A Stella Review: Rat Park by Marina Vivancos


RATING 5 out of 5 stars

Dominic has lived with an empty ache inside him for as long as he could remember. Maybe it started when he was six, hiding beneath his blankets as the wild animal noises of one of mom’s parties echoed in his head. Maybe it began the first time an adult plied him with drinks just to watch him stumble about.

Or, maybe, it was that he couldn’t even imagine what being loved should feel like.

Drugs washed all that away. It didn’t cure the ache, but it made him forget it for a while. Anything was better than being conscious. Than being himself. But life had another hard lesson for him: With drugs, the only way is down.

Dominic hits rock bottom when he’s twenty-three. Turns out, rock bottom looks a lot like the bars of a jail cell. With little left but his own thoughts, Dominic has to decide: Is this what I want for the rest of my life?

The world has never been kind to Dominic, but when he meets the Romeros, he wonders if that is about to change. Officer Catalina Romero seems to see something in Dominic that he is sure isn’t there. The more she pulls him towards her family, however, the harder it is not to go.

All his resistance disappears under the force that is Flor Romero. Spitfire, stubborn Flor—even at sixteen, he refuses to be taken lightly. As he grows older, putting a stop to what Flor obviously wants to happen between them is harder than Dominic would ever want to admit.

Dominic knows that he has too many demons to let anybody get too close. But life doesn’t prepare him for Flor, who just might be ready to fight tooth and nail for a place in Dominic’s life—and his heart.

The question is, will Dominic’s past keep him from his future?

Rat Park is the first book I read by Marina Vivancos and it will not be the last, I adored every single page, and I wasn’t able to find a little reason to give it less than the full five stars. It was a
lovely surprise. I have to admit at the beginning I was a little dubious, the story starts with Dominic when he’s just seven years old and things become soon nasty. Reading the first chapters was not easy, I was afraid the author was going to give me some difficult scenes to deal with. Yes, so many times during Dominic early years, I so wanted to shelter and protect him from the home he lived in. Although there were hard pages to read, not once the story was too dark or heavy to take. There was always some kind of hope in the background I could feel.

And then the author showed me how he grew up, among so many difficulties and unavoidable mistakes. And when Dominic finally met the hurricane called Cat, I was so happy for him and
cheated on him to try and be strong, positive and open to the good the lovely Cat and her family are ready to give to Dominic. But he wasn’t ready, it wasn’t the right time and so I saw him
struggle and fall and think bad of himself. And later his relationship with Flor was true and quite beautiful, built on solid bases and a powerful friendship and respect.

I loved Rat Park, the author did an amazing job, well written, well developed, interesting characters, I feel to recommend it if you’re looking for a real and brilliant novel. You won’t be

The cover art by Natasha Snow. The cover art by Natasha Snow is interesting, I like the black and white style and I can easily
see Dominic in the model face.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Kindle Edition, 377 pages
Published January 28th 2019
Edition Language English

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