I’m going to be straight up – this is a heavy, raw and substantial portrayal of addiction and co-dependence. If you don’t like dark stories, can’t handle the ugliness, or are one of those people who just don’t “get” addicts, this book is not for you. I will also advise that due to the frank and explicit nature of the subject, there might be triggers for others. For those with an open mind and a willingness to delve in to the hearts and minds of two broken people, you’ll receive a moving tale.
Lily Calloway is addicted to sex. From the time she wakes up in the morning to the time she finally sleeps, her thoughts and actions revolve around orgasms. Hookups with random in strangers in bar bathrooms are her preferred method, but habitual porn watching and hours spent masturbating aid her in chasing the high of orgasms to fill the hole in her soul. Loren “Lo” Hale is a hardcore alcoholic. He starts each day with a Bloody Mary, moves on to whiskey and doesn’t stop until he blacks out. Lo rationalizes that because he doesn’t drive and mainly drinks at home that he is not hurting anyone with his drinking.
From the moment they met as children, Lily and Loren sensed a kindred spirit in each other. Growing up together, they bonded over a shared love of comics and surviving the crushing pressure of being raised in an affluent family. Now in college, they also share the secrets of their own addictions. The make a pact in high school to fake a relationship to keep their families off their backs. This also allows them to live off-campus in an apartment where they retreat further into their own personal hell.
The story is mainly told from Lily’s POV and gives readers a peek into the controversial world of sex addiction. I liked that the authors chose to tell the story from a female perspective. Yes, we have sex drives just like men! This book is heartbreakingly accurate about the vicious cycles of addiction – chasing and then feeding the high, coming down and feeling the shame yet completely unable to stop the cycle from repeating itself. We watch while as the hours and days are eaten up by the monster inside Lily. I felt the authors did a fabulous job of not being overly dramatic or sensational in their descriptions. They stayed genuine and I feel that it allows readers to sympathize with Lily instead of vilifying her.
Lily and Lo have been covering for each other from the start; each felt that it would be hypocritical to do otherwise. Lily cleans up Lo’s bottles and makes sure that he’s still breathing after passing out. Lo tags along to the bar to make sure Lily is safe while hooking up. Co-dependent relationships are usually born out of love and loyalty to another. It’s obvious from the start that Lo and Lily care deeply about each other, despite the dysfunction. In the confines of their relationship, they can be free from judgment and recrimination and feel safe to show who they really are, no matter how ugly. As their addictions reach a fever pitch, they reach for the one constant true thing in their lives – each other. Their fake relationship progresses to a real relationship as Lily and Lo try to slow down the runaway train of their lives. Lily thinks she can use sex to distract Lo into drinking less and Lo thinks he can keep Lily safe by giving into all her sexual desires.
Lo’s story is mainly kept in the background until the last quarter of the book when other people infiltrate their party of two and begin to affect change. It’s clear that most of Lo’s drinking is a result of his complicated relationship with his father. Towards the end of the book, something happens and secrets are revealed that has Lo reaching his rock bottom. As Lo begins to face the fact that he can’t continue the way they have been, Lily still clings to the comfort of her addiction. She fears that they if they rehabilitate they will change into different people who no longer work together. However, as more people uncover their secrets, Lily is forced to take a good look at what her life has become.
The narrative flows easily and the story is so emotional that I could not put the story down for a moment and I immediately downloaded the next book in the series. I heartily recommend this book for its uncensored and realistic look into the lives of two young people bound by each other and their compulsions.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Addicted to You
by Krista Ritchie and Becca Ritchie
Release Date: August 22, 2013