“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”
“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”
“…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”
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.
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”
“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”
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”
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”
Strange Light | 2021
Filed Under: Desperately trying to put that fourth wall back together
I really and truly wanted to love this as much as everyone else, but as should come as a surprise to literally no one, I did not. I liked it enough, but a few things were throwing me off – it reads like two different books, the pacing is all over the place and the anthology-style chapters became repetitive because there really didn’t seem to be a point.
I mean, I guess the point could be that bad things happen to the LGTBQ+ community and there really never is a “good” reason; it’s predictable and constant exists because of cruelty – the cruelty is the point.
But maybe that’s too subversive for my weed-addled brain, so I struggled to be totally engaged.
That said, this is an LGBTQ+ horror novel that would be perfect for your Pride reading list and there are a million other readers gushing over it, so take my review with a pinch of, like, whatever you want to pinch, I don’t know, it’s up to you but I’m not forcing salt on anyone.
Continue reading “Review: Red X by David Demchuk (🏳️🌈)”
Inkshares | 2017
Filed Under: Seriously, he’s scared of spiders.
Okay, first of all, let’s be real – this is not totally a haunted house story because most of the plot doesn’t actually take place in the house that is haunted.
I feel like describing this as a haunted house story is selling it short because it’s so much more involved than that. Maybe too involved? Because damn can this read slow.
The first half of the novel is like an episode of The History of Horror, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because I genuinely love learning about the genre. Side note: If you are a horror fan and are not watching/listening to this show/podcast hosted by Eli Roth, then you’re missing out. In conversation with big names, you get to delve deep into everything to do with the genre – how your favourite pieces came about, all the tropes, sub-genres and (obviously) the history.
This novel takes on that vibe a little bit, with a lot of examining horror as a genre as it relates to the MC, Sam McGarver, a one-hit-wonder horror author turned writing professor who has lost his mojo like Austin Powers and just can’t seem to write another novel that doesn’t suck.
Continue reading “Review: Kill Creek by Scott Thomas”