“Sometimes you make so much history with someone, the present just don’t make sense.”
In the summer of 1981, a serial killer preys on black, teenage prostitutes working Seattle’s arterial highways. But the eyes of youth are blind to danger, and Montgomery “Monti” Jackson is distracted by her own problems. She’ll be starting high school soon, and the return of her mother’s boyfriend heightens the tension in her fractured household.
To add to her worries, Monti fears she may be in love with her best friend Sasha. But as close as they’d once been, now they couldn’t feel further apart. Sasha is a burnout punk rocker, and has befriended the neighborhood drug dealer. And when an eviction notice is posted on Monti’s door, a strange dynamic forms between them.
One night, an altercation leaves her family penniless. So Monti turns to the very streets where a killer stalks and ensnares young women, beginning her journey towards understanding one, simple truth – sometimes your only choices in life are to love and survive.
Rain City Lights is a gritty, urban love story that explores how poverty, addiction and abuse is passed from one generation to the next
Thank you to Literary Bound Tours and author Marissa Harrison for allowing me to be on this book tour and for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. To check out the rest of the Literary Bound Tour Schedule please click here!
I just want to start off by saying that Harrison set up this book perfectly in the first chapter. The way that she introduces Monti and Sasha couldn’t have been done in a better way. Juxtaposed against one another, Monti and Sasha perfectly convey the disconnect between two very different groups of people in America. We are first introduced to Sasha when tragedy strikes his family and we get an inside look at the resentment he feels towards his father. Monti, Sasha’s neighbor has been locked out of her home by a forgetful mother. This meeting on Christmas Eve begins the journey of two unlikely friends who have to battle through family and societal issues while trying to figure out how to be free from the people in their life that make them feel trapped.
To start, Harrison’s characters that she has created showcase extreme depth and character development throughout the novel. She slowly gives us pieces of each character through flashbacks and even current events that these MCs are going through. Monti is such a strong character and you can really feel her emotions through the page. Everything she goes through mentally and physically is laid bare for all of us to read. As a reader, it is so hard not to form a sort of intimate relationship with her because of how clearly she shows through the page. Sasha is very similar in this aspect. I definitely can relate to Monti a little more, but Sasha holds a special place in my heart as well. He struggles with generational demons that threaten to overtake his life. He is dealt an unfair hand at life and as much as he struggles to break free of it, he replaces one hell for another in a sense. I rooted for Sasha the entire time. I really wanted things to get better for him.
The story itself became something that I could not put down. There were so many subplots, side characters, and additional information about the story to absorb that I tried to devour as much of the story as I could in each sitting. The murder-mystery subplot set against the main story’s more romantic plot is definitely a combination that I have never read before. The heartbreaking moments and the suspenseful moments blended together into a nice heartstopping soup, I loved it.
Harrison’s writing overall is just perfection. The way that she was able to weave multiple POVs together into one novel, while also incorporating flashbacks into the narrative is not an easy feat, but this debut author manages to pull it off seamlessly. The novel flowed extremely well and the jumps between past and present made the novel into what it is, a masterpiece. This is the only way this novel could’ve been written and I am so happy that Harrison decided to share this one-of-a-kind story with us.
Meet the Author
Marissa Harrison is the author of her debut novel, Rain City Lights. She’s also an avid
reader and loves both romances and mystery/thrillers. Her favorite stories to read
combine both genres, and tend to be either love stories with a lot of grit or intense
crime stories with a dash of romance. In her spare time, she enjoys running, hiking,
dramatic miniseries’ and a great glass of wine. She lives in Seattle with her husband
and four guinea pigs.
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