Amazon Original Stories | 2018
Opening Hook: There’s always something under the bed.
Main Monster: Maybe it’s Pennywise in that spider body.
Plot Twisty-ness: Schrodinger’s monsters.
While I didn’t really LOVE Meddling Kids by Cantero the way I wanted to, I can tell that given the right circumstances, I could really be a fan of his, because I do enjoy his writing style.
He writes stories with a whimsical combination of goofy and horror that reminds me of why I love this genre – there is so much room to play. And Cantero always seems to take full advantage of that space, even if I haven’t been bowled over by a full-length novel yet. I know it’s going to happen. I JUST KNOW IT.
There is a feeling of nostalgia to his writing that makes me feel a little less cynical and dead inside. He brings back those memories of when I was as a kid and everything was scary and an adventure was just a thought away; where you could make something up and be totally convinced of it just by way of imagination.
When I was a single-digit tot, I used to believe vampires were out to get me, but if I kept my blanket up under my chin tight enough, I was safe.
I don’t have the kind of imagination anymore, and Cantero makes me wistful for that time, because now I’m old and grumpy, and could tear down all the ways believing that neck protection from a blanket was goddamn ridiculous in 0.2 seconds.
Continue reading “Review: There’s a Giant Trapdoor Spider Under Your Bed (Dark Corners Collection) by Edgar Cantero”
Amazon Original Stories | 2018
Opening Hook: Boobs are hilarious.
Main Character: Ride or Die for cats.
Plot Twisty-ness: Unpredictably weird.
I don’t know what the fuck this is, but it’s weird and awkward and I do not like Oates’ writing style at all.
Usually, I’m pretty chill about writing styles and can adapt to mostly everything, but Oates writes like she wishes everything was poetry and I’m sorry, but some shit just isn’t poetic. Like a stepdad sexually harassing his 14-year-old stepdaughter and the lasting effects that can have on a person.
I was really hoping this short story was going to be some Carrie kind of shit, but with killer cats. Unfortunately, it’s following the same footsteps as The Tangled Woods, where the horror are the real-life issues we face in a messed up society, instead of escapist horror.
I think I’m finding that I’m not the kind of person who likes “reality horror.” I much prefer monsters and crazed slasher killers over sexual abuse and institutionalized racism. I read as an escape, not to be reminded about how much humans fucking suck.
Continue reading “Review: Miao Dao (Dark Corners Collection) by Joyce Carol Oates”
Ballantine Books | 2018
Opening Hook: About as chill as dying in your sleep.
Main Character: Definitely used to be a frat bro.
Plot Twisty-ness: Tediously overwrought.
I forgot there is a reason I haven’t read Kellerman in a long time. His writing doesn’t work for me. I find it formulaic and boring as hell. And I know that’s sacrilegious for Alex Delaware fans, but whatever. I am who I am. You can’t change me!
Crime Scene was so boring to me that I read this book like a month ago and completely whiffed on writing a review. It just slipped from my mind, uneventful and easy to forget.
It doesn’t really seem to me that anything happened in this book.
You have Clay Edison, a death investigator – or something that’s not totally explained – for the coroner’s office, who gets caught up in the death of a man who very clearly seems to have died of natural causes. But because Edison fucks the dead guy’s daughter, he becomes borderline obsessed with the idea that there is something more sinister that took place.
I mean, of course, he’s right about the sinister bad stuff (otherwise there would be no book,) but the fact that it took penis-in-vagina to get his interest piqued and the plot moving, had my eyes rolling so far back into my head that I think I sprained an optic muscle.
Continue reading “Review: Crime Scene (Clay Edison, #1) by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman”
Little, Brown & Company | 2018
Opening Hook: Stop writing down your murder plots.
Main Character: Drywall is not safe around her.
Plot Twisty-ness: Patented Patterson Predictability.
I’ve gone and done it again *said in Kevin Spacey John Doe voice* (if you don’t understand that reference, please leave, watch Se7en and then come back.)
Alright?! OKAY? I admit it! That makes that twice this year I’ve broken my New Year’s resolution to not read any Patterson at all.
I’m weak! I have issues. I need a 12-step program for letting shit go; for being okay with not knowing. It’s really my worst quality as a human being. My mental health agrees.
But whatever. It’s done. I read it. So here’s the review.
CONTENT! *does jazz hands*
While I didn’t necessarily think this book was anything amazing, I have to say, I can see Candice Fox all over the writing in this book and that makes it infinitely better than most Patterson publications. The chapters are still short, the content shallow and a lot of moments are overly dramatic, but the actual prose felt more mature, unlike what I’d typically classify Patterson writing as: juvenile.
Continue reading “Review: Fifty Fifty (Detective Harriet Blue, #2) by James Patterson & Candice Fox”
Amazon Original Stories | 2018
Opening Hook: Never go on the run in a car that needs an oil change.
Main Character: Does not get stabbed in a shower.
Plot Twisty-ness: Unger does a lot with a little.
This is an adorable spooky short story in the Dark Corners Collection.
Eve is on the run in a shitty old car. She’s got a bag full of money, a gun and a piece-of-shit ex on her tail. It’s very much Psycho-esque in that way.
When Eve realizes she can’t run anymore with a little bit of sleep, she pulls into a country motel with lots of vacancies. She’s just going to spend one night and leave first thing in the morning. Through the night there are bumps and scrapes that convince Eve someone is staying in the room next door. But when she checks, it’s empty.
And I’m sorry, but I’m such a cheap whore for creepy motel shit. Honestly, I will watch or read nearly anything that takes place in this eerie setting. It’s just so obvious, ripe-for-the-picking scenery and atmosphere.
