Review: Oak Avenue by Brandi Reeds

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★★★½

Amazon Originals | 2018

Opening Hook: HGTV meets Shutter.

Main Character: No one wants to raise a baby with ghosts.

Plot Twisty-ness: Creepy but on uppers.


I did it! Here it is! My last review of the Dark Corners collection! It also happens to technically be my first read of 2020, so that means I’m caught up on all of my 2019 reviews. It’s New Year’s miracle!

Alright, for real I never thought I’d say this, but I’m kind of disappointed that this isn’t a full-length novel…because it was too fast. *gasp, horror, shock* I KNOW. Am I taking crazy pills? Seriously, I never thought “the plot moved too quickly” would be a complaint I would ever have in my life. My feelings about this story have totally caught me off guard.

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I liked this and I liked Brandi Reeds writing style, but my rating reflects what didn’t work for me. Though the creepy atmosphere is set immediately, the plot was too rushed and stilted to fit the short-story criteria.

Continue reading “Review: Oak Avenue by Brandi Reeds”

Review: Hannah-Best by Jennifer McMahon

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★★★★★

Amazon Original Stories | 2018

Opening Hook: A bad costume choice.

Main Character: Should have used a smaller knife.

Plot Twisty-ness: Mean Girls meets Urban Legend


Of all the books in the Dark Corners collection, this was my absolute favourite. The whole structure of it is just so perfect, I can’t say enough. I’ve read Jennifer McMahon before and didn’t really care for her writing from that experience, but this short story is a fucking firecracker and I adored it.

It would be the perfect creepy Halloween read, so put it on your TBR for October!

Told between past and present, this is a story about mean girls, the actions that haunt you and how urban legends are created.

The vibe of it is perfect – an otherwise rational adult succumbing to fears of what is in the dark as her mind runs wild with memories of the past.

Continue reading “Review: Hannah-Best by Jennifer McMahon”

Review: The Remedy by Adam Haslett

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★½

Amazon Original Stories | 2018

Opening Hook: Apparently lobotomized before I could read it.

Main Character: Needs help, but not this kind.

Plot Twisty-ness: Twisted, and not in a good way.


My backlog of reviews is so long that it’s starting to give me just a smidgen of anxiety. But then I remind myself this is all just my humble opinions on books and saying ‘fuck’ a lot, so I’m not going to take it too seriously. Anyway, I’m back on my bullshit and here’s a review to prove it…

I have to say, the Dark Corners collection from Amazon was definitely disappointing overall. I read this compilation of seven “scary” short stories for Halloween and there were three included works that I ended up liking.

The Remedy was not one of them.

Continue reading “Review: The Remedy by Adam Haslett”

Review: The Swallows by Lisa Lutz

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

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★★

Ballantine Books | 2019

Opening Hook: Blow jobs weren’t on the curriculum.

Main Character: Good at flowcharts.

Plot Twisty-ness: Needs some spit on it.


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 Yale would call it entrepreneurship.

Continue reading “Review: The Swallows by Lisa Lutz”

True Crime Tuesday: The Ice Box Murders

It’s the 74th day of January and it feels like it’s getting colder every day. Or maybe my tolerance for winter is just constantly dwindling?

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Last weekend we had a crazy amount of snow dumped on us, although it was nothing compared to what the people of Newfoundland dealt with. (Seriously, look up Newfoundland snowfall. The pictures are ridiculous. Trudeau had to send in the fucking army to dig people out.)

They’re calling for more snow this weekend in my neck of the woods and I’m over it. But at the same time, it’s not so bad. What better reason to stay inside and read all day than “I’m fucking snowed in!” Joy.

Today’s #TCT post feels totally on theme.

This is the story of Fred and Edwina Rogers, who were quite literally, put on ice.

Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: The Ice Box Murders”

Fave Five: My Top Reads of 2019!

