To put it real bluntly, if it’s about a cult then I’m gonna read it. I actually didn’t request Godshot until I found out it was culty. The cover had me thinking it was going to be trash like Glitter - remember that????
And if I would have read the blurb I probably would have avoided it because White Oleander was not my cup of tea and there’s zero chance this is the result of that book having a baby with Geek Love. (I haven’t read Cruddy yet, but I’m fixin’ to go request it from the library now that I am allowed to go in there and pick stuff up again.)
Anyway, somehow in passing I found out this was about a cult and then I read it the very next day. The story here centers around 14-year old Lacey May and her community of Peaches, California – a town who truly believes “In Vern We Trust” – even while living through a drought of biblical proportions. But this is more than just a story of a creepy preacher and a dying town. More importantly it’s a story about mother/daughter relationships. From Lacey May and her own excommunicated mother to Grandma Cherry who says things like . . . .
I mean my level of crazy isn’t exactly the same as most people’s level of crazy (except for my Goodreads friends – they all batshit too). But great news! I haven’t had this much fun with someone locked up in a house since . . . .
That being said, I could absolutely see every single one of the big reveals coming well beforehand. Luckily it didn’t diminish my enjoyment at all. Read this when you are looking for an escape. I picked it up after having a couple of real butthole days at work and it totally turned my frown upside down. Yes, it’s 100% farfetched and ridiculous and whatever else Ron 2.0 might say about it, but hey . . . .
Gather ‘round little weirdos, because boy oh boy do I have a book recommendation for you! In a season of meh 2 and 3 Star selections, Imma take you on the (sorta) wayback machine to a book I read and failed to review back on my berfday. Allow me to introduce you to a new favorite antihero – Timothy . . . .
Yes please. And not only does Timothy have a decidedly different palate, he also has an eidetic memory on a whole ‘notha level which makes him able to see things that are out of place. This bizarre “superpower” (for lack of a better term) has made Timothy allies with a most unlikely group – the FBI. Brought in as a last resort on their most time sensitive and impossible-to-solve cases, Timothy only requires one thing as payment . . . .
This first selection in the series focuses on a missing child, an impending deadline for when the ransom is due and Timothy being partnered up with a blast from his past. Not only was this sucker different than anything else, it was also a whipsmart crime novel with a whodunit reveal that had me like . . . .
That’s a little more feasible (but I’d actually recommend Hangman instead should you be looking to fill the void the lack of Dexter has left in your life . . . if I ever get around to reviewing that one).
This is a book for those of you looking for pure stabby good times. There’s absolutely ZERO reality involved as the story focuses on Martin – a smarter than smart smartypants who buys the files of serial killers from a dirty cop and then uses his super tingly spidey senses to find any missing bodies – all while hiding this strange hobby from his family, natch. You know what that means, right??? Of course a real bad baddy is going to get fed up with the spotlight not being on what a good murderer he is and set Martin up to potentially take the fall.
Recommended to anyone whose browser history looks like mine . . . .
Ha! I keed. It truly is Lord of the Flies meets [insert battle to the death book/film of your choosing here]. More specifically it is about . . . .
What happened in FantasticLand during the thirty-five days dubbed “The Battle of the Tribes.”
Here’s the deal: In the Fall of 2017 Hurricane Sadie was being tracked off the coast of Florida. It was anticipated she would be a wreaker of havoc, but no one ever anticipated her effects would be felt so far inland and just how powerful she would become. Basically, the only thing that could have been worse is . . . .
While the National Guard, local authorities and all humanitarian efforts were focused on the coastal regions, 326 employees of FantasticLand were left to their own devices. Weeks later, 207 were evacuated. This is the story of what happened, told in interview format by the survivors. It was oh so very . . . .
(If you haven’t seen that movie, you really need to rectify it immediately or there’s a possibility I will defriend you. j/k. *cough* maybe *cough*)
This was everything it should have been. Gory, nauseating, action-packed and a story that didn't miss a beat from the first page to the last. I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurved it....more
Now that that is out of the way, we can talk about the book – kinda – maybe. Per usual, this is one full of spoiley spoils I want to barf out all over the place and twists and reveals that if you knew about beforehand would ruin all the fun of reading it, so I can’t say much.
What I will say is nosey neighbor meets the new people next door and immediately comes to the conclusion the hubs is a serial killer?????
But that’s more of a spank bank type of experience rather than a stabby one.
