I am mentally groaning in the literary high that I have been brought into by this book. There are just so many quotable lines and the characters and the–alright, before I lose my sanity, let’s start this review.
The Man I Love (The Fish Tales #1) by Suanne Laqueur
Published on: 16 June 2014
Published by: Cathedral Rock Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Add it on: Goodreads
Buy it on: Amazon
Favorite quote: “How would a bowl of regret taste to you?”
College freshman Erik Fiskare loves the theatre, but he’s more intrigued by the wizardry behind the red curtain than the spectacle center stage. That is, until Daisy Bianco steps into the spotlight. The moment Erik lays eyes on this ballerina, his atoms rearrange and the young stagehand will never be the same.
For two years, the romance thrives within a tight-knit circle of artists and friends. Then, a newcomer arrives—James, a brilliant but erratic dancer with a misguided infatuation and a burning desire to belong. Rejection sets James on a course for destruction and when the smoke clears, Erik’s world is torn apart. He soon discovers that in the face of heartache, grief and betrayal, love is not always enough to make you stay. And sometimes, it’s the only thing that can bring you back.
Very few new adult novels became notable and memorable to me. And the entire premise of The Man I Love is personally promising. Let me start with what I absolutely love about this novel.
First off, the narration. Seeing–or reading–the story in Erik’s eyes is just perfect. It’s as if the story is coming to life right before my eyes. You could really feel that you were there with him. His curiosity in dance, ballet in particular, his love for Daisy and Will and his other friends, his heartbreak, his grief. I was there. And it was one of the things that made this world so hard to detach from.
I was having a hard time with the pacing at first. Man, this book was so meticulous and detailed, every word, every observation means something in the later parts of the story. And the moment I realized that was the moment I appreciated the slow pace and the detailed way that the author wrote this novel. You witness everything gradually unfolding, piece by excruciating piece, and it creates a more than satisfying read.
While Erik was a great protagonist and narrator, I have more love for Will and David, the latter of two I seriously hoped would be able to meet Erik in the later novels because I honestly believe there’s more to David than the funny guy that he is. Personally, though, James is the most relatable character—David is the close second. Not because I’ve had similar experiences but because I can understand him and his intentions. And there are certainly moments when the rest of the characters seem far-fetched.
However, I did not get the dance aspect of the story. It wasn’t something I know and I finished the book with very few things learned from ballet (e.g., pas de deux). And about technical theatre, for that matter. But I don’t mind because the emotional aspect of the novel was so satisfying and wonderfully written.
Forgiveness, at times, is not something you can easily give to yourself or to others. And that’s also where the slow-pacing and detailed writing work well with this story.
The Man I Love is an enthralling read about heartbreak and forgiveness. It may turn out to be slow-paced but it’s definitely worth it. I actually finished the second installment a couple of days ago (‘eyy) and I’m excited to read the third installment soon.