Title: The Contradiction of Solitude
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Length: 414 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars
You may notice me, but you will never know me.
I prefer it that way.
I am the daughter of a monster.
Born from blood and lies.
Dead before I have truly lived.
But Elian tells me that I’m different.
He tells me that I’m beautiful.
That I’m an enigma wrapped in irresistibly complicated skin.
Elian says that he loves me.
These words terrify me.
I can’t trust love.
Because I fear the beast inside.
It threatens to drown Elian and his sweet, unconditional love.
It’s a beast that will destroy everything.
*This is a psychological thriller and very different than my previous books*
That is the best way to describe how I felt after finishing this book.
Let me be clear from the beginning, pay attention to the author’s warning. While there is a relationship in this book and word “love” is used in the story, this is not a romance. It is not a dark romance. It is just dark.
The prologue sets the scene and you’ll quickly know what you’ve gotten yourself into.
Layna is not your typical book heroine. She’s rude, aloof, cold, and when you get into her head, you see she’s trouble with a capital T. There’s a darkness within her, a darkness born from the blood of her father, who commits diabolical and horrific acts, twisting them to be the acts of a savior. As daddy’s little girl, she developed a connection for their shared interest, where causing others pain is acceptable. This book lays claim that one can be born a certain way, that some people are just inherently evil and can’t escape the darkness to become a better person. After reading, I personally believe Layla’s father brainwashed her, beginning at such a young age, that she didn’t even realize what was happening.
It’s clear in the beginning of the book, that Layna’s meeting and eventual relationship with Elian, wasn’t coincidental. But it’s not until the story unfolds that you learn why she was intent on catching him under her spell, with her black eyes.
But her eyes gave her away. Dark and wide and bottomless. Coal black. They were sad and devoid of light. But I knew there was a soul inside there somewhere. Or at least I hoped so.
Layna doesn’t use the typical tactics to lure the man in, flirty behavior, slutty attire. Instead, she barely speaks to him, and gives little away about herself. Enjoying the chase and knowing he can’t resist her. Their bond is too strong.
With alternating POVs, you get inside both of Layna and Elian’s heads. They both have more issues than Time magazine, and despite the inner warnings that what they are doing isn’t right, they can’t seem to stay apart.
And I felt it in that moment. The moment when, against his better judgement, he began to fall.
For a woman he didn’t know.
But one who pulled him in all the same.
I bit down on my bottom lip to stop myself from grinning like a fool.
So, so easy.
So, so hard. . .
A shared star, seals that connection, showing them they are meant for each other. The meaning behind that star, and why they both have it is slowly explained.
She was pretty. They all were. Pretty but lost. Looking and looking.
Nothing to tether them.
Throughout reading this story, I was torn between wanting Elian to be Layna’s savior from her darkness, while wanting him to run far and clear from her. As the story builds, that second feeling became stronger, while I still hoped for that first feeling. However, you don’t always get what you want.
This story is a change for the author, but she delivers it beautifully. The words are poetic, capturing the thoughts of someone spiraling into their dark thoughts and actions. I was mesmerized and terrified throughout. The dread I felt while reading does come to be, and while it took some time to recover from the ending, I understand it was the appropriate one. This book is a haunting look into the mind of a killer, sunshine and happy endings would never fit. So if you want to take a risk and move out of your comfort zone, buckle your seat beats, have alcohol on standby, and enjoy!
“Happiness is deceptive. Joy is cruel. In the end all you have is selfishness. And pain. It’s okay to want the things people say you shouldn’t have. To take without asking. If it fills that hole in your heart, it can’t be all bad.”