Review: Blood for Blood (Ziba MacKenzie, #1) by Victoria Selman

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★★★

Thomas & Mercer | 2019

Opening Hook: It’s a blasty-blast

Main Character: If Sherlock Holmes lacked a personality

Plot Twisty-ness: Technically good, missing the feeling.


*shakes fist at sky* I just want to read a legitimately strong female character! Just one!

Okay, so I liked this and it’s also a disappointment in some big ways so… *fart noises*

Here goes my ranty review. I’ll try to highlight the positive stuff, but we all know that’s not my strong suit.

I could give some line about my expectations being too high when it comes to female-led crime fiction, or it’s not the book, it’s me. But I won’t because I refuse to apologize for wanting to find a female character who isn’t desperately crippled by a man in some way which then doesn’t allow for robust characterization to occur within the pages outside of what revolves around that man. It’s fucking annoying me at this point.

Ziba MacKenzie is former special forces and an expert criminal profiler. SPECIAL FUCKING FORCES. She has a huge brain stuffed with lots of knowledge that is both practical and theoretical. Like, she can recite facts about serial killers but can also save lives in dire situations.

Continue reading “Review: Blood for Blood (Ziba MacKenzie, #1) by Victoria Selman”

Review: My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Three, and they label you a serial killer.

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★★½

Doubleday Books | 2018

Opening Hook: Rub-a-dub-dub, cleaning blood out of a tub

Main Character: Don’t miss The Amazing Doormat! Watch as she makes terrible decisions!

Plot Twisty-ness: It’s all given away in the title.


I don’t really know how to rate this book totally, so I’m giving half of five stars because that seems the most fair. I mean, honestly, the cover deserves one of those stars just on its own. Talk about fucking gorgeous! I don’t even need words to read after that, honestly.

But when it comes to the words, this wasn’t really what I thought it would be, or what I wanted it to be. It wasn’t bad, it just seemed like the hammer missed the head of the nail. It felt outside of my usual book choices when it comes to fiction even though it really should have been right up my alley.

The gist is: Korede is a nurse who also has a passion for cleaning, or rather a talent for it. She’s also an older sister. She finds herself constantly cleaning up her younger sister Ayoola’s, messes, as older sisters tend to do. But these particular messes come in the form of men that Ayoola has had to kill in the name of self-defence. Each time Korede helps her little sister get rid of a body and finds herself cleaning up blood, her rational brain gets a little bit louder: maybe Ayoola just likes to kill. Maybe she’s a serial killer. Maybe she’s taking advantage of Korede.

When Ayoola starts dating a doctor with whom Korede is secretly in love with, she starts to worry he might be Ayoola’s next victim. A war inside Korede starts to brew between doing what is objectively right and doing what is right as a sister.

“You’re a big sister now, Korede. And big sisters look after little sisters.”

Continue reading “Review: My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite”

True Crime Tuesday: The Moors Murders

Finally another #TCT! I know, I know, I knowwww. It’s been a while since I’ve posted one. I wanted to have this story up last week, but I’ve been super busy both personally and in terms of the reading I’m trying to get done (my goals this year have been lofty so far,) so the draft I’d been working on for the last couple of weeks never saw its way to publication. Whomp whomp.

Another thing I’ve wanted to get posted is a Book Nook Sunday where I finally share images of my finished (for a second time) basement. That’s right! The water damage is repaired, new floors are down and I’ve finally gotten it all put back together. I’ve been down there, under blankets on my nice couches playing Assasin’s Creed: Odyssey all weekend and it’s been glorious!

There are still lots of finishing touches that I want to get done – pictures on the walls, etc. And basically, two of my four bookshelves are totally empty, but trust me I am rapidly correcting that and spending too much money in the process. This includes a trip to Book Outlet’s Box Sale next Friday! It’s the most wonderful time of the year for any booknerds within travel distance!

But enough about me and my bullshit. Let’s talk about Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. Together, between July 1963 and October of 1965, in Manchester, England, they sexually assaulted and killed five children together.

You know what they say: the couple that kills together goes to prison in separate locations and never gets to see each other ever again!

This is The Moors Murders.

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Review: No Exit by Taylor Adams

“The difference between a hero and a victim? Timing.” 

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★★★★★

William Morrow | January 2019

Opening Hook: Did we learn nothing about isolated rest stops from Halloween?!

