I DARE you to read TikTok’s ‘hottest/kinkiest/forbidden novel’

Warning: this review is hardcore

Last week I went to a friend’s house to discuss some of the mysteries of life (football). He has a kid. A 14? 15 years old?, annoying little guy who couldn’t care a less about what his dad and his all-time best pal were talking about.

The boy had been staring at his iPad for a while. At times he laughed. At times he seemed terrified, shocked, and even…horny? (I based the latter on the sudden lascivious look with which he seemed to devour the now mysterious screen’s content).

I approached the boy and asked him what he was watching. He replied that he was reading … ‘A book’. Wooah, I thought. So these guys read books? He explained to me that he was reading the most controversial book on Tiktok. ‘The Dare’ written by a certain independent author, Harley LaRoux.

The Dare

He said it was an erotic novel that had been all over Tiktok for months. And to prove his point he showed me at least half a dozen Tiktokers reacting to the book. Each of the Tiktokers (about this kid’s same age) showed an exacerbated performance after having read the book. Some were crying, others were excited and mostly shocked about finishing the book. The consensus was something like: Yesss, I managed to read it!

When I asked the boy what the book was about, his face filled with excitement/fear/ecstasy. It was like watching a late 50s teenager reading Nabokov’s Lolita or a Russian girl in 1887 suffering with Anna Karenina, eating a radish and drinking vodka while sitting on the family farm looking away at the train rails and thinking: Um, so that’s how I’m gonna end.

Yes, I was intrigued. So I took his iPad and sat down to read whatever came out of the author’s mind. But suddenly, the boy stopped me: ‘you must read the warning first!’. A warning? I asked him. He nodded. Ok. I started reading. Index. And on the next page a humble warning, as delicate as the words a tour guide would give to tourists in Chernobyl.

“This book contains intense fantasy scenes of hard kinks/edgeplay, graphic sex, and harsh language. It is intended only for an adult audience. Beware: this is a dark, weird, kinky read. The activities depicted therein are dangerous and are not meant to be an example of realistic BDSM. Reader discretion is advised. Kinks/Fetishes within: erotic humiliation, fearplay, painplay, knifeplay, consensual non-consent (CNC), orgasm denial, boot worship, spanking, crying, blowjobs, clowns, group sexual activities, spit, bondage, public play, bloodplay.”

In the name of… !!! This certainly looks like Caligula’s invitation to his after-hour pajama party!

The boy stopped me again, he added: “The book was banned by Amazon”.

Goddamn! This is so legit! I took Harley LaRoux’s red pill and in less than an hour… I read… The Dare.

Confused, I gave the iPad back to the boy and asked him: did this REALLY shock you? He nodded again. Son, I said, you need to get yourself out of this Tiktok nonsense and sneak out into the World, cause’ you’re missing the real perversions of life! ‘

He nodded and went back to his reading.

Not Dare at all

Tiktok’s hottest novel’s 150 pages plot (four chapters only: The Game. The Challenge. The Clowns and The Knife)  goes like this: back in highschool (a year ago) Jessica was the popular-gorgeous-cheerleader-mean-arrogant-IT girl. She was a bully and for years this freak/dark looking guy, Mason, was her easy target. Yet she kissed him once just to upset her  psycho ex-bf, Kyle.

Bad move.

Kyle found out about the kiss and beat the crap out of Mason, who afterwards returned with a knife to threaten Kyle.

And that’s all we know from the characters’ high school era. Actually, that’s all we will know about all the characters’ backstory.

The Dare begins with now-college student Jessica going to a Halloween party with her buddy Ashley. Most of the guests are former high school classmates, among them Mason.

Both Jessica and Ashley are wearing sexy Angels customs and Mason is still the same dark, leather-boots-almost-creepy guy, now using an eye-only white contact lense (just for Halloween, I guess) .

Soon Mason challenges Jessica to a beer pong drink or dare game. She sucks at playing. So he wins and dares her to lick his boot in front of all the people. Which she does only because of her ‘pride’. She doesn’t want to back down and suddenly she is turned on by the experience… and that’s how our sexual weirdo/boring journey starts: with a wet tongue over a boot.

I swear I wanted to say that there are scenes never before seen in erotic literature, but even 50 Shades of Grey becomes Henry Miller’s Sexus compared to The Dare’s plot. Jessica loses again at beer pong and now, to Ashley’s surprise, she accepts Mason’s challenge to become his slave for the whole night.

A couple of spankings here and there, three clowns and a fellatio, a knife used as a dildo, Jessica crawling and requesting that Mason use his … Tool, instead of the knife … Which finally happens with just a few pages left, in a very fast not furious at all intercourse, till suddenly the party (and so the book) is over.

Out of nowhere it’s early in the morning and Jessica realizes that not only does she likes Mason, but she enjoyed what happened during the night so much discovering pleasures that she did not imagine were possible to feel, that now she is happy to call Mason her Master and the two finally say goodbye until next weekend when they will meet again for round two. And ladies and gentlemen… that’s it. The plain cheerful not kinky end.

But I understood The Dare as the perfect product not for an adult audience, despite the warning, but for a generation addicted to the superficiality they see on Tiktok or YouTube. This is not a book for avid readers but for teenagers who do not want many explanations or deep characters … Just want to swallow sketches of what life is supposed to be. And there Mrs. LaRoux got the job done.

And while I was trying to explain it all to my friend’s son, the annoying boy interrupted me again: ‘Harley’s new novel, “Her soul to take” is ranked # 1 in three  Erotica categories on Amazon … But be careful, remember to read the warning first.’

Oh, crap. Here we go again. You know what, Harley LaRoux, I think I’m gonna take this new dare… Just for the sake of my pride!


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Dr. Carlos Flores

Dr. Carlos Flores is a Venezuelan reporter and author of cult classics La moda del suicidio, Temporada Caníbal and Unisex. He's been editor-in-chief of several Venezuelan newspapers and magazines, a former Newsweek En Espanol correspondent, and contributor writer for HuffPost's Voces. Now that he's sick of being a broke reporter hunted by the Chavista regime, he's turned into a screenwriter and is developing a couple of series that will make him rich and even more famous.

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