Review: It’s One of Us by J.T. Ellison


Mira | 2023

Filed Under: Throw the whole man away.

Well, well, well, how the turntables…

I don’t know, I just wanted to quote Michael Scott, it’s not really relevant other than I’m high and The Office is on.

What I wanted to say is well, well, well, I think this may be my favourite standalone that J.T. Ellison has put out. Like ever. I mean, of all time.

Maybe that’s saying a lot? I don’t know. I don’t want to give myself too much importance here, but I’ve been around for a while and she’s always an auto-read author for me.

I’ve been reading Ellison for like fifteen years. And that’s ugh, oh god what is time? Where does it go? Cotton-Eyed Fucking Joe. So, fifteen years. One. Five. That’s that. And I feel like this novel is such a perfect example of an author just getting better and better.

There’s something very special about this one. It starts out immediately with the prologue – the prose kicking everything off is seriously captivating. As you settle into the actual narrative, it feels more connected and emotional and honest than the typical domestic thriller. There is life here. The author clearly poured real emotions onto the page. And in the end, everything comes together with a perfect twist.

Did I like any of these characters? No, I didn’t. But I did like reading them and how they navigated this totally bananas Our Father-ish plot. But seriously, minus half a star because no one punched Park in the throat. I would have really loved to see that.

Continue reading “Review: It’s One of Us by J.T. Ellison”

All the Books I Hated in 2022!

Oh hey, it’s me. It’s been a while.

Traditionally, I would have posted this list way back in January with a Happy New Year message, but it feels kind of awkward now since I’m so late and have essentially been MIA for the last six months. All I can say is, shit on a cracker, what a fucking year 2023 has been so far, book friends!

I won’t get into it deeply, but there was a death in my family and I just wasn’t able to find the motivation to read, let alone write about reading. But I think I’m coming around and getting my shit together. And also, fuck cancer!

Anyway, hi!…

What can I say about 2022 now that it’s April and I smoke a lot of weed so my memory is questionable at best? Really nothing, I’ve moved on and forgotten almost everything. 2023 has so far been so emotionally fraught for me, that 2022 is like a distant, hazy dream. To be fair, that haze may be weed smoke.

It’s a good thing I keep my book logs organized even in the worst of times or this list may not even be happening, honestly.

I managed to read 80 books last year, which is a record for me, but it was all very so-so, very meh, very “why is everything I’m reading so average?” There actually isn’t a lot that I totally HATED. I think that’s a sign of improvement… Unfortunately.

So, while this list has traditionally been reserved for all the utterly disappointing, rage-inducing or straight-up garbage reads that passed by my eyeballs, for 2022 it looks like it’s going be a little less of that and a little more of like borderline garbage.

Of course, I have my favourite reads, but that’s a different post. Dark and light. Ebb and flow. Good and bad. If I’ve learned anything lately, it’s that everything can’t be good all the time. The universe just doesn’t let it happen. Give and take. It’s all about keeping that fucking balance.

Let’s check the scale, shall we?

Continue reading “All the Books I Hated in 2022!”

Review: The Widowmaker (Black Harbor, #2) by Hannah Morrissey


Minotaur Books | 2022

Filed Under: Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger!

A snowy fucked up mystery? Don’t mind if I do!

This is the second novel in a series, but it can totally be read as a standalone (definitely over Christmas if you want the full vibes,) because the town of Black Harbor is really what’s tying everything together.

You say “harbour” and it will immediately make me wistful for living by the water with a chilled lake breeze, wearing chunky sweaters on the beach and maybe solving a cozy local mystery like I’m Jessica Fucking Fletcher. Someone bring around my pink classic cruiser bike with the basket on the front – I’m picking daisies and pursuing justice!

I need to stop getting high before writing reviews. Things really go off the rails pretty quickly.

Anyway, this novel has none of those cutesy, cozy things because the vibe is actually super fucking dark. Sorry, J. Fletch.

