Raw – Belle Aurora

You can push a person to change, but the only time the change will stick is when it’s something they want to achieve on their own.

I am incredibly far from my comfort zone reviewing this book, but it was so bad I just had to talk about it.

Summary
Lexi didn’t have an easy life. But now she’s doing great. She’s well-educated, working the job of her dreams and surrounded by beloved friends. Everything in her life is exactly how it was supposed to be. Wellโ€ฆ except for the fact that she has a stalker.

Writing
Writing style in this book feels very cheap. It’s full of cringey one-liners and “dirty talk” that instead of sounding sexy, just feels uncomfortable.

Characters
Lexi is the most spineless character I have ever met. She has a few rare moments when she realizes that maybe, just maybe, she deserved to be treated a little bit better than an animal, but those moments pass quickly. As soon as Twitch (yeah, that’s his name) appears in her line of sight she’s back to acting like an idiot with absolutely no self-worth. Which is incredibly frustrating, because she feels very likeable when he’s not around. But he’s around almost all the time. Because he stalks her.

BECAUSE HE’S INSANE. absolutely nuts. There is not a single sane bone in his body. He’s aggressive, abusive and dangerous. Oh, and he is so goddamn crazy because his parents beat him when he was a child. No. That’s not a valid excuse.

I want to be very clear about something. The relationship between Lexi and Twitch is not what a healthy BDSM relationship looks like. As soon as your partner tells you that you have no right to say “no” during sex you run. You run far away and never look back. And maybe you also do that when a creepy man starts stalking you. Or is breaking into your house. Or hires someone to rape you. Just a thought.

Let me tell you some of the things that Twitch has done (it’s not all of them. Just the ones I remember right now. I wasn’t taking any notes because I really thought I wouldn’t be reviewing this book. And I really don’t feel like touching this book right now. Or ever again.):
– He stalks Lexi. All the time.
– He hired a man to rape her (this guy didn’t succeed, because Twitch swept in acting like a damn hero, but he got really, really close.)
– He told Lexi she has no right to say “no” to him during sex and he proved that to be true many times,
– He had anal sex with her without her consent. And without preparing her in any way. Which is painful and dangerous. Oh, yeah. And it’s called rape.
– He punched his best friend, hard. For a really dumb reason.
– He got violent with a man who honked at him. Because he stopped his car in the middle of the road,
– He got overwhelmed by the task of buying milk in a grocery store, so he started to yell at an employee who tried to help him

I could continue for so, so long. But I feel like you get the point.

And I understand. He’s the bad guy. He’s supposed to be evil. But Lexi stays with him. Through all of this. And she sees some of it as romantic. She’s a completely new brand of stupid. I mean, who in their right mind has sex with a stranger who stalks them daily. AND. DOESN’T. USE. ANY. PROTECTION. OH MY GOD.

Plot
There is nothing that even pretends to be a plot in this story. It’s just basically only about Lexi and Twitch having a lot of very rough sex, without any aftercare whatsoever, and then him leaving her in the middle of the night so she can wake up feeling used and abused. And then Lexi swearing she’s not going to let him do that again. And letting him do that 3 pages later. And this book is over 300 pages long. So imagine that.

Overall

I started reading this book because I wanted to read a creepy book about a stalker. And when I saw the description of this book said “This is not a love story. This is a story of love gone wrong” I thought I found exactly what I was looking for. I thought I found something similar to “You” by Caroline Kepnes. Well, I was wrong.

I am not a stranger to erotica. I tend to enjoy this genre, even though it can get really cringey really fast. But this book is not only cringey. It’s dangerous. It portrays BDSM relationships in a very bad light (that’s also why I hate 50 Shades so much). It doesn’t present it as a mutually consensual exchange of power, where both parties are respectful of their boundaries and their right to say “no”. It just shows it as an abusive relationship, where one person gets off on hurting the other. And I can’t respect that. This book also shows very dangerous and harmful sexual practices that actually made my skin crawl. And it romanticizes abuse and sexual assault.

It’s hands down the worst book I have read last year. Or maybe even in my life.

Content warning: Sexual, emotional and verbal abuse, rape attempt, domestic violence

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