Book Review – The Lonely by Tara Brown

by Maryse on February 26, 2013 · 8 comments

in My Book Reviews

The Lonely
This was a pretty great read and I couldn’t put it down, but it was one of “those” that I had to contemplate for a day to figure out where I stood with it. An interesting and eerie love story exploring a whole new set of damaged pasts and broken futures. Had a bit of that Hopeless/Ten Tiny Breaths/Fifty Shades feel and throw in a little bit of Stockholm Syndrome for good measure! (I know right? Weird combo… but it did actually end up working well). So thanks to many of you for this recommendation! You’re right, it was right up my dark alley!

Mandy: Maryse!! I usually just comment on the blog main page, but I had to message you and tell you!!! You have to read the lonely!! Omg crazy good! It’s captive in the dark-ish and fifty shades mixed. You will love it!

Kyle: You have to read The Lonely by Tara Brown!!! It’s an emotional amazing rollercoaster and right up your alley for books! You would love it!

Nancy: Dark & Intense

Jodi: Just finished ‘The Lonely’ which was on Maryse’s list this week and loved it! It did my head in at certain times but so good. :)

Sabrina: Jody- I enjoyed it too– I had no clue where it was going– love books like that ····

Mandy: Definite mind scrambler in parts but a wonderful book. Covered a lot of emotions.

Meghan: I just finished The Lonely by Tara Brown. It was amazing. So far it has been my favorite book of 2013. 5 very emotional stars!!!

Sharon: I read this one a few days ago. I loved it too!!! Nice change from the normal boy meets girl story.

Kathy: Loved this one too! The story line was so different which was refreshing!

Janet: Really good book, AND someone mentioned not long ago that Eli is getting a book next

Paula: Sooo good!!

Meghan: Janet – Eli is going to have his own book!?! That made my day!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: I just finished it!!!! I’m going to need to process this one for the day before I write the review. Definitely 4 stars for me, I already know that, at least. It was one I couldn’t put down… but…. how do I feel about it? I don’t know. Now that I hear ELI is getting a book, I am so very happy. That ride was quite something. Oh I know what it is!!!! I’m lonely. That’s how i feel. I def. need more (in this story) to get my fill of this one, I think… It was *almost* there for me… and yet I feel… like something is missing, for me.

Paula: Maryse, I agree, its definately a book that you need to process for awhile. I know that I really liked it, but it messes with your mind so much.

Like many of my fellow readers who recommended this one, I purposely went in with no knowledge of what I was going into, other than the murmurings of how weird it was and how nobody really knew where it was going. At one point, I had a lightbulb moment and I was appalled at the possibility that I was right!! And no matter if I was right or not (shhhhh I won’t spoil it) I still questioned how it would all resolve itself. ‘Cause lemme tell you, these people are messed up, and for good reason. And the mind games and secrets certainly messed me up along with them.

It’s insanity but it’s my insanity.

And when I tried to piece it all out, one scene at a time by re-telling it to my husband, I think I messed him up when his eyebrows shot to his hairline and stayed there. Yah… even after telling the whole story to him, and he was all… “Whaaaaaaa?” and all I could say was, “I know right!?? I liked it, but I don’t know why I’m still on the fence about it. There’s something about my slight disconnection to it that I can’t figure out…”

So what’s it about? I’m going to keep this short and sweet: Emalyn has a severe case of OCD (constantly cleaning, can barely function in society without having panic attacks and wanting to run and hide). She’s an orphan that was raised in a strict Catholic orphanage (eventual memories will reveal why, and how she became the way she is), and now she’s attempting to go to college and learn to cope with (and try to overcome) her issues.

I sigh, and look around the room. I can’t unpack anything. I just can’t. I need everything there to be able to do it and I feel like i have nothing. No control. No peace. The room isn’t clean, not like it should be.

I don’t move. I just stand there and take it all in. I can’t sit on the bed or touch anything. I never realized how bad it would be. The new place syndrome is almost physically painful.

I grab the wipes from the bag I carried up and I start.

It’s a frenzy when it starts. OCD isn’t just a sickness, it’s a way of life.

For some reason… she has a “Benefactor” that pays for everything she needs (and also pretty much pays for her one best friend to stay with her and attend college with her). He has even provided her a driver (who doubles as her security guard).

He watches. He always watches. It’s creepy.

He isn’t creepy, but his job is.

She is required to check in with him regularly (text, phone calls and he can get quite upset if she doesn’t obey him). He’s nice… by way that he gives her everything, always, but he’s reserved, cold, and big on reprimanding her.

He hangs up. He always does. He never speaks to me nicely, well he never really speaks to me. That’s not what he’s for. I hate that he called me infantile.

And get this. She has no idea WHO her benefactor is (or what he looks like).

