Thursday, February 16, 2012
Destiny Calling by Fabian Black
The Most Difficult And Heartbreaking Book I Have Ever Read
The first thing I will say is this: This book is not for everyone. I'm going to try and explain why while explaining why I think that this book was so spot on.
Destiny Calling thoroughly defies any rating that I could give it, so I'm not going to rate it at all. For me, the most important thing about this book is not whether it is a good or a bad book. The most important thing about Destiny Calling is that it's a difficult and honest book.
This book proves the fact that love is not about who deserves who or the reasoning behind things. In my opinion that is the best, most realistic and most honest kind of romance there is.
This story is about Sam and Colin. Sam is bipolar, unmedicated and his moods are all over the place. Colin is a man who's had alot of experience dealing with mental illness. His sister was bipolar and schizophrenic. Eighteen months ago she committed suicide by locking herself in her car, dousing herself in gasoline and setting herself on fire.
The fact that Colin has lived with mental illness for most of his life is a huge reason why he understands Sam, sticks by Sam and can see the Sam that most people don't take the time to see.
When Colin first spots Sam in a music store, Sam is completely manic, making a scene and in danger of being roughed up by two security guards. Colin saves him, drives him home and then tries to forget the young man who reminds Colin so much of his sister. Colin is attracted to Sam but Sam is very clearly unbalanced. A few weeks later Sam shows back up in Colin's life, roughed up and homeless. Colin takes him in and gives him a place to stay.
Here is the first reason why this story will not sit well with alot of people; Sam is unbalanced, point blank. His illness, his history and his lack of medication have made him volatile, rude and EXTREMELY difficult to deal with. This is made clear from the start. Most readers are not going to like Sam. Sometimes I didn't like Sam but even when I didn't like him I felt like he was ripping my heart out. Sam is a character who has very little control over his actions. At one point he confesses that he can't figure out what's wrong with him and that once he starts acting out he can't figure out how to stop himself. He doesn't know how.
Most people want a romance novel where the character would overcome that and be a sympathetic victim that you want to take care of. Sam is not that kind of character because in real life things rarely go that way. Most people will say that there is no excuse, Sam is an adult, he's immature and needs to grow up. All of those things are true. There is no excuse but there is a REASON (there is a difference) and, like it or not, the truth of it is that mental illness is the reason. Fabian Black does not shy away from that even though most people won't be able to make the distinction.
My second point; Colin's love for Sam. Most readers probably will not get why Colin loves Sam. For me, this book was not about WHY Colin loves Sam. It's all about HOW Colin loves Sam. Colin and Sam live together for about two months before entering into a relationship. Colin has seen Sam at his worst and Sam's worst is pretty bad. Colin, though, loves Sam anyway and sees the man that Sam is in those moments when he's somewhat balanced. Colin reads up on how to bring Sam some measure of happiness and peace through D/s. He reads up on how a good diet will help Sam's moods be more balanced and help Sam be a more content person. Colin is not trying to make himself happier by changing Sam. Colin wants SAM to be happier.
And Colin is no Saint with endless patience. He gets angry, he gets annoyed, he gets frustrated and with good reason. He knows that Sam manipulates but he also knows that Sam loves him, needs him and wants him. And no it is not some twisted kind of unhealthy love. It's just...love that expressed in ways that not alot of people understand but Colin and Sam are the only ones who need to understand it.
Colin is the definition of a person that truly knows what love is about. Loving someone with a mental illness is a struggle. It is probably one of the hardest romantic relationships to be in. This book was so realistic in that Colin and Sam's relationship was hard to read about.
I think that mostly this book is not for alot of people because they will spend the whole book questioning why Colin loves Sam, why he stays with Sam. I don't think that's what this love story is about though. It's about how strong love can be, how strong Colin's love is. It's about how love can definitely be enough if you want it to be, if you fight for it.
So, I'm on the fence about recommending this book because many people would hate it. I loved it because it's not a story that tries to justify Sam and Colin's relationship. Like I said before, it's not about WHY they love or WHY they try to make the make the relationship work. It's about the HOW...it's all about the HOW.