Review: When The Serpent Bites (The Starks Trilogy, #1) by Nesly Clerge

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Self-Published | 2015

This must be “Krystin reads nothing but misogynistic stories” month, because this is my second in a row, and let me tell you, I’m fucking over it.

I’ll give this review some context real fast. Frederick Starks – a very rich, successful businessman – is married with three kids. His wife, Kayla, is unfaithful to him. They separate. One night, while driving aimlessly, ruminating on the state of his failed marriage, he pulls up to the house of the man Kayla cheated with and beats the shit out of him in front of the man’s wife and children, putting the man into a coma. Police arrive, Starks is caught red-handed, quite literally, and is arrested. He goes to trial and is found guilty.

Because, duh.

But for some reason, Starks just can’t believe the jury convicted him. Basically, his whole position on his guilt is: “my wife cheated, and the guy was mean to me, so I can’t be held responsible for my actions.”

In fact, at his trial, the defence mounted by his attorney is nothing more than a character assassination of Kayla because “she’s a whore,” as if that’s a legit reason to nearly kill a man.

give me a break judging you GIF by Originals

(I’m about to rant my fucking ass off, so if you don’t want any spoilers, here’s my tl;dr takeaway: this is a misogynistic dumpster fire that has no point to it at all.)

Continue reading “Review: When The Serpent Bites (The Starks Trilogy, #1) by Nesly Clerge”

#ThrowbackThursday: 05.10.18

Omigod, get your scrunchies and acid wash jeans, it’s #tbt time!

blast from the past throwback thursday GIF by Denyse®

Okay, so acid wash and scrunchies are decidedly a very 90s reference, but I’m a 90s kid. I still think the 80s were like 20 years ago, not 30+. So, give me a break.

Anyway, here’s how bookworm #tbt works: Pick a book you read in the past, tell us why you love it. Then pick a book that’s been on your TBR for a while and give the reasons why you still want to read it after all this time.

This is typically a super easy post for me because my TBR pile is out of control! There’s not a chance in hell I’ll ever read everything I want to. I know you can relate.

So, first up….

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Review: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

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Harper | 2017

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” 

This quote from the 1967 film, COOL HAND LUKE, basically sums up how I’m feeling after reading this book. And I’ve never even seen the movie. The quote just came to me, as a thing I know somehow, deep from within the pop culture recesses of my mind. There’s a lot of useless information in there.

I might also go with: “…in the galaxy of This Sucks Camel Dicks!” Stepbrothers.

What I mean to say is: I wish the publishers hadn’t stuffed this novel into the psychological-thriller genre just because that’s where all the cool kids are, and had instead been honest about what this book is: a dark romance meets women’s fiction meets soap opera intrigue with a terrible, TERRIBLE message.

It’s not a thriller. I’m sorry, but no. I am not thrilled.

Had I known this from the start, I would have passed on reading it, because this level of dramatic soap-opera nutty-ness is just not my thing. It lacks humour and humanity, and is overpopulated with terrible one-liners, cliches and silly dialogue and tropes that feel like a reenactment. And the writing is derivative and basic.

Not to mention, the internal misogyny that permeates the entire theme gets my feminist hackles up.

Anyway… I didn’t know I shouldn’t read this, so I did, and now I have library late fees and a shitty review to write, so buckle up, bitches!

(This could get mildly spoiler-y because I’m going to rant, so if you’re super excited to read this, here’s my takeaway: Don’t waste your time with this, unless you’re cool with domestic abuse being legitimized. Otherwise, read on!)

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Book Tag: The Ultimate Book Tag – 25 Bookish Questions

IT’S FRIDAY!

ken block friday GIF by Ford

Bonus for me: I have Monday off work, too. I’m determined to make this long weekend super productive for reading! It’s top priority.

I’d say last night was productive for reading, as well, because I literally had no other choice. When I got home from work around 5 P.M., the power was out at my house, and at 223 other houses. We didn’t get electricity back until this morning! Joy-of-fucking-joys!

I felt like an Amish person – lighting candles, walking around in the dark, crying that we have no Wi-Fi (Amish people cry about that, right?)

As expressed by my 14-year-old stepkid: “I want to look at memes! This sucks!”

I hear you, junior.

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Booknerd Wednesday: The NetGalley Monthly for May 2018

Honestly, NetGalley might be my undoing, mentally. I can see a breakdown on the horizon. Maybe I start writing on the walls about how many unread ARCs I have while I talk to an invisible librarian, and my husband has to feed me ice chips.

