‘knowing’ the story for the first time. It didn’t feel like I was reading a retelling of a story in a different point of view. I guess it’s the way it was told. Like Erik, I felt I was in a journey with Daisy.

You know, I feel like I haven’t been this emotional about a book in ages. I actually cried. In fact, I cried a lot. When I read Erik, I told myself I would have probably reacted the way he did with with what Daisy did to him. Reading Daisy, I was hoping Erik reacted differently. Hearing everything from her made the pain deeper. And I almost hated Erik for being so cold, distant and hard on Daisy. I’ve read about why he did it but still, reading Daisy, I wished he didn’t. You know those phone calls? I know from Erik that he never bothered to answer. But as I read Daisy relive those phone calls she made, I could hear the voice inside my head saying, “come on, pick up the stupid phone”. And it crushed me the way it crushed Daisy every time he didn’t.

As Daisy went to therapy I felt like I was in the journey of healing along with her. It almost felt like I was among those people who was part of the Lancaster shootout and I needed to heal too. Every time the therapist asked her a question, I would mull it over my head and try to answer it too. I was really emotionally invested into the story. And for Suanne to pull that off, hands down. I’ve read tons of books but very few have been able to do that to me. In fact, my tears are starting to flow again just trying to remember what I just finished reading and writing this review.

Then came John. You know, I hate his character when I first read him in Erik’s. But in this book I seriously loved him. I was like, come on Daisy let’s just forget Erik. John is here. He’s better. And he will treat you better. Yet I also felt the barrier Daisy felt when she couldn’t talk about Erik with him. Yet I hoped. Even if I know already it’s not happening.

The letter to Lucky containing all of Daisy’s feelings, that was were I first shed a tear. There were more people that came along the way but seeing Lucky and Will in the scenes were a relief. Like someone is telling me, it’s okay. You’re not alone. You have friends.

I told in my review of “The Man I Love” that reading Erik’s story made opened feelings I thought I have buried a long time ago. Reading Daisy made me understand why did they happened. Why I buried those memories and why it opened. With Daisy, I learned an important lesson. Some things are meant to be forgiven. I still don’t agree with it but this time I do understand it well. And I can say that I also healed along with her.

I cried again when I got to the happy ending part. But this time around it was because I was happy as well. I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy for book people reaching their happy endings.

And before I totally forgot the real purpose of reviews, it didn’t escape me that the questions I had from book one got answered. And it was given an answer true.

If you haven’t read this or book one, please do. It’s an emotionally captivating novel. A very well-crafted intelligent romance. It was an amazing journey. Not easy but still an amazing one. Kudos to Suanne Laqueur for writing this novel.

here’s a few favorite quote that I can’t resist sharing:

“I changed one word and changed my life. But is a restriction. But is either-or. And means you can do both things at the same time. I can give back the physical things that belongs to you and keep the things I feel about you.”

“I’m sorry, I will always be sorry. I love you, I will always love you. And I’m forgiving myself.”

 

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The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur Reviewed

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blurb

One look brought them together. One bullet tore them apart.

Winner of the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award for romance, Suanne Laqueur’s astonishing debut novel follows a young man’s emotional journey to salvage relationships destroyed in the wake of a school shooting.

As a college freshman, Erik Fiskare is drawn to the world of theater but prefers backstage to center stage. The moment he lays eyes on a beautiful, accomplished dancer named Daisy Bianco, his atoms rearrange themselves and he is drawn into a romance both youthfully passionate and maturely soulful. Their love story thrives within a tight-knit circle of friends, all bound by creativity and artistry. A newcomer arrives–a brilliant but erratic dancer with an unquenchable thirst for connection. And when this disturbed friend brings a gun into the theater, the story is forever changed. Daisy is shot and left seriously injured. And Erik finds himself alone in the aisle, looking down the muzzle of a pistol and trying to stop the madness. He succeeds, but with tremendous repercussions to his well-being and that of his loved ones.

Traumatized by the experience, Erik and Daisy spiral into depression and drug use until a shocking act of betrayal destroys their relationship. To survive, Erik must leave school and disconnect from all he loves. He buries his heartbreak and puts the past behind. Or so he believes.

As he moves into adulthood, Erik comes to grips with his role in the shooting, and slowly heals the most wounded parts of his soul. But the unresolved grief for Daisy continues to shape his dreams at night. Once those dreams were haunted by blood and gunfire. Now they are haunted by the refrain of a Gershwin song and a single question: is leaving always the end of loving?

