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Loser Baby

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Jasmine Frank is missing.

It’s a humid summer morning in Santa Ana, California, and her twin brother Jordan abruptly finds himself on a desperate search—fearing the worst. The party last night got way out of hand, and his brain is still chemically fried. But this is Jasmine’s story. She’s awakened far from home to her own mystery: She’s unwittingly stolen something from the
Paperback, 318 pages
Published August 2nd 2021 by Dark Highway Press
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Average rating 4.43  · 
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
”How quickly optimism could turn to excrement! She could already barely recall or even imagine her spirits as she and Jordan had arrived at Tommy’s house--her first real night out in months. Getting her first look at the people already inside, the thump of the assaultive music, the drinks just waiting, the dopey laughter. The prospect of talking to real people. But they’d never really gotten there, had they? Things had started going all sideways after only an hour. Conversations edgy with meansp ...more
To most people when they hear about California’s iconic Orange County, they think of the bored Newport Beach housewives at Fashion Island or the giggling teenagers at pre-covid Disneyland. In Loser Baby, Bovberg strips that illusion from the stage and introduces readers to the rest of The real OC, filled with rundown apartments, skanky homeless methheads, and a drug addled teenagers racing down crowded boulevards on their way to drown out their nightmares.

Loser Baby introduces us to a pair of lu
Linda Strong

The party, by all accounts, was a success. People staggered looking for more booze, some had their brains fried from the drugs, there was loud music and there was more.

Jordan was one of the attendees, along with his twin sister, Jasmine. But Jasmine is missing. She woke in a strange place with a plastic bag filled with something she took from Tommy Strafe .. a dangerous man, a man who wouldn't hesitate to shoot you if you even blinked the wrong way.

Tommy is steaming mad and now both men
Jim Thomsen
Aug 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-noir
When literary agents write articles or speak at conferences, they talk about how they need to be grabbed by "voice" when they're looking over a manuscript. Yes, eventually the story has to be in place, but agents need to know by the first page whether or not the voice compels them to turn to the second one. By "voice" we mean that often elusive blend of talent, craft and self-assurance in one's individual identity, or something like that, that tells us this person has a story to tell, that it's ...more
Wesley Mead
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If the title of Jason Bovberg's excellent new thriller brings to mind Beck's most famous single, you're not alone. Bovberg opens Loser Baby with a duo of quotations: Heraclitus' musings on change being life's only constant, and Beck's stream-of-consciousness spin on life's relentless pain: "time is a piece of wax falling on a termite that's choking on the splinters". The characters that populate the sprawling, gritty SoCal landscape of Loser Baby are certainly au fait with both pain and change, ...more
Mike Parish
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This story reminds me of something I heard while serving Jury duty years ago. "Hell has no angels as witnesses". In this gritty, action packed, thrill ride set in Santa Ana Ca and surrounding OC, Mr. Bovberg tells a gripping story about escaping the past, codependency, betrayal, and redemption. The majority of the tale takes place over the course of a Saturday, in the aftermath of a drug fueled party night before. Presented from the point of view of 12 different major and minor characters, it we ...more
Amanda Kassner
May 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I finished Loser Baby quite a few days ago, but I've had trouble coming up with my review.  Why?  Because there's absolutely no way I could adequately explain, summarize, or expound intelligently about this story without ruining it for you.  I'll do my best, but geez-o-pete you really need to read it for yourself. 

Mr. Bovberg has created a story that's very complex and yet at the same time very simple.  The premise is simple - there's a party, a robbery, and a chase. Where it gets complex is the
May 09, 2021 rated it liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to read this ARC!

Loser Baby was a wild ride, that’s for sure. Action packed and unrelenting, there is no dull moment in the 24 hours Jordan searches for his missing twin sister, Jasmine. Coming off a high, possibly mentally unstable, and probably obsessed with his sister, Jordan is the epitome of an unreliable, complex narrator. I loved Jordan’s character because I didn’t know if I could trust him; I wanted to strangle him for his rash de
Scott Firestone
Jul 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Jasmine Frank is missing--gone after a drug-addled night at an L.A. party. Her twin brother wants to find her but doesn't know where to start. And to make matters worse, Jasmine did something--a dumb something--at that party, and it sets in motion the 24 hours covered in Loser Baby, author Jason Bovberg's gritty noir thriller.

Bovberg had an uphill battle to please me, because I don't really like noir fiction. It's too fatalistic. Too dark. Too crude. And Loser Baby is all of those things. (The
May 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A killer thriller filled with humor!

LOSER BABY is a suspenseful page-turner that's dark in places and flat-out hilarious in others! One minute, you're laughing out loud at the dialog or some wild plot turn, and the next you're crying over something genuinely emotional that has happened to one of these beautiful misfits. I really really loved this book! In fact, I plan to read it again to catch anything I missed. SO good! One thing that really impressed me about LOSER BABY was the rotating points
Jason Bovberg
Sep 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Really proud of this one. It combines three things that have been important to me in my life: neo-noir crime fiction, my daughters' generational attitudes, and my origins in sunny-scuzzy SoCal. Hope you give it a shot! ...more
Rich Rosell
May 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Jason Bovberg - he of the terrific 'Blood' zombie trilogy - shifts gears a bit with 'Loser Baby'.

