When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat…and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.
It’s so hard to write a review for Mud Vein when everyone else has already expressed their thoughts. So I am going to do the whole “pretend you are talking to a friend!” thing. When I talk to my friends, it is a lot of exclamation marks and capslock and FEEEELINGS. So you’ve been warned. And oh, if you’re looking for spoilers its not my kind of thing so you wont see it here. The least I can offer you is to watch the trailer and have a glimpse of what the book is all about.
“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun, like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” –Fred Rogers
What I loved about this book is how DARK it was. And I was surprised at how mature this book was. It stuck to classic fairytales, the ones where Cinderella’s stepsisters chop off the heels of their feet, Rapunzel’s prince gets his eyes poked out, and the Little Mermaid turns into seafoam. I liked how Tarryn always raised questions about the fairytales and their endings.
Mud Vein was full of absolutely all of my favorite things — a deep, emotional story, shocking twists and turns that left me needing to collect my thoughts. The writing was as beautiful as ever, and Senna’s voice was so spot on.
There’s a major, major plot twist that made me gasp when I read through the scene. HOLY CRAP! I was so stunned and silenced. I needed time to walk away and think about how I felt. And that doesn’t happen often. Tarryn made me feel like Senna’s life was real and I was being asked to lend a helping hand and offer advice. After I finished reading, I felt this spoke volumes for Tarryn’s writing — she has an uncanny ability to make me want to take care of all her characters. (I felt the same way when I read the Love Me with Lies Series)
Honestly, the big sell of this book for me are the relationships, nearly every single relationship highlighted in this novel is complicated and messy as hell and I dug them all so much. Isaac, the doctor, Nick, the lover and of course Senna Richards, the anti-social girl who tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others either harshly or with callous indifference. Call me crazy but I found it to be a pretty realistic problem that was really interesting to watch play out. If you are weary of captivity from the books description, don’t let that scare you off. It’s not your typical captivity in the least and the novel always makes it clear where the real romantic tension is at. The supporting characters aren’t always likable but that sort of worked for me? They can be the absolute WORST one moment only to redeem himself the next. But I like hot messes of human beings. I totally loved it.
Needless to say, this story touched me deeply. I felt the characters’ desolation in winter; I experienced their enthusiasm and renewal of faith with the coming of spring; I rejoiced with them in the summer of their love, which brought the warmth of commitment and the formation of a bond and feeling confident that together, they can do almost anything. But love can be messy, confusing, and imperfect, just like us, and life itself. It’s what Hallmark cards don’t always tell us…what love isn’t. And this is exactly what Mud Vein is all about. It is a marvelous story of realism, inspiration, hope, and redemption. Often times, we form a lot of ideas about what love is based on unrealistic hopes and standards. We learn what we think it’s supposed to look like, and most of the times, we find ourselves frustrated when reality falls short. And this book made me think and change my perception about love.
Mud Vein is simply… extraordinary. There’s really no other word for it. From the first page, the first line, the book completely enthralled me. I was the teensiest bit concerned that maybe it wouldn’t live up to my sky-high expectations. I needn’t have worried. But if you ever ask me if I plan to have a re-read soon? Absolutely not! I don’t think I can allow myself to undergo the same intense emotions I felt when I was reading it. I mean, I love angst but I am definitely not a masochist! Perhaps a few months after.
Sure this book is not for everyone but I highly recommend this book to anyone craving for something written in the incredible, poetic way which only Tarryn Fisher can deliver, something that they can sink their teeth into and come away feeling fulfilled. If you plan on reading Mud Vein, read it with an open mind.
Thank you Tarryn! I thank you immensely for sharing this fabulous story with us. 5 +++ stars!
“No one wants to carry someone when they are heavy from life”
Flawed perfection are the words I would choose to define Tarryn’s writing. Twisting together the ugly, dirty, and the beautiful to give the reader a no nonsense view of life’s love and loss. Her words give you a virtual slap across the face. Waking you up and forcing you to ask questions you don’t want to answer. Mud Vein forces you to question the life you are living and challenges the walls you have built. Tarryn created a journey that is personal and different for every reader. Her words ignite thoughts and feelings that most of us bury deep, not wanting to pop the bubble we create around an already fragile life.
