Monday, 7 April 2014

Review ~ Black Box by Cassia Leo

Black Boxebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: March 10th 2014


Three fateful encounters... Two heart-breaking tragedies... One last chance to get it right.

Over the course of five years, Mikki and Crush have crossed paths twice. Their first encounter changed Mikki's life forever, but the second left them both buried beneath the emotional wreckage of a violent attack. Mikki is left with more questions and grief than she can handle, while Crush is forced to forget the girl who saved his life.

Now Mikki Gladstone has decided she's tired of the mind-numbing meds. She books a flight to Los Angeles to end her life far away from her loving, though often distant, family.

Crush has always channelled his blackest thoughts into his music. He decides to fly to Los Angeles to record a demo of the only song he's never performed in public; a song he wrote for a girl he doesn't even know: Black Box. He has no expectations of fame and he's never felt like his life had any purpose. until he meets Mikki in Terminal B.

When their paths cross yet again, neither has any idea who the other person is - until they begin to piece together their history and realize that fate has more in store for them than just another love story.

My Opinion

I really don't know what to make of this book. I think on a strange level I liked it but parts were definitely uncomfortable to read due to the subject nature. At the start I wasn't sure if I was going to make it to the end as it didn't begin like books I enjoy, however once you get over the hurdle of the first few chapters it does get better.

This book starts of dealing with issues of self-harm, suicide and rape. At this point I definitely thought this book wasn't going to be for me and that it was going to spiral downwards into this dark, depressing story as the characters undertook their journey. However, having read all of this author's previous work and liking it, I decided to give it a chance and stick with it to see how everything unfolded. The only word I can think of to describe this book is tender. The issues were dealt with sensitively and how everything progressed had a subtle and tender quality that made everything (especially in the second half)  seem very gentle as the relationships and emotions progressed.

I didn't think I would grow to like Mikki or Crush. First of all, their names didn't connect with me and I thought Crush just sounded stupid even though there is a meaning behind it. Secondly, I'm not a fan of characters who are so depressed. The fact that both of them at some point are suicidal put my defenses up and shut me off from them. However, slowly, due to the subtle, tender writing the author was able to make me grow to like them. As Crush brought Mikki out of her darkness and they helped each other want to live I found myself liking them more and more. I think this book was written cleverly and downplayed rather than have lots and lots of drama. I'm not saying there isn't any, it's just the way the author wrote the scenes was almost calming and effortless. 

I will admit that there are a few things that I did feel were slightly exaggerated and unbelievable the first of which is that everyone in the book seems to either want to, has tried to or succeeded in committing suicide. I don't think so many people needed to go that way as I did find myself thinking "really another one" at times. As well as this the ending just didn't seem to fit for me and I wasn't a fan of it. I wanted an ending with Mikki and Crush but this just seemed to cut off in the past at a very random point. The plane scene I thought was pushing it a bit too, it was all too much in one book.

Overall though, I think I liked this book on a strange level. I think it's hard to like a book with such topics as they can be hard hitting and I'm not sure if it's the right word to use but I can't come up with another. The subjects are dealt with sensitively and although there were definitely flaws, the author's writing made up for it and she managed to turn my opinion around. It's not an easy read because of the content but it's a good one.

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