Review: The Hellfire Club by Jake Tapper

“The human soul isn’t sold once but rather slowly and methodically and piece by piece.”

34329347★★

Opening Hook: A politician, a dead woman and a car walk into a bar drive off of a bridge

Main Character: A bowl of oatmeal wearing khakis

Plot Twisty-ness: If you turned Washington D.C. into a corn maze


A word of advice, don’t read books that are outside of your interests because you have an intellectual crush on the author.

What are my interests, you might ask? Why did this book fall outside of them? Well, I’ll tell you…

This novel is about Charlie Marder, a newly appointed US Congressman.

He’s married to a zoologist (for some fucking reason) with a baby on the way, marching into Washington ready to make some positive changes guided by his strong moral compass and naivete. He has taken over the seat for a disgraced politician who was found dead after charges of corruption and racketeering.

Then there’s a mysterious note, a shooting in the Capitol, lots of talk about communism. McCarthy makes an appearance, as does JFK and numerous other real-life players in 1950s D.C. A dead girl,  a car crash and more communism and J. Edgar Hoover and Senate hearings and lobbyists.

A shadowy network of secret societies, a nefarious group known as the Hellfire Club who will stop at nothing to get what they want, soon have Charlie in their clutches. After some codes to decipher and some deep national secrets to Nicholas Cage out of the Library of Congress, Charlie realizes he’s not just trying to save himself, but that the fate of the whole country rests in his hands! Gasp! Shock!

And then the N-word gets uttered a time or two. You know how those racial tensions were back when ladies knew their place! Am I right?!

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Review: The Confession by Jo Spain

“That was us at the beginning of our fairytale. But here’s the thing about fairytales. Sometimes they’re darker than you can ever imagine.”

34941666

Opening Hook: As shocking as a golf club to the head

Main Character: I won’t be RSVPing to the pity party

Plot Twisty-ness: I guess anything can be called a thriller these days


I don’t think I’ve ever read a “thriller” this unimpressive before. And by that I mean, it’s like the author wasn’t even trying. For real, this was slowwwwwwwww. Boring, even.

I’m in the minority with my opinion, and that’s fine. But my opinion is the right one. HAHAHA just kidding (kind of.)

The Confession by Jo Spain is billed as a dark thriller, but it’s really more of a depressing autobiography of the main characters whose POVs we have to endure get to experience; how they got to that moment in 2012 when a banker is getting his head bashed in by a stranger with a golf club. These POVs take us all the way back to childhood in some cases, and quite honestly it was tedious as hell and in most cases, completely fucking irrelevant.

This approach to the storytelling drained all the energy out of the plot, making it feel sluggish, washing out anything that could be considered a shock or a twist.

There was something in the telling of events that lent itself more to realism, and while that is an accomplishment in contemporary novels, this was supposed to be a thriller. The goal being to thrill the reader with the shock of events we don’t experience in real life (hopefully.) This was anything but thrilling unless you consider your own yawns thrilling.

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Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

“People live through such pain only once; pain comes again, but it finds a tougher surface.”

15797848★★★

Opening Hook: Start your egg timers

Main Character: A fish-out-of-water, almost literally.

Plot Twisty-ness: Too busy writing characters making out to remember to write the twists


I’m going to try to be nice.

And I’m going to try to be nice because while I didn’t really love this like I wanted to, I also didn’t hate it on its face. It’s not a bad novel in terms of writing, in fact, I think Stephanie Perkins has a promising narrative voice, she just doesn’t know what’s she’s doing with a horror novel.

I read this as part of my search to find a YA thriller that I actually want to rave about after I finish the last page, and I had high hopes this would be that novel.

It’s supposed to be a horror/thriller. It’s supposed to be, as per the promotion, Scream meets YA.” The title, the cover – it’s all saying READ ME SO I CAN SCARE YOU!

You compare something to Scream and I say GIMME NOW.

I love Scream. I love all teen slashers. I grew up on that shit. It’s an important part of my developmental stages from child to teen to adult… which probably explains a lot.

awesome adventure time GIF

But this is only comparable to Scream in the most basic way.

Teens. Killer killing those teens. Small town scared. End of.

This is not a horror. Though it did start off with enough sinister vibe to really catch my attention, the rest of the novel failed to live up to that feeling of suspense.

This is, for all intents and purposes, a romance novel set against a horror story backdrop.

This is horny teens fucking and drooling over each other, and then in between some random characters, who you don’t give a shit about, die.

