My Top Reads of 2021!

As promised from my previous cranky bitch post, here are my tippy-tappy tippy tip top-rated books from last year. To be clear, these are books that I actually really liked and, in some cases, loved. It’s unlike me, but it does happen.

And actually, let me just say, that it happened ten times in 2021. That’s right, there are ten fucking books on this list. 10! Maybe that’s not a lot to you, but for me and my reading history…

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But then, only one of them earned my elusive 5-star rating, so…

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Who knows, this time next year, maybe I’ll be writing my top reads post and I’ll have fifteen or even twenty books on it. Can you imagine? Me, liking that many books? Or giving more than one book 5-stars?

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This is my year of transformation after all – my health and my mind and my overall energy on this fucking shit planet. I’m laser focussed on evolving. It’s also my year to read what I already own and I’d like to believe I didn’t spend the disgusting amount of money I have to fill my bookshelves on shitty reads.

So, could a convergence of those two things mean that I have my very own grinch moment where my heart grows three times its normal size and I start giving out good reviews like I’m Oprah giving out cars? Or my cat giving out poop on the carpet? Unlikely. But then, I would have guessed Trump and COVID were unlikely, too. And yet, here we are.

This simulation/multiverse timeline is fucked up.

Despite that, here are the ten books I read last year that made this *gestures broadly at everything* a little more worth it.

Continue reading “My Top Reads of 2021!”

All the Books I Hated in 2021!

And I’m back! Happy New Year!

50 Best 2022 Memes | Daily Funny Memes | Best Damn Photos

2021 has come & gone in the blink of an eye and a pile of books (that keeps getting bigger, please send help.) And let me tell you, some of the books I picked from that pile in 2021 were fucking shit. So, as is my tradition at Here’s The Fucking Twist, the first post of the new year is dedicated to all the books I read last year that were disappointing, rage-inducing or just straight-up garbage.

Before I write a new post for this particular series, I always go back and read the one I wrote the previous year to see what I had to say – what was my mindset going into the new year?

Apparently, I had a lot more optimism at the start of 2021 than I ended with. It was a hard year, a stagnant year, another year of a global pandemic that really revealed to me how stupid people are and how much we all hate each other. So that’s fun and not at all depressing. It’s one of the reasons I’m going into 2022 with trepidation. I’ll keep some optimism, because I have to, but like… from a distance. I’m giving 2022 a wide berth. This year can stay over there and I’ll be over here, in my house. Again. Still. Forever. No one fucking talk to me unless you are definitively not an asshole.

Andy Samberg Beer GIF by The Lonely Island

While 2022 will certainly bring its fair share of shit books because I’m like a goddamn magnet for them, let’s get back to saying goodbye to all the terrible ones I read in 2021. Books that did nothing to distract me from the plague-ridden hellscape we call Earth. I was my hands (for 30 seconds!!) of them!

I did, however, manage to read 75 books in total which is an improvement from what my trauma-response brain was capable of in 2020. Like, I traded Twitter doom-scrolling and mainlining American 24-hour news for Goosebump books and shitty ARCs.

That’s got to count for something. Do we consider it a step up? We’re going to.

So, cheers to all the truly shitty books out of 75! *Barry Manilow voice* Looks like we made ittttt!

I read them so you don’t have to, friends!

Continue reading “All the Books I Hated in 2021!”

Review: It Will Just Be Us by Jo Kaplan

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★★★

Crooked Lane Books | 2020

Filed Under: Damien babies as birth control


I love gothic horror and I love haunted houses, so this book had all the balls in its court from the jump. Big balls, little balls. Balls of all sorts. We don’t discriminate around here.

But there was one serious downer that stood out for me: this is a wordy motherfucker.

When it comes to a genre novel that should be building suspense, dread and thrills because the story requires it, being too long or a maniac with purple prose can be a serious issue. The only time length isn’t an issue, is when the plot events are making up that length, like so much is happening it requires extra pages.

In this case, it wasn’t that there was so much story to tell, and certainly the page count isn’t very high, but rather that the author was far too interested in metaphors and purple prose and just couldn’t stop using them. Like, an intervention was needed. Without all that filler, this would probably be closer to being a novella.

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Mini-Review Dump💩: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, The Other Girl, Nothing But Blackened Teeth and The Last Time She Died

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Reviews in this post:

  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, #1) by Holly Jackson
  • The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
  • Nothing but Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw
  • The Last Time She Died (Blake & Byron Thrillers, #1) by
Continue reading “Mini-Review Dump💩: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, The Other Girl, Nothing But Blackened Teeth and The Last Time She Died”

Mini-Review Dump💩: Petrified Women, The Lodge, The Skeleton Tree and The Retreat

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Reviews in this post:

  • Petrified Women by Jeremy Ray
  • The Lodge by Chris Coppel
  • The Skeleton Tree by Diane Janes
  • The Retreat by Elisabeth de Mariaffi
Continue reading “Mini-Review Dump💩: Petrified Women, The Lodge, The Skeleton Tree and The Retreat”

Mini-Review Dump💩: Six Little Secrets, The Holdout, The Real Lolita & Truth and Lies

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Reviews in this post:

  • Six Little Secrets by Katlyn Duncan
  • The Holdout by Graham Moore
  • The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman
  • Truth and Lies (DI Amy Winter, #1) by Caroline Mitchell
Continue reading “Mini-Review Dump💩: Six Little Secrets, The Holdout, The Real Lolita & Truth and Lies”

Mystery/Thriller New Releases for Q1 of 2021

Oh heyyyyyyy! How’s 2021 treating you so far? Like a sledgehammer to the head? Good, me too. Glad we’re on the same page.

