The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

*The author gave me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

   Erik "Fish" Fiskare loves the theater, but his guarded nature prefers backstage to center stage. While studying stagecraft at college, his spotlight turns on a talented dancer named Marguerite "Daisy" Bianco. Soon, Erik is drawn to a first love as soulful as it is passionate. 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 lies in ruins. 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. 
   Spanning fifteen years and following a man's thrilling emotional journey back to the truth of himself, Laqueur's debut novel explores the dark side of devotion and the futility of running from one's past. The Man I Love is an epic tale of love and forgiveness that will linger longer after the last page is turned. 

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   That's really all I can say for this book. I just went on such an emotional roller coaster reading this book... I honestly don't know where to start.
   I guess from the beginning.
   Right from the start, I knew this book was going to be great. The writing is flawless. Very few to no grammar mistakes and the style was just what I was looking for. It was poised and elegant, which took me by surprise because I didn't expect that coming from a book of this genre.
   I loved the writing, and then I loved the story. I'm not really into theatric art but I loved the way the elegance of the dancers matched the way the writing was. I loved learning about the behind-the-scenes of the stage. So much goes into production, it's crazy (new respect goes out to those who take part in any of it).
   But I guess what I loved the most is how Suanne really showcased the reality of grief, love, life, and so much more. You guys know me, I cannot do unrealistic situations. The Man I Love was so explicit in how Erik and his group of friends felt and went through life. Their decisions, though sometimes not rational, were realistic given the situation. It really felt as if I was looking into someone else's life.
   And man, do I feel for all of them. TMIL started off sad, but upbeat and hopeful. Turning into happiness and love; nothing could go wrong. But literally within minutes, life decides to take a 180 turn on the characters and it's... depressed, bleak... hopeless. But unlike most books, the bad times carried out for a good amount of the book. I liked that though, because it just shows how long it takes to get through something terrible. It doesn't always take days or months. Sometimes it takes years, and Suanne highlighted that. I think she did an exemplary job portraying both the good and bad in relationships and situations.
   I only have one critique but I'm not even sure if it's even a bad thing. It was a really long book; carried out to fifteen years with almost 600 pages. There were times when I felt as if it was just filler information, not important to the storyline and, honestly, boring. But then... throughout the book, you start to see everything connected. There was a reason why Suanne had it in the book. Like those freaking pepparkakor cookies. Why the heck do you need to know how they taste or why they were made? Trust me, THE ENDING. Everything had such a small yet significant job in the book and I really loved that. So I think the brief times I wanted to skip through a little dialog or explaining, I'm so glad I didn't.
   I'm honestly just so awed by this book and its story that's being held between two covers by its binding. I truly didn't think it'd be this good.
  Obviously, I recommend this book. It's a great read if you're looking for something that holds a lot of meaning between the lines.


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