M/F and M/M Rock story
DAZED – THE STORY OF A GRUNGE ROCKER by NIKKI PALOMINO
Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte
Gitte: I absolutely loved this story for so many reasons. It was raw, emotional, merciless, beautiful yet ugly! I knew nothing about this book going in which made it such an amazing heart-wrenching experience and I frantically read it in almost one sitting as I could not put it down. Every single fibre of me was emotionally invested in this story. It was flawlessly written and I loved the eerie and despondent atmosphere surrounding the words making up this tragedy of addiction; the reality and harshness of life and love. You have this extremely talented person who is trying to survive yet not really living; who has the world and its people at his feet wanting to give everything but most importantly love….so heart-breaking; such a sad waste. This story just grabs you and keeps you in its clutches on an emotional ride with its grunge, poetry, destructive behaviour and torment of epic proportions. I finished this book days ago and can’t get this story out of my head and heart. This story is not for the faint hearted; it will shock you, make you cry and feel extremely emotional.
Jenny: It’s hard to know what to say about this story. It is indeed shocking at times and anyone wanting to read a happy Rock Star book won’t find that happy here. However, what they will find is a very real, gritty, at times heart-breaking, sad story that will leave you wanting more!
This story felt quite depressing, it was gripping and it felt very, very real. No sugar coating anything here, this very raw, sad and tragic story which plummets you head first into the world of music, grunge and drugs is so well executed you will become totally engrossed in the self destructive life of the beautifully talented and tortured Eric.
Gitte: Dazed gives us a naked look into the life of Eric; the beautiful poet and singer /songwriter who is sadly also an addict. The world is his for the taking if only he had the self-worth and energy to do so. Unfortunately Eric is right at the bottom of a ginormous mountain after a series of horrendous events and the climb back up is too overwhelming. Therefore, him shooting drugs into his veins seem to be the extent of the effort manageable to survive. In his short life he has had an emotional and troubled childhood; he has lived on the streets, he has suffered a great loss and he has experienced unreciprocated love. His written words; his drugs; his grunge rock band and the love of a boy named Brian being what’s keeping the suicide tendencies at bay.
Jenny: Gitte, I kept waiting for the feel good moments in this book but they never came. Eric’s time on the streets crushed me, his drug addiction made me angry and broke my heart. I was willing Eric to wake up to himself. I wanted him to see the Eric that everyone saw in him and I wanted him to like himself enough to lay off there drugs, to recognise the talented and beautiful soul that lay within him. I so wanted him to deal with his demons and clean up his act. With every page I turned I lived and hoped the next would a happy chapter for Eric.
Eric has demons aplenty. From his mother who he has a very strained relationship with, to his absent father, to Kevin, a man he loved and who has moved on from Eric. His relationship with Brian was as tormented as it was beautiful. The author captured it all. The anguish, the torment and the suffering. It was all that there and it was devastating but I never gave once gave up on Eric and I never gave up hope.
Gitte: So yeah this story had a huge effect on me; it reminded me of the 90’s when I was a college student in Oxford and used to be down the pub every Friday and Saturday watching the grunge bands on band nights. The drugs were rife, the emotions high and I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing the minute I found out that Kurt Cobain had died. Eric and his journey made me think of Kurt Cobain and think back to my own collage days! It was so emotional….
This was a story with high emotions, sensitive issues, ugliness and anxiety and the struggle to accept an addiction; accept being loved and breaking free from the constraints of the past in order to come out on the other side free of guilt, self-doubt and accepting you have the ability to love and be loved in return. I cannot wait for book #2 to come out to see how this story continues…
Jenny: You’re so right Gitte. This author certainly captured the mood of this era perfectly. She had me transported back in time and I didn’t simply read this book, I lived it. I lived every painful moment. This book isn’t a read, it’s an experience. An intense, desperate experience. You are with Eric every step of the way as he struggles with living through his addiction, his loneliness and his despair, you actually live through right along with Eric. This is a man who could have it all but will he be able to grasp it and beat his addiction. Will he see in himself the Eric everyone else sees? Will he learn to love life and live it?
This story is not a light read and does include some graphic scenes, but I am so glad I took the plunge to read something that took me out of my comfort zone because this one intense journey is one I won’t forget in a hurry. I absolutely devoured this book! Book two can’t come quick enough. I am so invested in all the characters and I need to see how it continues too.