Adrenaline filled angsty Series must be read in order.
LOVE ME WITH LIES SERIES by TARRYN FISHER
Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
**Series Spoiler Free Review**
Gitte: So Jenny, do you remember those two days, back in May 2012, when we read The Opportunist? We were going crazy with emotion overload, crying like babies on the phone to each other. All the while, coming up with one conspiracy theory after the other, wondering what the hell we just read, gushing over and loving Caleb who stole our hearts. Oh and hating Olivia once or twice along the way. And don’t even get us started on Leah!! It was a mind-fuck, no doubt with characters we loved to hate.
“People are so messed up. All of us. We just hurt each other.” – Olivia
So here we go, we finally get to hear Caleb’s voice and haven’t we been dying for this one!? (I even wrapped my kindle in bubble-wrap just to be on the safe side should I fling him at the wall!)
“She’s mine. She always has been, she always will be. We’ve been running in opposite directions for the last ten years, and we collide at every turn.” – Caleb
Jenny: I remember that day like it was yesterday Gitte. I think I threatened Tarryn Fisher with bodily harm if she didn’t spill exactly what was what and who and when and all the other questions that were spinning around in my head. Oh yes, we loved Caleb implicitly and really could have slapped Olivia a time or two that’s for sure!
“But Olivia loves you with her lies.”
I clearly remember waiting up ’til 1am for you to finish, so we could discuss the book, the characters, sob our hearts out to one another, work through a bazillion conspiracy theories and The Opportunist became the sole focus of our lives for weeks afterwards. The characters were so real to us and we lived and breathed every moment with them. Hmmm obsessed much? LOL I think we would have given up our first born right there and then to get even a small glimpse inside Caleb’s head in the days that followed. It’s been a long wait for Caleb’s voice, I readied myself for the onslaught of emotions, and it’s hard to believe it’s now over.
Gitte: So, we travel back in time whilst in the present trying to find that ‘happy’ future we have been craving for Caleb and Olivia. We learn more about the obsession, the lies, the heart-break and deception, the missed opportunities and let’s not forget, the love.
“She has the kind of love that can stain your soul, make you beg not to have one, just to escape the spell she’s put you under. I’ve tried to break myself of her over and over, but it’s pointless. I’ve got more of her in my veins than blood” – Caleb
All whilst hearing Caleb, Olivia and even Noah’s pov’s. There’s passion, high emotions, misunderstandings and a lot of self-centred egos.
“Olivia. I’ve lost her three times. The first was to impatience. The second was to a lie so dense we couldn’t work our way through it, and the third time – this time – I’ve lost her to Noah.” – Caleb
Thief was every bit as frustrating, emotional and thought provoking as I thought it would be. However, I hadn’t counted on the mood that persisted throughout the whole story. Yes, I was expecting the trademark morose and dark prose creating an angsty yet beautiful and real story, which this Author, in my opinion, is brilliant at. What I wasn’t expecting was full on gloomy misery….because that’s how I felt, that’s what this story gave me, as a reader. I wonder what’s changed, because certainly something has, though the brilliance of writing can’t be denied, it was still there.
The past/present jumping was great and flowed really well but Olivia gave me whiplash and this time she really peeved me off. Whereas my heart bled for Caleb.
“Tell me why you called me…” – Caleb
“Because you’re my hiding place. I go to you when I’m messed up.” – Olivia
At no point did my mood really lift, nor did I feel a glimmer of hope or that much needed and desired happiness for our characters. In other words, if I had read this story out loud it would’ve been in a voice unchanging in pitch and without intonation. It was taken past the boundary of where ‘The Opportunist’ just skimmed and hovered. If this was the intention, then fair play, result achieved. For me though, what was abundantly appealing and fascinating before became just dark and unnecessary pain. In a way it felt at times like trying to be dark for darkness sake, failing to shock me or inspire hope and emotions other than those.
Don’t get me wrong, at times I saw what I love about this Author’s writing; the unexpected, the messed up and flawed, the intense pain and real bloody honest feeling. However, there’s only so much drama and hurt you can throw at people to fuck up their lives before it becomes just too much to read and make it completely unrealistic. Yes, I get this is fiction, but so was ‘The Opportunist’ and that one worked for me!
Phew….I had to get that off my chest Jenny!
“You couldn’t get rid of the past. You couldn’t ignore it, or bury it, or throw it over the balcony. You just had to learn to live beside it. It had to peacefully co-exist with your present. If I could figure out how to do that, I could be okay.” – Olivia
Jenny: To be honest, I’m still trying to process my thoughts on Thief and I’m not sure if I will feel differently a week from today when I rethink the series as a whole but, based on this book, I have to say you make perfect sense. I understand what you’re saying and I’m not sure why, but something felt “off”. I’ve tried to put a specific on it, but overall, Caleb felt different. I devoured Caleb’s story – no doubt about that whatsoever. I would not have missed reading this book for the world, but in the same instance there was nothing that shocked me. I didn’t gasp, there weren’t a lot of surprises and everything that eventuated, with exception of the lead up to and the actual epilogue, I had anticipated which resulted in me not experiencing the same level of euphoria I felt throughout and after The Opportunist. This could very well be that TO did such a number on me and I had placed such high expectation on this final book in the series, I can’t state one specific thing. However, on the other hand I will say that I was completely invested in Olivia and Caleb throughout because they had, after all, become a piece of me.
“When I’m with you, very emotion I can possibly feel comes spilling out. I drown in them. I want to run to you, and I want to run away.”
Now, I totally understand that we had previously only seen Caleb through others eyes and what we experienced in Thief was Caleb up close and personal through Caleb’s eyes, and who knows him better than himself. But even so, Caleb, at times, felt a little out of character.
“How many times can a heart be broken before it is beyond men? How many times can I wish to not be alive? How can one human being cause such a crack in my existence?”
I won’t go into specifics because I don’t want to do spoilers and I have to say this wasn’t experienced during his interactions with Olivia, these were at other instances when I felt the need to question Caleb’s actions and reactions as they seemed out of sorts to the Caleb I thought I knew.
Gitte: So, is this series compelling, intense, heart breaking, gutting and mind numbingly angsty? Absolutely! Is this a series that should be added as a must read? Hell yes, this Author’s words are beautiful!
“We are all so broken. Pick up a person, shake them around and you’ll hear the rattling of their broken pieces. Pieces our fathers broke, or our mothers, or our friends, strangers, or our loves.”
Sadly though, I just didn’t quite get Thief; it was nowhere near ‘The Opportunist’ in my opinion. And true to form, that element of surprise, the epilogue is nothing close to what it would’ve been if I’d had my own way, but then I would have been surprised if it had been. Yet, I was left more or less satisfied. Questions, scenes and actions were answered and explained. I cried in ‘The Opportunist’, proper ugly crying. This time much fewer tears were shed, but the ones that did fall were all for Caleb. Poor man….I LOVE this man…..that’s all!!!
“I want your babies, and your anger, and your cold blue eyes….I want to go on anniversary dinners with you, I want to wrap Christmas presents with you. I want to fight with you about stupid things and then hold you down in my bed and make it up to you. I want to have more cake batter fights and camping trips. I want your future, Olivia. Please come back to me.” – Caleb
Do you feel the same Jenny?
Jenny: My feelings were similar to yours Gitte. This is indeed a series that will forever have a place on my favourites shelf. I would recommend it in a heartbeat. Let’s face it, very seldom do you experience writing of this calibre, characters of this nature ,together with a story, with love and lies as its theme that is so twisted, so deliciously addictive, so emotive, so dark, angsty and downright gripping that you live and breathe every moment.
I’m your soul mate. I’m the only one who knows how to heal you.”
Yes, I was satisfied with Thief. Nothing was left unanswered and the epilogue brought the much needed closure to a story that has consumed my thoughts for over a year. Did it completely and unequivocally blow me away? Well, no it didn’t and I can only assume it was because I didn’t experience the level of emotion I felt in The Opportunist. However, despite the few misgivings I had, I really did enjoy this final installment. It was the conclusion we needed and I feel as though I can finally let out the breath I’ve been holding for over a year.
“Olivia, I once told you that I would love again, and that you would hurt forever. Do you remember?”
“It was a lie. I knew it was a lie, even as I said it. I’ve never loved anyone after you. I never will.”
This series is brilliantly written no doubt about it. And Caleb…well Gitte, I don’t have to tell you my feelings for this man. My heart ached for him in Thief and Caleb will forever hold a piece of my heart.
Gitte: 3.5 stars
Jenny: 4 Stars
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1 Person will win signed copy of the complete Love Me With Lies Series
2 x People will each win an ebook copy of Thief