As we saw in my post yesterday, 2019 was kind of a giant turd for me in terms of my reading choices. Going through my list, I only rated three books as five-star reads out of the 50 books I read, and one of those was a short-story, so…

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I just wasn’t feeling it last year, but 2020 is already looking up *knock on wood*… except for that fucking book I just read that was published by James Patterson’s imprint, goddamnit! I didn’t realize it had Patterson’s fingers in it until it was too late. I’ll be more careful in the future, but as far as I’m concerned, the book was Patterson adjacent and doesn’t break my New Years resolution! Get away from me with that negativity!

Soooooo my review for Campfire by Shawn Sarles will be posted soon.

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I’m looking back at my “Top Five of 2018” post and laughing about how hopeful I was that 2019 would be better than the previous year, in terms of both reading and humanity. If anything, shit only got worse. We even started 2020 with The Great Orange Mussolini almost starting World War III…

It’s just…

I can’t…

It’s…

Like, why?

And how?

But why?

I just…

So yeahhhhh…listen, I can’t take another year of shit books AND shit humanity.

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It’s just not going to work for me. And my hopes are low that humanity is going to get its shit together, so that leaves me nothing but books. I’ve got to make some changes to find peace. I was in a reading slump for most of 2019, stuck with books I didn’t like and wasn’t motivated to pick back up. Because I wasn’t reading I was watching TV and somehow that always ends up with me watching the news (#AriMelber4Eva) and becoming stressed out, depressed.

The bad vibes are suffocating!

So, this is my year to DNF all the books that are stifling my good vibes and boring me into a slump. I need some positivity and escapism if we’re all going to die because of Trump, or the alt-right idiots or climate change. It doesn’t look like Greta Thurnberg is going to save us, but I appreciate that she’s trying.

Good Books Only 2020!

But let’s get back to 2019 and the few exceptions to the crap I read.

Not all of the books on my Top Five list were published in 2019, I just happened to read them that year. You know how it goes.


🔪Five. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Filed Under: 1-800-Kill-Kill-Kill

Back of the Book: Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…

My Fucking Thoughts: There was a lot of hype surrounding this book’s release, and for the most part, it was deserved. For a debut novel, it’s pretty impressive and I had a fun time reading it, so one eggplant up for Mr. Michaelides.

The plot is layered and gripping and the twist is quite clever. It was a hell of a first effort. Michaelides can really only get better from here. So, if you feel like giving a debut author a chance, this is recommended! Full review here.

🔪Four. Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Filed Under: Just One More Chapter

Back of the Book: My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?

My Fucking Thoughts: This story is written like the most diabolical onion you’ve ever encountered in your life. Every time you think you’ve peeled away a layer that will get you closer to the truth, it turns out that layer was a goddamn LIAR and you’re still fucking confused. And now you’re crying. Fucking onions! Full review here.

🔪Three. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Filed Under: Would Bang

Back of the Book: Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking… and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

My Fucking Thoughts: The plot was always moving which created a “thriller” like quality, but it was also quiet. It was deliberate and calm in its choices and I really appreciated the quiet precision with which this book operated.

In my humble-ish opinion, in order to love this book, you need to go into it not expecting to be “thrilled” but to have your mind and perceptions played with. Letting the elements of paranoia wash over you without ever expecting the jump scare that isn’t coming.

There are a lot of subtle moments of suspense – feelings of being watched, stalked, characters that are scared (without the dramatics.) It’s a cracker of a psychological thriller, with a heavy leaning on the psychological side, which I found so fascinating and engrossing that I finished this in just a couple of sittings over the weekend. Full review here.

🔪 Two. City of Windows (Lucas Page, #1) by Robert Pobi

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½ 

Filed Under: Setting Dopeness

Back of the Book: During the worst blizzard in memory, an FBI agent in a moving SUV in New York City is killed by a nearly impossible sniper shot. Unable to pinpoint where the shot came from, as the storm rapidly wipes out evidence, the agent-in-charge Brett Kehoe turns to the one man who might be able to help them–former FBI agent Lucas Page.