Spanning fifteen years, The Man I Love explores themes of love and sexuality, trauma–physical and mental–and its long-lasting effects, the burden of unfinished business and the power of reconciliation. Through Erik’s experience we reflect on what it means to be a man, a son and a leader. A soul mate, a partner and a lover. What it means to live the truth of who you are and what you feel. What it means to fight for what you love.

my thoughts

You don’t want just another “contemporary romance.” You don’t want a genre. You want a story that mirrors your longing. “You want to see the unspoken words in your heart on the page. You want to be touched and validated. You want to be swept up in a love that erases the universe and sets you at the center of a new galaxy. But you’re no fool… You want it to be believable.

I want that, too. I want to write passionate but thoughtful love stories. I made up my own genre: I call it emotionally intelligent romance.” – Suanne Laqueur

Those words quoted above where part of the words from the author under the book’s description at amazon. I don’t really know where to start. I’m literally lost for words. For the first time in a long while, I am afraid I’ll mess this up and not give justice to what I’ve read through my review. The last time I felt like this was when I read I Love That About Her . They are not the same book. Not even the same genre. But I’d say there are books that will leave you silent after you read them, making you mull over what you just read, going through some bits and parts of what you read inside your head. Then you sigh. And both of these books made me feel that way.

I don’t know how to write this review without spoiling it for those who haven’t read it and at the same time pour all the thoughts and emotions that this book made me felt. And that’s when I remembered the words quoted above that I have read before accepting to review this book. This is not just another book, this is an emotionally intelligent romance. And it was also an emotionally intelligent written book.

So let me start where it is easy… the Point of View (POV) at which it was written. As oppose to most people saying books written in first POV are better because it made them feel like they were the character, I love books written in third person because they let me as part of the story. First POVs makes me feel like reading a diary, an outsider invading someone’s privacy. Third person POVs let’s me see the story like I’m there. I was a personal witness watching everything unfold. And reading ‘The Man I Love’ made me feel like I was one of the people in Erik’s circle. Watching his life unfold, at times having this urge to smack him in the face and at times wanting to cuddle him in an embrace and tell him everything will soon be better. I was not being told the story. I was part of the adventure as I turn on every page.

Reading ‘The Man I Love’ was not just another ride to a happy ever after novel. It’s not about the fairy tale but more importantly it tells a story of a life. A journey. Life that includes real emotions and not just the fairy tale – anger, happiness, hurting, all those ups and downs. This book had me confuse at some point. There are things that I don’t agree with but I do understand. I have this notion that ‘just because I understand it meant I agree with it’, this book though had me in reverse, I don’t agree with it but I understand.’ I don’t know if that make sense to you. I can’t articulate it myself. I just don’t know that there were points where Erik’s reactions and decision were the exact opposite of what I believe in, or what I would have done but then I know where he’s coming from. I can clearly see why he reacted the way he did. And I understand him. And that understanding had me continue finding out what he’ll be up to when otherwise I would have close the book and walk away.

The same thing with Daisy. There was a point that I don’t agree with the way she dealt with her life. I may have never been there but I felt her pain. And having those feelings connected I was able to accept her and the things she did.

Reading this book was an amazing experience. It made me feel a lot of emotion. It even opened feelings I thought I have buried deep long ago. But that’s not all. it also opened my eyes a little more. Gave me a better understanding of why some people do the things they do. Why they react the way they did. The characters’ flaws made it so beautiful it left me speechless after reading it. I just wanted to be left alone and bask on it a little more. And the funny and fun moments were not lost on me either. What’s funnier is that I didn’t shed a tear even after all the emotions I went through reading it but I am now as I look back at everything that happened between its pages.

It’s really hard to find the right words to describe the experience of reading this book. It would probably wiser to leave it a day or two until I can collect my thoughts properly and write something more coherent but then I think having all those feelings I felt reading it is important to be fresh and intact on me as I write my review.

If you’re tired of reading almost the same plot, I suggest you read this. It’s no fairy tale. But it’s magnificent. It’s a new kind of romance that is definitely well-crafted and intelligently written.

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purchase links

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author

Suanne Laqueur’s debut novel The Man I Love won the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award for romance and took a gold medal at the 2015 eLit Awards. It also won an Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival. Laqueur graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater. She taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. An avid reader, cook and gardener, she started her blog EatsReadsThinks in 2010 and now blogs at suannelaqueur.com. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children.

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