The Wife Stalker took its place at the top of my TBR over the eleventy other library books I have checked out due to the fact that after reading Your House Will Pay I was suffering a severe book hangover and needed some sort of buffer before moving on. These fillers can come in the shape of romcoms, thrillers or chicklit and trust me when I say I read a lot – and I mean A. L.O.T. – of “trash” and absolutely dig it most of the time.
The premise here was one that I should have loved. Husband and wife have a couple of kids and things are going well enough until a new chick comes into the picture. That’s all you get because between that one sentence and the title you probably can figure out where it goes from there. The low rating here comes from me whining to myself and making snarky notes on the Kindle the entire time I was reading it until the twist came near the end to make sense of things. These characters were totally undeveloped and the timeline was sooooooo fast-forwarded that I just couldn’t let myself get taken away by the over-the-top storyline like I usually can. Not to mention the extra twist that got thrown in (why authors???? why?????) And the dialogue? We’re talking a literary merit of something like . . . . .
Can I take a minute to address the absolute brilliance of an author who refuses to EVER use a quotation mark writing a book entitled Conversations With Friends that almost completely consists of conversations . . . . .
Anyway, this one wasn’t quite as mind-blowing as Normal People, but at this point I feel pretty confident saying if Rooney writes it, Imma probably read it. I like broken people and not-really-okay romantic entanglements the way she delivers them. Sometimes it’s just nice to read something where you don’t have to like the characters or their actions in order to still become fully invested in the story.
I started this while waiting for my kids’ nine millionth baseball game of the year to start because I had a paper copy and the glare was so horrific there was no way I could read any of my Kindle options. I figured it would pass the hour warm-up period and I would put it away easily. That was not the case. Instead I read this cover to cover and someone had to give me a shove whenever my kid came up to bat because I was pretty much in a trance.
Not for everyone, but it was certainly for me . . . .
Oh 2020 – So far you’ve delivered a pandemic, swarms of locusts and murder hornets, cyclones, hurricanes (even a surprise July tornado a few miles North of me last week here in flyover country that had the sirens blaring), raging wildfires, social uprising, deaths of more than a handful of beloved famous people, etc., etc., etc. You’ve been a trial for sure . . . .
Sad as it may sound, Stephenie Meyer having a rethink about releasing the ol’ Midnight Sun may be just what a lot of us needed right now. I’m not going to bother discussing literary merit or writing ability generically, nor will I be opining on the “toxicity” of a fictional relationship between a Sparkle Vampire and a Mary Sue (I just know as an old lady my supernatural books tend to have a lot more penetration than these children’s novels). Hell, I’m not even going to rate it because *spoiler alert: Edward was sooooooo boring in this and Goodreads does not have negative stars* All I know is I was absolutely compelled to be a completionist of this series, saved a gift card from Mother’s Day until August just so I could get my hands on it the day it released without any guilty conscience whatsoever and that it sucked two entire days of my life up in a time where the minutes drag on like years. It did exactly what it was supposed to do.
I would loooooooooooooooooooove to read New Moon from Jacob’s perspective next . . . .
After watching the marriages of all of the other couples belonging to their friend group “The Core Four” disintegrate, Mtch and Jessica come to the conclusion that perhaps desperate times truly do call for desperate measures and decide the solution to a happy marriage might come in the form of a . . . .
So I owe both NetGalley and Matthew Norman a giant apology since I’m the one who requested an early copy of this, held on to it for an age and then actively avoided it because when I finally got around to reading the blurb (you know your girl is all about a cover, and this was a good one), I assumed it would not be my cup of tea. I have no idea why I decided to take the plunge yesterday, but holy crap am I glad I did. I read this author once before (Domestic Violets) when the library didn’t have the book of his I actually wanted (We’re All Damaged) and was a bit underwhelmed. This time? Oh yes indeedy are the comparisons to Jonathan Tropper spot on and I effing LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED this. After wrongreadng a book on Saturday (due to a plethora of reasons, I’m sure, but bad dialogue was definitely one of them), this little diddy was a breath of fresh air come Sunday and I sat on the deck for the afternoon and sucked it right up. I loooooooooooove dialogue driven stories – especially witty dialogue that just flows without attempting to try too hard – and this one was near perfection. I also love realistic marriages and children and ensemble casts so this had soooooo many things going for it. And yes, the subject matter of cheating is absolutely one I generally avoid, but this book covered this hot-button issue with feeling and humor that made my end-of-book reaction simply . . . . .
