Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Review: GIVING IT UP by Amber Lin
Allie is a survivor. She’s been knocked down and kicked over and over but still manages to pull herself together and move forward. What else can she do with a baby daughter to look after? Plus she has her ride or die best friend, Shelly by her side. And with the help of her new found love Colin, she begins to slowly heal from the tragedies of her past.
Giving It Up was a deep and dark emotional read. I was rooting for Allie to get her happily ever after the entire time. Being raped by someone you trust is devastating enough but to then be taken advantage of again by an authority figure would have been enough to tip anyone over the edge of sanity. I loved Allie’s tenacity and her ability to cope with her demons. She picked up random strangers for anonymous sex. But her once a month “date nights” gave Allie the outlet she needed to exorcise painful memories. While her methods were probably not healthy or safe, it allowed her to function.
I wasn’t so sure of Colin’s intentions in the beginning. He was the strong silent type that didn’t open up with his feelings so I never knew what he was thinking or what he was going to do. He’s had a pretty tough life and dark past as well. But his love for Allie and her daughter was heartwarming and made me love Colin in the end.
I enjoyed the suspense in the novel and the tension between the characters. The flow of this story was great. The back stories were woven in perfectly. Each character that was introduced played their part and moved the story along. All of the characters were damaged which made the novel dark and much more interesting. Allie is a single mother struggling to support her daughter Bailey and keep her own battered psyche whole. Colin had a difficult childhood and has a criminal history. Shelly is the prostitute who would do anything to help her friend Allie but she seems to have demons in her past as well. Then there’s Colin’s brother, Philip who is deeply entrenched in some serious criminal activity. I suspect there may be stories for some of these other characters in the future.
I thoroughly enjoyed Allie and Colin’s story. Their relationship was rocky and full of tension. At first I wasn’t sure they were right for each other but as the story moved along I could see the growth of trust and love in their relationship. Their love scenes were brutal, sexy and honest. Within those scenes was a window into Allie’s damaged soul. Giving It Up was an incredibly moving novel. It’s a dark love story that will make you gasp and cry and leave you emotionally drained but there is happiness at the end for these flawed lovers.