5 out of 5 Stars
*I was provided an ARC of Give Me Your Answer True by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*
Meeting the love of her life at age seventeen is the best thing that’s ever happened to Daisy Bianco—or maybe it’s the worst. Does anyone ever really get to keep their first true love? For Daisy and Erik Fiskare, their connection goes way beyond love. They are connected bone deep, unable to breathe without each other. So when a fellow student and friend brings a gun into the theater and kills six people, injuring Daisy, and their lives spiral out of control, they can’t hold on to what was once so wonderful between them. One mistake by Daisy and their relationship unravels at the seams.
Erik’s sudden departure from Daisy’s life combined with the emotional scars she carries from the shooting are buried deep in her soul, finally forcing her to hit rock bottom a few years later when she begins cutting herself to relieve the pressure of her guilt and pain. She finally gets help and begins to heal from her past trauma, moving on with her life and focusing on her other true love—dancing. Daisy’s career takes off and she finds new relationships, but the ghost of her soul mate is never far from her mind. She wants to be happy in her life, but Daisy doesn’t know if she’ll ever be able to recapture the incredible joy she had with Erik.
Give Me Your Answer True is the follow-up novel to Suanne Laqueur’s award-winning debut, The Man I Love. The first book is the story told from Erik’s point of view, and this companion novel has the same series of events told from Daisy’s point of view. But don’t be turned off by the retelling, because these books couldn’t be more different. Daisy’s story doesn’t repeat many scenes, and even when it does, they offer a fresh perspective on the same event. There are also many added scenes between Erik and Daisy, not to mention additional information about her relationship with their group of friends. And of course there are the years apart, where we only had hints of what Daisy had gone through in The Man I Love.
The biggest difference between the books is the format. I loved how the author set this book up. The first part is told in a mixture of therapy sessions as Daisy begins to fight her demons and flashbacks to the events that led to her downward spiral. Once we catch up to present day, the format switches to current narration interspersed with letters to friends and news articles about Daisy’s career. The entire structure is fresh and compelling.
Like The Man I Love, I could not put this book down once I started it. Suanne’s writing kept me completely engaged from the first word to the last. In the opening scene, I could practically feel the drugs running through Daisy’s system, and there’s nothing I love more than an author who can put you right in the scene with the characters. I was able to feel Daisy’s despair, her guilt, remorse, and even her hopefulness with every turn of a page.
There were several times throughout the story when I teared up, like the first time Daisy had the courage to discuss the shooting openly, but thankfully I wasn’t crying throughout the majority of the book. My real tears were shed for a happy reason this time. Perhaps there were less tears because I already knew the basics of what had happened and had an idea of what Daisy went through, or maybe it was because of the different format of the book, but that didn’t keep me from feeling every emotion. Although this is a companion novel (I’m not sure I’d call it a sequel since it covers the same time period as the first book), it could be read as a standalone. I don’t think you’d be missing anything by not reading The Man I Love first, but since I loved both books equally, I’d highly recommend reading both of them.
Suanne Laqueur has created another masterpiece with Give Me Your Answer True. It’s so much more than a romance, with tons of character growth, self-reflection, physical and emotional pain, betrayal, and reconciliation. I look forward to reading anything else the author writes.
Give Me Your Answer True will be released on June 20, 2015 and is currently available for pre-order. My review of The Man I Love can be found by selecting Suanne Laqueur from the Author Spotlight menu.