^^^^That’s me upon finishing this book (complete with the petite frame and good looks). But on a more serious note – WHERE THE HELL DID THIS COME FROM? Y’all should be pretty aware by now since I make note of it ALL. OF. THE. TIME. that I am not a fan of “face covers” and NONE of my Goodreads friends have read this. How the heck did I hear about it? I am perplexed. Anyway, who knows how I came to snag this from the library, but snag it I did and read just enough of the blurb to see that it was going to be about the discovery of a woman’s body near a bridge known for being a place where people commit suicide. Presumed to be the case here as well, however, as no suicide was found protocol must be followed by the local police in order to sign off and release the body.
I wouldn’t call this a literary thriller . . . . .
Talk about taking a super-sensitive topic like domestic violence and just punching you in the face with it. From sheer brutality, to emotional abuse, to gaslighting, to stereotyping and bias, and all wrapped up in a mystery that at the end of the day doesn’t really even matter if it ends as a murder or suicide because everything else covered is so much more important, The Keeper is a difficult book to read, but one that does not shy away from its subject matter.
Highly recommended if you don’t mind dark themes in your thrillers. ...more
Things get complicated when Grace discovers that someone has picked up on her little secret - and due to his own line of work he ain't scurrrrrrred.
This wasn’t a terrible way to spend a couple of hours. I’m a fan of dark humor and killing bad dates is fairly dark. I’m also a fan of twisted love stories and this one ranks pretty high up there for that as well. It isn’t a book that will change your life, but it might be a book that keeps you on the FBI watch list when the library tells you the Winter Reading Challenge is to “Imagine That” and you can’t imagine something more enjoyable than murdering every dude who you didn't want to go out with again with no repercussions *wink*
And that right there was #5, kids. Thanks for following along and see you all in the summer when the major award I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed will be some sort of glass that holds an alcoholic beverage and yet another theme I’m sure to whine about.
Little did I know the story itself could have easily been inspired by those snarky little snaps that I find so amusing.
Aspiring author Alice is a modern day “housewife” (not necessarily by choice, but you’ll find out more about that if you read the book). She and her husband Nate have just moved from the Big Apple to suburban life, bought a fixer upper and are hopeful Alice will soon be barefoot and pregnant . . . .
When Alice stumbles upon a box of old magazines, Nellie’s family cookbook and is later gifted a pile of letters from Nellie to her mother that the neighbor has saved for ages, she begins channeling her own inner domestic goddess and finds inspiration for her potential book. But the more she reads, the more she uncovers . . . . .
I really didn’t expect this book to suck me in the way it did, but boy howdy did it. From the dual narratives to the “helpful hints” on how to be a good wife rather than some shrieking harpy to the recipes, I just couldn’t stop turning pages. I actually have a recipe box rather than book with notes like the ones in here, had to call my mother-in-law for backup at 5:00 a.m. the first Thanksgiving I cooked on my own because I had no clue what the eff “oleo” was (that was before Google since I am a dinosaur), and 100% have been horrified by the vast amounts of gelatin-based “salads” and “high-end” appetizers my Grandmother chose to pass down just like some contained in this book . . .
“It’s called ‘Hollywood Dunk.’ An appetizer from the fifties.”
“What’s in that?”
“Deviled ham. Chives. Onion. Horseradish. It’s chopped up deli ham mixed with mayonnaise, mustard, hot pepper sauce, and salt and pepper, and then you blend it a bit. Then you add the chives, onion, and horseradish. Oh, and the last thing is whipped cream. Can’t forget that.”
“Why would you make this? To eat?”
(In case you want to make this sure-to-be-delicious concoction for your next Bunco gathering, you serve it with a big ol’ bowl of chips.)
I definitely don't think this will be a winner for everyone, but I was completely enthralled by the whole dang thing and I’m giving it all the Stars. ...more
The Pisces is another ill-fated little romance read that comes to mind when I think of who might want to give this one a go.
The story here is of Rachel and Thomas. She sees him at the bus stop for weeks on end, always with a letter to mail. Eventually she decides to follow him and they ride all the way to the end of the line together. He informs her that some bad things have happened to him that he’s not allowed to talk about and that he will only be in town for about another month. Her best pal assumes he’s either married or a criminal. She has a moment that I have no idea was intentional or not, but very reminiscent of . . .
