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By Jardine Libaire
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White Fur is an interesting spin on the star-crossed lovers trope. This is not a love story that will sweep readers off their feet. Jardine Libaire has written a book that is raw, gritty, and rich in description. It has a dark, melancholic feel to it that stayed with me throughout the book’s entirety. It is oddly alluring and pulled me into the lives of the characters. My curiosity was piqued early on, and I wanted to find out what was going to become of this couple.
Elise Perez is a poor, hardened, uneducated, multiracial young woman who has left her mother and siblings behind to begin a new life for herself. Jamey Hyde is a rich, Ivy League student who was born to an actress and an investment bank magnate. They came from different backgrounds, but ended up living next door to one another in New Haven. There is a curiosity, interest, and attraction that develops quickly between Elise and Jamey that becomes impossible for either of them to ignore. This attraction turns into a sexual relationship that is intense and consuming.
There is something that is appealing about a romance between two unlikely people. While Elise and Jamey were opposites in many ways, they also had similarities. They both wanted to escape the lives that they were born into, and they both wanted to feel and be loved. They both seemed to find refuge in each other, but at the same time, I found their connection and relationship to have an awkward feel to it. The need was there, the desire was there, but there just seemed to be something missing or lacking between them.
White Fur takes readers on a trip back in time to New York City in 1986 and 1987 - a time of excess, glamour, and pop culture. Elise and Jamey were living, breathing, and experiencing life in the big city. During their relationship, they lived large, they struggled, they tried to find their way together. Their relationship was complicated, messy, and full of emotion.
White Fur is a unique story that kept my interest throughout. I never felt truly comfortable while reading it. I felt as though I was peeking through my fingers at something that I shouldn’t be watching but couldn’t look away from. I was unsure of how Elise and Jamey’s story would play out. Despite their feelings, they seemed doomed right from the start.
With every turn of the page, I was left with a sense of foreboding. Could their relationship survive despite all the odds? I had to know how it would all end. The story was moving along at a consistent pace for the majority of the book, but in my opinion, the ending didn’t keep up with the overall feel and tone of the book. While I usually enjoy it when an author is able to pull the proverbial rug out from under me and surprise me with an ending, the ending of White Fur left me feeling empty. With that being said, White Fur was still a compelling read and I would definitely read another book by Jardine Libaire in the future.