Give Me Your Answer True, written by Suanne Laqueur, is the companion novel to her first piece, The Man I Love. The book revisits Laqueur’s already told story, but instead of following Erik, the previous novel’s protagonist, it follow his love interest – Marguerite “Daisy” Bianco. As Daisy and Erik fall in love during their early college years it couldn’t feel any more perfect, but when a school shooting occurs it leaves them, and their closest friends, damaged and suffering. Mistakes are made; consequences must be dealt with. Readers are able to re-experience the story through different eyes, and see exactly what happened to Daisy when everything seems to fall apart.
In reading Give Me Your Answer True, the reviewer experienced a vague sense of déjà vu. As with Laqueur’s prior novel, the first glance does not raise any eyebrows – though the reasoning differs considerably. Before cracking the spine, readers may find themselves questioning why this book needs to exist. Didn’t The Man I Love tie all the loose ends? What else needs to be said? As has been seen with the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Gray series, retelling a story from a different perspective does not often prove to be necessary (or all that good, let’s be honest). What does a different perspective add to this story?
Well, dear readers, clearly a whole lot.
From page one, it becomes clear how much these characters have been missed. They spring to life right away and greet the audience as old friends would – a lovely feeling before delving straight back into the emotion and grit. Laqueur handles her companion novel so well that it’s dumbfounding. The author doesn’t spend too much time rehashing what her audience – most of whom have, no doubt, read the prior novel – already knows, while still revisiting all the important moments from the previous story. With the genius plot of Daisy frequenting a therapist, Laqueur is able to retell certain moments from her first novel – the falling in love, the shooting, the aftermath – while also moving on in Daisy’s life after her college experiences has ended; all new territory for returning readers. Large moments touched upon from The Man I Love are simplified, and small moments are described in greater detail. It’s arguable whether or not one would need to read The Man I Love before delving into this book. It feels as if any reader who starts with Give Me Your Answer True would be able to enjoy and follow along just fine, but reading the first book really would enhance the whole experience and make the journey far more complete.
No surprise that this book is just as well written as Laqueur’s debut novel. The author works in meaningful metaphors, gorgeous imagery, and profound single lines that punch the reader in the gut – all somehow effortlessly. It’s as if the author isn’t even trying; it all comes naturally. The characters are still as wonderfully three dimensional to the point wherein the reader feels that they are meeting for coffee with these characters to catch up on life.
For the final piece of praise, the reviewer must draw up on something she wrote in her review on The Man I Love from this past January. It rings just as true for this novel and there’s no other way to put it in words:
“What [this book] gets right is the grit of it all. Laqueur does not shy away from sex; exploring her protagonists’ sexuality in full during both the blissful years of their lives and the traumatic ones. When the book takes its harrowing turn, what started as a loving exploration of two youths’ sex becomes an examination of the aftermath of PTSD. This heartfelt love story is transformed into a tale about the power of communication, the toll trauma takes on survivors, the burden of words left unsaid, and connections between people that can last a lifetime.”
For any fan who fearsGive Me Your Answer True will ruin a single inch of what Laqueur first conjured: don’t. It is the perfect companion novel – one this reviewer implores you to invite out to coffee sometime soon.
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