I realize that it may seem like a bit of apples and oranges – so let me explain. The problem with Dominicana is there is not much to it. Told from the perspective of 15-year old Ana who has been (smuggled, pretty much) into America by a “husband” twice her age, you only get to know what she knows and/or understands which translates into some pretty flat characters. Ana’s life mainly consists of the small apartment where she and Juan live and when monumental historical events (i.e., Malcolm X’s assassination) conveniently happen literally outside of her door she’s oblivious to their significance (which make them seem thrown in just to remind readers that this is an attempt at being a “historical” novel). Juan, the kidnapper/husband (depending on your viewpoint, I guess) has a job, is able to send money back to the DR and invests in property acquisition/building development with his brothers, but no details are given regarding anything. The story development would lead you to believe this arranged marriage was organized in order to benefit Juan’s family, yet he holds up his end of the bargain (spoiler here so watch out (view spoiler)[regarding bringing Ana’s mother and brother to the U.S. (hide spoiler)]). Why? Because family? I don’t buy it. Not from a rapey drunken abuser. Oh, and that’s another thing. Way to perpetuate racial stereotypes there. FFS, are authors today incapable of writing hardworking immigrant men? It’s like a damn dead horse being beaten. What else can I slam? Oh yeah, the writing is bizarre (I seriously thought this was a YA novel for a giant chunk), the school of Cormac McCarthy has been followed when it comes to the non-usage of quotation marks and the ending is pretty much unbelievable (again spoilsies: (view spoiler)[the mother who pretty much whored out her own child all of a sudden feels bad/finds it unacceptable that said child is a victim of domestic violence? (hide spoiler)] Yeah right).
So where does In the Heights come in? Well, not only is it set in the same neighborhood, but it does explain all of things Dominicana does not. You get to know where the characters came from originally and how they ended up in The Heights and you know their hopes and dreams and goals and who they love and why they love them and how important family truly is (whether via birth or simply association). Not to mention they are like the majority of immigrants who are hard-working and not women trying to have an anchor baby as soon as they set foot in the country or men who are all wife beaters! It is well written (by a TEENAGER, no less) and also????? It has songs I can drive my family crazy singing all the time . . . .
I might recommend Dominicana to a high schooler looking for some diversity in their reading repertoire, but I don’t know if (m)any of my Goodreads friends would dig it. I’d be interested to see their take.
I don't think I'll ever stop doubting why Average Joes feel their story is one to be told, – especially ones like The Glass Castle or this that air alllllllllllllllllllllll of the family’s dirty laundry to the world. I automatically assume it’s due to the fact that . . . . .
There’s just something about the trainwreck factor that sucks me right in. And the story here about a mother using her child as her confidante as she engages in a decades-long affair with her husband’s best friend????
Malabar (Barf, right? How could she not be a complete douche?) would have made for a great Real Housewife of Cape Code and could have seriously used a copy of the APA’s Textbook of Psychiatry . . . . .
Barely able to keep her head above water by waiting tables while attending art school, she really finds herself in a bind when she’s fired from her job and her roommates start demanding all the back rent/bill money she owes them. Welcome to the SUGAR BOWL! A potentially lucrative new venture a classmate introduces Natalie to where wealthy gentlemen pay attractive young women for their companionship. It’s there Natalie meets (and promptly falls for) Gabe. But rather than this . . . .
It is, however, a Lifetime Stabs and Stabbies for Women type of drama. The story (aside from the Sugar Daddy angle) isn’t particularly fresh, the characters are all halfway developed and fully uggo, and the twists and turns aren’t too hard to spot. But that’s the reason it works. Basically . . . .
I don’t know where this popped up (I highly doubt it was Goodreads’ recommendation feature since (a) it’s a script not a book and I’ve never had that happen and (b) it’s something I would actually want to read). It wasn’t via a friend either because only a few of them have read it and none posted a detailed review. That leaves either Instagram or the library . . . . .
Not that it matters much, but I do like to give credit where credit is due. To be honest, I requested this from the library just because it had a house on the cover. Yep, I’m that easy of a sell. I had no idea this won the Pulitzer, or all the Tonys or that it was adapted into a feature film. I just know I like house covers. But now that I’ve read it and am aware of all of the above, I’ve definitely been broadcasting my intelligence around the office . . . .
The story here is told in three Acts. Act I features various family members congregating back at the ol’ homestead when it is discovered the patriarch is missing. By Act II he’s dead and takes place after his funeral. Act III? Well, by the time that came around I was like . . . . .
Quick background before things get started. I have read nearly everything (didn’t move past the first Never Never (if you know me you know I don’t generally do series/serials so that’s not a huge shocker) and the blurb for Folsom didn’t really appeal to me so I haven’t picked that one up yet). Buuuuut Tarryn Fisher is an author who makes me break my own rules and I have read past #1 in a series when it was her writing it and her stuff is all purple (or at least lavender) which frequently makes me get an eye twitch and yet somehow she gets a pass and on and on and on. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut (longer but that time) don’t mistake me for some rabid fangirl. My ratings regarding her stories run the gamut. However, I’m first in line to buy them and yes I said BUY meaning I let the moths out of the handbag whenever there’s a new release because somehow the library hasn’t realized I need instant gratification despite all of my fit throwing and I know even if I don’t like whatever the new release is, it will still be different from what nearly any other author I happen to be reading at the time has written . . . .
