Review: Wychwood (Wychwood, #1) by George Mann

Image result for wychwood george mann★★★

Opening Hook: Killer and Killee (?) running through the woods, Jason style.

Main Character: Drinks a shit load of tea

Plot Twisty-ness: Like a half-assed pretzel.


I’m wavering between 2 and 3 stars for this one because on one hand, it’s not a bad book. The writing is good, the characters don’t suck, the setting is kind of spooky and the crimes were unique, not something I’d ever read about before.

But then on the other hand, if I think about it, this book was super formulaic, there was nothing different about the plotting, the villain’s reveal. And although the crimes were in-depth and thought out with great detail, the ending was also pretty predictable (read: typical.)

Nothing about this book was outside the box, which is disappointing because it had every opportunity to be considering it was working with a partly supernatural storyline.

It came across to me like George Mann had read a bunch of mediocre crime fiction and decided those examples are how you plot a mystery, or is how a journalist would get wrapped up in the case. And I’m not even mad about it because I thought all of that for a long time too, so I get why it happens.

It’s kind of like movies scenes that we’ve seen a hundred times, but we know for real that they never happen in real life but we rarely question what we’re watching.

Why does the mother keep preparing a glorious breakfast feast for the kids/father/pets, just for them to only take one bite and then run out the door? Or why do so many people dream of being kissed by a beautiful woman only to wake up and realize it’s the dog licking their face. Or someone calls with terrible news and instead of explaining it, they say “turn on the news!” and when they do it just so happens to be at the very beginning of the event so you get all the pertinent details.

Continue reading “Review: Wychwood (Wychwood, #1) by George Mann”

Review: Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger

“Never talk to strangers. If someone ever tries to take you, fight with everything you have. Scream as loud as you can. (He’d never told her what to do if the man was too strong and there was no one to hear her screaming.)”

27276336★★★

Opening Hook: Tediously attention-grabbing

Main Character: I see dead people-ing it

Plot Twisty-ness: How twisty can it be when everyone is a goddamn psychic?


I don’t know why I keep trying books with psychic characters, because I never like them.

Also, apparently this could technically be considered part of series called The Hollows, but I have zero experience with Lisa Unger or that series, so perhaps that’s why I’m not as jazzed about this book as other people have been.

This does read like a standalone for all intents and purposes, though.

Basically what you have here is a twenty-something who is a developing psychic, so she goes to live with her grandmother, who is an experienced psychic, to get her psychic abilities up to snuff. While she’s doing her psychic-training she starts to hear a persistent noise – squeak, clink – and her psychic grandmother is all, “that’s your psychic gift telling you to start doing psychic shit,” so she gets onto the case of a missing child, who has some psychic connections in her own life.

Basically, everyone is a goddamn psychic.

surprised mind reading GIF

And I’m not sure how a town full of psychics hasn’t been able to find the answer to “where’d that kid go?” but they haven’t and everyone is distressed; marriages are falling apart and life is just generally terrible.

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Review: Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison

“The words I’ve heard in the past few days are ones I never expected – new, untried, untested. Casket. Body. Funeral. Viewing. Embalming. Autopsy. Severed. Seven-inch non-corrosive steel blade. Homicide.”

36839879★★★★

Opening Hook: Broken bones, broken dreams

Main Character: Shouldn’t keep blood secrets when your sister works with DNA

Plot Twisty-ness: Are coincidences considered twists?


Okay, okay, OKAY. Y’all know I love me some J.T. Ellison.

It all started with her Taylor Jackson series a damn decade ago (ugh, that makes me feel old) and I’ve been a loyal reader ever since. I love tough women writing tough women, it’s a thing.

Ellison’s move from series writer to standalones started with Lie to Me, which most people loved, except for yours truly.

What can I say? I’m a picky fucking reader.

I had a few issues with the pacing of Lie to Me (the second half sucked the life out of it) and with the ending (“it was all for nothing, just a giant misunderstanding” doesn’t really work for me. that’s not a twist,) but I’m happy to say that I liked Tear Me Apart a lot. I didn’t love it. It’s not the best thing I’ve read this year, but it’s a good read. It’s not a waste of your time, at all.

And we all know how much I hate wasting my reading time.

Continue reading “Review: Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison”

Review: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

“What about the house? The pentacle? The empty coffins? The symbols written in blood?!”

32905343★★★

Opening Jinky-Twist: Even the unmasked bad guys get parole, too.

Main Meddling Characters: We couldn’t have come up with anyone less annoying?

Plot Zoinx-y-ness: A dogshit-sized amount of non-stop action


Here’s a fun fact about me: one of my go-to stress relieving past times is getting high as a motherfucking kite and watching Scooby Doo.