Continue reading “Review: The Widowmaker (Black Harbor, #2) by Hannah Morrissey”

Review: In My Dreams I Hold A Knife by Ashely Winstead

“It turns out the real you is a quilt, made up of the light and the dark. The life you’ve lived in sunshine and your shadow life, stretching underneath the surface of your mind like a deep underwater world, exerting invisible power. You are a living, breathing story made up of the moments in time you cherish, all strung together, and those you hide. The moments that seem lost. Until the day they’re not.”


Sourcebooks Landmark | 2021

Filed Under: What fucking knife?!

Were you kind of a loser in school who now sometimes daydreams about going to a class reunion and showing all your stupid fucking peers that you’re a cool adult now with heavy “I don’t give a shit what you think anymore” vibes, even though you obviously do care or why would you even fantasize about triumphantly walking into the reunion to Venus by Bananarama like Romy and Michelle after they change into their blue and pink dresses?

No, me either.

Okay, but do you love twisted thrillers with vibrant, unlikeable characters who drive a plot with drama and secrets and murder and a little bit of oral sex? Hey, me too!

There was so much hype around this book that I was fully expecting to not like it because that’s usually how it works for me, but I was pleasantly proven wrong because I loved this.

It was so much fun and everybody was so awful in the most delicious ways that it’s a good time to hate them and watch bad shit happen.

If you want to binge-read a totally entertaining thriller over a weekend, then read this. Because honestly, the only thing I didn’t like about it is that there are scissors on the cover next to the word knife. Thanks, I hate it.

Continue reading “Review: In My Dreams I Hold A Knife by Ashely Winstead”

Review: The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson

“It was all sandcastles built on the shoreline by someone who’d forgotten that sand was just another kind of dirt.”


Del Rey Books | 2022

Filed Under: Good for her.

Well, this novel is a weird little gem.

I don’t know what I was expecting from a plot centring around a new virus – five years after covid – that turns people into mindless, murderous violent monsters and a mother who joins a new wrestling… group? Organization? Federation? What is the correct term for a wrestling thing? Whatever, the point is this is oddball, heartfelt and violent in equal measure and I totally dug it.

Chelsea is married to David. David is a controlling, gaslighting, abusive piece of absolute shit. When the virus – named the Violence – starts spreading with rapid and deadly results, Chelsea devises a way out, but between her two children and her emotionally abusive rich-bitch mother, things don’t go exactly as planned.

This novel has a wild and original plot that takes so many unpredictable turns with vibrant scenes and satisfying prose. I was bewildered by the kooky moments mixed in with the uncomfortably real ones, but was also on the edge of my seat the entire time.

It’s all “what the actual fuck” vibes but in a good way.

But be warned, a massive content warning is needed for domestic violence and animal death.

Continue reading “Review: The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson”

Review: Under Pressure (Lucas Page, #2) by Robert Pobi

“…social media was responsible in that it was continually etching lines of demarcation between every discernible demographic, cutting the social fabric into smaller and smaller swatches. And things were getting worse as people started seeing the world in terms of us versus them.”


Minotaur Books | 2020

Filed Under: That industrial system getting folks uppity again

The first book in the Lucas Page series by Robert Pobi, City of Windows, was one of my top reads of 2019. And, as you know, I’m fucking picky.

So, was it a fluke? Beginner’s luck? Fucking magic? And could Robert Pobi pull it off a second time with me? Well, I’m here to report that no, it wasn’t a fluke because this sequel novel is just as fucking good, if not better.

And Robert Pobi has me wrapped around his… finger. Finger! I was going to say finger! I never considered saying anything else.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m a fan and this is a bomb (pun intended) thriller/procedural.

I am begging you to give Pobi’s novels a chance. Put them on your TBR. Put them on your wish list. Put them on hold at your local library. Whatever you have to do, let’s get our shit together here. As thriller readers, we are sleeping on this author.

Continue reading “Review: Under Pressure (Lucas Page, #2) by Robert Pobi”

Review: My Summer Darlings by May Cobb


Berkley | 2022

Filed Under: Serial killers with BDE.

This novel is fucking ridiculous, but I read it in one sitting, staying up until 4am to finish it. I was exhausted and grumpy the next day, but I drank an iced coffee the size of my head as a remedy and then it was all worth it.

Win/win situation.

I just could not put this down even though it is kind of dumb… but dumb in a fun way. Like, it just made me happy how bananas the whole plot was. When book nerds say something is a popcorn read, this novel is the definition. It’s pure entertainment without any real rhyme or reason for why any of it is happening. You just know you’re having a good time.

This is Desperate Housewives meets Fatal Attraction meets The Boy Next Door.

Continue reading “Review: My Summer Darlings by May Cobb”

Review: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Crosby

“But if all of this has taught me one thing, it’s that it ain’t about me and what I get. It’s about letting people be who they are. And being who you are shouldn’t be a goddamn death sentence.”


Flatiron Books | 2021

Filed Under: Life is short, don’t be a fucking asshole.

Well, this ruined me emotionally, thanks so much.

Two gay men – an interracial married couple with a young daughter – are murdered in what appears to be a hate crime. Their fathers – Ike and Buddy Lee, boomers with nothing in common but anger and bigotry – seek out their sons’ killers under the influence of a maddening desire for revenge and their own redemption.

Oooh boy, talk about some heavy, emotional shit in this plot!

It nearly took me out, honestly. And I, like, never say that. I don’t mean that to be precocious or all teehee I’m dead inside. No seriously, I never say that about books.

I literally cried at the end. Cried. Me! Ugh, Razorblade Tears are no joke, baby!

Look, maybe you don’t know me well enough to understand that I am emotionally internal like 98% of the time, but really I would rather put a campfire out with my face than cry in front of anyone. It’s a nightmare for me to be visibly emotional. But of course, crying is good for you, so I will occasionally make plans for total privacy and then put on dog rescue videos to release some pressure on the valve, you know what I mean?

Or apparently, I’ll read the ending of this book.

Continue reading “Review: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Crosby”

Review: Such A Pretty Smile by Kristi DeMeester


St. Martin’s Press | 2022

Filed Under: Men as demon dogs

I don’t think this necessarily accomplished what it was trying to accomplish, but as a feminist witch, I appreciate the effort.

It just needed more cowbell.

…or maybe less cowbell.

It needed more cowbell and less cowbell, simultaneously.

For one, the horror in this was way too understated, and at times, put on the back burner. And the soapbox aspects read like the author wanted to beat me over the head with how shit men can be. And like, I totally get it and I agree.

But the themes of women being judged, belittled, condescended to and dismissed by men tended to drown out the actual narrative for me, which was supposed to be about a spooky evil killer known only as the Cur who was ripping obstinate young woman into meat threads.

The author clearly has strong opinions that they wanted to turn into social subtext to add meaningful depth to the plot, but it could sometimes be less subtext and more screaming street preacher, you know what I mean?

Like, balance is all I’m looking for, so give me more horror and murder alongside the man-hating.

Continue reading “Review: Such A Pretty Smile by Kristi DeMeester”

Review: Yes, Daddy by Jonathan Parks-Ramage


Mariner Books | 2021

Filed Under: Break glass in case of an emergency that requires gothic pulpy graphic writing

I said I wanted more gay thrillers and my book friends said fucking read Yes, Daddy, you bitch and now here we are.

So, I’ll say it to you too – read this book, you bitch.

It’s fucked up in the most perfect and twisted ways, to the point that it’s very powerful not just wild. I promise you will not be able to put it down and you’ll be all like, “wtf is happening I’m so uncomfortable but I love it.”

This was like a gay Jeffrey Epstein meets Harvey Weinstein meets #MeToo meets the Republican party meets that church Justin Beiber goes to meets that scene in 8MM where Nicholas Cage goes to an underground porn market for all the really demented shit and the guy is dressed in leather, pinching his own nipples.

You get the vibe.

Continue reading “Review: Yes, Daddy by Jonathan Parks-Ramage”