Review: In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

“It was growing dark, and somehow the shadows made it feel as if all the trees had taken a collective step towards the house, edging in to shut out the sky.”

30345407★★★

This is an atmospherical oddball psychological mystery suspense novel that I liked….and at the same time I fucking hated? Like I’m so torn. Save me.

Here’s the problem. The main protagonist, Nora, is a fucking loser. I’m just going to put it out there. She’s a loser.

She’s 26 years old and still pining away for the boyfriend she had when she was 16. Come on! Ok, sure, it was a messy breakup, he broke your heart into a million tiny teenager girl shaped pieces and you never got closure. But how does someone never move on, like at all? Has she ever had sex with someone else? Gone on a date? Apparently not. So just…come on!

How many grown ass women are out there decidedly becoming Bridget Jones re-virginanized spinsters because their high school sweetheart peaced-out during a difficult time in your life? SHOW OF HANDS PLEASE…I won’t judge, despite what this review might suggest. I just need a headcount and to tell you to get over it! Find a man (not a boy) that knows how to work a G-spot and you’ll be over that high school flake in no time. Gotdamnit, NORA!

“I have not spoken to him for ten years, but I thought of him every single day.”

BARF.

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True Crime Tuesday: The Cold Case of April Tinsley

One of the most fascinating things happening in the crime solving world right now is the use of genealogy databases, like Ancestry and 23 And Me, to solve cold cases.

Most recently, and maybe most famously, we saw it this year when the Golden State Killer was finally apprehended after 40+ years undetected.

Privacy and ethic debates aside, I actually think it’s brilliant to be looking for matches this way if it gets more wastes of fucking oxygen off the street.

In the case I want to tell you about for this week’s instalment of TCT, the Fort Wayne Police Department ran testing on DNA evidence from a 1988 cold case using a genealogy database and came back with hits on two living brothers of the DNA source.

That’s ah-meezing.

What are killers supposed to do? “Hey, family? Please don’t give your DNA over to 23 and Me. The police might find out I’m a serial killer they’ve been hunting for the last 30 or so years. Okay? Thanks, great talk.”

sea man singing GIF

This is the Cold Case of April Tinsley.

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Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

29437949★★★

I am feeling pretty meh about this whole thing.

I don’t know if it was the hype, or my standards are at some level not even I understand, but you guys seemed to effing love this and for me, it fell short of “special.”

It got off to a slow start. There’s an obvious underlying thread of unease to Grace and Jack’s marriage – her the beautiful housewife and him the successful lawyer – that you are quick to pick up on, but it takes quite a while to get around to just how nefarious Jack actually is. And by the time his true self is revealed, the story has taken on a stagnant quality.

Oh, more threats about Millie? Great. Did you want to use the word “perfect” a few hundred more times? Excellent. Grace’s friends are going to continue to think nothing is fucking weird as all hell? Okie-dokie.

So much focus is put on the small interactions, the paranoia Grace experiences in trying to figure out just how to act, and just what to say, in order to “win” against Jack, that it becomes quite tedious to read. And the plausibility is laughable (unless you’re really into it, which you might be!) – a high powered attorney who wins big and has his face splashed on the news, who probably works 60 hour weeks, also has time to monitor every single thing Grace does, to intercept all interactions, to feed her and care for her like a pet? How would any regular person have the energy for this – let alone a successful, busy attorney? …Even if he is a fucking looney-toon.

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Music Monday: Foo Fighters – Best of You

Image result for foo fighters the best of youI’ve opened up on here a little bit before about my previous relationship – the one before I met my husband. Bottom line: it was toxic and abusive. I don’t want to get into the details, but I do want to talk about my TBT post last week.

If you read it, you know I was seeing the Foo Fighters that night in Toronto. It meant a lot more to me than I could explain to be going to this concert. It was a total bucket list item for me. Here’s one big reason why:

In 2012, when I was working up the courage to leave that bad relationship, I listened to The Best of You by the Foo Fighters pretty endlessly. When I was finally out of that bad relationship, I listened to The Best of You more still, to keep me from giving in (“no one else will ever want you“) and going back, like I had multiple times before.

It became my anthem.

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Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

33199875★★★★★

Yep, right in the feels.

I was hoping to write a really thoughtful review about this book, which I loved, and want all of you to love too, but right now my brain is a mushy mess.

For one, I’m getting over a head cold which has rendered me capable of not much more than groaning and whining – noises that signal my husband to fetch me meds, water, food or a combination of the three (he just has to guess.)

Secondly, I think the sheer magnitude of this tome has burnt me out. It’s a smidgen over 500 pages. And 99% of the time, when I read a book that big I am screaming for editing to parse it down. But when it comes to the Quinn family saga, I wouldn’t know where to start. There is literally not a word wasted by Karin Slaughter – an epic feat when you consider just how much book there is to devour.

But by the end, I was emotionally drained by Sam, Charlie and Rusty Quinn, and I don’t have the vocabulary left to fully express myself (she says as she goes on to write a dissertation sized review)…

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Fave Five Friday: Top Friday The 13th Reads!

Happy Friday the 13th, lovers!!

I love any kind of creepy, superstitious day like this. I’m waiting with bated breath for Hallowe’en. My head is swimming with all the ways I’m going to decorate my front porch. So, what better day to compile a list of the most creepy books you can read to scare the shot out of yourself!?