Continue reading “Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins”

Booknerd Wednesday: WWW Edition

Let’s talk about Jenna Jameson for a minute. Yes, the porn star.

I never thought I’d be at a point in my life where I was inspired by Jenna Jameson, but here we are. And I have no shame.

That bitch is doing work on her body and mental health right now and I’m completely in love with her for it. She’s using the keto diet and intermittent fasting to drop the weight she gained from pregnancy & addiction troubles. Seriously, go to her Instagram, check out her before & after photos and her honest messages, and tell me that shit doesn’t get you completely motivated.

My friend and her husband have been doing keto for 6 months themselves, and collectively, they’ve lost 100 pounds. So between these two examples I’ve been witness to, I’m all pumped to get into shape myself.

I know I’ve been saying that since January, but it’s all about motivation and mental health sometimes. And I just wasn’t in the right head space to take care of myself, unfortunately. But I feel so much better since a lot of the negativity in my life has disappeared with certain life changes.

Plus, I’m turning 33 in November and I don’t want to get another year older still stuck in the same rut. Since I got married in 2013, I’ve been SUPER lax about taking care of myself, which is the total opposite of how I was before I was married. Strange how that happens. I suppose it’s contentment. Then there was also some depression thrown in there for me.

It’s been a ride of a lot of complicated milestones, let’s just say.

So, anyway, like most women I’ve gained weight since getting married. My husband has too. And now I’m pulling a Jenna Jameson and using her as my keto spirit guide.

I’m on day four. Yeah, not a lot, but I’m serious about this.

As I write this post I’m into hour twelve of my daily intermittent fast. I try to make it to 11 most mornings before I start eating, but I’ll tell you I’M FUCKING HUNGRY.

hungry season 8 GIF by Portlandia

Omigod, I’m so hungry. It’s all I can think about.

This is supposed to be a WWW Wednesday post – what I read most recently, what I’m currently reading and what I’m reading next.

But honestly, my answer to all of those questions is, “I’m going to eat this book, not read it.” And the only reason the opening to this post is about getting into shape is that I’m so hungry I couldn’t think of anything else to talk about.

At least it’s content. Whatever.

Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: WWW Edition”

Music Monday: The Flys – Got You Where I Want You

I have to be honest, I did not want to get out of bed this morning. This Monday felt particularly difficult to have to deal with.

Maybe it’s because my weekend went by in a flash. Saturday I was three hours at the hairdresser. I came home to my husband touching up painting that we needed to finish so I couldn’t let him do that alone. Sunday we did our groceries, took the dog to the groomer’s and then I bought new furniture for my rec room.

I’m super excited about this! Our rec room is currently garbage, almost literally. We have a brand new TV down there and all our gaming systems. It’s meant to be the entertainment spot, the gaming spot, the spot to disappear and relax in, but in order to make that happen, it requires painting and new furniture. That furniture includes bookshelves.

Currently, all of my books are still packed away in our laundry room, taking up space in U-Haul boxes. I’ve been dreaming about getting to unpack them and display them the way they should be.

And it’s finally happening!!!

excited jim carrey GIF

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Review: Fellside by M.R. Carey

“Rough edges were what you needed because they were what you sharpened yourself against. Nobody ever got sharp from lying in a feather bed.”

26030697★★½

Opening Hook: Who knew arson could be boring?

Main Character: Could not be anymore self-torturing

Plot Twisty-ness: Good for insomnia


I was really interested in reading this book, but once I cracked this baby open my interest quickly petered out, giving way to an overall feeling of not really giving a shit mixed with annoyance and yawning.

Jess has been given heavy prison time for deliberately starting a house fire that not only destroyed her face and injured her asshole heroin addict boyfriend, but also killed a 10-year-old boy named Alex. Jess essentially martyrs herself, accepting her punishment with a heaping side of self-flagellation, deciding her time in prison will be short once she goes on a hunger strike/suicide mission. The only problem is, Jess can’t remember any of the sins she’s been told she committed, so she just takes everyone’s word for it (like you would.) As she withers away in the prison infirmary, dead Alex comes to her with an afterlife request – find out who really killed him, because he’s sure it wasn’t Jess and he can’t find peace without knowing.

The blurb is essentially Orange is the New Black but with ghosts and mystery.

Once you get past the blurb though it’s none of those things.

