Review: In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

“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.”

30345407★★★

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 just…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.”

BARF.

Continue reading “Review: In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware”

Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

29437949★★★

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 not even I understand, but you guys seemed to effing love this and for me, it fell short of “special.”

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 (unless you’re really into it, which you might be!) – 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.

Continue reading “Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris”

Music Monday: Foo Fighters – Best of You

Image result for foo fighters the best of youI’ve opened up on here a little bit before about my previous relationship – the one before I met my husband. Bottom line: it was toxic and abusive. I don’t want to get into the details, but I do want to talk about my TBT post last week.

If you read it, you know I was seeing the Foo Fighters that night in Toronto. It meant a lot more to me than I could explain to be going to this concert. It was a total bucket list item for me. Here’s one big reason why:

In 2012, when I was working up the courage to leave that bad relationship, I listened to The Best of You by the Foo Fighters pretty endlessly. When I was finally out of that bad relationship, I listened to The Best of You more still, to keep me from giving in (“no one else will ever want you“) and going back, like I had multiple times before.

It became my anthem.

Continue reading “Music Monday: Foo Fighters – Best of You”

Review: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

34564824★★★

“They built a life on lies.”

Okay, if you say so.

I was expecting a dark domestic noir thriller, and instead what I got was two assholes who married each other and could have avoided a lot of shit if they’d just, I don’t know, talked like people who got married for a reason. Failing that, try therapy.

Their marriage issues were all tales as old as time. Nothing really shocking – he has a wandering eye, she can be cold and distant. They don’t communicate well. Sometimes they love each other, sometimes they want to chuck plates at each other’s throats. Big deal, that’s marriage for a lot of people.

What’s not life for most of us, however, is the amount of money these two assholes have. Or the death of their child. Or the sinister events that engulf their lives very quickly.

Much of the more mundane “crumbling marriage” tropes take place in an over-sized, fantastical world of good looks, success, wealth and travel – extremes that are not realistic for the general population. So, somewhere between the banal (for the genre) issues of their marriage and the over-the-top baseline for their way of life, is where you will find me still deciding whether or not this book resonated with me.

Continue reading “Review: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison”

#Throwback Thursday: 07.12.18

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.

Continue reading “#Throwback Thursday: 07.12.18”

Booknerd Wednesday: World Cup Edition

GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

Anyone else wishing that the Mexican commentator was doing all of the game commentating for the World Cup? That dude is ah-meezing. He makes it so much more fun to watch.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know anything about soccer until I met my husband. He is a huge fan. His favourite team in the Tottenham Hotspurs. It took me a while to even learn how to say Tottenham properly. But, he embraced my love of hockey, he became a Toronto Maple Leafs fan for me, so I’m trying to get into soccer a little bit more.

It’s not the most exciting sport to me. I think I’m used to the level of adrenaline hockey brings – fights and body checking and game blowouts that might see ten or twelve goals.

Soccer is a little slower. If you like to watch men run, then it’s for you. Or if you’re looking for some dramatic acting tips, also for you.

soccer GIF

Seriously, this is the worst thing about soccer to me. These grown, athletic men spend more time finding ways to cry and flail around about made up injuries than toddlers do. I have never seen anything like it. Just get the fuck up and play your fucking sport. I’ve seen hockey goalies get a cut carotid artery from a skate, bleeding all over the ice, and they still want to find a way to get back out and play.

But, I digress…

This week the semi-finals are wrapping up, between France and Belgium, and England vs Croatia. I am fully on Team England. My husband is Team Croatia, so it’s making for an interesting Wednesday.

For this week’s post I’m going to take a look at crime fiction from each of the semi-finalist countries.

Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: World Cup Edition”

Fave Five Friday: Canadian Authors

If you’re in the US right now everything is red, white and blue for Independence Day. The month of July gets y’all fired up and feeling aggressively patriotic. Fireworks and eagles, and 1 in 3 people predicting a civil war, and immigrant children in cages. It’s amazing.

happy july 4 GIF

Here in Canada, July has a similar effect. The 1st is Canada Day, our birthday. Everything is red and white, beavers and fireworks and our Prime Minister probably out somewhere taking selfies. True North, Strong and Free, bitches!

Most people don’t even realize we’re celebrating a thing at all. And that’s fine, really, because we know and we go all out, covering ourselves in maple syrup and doing sexual things with hockey sticks. Maybe. Probably. Whatever. Don’t judge.

But it got me thinking, we Canadians have a lot to be proud of that doesn’t necessarily get recognized across borders until someone like Justin Bieber becomes an international sensation and people start screaming “take him back, Canada!” and we’re like, “but we don’t want him either! You made him weird! He’s too religious now!”

We’ve developed this terrible habit of pointing out everyone and everything that’s Canadian. It’s like saying, “Hey! We’re here too! We do some cool stuff!”

south park canada GIF

My husband is from New York state. He moved to Canada in 2015 after we got married. And one of his favourite things has become laughing at me every time I say “they’re Canadian” without even realizing the words are coming out of my mouth. All Canadians do this. It comes from a deep, dark place of feeling less than.

Continue reading “Fave Five Friday: Canadian Authors”

Review: The Next Girl (DI Gina Harte, #1) by Carla Kovach

37889327★★★

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.

It’s a minor mistake in the grand scheme of things, but it means something is off the whole time you’re eating.

…I don’t know why I’m doing a food metaphor, honestly. I hate food metaphors. And I had such a big lunch that I don’t even want to think about eating ever again. Ugh.

gordon ramsey idiot GIF

Continue reading “Review: The Next Girl (DI Gina Harte, #1) by Carla Kovach”

Booknerd Wednesday: WWW Edition

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!

prime minister shrug GIF

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.

Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: WWW Edition”

Review: The Lies They Tell by Gillian French

35887572★★½

I was really hoping this was going to be sweaty, atmospheric summer thriller. But I only got 1 out of 2 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?

the kingsmen laughing GIF by Collider

Continue reading “Review: The Lies They Tell by Gillian French”