“I believe feminism is grounded in supporting the choices of women even if we wouldn’t make certain choices for ourselves.”
Harper Perennial | 2014
Defining Feminist: “…a word that has, as of late, become a catchall term for ‘woman who does not tolerate bullshit.'”
Main Takeaway: “I’d rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.”
Plot Feminist-ness: Too much Scrabble, not enough feminist rants.
Omg, she read something that wasn’t about murder! Yes, yes, try not to pass out. I do consider myself a woman who strives to be well informed and well rounded, so when I’m not reading about the dark and twisty I do like to be enlightened or challenged.
That said, this book of essays was a mixed bag for me.
I was expecting a novel of feminist essays to expand my thinking on the topic and enlighten me about things I might not consider as a white female millennial who doesn’t know everything there is to know. I would say 50% of the book did that for me.
Roxane Gay spoke to my particular kind of feminism, which is that I might not be passing any purity tests conducted by the Twitter counsel, but I do my best and am always willing to learn, correct or just find peace in my choices even if they aren’t considered “good feminism.”
Gay presents herself as a bad feminist – someone who doesn’t fit the rigid definition we’ve set around ourselves, boxed ourselves into. She argues that feminism will always be flawed because people are inherently flawed and people run this movement. But that’s no reason to throw the whole thing away, to paint the whole thing with one brush or to participate in cancel culture over people’s individual missteps.
Continue reading “Review: Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay”
“When feminism falls short of our expectations, we decide the problem is with feminism rather than with the flawed people who act in the name of the movement.”
Welcome back, nerds! This is my last post on the Blog Tour train for The Escape Room by Megan Goldin. All aboard, bitches!! Choo-fucking-choo!
If you haven’t already, click here to read my review. And click here to read an excerpt from the book provided by the publisher. The blog tour for this debut thriller is running until August 13th, so make sure you check out other blogger’s posts and reviews and opinions. But always remember, mine is the most important.
I really liked this book. Maybe you don’t believe me. Maybe you’re assuming that I’m just kissing ass because I was invited on this blog tour. There are only two things I can say to that. One, are you new around here? And two: check out my blog tour for The Ancient Nine, because that book was a snoozer and I was super honest about it, making it awkward for everyone involved.
Thankfully, St. Martin’s Press didn’t hold it against me, so obviously they’re cool and you should definitely buy all of their books if you want to support dope publishing houses.
(That was definitely ass kissing.)
Continue reading “Author Interview: Megan Goldin”
Get in losers, we’re going Blog Touring!!
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour train for The Escape Room by Megan Goldin! I’ve got reviews! I’ve got an author Q&A. I’ve got an excerpt from the book that’s going to make you work out the hold button at the library!
This is a totally dope debut thriller that I gave four-stars – which is essentially a less bitchy reviewer’s 5-stars – so clearly you’re going to want to add this clever tale of revenge to your completely unrealistic TBR pile. And good news! It’s officially on sale today! Amazon! Indigo! Ebooks! Physical copies! There’s no stopping this blog tour train now! Choo-fucking-choo, bitches!
Anyway, this book has everything you look for in a thriller. The characters are vibrant, the setting is well researched without being so explainy that you feel like you’re reading a text book on wall street finance, and the plot is so satisfying in its revenge it’ll make you want to lock some people up in an elevator and do some insider trading.
Continue reading “Blog Tour: The Escape Room by Megan Goldin”
‘Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.’
St. Martin’s Press | 2019
Opening Hook: Team building at its most murder-y
Main Character: A James Bond glow-up
Plot Twisty-ness: Turning the heat up to 11.
Let me introduce you to my favourite revenge thriller of 2019. I mean, so far because it’s only July, but whatever. It’s not like my TBR is a cornucopia of revenge tales. Pretty sure it’s mostly serial killers.
The Escape Room is balls-the-walls wild, while still being grounded and realistic. I think that’s why I liked it so much – it was the perfect combination of over-the-top moments that exist just to be fun, mixed with a true-to-life high finance setting and realistic themes of suicide, loss, financial struggle and degrees of sexism.
