Book Review – F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher

by Maryse on January 3, 2016 · 11 comments

in My Book Reviews

F*ck Love
Gorgeous cover, kick-butt title, provocative synopsis and favorite author = instant read for me! Tarryn Fisher is always at the top of my reading list with each new release, because I’m ALWAYS in the mood for her brand of story-telling. You never know where she’s going with it, and I love that kind of anticipation. While giving us all of the thrills and heartache we love, there is nothing predictable about her books.

Love stories gone wrong, villains that you love to hate (and hate to love, because… you know… reasons ;) ), vigilantes with a side of psycho, her stories run the gamut between psych-thrillers and anti-romance, and I love every single one! Anti-romance? And that’s a good thing? Yes, because they are love stories that can test (and even defy) social propriety, lending them that sense of realism that can make some hardcore romance-book lovers cringe, but that always makes it unforgettable! Unconventional romance!! :D

“Ahh, Helena!” She spreads her arms out, and the wind whips the tassels on her purple jacket. “The best kind of love is the love that isn’t supposed to happen.”

Oh yeah! Another fun thing about her story-telling? You just might not get that coveted HEA (or at least, not the one you were expecting). Or… maybe you will. Making the journey all that much more electrifying, in an already exciting course.

Which leads me to her latest release. I’d venture to say this was her tamest “risqué” tale of love (TarrynFisher-light? :P ) in that… best friends don’t do that to each other, ya know? Or at least… “shouldn’t”.

That’s the worst thing about being young. You really have no clue about all the changes that are coming. And when they come, no matter how people have warned you, you are genuinely surprised.

I enjoyed it, and it had all of the Tarryn Fisher angsty-touches as it lead us through unrequited love, and then an inappropriate love. You know… the whole falling in love with your best friend’s boyfriend thing. neutral Completely forbidden, and yet, in some instances, so hard to resist. So very human.

So what’s it about?

The book starts off with Helena waking from a very vivid dream of being married? to a good guy-friend of hers (Kit). In her dream, they have adorable children, they have the perfect home, and she’s a successful artist, and he’s so supportive and loving of her. She feels complete. Confused… yes (as she talks to herself in wonderment, in that very dream), but so complete. And while she never thought of wanting children, or even wanting him, her dream makes her realize… SHE SO DOES.

And in her dream, she realizes he’s her dream husband in every way.

Except… he’s her best friend’s boyfriend.

To fall in love with a boy is one thing, but to fall in love with your best friend’s boy because of a dream is … well, I’m f*cked.

*gasp*!!!! eek eek Let the angst begin!!

Reminiscent of her “Love Me with Lies” series, in that our heroine couldn’t ignore her feelings for someone that was not hers to love, and that the “other” girl having some seriously selfish qualities.

It’s the strangest thing to watch. The conceit battling the insecurity. I never knew a woman could be both until Della. A beautiful woman, racked by jealousy. Of what? I think. How many girls would love to be her?

And just as in that series, most readers can’t help rooting for the “good one”, our quirky-sweet heroine.

“Hos before bros!” I yell at the phone. But it’s too late. A bro came, and both the hos are in turmoil.

…even though there’s a taste of selfishness there, too.

I am feeling two things: pity, which is truly a nasty, condescending thing to feel for someone, and opportunistic.

But the book as a whole was fairly even keeled, angst-wise. Even somewhat slowish, every once in awhile. When “sh*t was hitting the fan”, I didn’t really freak out. For some reason, I felt safe the whole way through. The author wasn’t coming after me, in this one. She wasn’t cutting off my air supply, she wasn’t giving me a heart attack, she wasn’t drowning me in emotion. Was she letting her readers breathe? Or maybe she was breathing through this one? Either way I experienced it more as if I were her friend, and that I was hoping she’d be okay.

…she hugs me—throws her arms around my neck like we’re old friends. I try to stiffen and pull away, but I’m weak, and I really need a hug.

Awwwwww. Some very heartfelt moments for sure. I did feel for her. I still got her.

And while tumultuous stuff did happen (as they all make mistakes, lightly sabotaging each other and/or themselves, and maybe even eventually “finding” themselves), it didn’t leave me reeling. It didn’t even have me reeling. Which is what surprised me the most.

