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Tellulah Darling

Tellulah Darling writes YA & New Adult romantic comedy because her first kiss sucked and she's compensating.

Sassy girls. Swoony boys. What could go wrong?

Sad I could only read this for the first time once

Black Iris - Leah Raeder

Confession time. The only reason I read this book was because I was at the library, it was sitting there on the shelf at eye level and I was facing a bookless bus ride home. To say my enthusiasm for diving in to this story that I'd so actively opted not to read so many times was low, would be generous.


Hi. I'm Tellulah Darling and I'm an idiot. I don't know what my problem was because I'd read Raeder's Unteachable about a student/teacher relationship and if (I'm going to refer to the author as Elliot Wake now because he has transitioned), he could get me fully onboard with that subject matter and loving that book, my reticence here was a mystery. Wait - no it's not because I just re-read the synopsis and I thought it was every NA that I was tired of reading.


Oh, how wrong I was.


Black Iris is stupendous! I read it in about 3 hours, ignoring my entire family to do so. Dark, haunting, twisted, sublime, lush, this book has taken root in my brain and I suspect it will be a long time before I stop thinking about it. Where I expected it to zig, it zagged, when I was sure I understood a character, a bombshell was dropped on me. I couldn't set my smug reader expectations on this book and it was fabulous.

Take a primal revenge story, birth it in the devastation of mental illness, wrap it in several layers of sexual identity and heartbreaking homophobia and then shine it to a high gloss with the brittle beauty of Laney and Blythe. This book nails every single dizzying element. So don't be like me, go read it immediately, and bow before Wake's writing prowess.