I definitely slacked on my “new releases” posts last year and I’m fully aware of that. And by slacked, I very generously mean that I didn’t post a single fucking one.

But, as I’ve said on repeat, 2020 can eat a bag of dicks. Among its less egregious crimes is that it messed so hard with my motivation to do literally anything I typically like to do. All I had the attention span for was reality tv and changing out of one pair of leggings into an identical, cleaner pair of leggings. Stress levels increase = concentration levels decrease. It’s science.

And even though 2021 hasn’t been much better so far, and in fact seems to be impacting my mental health much harder the closer we get to the one-year anniversary of this shit, (shout out to crying jags over small inconveniences!) I’m going to muscle through like Christina Aguilera. She’s a fighter.

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If you’ve been luckier than me and have managed to actually read in this pandemic, number one – I’m jealous. And number two – I’m here to restock that TBR, because despite my jealously, I want you to be happy. Look no further than this list of new releases to find your next read.

If you’re having a hard time reading like yours truly, this list is still for you, booboo! As everyone should know by now – reading books and acquiring books are two totally separate hobbies. And if you’re even more like me then compulsive online shopping is one of the only things getting you through this shit lately. So, let’s buy some motherfucking books!

This is obviously not a comprehensive list of new releases, because I do not have the fucking time for that, but it’s a place to start. And I know I should have posted this a month ago, but hellloooooo did you hear what I just said about my mental health?

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Also, before you get confused, my “buzzed score” is really simple – the more emojis, the more into it I am. But moreover, it’s just a reason for me to put together different emojis to mean I’m smoking weed and getting high. Okay, let’s goooooooo!

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Review: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

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★★★★

St. Martin’s Press | 2020

Filed Under: Sarah Keonig’s soothing tones


Remember when I was on the blog tour for this last August and said I’d have a review posted “soon?” Man, I’ve got some hilarious jokes.

Listen, I’m blaming everything on 2020. I’m double-digits deep on back reviews and triple digits up in unread ARCs because I just… couldn’t. And I didn’t know how to even explain what was wrong/is wrong with me. But it’s literally all the Pandemic’s fault. I have the science to back it up! Research shows that the high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) that we have been producing extra for a prolonged period because of the pandemic, can inhibit perceptual learning and memory formation. This interferes with our ability to assimilate facts and focus on work. So, if you’ve been having trouble working, reading and or just general concentration has been difficult for you, then this is why. STRESS, bitch! That you got from a Panny!

I just learned this after a whole fucking year of screaming at my husband, “why can’t I do any of the things I like to do?”

Now I know.

I had big plans for last year. I was going to get my reading life organized, tons of reviews posted and make a serious dent in my ARCs, None of that happened. Now, we’re days away from the one-year anniversary of this goddamn pandemic. How can it be March 2021 when I’m still processing March 2020!?

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Anyway, it’s officially six months since I was supposed to review this book, so let’s get this shit posted.

Continue reading “Review: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin”

Review: Nothing to Lose (Ziba MacKenzie, #2) by Victoria Selman

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★★★★

Thomas & Mercer | 2019

Filed Under: Déjà vu


Listen, I like this series!! Maybe it won’t sound like it for the bulk of this review, but I do. I like the character of Ziba. I think she’s interesting, layered and a tough female character in this genre. But this sequel to Blood for Blood persists in my biggest problem from the first book – Ziba, and the rest of the cops, are starting to seem really fucking dumb. Ziba is described as a highly skilled criminal profiler and ex-special forces badass, but she consistently whiffs on seeing the very obvious answer to a mystery. She takes FOR👏EV👏ER to pick up a clue the reader will catch immediately. That’s a problem.

This is mostly an author issue. The being, you think you’re writing something very twisty and hard to figure out, but objectively you’re not, so the highly-skilled main character doesn’t live up to the big description she’s been given. The reader will be screaming “HELLOOO!!! How are you not getting this?!” at Ziba about halfway through.

I wish it wasn’t so. I truly do. Because this UK-based crime series is heads above other UK-crime series in a lot of ways – no recycled tropes or character types, and no fucking book covers of a woman in a red coat walking through some kind of goddamn field.

Where are you going, lady?! The crimes happened in central London! There’s nothing in that field!

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Review: The Whisper Man by Alex North

If your lonely, sad, and blue, the whisper man will come for you.

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★★★★★

Caledon Books | 2019

Filed Under: Your kid’s dead imaginary friend


I’m usually super hesitant to read a book that is making the rounds on the Hype Train Express. I tend to be disappointed; closing the book only to be like, “well, I definitely read this wrong? What is everyone talking about?” (But let’s be real, I’m not actually reading the books wrong.)

Either way, none of that applies this time. To quote Bailey Sarian: Nay, nay I say! The Whisper Man by Alex North gets an enthusiastic 5-stars from me. Like so enthusiastic, it’s almost sexual.

Toot-fucking-toot, bitches!

This book legit unnerved me and I can’t say that happens very often. Because I’m dead inside? Likely. Because I read so much dark fiction? More likely. But with this one, I was turning on the lights and setting my home alarm. This was dark and twisty and creepy AF.

A few choice moments started to weave a seemingly supernatural theme into the plotline, but it was never blatant so I didn’t know what I was reading until it all came together. North kept me on the edge of my seat, tips of my toes and the end of my last nerve for the entire novel. I fucking loved it. I don’t feel like I have enough words to fully explain to you just how much I loved this, so, have this gif instead:

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This is the level I’m at.

Continue reading “Review: The Whisper Man by Alex North”