Page, a university professor and bestselling author, left the FBI years ago after a tragic event robbed him of a leg, an arm, an eye, and the willingness to continue. But he has an amazing ability to read a crime scene, figure out angles and trajectories in his head, and he might be the only one to be able to find the sniper’s nest. With a new wife and family, Lucas Page has no interest in helping the FBI–except for the fact that the victim was his former partner.

Agreeing to help for his partner’s sake, Page finds himself hunting a killer with an unknown agenda and amazing sniper skills in the worst of conditions. And his partner’s murder is only the first in a series of meticulously planned murders carried out with all-but-impossible sniper shots. The only thing connecting the deaths is that the victims are all with law enforcement–that is until Page’s own family becomes a target.

To identify and hunt down this ruthless, seemingly unstoppable killer, Page must discover what hidden past connects the victims before he himself loses all that is dear to him.

My Fucking Thoughts: Booknerds, you have to hear the words coming out of my metaphorical mouth right now: Robert Pobi is a firecracker writer! I’m beating myself up that I’ve not read him sooner. His prose are clever, colourful and unique, touched with subtle humour and personal opinions that elevate the novel to that often sought place in crime fiction – a place where the story feels human, not just dark and serious and unreal.

Honestly, everything about this was just extra as hell. Pobi’s writing is full of flare and snark and sparkle, but it does dance on the border of occasionally trying too hard to be edgy. His characters feel new and strange and so wonderfully crafted that they are basically real people.

I enjoyed the fuck out of this. Full review here.

🔪 One. No Exit by Taylor Adams

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Back of the Book: On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside, are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.

Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.

Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?

There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?

Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.

But who can she trust?

My Thoughts: Hands down, this is my favourite book of the year! Reading No Exit was an exercise in cinematic writing. I would honestly give this five stars just based on the writing skill alone, it was that seamless and riveting. This was so fun and so gripping, and deceptively linear. There is a clever, extra level to the plotting that made me literally GIDDY and that’s what bumps this up from a 4-star thriller, to a dope AF 5-star thriller. *air guitar solo* Wah-wahwwww-wahhw. Full review here.

You may have noticed that I only put one of my five-star reads on the list and that’s because the other two didn’t feel like they fit with that list, but they get an honourable mention in their own categories.

My Other ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐’s for 2019:

Short-Story: Hannah-Beast by Jennifer McMahon

Non-Fiction: Working Stiff – Two Years, 262 Bodies and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell


And that’s it! The choices have been made. I’m locked in.

Did you read any of these in 2019? Did you like them? Or do you think I’ve completely got my head up my ass?

Trick question! The answer is: A little bit of both.

Until next time, Booknerds…

Review: Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

“No one walks around holding their ugliest sin in the palm of their hand, staring at it.”

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★★★★

William Morrow | 2019

Opening Hook: *DRINKS*

Main Character: Too old to have not dealt with high school horrors yet.

Plot Twisty-ness: Like getting tangled up in scuba gear.


First of all, Joshilyn Jackson can write some vibrant AF characters. Shit, those personalities were strong, and it created a very cinematic reading experience.

Amy has a beautiful life -a new baby, a sweet husband, a step-daughter who doesn’t hate her but might get finger-banged on the couch once in a while; a big house, a sweet career (hello, scuba instructor? who does that?) and good friends. One night at the regular book club get-together, a mysterious and presumptuous stranger – Roux – invites herself in like some fabulous Disney villain wearing boots probably made of puppies and ready to steal your man, and starts some trouble with a game of Never Have I Ever.

You know that game. Someone says, “never have I ever… had car sex during my stepkid’s soccer tournament,” and anyone who has done that needs to drink.

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Okay, maybe you don’t get that specific with your statement, but you get the idea.

