Book Look: The World of Tarryn Fisher

     Okay, so it's been months since I wrote anything here, and honestly...I don't have a good reason for it. Outside of hating everything I was writing or had planned to write, I have no really good reason for not at least trying to put something out here. It's St. Patrick's Day and I'm not working on what I'm supposed to be working on (real, actual work), nor am I doing the kind of playing people my age are wont to do on a day like today--someone has to keep this library running, this weekend that someone is me.

     Let's do something book related.

     In honor of life's various tragedies, let's take a look at some stuff from one of my more recent favorite authors: Tarryn Fisher. One of my sisters introduced me to her after trying (and failing) to get me hooked on Colleen Hoover's books, and let's just say I was skeptical at best. I was in the middle of a deep depression/book slump (related, I think, to the horrendous writer's block I've been suffering with) and I just wasn't in the mood to read garbage, you know? But she swore by her and I was desperate.

   So I picked up/borrowed these books:

Image result for atheists who kneel and pray Image result for f*ck love tarryn fisher   Image result for mud vein tarryn fisher Image result for bad mommy tarryn fisher

     And you know, in spite of myself, I felt something real. For the first time in a long time, I felt passionate about something. I was excited, I desperately needed more. I found her female characters to be well-written, heavily flawed individuals who make a plethora of mistakes, have a hard time letting go, and just generally come across as human beings.

     Honestly, I saw something I could identify with. For the first time, I saw myself in literature, and that was a feeling I'd been aching for for as long as I can remember. These aren't the shiny, happy women books usually portray, nor are they bitter, broken, defenseless creatures -- that seems to be the spectrum for female characters. You're beautiful and perfect, bitter and hard, or a ghost of your former self.

     I don't know anyone who's 100% committed to being any of that all the time.

     But I do know women who are beautiful enough, powerful enough to be any man's muse; I know women who have fallen in love with the wrong guy/the right guy at the wrong time; I know women who have suffered abuse and come out on the other side, not who they once were but, you know, better than they had been. I know women who have had it rough.

     I have been all of those women. And I found them in these books.

     Atheists Who Kneel and Pray is about finding your way back: to yourself, to someone you love. It's about rectifying a situation. Fuck Love is about consequences, it plays with the idea of fate, and a turn on one of my favorite phrases, "just because you can, does that mean you should?" Mud Vein is a study in trauma survival, facing your past while making it through your day by the skin of your teeth. And Bad Mommy? It's a batshit crazy ride that makes you really stop and consider who you trust and why, what our agendas are within different relationships.

     These books deal with heavy topics, they fall under the romance category but I wouldn't call these run-of-the-mill love stories. I wouldn't recommend them to the casual romance readers in my library. I've handed Bad Mommy and Mud Vein to people who like suspense, they definitely fall within that category, but when I try and think of an ideal reader for all of these books out of my patron list, I can't come up with one.

     I think they're not meant to be read by everybody, nor are they meant to be read at any old time.

     When I look at these books, really look at them, I think they need to be read when you're going through something. Not necessarily a bad something, any sort of change where you're not feeling very certain of what's ahead of you, or even what's behind you. These are books for your unstable days, for when you need some sort of reassurance; not necessarily that things will turn out okay, sometimes they don't, but just that things will turn out. The period will end, for better or worse, and sometimes the right story is just the thing you need to put your own garbage into perspective.

     And, you know, I feel like there's something to be said for Tarryn herself. She's pretty damn honest about who she is, who she has been; a self-proclaimed lover of women, a movement I can 1000% get behind, she's involved in her fans' online community and something is definitely gained from her presence. Her fans are very involved and it's not usually in the creepy 'I-wanna-wear-your-skin-for-clothes' kind of way people with that level of enthusiasm usually convey. I don't really take part in groups or forums, I tend to lurk from the sidelines and watch other people have their fun, but I've appreciated the stories these bright, wonderful women have to tell--even if they have no idea who I am. I think Tarryn's accessibility makes her relatable, it makes me want to root for her in a way I'm not used to feeling about the people whose work I read. To say I'm eagerly awaiting her next book is an understatement.

     I also like her taste in literature and clothing, but that's neither here nor there in a reflection of her work.

     There are four books I've left out of my selection: The Opportunist, Dirty Red, Thief, and Marrow. Not because they're not good books, the stories are intriguing and I appreciate them for what they are, but I just didn't connect with them in the same way. Perhaps they're meant for another time for me, or maybe they're just not meant for me at all, but I just didn't feel like they had the same soul as the four I selected. What I like about Tarryn's work is that she isn't afraid to go there, wherever 'there' happens to be at the time, and something about those works feels held back to me.

     I've started writing again, but I think that's due to the fact that I'm reading again. I don't have a tolerance for 'any old book', I'm on the search for a particular something, and it changes with every story. I think I'm refilling my well of inspiration, borrowing from a handful of genres so I can get back to writing my own novel with more confidence than I had before. Now I guess I have no choice but to get back to work, these books don't enter/shelve themselves.

See you


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