The author took things that are honest and real, and that most readers will be able to find some thread of connection to, and kicked it up a notch with fantastical plot elements.
This debut novel is a tale of revenge that’s going to 100% fire you up to enact vengeance on your enemies. I’m looking at you, dude in my office who complained about the memes at my desk!
Continue reading “Review: The Escape Room by Megan Goldin”
HarperCollins | 2013
Opening Mystery: Seriously, WTF happened to Shannan Gilbert?
Main Creep: Peter Hackett has some attention issues
Plot Truthy-ness: A humanizing portrait
I’m pretty fascinated by the Long Island Serial killer case. It’s been some time since we had an evil, undetectable serial killer case to watch in real-time. Though it’s faded from news and been replaced by, well, mostly Trump for fuck’s sake… this is certainly a story to keep a light on. There are dozens of women whose lives have been cut short with zero progress towards justice of any kind.
The more cynical side of me might say that because they were escorts and sex workers that their cases are deemed “less important” to solve compared to other things cops are coming across every day involving people with more “societal value.” That’s the more cynical side.
I’ve seen a couple documentaries on this decades-old unsolved mystery, watched a few interviews and have a general idea of who is suspicious AF (I’m looking at you Dr. Hackett, you shady motherfucker,) so, I wanted to read this novel by an award-winning investigative reporter because I thought I would be getting a really in-depth overview of the case as it stood in 2013, and some theories about what the actual fuck is going on.
Continue reading “Review: Lost Girls – An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker”
Flatiron Books | 2019
Opening Hook: Phone, keys, wallet
Main Character: JUST ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTIONS!
Plot Twisty-ness: 👉👌
What in the actual fuck?
Why did you do this to me, Feeney?!
Sometimes I Lie was one of my more favourite reads last year, so I was pretty pumped up to read the second offering from this author, but unfortunately, I’m W-T-F-ing all over the place with this one.
I mean, seriously. Why? Why that ending?
I should have fucking known I was going to be disappointed by this.
Clue number one: some of the most reliable thriller reviewers around these parts (Dennis from Scared Straight Reads, I’m looking at you,) gave this book one fucking star.
Clue number two: My buddy Lori (@mylifewithbooksandbeans on Insta if you’re looking for a gem bookstagrammer to follow,) asked for my address and paid the costs to send me her ARC copy from the US, just because she wanted me to write a review.
People don’t want me to write reviews about books they think I’ll love, okay? I might not know where Brazil is on a map, but I know that much.
Continue reading “Review: I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney”
It’s been a while!
Sorry for the break! But not really. I hope you stumbled across many other funny and wonderful book bloggers and true crime writers to fill the Krystin-shaped hole in your heart. I know there are so many writers to read, and it means a lot to me that you still stick around my blog even when I disappear every now and again.
I’ve been super fucking busy at home trying to finish my bedroom renovation. I know, I know. I’ve been promising forever to post my basement reno and I’ve already moved on to my bedroom. What can I say? I don’t possess a lot of virtues, and patience definitely isn’t one of the few.
I finished painting on Sunday and I’m so happy to say there are no more rooms in my house that require a full wall of paint… three years later. I fucked up my shoulder once again and my back is twisted, but all the heavy, big projects are officially done and now I can just focus on the smaller details like hanging a mirror or putting up curtains.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to just sit on my fucking ass and do nothing once again. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And it looks a lot like me in bed with a book and a snuggly puppy. And of course, writing more posts around here. I fucking swear it!
Truly, my Fitbit has never seen me achieve so many steps before. It thinks someone new is wearing it.
Anyway, I’m feeling a little bit less stressed, my brain fog is clearing and my creative juices are totally pumping… forgive me for saying “creative juices.” That phrase could not be any more disgusting. But I digress… a new true crime story is just breaking within the last couple of days, and it is completely fucked up and sensational and has me rolling my eyes in all kinds of directions because goddamn teenagers are just so fucking stupid, cruel sometimes.
We’re talking terrible teenagers. We’re talking murder. We’re talking child pornography. We’re talking fake millionaires. We’re talking being gullible as fuck.