All of the above was mentioned because this was the first advanced copy I have ever received of one of Fisher’s books and my reaction was pretty much like a bunch of schoolteachers getting a free car on the Oprah show . . . .
“He comes over on Thursday of every week. That’s my day. I’m Thursday.”
You see, there are a Monday and a Tuesday as well. They just don’t know each other. But when information is literally dropped into “Thursday’s” lap via a scrap of paper regarding a woman named Hannah, she can’t help but do a little investigating. And when Hannah exhibits the signs of an abused spouse, Thursday feels like she needs to dig a little further into all of her husband’s marriages – including her own.
Confession: I literally redecorated my deck in order to read this. I’d say it was just a coincidence, but I for real had this book for a week or two waiting on a break in the weather so I could take my coffee outside and just let Tarryn Fisher’s crazy take me wherever it wanted to go. And lemme tell you – I can’t (a/k/a won’t) spoil things, but right about the halfway part I was like . . . .
If you pick this up and think it’s a bit of a slow roller, I advise you to hang in there. I was sucked in right from the start, but the second half is where this baby delivers. 4 Stars worth of crazy yumminess!
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
The jumping off point to this story is when Jessa-Lynn finds her daddy has blown his brains out on the specimen table in the family’s taxidermy shop. From there we meet the other members of the family – brother Milo whose wife that left him also happened to be Jessa-Lynn’s girlfriend, Milo’s daughter Lolee (who was pretty much the daughter I’ve never had), his stepson Bastien – back from rehab and a man of dubious means, and their mother – recent widow turned pornographic taxidermy artist. These were my people. What can I say . . . .
Ha! Not really. I’m about as basic as they come. However, I’m also pretty much white trash so I fell head over heels for all of these quirky misfits. I mean, if there was ever a book designed for me it would be one about a dysfunctional family who owns a taxidermy shop, right?!?!?!? For realz . . . .
With my father gone, gag taxidermy paid the rent. I pinned antlers to rabbit heads stuffed with foam cuttings, shellacked frogs propped at miniature card tables, boiled a million alligator skulls, mouths stuffed with pointy teeth painted blue and orange for UF football fans. I turned ducklings into mermaids, fish tails shimmering green-gold.
STFU John Oliver! Dear Florida: Never stop being you.
At the end of the day this was a bizarre little book about getting through the grieving process and finding yourself. Definitely not a book for everyone (very detailed in description of creating a mount – not to mention the way some of the animals were acquired), but Mitchell and I liked it enough for everyone. Just look how happy it made him . . . .
Or, at minimum, you are someone with a decent memory because it is very similar to the poem by Wallace Stevens. If you feel so inclined to Google said poem, you’ll find that Wiki says . . . .
The poem consists of thirteen short, separate sections, each of which mentions blackbirds in some way.
Such is the case with 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl. Intertwined vignettes where our MC (and, more importantly, her body) interacts with friends, co-workers, children, sexual partners, store clerks, her mother, her husband, the perfect Diane von Furstenberg dress, other women, etc. We watch as Lizzie morphs into Beth who then changes to Elizabeth who then becomes Liz as she grows from high school aged to adulthood and from fat to thin. We see how she views herself through these various ages and stages as well as how others view her via different perspectives being presented rather than Lizzie’s alone.
I picked this up pretty much immediately after reading the über bizarre Bunny because it was undeniable this was an author who could write . . . I just wasn’t smart enough to get all that she was putting down. This one, however? Holy crap. Talk about powerful and obviously someone who JUST. GETS. IT. Not to mention all the emotion is delivered without resorting to tragiporn or some pathetic trope or making us wallow in a billion pages. Mona Awad????? You are amazing.
You ever have the experience when you run into an acquaintance at the grocery store or in an elevator or a parking lot or some other random public place and ask what you feel is a pretty benign question like “how’s it going?” only to have that person fucking UNLEASH their life on you and tell you all about their cheating husband and demise of their marriage and you’re all like . . . .
Or you respond with something like “we got a new cat” because you don’t know how to communicate like a normal human to begin with and especially when you get word vomit all over you? Yeah, that’s what reading this book was like.
So, here are the things I knew about this one before I started:
1. It was all over Instagram;
2. It was a revenge story; and
3. It took place in the penis of America Florida during an oncoming hurricane.
What I didn’t know was that this author had a cheating spouse and decided to put pen to paper in order to work out her feelings. Ummmmm, maybe she should have chosen therapy instead or . . . .