Continue reading “Review: Fellside by M.R. Carey”

Review: It Takes One (Audrey Harte, #1) by Kate Kessler

“Doing a bad thing doesn’t make you a bad person. People do bad things for the right reasons all the time.”

28098777★★★★½

Opening Hook: Better classified as a “meltdown”

Main Character: Small town child murderer

Plot Twisty-ness: The definition of twisty


Audrey Hart left Edgeport years ago after being released from the local juvie, Stillwater, for killing her best friend, Maggie’s, father when they were teenagers. She doesn’t regret it for a second – Maggie’s father was a daughter-raping piece of shit, and killing him – and the consequences that followed – have made Audrey who she is today: a successful child psychologist and contributor to a true crime tv show, Kids Who Kill.

When Audrey gets a call to return home to Edgeport, she’s dreading it. The whispers, the glances – all eyes are always on her whenever she’s in town. That is certainly true when Audrey walks into the local watering hole to pick up her drunk-ass father and Maggie spots her. They speak for the first time in years and it’s not friendly. Audrey gets mean, Maggie gets nasty, gets pushed onto her ass and Audrey storms off. The next morning Maggie is dead on the beach and Audrey is a suspect. 

So begins all the twisted, romantic, dramatic events that will lead to the disturbing and twisted discovery of just what exactly happened to Maggie. And when I say twisted, I mean twisted. There is so much history to unravel, so many secrets and lies to uncover, that while there aren’t necessarily many “thrilling” or “dangerous” moments, you are totally engaged the whole time.

Continue reading “Review: It Takes One (Audrey Harte, #1) by Kate Kessler”

Review: Medea’s Curse (Natalie King, Forensic Psychiatrist, #1) by Anne Buist

“‘Let it never be said that I have left my children for my foes to trample on.’…Medea killed her children to punish her husband.”

24723337★★★½

Opening Hook: Probably a dick, they were everywhere

Main Character: Pet Parrot and Leather

Plot Twisty-ness: The Winona Ryder meme with math equations


This book wasn’t really what I expected it to be – it’s a mystery, but definitely not a thriller, and has a lot more erotic elements than I would reasonably expect from a story like this.

But Dr. Natalie King isn’t really what you expect a forensic psychiatrist to be either. She’s outspoken, emotionally dysfunctional and has no problem pushing a prosecutor down courthouse steps. She’s bi-polar and irresponsible with her meds. She rides a motorcycle, fronts an amateur band and has a pet parrot. She lives in a warehouse and has affairs with married men. But she’s a mothereffin’ queen in her field – dedicated to her patients and to finding the truth. And I basically fell in love with her as a lead character.

It’s a good thing that this is the first in a series, because there is so much more that can be done with a character this badass and damaged.

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Booknerd Wednesday: Top 10 Books with Buzz!

What are books with buzz you might ask? Or maybe you won’t. Maybe you just inherently understand the concept of buzz and things having said buzz.

If not, here’s the idea: these are the books I keep hearing about. There are also probably the books you keep hearing about.

It’s the incessant little noise that floats around you, that you are picking up on without really even intentionally acknowledging it.

bzzzzzzz….read me….bzzzzzz

Son-of-a-bee-sting, these are the most buzz-worthy books around right now… (PS. my “buzz index” is a completely arbitrary scale that means basically nothing, wutwut!)


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Review: The Body Reader (Detective Jude Fontaine, #1) by Anne Frasier

28090850★★★★

Opening Hook:  The human equivalent of an animal caught in a trap

Main Character: Needs to get laid, but also doesn’t

Plot Twisty-ness: If a roller coaster was an onion


I have to say I really liked this. It’s dark. It’s interesting. There are so many layers to the story, to the mystery. It’s never what you think it is.

I’ve never read anything by Anne Frasier before, though I do have a few of her books on my TBR shelf. I will definitely be moving those books closer to the top of the list.

Det. Jude Fontaine makes a daring escape after 3 years in captivity. She’s not herself anymore. She’s been subjected to unknown tortures and horrors. She sees everything in the world with new eyes, including herself.

Clawing her way back to some semblance of mental health, Jude goes back to work as a Homicide detective, while trying to find new ways to just be alive. (Sleeping on the roof, for instance.) Everything about Jude is switched off after her return. She has no sense of humour, she is flat and unemotional. She doesn’t know how to exist anymore. And this starting point requires that the other plot elements, and secondary characters, have some A+ development. 

Continue reading “Review: The Body Reader (Detective Jude Fontaine, #1) by Anne Frasier”