Thursday, June 21, 2018

*Review* Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur

Genre: NA/Romance
Published: June 20, 2015
Pages: 506

"What I feel has no name..." 

Suanne Laqueur's award-winning debut novel The Man I Lovethrilled readers with its memorable characters and depth of emotion. Erik Fiskare's journey of love, recovery and forgiveness captivated hearts but also left questions unanswered. Now Daisy Bianco has a chance to tell her story. 

It's been three years since a single lapse of judgment cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he's chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her or acknowledge her betrayal. Alone and shattered, Daisy attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik's unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the Lancaster shootings, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John "Opie" Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again. 

Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the college years with Daisy's present life. Supported by John's patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me. 

In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they are trying to evolve without being fully resolved. But when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.

I started reading this book a couple years ago, but didn't even manage to make it to the part where Daisy's story diverges from Eric's, I think partially because I dreaded the events that led to that and had already experienced them from Eric's perspective. So I decided to try listening to the audiobook instead, figuring that might make it easier to push through those tough spots that I knew were coming. I don't recall feeling like the narration was amazing, but I also don't recall thinking it was awful either, so I can assume that the opposite gendered voices were acceptable and that the narrators voice didn't just grate on my nerves. 

While this book is technically a retelling of The Man I Love from Daisy's perspective, it doesn't feel like it's just a repeat of that story, even before Erik and Daisy's split. Give Me Your Answer True treats us to several scenes where Erik isn't even around (whereas I felt like TMIL was very Daisy-centric even from Erik's POV). Even though my entire ballet expertise comes from Save the Last Dance and Step Up, I was still able to put myself into Daisy's pointe shoes (slippers?) for her classes and performances. Even though I may have been imagining some of the moves incorrectly, the descriptions were so vivid I could easily see them in my mind.

The part of the story that I was most interested in, but also anxious about, was Daisy's life after her big mistake. It was touched upon in TMIL, but this was a way to really feel what Daisy went through after the separation, and I did. I felt it so hard wet stuff leaked from my eyes more than once. I'd thought Erik's actions were rather stupid while reading TMIL, but in GMYAT, I started to kind of hate him for putting my friend Daisy through all that. If he'd tried to get close to Daisy while I was around, I would've cut him.

Overall I give Give Me Your Answer True 4.386 stars. - Katie 

A former professional dancer and teacher, Suanne Laqueur went from choreographing music to choreographing words. Her work has been described as "Therapy Fiction," "Emotionally Intelligent Romance" and "Contemporary Train Wreck."

Laqueur's novel An Exaltation of Larks was the grand prize winner in the 2017 Writer's Digest Book Awards. Her debut novel The Man I Love won a gold medal in the 2015 Readers' Favorite Book Awards and was named Best Debut in the Feathered Quill Book Awards. Her follow-up novel, Give Me Your Answer True, was also a gold medal winner at the 2016 RFBA.

Laqueur graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater. She taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. An avid reader, cook and gardener, she started her blog EatsReadsThinks in 2010.

Suanne lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children.
Visit her at
Her Facebook page:
Follow her on Twitter @suannelqr
All feels welcome. And she always has coffee

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