Instead of the undead 'Loser Baby' is set in the dark underbelly of SoCal, with young twin sibs Jasmine and Jordan Frank finding themselves woven into the dangerous lives of a number of unsavory types. There's drugs and violence and a wonderful assortment of oddball types, all swirling around a missing coin collection.

The character of Jasmine is 17-year-old whirlwind , the sort of free spirited femm
Steven Netter
May 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
READ MY FULL REVIEW AT Best Thriller Books

Loser Baby is straight merciless tragedy with intense, unrelenting and unrepentant action throughout.

Make sure to check out the full review
Sep 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Review

A gritty and surreal look into the various facets of life in Orange County, author Jason Bovberg does an incredible job of capturing the atmosphere and culture of the O.C. area and those living in it. As someone who grew up in Southern California and has family from Orange County, it was fascinating to see the setting and atmosphere come to life like that, as the O.C. has so many different layers and cultures bubbling within it, and this book really brought that to life.

Yet it was the
James Powell
Jul 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-crime
I read this over only a few days, a speed I rarely pull off anymore. But I was hooked from the opening chapter, and to put it simply, I NEEDED to know what happened next. The tension ratchets up steadily from the start right up until that epic conclusion.

Loser Baby reads like a book a young Quentin Tarantino would want to film. Lots of tension, great pacing, and plenty of people behaving badly until it all explodes in a finale that couldn't happen any other way.
Pat Fayo Reviews
Aug 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
I have not read any books by Jason Bovberg before and to be honest, the cover had nothing to draw me in. Once I read the book and looked at the cover again, I definitely saw it very differently and the girl on the cover stole my heart. This book was a fast paced thriller that started out as a typical set of twins, Jasmine and Jordan, looking for a night of fun. In the beginning of the book, the twins appeared to be very innocent teens who were bored. They were looking for something totally out o ...more
Margaret Yelton
Aug 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Loser Baby by Jason Bovberg, this was a new author for me one I had never heard of before although he does seem to have other books to his credit. I don't believe I have ever read a book that every character in the book seems to be a loser, which I can no longer say now. When Jasmine and her twin brother leave home hoping to find a better life they went from bad and jumped into the fire. Ending up at a drug fueled party Jasmine ends up taking something that she shouldn't have and now the search ...more
Darcia Helle
I saw the cover of Loser Baby, and decided I had to read this book before I even knew what it was about.

Turns out this is gritty crime fiction featuring a bunch of young adults living precariously in the gray zone of life.

The story revolves around Jordan and Jasmine, runaway siblings with a codependent relationship. Jordan is an uptight worrier, while Jasmine is looking for adventure. Their push-and-pull dynamics lead to all sorts of trouble.

All the featured characters have narrating parts, whic
Aug 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley for an early e-reader version of this book.

Everyone is a loser in this book. From Jasmine and Jordan Frank to everyone they encounter in the course of one 24-hour period. Jasmine, having fled with her twin brother, Jordan, from an abusive home, goes missing, and that is where the fun starts. Through a frenetic tour of a SoCal town, the reader is introduced to various characters, all with secrets and wants that they don't share with anyone. It leads to a brilliant conclusi
Faith Hurst-Bilinski
Jul 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I rarely choose a book by it's cover. I've heard the warning. But I picked this one up from the cover and the title makes me start singing the old Beck song. I was immediately drawn in. This is the Orange County I use to know and still hate. Orange county is a study in extremes and the noir vision of it in this one is the extreme people outside of Southern California never see anymore. I found myself drawn back to the places I went in the early 90s that I wouldn't go anywhere near now! But twins ...more
Angie Blocker
Aug 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Wow! What a ride!! I loved this book and I thought just about everyone was guilty at one point or another. Lol! I loved how each chapter was told from a different character's point of view. Just when I would think that I had it figured out...twist! I love that about a book. I don’t want to figure it out. I love the surprise of finding out, “who done it”. The author had me laughing out loud several times. The things that were said totally cracked me up. ...more
Jane Pettitt
Aug 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
A fast paced read. Jasmine and her tin leave home to escape that misery. They find themselves in with despicable people who would kill you and rob you blind. Jasmine accidentally takes something of value. Tommy is irate and hung her down. Dark and gritty. Enjoy!
Jul 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Loser Baby starts with an chaotic visceral start that is reminiscent of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Bovberg throws the reader directly into the action of a drug-fueled party without any background and hooks the reader with flashes of character insight and trickled-out background which ends up turning the novel into a gritty journey of discovery.

Without spoiling anything, there is a theft, there are a couple people missing, and the reader is trying to piece it all together.

What I found part
Fatima Sevivas Silva
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Jason Bovberg is the author of Loser Baby, the Blood trilogy (Blood Red, Draw Blood, and Blood Dawn) and The Naked Dame, a pulp noir novel. He is the founder of Dark Highway Press, which published Robert Devereaux’s controversial Santa Steps Out, as well as the highly acclaimed weird-western anthology Skull Full of Spurs. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his wife Barb, his daughters Harper ...more

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