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Without Condition

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Winner of the Ladies of Horror Fiction Award for Best Novel (2019).

Cara Vineyard lives a quiet life in rural North Carolina. She works for an emerging brewery, drives her truck late at night, and lives with her mother on a former pumpkin farm. Her mother is proud of her and keeps a wall displaying all of Cara’s accomplishments.

Cara isn’t so much proud as she is bored. She’
Paperback, 340 pages
Published February 12th 2019
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 Stars

I fell into this dark character study from the very start and never fell out of it which is a bit of a rarity for me.

Without Condition takes its time building the story and focuses on the coming of age of a lonely little girl named Cara who lives on an isolated former pumpkin farm with only her mother and a farm hand for company. Cara looks forward to school and meeting kids her age but a bad encounter in kindergarten sets the tone for the rest of her school years. She’s bullied and w
Tracy Robinson
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 -4 stars.

I read Without Condition as part of a group read with a few of the other members of the Ladies of Horror Fiction team. We had some amazing conversations regarding some of the life issues brought up in this novel, and maybe - just maybe - some entertaining discussion covering body disposal techniques. It got dark, people.

The first chapter of this book hooked me in quickly. Cara put me in mind of a female vigilante/serial killer and I loooove books on this topic. In fact, the first
Steve Stred
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
**Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews!**

Well, I wasn’t expecting this.

When I was approached to see if I was interested in taking this on to review, I wasn’t familiar with the author or her writing style at all. I saw the synopsis and replied – ‘what genre would this be classified as?’ The author kindly replied (and I can’t find the email so this isn’t a direct quote) – ‘horror romance.’

In the recent past this would have been easily a hard no for me. I’m really open to checking anythi
Jen (LOHF/Book Den)
I'm continuing my Women in Horror Month reviews with Without Condition by Sonora Taylor.

This is a tough review for me only because I was the wrong audience for this one.

The character development in Without Condition was great. I read this as a group read with several of the Ladies of Horror Fiction team, and we had some really great discussions after reading about the main character's childhood and experiences with bullying.

Without Condition was also well written and a quick read.

The only reason
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Nothing disrupted a whisper faster than a slit throat."

3.5⭐ - Without Condition begins with a solid opening chapter, and I was really excited since there are not a ton of female slasher books, especially ones written by women. However, while this book had horror aspects at the beginning and end, it was really more of a dark romance everywhere else. This isn't a bad thing, but I sometimes have a difficult time staying focused on romantic stories. I think it's going to be perfect for the reader
Suzy Michael
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
Without Condition by Sonora Taylor takes a look into the disturbed, twisted mind of a serial killer. And a female serial killer nonetheless. The reader gets a detailed understanding about why the protagonist has become what she has become, and what challenges come with the way she deals with her demons. This is not a horror story, but a somber and sobering look at how bullying and abuse can shape a destiny and the deadly consequences of unconditional love.
Cara Vineyard lives on a pumpkin farm wi
V. Castro
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wrote previously that Cara could be a cousin of Aileen Wuornos.
The book begins when she is a child and follows her into adulthood, but Cara isn't like other girls or women. She is slightly anit-social with a taste for murder.
I enjoyed this book because Sonora gives us a fresh female character with her sexual freedom and not conforming to make others happy. The story also makes you feel sympathic towards Cara and her family, you never know which way it is going to go for her.
Read this book i
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This doesn’t line up with the handful of other stories I’ve seen that come at things from a serial killer’s point of view. It isn’t the stream-of-consciousness of an unhinged mind. It isn’t highly stylized or hyper-violent. It isn’t a cat-and-mouse game with the authorities. And it isn’t wacky humor. Instead, it turns a social outcast into a protagonist I could actually get invested in. I found myself rooting for her relationship with Jackson, wanting her to be able to trust him and be happy wit ...more
Sheri White
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
This book was a blast. It went from 0-60 in no time at all, and had me riveted. Cara is such a great character; she's not like the usual serial killer horror trope where the killer just kills and kills with nothing else going on. Cara is not a Jason or Michael Myers. She carries a lot of hurt and sorrow inside, and just needs to let it out the only way she knows how.

But then she meets Jackson, and things change a bit for her. Instead of wanting to kill him, she wants to be with him. She is shock
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it

WITHOUT CONDITION by Sonora Taylor is an intense character study about a serial killer who falls in love. There are two parts to this story. First, we meet Cara. We watch her grow up and learn how she becomes a serial killer. Then, we watch her fall in love. The two parts of the book seemed disjointed to me at first, but finally came together in the best, most satisfying conclusion.

I love the way Taylor writes. She pulls me into the story and I cannot escape.
Amanda Mcgrory-dixon
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you love a good serial killer read, this is your kind of book. It starts out with a bang and kept me turning the pages in suspense. I really liked how the author explored how Cara, our serial killer, so deeply fell for someone as she continued her rampage. It added an interesting human element to such a dark, twisted character.
Heather Horror Hellion
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was expecting much more slicing and dicing.

This book can be described as darkly sweet.

It's really not about killing as much as it is about relationships.

The mother daughter relationship was heartbreaking. A daughter growing up wanting to be on her own, and a mother planted in her ways of staying still.

Relationships: there are relationships in this book and sex. I for one enjoy a good romance now and again and this woman can write a steamy scene. I also loved how not all the characters were he
Kevin L
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never thought I’d be reading a book with a serial killer main protagonist that I’d be rooting for, but here I am. And it’s also a sweet romance book. And just really good.
Sonora Taylor
Dec 03, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: books-i-wrote
Just finished my last round of revisions, and now it's off to my beta readers. I'm still kind of processing that, on my end at least, the book is done.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I am always a fan of authors who know the value of unrushed yet well paced character development, and from page one, Sonora Taylor delivers. Her smooth interweaving of the present and the past also simultaneously develops a plot that is creative and—disturbingly—unique.

When Horror slips into Dark Romance, the seemingly off-kilter transition first bumps, then works: how else might Cara capture the quiet of “normalcy” without this shift? There was one spot where I felt the timing/opportunity
Baker St Shelves
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Meet Cara. Your average woman who’s a truck driver for a beer company and friendly enough to give rides to hitchhikers. It just happens that they wind up dead. Hey, everyone needs a hobby.
Cara lives with her mom, Dolores and the two have a very open and loving relationship as we see it develop over Cara’s school years.
More interestingly is how we take the time to see that Cara was bullied by girls and this was a big part of her often aloof personality.
Along the way, she meets a man named Jackson
Erin Al-Mehairi
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
If King's Carrie had turned into a serial killer, and your setting was the backwoods country life, you'd have Without Condition. It's a murderous mayhem of revenge and fix culminating in horrifying shows of unconditional love. I'll never look at a beat-up old truck without apprehension again.

Overall this novel is a simmering read that is a character-study on the female protagonist, Cara. The novel deals with her dark side, the relationship she has with her enabling mother, and then her romance w
Well Read Beard
Rating/review to come.
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Ladies of Horror ...: Without Condition 5 21 Jun 28, 2019 07:26AM  

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Sonora Taylor is the award-winning author of Little Paranoias: Stories, Without Condition, The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales, Please Give, and Wither and Other Stories. Her short stories have appeared in multiple publications, including Camden Park Press’s Quoth the Raven, Kandisha Press’s Women of Horror Vol. 2: Graveyard Smash, The Sirens Call, Frozen Wavelets, Mercurial Stories, Tales to Terrify, ...more

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