Main Character: Lady McGuyver

Plot Twisty-ness: Hold-onto-your-bits thrills with a side of snow.


This is my first 5-star read of the year. And thank Thor, because I was starting to get a little cranky since nothing has really been knocking my socks off. Who’s fault is that really? Mine? Because of my choices? Get out of here! I don’t want to here it!

Lalalala…

Reading No Exit was an exercise in cinematic writing. It would be easy to say it was written with a movie option in mind (and maybe it was,) but my gut tells me that what actually happened here is that the plotting and timing of the story are so good, that it comes across in vibrant cinematic scenes in the reader’s mind. And therefore, seems like it should be a movie. And it definitely should.

I would honestly give this five stars just based on the writing skill alone, it was that seamless and riveting. And my friends here know I don’t give out my stars easily. You have to earn this shit from me. You want easy stars? Go to the reviewers who aren’t dead inside with a stick up their ass.

It’s all ass sticks here, baby!

I do it because I love you and I want you to have an honest opinion that isn’t worried about feelings and blah blah blah.

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Review: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

“You can’t judge someone’s internal state by their external attributes.” 

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★★★★

January 2019 | St. Martin’s Press

Opening Hook: Make-up artist seeks quick cash by being a liar

Main Character: Let’s her assumptions make her seem crazy

Plot Twisty-ness: Subtle and ominous


I’m a total sucker for anything that is psychologically leaning. And I don’t mean the trend of “psychological thrillers.” I mean real psychology, human nature, predicting behaviour and analyzing it. I’m a straight-up glutton when it comes to that kind of stuff and not for any sinister reason. It’s like not I’m trying to figure out the best way to appear human or some shit. If I was smarter, I probably would have been a psychologist. In another part of the multi-verse perhaps I am.

But in the here and now that we find ourselves trapped in (there’s been some kind of tear in the fabric of our universe and we ended up in a strange hell where Trump and Putin are going to destroy all life on Earth, I’m sure of it,) I’m just a girl with a deep fascination for dark psychology and no way to really express that except to watch endless true crime documentaries and read books like An Anonymous Girl, and have people think I’m weird.

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Review: The Last Night Out by Catherine O’Connell

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★★½

Severn House Publishers | 2018

Opening Hook: The horror of a one night stand.

Main Character: Crying in the shallow end of the pool.

Plot Twisty-ness: Twists are wrapped in unnecessary information, inside of personal drama and cemented in my disappointment.


*deep, heavy sigh* Goddamnit, you guys. I really wanted to like this. I have been intrigued by this one for a while. I received a copy from NetGalley and then the author sent me a signed copy. Ms. O’Connell said she liked my honest, to the point reviews and then dared me that I wouldn’t be able to figure out the twist in this one. I said, “challenge accepted.”

So, I hate to write a negative review, but I’m going to anyway because Ms. O’Connell was probably at least half prepared for it. I will say this though, I didn’t figure out the twist until just before it started to unfold.

One point from Hufflepuff.

In my defence, the reason why I didn’t figure it out is because the narrative is such a jumbled up mess, and is taken in the wrong direction at every opportunity, that there was literally no way for most readers to find the clues and the red herrings… if there even were any.

i said what i said real housewives of atlanta GIF by Bravo TV
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Review: The Dirt on Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson, #9) by Darynda Jones

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★★★★

St. Martin’s Press | 2016

Opening Hook: Amnesia is a bitch

Main Character: Classic Charley, but Jane Doe

Plot Twisty-ness: Signature Charley adventures


I took a break from this series in order to catch up on some books that I owed reviews on, but since I was given the final book in the series through Netgalley, I’m back on the Charley Davidson bike, as it were. And I’m going to ride this son-of-a-bitch right to the finish line.

The ending of #8 was a little bit of a cliffhanger, but more than that it was just a bummer. Actually, the whole book was a bit of a bummer for me. I didn’t like how different it felt to everything else the series had been up to that point. It was a little heavier, a little too lovesick-romantic – just a little much all around, with not enough levity. It was like the series lost its way a little bit.

I’m happy to report, however, that #9 is a clear swing back around to Classic Charley. Only this time she has no idea who she is. She’s living a “just the essentials” kind of life as a waitress named Janey. She’s trying to figure out who she is, where her people are – she must have people, she has a wedding ring on after all! But she’s also just living her life without too much pressure.