Continue reading “Review: Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson”

Throwback Thursday: All The Books I Hated in 2019!

It’s me! The Book Bitch™ returning for my annual wrap-up of all the books that were disappointing, rage-inducing and just straight-up trash.

While I’m welcoming 2020 with open arms and optimism, and a new commitment to DNF-ing books that just aren’t working for me, lest we forget all the 2019 hot garbage that brought out the very worst in me, both mentally and in my reviews.

2019 had everything! Church shootings, mosque bombings, Notre Dame burned to the fucking ground. There were plane crashes, Boris Johnson, Nigerian state sponsored massacres, MORE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS, Nipsey Hustle was murdered and Jussie Smollet made a mockery of hate crimes. There were avalanches, floods, tornadoes and wildfires out the fucking ass. There were more Trump-inspired hate crimes then ever before and Trump officially lost his fucking mind in more ways than I can count. There were impeachments and covers ups and Russian bullshit. Don Cherry outed himself as a racist, Grumpy Cat died AND EPSTEIN DIDN’T KILL HIMSELF.

Then there were the books we read to escape all of that horrendous real-world stuff. Unfortunately for me, I read more crap books than I did good novels which just brought me down even further into the cesspool we call Humanity. I could not escape the negativity.

But in a very selfless, beautiful way, I did it so you didn’t have to. That’s the kind of human being I really am. Yeah, let’s go with that angle spin…

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As is tradition at Here’s The Fucking Twist, my first #TBT of the new year is a look back at all the books I hated in 2019!

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: All The Books I Hated in 2019!”

Booknerd Wednesday: My 2020 Bookish New Years Resolutions

Andddddddddd….I’m back! New decade, new blog post, new goals!

Tell me booknerds, how were your holidays?? Mine was busy and went by way too fast. I don’t feel like I relaxed at all or was gifted anything to make me feel better about the amount of money I spent. I did, however, get drunk on Christmas Day for the first time in a decade. I stopped drinking-to-excess in college because I just do not like the feeling of being drunk and out of control…but somehow Christmas went off the rails for me.

You know how it goes: you’re making dinner so you pour a glass of wine. Cooking and wine go so well together that you’re not paying attention to how much alcohol you’re actually consuming. You’re getting wine-drunk so slowly that by the time you realize you officially passed the line of what’s acceptable in front of family two glasses ago, it’s too late. So you eat a bunch of crackers and cheese in a vain attempt to break down your blood-alcohol level, but you’ve had a bottle and a half just to yourself! It’s over! You’re drunk! And now your mother-in-law starts saying things like, “I’m still on my first glass!” in this passively judgmental way, and your youngest stepkid is saying: “You’re fun when you’re drunk,” to the entire dinner table and you’re trying not slur when you respond, “I’m not drunk, I’m just a little buzzed. Issssaa not a big deal,”

You’re definitely drunk, and later, you try to vomit very quietly so no one hears how bad it actually was.

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Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: My 2020 Bookish New Years Resolutions”

Merry Fucking Everything!

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This is a quick post.

I want to wish everyone who has stopped by HTFT, read my shit all year long, commented and interacted and made blogging such a fun experience for me in 2019, and stuck around even when I’m not posting as much, a Happy Whatever and Merry Everything!

I hope your winter holidays are filled with good times, good books and good food. You can tell Santa, if he isn’t good to you too, I’ll cut a bitch 🎅

I’ll be on a blogging hiatus until after the new year, but I plan to come back for the start of a new decade refreshed and ready to hit my reading goals for once in my damn life, exploring more twisted true crime and sharing it all with you fucking amazing people.

I will still be posting stories on Instagram while I’m off, so if you’re not following me, correct that fucking behaviour immediately. You can find me on #bookstagram under @thefuckingtwist, obviously.

I love you all and can’t wait to see what books you got under the tree! 🎄

Meet you in 2020, booknerds! 💚❤️