Like many other reviewers, I was torn in rating/reviewing this book. I think I'll hold off on assigning the stars until I ponder this piece more. this is a short story, but it left an indelible impression on me. I'm sure I won't be able to fully express my thoughts on this book, but here goes nothing.
First- the blurb does not have a warning, and it should. A strong one. In bold red font. <mild spoiler> This book contains semi-frequent violence, strong emotions, and rape <mild spoiler> . In addition, these events do not occur in a fantasy world, but in a fairly realistic setting. This changes the tone of the story in that events are not softened or blunted by knowing they aren't real (even if you know it is fiction). This story holds no punches.
This story is all about love/hate, and the author excels at not only conveying that, but drawing you into the web of emotion. I felt both emotions for both characters, strongly, at various time throughout the story. I loved, and detested, both characters. Keep in mind I often empathize with bad guys in crime novels, though. There were not many moments in which my chest wasn't constricted in sympathy/pain, that I wasn't truly nauseous from the story line (even knowing what was going to happen as the basic plot was fairly predictable), or i wasnt simply hanging on every word. The author told this story from an unusual narrator, which offers the reader a unique (and controversial) perspective. In these respects, the author was very successful.
I felt that certain portions of the book were completely unrealistic, had little basis in reality, and - in parts - were laughable. Finally there was no depth provided for secondary characters and in fact no explanations were provided for twilight zone-ish actions.
The book was high drama all the time and it and felt like a tele-novella or parody of an extreme soap opera.
As I mentioned above, the character perspective offered was an unusual choice. While I'm sure this was rather intentional, this perspective left a bad taste in my mouth. I literally felt ill after reading this story and I'm no stranger to dark fic. For further information, please refer to Damon's review as he provided a lengthy and detailed opinion on this matter. I agree with Damon that the perspective chosen resulted in the cartoonization (made up word alert!) of one of the characters and that a greater depth or insight into that individual is need.
I can't say that I would recommend this book, but I can say that you should have a strong constitution should you choose to do so. That being said, I will certainly check out another story from this author, as she was quite successful in stringing me along whether i wanted to go or not. This book was like standing on the train tracks looking into the lights of an oncoming train - yet being unable to move.