No, Nic. It’s “RIDICULOUS™.” But I love some trashy Lifetime shit every once in a while so I was totally game to give this one a shot. Unfortunately, it lost me by the 13% mark when our betrayed leading lady uttered the phrase:
“It’s just life, Lily. You can’t be afraid of life.”
“Sure I can.”
Lily isn’t like most 19-year old travelers. She had no silver spoon in her mouth or bottomless trust fund available for her to backpack around Europe. However, she still had a wanderer’s heart so when an opportunity to teach in Bolivia appeared she was all over it. When the job fell through, she holed up in the cheapest youth hostel she could find and ended up falling for a local named Omar who will show her the Amazon most people only read about.
Who have been trying to find a mahogany grove for ages which will lead to deforestation and obliteration of the Tatinga tribe.
I loved The River at Night by this author and loved this one just as much. I don’t care if it was farfetched or unrealistic or whatever else naysayers want to point out. All I know is that Ferencik’s storytelling is hypnotizing, I enjoyed the undertones regarding conservation and the fragility of the Amazonian ecosystem without being beaten over the head by an eco-warrior (looking at YOU, Barbara Kingsolver), and I am now pretty much ready to poison myself with insect repellant every time I go in my backyard after reading about what bug bites could potentially do to my body. That equals a high rating and a two-for-two author who I will definitely continue to read....more
Yeesh. That’s low. Of course that means I loved it. #wrongreader4eva
The story here is a fairly simple one. After being married to Jacob for ages, Lizzie finally had enough one day and offed him. Left with the conundrum of how to dispose of the body in a way that would leave no evidence, Lizzie decided to do the most sensible thing . . . .
The remainder of the book is about Lizzie’s (ever-so-graphic) consumption of Jacob with a side order of . . . .
When I realized that my husband was dead, I also realized I had a chance to live.
Obviously this is not a book for everyone and obviously I kind of love fiction that is a little dark or taboo, which is 100% why I downloaded this from the library as soon as I heard of it. What I didn’t expect was to be presented with a story that was surprisingly an über macabre version of . . . .
This last month, I have had something to do, and I have had love. I am very lucky. It has been perfect.
Full Disclosure: I totally dry-heaved at the eating of the foot. Not only because feet are disgusting when they are attached to living human beings, but because absolutely no detail was spared when it came to the prep work, cooking or ingestion. Consider yourself warned – this is not for the weak stomached so have your barfbags handy....more
Let me make sure y’all have some things straight before we get started. I am not a 20-something. I am not single. I am not British nor am I of Jamaican descent. And yet somehow when it came to this book . . . .
So while I can’t speak for the second, I actually am one of the few it seems who can see why the comparison was made to the first. As mentioned above, Queenie’s story begins with her “taking a break” from her live-in, three year long relationship with her boyfriend Tom. You then follow her as she moves physically from a shared flat to eventually back home with her grandparents and as she moves psychologically from a mindset full of self-sabotage (mainly of the horrifying casual sex variety) to admitting she needs some mental help and coming to terms with the upbringing that helped propel her poor decision making.
I loved Queenie – despite all of her flaws. She was a little Bridget Jones . . .
“I like your hair. It’s really long,”
“Thanks. I bought it myself.”
And since I have not yet read Americanah, I’d say another fair comparison might be a little Eleanor Oliphant . . . .
“The last time you came in here, you had vaginal bruising, some anal tearing, and bruises on your bottom and thighs.”
“Ahhhh, but at least I had my pride.”
Maybe I’m a wrongreader once again, but I think if people can get past the dark backstory and the graphic descriptions regarding Queenie’s bad choices, you’ll find she’s a character a lot of young women could relate to. If nothing else, we could all stand to learn that . . . .
Soooooo what can I say about The Wife Between Us? Well, I can start with the fact that this ARC has probably been on my Kindle for a year and a half, but I actively avoided it after seeing more and more mediocre ratings from friends. I decided to finally give it a go after this duo’s second release began inundating my nerd feeds just like this one had. While reading the first 40% I kept thinking I liked it better the first time I read it when it was called The Girl on the Train, which isn’t saying much . . . . .
I think I have a problem with writing teams when it comes to thrillers. The characters don’t ever seem to get fleshed out, the timeline is consistently wonky, what you are lead to believe are important details either get forgotten for hundreds of pages or thrown by the wayside entirely and the twists and turns become a game of “anything you can do I can do better” which results in a final Kelly and Mitchell reaction of . . . .
The Woman Inside is the latest in a long line of domestic thrillers. This one features a pill addicted wife and a philandering husband. I had a laundry list of issues with it.
To begin with, the blurb tells too much so I’m thankful I didn’t read it before starting. I would have been bummed that the first big “twist” was pretty much spoiled on the back cover.