I have always had an affinity for mystery-solving kids because I myself wanted to be a mystery-solving kid. But it turns out that I had really boring neighbours growing up, so I had to live vicariously through shows like Ghostwriter, The Secret World of Alex Mack and the Scooby Gang.

I suppose it says something about my love for Scooby Doo that I still watch it in my 30s (not taking into consideration that it’s readily available on Netflix.) It’s just that nowadays I’ve turned it into more of an adult activity.

So kick me in the crotch and spit on my neck if I wasn’t through-the-roof excited to find that someone had taken my Scooby Gang and turned it into an adult caper! Not only that, it’s mixed with a little Lovecraft flare?!

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED IN YOUR LIFE, my heart screamed.

Turns out, my heart jumped the gun and it is still firmly in the “cartoons and weed” category.

scooby doo smoke GIF

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Review: A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

“On the morning of the exorcism, I stayed home from school.”

31713935★★★★

Opening Hook: Exorcist house field trip

Main Character: Untrustworthy, just the way I like them

Plot Twisty-ness: Don’t eat the pasta


Finding really good, disturbing, well-crafted horror novels is hard for me, even though I love horror. Obviously, this is probably because I’m a picky bitch but I regret nothing.

Paul Tremblay has been on my list of “horror authors to possibly trust” for a long time, but I think I put off reading his work to avoid the letdown.

But now that it’s officially “stick a pumpkin up my ass and spice everything” season, I figured what better time than now to find out if Paul Tremblay is a true horror author I should trust; to find out if I am a fan or not.

And I’ll tell you, I think I am.

I didn’t love this with an unbridled passion, like some other reviewers, but I did like it a lot.

Tremblay does an A+ job of weaving together some of my favourite horror elements. One, the general idea of possession and exorcism. And two, the more abstract idea of what is truly a supernatural event, vs. what is just a mental disorder presenting as a shit-your-pants-scary experience.

In real life, with my feet firmly planted on the ground, I am not religious and I do not believe in magic as an actual thing that actually exists. I suppose, technically, you’d call me an atheist (don’t worry, I’m not here to eat your babies or get all militant about it or whatever – live and let live is my thing,) but I don’t really like the idea of labelling the absence of something. There are no names for people who don’t believe in fairies or don’t accept the existence of leprechauns. So I don’t really use the term atheist very much.

michael scott atheism GIF

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Review: The 17th Suspect by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

35959639★★★

Opening Hook: A pretty standard for the genre death scene

Main Characters: TONE IT THE FUCK DOWN

Plot Twisty-ness: B for Beffort.


So, this is the first review I’m posting on my blog of this series, but here’s the sordid background on me and this series:

I have read every single one of the books in this series. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Even the novellas.

You can find all of my reviews of them on Goodreads if you’re so inclined to watch my descent into pure, unadulterated hatred.

Oh, yes, that’s right. Hatred. I am well-versed in the Women’s Murder Club. And I fucking hate-read this series with a fiery, binge-y passion. Truthfully, I hate mostly everything Patterson writes.

Gather around, children and listen to your elder millennial: James Patterson is a fucking awful writer.

AWFUL. Continue reading “Review: The 17th Suspect by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro”

Review: Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

“I’d heard it before, of course, usually from my mother. A nasty, cold-blooded, selfish, grasping, uppity, ungrateful goddamn little bitch. And I know that to be true. I could feel the coldness in my own veins.”

40941435★★★★

Opening Hook: More like opening another button, amiright?!

Main Character: Your new best sociopathic friend #4eva

Plot Twisty-ness: Jane’s plot could have used a tab more plotting, but otherwise satisfying in a totally sexual way


I really really liked this.

On the surface it’s the story of a woman hellbent on revenge for the suicide of her best friend, Meg. Her target: Meg’s abusive ex-boyfriend, Steven.

Jane leaves her expensive high-powered lawyer life in Kuala Lumpur behind, and moved to Minneapolis, giving herself a month or so to infiltrate Steven’s life and make him wish he’d never been born.

LIKE OMG SO FUN.

So that’s the basic idea of the novel. And already I know you’re thinking, “I’ve always wanted to change my identity and ruin someone’s life. Revenge is the best. Sign me up.”

But when you look past the surface, when you go a little bit deeper, you see that this is actually a novel of patriarchy-smashing awesomeness, as well as a giant middle finger to the hypocrisy of Evangelical Christians.

And that last part just feels so right it turned me on a little bit.

Continue reading “Review: Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone”

Review: The Confession by Jo Spain

“That was us at the beginning of our fairytale. But here’s the thing about fairytales. Sometimes they’re darker than you can ever imagine.”