I try to stop myself from going logging onto Netgalley and requesting new titles, but it’s so hard. I need a 12-step program.

We’ll call this post Step 1.

If you want to play along, feel free. Basically, what I intend to do is round up all the new ARCs I receive at the beginning of every month. Easy!

Because I’ve been such a good girl about requesting books (up until a couple of days ago), this first post might be a little short, but books are books!

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Booknerd Wednesday: WWW Edition

I know everyone else is saying this, but I can’t believe it’s May already! What the fuck?

April flew right passed me… and I didn’t even get all that much reading done, to be totally honest, which totally sucks. But, I’ve been up to my eyes in house reno stuff. I swear time is like a downhill snowball the older you get, and I’m not even old!

My husband and I are still trying to get this foyer/mini-mudroom finished. And I’m such an inpatient asshole that I also started painting my upstairs hallway. I’m not good at doing one step at a time, clearly. Also, I’ve spent a lot of money on paintings and lights and carpets and please someone STOP ME BEFORE I DESTROY MY BUDGET!

*deep breath*

Anyway…

I took a vacation day from work on Monday and my sincerest hope is that we get something completely done this weekend so I can go back to reading.

Speaking of reading, it’s WWW time!

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My Five Favourite Book Series

I’m an unabashed book series lover. If a book is the first in a series, as opposed to a standalone, I’m 80% more likely to read it (I just pulled that percentage out of my ass, but it’s probably accurate.)

With that in mind, I have no idea how I’m going to whittle down my favourite series to just my top five, but at the very least an attempt will be made and I’m proud of myself for that.

Proud Vice Tv GIF by STICK TO SPORTS

Without further ado, and in no particular order – actually in a very specific order – here are my choices.

Trust me when I say, this was agonizing in the most bookish way possible.

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Review: Brave by Rose McGowan

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★★★★

HarperOne | 2018

It doesn’t feel right “rating” an autobiography, especially one as intense and personal as this one, so consider my stars more of a decoration than a judgement.

Rose McGowan is an actress that had a significant presence in my formative years. (Favourite movie of all time: Scream. One of my favourite TV shows of all time: Charmed.) So, going into reading this, after the downfall of Harvey Weinstein, I felt a little bit of a connection to her. In some ways, I grew up with her. Perhaps that affects my opinion of this book, as opposed to someone that saw Death Proof once or remembers her from that time she walked the red carpet at the MTV VMAs essentially naked.

I know this is not the typical book review you might expect to find on a blog dedicated to mysteries and thrillers, but I believe this is an important one to read. For me personally, as a feminist and as a woman, but also just in general. All people should be reading this book.

Whether you agree with her opinions or not, there is so much in this novel that will make you think, make you reconsider an opinion or give you a new perspective you might not have considered.

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Review: The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

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★★★

Minotaur Books | 2017

This novel reads like the author really likes to watch the Hallmark Channel or Lifetime movies. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re into that.

Lort knows, I’ve binged all of the Aurora Teagarden movies like a fucking champ.

The Vanishing Season ticks off a lot of boxes on the “Cozy Lifetime Mystery Checklist.”

That’s a thing. Let’s go through it…

In a small town (✓), Abigail Hathaway, who now goes by Ellery and escaped a serial killer as a teenager, (✓) is now a cop herself (✓). But no one knows about her dark past (✓) and she intends to keep it that way. Ellery, with knowledge no one else has (✓) connects three seemingly unrelated missing persons’ cases that she’s never worked on (✓) and decides there must be a copycat killer in her tiny town (✓), but no one believes her (✓) and won’t, unless she outs her true identity (✓). What this killer really wants is her (✓)! The killer starts to leave her notes and packages to let her know he knows who she is and is watching her (✓).

Ellery calls for backup in the form of a disgraced FBI agent (✓), who also happens to be the same agent that saved her from certain death all those years ago (✓).

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Review: Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8) by Darynda Jones

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★★

St. Martin’s Press | 2015

It physically hurts to say this, like I have bad gas, but I must tell the truth: I did not like this book.

I really do love this series and the characters have a special place in my heart, but WHAT IN THE HOLY-HELL IS GOING ON?

This can be my problem with long-running series: at some point, the author wants to take things to a new, unexpected level, but because the story has been going on for so long the only place left to take readers is right off the fucking rails.

And this is the book in Charley Davidson’s adventures that dropped off the tracks and decided to go careening off a bridge.

First of all, this book read more like a romance erotica novel than a true Charley Davidson instalment.

Continue reading “Review: Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8) by Darynda Jones”