“Stain” was gut-wrenching, intense, raw, emotional and overall a fantastic read! This was my second read by this author and for sure it won’t be my last. This read was very addictive. I was hooked immediately from the very first page and the author kept my attention until the end.
“Secrets are dangerous to keep. They rot you from the inside out. Every dark secret one harbors is a colony of millions of white little maggots crawling and burrowing inside the valleys and caverns of your being. Multiplying, procreating, and eating away at you until everything you thought you were disappears, leaving nothing but a shell behind.”
The story fallows the lives of two high school students – Maddox ‘Max’ and Aylee. Aylee is an adoptive child living with her parents and her sister. She’s damaged, a lifeless girl whose secrets destroys her spirit every day more and more. She is abused by her foster father in every single way and even if her foster mother knows everything about it she chooses to close her eyes and pretend nothing is happening. Feeling dirty, to cope with everything, Aylee cuts herself.
“Can’t remember a day I haven’t felt like destroying something. Or someone. It’s always there, just beneath the surface. Sometimes I can control it. Other times…I don’t want to.”
Max’s life wasn’t easy. He’s scarred, dark, flawed and angry most of the time. He doesn’t care about anyone except his twin brother. Max lives with his drug dealing foster father and he’s the main star of his own porn site.
As much as she knows Max is different from her, Aylee is drawn to him like a moth to a flame. As they actually start to interact with each other, they are realize both of them are stained, trying to fight their demons as best they can. In a short time, Aylee becomes for Max everything that matters, everything good in his life and he’s ready to do anything for her and to protect her from anyone who’s trying to harm her in any way.
The story was raw and gritty and I enjoyed every single chapter of it. Both main characters were interesting, flawed and well developed despite the fact this was a short-ish read. I really felt for both of them and I even understood why Max is how he is. He can be an a**hole, but he also can be sweet, caring and protective. I loved the way he was with Aylee. Their connection was well done and palpable from the beginning. Aylee was a sweet heroine who despite her past wasn’t broken. She’s strong and caring and I liked how clearly she ‘sees’ Max.
The pace of the story was perfect and the writing was flawless and very graphic at times.
Even if I know Max and Aylee’s story will continue, I have to say the ending felt a little rushed to me. Also, I have a couple of questions unanswered. Needless to say I’m anxiously waiting for the next book.
Overall, a fabulous gritty and intense read!
“He’ll bring the shards and I’ll provide the flesh, and we’ll bleed the stains slicking our souls.”