“The difference between a hero and a victim? Timing.”
William Morrow | January 2019
Filed Under: Did we learn nothing about isolated rest stops from Michael Meyers?!
This is my first five-star read of the year. And thank the god of thunder, because I was starting to get a little cranky as nothing has really been knocking my bits off. Whose fault is that really? Mine? Because of my choices? Get out of here! I don’t want to hear it!
Reading No Exit was an exercise in cinematic writing. It would be easy to say it was written with a movie option in mind (and maybe it was,) but maybe the plotting and timing of the story are just so fucking just good that the writing takes on a vibrant cinematic quality, and therefore, it seems like it should be a movie.
And it definitely should.
I would honestly give this five stars just based on the writing skill alone. It was that seamless and riveting. And my friends and regular readers know I don’t give out my stars easily. You have to earn this shit from me. You want easy stars? Go to the reviewers who aren’t dead inside with a stick up their ass.
It’s all ass sticks here, baby!
I do it because I love you and I want you to have an honest opinion from someone who isn’t worried about feelings and blah blah blah.
Continue reading “Review: No Exit by Taylor Adams”
★★★★★ (x infinity)
Harper Perennial | 2018
Filed Under: Stunning in its simplicity, ravenous in its message.
This book is unlike anything I have ever read, and I am utterly emotionally ruined by it.
Seriously. This book has fucked me up.
I started reading in the morning and I didn’t put it down until I read the last page that evening. I was completely obsessed, completely enthralled and emotionally enamoured.
I’ve taken a couple of days to think about this review because I want it to be coherent and not preachy, but I’m definitely about to go on a rant of epic proportions filled with long quotes, so buckle up buttercups.
This is the story of five men, all of whom have been the victim of a serial rapist known as Maude. It is the story of how the media handles rape, and how society handles rape. How we speak about it, how we shame, how we lay blame. It’s about the questions we ask, how we ask them, the assumptions we make and how we try to make ourselves feel more comfortable in the presence of someone else’s trauma. It’s about how survivors grapple with their new reality and their upended perception of themselves, their relationships, their bodies and the world around them.
It’s about gender equality and gender roles and gender assumptions. It’s about the groups we align ourselves with, the lines in the sand we draw as tribes. The hate we have. The resentment we have. How women feel about social history and how it doesn’t matter until it happens to a man. It’s about how blind we are to our shared wants and needs. And how if we just worked together we could change things.
It’s also creepy with elements of suspense.
Continue reading “Review: Any Man by Amber Tamblyn”
Dutton | 2018
Filed Under: This is definitely not Wet Hot American Summer.
I honestly didn’t think it was possible for me to love a Riley Sager novel more than I loved Final Girls, but then I read The Last Time I Lied and well, spit on my neck and kick me in the crotch, because this has usurped Final Girls as my favourite Sager read, if not one of my favourite reads ever. Period.
This novel makes me want to go to summer camp and investigate mysteries, but you know, it might look a little bit weird to be a 30-something at a sleep-away camp for kids when you’re not one of the counsellors.
“Dear Husband, I am homesick. But today I went in a canoe for the first time. The tweens here are looking at me funny.“
Sager is a world-class writer. I do not say that lightly or without conviction, because if you know me or read my reviews, you know I’m a huge judgmental bitch. It’s okay, you can agree.
So, when I say Sager is THE SHIT. I mean it. He breezes through the art of storytelling like it is the most effortless, natural thing in the world to him. An automatic bodily function.
Breathe. Beat heart. Write.
Continue reading “Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager”
William Morrow | 2017
Filed Under: Forget a beach read, this is a thunderstorm read
Yep, right in the feels.
I was hoping to write a really thoughtful review about this book, which I loved, and want all of you to love too, but right now my brain is a mushy mess.
For one, I’m getting over a head cold which has rendered me incapable of not much more than groaning and whining – noises that signal my husband to fetch me meds, water, food or a combination of the three (he just has to guess.)
Secondly, I think the sheer magnitude of this tome has burnt me out. It’s a smidgen over 500 pages. And 99% of the time, when I read a book that big I am screaming for editing to parse it down. But when it comes to the Quinn family saga, I wouldn’t know where to start. There is literally not a word wasted by Karin Slaughter – an epic feat when you consider just how much book there is to devour.
