… “My name is Adrian Birch, and I’m nobody.”
“My name is Adrian Birch, and I used to be nobody. An apologist, a coward. Then I met a madman on a bicycle and I lost my mind, lost my way, got my heart broken and my head rewired, and woke from a nightmare of my own design, fear gone like an ex-lover I’d never spread my legs for again.”
This story was nothing like I have read before. Adjectives to describe this? Extremely disturbing, smart, surprisingly humorous, emotional, and distressing.
To keep the plot nice and simple, this is the story of Adrian- former pill popper who is now trying to redeem herself. She is self-deprecating and constantly feels guilty for the mistakes she’s made. But while battling her former addiction, she acquires a new fascinating unhealthy one that comes in the form of a striped-hoodie-wearing, bicyclist “vigilante” who has been nicknamed ‘Badger’ (real name Isaac).
They meet, they exchange horror stories, and ultimately decide there is no way someone like Badger will ever be the person Adrian needs. Interestingly enough, their fucked up relationship is what drives Adrian to move toward being the person she has wanted to be. The pull remains so strong throughout the whole story between the hero and the heroine, though, and you can’t help but get giddy whenever he appears.
The character of Badger is someone you think you may have come across before, but I bet you haven’t.
“I have a really nasty temper, and no restraint. I’ve basically got no impulse control, so I do whatever I feel like, the second I feel it. I’m also into really fucked-up sex.”
I blinked. “Oh.”
“Plus, since I got no impulse control, I tell girls I just met that I’m into really fucked-up sex.”
“You don’t say.”
“I’m a fucking mess,” he said, with the delivery of someone remarking about the weather, like, shrug, What can you do?”
Throughout Adrian’s journey, you can’t help but relate to her overwhelming addiction to the buzz she feels around Isaac. I found myself wishing with the simple snap of Adrian’s fingers, Isaac would transform into the softer person he VERY rarely lets peak out. You’ll want Adrian to magically fix him with every fiber of your being, to be the catalyst in his life that brings him the help he so obviously needs.
“I’ve known since forever that I’m nuts,” he said. “Because I got told all the time….But I never felt like yeah, I’m crazy. No until I met you. Not until you did that calm shit to my head, made me sober just long enough to realize what drunk felt like.”
But I think what I liked most about this unique story was that the disturbing behavior between them wasn’t the forefront message. It was more about the growth of a once meek, cowardly girl. And it leaves the reader feeling proud of all she’s overcome and the change you’ll see in her.
Badger is a book that’ll most definitely push your boundaries. I don’t think I would call it dark but its content can be fairly graphic. It’s a plot about flawed, scarred heroes I’ve yet to read and I was hooked from the beginning.
“I’m pretty sure I love you…”
“I won’t ever love you back,” he said. It wasn’t a slight, ugly as the words were. It was a fact, impersonal and blunt.
If you’re expecting a sweet/lovely romance, then this really is not the book for you. It was a raw, gritty, so incredibly unique and an emotional read that was written in such a poetic, intelligent, enticing way. A story that equally put a smile on my face and left me heartbroken.