“We never joke about bunnies, Bunny.”
Viking | 2019
Opening Hook: A writing exercise.
Main Character: Every nerdy introvert who wants to experience being a Mean Girl.
Plot Twisty-ness: Purely demented.
This book hopped onto my TBR (hopped, get it? …I’ll show myself out,) after Tav of @readswithdogs (#bookstagram) gave it a 5-star review over the summer. She called it Clueless meets Heathers and quite frankly, what millennial isn’t going to want to read that, like STAT? ASAP? OTHER ACRONYMS?
For the first quarter of the book, I was like, what is this actually???? It’s really weird and hard to classify its genre; where is it going and what is it doing, and I’m not sure what’s happening? SOMEONE HELP ME!?
I was growing concerned that Tav had betrayed our book friendship in such a deep way that we would never come back from that darkness, but I stuck with it and slowly, as you get into the heart of the story, it starts to make more sense (but also does not, purposefully.) And it turns out Tav didn’t lead me astray. So, we’re cool.
Continue reading “Review: Bunny by Mona Awad”
William Morrow | 2018
Opening Hook: Putting a cold case in the microwave.
Main Character: When bad men do evil in sweater vests.
Plot Twisty-ness: The reader gets Punk’d.
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 sell his podcast with the goal of finding the real killer.
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
Opening Thesis: Evil is just a misunderstanding.
Main Evil: Apparently pedophiles aren’t that bad?
Thesis Conclusion: Shockingly shallow.
I really wanted to like 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.
There is actually very little science-back study and explanation in this book. She invokes the Milgram Experiment to discuss the banality of evil, and then uses the Stanford Prison Experiment to explore group-think, but never mentions that many issues with that study that led to it being discredited. Shaw doesn’t do a very good job at tying the referenced studies to the points she’s trying to make; they are loosely thrown together and barely make a correlation.
Continue reading “Review: Evil – The Science Behind Humanity’s Dark Side by Julia Shaw”
It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these and it’s a bummer. I know. Really, I’m way behind in reading too. Everything is crashing down around me now that it’s the end of the year.
The truth is, October (to the end of the year) is a really busy time for me. I have my husband’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, three other family birthdays, then my own; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Shit gets crazy. Plus we had an election in Canada that ended last night (phew!) Suffice to say, my stress levels are through the roof most days. I no time, I spent too much money, our pet’s heads are falling off!
When I’m stressed out from it all, you will find me decompressing by way of isolation. I don’t do too much social media, I burrow myself in my bedroom and watch TV. So there’s no a lot of motivation to write reviews or research murder.
Today, it’s time to break the slump!
Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: The Nun Killer”
Little, Brown & Company | 2018
Opening Hook: Stop writing down your murder plots.
Main Character: Drywall is not safe around her.
Plot Twisty-ness: Patented Patterson Predictability.
I’ve gone and done it again *said in Kevin Spacey John Doe voice* (if you don’t understand that reference, please leave, watch Se7en and then come back.)
Alright?! OKAY? I admit it! That makes that twice this year I’ve broken my New Year’s resolution to not read any Patterson at all.
I’m weak! I have issues. I need a 12-step program for letting shit go; for being okay with not knowing. It’s really my worst quality as a human being. My mental health agrees.
But whatever. It’s done. I read it. So here’s the review.
CONTENT! *does jazz hands*
While I didn’t necessarily think this book was anything amazing, I have to say, I can see Candice Fox all over the writing in this book and that makes it infinitely better than most Patterson publications. The chapters are still short, the content shallow and a lot of moments are overly dramatic, but the actual prose felt more mature, unlike what I’d typically classify Patterson writing as: juvenile.
Continue reading “Review: Fifty Fifty (Detective Harriet Blue, #2) by James Patterson & Candice Fox”
A surprise affect of my true crime interest is that some days my appreciation and deep love for my husband is amplified as if the volume has been turned up to eleven.
That’s not to say that there are other days where I am numb to it. Quite the opposite. I’m always fully aware of the cosmic luck that brought my husband to me. Contrasted against the background of my shitty ex and the shady AF choices I’ve made in my life, (that I’m truly surprised didn’t totally fuck me,) he doesn’t really need to do much to be wonderful. But he does anyway.
Every one thought we were crazy when we met. Getting involved, being long distance, trying to navigate an immigration system, starting over from scratch once he moved to Canada and blending our family. But it was truly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I followed my heart completely on that one, because from a rational point of view, yeah we were taking big, unknown risks and it could have gone totally sideways.
But here were are. Seven years later.
And some days, when the volume is up to eleven, it feels like my heart is going to burst out of my chest and be carried away by a million butterflies because I know, truly and honestly, from the bottom of my bottom, that my husband would never kill me and stuff my body in a 55-gallon drum.
Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: The Bear Brook Murders”
Grand Central Publishing | 2019
Opening Hook: German sausage.
Main Character: Lisbeth Salander on Ambien.
Plot Twisty-ness: Twisted into boring knots.
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
Opening Hook: Electric piss fantasy.
Main Character: What in the actual fuck?
Plot Twisty-ness: Twisted, not twisty.
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”
Well, this is pretty fucking cool! I’m one year into book blogging, and would you just look at me with ten or so people knowing who I am and shit.
A couple of weeks ago I was getting tagged in posts where I was “nominated” by dope book bloggers for the first stage of these awards and I was all, Thank you, but…
Honestly, I wasn’t aware this was happening. And I didn’t know it ran in two stages. I was just really touched that anyone was nominating me for fucking anything. But today, I found out that my little murder blog made the cut to the next stage of the awards where you, the reader, actually get to vote, and I was all:
Continue reading “The Third Annual Book Blogger Awards: I Was Fucking Nominated!”
Wise Ink Creative Publishing | 2018
Opening Argument: Your Honour, this case comes down to one fact – this fucking bitch is cray.
The Clients: One bad mommy, one fucked over father.
Plot Truthy-ness: Told factually with care, but emotionally leaning to one side.
I was offered this book by the authors and their book publicist in exchange for a review. At first, I was like, Woo! True crime! But then I read the description and was like, No one dies? This is going to be boring.
But, shit was I wrong! Who knew family court drama could be so fucking crazy? I mean, I suppose I should have because I’ve been through a little bit of this myself (my husband has custody of his kids for a reason,) but nothing I’ve witnessed my husband deal with really comes close to the levels of nuttiness presented in this true tale.
Continue reading “Review: The Girls Are Gone by Michael Brodkorb & Allison Mann”