Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii party people! Welcome to the cover reveal for none other than the infamous Black Iris, by my fellow menace to sincerity, Leah Raeder.

So, unfortunately, this book didn’t suck. Like, at all. In fact, it’s actually pretty great. So great that I actually blurbed it and everything. Voila!

“Raeder masterfully weaves a dark, twisted, dangerously sexy quest for revenge with a raw, honest search for kinship and self-acceptance. Black Iris demands your attention, your heart, and an immediate reread.”

(Or, as it will gloriously appear on her blog, “Dark, Twisted, Dangerously Sexy” – Dahlia Adler, aka the world’s greatest personal ad.)

Those of you at all familiar with my archnemesis are probably aware that she’s written some pretty epic blog posts about queerness and sexual fluidity, including this newest one about whether Black Iris contains f/f. (Spoiler alert: it does. A lot. And it’s absurdly hot.) Those hoping to see more of that in BI (hehehehe) will not be disappointed. I love New Adult, but it’s impossible to ignore that it isn’t yet nearly as diverse as it both could be and should be, especially when it comes to romances between girls and examinations of the LGBTQ spectrum. The fact that Black Iris features both, as well as different kinds of mental illness, makes it stand out in so many ways.

And that’s before you even get to the gorgeous writing (duh – you’ve read Unteachable, right?) and gloriously twisted revenge plot.

Basically, buy it, read it, love it. Then read it again.

And for a glimpse into how good it is, here’s a little excerpt before we get to the cover…


BLACK IRIS by Leah Raeder

April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot said, and that’s because it kills. It’s the month with the highest suicide rate. You’d think December, or even January—the holidays and all that forced cheer and agonized smiling pushing fragile people to the edge—but actually it’s spring, when the world wakes from frostbound sleep and something cruel and final stirs inside those of us who are broken. Like Eliot said: mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. In the deepest throes of depression, when sunlight is anguish and the sky throbs like one big raw migraine and you just want to sleep until you or everything else dies, you’re less likely to commit suicide than someone coming out of a depressive episode. Drug companies know this. That’s why antidepressants have to be marked with the warning MAY CAUSE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.

Because what brings you back to life also gives you the means to destroy yourself.


It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She’s going to show them all.

When I saw this cover, I immediately fell in love with it – I think it’s a perfect display of dark, feminine power, which is exactly the vibe that runs through the entirety of Black Iris. Also, yeah, it’s a little genital, which, you know, Black Iris.

For someone who started out with Rainbowface, this whole cover thing has actually gone pretty damn well.


Atria Books | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781476786421 | On sale: April 28, 2015 | List price: $15.00 | eBook ISBN: 9781476786438 | eBook list price: $5.99


Leah Raeder is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago. Visit her at LeahRaeder.com.

Find Leah online:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Books-a-Million * IndieBound