This is the murder of Cynthia Hoffman.
Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: The Nine Million Dollar Murder”
“Fear…is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns. We yield to it or we fight it, but we cannot meet it halfway.”
Viking | 1959
Opening Spooky: THERE ARE TOO MANY DOORS
Main Character: Was crazy before she got there.
Plot Scary-ness: Underwhelming boos
The first time I ever came across this story was in 1999 when I was 14 years old and watched The Haunting for the first time.
Is it a good movie? Not really, but Catherine Zeta-Jones and Liam Neeson in a murderous, haunted house? That’s always going to be a yes from me. And that scene where Owen Wilson gets his head lobbed off? Scared the shit out of me twenty years… TWENTY YEARS AGO?! Omg. *vomits in mouth*
So, there’s some nostalgia linked to this for me in terms of shitty 90s horror movies that I still have a fondness for.
I later saw the original 1963 adaptation which just didn’t really work for me because I was just a dumbass teenager with a myopic view of entertainment and a shitty attitude.
In 2001, Scary Movie 2 pulled heavily from The Haunting and it has been seared into my brain ever since.
In fact, while I was reading this I suddenly had a desire to watch Scary Movie 2, so I did, and that was arguably a bad idea because for the rest of the book all I could picture was Chris Elliot with his gross tiny fucking hand.
Say what you want about quality, but the moronic movie is funny as hell.
Continue reading “Review: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson”
I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.
St. Martin’s Press | 2018
Opening Hook: Wife turned ex turned stalker
Main Character: Like a baby deer learning how to walk, but after being gaslit by a psychopath
Plot Twisty-ness: More wavy, less twisty.
This book is the direction that The Last Mrs. Parrish should have gone instead of being the misogynistic piece of garbage it turned out to be. I don’t know why everyone likes that book so much, or why it’s being made into a movie, but I’m very disappointed in each and every one of you who back it as a good book. And I’m telling your fucking parents. Don’t @ me.
The Wife Between Us doesn’t fully realize it’s potential as a domestic thriller in a way that was satisfying to me. While the quite and calculating approach the authors seem to prefer worked really well in Hendrick’s and Pekkanen’s other novel An Anonymous Girl, here it made the narrative less thrilling and more soap opera-ish than I would have wanted.
Where The Last Mrs. Parrish tried to convince the reader that domestic abuse is okay as long as the “replacement wife” fucking sucks enough to “deserve” it, this book pumped the breaks before completely going in that direction. Instead, there is a moment of, “Oopsie! I guess it wasn’t very nice of me to make that woman take my place in my abusive relationship.”
Continue reading “Review: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen”
Flatiron Books | 2017
I really wanted to like this. I didn’t want to write a negative review for a book that is, in part, detailing the author’s personal experience with molestation.
The heavy subject matter makes a negative review seem tacky, to a degree. And I didn’t want to be that asshole. But, that’s not where this review is coming from. At all.
I applaud the author’s use of writing to work through her trauma and to find an understanding of how trauma shaped her. If this book was a tool for personal peace (which I suspect it was,) then really, any negative review means nothing in the grand scheme of that healing.
But, I am a reader and book reviewer and so I’ll be honest about my reading experience, as I always am, beyond the personal aspects Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich bravely shares.
The Fact of a Body weaves two true life events. One: the re-trial of Ricky Langley, a confessed pedophile who was sentenced to death in 1992 for the murder of his 6-year-old neighbour, Jeremy Guillory. In 2003, he was awarded a new trial. The intention of his attorney, Clive Stafford Smith, was to reduce Langley’s death sentence down to life in prison. Clive the Lawyer runs a law firm which specializes in Death Row cases and he is staunchly anti-capital punishment, taking on many cases where the intention is only ever to reduce the sentence, not to prove innocence.
The author begins an internship at Smith’s law firm at the same time the re-trial is starting. During her orientation, Alexandria is shown Langley’s ’92 confession where he talks about his sexual attraction to children and what he did to Jeremy Guillory.
Continue reading “Review: The Fact of a Body – A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich”