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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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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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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Review: The Next Girl (DI Gina Harte, #1) by Carla Kovach

37889327★★★

This was pretty enjoyable, I have to say. For a debut in a series it hit mostly all the right notes. But at the same time, it was missing aspects that I look for to really make a procedural more than just the typical.

The story boils down to an abandoned baby, a woman who’s been missing for four years (who is the mother of that baby,) and one seasoned, but borderline PTSD, detective on the case.

You hear all of that and you think, yes gimme! It sounds like the perfect recipe. But I’m left feeling a little bit like Gordon Ramsey on Master Chef when someone brings up a beautiful looking dish and he tastes it, gets a funny look on his face and says: “It looks fantastic, but where’s the seasoning? Did you salt the fucking chicken?”

Carla Kovach forgot to salt the fucking chicken on this one.

It’s a minor mistake in the grand scheme of things, but it means something is off the whole time you’re eating.

…I don’t know why I’m doing a food metaphor, honestly. I hate food metaphors. And I had such a big lunch that I don’t even want to think about eating ever again. Ugh.

gordon ramsey idiot GIF

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Review: Dark Game (DI Kelly Porter, #1) by Rachel Lynch

37067922★★★

Welcome to another edition of Krystin Struggles To Write A Review For A Book That Was Just Okay!

These are my least favourite reviews to write. I think I’m a person who creatively operates best under strong swings on the emotional spectrum. Writing a review for a book that didn’t get me fired up either way is kind of like being asked “how was your weekend?” by an expectant colleague and struggling to come up with an answer because all you did was lay around in your PJs mindlessly watching repeats of Live PD.

That Dan Abrams sure does like him some tightly fit sweaters. And I am not complaining.

I don’t know, guys… Do you want to talk about this book or do you want to talk about Dan Abrams’ wardrobe? I’m leaning more towards wardrobe. Blue is really his colour.

Alright, alright! I’ll stop.

yas checking out GIF by Vanessa Marie Carter

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Review: The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

30654172★★★

This novel reads like the author really likes to watch the Hallmark Channel or Lifetime movies. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you’re into that.

Lort knows, I’ve binged all of the Aurora Teagarden movies like a fucking champ.

The Vanishing Season ticks off a lot of boxes on the “Cozy Lifetime Mystery Checklist.”

That’s a thing. Let’s go through it…

In a small town (✔️), Abigail Hathaway, who now goes by Ellery and escaped a serial killer as a teenager, (✔️) is now a cop herself (✔️). But no one knows about her dark past (✔️) and she intends to keep it that way. Ellery, with knowledge no one else has (✔️) connects three seemingly unrelated missing persons’ cases that she’s never worked on (✔️) and decides there must be a copycat killer in her tiny town (✔️), but no one believes her (✔️) and won’t, unless she outs her true identity (✔️). What this killer really wants is her (✔️)! The killer starts to leave her notes and packages to let her know he knows who she is, and is watching her (✔️).

Ellery calls for backup in the form of a disgraced FBI agent (✔️), who also happens to be the same agent that saved her from certain death all those years ago (✔️).

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Review: Her Last Day (Jessie Cole, #1) by T.R. Ragan

34671960★★★

I hate writing reviews for novels that didn’t get me fired up one way or the other.

Gushing reviews are easy. Angry reviews are fun.

But a blah review?

I mean, it’s well, blah, and it doesn’t give me the creative spark to live up to my potential as a sassy reviewer ’round these parts.

Sooooo yeaahhhhh….I’m having a hard time deciding how I feel about this offering by T.R. Ragan.

You’ve got all the makings of success in my eyes, typically: A female P.I., a personal mystery, an interesting sub-plot and a serial killer on the loose.

Those are some big plot lines that have half the magic built right into them, all the author needs to do is throw in a little glitter and fire. Somehow this novel manages to be just okay – it’s missing the glitter and fire.

I see a lot of reviews calling it a fast-paced thriller and um…

giphy

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Review: Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

23746004★★★½

This is just an OK book about O.J. Simpson.

Oh, I’m sorry, it’s not about O.J. Simpson? He’s just talked about incessantly?

My bad.

So, this is a pretty good suspense-mystery that is not about O.J. Simpson.

But who are we kidding? There really is no O.J. mystery.

He did it.

Black-Eyed Susans follows Tessa, the only surviving victim of a serial killer. Known as “the lucky one”, her body was left in a ditch covered in the ominous yellow flowers and surrounded by the remains of three other women. Now 32, with a daughter, and a life she’s scraped together with determination and strength, Tessa has to face the consequences of the testimony she gave at her accused killer’s trial…because she’s not totally convinced the right man is behind bars.

But just like everyone else in the history of mystery novels, the bitch has amnesia and can’t remember what happened to her. Dun dun dunnnn…

giphy (4)

With the execution looming, Tessa teams up with the inmate’s lawyers and forensic experts, to find the truth. Who were the other victims? Is her killer still free? Where did her best friend disappear to fifteen years ago? And who keeps planting black-eyed-susans in her garden?

And ALSO, just what do Americans think Canadian bacon is?

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Review: Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson, #7) by Darynda Jones

19286674★★★½

So, in this instalment we follow our hero (sans coffee, the horror!) as she balances running from the 12 hell hounds sent to kill her, trying to solve a Friday The 13th style mystery, testing her growing abilities, learning more about whether she’s going to save or destroy the world as per the big ole prophecy, dealing with being pregnant with Beep, and of course, delving deeper into her dysfunctional relationship with Reyes.

At this point fans pretty much know what they’re going to get when they pick up a Charley book. There’s not a lot to say about this series that hasn’t already been said, or can’t be said exclusively with gifs and some swear words.

Also, I don’t like pregnant Charley.

Babies ruin everything. There I said it.

 


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Review: N0S4A2 by Joe Hill

15729539

★★★½

OMG I HAVE FINALLY READ THIS FUCKING BOOK. What’s it been, 30 years?!

I’m tired, guys. I’m so so tired.

I feel like I just escaped from Christmasland and my life force is nearly drained.

My head hurts. I think this book gave me a headache – that’s how intense it was.

The gist is Victoria ‘Vic’ McQueen can travel across a covered bridge on her bike and arrive on the other side wherever she wants to be.

Charlie Manx can drive his vintage 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith to a supernatural amusement park, which he created, called Christmasland. And the Rolls Royce is the key to get in. On his way there, he kidnaps children. During the ride, the kids are drained of their life force in order to keep Manx alive, because you see, he’s a few hundred years old. Can’t let that decay sink in, can we?

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