Where was I? Oh yeah this book I can’t talk about. I picked this one up because I enjoyed The Kind Worth Killing okay and wanted to give Swanson another go. I was not disappointed. You have the potentially murdery new guy, the neighborhood Nancy Drew sticking her nose into things she should probably leave alone, and to top it all off she’s not a particularly reliable narrator . . . .
“I was sure it was schizophrenia, because of your uncle. But turns out you’re just batshit crazy like everyone else in this family.”
However, at times she’s pretty entertaining . . . .
“What were you talking about with Matthew Dolamore?”
“He kills people,” she said.
“That’s not news. I’ve already told you that.”
I will say that I did see the big reveal coming, but I still sucked this down like a fat girl me with cake . . . .
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.
The beer was flowing, the tunes were playing, the counterfeit easy-shred Hulkamania T’s were ready for selling, there was a tag-a-long hot piece of ass in the form of the local bar fly. They were even riding in style in a Gen.U.Ine. R.V. . . . .
Now the boys (and girls) need to channel their inner CCR ‘cause these suckas are gonna have to “run through the jungle.”
You can take this “review” with a grain (or mountain) of salt if you like. At this point it's obvious I’m an Adam Howe fangirl. I won’t even get into Mitchell’s relationship with him because I’m fairly certain it’s illegal in at least 47 states. All I’m going to say is if you are looking for some gory good times this October jam-packed with action, humor and some twists and turns that make this not-your-average “lost in the woods” slasher story, Scapegoat is getting released right on time.
ARC provided by Honey Badger Press in exchange for an honest review....more
Perhaps the most ironic thing of all when it comes to this author is his name. If you were ever curious where the “Black As Mitchell’s Heart” moniker came from – David Joy’s stories are about as bleak as one brain could ever conjure. As my Bookwife stated over on her review, we pretty much have a Google Alert set for anything new in David Joy’s world, up to and including I now read what he tells me to (thanks again for turning me on to Larry Brown). We most definitely were in full-fledged “This Is America and We Want It Now” mode while waiting to be approved for The Line That Held Us and I am so happy to say that once again David Joy delivered the misery in spades – just the way I like it.
The story here is pretty simple – Darl Moody has been chasing after a dream buck for ages and has tracked him down to Coon Coward’s private property. What ol’ Coon don’t know won’t hurt him, though, so Darl waits until he’s out of town and sets about in the wee hours to do some poaching. The only thing he wasn’t expecting? Carol Brewer to be doing some poaching of his own – digging ginseng to be exact. Rather than face the crazy which is Carol's brother Dwayne, Darl does the only other thing he can think of – enlist his best friend Calvin’s help and bury the body . . . .
That might possibly be the best thing about David Joy’s books. You know there is not going to be a happy ending or that the characters will magically escape the superbadawful they have set themselves up for. I love how his stories are all different, but touch on similar themes of love, loyalty, family, friendship and religion (in the most shuddery way possible). He blurs the lines between what is right and what is wrong effortlessly. Not to mention, he really makes you feel like you are truly in the heart of the south . . . .
Yasmin has never really fit in, but after her father died six years ago things really went South. Now fifteen, overweight and friendless, Yasmin spends her free time merely as an observer of those around her. Specifically Alice . . . .
“Keep Calm and Carry On. Keep Calm and Carry On Loving Alice.”
That is how she notices someone else appears to be watching Alice as well – only that someone has been doing it from the woods near the school . . . .
She knows Alice is going to be taken. The only question is, can she save her?
Okay, y’all know what YA means right??? Good lorty lort how I do love a book marketed towards kids that’s jacked up enough to satisfy super weirdo adults like myself – and more specifically Mitchell. After reading too many pornies, chick lit and domestic thrillers for his liking, Mitchell insisted he get a turn to play Jesus and take the wheel when it came to our next read. And now he says . . . .
Just in time for Mystery & Thrillers Week on Goodreads!
Are you all familiar with the game “Two Truths and a Lie?” If you aren’t, by the time you’re finished with Amber and her experience in the hospital you will be. If you’re anything like me you’ll be ready to scream . . . .
Will you be able to figure out which things are true and which are lies? I didn’t.
It took me quite some time to get invested in Sometimes I Lie. Work was a little worky, I wasn’t really feeling the writing, the back-and-forth timeframe was a little too tight and the addition of the diary entries from waywayback only seemed to be muddying the waters for me even more. But then something happened (not a specific moment in the book, just my enjoyment level in general) and I ended up breezing through the last 70% in record time. I’m not sure if I read the first 30% wrong or if others have had the same trouble, but it ended up being pretty dang trippy once I got into it....more
Well, it took me nearly the entire 21 day checkout period to finish this audio collection, but I did it and I think listening was the right way for me to go. That’s not a comment I make lightly either since my drive time is so short and my attention span much like someone most are familiar with . . . .
