Tuesday, 1 April 2014

#LGBTApril, Review: A Kiss in the Dark

Laura Plus Books

LGBT Month is hosted by Cayce at Fighting Dreamer and Laura at Laura Plus Books. It runs throughout April and it’s here to celebrate LGBT readers, LGBT authors and of course LGBT books!

Publication Date:  April 3rd 2014      



When Alex meets Kate the attraction is instant.

Alex is funny, good-looking, and a little shy – everything that Kate wants in a boyfriend.

Alex can’t help falling for Kate, who is pretty, charming and maybe just a little naive…

But one of them is hiding a secret, and as their love blossoms, it threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their lives.

-Spoiler Warning-  I did write this at first with no spoilers, and it had little impact on what I really wanted to say. So, it was impossible to write about this in a way that wouldn't spoil anything, though I'm not spoiling everything and besides, you get to know the truth within the first couple of chapters. I also wanted this to be more of a discussion review than an actual one because it's a serious issue.
This one was a hard one to get through, not because of the subject but because of the reality of it. It's relative, and that's what's fucking scary, because it shouldn't be. You know? It shouldn't be such a big ordeal, and I both hate and pity Alex for what she pretended to be because she wasn't secure in herself, and you know why that is?

Because of society.
It's scared of change, of fear, and that makes impressionable imprints of conceived ideas of what is right and what is wrong.
Alex is scared of her sexuality, and that's a hell of a tough thing to deal with yourself, and then you have the added pressure of what that would make you by society's standards. Which,  runs parallel to Kate after, and contributes to her actions but I'll get to that in a minute.
Because by society you're gay. Strange. Unnatural. But, what the hell does natural even mean anymore? Boob jobs? Nose jobs? Cosmetic surgery to make you feel less insecure, to make you feel happy about yourself, to accept yourself? And what does society say? That's fine, if you want to change or "fix" things to make you the person you want to be? What's the harm, if you can look in the mirror and like what you see there.
Then we come to someone looking in the mirror and telling themselves that who they are, who they like and love, is okay.
What does society say about that?
But that isn't natural now, is it?
Who says what is natural or not?
Because it sure isn't having implants stuck in you, yet it's accepted, yet being yourself isn't. 
Now I've had my lovely rant, I'll get back to the book.
Alex's family were sort of supportive, and said they wouldn't care if she was, and I loved that, but she also had to figure it out for herself. She was questioning her own sexuality, so it wasn't a thing of knowing that she liked girls. In a way, I think it's why she was so deceiving, because it was a safer way of finding out, but of course then she was scared of Kate finding out and it got out of control, but you know what? Even though what happens, happens, I don't think she'd regret it, because by doing it she found herself in a way, and she knew she was in love with Kate and she wasn't scared about that.
Once Kate finds out, she is devastated, and I get that, but she was also more concerned of what people would think because she had been dating a girl. She had a whole lot of issues herself to work out ,and her mother was, quite frankly, a bitch. The first thing her mother asks after she tells her is are you a lesbian? Not that she was hurting, not that she was scared and had about a million things going on in her own head, she was just worried her daughter was gay. And this is why Kate's actions also spiralled out of control and why she did what she did. Partly for revenge, though that sizzles out quickly, but mainly because her mother was horrified by the fact she might be a lesbian.
Though A Kiss in the Dark is a whole lot of shade and deception, and in some actions with what the characters did were wrong, but it was an amazing way to show love is love. It's not about the sex or gender or whether you're gay or not.
Because, it's not even focused on that, Kate fell in love with a person. It was great way to show how gender specifics can play a role in that, in a way that, being female, do you like guys because you're expected to? Vice versa. It was actually what made this pretty amazing because when you come down to it, once again, it's to do with society's standards. You're not expected to like the same sex, but with A Kiss in The Dark, Kate didn't know, and she fell in love with her, without knowing, yes, but she fell in love with Alex for who she was.
A Kiss in the Dark is a realistic, gritty novel of growing as a person, of loving  a person of acceptance and one that will stick with you even after the last page.
 ~A proof copy was provided by Quercus in exchange for an honest review~
Rating: 4.5/5