Review: All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson

“People hate to see other people happy. Remember that.”

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★★½

William Morrow | 2017

Filed Under: Wears polo shirts for the fashion, and eats oatmeal because he thinks it tastes good.


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 (ya 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 a 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.

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Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

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★★★

St. Martin’s Press | 2016

Filed Under: No one has this much time!


I am feeling pretty meh about this whole thing.

I don’t know if it was the hype, or my standards are at some level that not even I understand, but other readers seemed to fucking love this and for me, it fell short.

It got off to a slow start. There’s an obvious underlying thread of unease to Grace and Jack’s marriage – her, the beautiful housewife and him, the successful lawyer – that you are quick to pick up on, but it takes quite a while to get around to just how nefarious Jack actually is. And by the time his true self is revealed, the story has taken on a stagnant quality.

Oh, more threats about Millie? Great. Did you want to use the word “perfect” a few hundred more times? Excellent. Grace’s friends are going to continue to think nothing is fucking weird as all hell? Okie-dokie.

So much focus is put on the small interactions – the paranoia Grace experiences in trying to figure out just how to act, and just what to say, in order to “win” against Jack – that it becomes quite tedious to read. And the plausibility is laughable. A high-powered attorney who wins big and has his face splashed on the news, who probably works 60+ hour weeks, also has time to monitor every single thing Grace does, to intercept all interactions, to feed her and care for her like a pet? How would any regular person have the energy for this, let alone a successful, busy attorney?

…Even if he is a fucking Looney Toon.

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Review: White Bodies by Jane Robins

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★★★½

Atria Books | 2017

Filed Under: Eating teeth and hair like a goddamn appetizer


If you’ve ever wanted to eat your sister’s hair, this book is for you.

Or if you just like reading twisty novels about obsession with a dose of weirdness, then definitely try this. I will in no way assume it’s because you also eat your sister’s hair.

This novel has a decidedly bleak, gloomy and unsettled atmosphere hanging over it, with a noir quality that is subtle, but evident. Combine that with twins and the “murder exchange” trope and you’ve got yourself something that can only fail in its clichés.

Callie is the ugly twin. Tilda is the beautiful one. I’m going to be honest – they both have serious mental health issues even if Tilda wants to play like only Callie does. Callie is a quiet, meek follower. Tilda is a leader, controlling and determined.

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