Yet what it did do, was leave me with a soul-searching answer. An enlightening message, and that is one that I’ll let you “learn” on your own. With the guidance of our author and her delightfully flawed characters, that is.

4 stars!

P.S. Thank you to the author for sending me this review copy!!

P.P.S. And interestingly enough, we (my fellow readers and I) were a bit all over the place in our experience of the characters, and this story. It’s definitely making us think! However I recommend skipping this section of the review if you want to go in blind, feeling-wise – while nothing is really *spoiled* there are opinions of certain characters and quotes and stuff :P :

Bethany: Finished F*ck Love and Loved It! There was a lot of emotion and angst, and wonderful secondary characters. I really enjoyed Greer and Muslim… (NOT Della, lol). And not everyone is Pro-Kit, but I am!

Deborah: So I just finished F*ck love and my mind is completely blown…. Keep in mind this is my first Tarryn Fisher book… But now I’m completely obsessed with *spoiler*… It never fails I always go for the bad guy… What’s wrong with me???

Jean: Deborah, I felt a bigger connection to *spoiler* in the short time we got to know him than I did with *spoiler*. Your first Tarryn read? YOU NEED TO READ THE LOVE ME WITH LIES SERIES IMMEDIATELY IF YOU REALLY IF YOU REALLY WANT YOUR MIND BLOWN! (Yes, I’m screaming)

Amy: Okay, my final thoughts on F*ck Love… If you’re new to Tarryn Fisher and have avoided her books because of our reactions around here, then this is a good one to start with. There’s angst but not the throw-your-Kindle type, at least not for me. This one definitely was milder than The Opportunist and didn’t have the mind-messery of Mud Vein and Marrow, but it still had TF’s “footprint” on it.

After finally getting some sleep, the stuff I was scratching my head about just didn’t seem all that important or at least made a little more sense. I think my problem last night was that I was trying to make more out of everything, trying to find hidden meanings, links, clues, etc., and as long as I take certain events and details at face value then I can stop making my brain work so hard and just love the story for what it was. And I DID love it. It’s not my favorite of TF’s, but I can’t remember the last book that I read in a day, and FL kept me reading straight through until I was finished. I loved Helena’s imperfections and self-deprecation, and I often wanted Kit to take his balls out of Della’s purse and put them back on. But then again, if he had then we wouldn’t have this story, would we? ;)

Anne: Amy I agree with everything you’ve said about FL. I did want to smack Kit a few times but then again he was just a man going through a tough choice. The Opportunist without a doubt is my favorite TF book but FL was still great. Not perfect but great just the same.

Cheryl: Amy, exactly. I kept waiting for hidden meanings and the wtf moment because it was TF. By the end, I was disillusioned with Kit and wondering why Helena thought he was worth it. Muslim summed it up so well: “It shouldn’t just be people he chooses you over. But himself as well.” BUT “Have you ever tried to walk away from something you love?” Kit did remind me somewhat of Caleb, who stuck with Leah even though his heart wasn’t in it and he had plenty of opportunities to leave. Going for some shopping therapy because I feel “melancholic” now.

Lisa: OK. So I finished FL and have just read some of your feedback. I’m agreeing with Amy on most of her comments. While I really liked Kit I just didn’t get his reluctance to ‘man up’ and I kinda got sick of the self sacrificing going on with both of them. Oh how I love TF and the way she can drag those emotions out of you. I’m not a person who feels jealous or possessive in a huge way in RL but damn if TF can’t make me feel all these yearning for the wrong things and covetous emotions that feel so foreign and so damn strong. Awesome. There were a few timeline issues that had me scratching my head too Amy. Sometimes she’d mention a few months had passed by but then the at others it seemed the passage of time was much longer…particularly around things with Annie. Overall a wonderful book to get me off the blocks for 2016. Thanks TF.

bev: You all like HELENA!?! Granted I’m only 12% in. But she has one “dream” & now obsessed and thinking really unkind things about her friend. And what was that texting crap??

Jean: Bev, I did like Helena, but did not agree with a lot of her actions. I was not connecting with kit at all…

Jean: I agree with all the comments on FL. I was just expecting the mind f*ckery that is Tarryn Fisher. I was craving it and just didn’t get any of that. I did like the book though.

