Friday, May 8, 2015

The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

Winner of the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award, 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, the lovers 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 15 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. 

 3 stars 
First it took a while for me to get into this book. I thought maybe after the first chapter it would be through with the kind of back story and it would be great. At almost 50% I finally started enjoying it. Of course I had put it down for a whole day and then picked it back up. It was pretty good for a little bit but then I just wanted it to be over. It wasn't awful or anything it just wasn't for me. It actually made me a little depressed and I had to find a comedy to read after it. 
My biggest thing is I didn't connect with the characters and I love when I feel like I know the characters and we could be friends. I didn't get that with this. The other big issue I had was it was really long and since it didn't grab me and pull me it I thought it was never going to end. The story line was good and the second half of the book is better than the first. If you can make it through the first 55% it gets better. I really wanted to love this one but just couldn't.