“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.)”
Touchstone | 2016
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.
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.
“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.”
MIRA | 2018
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.
“People hate to see other people happy. Remember that.”
William Morrow | 2017
Opening Hook: It must have fallen off a cliff.
Main Character: Wears polo shirts for the fashion, and eats oatmeal because he thinks it tastes good.
Plot Twisty-ness: Laced with Xanax.
For someone who has never read Peter Swanson before and casually likes to pick up a psychological thriller every now and again, this book will probably seem like a win.
But for someone (this girl!) who has read Peter Swanson before and been blown away but how he weaves a story, and also spends a lot of her time reading this particular genre, All The Beautiful Lies was a big ol’ *fart noises* letdown.
I’m coming away from the reading experience wondering “what was the point of this?” To be thrilling? To be thought-provoking? To be emotionally stirring? To be commentary on inappropriate relationships? It seemed to have aspirations to be all of those things, but the execution was sub-par, leaving the ideas undeveloped and abandoned on the page.
“It was growing dark, and somehow the shadows made it feel as if all the trees had taken a collective step towards the house, edging in to shut out the sky.”
Gallery/Scout Press | 2016
This is an atmospherical oddball psychological mystery suspense novel that I liked, and at the same time, I fucking hated? Like I’m so torn. Save me.
Here’s the problem. The main protagonist, Nora, is a fucking loser. I’m just going to put it out there. She’s a loser.
She’s 26 years old and still pining away for the boyfriend she had when she was 16. Come on! Ok, sure, it was a messy breakup, he broke your heart into a million tiny teenager girl shaped pieces and you never got closure. But how does someone never move on, like at all? Has she ever had sex with someone else? Gone on a date? Apparently not. So seriously, come on!
How many grown ass women are out there decidedly becoming Bridget Jones re-virginanized spinsters because their high school sweetheart peaced-out during a difficult time in your life? SHOW OF HANDS PLEASE I won’t judge, despite what this review might suggest. I just need a headcount and to tell you to get over it! Find a man (not a boy) that knows how to work a G-spot and you’ll be over that high school flake in no time. Gotdamnit, NORA!
“I have not spoken to him for ten years, but I thought of him every single day.”
Yes, yes, y’all! It’s TBT time! Clueless and knee-highs, discmans and guys with hoop earrings…and the Foo Fighters singing this week’s throwback jam!
Yes, make me feel eleven again!
I have loved the Foo Fighters since the first moment I saw this video on Much Music in 1996. And today I get to fulfill a bucket list item of seeing them live in concert. Me and the husband have a date tonight in Toronto to see the Foo Fighters at the Rogers Stadium. I can’t even fully explain what it means to me to be doing this, so I won’t even try.
Just know that Dave Grohl is my one and only god. I literally have a picture of him framed on my wall in my living room. Not a poster. No. This is art. Framed art of Dave Grohl.
I love him. And I also love books (talk about a segue.) Here’s a look at books I’ve read and still love, and at books that have been on my TBR for a while but still get me hyped.
I love Meg Gardiner. She is a favourite author of mine. Anything she writes I want to read. Anything she has to say about writing, I want to hear. She is a smart, detail-oriented author with a talent for writing action-packed mysteries with perfectly placed twists.
UNSUB is, by far, my new favourite novel by her.
It takes elements from famous serial killers, both real and fictional, and boils it down into one epic, smart and intricate serial killer crime thriller.
Lort, have mercy on my mystery booknerd soul!
A quick synopsis: Caitlin is a cop. Her dad use to be a cop, but he’s gone coocoo for Cocopuffs after hunting a madman, The Prophet, 20 years ago and never catching him. Present day, The Prophet is back, killing again in bloody crazy fashion, and it’s Caitlin’s turn to stop him.
Obviously inspired by the Zodiac killer, this also take elements from things like Se7en, Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, Untraceable…and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head, though I am sure there are more.
Main Character: PTSD and inappropriate work places romance.
Plot Twisty-ness: Given away in the synopsis, because I guess why the hell not?
This was pretty enjoyable, I have to say. For a debut in a series it hit mostly all the right notes. But, at the same time, it was missing aspects that I look for to really make a procedural more than just the typical.
The story boils down to an abandoned baby, a woman who’s been missing for four years (who is the mother of that baby,) and one seasoned, but borderline PTSD, detective on the case.
You hear all of that and you think, yes gimme! It sounds like the perfect recipe. But I’m left feeling a little bit like Gordon Ramsey on Master Chef when someone brings up a beautiful looking dish and he tastes it, gets a funny look on his face and says: “It looks fantastic, but where’s the seasoning? Did you salt the fucking chicken?”
Carla Kovach forgot to salt the fucking chicken on this one.
I’m coming down off of the Canada Day long weekend. For those among us that don’t know what Canada Day is, it’s our goddamn birthday! July 1st! HOW DARE YOU NOT SEND US A CARD!
It currently feels like there is nothing worse than going back to work after a long weekend. I’m exhausted even though I did literally the bare minimum for three days straight. To top it off, it’s been hotter than Satan’s taint outside. A heat warning has been in effect for a literal week. My dog is getting cabin fever because he can’t play outside longer than ten minutes without risking heat stroke. Same applies to my husband, honestly.
Climate change is going to kill us all, but first it’s making me sweat and I don’t like it.
I behaved like a vampire all weekend. Blinds drawn to create total darkness, keeping the homicidal sun away from my fair skin. The AC blasting, keeping me cool and fresh like a corpse in a morgue. And when my husband tried to touch me with his hotter-than-normal body, I burst into a hundred bats and flew away.
I was really hoping this was going to be a sweaty, atmospheric summer thriller. But I only got one out of two from that list.
Depending on what’s important to you – the atmosphere or the thrills – you’re either going to love this or not.
Immediately upon starting this, I got a Revenge meets Gossip Girl meets Riverdale vibe. It’s got that “spoiled teens with no adult supervision in the Hamptons” thing going on.
It’s very rich versus poor. The pool owners and the pool cleaners. The Haves and the Have-nots.
The novel opens with a bang, so to speak, when the Haves suffer a tragedy the year prior – the Garrison estate goes up in flames, killing four members of the family. The only survivor is their teenage son, Tristan. The town is straight shooketh, casting blame and suspicion on the members of the Have Nots, because of course, the poor people want to kill the “elites.” Right, ‘Murica?
Main Character: Way too focussed on the tingles in her hoo-ha
Plot Twisty-ness: A disconnected jumping of the shark
This book was super frustrating for me because it has the bones of something that could have been really, really good. But the execution was off; the focus was not on the right things so choices in the plot felt clunky, and out of place.
Set in New Orleans, I was desperately seeking to be overwhelmed with that atmosphere. To feel the weather, to hear the culture, to have the architectural city streets at the forefront of the scene creation. But it never came. The author brought in some Voodoo elements, but it didn’t fit with the rest of the book. Either go full New Orleans – dark and magical and historic – a Skeleton Key tone; or follow the erotic, police procedural lane that 75% of the book was in – a Double Jeopardy tone. The two didn’t mesh well.
Honestly, I would have totally preferred a dark and magical New Orleans thriller, with voodoo and a sexually deviant serial killer. Like I said, the bones were there and it should have hit the gas in that lane instead of coasting in and out of the lines.
It just never came together the way it should. It didn’t feel like it knew what it wanted to be, hence the “clunky”.