Kelly: 30% into F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher and wow! Loving this so far.

Summer: I just finished it was soooo good! Now I’m in a funk

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

bev January 3, 2016 at 11:00 AM

I came on to just remark on where I am in this book and here is the review.:-)
I wonder if this story was from Della’s pov only how would we see Helena, Kit and herself?
I just read the part when Greer is telling her about the ripples. And I think that is my problem. Helena is making all these big decisions and yet it still feels like she has no agency. It is all a result of her obsession with Kit. And I still feel like its dream Kit she loves & so I don’t really see why she loves real him. And it feels like he just notices her because she noticed him.
I do like the idea of finding your place. Always have. I wonder if you travel around if certain places would feel like a sigh of contentment, like home, you know?

Maryse January 3, 2016 at 5:37 PM

Where are ya at now bev?

I do appreciate some of the messages and life lessons that are realized in this one.

Amy January 3, 2016 at 5:43 PM

Hehe…I’m feeling relieved right now that I’m not the only one who felt this was a “light” Tarryn Fisher read. I was starting to think that maybe I’m becoming too critical and nitpicky, or that my angst tolerance is ridiculously high, but obviously this really *was* a lighter story of hers.

Bev, I totally get what you’re saying. I rarely ever actually dislike the h when it is in her POV (on the rare occasions I DO dislike her, I usually end up DNFing the book), but if this one had been in Della’s POV then I would have not liked Helena at ALL. But, I think being in her head with all of her insecurities, thought processes, reasonings and self-criticism is what endears her (or any h for that matter) to me.

Amy January 3, 2016 at 5:48 PM

Oh! You know which one still blows my mind though is Dirty Red by TF. I hated, hated, HATED Leah in The Opportunist and and didn’t want to read anything in her POV, but I had to know where the story was going to go. And you know what? I ended up still hating her but relishing every disappointment and screw up that she experienced.

It was awesome. ;)

bev January 3, 2016 at 6:14 PM

I have to say I love romances & comedies. :-P
Almost done.
I appreciate some of her thoughts, we all have them, but I think I would have enjoyed her more if not just her pov. Some of her thoughts became too much.
Then the whole Annie time. Della knew right? And her & Kit knew Della knew. And yes she maybe a horrible person but to come home from that to that? No. That’s too unkind. Same with finding Greer. No thought to another’s pain & regrets. When I remember she was in college I can understand her odd combo of ego/insecurity/lack of impulse control/lack of awareness.
Lol. I think I’m picking her apart, more than usual, cause you all liked her and every character and I can’t see it.
The writing & storytelling are great. And I think this set up could be awesome. But she never grew, at least to me. And maybe that’s part of the story, that most people don’t.

bev January 3, 2016 at 6:20 PM

Though she loves Harry Potter.

Jody January 3, 2016 at 6:57 PM

Ooh, can’t wait to start this one. Too many good books at the moment!
I have to finish Monster by Jessica Gadziala. Have you read that one yet Maryse?

Maryse January 3, 2016 at 7:36 PM

I haven’t Jody, but the title alone has me wanting to run to Amazon!! :D

How is it?

Maryse January 3, 2016 at 7:39 PM

Well I agree with you bev and crew about missing out on the intensity of their connection. The “why”? I never fell in love with him… or anyone for that matter.

And yes… another “Leah” type book from Della’s POV would really be intense. Like the scenes where she realizes that her best friend and boyfriend are spending a lot of time together… the conversations with June…

the personal insecurities. Yep. I would definitely understand Della.

Jody January 3, 2016 at 7:47 PM

It is so good! I had to make myself turn off the ipad at 2am…. Should not start a new book at midnight! I figured I could get a chapter in before falling asleep, so wrong. lol
Breaker has a very KA type of feel and I absolutely love Alex. She is strong and mouthy. :)

Julie January 4, 2016 at 1:33 PM

I read this practically in one sitting this weekend. I couldn’t put it down! I did think it might go a different direction with the dream, and I wish there was more to the epilogue. But I still list this as my first 5 star read of the year!

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