Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

5 Star

Olivia Kaspen is a sharp tongued manipulator used to always getting what she wants. With just one exception-Caleb Drake, the one she foolishly let slip away. After a chance encounter brings Caleb back into her life, Olivia finds herself wanting a second chance with her first love, and asking herself how far she is willing to go to get him back.  Her only problem is a red head named Leah, Caleb’s new love. Olivia must fight for what was once hers, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption. 

Lydia - 5 Star

The Opportunist has every ingredient for a gut wrenching, scream inducing, roller coaster ride of a novel. It’s obsessive, dark, and greedy – both the novel itself, and how it makes you read. I snatched this one up any time I had a few seconds, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, how much I loved it, yet hated it, and I could feel my eyes growing narrow and shifty after every page. The Opportunist marries a psychological thriller with a love story and will keep you guessing until the very last sentence. It will make you feel every possible emotion and remain in your brain long after you flip the last page.

The sense of foreboding that Fisher created in this novel is phenomenal. From the very first page you get a sense something terrible is going to happen between these people. My mind zipped and zoomed all over the place with possibilities. The tension between Olivia and Caleb was palpable and was probably the most intense relationship I have ever read in a novel. I really didn’t expect I would be into Olivia. She’s jealous, possessive, manipulative and self destructive, and so completely unlike me that I could not relate directly in any way. But somehow I tore through pages, desperate to see what she would do next and what she had done in the past. It was like gawking at a train wreck. I think anyone can relate on some level to their love, heartbreak and being so consumed with each other as love often is. Fisher does a fabulous job at making Olivia human, creating reasons for her flaws and making her likeable to some extent, even if you can’t love her.

I can’t get over the ease at which I got sucked into Olivia’s life and how urgently I needed to flip pages to find out what would happen. The Opportunist was unlike many of the novels I read, which are, more or less, cheery and lighter. They usually do not have a protagonist that is so dark and obsessive. They do not have a leading man I can’t decide if I love or loathe. These kids hurt each other, tear their lives and hearts apart, move on and do it all over again. I hated their decisions and what they do to each other from even the smallest things. But there was a romance to them, some tender moments, and I couldn't help but root for Olivia to get over her insecurities and for Caleb to be patient with her. And then I would flip the page and think - oh, no, no, no - they need to get away from each other, now.

Somehow I predicted one of the things to occur, but I was looking for it. That didn’t stop my enjoyment in any way. There were multiple unpredictable events and almost every page surprised me with something. One thing that did surprise me was the writing. It was incredibly easy to read, held no frills and there were multiple ‘rules’ broken if you look at it from the writing ‘handbook’ but it all worked and it was still a smashing read. But then again, rules are meant to be broken right? And I thought it fit really well with Olivia’s personality, her age, her tone and her rule smashing ways.

The Opportunist is hands down one the best self-published books I have read so far and may very well make my Top 5 reads of the year.  Oh, just go out and get it already.

Thank you to myself for buying this one. All opinions are my own. 

Connect with Tarryn Fisher here:

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