17 Black and 29 Red

17 Black and 29 Red - Richard Rider

I have to be honest, I had to make an effort to read this book. Yes, the beginning was frustratingly slow. I just wanted them to be together for once. But at the same time, I feared that moment, the scene in which they would meet again. Because... would it be the same? Or would it be less special, less unique? I needn't have worried, the magic was still there. Oh man, the good one indeed.

They are separated most of the novel and you accompany them through their experiences without the other one and there was no moment in which you didn't think "This is so wrong!", despite them being more or less happy or satisfied with their lives. Strangely enough, Valentine develops a better balance than Lindsay does ever find, even though he is precisely the one that couldn't live all by himself. It's undeniable he's the one who walks the longer road to maturity and sense, whereas Lindsay sinks before he manages to float.

I admit I had moments of panic. Moments in which I thought this status quo would never shatter. Because Valentine gets a comfortable life. Because he is happy and complete, even though it's a different kind of completion. Sometimes I could really see him living like that his whole life. But it wasn't acceptable because it wasn't with Lindsay. It was imperative that the chosen one was Lindsay and no other. That was my goal and my rules and I wouldn't resign myself with less. No way I would accept any other reality. No matter how fulfilling and satisfying it was. Selfish, I know. But true.

I felt a little like the bitch when finally Lindsay and Valentine get together again. The moment when they finally meet felt like a shock, as if the author suddenly decided stretching things too long would be useless, which I appreciate, as it would have been a perfect occasion to write pages and pages and pages talking nonsense and taking advantage of the reader's love towards the characters. I was glad that Richard Rider called it a day and moved things forward. And I should be embarrassed that I felt GREAT at seeing Valentine's relationship shatter, but I'm not. In the end, it doesn't make too much noise after all. It's so smooth and nice I felt much better than before because no way something very meaningful breaks in such a silent way with no further repercussions.

All in all, I felt this was a transition book. It's the skin you leave behind to learn to feel at ease in your new one. And it's utterly a shiny stunning skin.