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It’s been awhile since I crushed….and this time, I crushed hard. Apologizes ahead of time~ you are about to enter a Luka&Tarik mania zone, enter at your own risk.
Strange, quiet Luka doesn’t live in this world; long ago he took refuge in his art, escaping into surreal mindscapes inspired by his favorite painters. In the beautifully monstrous realms of his imagination, he is safe from the pain of his losses: his family, his friends, his hope.
Until war breaks out, and he is forced to flee the only home he’s known since he was thirteen.
Captured by an enemy soldier, young Luka is marched across brutal terrain, toward a fate known only by the bearded menace holding him prisoner. Quick with a knife, tireless and strong, Tarik guards the purpose of his mission as he takes Luka deeper and deeper into enemy territory.
When the soldier discovers the painful secret he has been hiding since childhood, Luka fears he is about to endure a new kind of cruelty, worse than being abandoned, ostracized or beaten. Or is it possible the soldier holding Luka prisoner is the one person who isn’t afraid of the truth behind Luka’s silence and lies?
This book…this book was an emotional tsunami. And I was swept away. Before the first tidal wave hit, I frantically sent emails, texts and messages to my friends and family. I was struck with an urgent need to…well, take them with me. Ha! I’m not sure if I was afraid of being alone or not wanting them to miss out…most likely it was a bit of both. But I was compelled to share the power of this painstaking beautiful tale.
Now, since you are not my family, I am not going to tell you to read this book. I think it’s a personal decision and I can’t make that choice for you. However, I CAN tell you why this book meant so much to me.
First and foremost it was Luka. From the very beginning I was enthralled with him. This shy, quiet man quickly grabbed my heart with a vice-like-grip and never let go. I was anxious throughout the entire book. I loved Luka, wanted others to love him, and was deeply vested in his future. I believe this is crucial. If you fail to connect with Luka, this story will not have the same impact.
Second and equally as powerful is Tarik. Tarik is the reason that this story soars. He brings light to the shadows. He caresses the wounds and kisses the scars that are inflicted before his presence. He soothes the sharp edges of pain, both Luka’s and mine.
Together? I was awestruck.
Their transcendent love story is one of the most powerful and intense stories I’ve read this year.
Even if you embrace Luka and Tarik as I did, another pivotal component that comes into play is the writing. It’s extravagant. It’s artsy. It’s not always consistent. At times it was tremendously evocative. However, I had no qualms with it. The violent setting, the cruel and brutal scenes, and their horrific struggles required balance. I needed the vivid, flowery prose. It kept me from losing my hold as I traveled their path of despair. It worked….for me.
I could babble and gush and go on and on….to keep myself in check, I’m going to let my friends share a few things about Luka, Tarik and their escape in a wave of thoughts….
I believe the future holds many great things for Luka. I think his long overdue happiness will stir deeply buried feelings and unleash a new Luka, one we have not yet seen. Love holds immense power. And though many might perceive Luka as weak and pitiful, I think his hidden strength and tenacious drive has always been there, and finally being loved will set him free. Tarik has done his best to help Luka, show him his beauty shining from inside as well as out, but it’s up to Luka now. His personal journey is just beginning. Confidence will be a great look on him. And I for one, can hardly stand the wait.