Continue reading “Review: The Sleep Tight Motel (Dark Corners Collection) by Lisa Unger”
Amazon Original Stories | 2018
Opening Hook: a mid-life crisis never looked this annoying.
Main Character: Deserves a swift kick to his cheating balls.
Plot Twisty-ness: Same thing as watching MSNBC.
In the spirit of the fall season, I’ve started picking up some scarier, horror-themed books. Now all I need is genuine sweater weather. Honestly, what is with this heat? Greta Thunberg is amazing, but she’s clearly too late. I shouldn’t still be running my air conditioner.
Why couldn’t she start yelling at all these adults when she was like eight? Would that have been too much to ask? FOR A CHILD TO FIX ALL THESE PROBLEMS SOONER!?
Honestly, nothing makes me happier than watching boomers lose their minds over this teenager rubbing what they’ve ruined in their faces. Her and David Hogg need to host a Ted Talk together or something, purely just for the shit-show conservatives will put into production.
Anyhooters… when I realized I had Amazon Prime Books, which lets me borrow ebooks and return them whenever I’m done (easily the greatest discovery of my 30-something years of life so far,) I knew it was time for me to finally read the Dark Corners collection, which I’ve had my eye on for a while.
Three dollars for a 40-page story? That’s gonna be a no from me dawg. Oh, it’s free now? I’ll read that shit out of that.
Yeah, I said it. You were all thinking it.
Continue reading “Review: The Tangled Woods (Dark Corners Collection) by Emily Raboteau”
Minotaur Books | 2019
Opening Hook: Stop for a pedestrian, get shot by a sniper. The moral is, stop being polite.
Main Character: Excuse me, sir, your glass eye is upside down.
Plot Twisty-ness: Once you get off the soapbox, it’s a complex, snow-covered road.
Okay, listen up! You want to read this book.
If I could tie you up, for completely non-sexual sexual reasons, and force you to read this, I wouldn’t because I am a strong supporter of consent. But you should still read this, regardless of if I am exerting my will over you or not.
I’m going to go full Stefan on you right now, and say this book’s got everything! Blood, guts, impressive sniper shots and lots of action. There’s a retired FBI agent with one eye, a prosthetic leg, five foster children, dead old rich lady flashbacks and Page’s dope ability to solve crimes using mathematical algorithms that he does in his head just by looking at things. Seriously, he mental-MacGyver’s the fuck out of some crime scenes.
It’s like borderline dumb but also really cool, so I’m not mad about it.
Continue reading “Review: City of Windows (Lucas Page, #1) by Robert Pobi”
Little, Brown & Company | 2019
Opening Hook: Where’s Waldo the War Criminal?
Main Character: Lindsay’s gonna Lindsay.
Plot Twisty-ness: Typical predictable Patterson
Let’s get this straight, Patterson and I broke up a long time ago. But just like every toxic relationship cycle, sometimes I go back to him.
Specifically, I go back when a new Women’s Murder Club instalment is released. I’ve been reading this series since the first book was published in 2001. I was fifteen, and at that time, I thought Patterson was the epitome of great crime fiction. It took me into my 20s, with exposure to crime fiction that was legitimately good, to realize that Patterson isn’t a very good writer, he’s just prolific. And I like a lot of people, confused “popular” with being talented.
That’s not to say people don’t genuinely enjoy his work. Obviously they do, but objectively it’s pretty bad.
Now, I don’t care if you’re the biggest Patterson fan around, I’m not interested in a debate. Go read, write glowing reviews for him to your heart’s content. It affects me zero percent. But my opinion is that he’s a terrible writer. TERRIBLE. But remember, it’s only one opinion. I am not the final say in the matter. So don’t fucking @ me about it.
Every year I make a resolution to not read any Patterson, and every year I break that resolution at least once. This is my one for 2019.
Continue reading “Review: The 18th Abduction (Women’s Murder Club, #18) by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro”
I just wanted to write a quick little post to say THANK YOU so much to everyone who voted in the blogger awards, organized by the lovely May over at Forever & Everly. Please stop by her blog and check out the full list of winners. She worked hard on this and even endured a little undeserved drama, so your clicks and your support are important.
I was nominated in the Mystery/Thriller category along with some other amazing bloggers, and it means so much to me that you thought to vote for me. But to put me in a position to win the category? It’s totally mind-blowing.
In all seriousness, I’m deeply touched by how you’ve accepted my weird personality and my writing voice in this small internet space I’ve carved out for myself.
Continue reading “The Third Annual Book Blogger Awards: I Fucking Won! This is my “Thank You.””
Ballantine Books | 2018
Opening Hook: Basic bitch googles body burial.
Main Character: Good girl gone bad and gets a Swiss bank account.
Plot Twisty-ness: Call the gangster in prison to fix it.
What can I say? I fucking liked this. But it’s going to be a love it or hate it kind of book for readers because it’s different and crammed with multiple genres and plot elements. So, if you read it because I gave my elusive stamp of approval and walk away thinking I must have been high, then one: you’re right. and two: I’m also high right now.
Please don’t lose trust in me, but this worked for me. I readily admit that might have a lot to do with the audiobook quality because that shit was fucking FIRE.
The author narrates, and at first I was like that’s kind of weird, but then I found out she’s an actress who has been in things like Downton Abbey (never watched it, don’t act surprised.) Seriously, try the audiobook if you’re looking for maximum entertainment from this novel, because Catherine Steadman burns it down.
Continue reading “Review: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman”