“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”
Ballantine Books | 2019
Filed Under: Blow jobs weren’t on the curriculum.
This is a popular read with high ratings on Goodreads from other reviewers, but my overall opinion is basically WHAT THE FUCK THIS IS REALLY DUMB???
I don’t mind being one of only a few people going against the grain here, but honestly, I just can’t even with this book. I had to suspend disbelief in such an extreme way that I started to feel legit angry about it.
This was 400 pages about girls at a boarding school going all Sally Field-Norma Rae with shaved heads because they’ve somehow fallen into a secret game of giving blow jobs for points to all the popular boys at the school who have a yearly championship bracket.
All of the teaching staff knows kind of (the six of them running a school of hundreds of students,) but turn a blind eye because…I guess…rich parents? Or college admissions? Or reputation? Or whatever else rich people care about. Someone ask Lori Laughlin. I’m still a little fuzzy on why full-grown, educated adults dedicated to America’s youth would be all elbow patches and tweed, and please ignore our student sex ring.
I mean, there must have been a way to stop the abuse without putting “ran a blow job side-hustle his senior year” on school transcripts. Then again, maybe the Ivy Leagues would call it entrepreneurship.
Continue reading “Review: The Swallows by Lisa Lutz”
St. Martin’s Press | 2019
Filed Under: Bologna and chains.
I heard about the Turpins when they first made international breaking news back in 2018 (which honestly feels like 100 years ago, at this point,) but I obviously didn’t pay enough attention to the whole story because the level of insanity is just jaw-dropping once all the details are laid out, as John Glatt does for you in this true-crime novel.
I mean, this is some fucked up shit.
I must have brushed it off as just another set of weird religious parents doing weird shit to their kids in the name of their self-tailored beliefs – that is one way to chalk it up. But, when we get into the real details, this is a banana-sandwich story turned up to eleven. Spinal Tap, amen.
If you’re looking for a story on how Louise and David Turpin went from falling in love to popping out 13 kids who they would regularly beat and chain up to their beds, only freeing them to brush their teeth or use the bathroom, then this is the book for you.
But what this book won’t tell you is the why.
Continue reading “Review: The Family Next Door – The Heartbreaking Imprisonment of the Thirteen Turpin Siblings and Their Extraordinary Rescue by John Glatt”
William Morrow | 2018
Filed Under: When bad men do evil in sweater vests.
It’s such a bummer to read a book by an author you hear nothing but praise for, only to walk away from that reading experience thinking your time has been thoroughly wasted. All I have in my head is like why? And like don’t? And like why again?
When I’m reading a new-to-me author, I seem to have a habit of choosing the one book that makes all the fans go, “That one’s not their best…THESE OTHER ONES THOUGH!!”
I’m not done with Macmillan just yet because I’m not a completely horrible person & also I think I spent real human dollars on another of her books and it’s currently sitting on my bookshelves… but this book is getting a big UGH from me.
Cody Swift has one of the hottest true crime podcasts around, Time to Tell. It focuses on his search for what really happened to his two childhood best friends twenty-years earlier when they were killed and the intellectually-disabled target of their bullying, Sidney Noyce, is convicted of their murders.
In the present day, Sidney Noyce (think Brendan Dassey, but slower,) has taken his own life in prison and then a new body is discovered at the same site the two boys’ were found decades before. Cody uses the renewed spotlight on the case to find the real killer, but using his podcast to do it in the hopes that it’ll be a real money maker story.
I love the idea, but the execution is severely lacking for me as a reader.
Continue reading “Review: I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan”
Abrams Press | 2019
Filed Under: Apparently, evil is just a misunderstanding
I really wanted to like this and I’m having a hard time with the rating because I didn’t like this, and frankly parts of it are so off-putting I want to toss it out a window.
But it’s not a bad book either in terms of writing quality.
My biggest problem really comes down to the fact that this book is not about the science behind humanity’s dark side, as the cover suggests.
I wanted to learn about the brain, human chemistry, nature vs nurture; I wanted case studies and scientific journals and theories and experiments. What I got was the author explaining why evil is subjective and nothing is really bad because all humans fuck up. The overall theme boils down to “rethinking evil.”
While that may be a provocative topic to tackle, I wouldn’t have necessarily started the book with the argument that we should reconsider labelling Hitler as evil.
Continue reading “Review: Evil – The Science Behind Humanity’s Dark Side by Julia Shaw”
Ballantine Books | 2018
Filed Under: Main characters that definitely used to be frat bros
I forgot there is a reason I haven’t read Kellerman in a long time. His writing doesn’t work for me. I find it formulaic and boring as hell. I know that’s sacrilegious for Alex Delaware fans, but whatever. I am who I am. You can’t change me!
Crime Scene was so boring to me that I read this book like a month ago and completely whiffed on writing a review. It just slipped from my mind, uneventful and easy to forget. It doesn’t really seem to me that anything happened in this book.
You have Clay Edison, a death investigator – or something – for the coroner’s office, who gets caught up in the death of a man who very clearly seems to have died of natural causes. But because Edison fucks the dead guy’s daughter, he becomes borderline obsessed with the idea that there is something more sinister that took place.
I mean, of course, he’s right about the sinister bad stuff (otherwise there would be no book,) but the fact that it took penis-in-vagina to get his interest piqued and the plot moving, had my eyes rolling so far back into my head that I think I sprained an optic muscle.