I’ve repeated ad nauseum that short stories aren’t my bag, but the novella on the other hand??? Those could be my bread and butter. Joe Hill gives a great explanation for why the novella works so well in his afterward. You get the benefit of a fully fleshed out story, but nary a paragraph can be wasted if you want to keep the reader invested. The bonus (for me at least) in a collection of novellas is the fair to middling selections are easily dismissed and soon-to-be forgotten while the good ones will stay with you, quite possibly for a lifetime. Hill’s father’s The Body and Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption being a couple of perfect examples.
So without further ado let's talk about the first selection in Strange Weather called “Snapshot:”
This was my first experience listening to an audiobook performed by . . . . .
He’s held a special place in my memories ever since. Fitting that “Snapshot” happens to be one about memory. 5 Stars for Wheaton’s performance, but 3 for the story itself which I thought would have been much more powerful if it had concluded at the end of Part 1 of the audio and the “Phoenician” and his “Solarid” camera being an imagined boogeyman conjured by the mind of a woman suffering from dementia rather than him actually being one. Props to Joe Hill for the Stand By Me soundtrack shout-out, however. That will be the selection that plays me through my workday today for sure.
I automatically assumed “Loaded” would be a miss for me since I prefer to keep my fiction and political opinions as separated as possible, but dagnabbit . . . .
I’m still not interested in discussing gun rights EVER on social media, but talk about a story that kept me hooked from start to finish. Every star. (I do have to say the narrator chose a pretty weak delivery for the main female voice and that sucks because she wasn’t some Mary Sue.)
Which leads us to “Aloft” – a story about a guy who nearly shits his pants before jumping out of an airplane and ends up actually shitting his pants at some point after landing on a cloud . . . .
When I saw my friend Michelle’s review comparing this to one of my favorites, I went and requested it immediately. I spent the next 24 hours waiting with bated breath to see if I would be approved an early copy while simultaneously trying to lower my expectations. I mean, really, there can only be one You (well, actually there are two and supposedly another in the works and also a television program, but you know what I mean). Ever since Kepnes released her little sleeper and everyone’s favorite psycho book boyfriend into the world others have been trying to follow in her twisted footsteps – and I keep reading them. At this point I figured the comparison is similar to everything being “the next Gone Girl” and once I received my copy I was prepared for disappointment and would deal with Michelle accordingly if I hated it . . . .
This really is maybe the next You - with one difference: you won’t fall in love with Mike and it’s crystal clear throughout the story that he won’t be getting a happily-ever-after. The story here is of Mike and Verity. Theirs is a classic love story – they met at university and were together for seven years while each became quite the success in their respective industry. Unfortunately Mike engaged in an indiscretion of sorts while living abroad for work. That was when Verity stopped returning his calls and e-mails. Mike is not deterred, however, and knows he can win Verity back once he returns to London. He has the job, the house, the money – all that’s missing is the girl. And so what if she’s engaged to someone else and has invited Mike to the wedding. Mike knows the whole thing is a ruse – a game they play. After all, how can two people who Crave each other so much ever stand to be apart?
Mad props to Araminta Hall for going balls to the wall when it came to Mike. There was not one sentence where I didn’t believe I was in the mind of an absolute nutter. Again, I didn’t “love” Mike like I loved Joe, but boy did I appreciate his crazy effing perspective on things . . . .
Amazingly, I was unspoiled on White Bodies before beginning.
All I knew was that this was a story about adult twin sisters Tilda and Callie – one of which had some bizarre methods when it came to making sure the two would be as close as possible. Those things made me think . . . .
Which is one of my all-time faves (and somehow I still haven’t read Patricia Highsmith's book, so I should kick myself in the ass for being a failure). I’m going to zip it before I spill too much, but I will say while White Bodies didn’t have any twists I did not see coming, it did have the ewwwww factor as mentioned above which earns it a half star bump for originality when recreating such an oldie-but-goodie. It also did a better job than the other Strangers On A Train revamp I recently read (The Kind Worth Killing) when it came to making that something old new again and it was definitely a page turner since I finished it while also making dinner and serving my demon spawn during Saturday evening’s football game . . . .
