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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Rebel In Venus is a work in the interpersonal drama, suspense, and women’s fiction subgenres. It is best suited to mature adult readers owing to the use of explicit language throughout and scenes of sex and graphic violence. Penned by Marissa Alma Nick, this intense and dramatic tale follows when a casual girls' night turns into a deeper, darker conversation. Close friends Maria and Layla find their relationship tested when Layla’s exploration of her past sends her spiraling into a world of pent-up anguish and trauma, leaving little hope of seeing a bright future when the darkness of her past so desperately traps her.
Marissa Alma Nick presents a fantastically realistic character study that takes plenty of dramatic twists and turns in its flashback-filled plot. I found the unusual narrative approach refreshing for a women’s drama as the current timeline slow-burns with psychological suspense while Layla’s life and fragile mind unravel. There are plenty of trigger warnings at the book's opening for the varied kinds of trauma that the novel explores. However, I found each topic realistically portrayed, never sensationalized for its drama, and dealt with via emotive, intuitive dialogue. What results is a gripping and heartfelt portrayal of two women picking up life's wreckage after trauma and learning about solidarity, honesty, and hope. I highly recommend Rebel In Venus for fans of high-quality character-led drama everywhere.