Continue reading “Review: Crime Scene (Clay Edison, #1) by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman”
Little, Brown & Company | 2019
Filed Under: Lindsay’s gonna Lindsay.
Let’s get this straight, Patterson and I broke up a long time ago. But just like every toxic relationship cycle, sometimes I go back to him.
Specifically, I go back when a new Women’s Murder Club instalment is released. I’ve been reading this series since the first book was published in 2001. I was fifteen, and at that time, I thought Patterson was the epitome of great crime fiction. It took me into my 20s, with exposure to crime fiction that was legitimately good, to realize that Patterson isn’t a very good writer, he’s just prolific. And I, like a lot of people, confused “popular” with being talented.
That’s not to say people don’t genuinely enjoy his work. Obviously they do, but objectively it’s pretty bad.
Now, I don’t care if you’re the biggest Patterson fan around, I’m not interested in a debate. Go read his work and write glowing reviews for him to your heart’s content. It affects me zero percent. But my opinion is that he’s a terrible writer. TERRIBLE. But remember, it’s only one opinion. I am not the final say in the matter. So don’t fucking @ me about it.
Every year I make a resolution to not read any Patterson, and every year I break that resolution at least once. This is my one for 2019.
But let’s face it, when it comes to a quick book to help you achieve a yearly reading goal, Patterson makes it so easy it almost feels like cheating.
Continue reading “Review: The 18th Abduction (Women’s Murder Club, #18) by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro”
Grand Central Publishing | 2019
Filed Under: German sausage.
I can’t believe I waited 13 years for the author who inspired my love of writing and reading and serial killers, to reenter my life only put me to fucking sleep.
I’m so sorry Mr. Harris, but girl what is you doing?
After such an extended hiatus, one would think the brilliant creator of Hannibal Lecter – arguably the greatest villain of all time – had come out from hibernation because he had a story that just needed to be written and shared.
After reading the blurb, I thought that was clearly the case here because the summary is straight fire so I needed this book immediately! ASAP. Pronto. Gimme!
Beneath an unoccupied Miami Beach mansion that used to belong to Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, there is rumoured to be millions of dollars worth of gold. Two men are in a race to get to the gold first. Don Ernesto, a Colombian mob boss, and Hans-Peter Schneider, a depraved “business” man who kills women and sells their body parts to wealthy buyers to satisfy whatever their particular sexual fetish is.
Continue reading “Review: Cari Mora by Thomas Harris”
Three First Names | 2019
Filed Under: Electric piss fantasy
This book is homophobic, misogynistic and gross-out horror for the sake of shocking the reader, and has zero literary value. Straight up. It’s garbage for the people who like garbage. So if you do, then please, jump onto the pee-soaked bed! It’s waiting for you!
Me, I’m using the rubber cover. I’m not prudish or easily offended or sensitive by any means, and I usually have no issue with a book that includes offensive themes with purpose, but this book has no purpose.
I am struggling to find the point to any of the fucked up things I just read. It feels like it exists only to have put demented thoughts onto paper. It exists just to be awful. There is no reason or moral or satisfaction to the ending. And I guess that’s just not my thing at all when it comes to stories. No judgement if it’s yours, but I can’t do it.
Continue reading “Review: The Bedwetter – Journal of a Budding Psychopath by Lee Allen Howard”
Flatiron Books | 2019
Filed Under: Phone, keys, wallet
What in the actual fuck?
Why did you do this to me, Feeney?!
Sometimes I Lie was one of my favourite reads of 2018, so I was pretty pumped to read the second offering from this author, but unfortunately, I’m W-T-F-ing all over the place.
I mean, seriously. Why? Why that ending?
I should have fucking known I was going to be disappointed by this.
Clue number one: some of the most reliable thriller reviewers around these parts gave this book one fucking star.
Clue number two: My buddy Lori (@mylifewithbooksandbeans on Insta if you’re looking for a gem bookstagrammer to follow,) sent me her ARC copy from the US – yes, literally PAID shipping to send me this book – just because she wanted me to write a review.
People don’t want me to write reviews about books they think I’ll love, okay? I might not know where most countries are on a map, but I know that much.
Continue reading “Review: I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney”
“[Fear] is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns. We yield to it or we fight it, but we cannot meet it halfway.”
Viking | 1959
Filed Under: THERE ARE TOO MANY DOORS.
The first time I ever came across this story was in 1999 when I was 14 years old and watched The Haunting for the first time.
Is it a good movie? Not really. But, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Liam Neeson in a murderous, haunted house? That’s always going to be a yes from me. And that scene where Owen Wilson gets his head lobbed off? Scared the shit out of me twenty years… TWENTY YEARS AGO?! Omg. *vomits in mouth*
So, there’s some nostalgia linked to this for me in terms of shitty 90s horror movies that I still have a fondness for.
I later saw the original 1963 adaptation which just didn’t really work for me because I was a dumbass teenager with a myopic view of entertainment and a shitty attitude.
In 2001, Scary Movie 2 pulled heavily from The Haunting and it has been seared into my brain ever since.
In fact, while I was reading this I suddenly had a desire to watch Scary Movie 2, so I did, and that was arguably a bad idea because for the rest of the book all I could picture was Chris Elliot with his gross tiny fucking hand.
Say what you want about quality, but the moronic movie is funny as hell.
Continue reading “Review: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson”