Author: Carnage: The Story of Us
Author: Lesley Jones
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 14 2014
I love him, from the instant I set eyes on him when I was just 11 years old I have loved him and nothing will ever change that, he owns me, he owns my heart and he owns my body and no matter how many lies are told, no matter how many people conspire to keep us apart, despite the fame and the distance, we will find a way.
"Georgia Rae, when we made love you used to cry" ... He waits for me to sing my bit. I try to swallow down a sob but I just end up singing through it...
"I said I love you like the stars above, I'll love you till I die"
Carnage is an edgy coming of age love story that breaks all the rules and transcends the decades. Georgia and Sean's story will stay with you long after you read the final word.
An emotional, smoking hot, gut wrenching read.
NOTE: This is part #1 of a 2 part story but can be read as a stand alone.
Oh, holy crap! I can’t remember the last time a book made me cry so hard. I think I was in shock, I ranted at the author’s publicist and then refused resolutely to move onto book 2 even though it’s on my Kindle (although I’ve since relented!) and couldn’t start another. I then picked it up again the next morning and tried to make peace with what had hurt so bad and yet again found myself sobbing painfully into the book. Carnage is it’s name and never was a book so aptly titled and even the cover image of a bleeding heart is highly appropriate. There is apparently a Carnage Support Group on Facebook and, believe me, you’re going to need it but beware – here be spoilers although you won’t find any in this review!! Hold on to your hats for one one heck of an emotional roller coaster epic of a book!
First, a warning. The age of consent in the UK is 16 and you should be aware that this book touches on the issues of drug-use, cheating and under-age sex. It all ramps up the shock factor though and makes this a highly compelling read.
I love ya, Georgia Rae, show us your tits.
The book really is an epic sweeping through a couple of decades and it all starts when Georgia is 11 years old and hanging upside down from a pair of monkey bars when Sean, two years her elder, walks into the garden and admires her pink knickers. From this moment on, Georgia knew Sean was the guy she was going to spend the rest of her life with. BUT they’re very young and he must bide his time. Sean is in a band, the eponymous CARNAGE, with one of Georgia’s brothers and they’re on the brink of making it BIG.
I got a real warm fuzzy glow of a British childhood through rose tinted glasses that so closely mirrors my recollections of my own upbringing – it made me super nostalgic. In fact, I really did read this part of the book with a big old goofy grin on my face, enjoying every second knowing that it was all too idyllic and preparing myself for the proverbial bubble to burst in spectacular fashion. And burst it surely does – as Carnage rocket to stardom when Sean is just 18 and Gia only 16, mistakes are made, resentment is born and festers and they go from blissfully in love to absolutely devastated and lost. The world, it seems, does not want to see Sean and Georgia happy together.
I don’t think it’s fair to reveal any more plot details. All I can say is that I was seriously NOT expecting what happened in this book so my advice is to avoid all spoilers at all costs and go into this one blind and experience it just as the author intends and just allow it to happen. Not many books can shock me these days but this one did – more than once. Twice I found myself yelling NOOOOOO at my Kindle in the back garden to the amusement of my neighbours and this book really does make you ‘feel’ in ways that so many just can’t.
It’s an incredible emotional roller coaster taking you from absolutely ecstatic highs to lows lower than you ever thought possible in romantic fiction. I absolutely fell in love with Sean – the gorgeous Rock God that he is. Despite being blessed with classic good looks and a precocious musical talent, he’s actually very charming and funny and, despite everything that happens here, Georgia is his one true love – no one else will do.
Georgia, for her part, I did find hugely frustrating sometimes. I did understand her pain but there were a couple of moments in the book when I really did want to bitchslap her. But, despite this, she’s very funny and very warm and very possessive of Sean and doesn’t take kindly to groupies trying to get their hands on her boyfriend and she’s definitely got a fiery temper which she finds hard to rein in. I did like her a lot and experienced the whole gamut of emotions right along with her and her pain is stark and palpable as I felt myself dragged right down into the pits of despair right along with her.
The whole story unfurls rather like a Shakespearian tragedy (Hamlet possibly springs to mind) as just about everything that can go wrong, does go wrong as Sean and Georgia and their circle of friends and family seem to lurch from one epic disaster to the next. There’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure. A big shout out must go to all the secondary characters most especially Cam, who has a highly significant role to play and whom I truly also adore. Georgia’s brothers and friends are all also so very vividly drawn and this book warms my English heart as it’s littered with British slang and swearing so familiar to this reviewer! For those that need it, there’s a handy glossary at the beginning explaining the meaning of words such as bollocks and shagging. I had to giggle at the words that I just didn’t realise were peculiar to us Brits!
Deep at the heart of all of this carnage is a very beautiful and touching love story which you can truly believe in. There’s no gloss on this – this is real love in all it’s terrible splendour. These two are in love right from that first moment they first lay eyes on one another and it’s a love that never once releases it’s relentless hold, despite what they have to endure. It’s a book that takes you from the highest highs and sends you crashing down into the abyss – a book that you ‘experience’ rather than read as the whole tale is unleashed upon you by Lesley Jones.
It’s a cracker, for sure, and now that book 2 is already released, my advice would be to read this one and then to move straight on to the second one just for the sake of healing. You’re going to need it. Trust me!
4.5 ripped my heart out stars
Series Reading Order
Carnage 1: The Story of Us
Carnage 2: The Story of Me
Lesley Jones Bio
I was born and raised in a small working class town in Essex, just outside of East London. I am married with three sons and in 2006 we all moved to the other side of the world, settling on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, about 50K outside of Melbourne Australia. It's a whole new way of life for us down here, we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world.
I am currently a stay at home mum but in the past I have worked at Marks & Spencer, as a classroom assistant/teachers aid and have run my business.
As well as writing, I love to read and have been known to get through four or five books a week. My other interests are watching my boys play football...The round ball version. I am happy to admit to being an addict of social media and I owe a lot to my Facebook and Twitter family in promoting my work. I am also rather partial to a glass... or bottle of wine, a nicely chilled Marlborough Sav Blanc being my favorite. Being a born and raised Essex girl, I will happily admit to be being a big fan of spray tans, Shellac and am regularly, waxed, tinted and sculpted, although I am more likely to be found in thongs/flipflops than a pair of white stilettos these days.
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