“We are all going to die, but I’m going to die first. In the very last second of my life, I will think of you.”
I should have learned from the Love Me With Lies Series!!! Tarryn is flawlessness. The wicked twists and turns drew me in but Mud Vein, MUD VEIN has turned me into a mess of emotions. I can say with complete honestly that this book, these words disturbed the balance I thought I created for myself.
“I didn’t know I needed someone to dig into my heart and figure out why on some days I wanted to play, and on others I craved solitude…It’s a painful thing to look inside yourself and see the whys and the hows of your clockwork. You are a lot uglier than you think, plenty more selfish than you are ever likely to admit. So, you ignore what’s inside of you. Thinking if you don’t acknowledge it, it’s not really there. Until someone unlikely comes along and cracks you. They see every dark corner, and they get it. And they tell you it’s okay to have dark corners, instead of making you feel ashamed of them.”
Ripped raw best sums it up. I flipped page after page and highlighted more than half of the book. Mud Vein is a real reading experience. Not always pretty but real none the less. If you read one book this year read this one. I won’t recap they story. I don’t want to ruin the experience. Truth be told my words, under no circumstances, would ever do the wicked queen justice.
“Love doesn’t leave. It bears all things.”
Bear the emotions, the pain, and the tears then open a bottle of wine…trust me you’ll need it.
“Tell me something about your life with him,” Isaac urges.
I purse my lips. “Hmmm … so much fuckedupness. Where should I start?”
He blinks at me.
“A week before I graduated from high school he found a chip in one of our drinking glasses. He came storming into my room, demanding to know how it got there. When I couldn’t give him an answer he refused to talk to me. For three weeks. He didn’t even come to my graduation. My dad. He can make a drinking glass feel like a teen pregnancy.”
I hold out my mug and Isaac refills me.
“I hate whiskey,” I say.
“Me too as well.”
I cock my head.
“Hush,” he says. “You don’t get to judge my turn of phrase.”
I lay my arm across the table and rest my head on it.
He looks less and less like a doctor nowadays with his scruffy face and long hair. Come to think of it, he’s acting less like one too. Maybe this is rockstar Isaac. I don’t ever remember him drinking during the time we spent together. I lift my head and rest my chin on my arm.
I want to ask if he had a drinking problem back in the day—when he was actually living his tattoo. But it’s none of my business. We all medicate with something. He notices me looking at him funny. He’s on his fifth shot.
“Something you want to ask me?”
“How many more bottles of that stuff do we have?” I ask. The one he’s holding has a third left. I’m thinking we might have some darker days. We need to save the happy juice for sadder times.
He shrugs. “What does it matter?”
“Hey,” I say. “We are sharing family memories. Bonding. Don’t be depressing.”
He laughs, and sets the bottle on the counter. I wonder if he’d notice if I hid it. I watch him walk into the living room. I’m not sure if I should follow him or give him space. In the end, I go upstairs. It’s not my business what Isaac is struggling with. I barely know him. No, that’s not entirely true. I just don’t know this side of him.
I wrap myself in my comforter and try to sleep. The whiskey has made my head spin. I like it. I’m surprised I never got addicted to alcohol. It’s such a nice way to check out. Maybe I should find a new addiction. Maybe I should find Isaac.
I am a real life villain, truly. I drink sick amounts of Starbucks. Most of the time my hair smells like coffee. I was born in South Africa, and lived there for most of my childhood. I moved to Seattle just for the rain. Rome is my favorite place in the world so far, Paris comes in at a close second. I read and write more than I sleep. When I was eleven, I wrote an entire novel about runaway orphans, using only purple ink. I am addicted to Florence and the Machine and will travel to see concerts. I love scary movies and giraffes. I spend way too much time on Facebook. Meet you there?…