Continue reading “Review: The Dirt on Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson, #9) by Darynda Jones”

Happy Fucking Valentine’s Day!

It’s officially the day of love, my sweet nerdy bookworms!

I hope you have someone to spend the day with, whether that’s a partner or a friend or the pet that you love more than anything. This day doesn’t need to be only for romance, people! Celebrate whatever love you have in your life.

I’m a firm believer that if everyone had a love in their lives that made them truly happy, they wouldn’t be so concerned with what other people do in their private lives.

It’s only the miserable, loveless, secretly-in-the-closet assholes who want to put limits on other people’s lives.

Stop being assholes, and feel the love!!

Tonight, I have dinner reservations with my hubby. Then we’ll be seeing the new Taylor Schilling movie, The Prodigy. And then who knows…

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(We’ll probably get into bed and snuggle the dog.)

To be honest, I’m the most excited about all of the food I’m going to eat. This will be my first time cheating on my diet in six weeks! You can’t even imagine the number of calories I’m about to consume.

What are your plans? Do you care about this holiday at all? If you don’t, do you practice the art of not being an asshole about it? Namaste.

With that said, I want to spread the love to all you beautiful people in my own way even if you don’t care. So here’s a few Valentine’s from me, to you.

Spread the love, nerdos!

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Opinion: Withdrawing My Support of ‘Woman in the Window’ & AJ Finn Is Creepy AF

This might be the most exciting bit of news to hit the book world in I don’t even know how long. I mean, typically, I don’t think of the publishing world as very exciting with a lot of breaking news. It’s not like watching Trump trying to be President or anything.

But talk about a twisted bookish controversy that dropped this week!

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If you’re not yet aware, wunderkind author AJ Finn – aka Dan Mallory – is, allegedly, a total fucking sociopath and pathological liar.

Read the original article by Ian Parker for The New Yorker here and get ready to have your mind blown.

It’s a bit of a lengthy read, but totally worth it to get the full effect of the mindfuck that is Dan Mallory/AJ Finn.

I’ve been joking that I feel personally victimized by this epic bullshit because I so wholeheartedly pushed The Woman in the Window on anyone that I could. I dug that book hard. But I can’t, in good faith, let that be the case any longer. Does anyone care, probably not, but I just have to let it be known.

And to be honest, the real-life story of Dan Mallory is 100% more interesting than his book, at this point.

If you don’t have time to read the full article, I’m going to post some of my favourite bits from the expose here on my blog.

It should be noted, even though I’m not going to be writing at length about it, that the original article makes a really amazing point of how easy it is for white men to fail up, and how our institutions are constructed to let this happen, even when they are known pieces of shit.

Sorry, alleged pieces of shit.

Truly, it’s worth 30 minutes of your time.


Continue reading “Opinion: Withdrawing My Support of ‘Woman in the Window’ & AJ Finn Is Creepy AF”

Review: How To Date Dead Guys (The Witch’s Handbook, #1) by Ann M. Noser

How to Date Dead Guys (The Witch's Handbook, #1)

★★

Curiosity Quills Press | 2014

Opening Hook: Complaining about being insecure.

Main Character: A 12-year-old stuck in a grown woman’s body

Plot Ghosty-ness: Sparkly ghosts are just as interesting to me as sparkly vampires


In my quest to keep my New Year’s resolution of catching up on old ARCs from NetGalley, I went back to the very oldest books on my shelf. I apparently requested this one back in 2016 and, honestly, I have no fucking idea why.

YA and I are not the best of friends. I try. I really do. But, I have a hard time finding YA thrillers that aren’t super lame or cheesy, or that can exist in the real world without requiring the main character to be rich and parentless, and falling in love within a day, in order to move the story along.

And though I occasionally read supernatural thrillers, supernatural romance is definitely not my thing. It never has been. To each other their own, but I find the genre dumb AF.

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So, why the hell do I have this book? Was I high? What could I have possibly been thinking when I requested it? Whatever the reason, here were are. I read the whole thing. I didn’t like it, but I read it.

This didn’t work for me for a number of reasons. For one, the title is misleading. It’s cute, but not accurate. No one is dating dead guys in this book. There’s just a university student who acts like she’s 12, and keeps blushing at the male ghosts that she accidentally brought back from whatever purgatory they were stuck in.

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