“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” ― Plato
Title: The Darker Side of Trey Grey
Author: Tara Spears
Publisher: TOSOL Books
Pages/Word Count: 434 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: No one told Trey Grey that life could be dark and unpredictable. With the death of his father when he was eight, his mother’s departure from Earth on a syringe full of Heroin and the brutal abuse of his stepfather, Trey learned these lessons all too well on his own.
Now at twenty years of age, he is nearing the completion of his accounting degree and can finally glimpse the end of his life as a prostitute, the only profession he has ever known.
Wracked by nightmares of Willie’s years of abuse, and controlled by severe obsessive-compulsive disorders as a result, he seems to have a tentative handle on his own life. That is, as long as he keeps a death-grip and no one touches his Camaro, kitten.
But even the best laid plans can be torn to gory bits.
His savior comes in the unlikely form of a spiky-haired blond named Justin, after a night of drunken debauchery that neither of them seems able to forget. Justin might just need Trey as much as Trey needs him.
Trey travels through his fearscapes and begins to find his own forgiveness, but at what cost to the manic-depressive Justin? Will they be able to live through the trauma of each other’s lives and find their own version of normal?
Review: I’ve read this book when it was a freebie back in September. When it came up for review, I remembered how much I loved this book and didn’t mind rereading it for review.
Let me first start off by saying this is a very dark read. Some topics may be too much for some readers. There are so many triggers in this book: rape, child molestation, self mutilation, prostitution, OCD, attempted suicide, so please be warned, if any of these issues are something you can’t handle reading, this probably isn’t going to be a book for you.
There are times when we stumble upon a book that is truly a hidden gem. A book that will make your heart flutter. A book that will pick you up and shake you to the core, and leaves you feeling like a wet noodle. This is that book for me.
I believe the author gives us a very authentic look at dealing with the mental instability and the aftermath effects of someone who was the victim of severe child abuse. It feels as though the author has done her research well, and it reflects so in her story.
When we meet Trey, he is attending college and turning tricks. Seems normal enough, he’s doing okay, right? And yes, he does have some abnormal issues with semen, but hey, we all have our hang ups. It’s not until we go into one of Trey’s nightmares do we see the extent of abuse he endured at the hands of his stepfather. To say I was shocked and horrified by these events is an understatement. I never wanted to yank a character out of a book so badly as I did eight year old Trey. I wanted to save him from the years of torment from this hideous monster.
I went through an array of emotions while reading this book. Sadness, I just couldn’t fathom why no one helped this child. Anger, his own mother didn’t care enough for him. She had her own love affair going on with a needle and heroin. Disbelief, wondering how Trey could even come this far in life after such a chilling childhood. I looked at Trey as being a strong, but damaged character. I also wanted to hug him tight and never let him go.
Even though it’s painful to read, we get a glimpse of what Trey really went through at the hands of his abuser, through his interactive dreams. While asleep, he’s actually reliving his abuse, waking up with a scrub brush, scrubbing his body raw, with no recollection of doing so. He’s got a ritual of how he does things, which keeps him grounded. At times when those rituals aren’t followed, or something happens to upset his routine during the day, Trey will go deep into himself and lose days. After one such brutal episode that almost killed him, he is forced to see a therapist. I was so relieved. At this point I am so invested in this character, I care what happens to him, I want him to get better.
Enter Justin. I really liked him from the start. They met at a restaurant, and Justin doesn’t hesitate to invite Trey back to his house for a party. Things got pretty hot and heavy fairly quickly. I was really scared for the both of them because I wasn’t sure how either of them would react to being in a relationship. Justin has some issues he’s dealing with himself. To take on Trey would be something he may not be up to handling. I loved watching these two develop a deep understanding of one another. The calming affect Justin has on Trey is astounding. It made me feel everything was going to be okay, eventually. He finally found someone he could open up to and rely on instead of trying to do it all on his own. In no way is Trey magically cured, there’s a long road ahead. I’m just glad they now have each other.
I absolutely loved Justin’s friend Kelly. She was definitely an added bonus to this story. I really liked her “don’t give me any bullshit” attitude. I see her being there for both of these young men. I’m hoping she continues to be a part of the story. I felt this book was Trey’s story. We get to know Justin a little bit, but I’m hoping we get to learn a little more about him in the next book.
I feel this is a story about starting the healing process above all else. Healing of the mind, body and soul. I’m so looking forward to the next book.