But, before we get into it, I want to share something a little personal. On July 13th, 2012 – so exactly six years ago today – I walked into a Tim Hortons near my home and met the man I had been talking to online for three months. He had driven five hours from New York state and crossed my Canadian border (no pun intended) so that we could finally meet in person. We had been talking every day. It started through twitter, then email, then phone calls.

We were pretty sure we were in love, but you never really can be 100% sure until you meet someone in person.

We’ll celebrate our five-year wedding anniversary on October 13th. Yes, the 13th.

Image may contain: one or more people and closeup

Tonight, we’re going to celebrate the day that changed our lives with pizza and weed and watching Friday The 13th, the classic 80s movie. But I think everyone should be celebrating this weird and superstitious day. One way to do it would be turning out the lights and curling up with a scary AF classic horror novel, because this day deserves a little old school creepy.

Here’s my list of the top five classic horror books to read on Friday the 13th!

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Review: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

34564824★★★

“They built a life on lies.”

Okay, if you say so.

I was expecting a dark domestic noir thriller, and instead what I got was two assholes who married each other and could have avoided a lot of shit if they’d just, I don’t know, talked like people who got married for a reason. Failing that, try therapy.

Their marriage issues were all tales as old as time. Nothing really shocking – he has a wandering eye, she can be cold and distant. They don’t communicate well. Sometimes they love each other, sometimes they want to chuck plates at each other’s throats. Big deal, that’s marriage for a lot of people.

What’s not life for most of us, however, is the amount of money these two assholes have. Or the death of their child. Or the sinister events that engulf their lives very quickly.

Much of the more mundane “crumbling marriage” tropes take place in an over-sized, fantastical world of good looks, success, wealth and travel – extremes that are not realistic for the general population. So, somewhere between the banal (for the genre) issues of their marriage and the over-the-top baseline for their way of life, is where you will find me still deciding whether or not this book resonated with me.

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#Throwback Thursday: 07.12.18

Yes, yes, y’all! It’s TBT time! Clueless and knee-highs, discmans and guys with hoop earrings…and the Foo Fighters singing this week’s throwback jam!

Yes, make me feel eleven again!

I have loved the Foo Fighters since the first moment I saw this video on Much Music in 1996. And today I get to fulfill a bucket list item of seeing them live in concert. Me and the husband have a date tonight in Toronto to see the Foo Fighters at the Rogers Stadium. I can’t even fully explain what it means to me to be doing this, so I won’t even try.

Just know that Dave Grohl is my one and only god. I literally have a picture of him framed on my wall in my living room. Not a poster. No. This is art. Framed art of Dave Grohl.

I love him. And I also love books (talk about a segue.) Here’s a look at books I’ve read and still love, and at books that have been on my TBR for a while but still get me hyped.

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Booknerd Wednesday: World Cup Edition

GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

Anyone else wishing that the Mexican commentator was doing all of the game commentating for the World Cup? That dude is ah-meezing. He makes it so much more fun to watch.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know anything about soccer until I met my husband. He is a huge fan. His favourite team in the Tottenham Hotspurs. It took me a while to even learn how to say Tottenham properly. But, he embraced my love of hockey, he became a Toronto Maple Leafs fan for me, so I’m trying to get into soccer a little bit more.

It’s not the most exciting sport to me. I think I’m used to the level of adrenaline hockey brings – fights and body checking and game blowouts that might see ten or twelve goals.

Soccer is a little slower. If you like to watch men run, then it’s for you. Or if you’re looking for some dramatic acting tips, also for you.

soccer GIF

Seriously, this is the worst thing about soccer to me. These grown, athletic men spend more time finding ways to cry and flail around about made up injuries than toddlers do. I have never seen anything like it. Just get the fuck up and play your fucking sport. I’ve seen hockey goalies get a cut carotid artery from a skate, bleeding all over the ice, and they still want to find a way to get back out and play.

But, I digress…

This week the semi-finals are wrapping up, between France and Belgium, and England vs Croatia. I am fully on Team England. My husband is Team Croatia, so it’s making for an interesting Wednesday.

For this week’s post I’m going to take a look at crime fiction from each of the semi-finalist countries.

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Review: UNSUB (UNSUB, #1) by Meg Gardiner

32811580★★★★★

I love Meg Gardiner. She is a favourite author of mine. Anything she writes I want to read. Anything she has to say about writing, I want to hear. She is a smart, detail-oriented author with a talent for writing action-packed mysteries with perfectly placed twists.

UNSUB is, by far, my new favourite novel by her.

Hands down.

It takes elements from famous serial killers, both real and fictional, and boils it down into one epic, smart and intricate serial killer crime thriller.

Lort, have mercy on my mystery bookworm soul!

A quick synopsis: Caitlin is a cop. Her dad use to be a cop, but he’s gone Coocoo for Cocopuffs after hunting a madman, The Prophet, 20 years ago and never catching him. Present day, The Prophet is back, killing again in bloody crazy fashion, and it’s Caitlin’s turn to stop him.

Obviously inspired by the Zodiac’s true crimes, it also take elements from things like Se7enRed DragonSilence of the LambsUntraceable…and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head, though I am sure there are more.

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