Next, the timehops. The wibbly-wobbly is used quite frequently in mysteries/thrillers and works okay for me about 50% of the time. However, in this book the time goes from waaaaaay before to immediately before to waaaaaay after to immediately after and everywhere in between with no indication exactly where you are until you read a few paragraphs and figure it out . . . .
YMMV, but as a reader who picks up A LOT of thrillers, attempting to heave everything but the kitchen sink at me doesn't mean diddly. Nothing here was a surprise and I saw it all coming a mile and a half away. There's also a big difference between reading a book that owns how much it is over-the-top and is simply bringing the reader along for a crazy ride and one who tries to take itself seriously while being OTT.
I could have saved myself a lot of time and .gif hunting if curiosity would have got the better of me earlier and I had simply Googled these authors. An article about them in EW disclosed . . . .
Both authors are thriller junkies; they volleyed chapters back and forth, each taking on a POV. “Each chapter is in direct response to the one before, and throwing potential twists at each other. That really was fun,” Wands says. Adds Keenan: “The aim to shock and surprise with each chapter was very motivating. We got a little aggressive.”
Basically this was a game of trying to one-up the other. It didn’t work for me.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
Once again I am the dissenter in the ranks amongst my friends and their high ratings. However, at 3.68 this book doesn’t have a high rating from the masses in general so maybe I didn’t read it completely wrong??? I also chose to pick it up during a time when my attitude was like such . . . .
So maybe that can shoulder part of the blame. Thanks work for being so extra last week, you turd!
I really wanted/expected this to turn my frown upside down. I mean, you know your homegirl likes the stalkers. And all the comparisons to a certain someone being dropped had me expecting You 3.0 - only . . . .
The Perfect Girlfriend had potential. Hell, it started out with our main gal breaking into her ex-boyfriend’s apartment while he was out of town. Her lack of self-awareness even made me chuckle at times . . . .
“I have seven missed calls from Nate and one from James. It feels like harassment.”
Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, it was really slow going for me – the ridiculous(™Ron2.0) was off the charts – which would be A-okay if things didn’t go from farfetched over-the-top storylines to ones that . . . .
Also? I would have MOTHER.EFFING.LUUUUUUUUUUURVED it if Juliette had actually been (view spoiler)[obsessed with her former schoolmate rather than Nate and the opener was simply a red herring before she Single White Femaled her to death (hide spoiler)]. That would have been a fun twist I didn’t see coming. Buuuuuuuuuut, it didn’t happen and what did happen just left me feeling meh.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
But even effin’ David Joy went a little cluk cluk at the end of The Line That Held Us so y’all can just suck a bag if it’s not okay here.
As for me? This is another book/author I have actively avoided for eternity for fear I’d be relegated to the shame corner for wrongreading. After finishing The Great Alone I have this to say to Kristin Hannah . . . .
I’m not sure I’d feel the same about alllllll of her novels, but boy howdy was this a winner.
Now for what it’s about (Dear Professional Blurbist – you are tldr). All you need to know here is this is the story of a family (mom, dad, daughter) who inherit an Alaskan homestead in the 1970s and impulsively relocate. No money, no job prospects, little food, insufficient supplies – oh, and daddy is a former 'Nam POW with PTSD that tends to get worse when it’s cold and dark. What could possibly go wrong?
Leni’s story spans from 1974 to 2009 and is un-put-downable. I could have easily stayed up and read this in one sitting last night. It definitely doesn’t hurt that my neck of the woods is currently a winter wonderland where it’s dark right about the time dinner is finished and the fact that my backyard is a forest. The elements of nature seemed natural and were never over-the-top simply for dramatic purposes. And who needs outside elements when the scariest predator of all is right under your roof? Finally, allow me to introduce you to who is sure to be my favorite female character of 2019 . . . .
I went into this year’s library challenge feeling kind of “meh” about the chosen theme. Now I need to remember where I put my knife and fork in order to make eating all this crow go a little easier. I don’t know that I would have ever made this quest to Alaska if not for this push and now that I’ve done it I can’t imagine not having this experience. Thank you, pornbrary, for having (nearly) all the books, making me take risks and rewarding me so handsomely each year . . . .
A very short while back, my friend Bill was reading this selection and I was pretty sure I needed it in my life too. I gave Real Dan a big shove nudge in its direction too. I figured I would keep an eye out for a $.99 sale or until someone rewarded my oh-so-very-good-all-year behavior with an Amazon gift card come Christmastime and then treat myself. Lucky for me . . . .
But it’s more like where the saké drowns and the comedy porn chases your blues away because Dan got hammered and drunk-purchased this little beauty that he then kindly lent to me. (Isn’t he the best? Answer is yes he is.)
