Thursday, 29 January 2015

Beneath the Stain by Amy Lane - review and random thoughts

This review contains lots of swearing, randomness and may not make much sense. Read at your own risk.

Beneath the Stain fucking wrecked me. 
I know, I know, it's my own damn fault. I was wishing for a WOW book so hard for the past few months and I got it, and dear Lord, I'm a mess.
I love Amy Lane. I've read a lot of her books - not every single one of them yet, because, man, her backlist is massive - but a lot of them. Definitely the more famous ones. Keeping Promises Rock is one of my favourite series ever, although it didn't make me sob like this damn book. 
Anyway, what I want to say before I say anything else is that Amy Lane can write EPIC stories. Like, stories spanning over years and including many characters, and when you're done you feel like you've just stepped out of their world, and you know them. Like, know KNOW them. Like they're real people that you know-know. 
Which leads to the second important thing I need to say - everyone says Amy Lane is the queen of angst. But her angst is different. It's not angst created to sell books, to raise ratings or to make books more emotional. It's not angst that's added to a story to make people sympathise with the characters  and make them feel like dicks when they say they don't like the book. How can you not? The poor bastard's dad abused him, his girlfriend dumped him and he lost his right arm. How can you say you didn't like it??
No, I fucking didn't. Too much FORCED angst and drama just make me roll my eyes, give it 3 stars and move on, not remembering a single thing about the book in a couple of da...errr weeks. 
Amy Lane's angst is REAL. Yeah, I know. How can it be real when it's MADE UP and in a book? Well, it can. It feels like she's been walking behind the characters with a notebook and writing down what happens to them. It doesn't feel like she's been sitting in her writing chair creating evil plans for those people. You get me?
Nobody's life is JUST miserable. Nobody has ONLY bad things happening to them. There's also sweet moments and laughter and sometimes plain boring lazy weekends.
OK, back to the book.
Beneath the Stain made me cry. (I. Do. Not. Cry. At. Books. Well, I can count the times I've cried because of a book on one hand.) But it also made me laugh. And made me lose sleep for 2 days until I finished it. And made me think. Man, I don't like that. Not because I'm shallow or anything (although a few people may disagree), but because if I start thinking about stuff I can't change, I overthink it and blow it out of proportion and get lost in the feeling of doom in my head.
Beneath the Stain wasn't focused on Mackey and Trav, not entirely. There were lots of other people, each with their own problems, and I like that. Never did I feel like there were too many secondary storylines and too many characters - like I said, Amy Lane can do that to a book.
The book also made me angry. I HATE people like Grant. When I meet someone like him, I just wanna shake them and bang their head against the wall until they see sense. I wanna shout: "You can't live your life for anybody else, you stupid fucker. There's only one life you get and you can't put your own happiness, your own LIFE, second to everyone else's. It's not selfless, it's stupid. It's not honourable, it's fucking STUPID."
Grant made me see red. I do not understand his choices and I wanted to hate him so much, but how could I? He was the one that suffered most because of his stupid selfless ways.
*deep breaths*
What more can I say? It's my favourite book of Amy Lane's. It's brilliantly written, emotional, beautiful, funny, sexy, sad and infuriating all at the same time. I loved everything about it even when I hated it. And that my friends is true love.

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