Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review: Arsen by Mia Asher

ArsenArsen by Mia Asher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review on Goodreads
What a ride!
A rollercoaster of emotions

** ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review **

Arsen, Arsen, Arsen...
After the first few pages it got me hooked, line and sinker and all.
That was when I knew I was in for the ride. Where do I get from here? Well, first of all this is one of these amazingly broken stories as I use to call them, that you just don't go from to the next one right away but it occupies your thoughts for a while. But what's gotten to me at first was the sense of humor. As it is I'm a real sucker for good laughing session and the story provided a lot of it side by side with other more heart wrenching emotions. Yes, I laughed and cried a lot.
What's more I totally liked the idea for introspection. It peaks your interest, makes you crave more when it's just gotten intense and then hello, sorry, come back in a chapter or two. Nice work ;) In addition the POVs and the Epilogue made the whole story so much more insightful.

"I didn’t fall in love.
I walked smack into it and then fell flat on my ass."

And she did, quite literally.

That's how the story begins. A girl meets a boy, they fall in love, get married eventually but...and yes, there's a lot of buts.

"If only I had known that years later we would suffer three miscarriages within a year, and then nothing, I think I would have questioned my words.
But I was young and in love, and like his grandmother told him, I felt like I could conquer the world with his love.
I felt invincible.
If only I had known that it takes a lot more than love to make a marriage work, then maybe our story would be different.
If only."

That's what the story is about. A lot of what-ifs and misguided life choices. All dressed in a beautifully broken love story. Don't get me wrong. I really, really liked all of it.

When the story catches up to the present, we're acquainted with Cathy, a broken married woman who starts to question her marriage and it's future due to the pregnancies that ended all in miscariages. Her husband Ben strives to comfort her with his whole being but sometimes good intentions have unexpected consequences.

"Sex is not a problem. Love isn’t either. I love Ben as much as the first time we said those three beautiful words to each other, but as each baby was taken away from my body by fate, by life, a part of me died and was buried with them in the cold-hard ground. The first miscarriage ripped a painful hole inside of me, the second one widened it, and the third just about broke me.
Time has fed that hole with inevitable boredom, monotony, and resentment towards life, Ben, and myself for not being woman enough. Enter doubt, and what you thought was an already rocky ride becomes a turbulence- ridden journey with no relief in sight except for the end.
The very end.
Doubts. They seep into your bloodstream, they plague every unused crevice inside your brain with revolving questions and no real answers. Is love a strong enough glue to put me back together again? Is the love between Ben and I strong enough to keep us together and our marriage afloat?"

Add temptation to the equation and you're in trouble, big trouble.
Meet Arsen.

Here we go...

"This guy exudes confidence and sex. I bet that if I got near him, trying to catch a whiff of his scent, I would be able to breathe in what pure sex smells like. Even his leisurely walk is sexy as hell. My God. "

He's the cause for her to abandon the voice of reason but also redefine herself. Does getting lost in the feeling mean actually getting lost? Or maybe it's a way for healing, finding new sense to live? Call her immature if you like but what I see is more of a call for help.

"Selfish me wanted Arsen, so I labeled him a friend when we were anything but. His teasing, his smiles, his touch…
It was never the same with anyone else. And I liked it.
No, I loved it.
I loved the attention he paid to me and the way he made me feel. Alive.
Happy. He made me forget. Ignorance is bliss, right? Well, knowledge is misery.
And the truth hurts.
Because it can’t ever be, it will never be."

" People say that if you play with fire, you’ll get burned. Well, when it comes to Arsen, I not only want to get burned, I want to be incinerated. "

" It always starts as a fun way to pass the time, light banter, innocent flirting…until it is not."

It's your decision how you choose to heal...
But better choose wisely...

"Every action has a consequence. It doesn’t matter if you try to run or hide. It eventually it catches up to you. Call it karma if you must, but said karma can totally kick you in the ass. "

" And now I have to face the music. I have to make a choice once again.
And it doesn’t matter what choice I make. Which path I choose to follow. Either way, I will break my own heart. I will lose a part of myself.
But I think I already have.
I love two men.
And this time, the monster that I am, the one I’ve become, will bring someone else down with me. It’s the darkness in me, I tell you…It follows me everywhere I go, spreading like spilled black ink on white paper. "

"Dirty. I feel dirty.
I’m a cheater.
I’m scum."

What you don't quite anticipate is that you get a life lesson.

"As cliché as it sounds, all I can do is learn from my mistakes.”

My only regrets are the way things ended but there's only so much you can wish for.

I didn't quite expect how the story will end but that's even more encouraging. In my case it's when the story not only lives up to your expectations but exceeds them. With a hint of longing, wishing for more, I'm left wondering... What if?

I would recommend it to readers who love angsty stories.
Unlike Thoughless or Collide which are seemingly similar, it's a one book series and may leave some questions unanswered but it totally suits the whole story.

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