The story here starts with Ralph and Julie, a married couple. Things were perfectly okay in their relationship, until they brought a friend into their bedroom with them . . . .
Then it seemed Ralph couldn’t do anything without his little buddy guiding him along. When Ralph discovers Julie has been on internet dating sites trying to find some replacement smex, he does what any nutcase rational person would do and approaches a stranger to participate in some bad (emphasis on the BAD) intercourse with his wife in order to prove that old adage the grass isn't always greener . . . . but things don’t go quite as planned.
Ha! Who am I kidding? I love it! This story is exactly what it claims to be on the cover: a filthy comedic thriller. What it has in common with Strand’s other stuff? His signature dialogue-driven narrative. He’s one of the best at people doing the talky talky with each other, for sure. This won’t be for everyone – because it absolutely is porny and OTT, but if you’re brave enough to venture out of the “Strand is a HORROR writer” comfort zone, you might find his best stuff falls into other genres.
Undying gratitude to Dan for the lend. Let me know if I ever need to wear my biggest T-shirt in order to hide a gun in my pants for you! ...more
Yeah, you didn’t stop me because you haven’t read anything like this before. The story here is of Millicent and her husband. She’s a real estate agent, he’s the local tennis pro. They live in a coveted neighborhood with their two teenaged children, Rory and Jenna. Oh, and . . . . .
This truly is an exception to the rule. The fact that it is completely over the top and errrrrrrrythang that happens happens is exactly what makes it so fun. All the Starzzzzzzz (and sorry y’all have to wait until March for it to come out.)
Advanced copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. They obviously know who the crazies are....more
Save your breath. I get it. I read it wrong and McNamara was not only a genius, but also this close to DNA swabbing the perp herself and solving the whole shebang. Whatever. I didn’t like it. I still downloaded this book, however, because . . . .
The funny thing is, I disliked I’ll Be Gone In the Dark due to it being so indulgent and lacking in content with regard to the subject matter it claimed to be tackling. This one is nothing but indulgent and no real “crime” actually took place . . . .
I know. Same here. Yeah, the intended victim (and her mother) were able to fight the attacker off and then he killed himself. Sorry, spoiler alert. Point being, if you are looking for a true crime story look elsewhere. If you are a firm believer that . . . .
Please note this is coming from a person who looooooooooooooooved The Woman in the Window, but FFS this is like comparing apples and orangutans. These two books are NOTHING alike. Has no one learned from the debacle which was “the next Gone Girl”????
But enough about that. Let’s get on with the book. First, allow me to apologize for not only reading but also falling all over a book that doesn’t come out until Spring 2019. Y’all know I’m normally a failure that reads my ARCs months after they’ve been released. I don’t know why this one was calling to me from the TBR stack, but I picked it up and never put it down until I was finished. And now?????
Oh Lort do I want to vomit all the words and tell everyone everything about this. But I shall refrain and only give you these tidbits instead:
1. It takes place in a fictional southern suburb of Kansas City called Meadowlark (which is the Kansas state bird – so clever girl Annie Ward).
2. There are three timelines: The first takes place in the “now” (2010) where police are responding to a 911 screaming hang up call and have found blood all over the inside of a house. The second is around 9/11 where the two meet (he’s a soldier in Macedonia/she’s a journalist in Bulgaria). The third starts several weeks before the 911 call and works its way forward.
3. There are MANY possibilities when it comes to the potential superbadawful. It could be her, it could be him, it could be her friend, it could be his ex, it could even be the neighbor. The best thing of all, though? By the time the narrative had circled back to the present I was so invested in the story of them meeting and the various things that were making me go hmmmmm surrounding their relationship that I had totally forgotten why there was a cop at the door. For real, it was like . . .
That’s probably all I can safely say about the story before getting a cease and desist letter. I will say that this tops the charts for me when it comes to a domestic suspense/thriller so it’s getting every star.
To prove I’m still a nitpicky asshole, here are my minor quibbles:
(1) I’m not super keen on the title because it is so generic and this cover is ugly. It appears there is another cover option so I hope they go with that.
(2) This takes place where I (and apparently the author) live. All of the locations and descriptions (excluding the town itself) are spot on aside from one reference to a horrible incident at a water park which is said to have happened near the airport. Ummmm, the water park and the airport aren’t even in the same state so I’m not quite sure why creative license was chosen regarding that and nothing else.
But for real. Nitpicky, right? This thing was perfect.
