Review: The Walls by Hollie Overton

“Love blinds us all…”

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★★★

Century | 2017

Filed Under: Had a point but lost it halfway through


I’m on the fence about this one.

It feels like it doesn’t know what it wants to be – a domestic thriller? A contemporary drama?

It touches on a lot of heavy subjects – domestic abuse, the justice system, the morality of the death penalty, wrongful convictions, motherhood and family and guilt and self-preservation. But it lacks the depth and analysis of all of those things, so it feels shallow and gimmicky. And it’s missing the suspense and sinister atmosphere to be a thriller. Ultimately, it leaves a lot of things exposed, but unexamined.

For a story about a single mother who has to plan a murder in order to save her family from her abusive new husband, this was exceptionally slow and, at times, straight-up boring.

The first 40% is all build-up, focusing on the story of Kristy and Lance – how they met, following the progression of their relationship from dating to marriage. I was not expecting this much emphasis on the romantic element. I experienced a cloud of confusion lingering around my reading experience. I kept thinking do I keep reading this? I didn’t want to read a romance? Is anything going to fucking happen?!

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Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

“People turned a blind eye, though, didn’t they? No one liked to think about the fact that the water in that river was infected with the blood and bile of persecuted women, unhappy women; they drank it every day.”

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★★★½

Riverhead Books | 2017

Filed Under: Troublesome women for the win


My favourite book of 2016 was The Girl on the Train. And yes I know that’s such a cliché thing to say in starting this review. And it’s such a shit thing to do – to compare these novels. It’s not like I want to compare them. I’m trying really hard not to, but I read this novel because I wanted to consume The Girl on the Train in order to have it inside of me I LOVED IT SO MUCH (shit movie though.)

So, honestly, I’m going to try to divorce myself as best I can from my previous experience with Paula Hawkins, and just focus on the merits of this novel as a standalone piece of fiction.

That said, I did like this. But I didn’t LOVE IT.

Quick synopsis: Small UK town. Nel Abbott is writing a novel about the many deaths in a local river nicknamed The Drowning Pool. Then Nel dies in The Drowning Pool. Was it suicide or murder?

“Beckford is not a suicide spot. Beckford is a place to get rid of troublesome women.”

I got off to a shaky start with this because of the sheer volume of characters and changing POVs. I think there are 10 different voices, as well as excerpts from Nel’s manuscript that are essentially quick POVs of each of the women who have died in The Drowning Pool. Bringing the grand total up to 14 voices (if I’ve not forgotten anyone.)

I settled in about 50% of the way through, finally getting a handle on who each character was and why their POV was important. There wasn’t a single time I thought a character’s chapter was useless, but I still have to question whether there was a way to write this novel by cutting some of them out? Just to un-muddy the waters, no pun intended.

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Review: When The Serpent Bites (The Starks Trilogy, #1) by Nesly Clerge

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Self-Published | 2015

Filed Under: Fuck everything about this.


This must be “Krystin reads nothing but misogynistic stories” month, because this is my second in a row, and let me tell you, I’m fucking over it.

I’ll give this review some context real fast. Frederick Starks – a very rich, successful businessman – is married with three kids. His wife, Kayla, is unfaithful to him. They separate. One night, while driving aimlessly, ruminating on the state of his failed marriage, he pulls up to the house of the man Kayla cheated with and beats the shit out of him in front of the man’s wife and children, putting the man into a coma. Police arrive, Starks is caught red-handed, quite literally, and is arrested. He goes to trial and is found guilty.

Because, duh.

But for some reason, Starks just can’t believe the jury convicted him. Basically, his whole position on his guilt is: “my wife cheated, and the guy was mean to me, so I can’t be held responsible for my actions.”

In fact, at his trial, the defence mounted by his attorney is nothing more than a character assassination of Kayla because “she’s a whore,” as if that’s a legit reason to nearly kill a man.

give me a break judging you GIF by Originals

(I’m about to rant my fucking ass off, so if you don’t want any spoilers, here’s my tl;dr takeaway: this is a misogynistic dumpster fire that has no point to it at all.)

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