My fingers almost tremble with anticipation and fear as I text my response,

‘What are you dreaming about?’


My heart skips a beat. I have a fantasy. I can’t lie. It’s a deep dark fantasy that I never let myself see. It mostly involves him being a Duke or a Baron who is bent on helping me, but like the Phantom of the Opera. He’s troubled and wants to do anything to be there for me. He wants me.

And well… things really get chaotic as she tries to integrate into real-life situations. And things get even more chaotic (or flat-out CRAZY scary) when… okay!! WHOA! I’m stopping there. ;)

Sounds good right? And it was… except for some reason, I missed out on fully developing my connection to them. It started building (intensely, even) but at some point, I lost my momentum. Even though the author eventually resolves some issues, revealing stuff that pieces the puzzle together nicely, I didn’t feel fully satiated. The first half (and middle) had me really excited. It took me a bit to get into it, and then when I realized all that could come about as I learned more about the characters, I was right there with them. And when the crazy stuff happened, I LOVED IT!!!!! I couldn’t believe my luck and I found myself all twisted up in a tight knot of reading energy (my version of being “on the edge of my seat”). It was nice and drawn out and everything and I was so excited about what could potentially be revealed. What could happen and where it would all go?

And the second half was pretty good, but the only thing that didn’t work for me was the overall push and pull of the two main characters. It was a bit too much for me. Yes… they had PLENTY of reason to be the way they were with each other, but it still detracted from my overall enjoyment of them. They were emotionally ping-ponging all over the place. Right when I needed it, right when I thought I would finally get relief… I didn’t. Okay no… hehe. We “got it” alright, but… I think I personally needed more depth or intensity or downtime with them. Not so much aggravating drama.

But then sometimes, it could be sweet. Deep.

It’s weird for me to hold hands with anyone. After my panic attack it’s nice. More than nice. He’s like a hero. I feel rescued. The right way. Like he is a prince and not a dictator. My knight in shining armor. He cured the lonely.

I don’t even know how to describe it. One of the heroes (there are a few potential love interests in this one) went from sweet to mean, from opening up to completely closing off. From hot and bothered to downright cold.

He tries to talk soothingly but he can’t. He isn’t a soothing person.

GAH!!!! I suppose his seemingly bi-polar personality mixed with Emalyn’s constant running away/storming off/drama queen reactions interfered with my titillation and building crush, (albeit a bit creepy of me to be crushing considering a few events…) and replaced it with exasperation. Small outbursts of immaturity that seemed out of place in this book exploring such a mature and delicate subject matter, but then again… they (she) is still quite young.

Again, they had reason to be (they were a mess I tell you!!) and they couldn’t stop messing with each other. Game playing (I suppose for self-preservation purposes). I was exhausted by the end. I wanted more, and I got plenty but something left me needing. Even though the lessons learned and the connections made in this book had a certain depth, and this book is complete, I was left feeling (for lack of a better word)… bummed. And, without trying to spoil it, I’ll say that it didn’t end on a “bum-note”, you know? So why was I bummed? *shrug*

The author left us with a lot. A lot of wonderful, even, and yet I didn’t get to internalize some of what she tried to give us. By the time I was ready, the book was finished. I feel I missed out on feeling it…. feeling them, fully.

But I still recommend this for a crazy, turbulent and kind of scary romance read. Twists and turns abound! I just wish I could have indulged more, in the romance part of it all.

Overall, 3.75 stars (in my exasperated moments, 3 stars).

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim L February 26, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Everything you said is how I felt about it. Really liked this one. Your hubby’s reaction cracked me up. :-)

tise February 26, 2013 at 9:33 PM

normally when I finish a book, I’m sad yet sadated, ( i call that my book hangover) ,but with this one I’m not sure what I am. It wasn’t OMG worthy but I finished it so obvsly it was not bad. Maybe Eli’s book with top us off

Lise February 27, 2013 at 7:21 AM

Great review, Maryse. This book is still hanging with me and one I will remember for some time! ;-)

Nancy Parken February 27, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Great review!

kelsey February 27, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Loved this book. It took us in into another realm. I definitely think there is space for more books. All the characters held their own.
I need more dark reads. Anyone got any recommendations I would b e so grateful ;)

April March 1, 2013 at 5:38 PM

This book was different but so good!! I couldn’t put it down. It even followed me in my sleep!

sandy s March 2, 2013 at 5:48 PM

ok read this book, at first i was like really what is her deal, lol these girls and all their problems, but i couldn’t put the book down just sucked me right in, and i loved it,, i want a uncle daddy to take care of me:), ok i’m alittle old but hey i can dream:)

Indirose March 3, 2013 at 8:12 PM

I enjoyed this book and could not put it down but there was just something missing I feel like there is another story there and maybe I’d ‘get’ their relationship more.

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