Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

33199875★★★★★

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 capable 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.

But 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)…

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Fave Five Friday: Top Friday The 13th Reads!

Happy Friday the 13th, lovers!!

I love any kind of creepy, superstitious day like this. I’m waiting with bated breath for Hallowe’en. My head is swimming with all the ways I’m going to decorate my front porch. So, what better day to compile a list of the most creepy books you can read to scare the shot out of yourself!?

But, before we get into it, I want to share something a little personal. On July 13th, 2012 – so exactly six years ago today – I walked into a Tim Hortons near my home and met the man I had been talking to online for three months. He had driven five hours from New York state and crossed my Canadian border (no pun intended) so that we could finally meet in person. We had been talking every day. It started through twitter, then email, then phone calls.

We were pretty sure we were in love, but you never really can be 100% sure until you meet someone in person.

We’ll celebrate our five-year wedding anniversary on October 13th. Yes, the 13th.

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Tonight, we’re going to celebrate the day that changed our lives with pizza and weed and watching Friday The 13th, the classic 80s movie. But I think everyone should be celebrating this weird and superstitious day. One way to do it would be turning out the lights and curling up with a scary AF classic horror novel, because this day deserves a little old school creepy.

Here’s my list of the top five classic horror books to read on Friday the 13th!

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Review: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

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★★★

“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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#Throwback Thursday: 07.12.18

Yes, yes, y’all! It’s TBT time! Clueless and knee-highs, discmans and guys with hoop earrings…and the Foo Fighters singing this week’s throwback jam!

Yes, make me feel eleven again!

I have loved the Foo Fighters since the first moment I saw this video on Much Music in 1996. And today I get to fulfill a bucket list item of seeing them live in concert. Me and the husband have a date tonight in Toronto to see the Foo Fighters at the Rogers Stadium. I can’t even fully explain what it means to me to be doing this, so I won’t even try.

Just know that Dave Grohl is my one and only god. I literally have a picture of him framed on my wall in my living room. Not a poster. No. This is art. Framed art of Dave Grohl.

I love him. And I also love books (talk about a segue.) Here’s a look at books I’ve read and still love, and at books that have been on my TBR for a while but still get me hyped.

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Booknerd Wednesday: World Cup Edition

GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

Anyone else wishing that the Mexican commentator was doing all of the game commentating for the World Cup? That dude is ah-meezing. He makes it so much more fun to watch.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know anything about soccer until I met my husband. He is a huge fan. His favourite team in the Tottenham Hotspurs. It took me a while to even learn how to say Tottenham properly. But, he embraced my love of hockey, he became a Toronto Maple Leafs fan for me, so I’m trying to get into soccer a little bit more.

It’s not the most exciting sport to me. I think I’m used to the level of adrenaline hockey brings – fights and body checking and game blowouts that might see ten or twelve goals.

Soccer is a little slower. If you like to watch men run, then it’s for you. Or if you’re looking for some dramatic acting tips, also for you.

soccer GIF

Seriously, this is the worst thing about soccer to me. These grown, athletic men spend more time finding ways to cry and flail around about made up injuries than toddlers do. I have never seen anything like it. Just get the fuck up and play your fucking sport. I’ve seen hockey goalies get a cut carotid artery from a skate, bleeding all over the ice, and they still want to find a way to get back out and play.

But, I digress…

This week the semi-finals are wrapping up, between France and Belgium, and England vs Croatia. I am fully on Team England. My husband is Team Croatia, so it’s making for an interesting Wednesday.

For this week’s post I’m going to take a look at crime fiction from each of the semi-finalist countries.

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Review: UNSUB (UNSUB, #1) by Meg Gardiner

32811580★★★★★

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 smart, detail-oriented author with a talent for writing action-packed mysteries with perfectly placed twists.

UNSUB is, by far, my new favourite novel by her.

Hands down.

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.

Lort, have mercy on my mystery bookworm soul!

A quick synopsis: Caitlin is a cop. Her dad use to be a cop, but he’s gone Coocoo 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’s true crimes, it also take elements from things like Se7enRed DragonSilence of the LambsUntraceable…and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head, though I am sure there are more.

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Fave Five Friday: Canadian Authors

If you’re in the US right now everything is red, white and blue for Independence Day. The month of July gets y’all fired up and feeling aggressively patriotic. Fireworks and eagles, and 1 in 3 people predicting a civil war, and immigrant children in cages. It’s amazing.

happy july 4 GIF

Here in Canada, July has a similar effect. The 1st is Canada Day, our birthday. Everything is red and white, beavers and fireworks and our Prime Minister probably out somewhere taking selfies. True North, Strong and Free, bitches!

Most people don’t even realize we’re celebrating a thing at all. And that’s fine, really, because we know and we go all out, covering ourselves in maple syrup and doing sexual things with hockey sticks. Maybe. Probably. Whatever. Don’t judge.

But it got me thinking, we Canadians have a lot to be proud of that doesn’t necessarily get recognized across borders until someone like Justin Bieber becomes an international sensation and people start screaming “take him back, Canada!” and we’re like, “but we don’t want him either! You made him weird! He’s too religious now!”

We’ve developed this terrible habit of pointing out everyone and everything that’s Canadian. It’s like saying, “Hey! We’re here too! We do some cool stuff!”

south park canada GIF

My husband is from New York state. He moved to Canada in 2015 after we got married. And one of his favourite things has become laughing at me every time I say “they’re Canadian” without even realizing the words are coming out of my mouth. All Canadians do this. It comes from a deep, dark place of feeling less than.

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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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Booknerd Wednesday: WWW Edition

I’m coming down off of the Canada Day long weekend. For those among us that don’t know what Canada Day is, it’s our goddamn birthday! July 1st! HOW DARE YOU NOT SEND US A CARD!

prime minister shrug GIF

It currently feels like there is nothing worse than going back to work after a long weekend. I’m exhausted even though I did literally the bare minimum for three days straight. To top it off, it’s been hotter than Satan’s taint outside. A heat warning has been in effect for a literal week. My dog is getting cabin fever because he can’t play outside longer than ten minutes without risking heat stroke. Same applies to my husband, honestly.

Climate change is going to kill us all, but first it’s making me sweat and I don’t like it.

I behaved like a vampire all weekend. Blinds drawn to create total darkness, keeping the homicidal sun away from my fair skin. The AC blasting, keeping me cool and fresh like a corpse in a morgue. And when my husband tried to touch me with his hotter-than-normal body, I burst into a hundred bats and flew away.

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Review: The Lies They Tell by Gillian French

35887572★★½

I was really hoping this was going to be sweaty, atmospheric summer thriller. But I only got 1 out of 2 from that list.

Depending on what’s important to you – the atmosphere or the thrills – you’re either going to love this or not.

Immediately upon starting this I got a Revenge meets Gossip Girl meets Riverdale vibe. It’s got that spoiled teens with no adult supervision in the Hamptons thing going on.

It’s very rich versus poor. The pool owners and the pool cleaners. The haves and the have-nots.

The novel opens with a bang, so to speak, when the Haves suffer a tragedy the year prior – the Garrison estate goes up in flames, killing four members of the family. The only survivor is their teenage son, Tristan. The town is straight shooketh, casting blame and suspicion on the members of the Have Nots, because of course the poor people want to kill the “elites.” Right, ‘Murica?

the kingsmen laughing GIF by Collider

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