ARC received from Park Row in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much! I would have never even known what I was potentially missing if it weren’t for your offer....more
Now that I’ve logged on I realize only one of my GR friends has read this selection and she didn’t even rate it because it didn’t work for her either. It was Instagram that was flooded with this one since it was a Book of the Month selection awhile back. What a great feeling to be able to tell myself (at least for a minute) that I read something right ; )
Seriously, though, I’m obviously a lemming and if something shows up on my feed enough (except here, because somehow the GR recs are totally on crack and they need to tighten that game up) I’ll take the bait. I’ve also confessed about eleven trillion times that I either (a) don’t read blurbs at all or (b) only read the first line or two – and duhhhhhhh, I’m a fast reader so it’s not like I really feel like I wasted my life on something even if I don’t fall all over myself about it.
Ghosted is the book that proves I should stop doing everything I mentioned above and completely change the way books get added to my TBR. I immediately dismissed the “when Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love” because Eddie then went missing and I was super psyched for some . . . .
Ugh. This was NOT. FOR. ME. I really want to give it 1 Star because it was truly turrrrrrrrrible and the worst form of tragiporn full of every cliché you could possibly throw in to one book and sooooooooooooooo not a romance I could be a fan of (and trust me, homegirl has been getting down with some romance books lately – and not just the hide-the-salami kind either). I’m going to be generous and give it 2, though, because I should have at least scrolled the first page of reviews and noticed all the 1s and 2s instead of blindly jumping off the cliff....more
I'm bumping this because I ran across the movie last night and despite hating the book, I absolutely loved the trashy good times the film version delivered. While I don't think I was truly a wrongreader of this one due to the fact that the writing style/delivery did not come off as an attempt at dark comedy, there is a chance that if you go into it knowing you need to appreciate all the absurdity your rating could possibly flip from 1 Star to 3.5 or 4 Stars like mine did while I was watching the tube. I'm also not much of an Anna Kendrick fangirl, but she nailed the Stephanie role and was oh-so-enjoyable. And Blake Lively? Well just look at her. She didn't even need to speak to be the perfect Emily, but she was great too. Also? The husband is dude from Crazy Rich Asians. All I have to say about that is boiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing! If I was a re-reader I would give this one a second go.
WARNING: SPOILAGE APLENTY
“You’d be amazed by what people will do. Things they’d never admit to anyone—not even to themselves.”
Okay, no one is amaaaaaazed by what people will do anymore. Especially in a myster/thriller. Double especially when that mystery/thriller is actually “the next Gone Girl” and when it was released Gillian Flynn was probably all like . . . .
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The premise here is a friend asks a friend for a simple favor (fitting title is at least fitting) of watching her son (who is also friend’s son’s buddy) until she returns from some meetings around 9:00 p.m. And then she never comes to pick him up because she is Gone. Girl. The why behind the woman’s vanishing is not too terribly hard to predict if you’re a frequent reader of books like this, but everything aside from the kitchen sink is thrown in getting there. Don’t believe me? (This is when it gets spoiley so step away from the monitor/put yo phone down NOW.) By the 35% mark the “friend” is not only banging her bestie’s hubs but has pretty much moved in with him as well. And then!!!! THENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN we find out she also used to make a habit of fucking her half brother . . . .
Following a tragic accident which has left best-selling author Verity Crawford a shell of herself, her husband Jeremy hires Lowen Ashleigh to complete the contracted final three books in Verity’s famous series. Brought to the family home in order to sort through Verity’s office, Lowen is soon to find out just what makes Verity tick. What she discovers will leave readers saying . . . . .
(1) Hoover released this independent of her contract with Atria (and Atria was cool enough to let her do it) in order for it to be a Kindle Unlimited option, therefore costing tons of readers zero dollars;
(2) Despite having a loyal fanbase who want all the things, the price point for non-KU nutters (such as myself) was kept to an affordable $4.99 when most authors who have reached this level of fame would be slapping a minimum of $12.99 on the sucker;
(3) It was released a week and a half early just because she was tired of waiting and that made me laugh because I too am a firm believer of the “ThisIsAmericaIWantItNow” mindset; and
CoHo didn’t just say she was going to write something that was different from what her fans were used to – she wrote something so awesomely squicky even Mitchell wants to become a CoHort.
To me, it doesn’t matter if I saw some things coming or if I wasn’t completely satisfied with whatever random thing I wasn’t satisfied with. The fact that this person who has found success via angsty romances was willing to go pitch black and potentially lose allllllllll of her readers??????
If you too like to experience the darker side of love, this might be a winner. Good news is you won’t have to be one-and-done with Colleen Hoover either because she wrote another not-so-lovey type of love story awhile back called Too Late and the best part about that one? It costs zero dollars for errrrrrrrrybody.
Bought it with my own dollars as soon as it was released because there was zero chance I could have waited for the library to get a copy.