34941666

Opening Hook: As shocking as a golf club to the head

Main Character: I won’t be RSVPing to the pity party

Plot Twisty-ness: I guess anything can be called a thriller these days


I don’t think I’ve ever read a “thriller” this unimpressive before. And by that I mean, it’s like the author wasn’t even trying. For real, this was slowwwwwwwww. Boring, even.

I’m in the minority with my opinion, and that’s fine. But my opinion is the right one. HAHAHA just kidding (kind of.)

The Confession by Jo Spain is billed as a dark thriller, but it’s really more of a depressing autobiography of the main characters whose POVs we have to endure get to experience; how they got to that moment in 2012 when a banker is getting his head bashed in by a stranger with a golf club. These POVs take us all the way back to childhood in some cases, and quite honestly it was tedious as hell and in most cases, completely fucking irrelevant.

This approach to the storytelling drained all the energy out of the plot, making it feel sluggish, washing out anything that could be considered a shock or a twist.

There was something in the telling of events that lent itself more to realism, and while that is an accomplishment in contemporary novels, this was supposed to be a thriller. The goal being to thrill the reader with the shock of events we don’t experience in real life (hopefully.) This was anything but thrilling unless you consider your own yawns thrilling.

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Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

“People live through such pain only once; pain comes again, but it finds a tougher surface.”

15797848★★★

Opening Hook: Start your egg timers

Main Character: A fish-out-of-water, almost literally.

Plot Twisty-ness: Too busy writing characters making out to remember to write the twists


I’m going to try to be nice.

And I’m going to try to be nice because while I didn’t really love this like I wanted to, I also didn’t hate it on its face. It’s not a bad novel in terms of writing, in fact, I think Stephanie Perkins has a promising narrative voice, she just doesn’t know what’s she’s doing with a horror novel.

I read this as part of my search to find a YA thriller that I actually want to rave about after I finish the last page, and I had high hopes this would be that novel.

It’s supposed to be a horror/thriller. It’s supposed to be, as per the promotion, Scream meets YA.” The title, the cover – it’s all saying READ ME SO I CAN SCARE YOU!

You compare something to Scream and I say GIMME NOW.

I love Scream. I love all teen slashers. I grew up on that shit. It’s an important part of my developmental stages from child to teen to adult… which probably explains a lot.

awesome adventure time GIF

But this is only comparable to Scream in the most basic way.

Teens. Killer killing those teens. Small town scared. End of.

This is not a horror. Though it did start off with enough sinister vibe to really catch my attention, the rest of the novel failed to live up to that feeling of suspense.

This is, for all intents and purposes, a romance novel set against a horror story backdrop.

This is horny teens fucking and drooling over each other, and then in between some random characters, who you don’t give a shit about, die.

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Booknerd Wednesday: WWW Edition

Let’s talk about Jenna Jameson for a minute. Yes, the porn star.

I never thought I’d be at a point in my life where I was inspired by Jenna Jameson, but here we are. And I have no shame.

That bitch is doing work on her body and mental health right now and I’m completely in love with her for it. She’s using the keto diet and intermittent fasting to drop the weight she gained from pregnancy & addiction troubles. Seriously, go to her Instagram, check out her before & after photos and her honest messages, and tell me that shit doesn’t get you completely motivated.

My friend and her husband have been doing keto for 6 months themselves, and collectively, they’ve lost 100 pounds. So between these two examples I’ve been witness to, I’m all pumped to get into shape myself.

I know I’ve been saying that since January, but it’s all about motivation and mental health sometimes. And I just wasn’t in the right head space to take care of myself, unfortunately. But I feel so much better since a lot of the negativity in my life has disappeared with certain life changes.

Plus, I’m turning 33 in November and I don’t want to get another year older still stuck in the same rut. Since I got married in 2013, I’ve been SUPER lax about taking care of myself, which is the total opposite of how I was before I was married. Strange how that happens. I suppose it’s contentment. Then there was also some depression thrown in there for me.

It’s been a ride of a lot of complicated milestones, let’s just say.

So, anyway, like most women I’ve gained weight since getting married. My husband has too. And now I’m pulling a Jenna Jameson and using her as my keto spirit guide.

I’m on day four. Yeah, not a lot, but I’m serious about this.

As I write this post I’m into hour twelve of my daily intermittent fast. I try to make it to 11 most mornings before I start eating, but I’ll tell you I’M FUCKING HUNGRY.

hungry season 8 GIF by Portlandia

Omigod, I’m so hungry. It’s all I can think about.

This is supposed to be a WWW Wednesday post – what I read most recently, what I’m currently reading and what I’m reading next.

But honestly, my answer to all of those questions is, “I’m going to eat this book, not read it.” And the only reason the opening to this post is about getting into shape is that I’m so hungry I couldn’t think of anything else to talk about.

At least it’s content. Whatever.

Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: WWW Edition”