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.
Continue reading “Review: The Last Night Out by Catherine O’Connell”
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.
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.
Continue reading “Review: How To Date Dead Guys (The Witch’s Handbook, #1) by Ann M. Noser”
Thomas & Mercer | 2018
Opening Hook: A subway nightmare, and I’m not talking about Jared.
Main Character: Trying to do it all, failing.
Plot Twisty-ness: Twisty, but in a depressing way
I don’t know why I thought this was going to be a serial killer “thriller”… I mean, in some ways it is. There is a serial killer. And cops. And stuff is happening.
But, holy shit, this might be the most depressing crime fiction novel I’ve ever read. This just hit me right in all my sad feels like a British episode of This Is Us or some shit.
I don’t want to give up any spoilers, but I will say this: one of the main reasons I love crime fiction so much – besides the psychologically fascinating elements – is that the good guys win and the bad guys lose.
The world is shitty enough and bad guys seem to win a lot, especially lately. So, it’s nice to be able to immerse yourself in a world where the bad guy is going to get his just desserts. That’s why these stories work for so many people. We want to know, despite the evidence around us, that good will triumph over evil.
And for that to not necessarily happen in a way that feels satisfying like it usually does with novels of this kind, it’s a little bit of a punch in the gut.
Kudos to John Marrs for bringing everyone down, I guess.
Continue reading “Review: Her Last Move by John Marrs”
“I’m fighting crime with my twat.”
Bold Stroke Books | 2016
Opening Hook: Bullets and blood and zero follow-up
Main Character: SUCH A DICKHOLE
Plot Twisty-ness: I mean, the butt plug was unexpected so…
Soooooo, honestly what the fuck is this? It’s been a while since I read something this cringe-worthy.
Part of my bookish New Years resolutions is to tackle my backlog of Netgalley arcs that I’ve been putting off reading. This is one of those books. And it’s going to be my first DNF @ 48%.
First of all, let’s talk about how this is presented to the reader – as a detective crime fiction novel. But, as far as I read, this book fits that category in only the most liberal sense of the genre.
The main character, Jill Roberts, is a detective. Check.
She visits a couple of crime scenes. Check.
Continue reading “DNF Review: Murder on the Rocks by Clara Nipper”
Look, it’s no secret that I’m a picky reader and I tear books to shreds like it’s my fucking job. (It’s not and I don’t get paid for this.)
I have no shame or guilt in how I come across. Quite honestly, I wear my Book Bitch reputation like a badge of honour. I don’t do sugar-coating. I don’t do polite for the sake of someone’s feelings (that’s called lying.) And I don’t beat around the bush. Either I like something or I don’t, and if I don’t I’ll let you know why so that you don’t waste your sweet, precious life reading turds.
Inspector Turd Miner, at your service.
If you’re a writer – I do it so you can get better. No one ever grew from being told they were perfect just the way they are. You want to be a great writer, then listen to the negative reviews that are actually blunt, constructive criticism trying to give a little help. I’m not saying listen to the shit talking. There’s a difference.
I don’t tear things down just for the fun of it, I do it so that everyone can grow. Do I have fun though? Obviously, or I wouldn’t be here. (Like I said, I’m not getting paid.)
Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: All the Books I Hated in 2018!”
Happy New Year, Nerdos!!
Are you still nursing a little bit of a hangover? I hate drinking in my 30s because those headaches and stomach rumbles, and just overall feeling of having been hit by a truck, seem to last days instead of hours. Aw, the joys of ageing.
But here we are again – another year gone, a new one just beginning. More birthdays on the horizon. It’s just one more trip around the sun. And I’m so happy to be here with all of you for the journey talking about books and murder and maybe weed sometimes. Now there’s a way to avoid a hangover, get high instead!
So, while we float around on a rock in an unknowable universe, held down by an invisible force as we circle a giant ball of fire for another year, let’s read some books to pass some of that time!
2019 is shaping up to be a good year for crime fiction so get your budgets ready, your library card dusted off and your stretchy pants on! Here’s my list of the top buzz-worthy reads for the first quarter of 2019!
Continue reading “Top Ten: Mystery and Thriller Releases for Q1 of 2019!”
It seems like everyone who settles down is miserable. They’re either broke or stressed or plagued with a sense of duty to someone who doesn’t appreciate them.
Bloodhound Books | 2018
Opening Hook: Kill your family for freedom!
Main Characters: Whiny bitches, but like, I totally get it.
Plot Twisty-ness: Twisty, but almost doesn’t make sense.
This book is going to cut with different women in different ways because the content is so heavily focussed on the various “caregiver” roles that women play. Wife, mother, friend, sister, lover.
It focuses on those roles with a decidedly negative lens. Like, suuuuuuuper negative. Like, if you were thinking about getting married, this will give you pause. If you were are on the fence about having kids, this will confirm your worst fears.
The story is told by four women – Jo, Shayla, Ellie and June – who all live on Oleander Way. Some know each other, some don’t, but they are connected by their neighbourhood.
We open on a murder. A husband and two children have been gutted in their home in the middle of the day. But who’s husband and children? And why did it happen? As the story unfolds, this mystery seemingly becomes less important than all the other crazy shit that happens to these four women.
Continue reading “Review: Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane”
“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.”
Lake Union Publishing | 2018
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”
“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.”
Quercus | 2018
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.
Continue reading “Review: The Confession by Jo Spain”
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.
Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: WWW Edition”