By the end, I was emotionally drained by Sam, Charlie and Rusty Quinn, and I don’t have the vocabulary left to fully express myself (she says as she goes on to write a dissertation-sized review)…
Continue reading “Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter”
Dutton | 2017
Filed Under: I don’t reread books but I would reread this
I love Meg Gardiner. She is a favourite author of mine. Anything she writes I want to read. Anything she has to say about writing, I want to hear. She is a brilliant author with a talent for writing action-packed mysteries with perfectly placed twists.
UNSUB is, by far, my new favourite novel by her.
It takes elements from famous serial killers, both real and fictional, and boils it down into one epic, smart and intricate serial killer crime thriller.
Thor, have mercy on my mystery-book nerd soul!
A quick synopsis: Caitlin is a cop. Her dad is a retired cop and he’s gone coo-coo for Cocopuffs after hunting a madman, The Prophet, 20 years ago and never catching him. Present-day, The Prophet is back, killing again in bloody crazy fashion and it’s Caitlin’s turn to stop him.
Obviously inspired by the Zodiac killer, this also takes elements from things like Se7en, Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, Untraceable… and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my stoned head, though I am sure there are more.
Continue reading “Review: UNSUB (UNSUB, #1) by Meg Gardiner”
“Something’s happening to me, through me, something dangerous and new. It’s taken root, a poison tree; it’s grown, fanning out, vines winding round my gut, my lungs, my heart.”
William Morrow | 2018
Filed Under: WHERE IS YOUR WIFE?!
I went into this reading experience with full-blown anxiety triggered by a library return date breathing down my neck.
I assumed there was not enough time for me to get through this because my weekend included my in-laws staying over and a front-hall closet renovation. I decided to try anyway because I ain’t no quitter. I opened this Saturday night, so completely aware that I had a Monday morning deadline that I got a little high first to set my nerves.
And guess what bitches? I blew through this baby so hard I gave myself TMJ.
Look, the truth is that this is not a groundbreaking novel or even particularly original in its overall concept. I see a lot of middle-of-the-road reviews from my friends who just didn’t get into it, who thought it was overhyped and underwhelming and I understand. I think those reviews had a “Lowered Expectations” effect on me because I FUCKING LOVED THIS BOOK.
Shout out to all the special people who got the MadTV reference. You are my people.
Maybe it was the anxiety meets weed meets meh reviews, but holy shit if this isn’t the most fun I’ve had reading a book since…like…a week ago…
Okay, you know what? The timeline isn’t important.
Continue reading “Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn”
Dutton | 2018
Filed Under: Physical satisfaction
OKAY, FIRST OF-FUCKING-ALL: FUCK YES
And second: I’m so depressed this is over.
I’m not religious, but over this Easter weekend, I’ve decided I worship at the printing press of Meg Gardiner. And her books are my bible.
If you’re interested in my new religion, let me know. Maybe I’ll make some pamphlets.
I’m completely blown away by this instalment in the UNSUB series. I think I literally peed my pants over the first one. And it seemed a completely impossible task that an author would deliver an equally pee-pants worthy follow-up.
But, I’m peeing my pants right now. (Not really. I’m at work. No one would appreciate that.)
Still, this is a completely solid five-star rating, and my only little tiny, itty-bitty teeny issue is a completely personal one that comes from the fact that I know everything about Ted Bundy. He’s my favourite serial killer. Not in a weird way. You know what I mean.
Look, I’m not apologizing. It is what it is.
Continue reading “Review: Into The Black Nowhere (UNSUB, #2) by Meg Gardiner”
Dutton | 2017
Filed Under: When a novel makes you with “Tom Cruise jump on a couch” joy
It’s my birthday and I’m King of the World!
Okay, it’s not my birthday, nor am I a king, but that’s how this book makes me feeeeeeel.
I’m not going to shame other people for their opinions on this one, but I will say if you didn’t like it, I truly believe you missed the beauty of what Riley Sager did here.
But, still, no judgement. I respect you all, I’m just a little bit in love with this novel. But also you’re wrong.
At Pine Cottage, ten years earlier, Quincy Carpenter emerged from the woods, bloody and screaming, the only survivor of a murderous massacre. We’re talking slasher-flick-sized proportions. The only problem is, in present-day, Quincy has repressed all memories of that night. She has no idea what happened.
By surviving this horrific event, Quincy becomes a member of a very exclusive club dubbed in the media as The Final Girls.
Continue reading “Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager”
“Final girls is film-geek speak for the last woman standing at the end of a horror movie.”