Not even February and I’m already behind on 2018’s reviews. Good thing I didn’t tell myself I’d lose weight! The one thing I have always told myself is I need to read a Philip K. Dick story. Imagine my surprise when I cued this one up on the ol’ Fiat’s Bluetooth and heard that it was written by Philip K. Dick. I’m not sure one book can be a quantifier for his entire set of works, but in the immortal words of Larry David, this was . . . . .
Since I listened to it, I don’t have any quotes to provide. I can tell you the story is sort of a “scared straight” type of tale – all about the perils of drug addiction. Our MC, Bob Arctor, is a small-time dealer looking to go big with the new drug of choice known as Substance D. He’s also an undercover agent known as Fred who is trying to bust a small-time dealer looking to go big known as Bob Arctor. Nope, you didn’t read that wrong. You see, one of the side effects of Substance D is that it causes your mind to break from reality. Bob is Bob when he is Bob, but thanks to Bob imbibing in some of his own wares he is also Fred trying to bust Bob when he is Fred. There’s a bevy of supporting characters that make this story more than worth the price of admission added in for good measure. Classified as “Sci-Fi” – a genre I don’t typically steer myself toward – would probably have been the right classification back in 1977 when A Scanner Darkly was originally published. Today? It’s pretty freaking realistic. Aside from the scanner suit, it’s like Philip K. Dick was a real soothsayer with regard to the future of drug use in America.
4 solid stars thanks, in part, to Paul Giamatti on the audio . . . . .
Not interested in reading or listening to the book? Good news! There’s a real trippy film version that’s like live action with a cartoon overlay (wayback machine has teenie bopper Kelly saying just like the A-Ha video!) starring Keanu Reeves . . . .
When Alice was just a little girl she was attacked by twins who were trying to please “Mister Tender.” While Mister Tender’s Girl flat out states in the blurb that it was inspired by the true events surrounding a brutal stabbing of a young girl by two classmates who claim they did it in the name of the “Slender Man” – the character of Mister Tender reminded me less of this . . . .
As Mister Tender was a comic book …. errr excuse me graphic novel creation of Alice’s (the stabbing victim) father in the form of a friendly neighborhood bartender who could give you anything your heart desired – as long as you performed whatever task he requested of you in return.
Years have passed, Alice is now grown and moved across the pond to the States, owner of a coffeehouse as well as her own home and has done everything possible to escape her personal history – until a package arrives that won’t allow her to keep ignoring it.
I will attempt to avoid spoiling things here, but you do need to be forewarned that this sucker goes off the rails pretty darn quickly into unbelievable territory. And Alice????
In all seriousness, when I made a placeholder This Is America, I Want It Now “review” it was more like me channeling my inner Oprah and putting this out into the universe à la The Secret in hopes of winning the Goodreads Giveaway. When I received an e-mail from St. Martin’s Press offering me an advanced copy …. well, y’all probably heard me screaming across the entire planet. Then when it came I did really assholey super nice things like rub it in my friend’s face share my joy . . . .
I was so excited I didn’t even remember to update my status that I was reading it. Since I never put it down until I was finished, there wasn’t much point. *shrug*
Being as Baby Teeth doesn’t come out for another seven months, I’m a little hamstrung when it comes to doing much more than singing its praises. To be honest, I’m not even sure if I’m supposed to be posting a review, but since I didn’t receive any blatant instructions not to, I will wait for my cease and desist letter before taking this down : )
The synopsis here is straightforward. Hanna loves Daddy. Hanna does not love Mommy. In fact, things would be perfect if Mommy wasn’t in the picture at all.
Now, before you even start naysaying about how this story has been told before I need you to kindly STFU. Even Mark Twain said, “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.” So yes, simply put this story has been told before . . . .
And even before that back in the olde days of yore by a dude named Longfellow . . . .
“There was a little girl, Who had a little curl, Right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, She was very good indeed, But when she was bad she was horrid.”
I’m telling you it doesn’t matter. Obviously if you didn’t like any of those stories you should probably save your dollars and refrain from buying this one. Zoje Stage is quite the wordsmith, but I don’t think she has a magic wand that will make you like things you normally hate . . . (But maybe Marie-Anne does????) If you did enjoy those others, Baby Teeth will be a sure winner. And there is a fresh take here because Hanna isn’t a cookie cutter of those other children. Neither is her mother. I’d love to say more, but I’m pretty sure my next communication from St. Martin’s Press would go a little summin like . . . .
What I am going to do is break BEND (just bending please don’t send me that cease and desist) the rules and give you just a taste of an edited snippet in order to hopefully not piss off the powers that be of what Baby Teeth has to offer (and please remember, that I did receive an ARC, so this may change – but I hope it doesn’t) . . . .
Hanna giggled and kept writing. When she was ready, she held up her masterpiece.
‘Fuck Mommy. She is week and stupid.’
“… By the way, you used the wrong spelling – it’s w-e-A-k.”
I’m going to go ahead and leave it at that before all the words start shooting out of my fingers. I’ll be breaking BENDING – JUST BENDING my own rule come summertime-summertime-sum-sum-summertime and floating this review in order to make sure it is on everyone’s radar. Then all you fellow weirdos have to go get a copy, read it and come back so we can talk about Hanna and Mommy under spoilsie code because I have sooooooo many things I want to barf out all over here about my thoughts and feelz.
Endless thanks goes to Jordan at St. Martin’s Press for this opportunity. I don’t know how a debut author convinces a major publishing house to go all in like it appears you guys are doing for this little story, but I think you hit the jackpot. Congrats in advance, you picked a good ‘un.
This might have possibly earned its fifth star for being a “right place at the right time” kind of read, but I can’t imagine a universe where it would have scored less than four from me. If you know me (and Mitchell), you are aware that we enjoy a little . . . okay a lot of despair when it comes to some of our fave reads. What can I say????
But alas, the library didn’t have it. When the movie trailer popped up as an advertisement over on the Faceplace, I went looking to the library once again. I even gave up one of my seemingly endless porny book requests in order to beg them to buy this one. (I’m pretty sure they bought it simply to encourage me to not be such a perv all the time.)
The Tribes of Palos Verdes delivered misery in spades. Told from 15-year old Medina’s perspective, this is the story of what happens when her family transplants itself from the Midwest to an exclusive Palos Verdes neighborhood. A place filled with humble abodes such as the following and Average Joe types of neighbors like Donald Trump and the missus . . . . .
From a philandering father to a mentally unstable mother to a brother who attempts to fade into the woodwork via drugs to her own sad tale of being used (and abused), this story pulled no punches. I am always appreciative of authors who don’t feel the need to waste words, and Joy Nicholson delivers a real wallop here in barely over 200 pages. I also appreciate genre benders and The Tribes of Palos Verdes fits that bill as well as it appears it was originally released as an adult novel, but will definitely find its own tribe with older teens who like their fiction a little gritty.
Sidenote about the film: If Jennifer Garner can pull off this role I will eat my hat. ...more
Caitlin Hendrix’s childhood was almost ruined by a serial killer. Her father was the lead detective on the case that featured . . . .
“Eleven murders, all unsolved. An UNSUB: the unknown subject who would come to be called the Prophet. He made women stay home instead of going out alone. He made parents bring their children in before it got dark, and keep them inside. For five years, one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country lived in fear, dreading the next news bulletin. Waiting for the Prophet’s next victim. Until he disappeared.”
Caitlin’s father nearly lost his sanity as he was consumed by it. Now it’s twenty-five years later and Caitlin has followed in her father’s footsteps when it comes to her choice of career. Maybe more than even she bargained for . . . .
“All these years you thought I was gone. But hell and heaven turn and turn again. Angels fall, the messenger descends, your insolence is harrowed, defiance ends. You wail in fury, but the Equinox delivers pain. It batters like a hurricane. Tremble now—you cannot hide.”
This was a mixed bag when it came to friends' ratings so it kept getting pushed to the backburner. As you can see from my placeholder "review," the only thing that forced me into it was the library message which was the equivalent of a triple-dog dare. When it comes to mysteries, there are two types that I enjoy. These . . . .
(So much so that I call it the “S7ven Scale”)
I will say I was a bit leery at the start when an “amateur sleuth” of sorts was introduced since this story obviously wasn’t trying to go in the Hallmark Mystery Channel direction. Luckily said sleuth wasn’t immediately deputized, but she did provide believable info that many people with too much spare time on their hands might find themselves trying to obtain so I quickly accepted her character. UNSUB lands at a solid 4 on the S7ven scale and was well on the way to a full 5 until the ending. Those endings – they can be tricky. You can either do a “WHAT’S IN THE BOX” last minute twist that makes everything oh so much better or you can do one like this . . . .
Still, a great story that I never once wanted to put down.
And now for a couple of public service announcements rants since I’m suffering a severe Case of the Mondays:
#1 Dear Goodreads: NO ONE wants a book automatically marked as “read” as soon as they turn the last page or the library takes it back. NO ONE. Stop the effing madness. Especially when it said I finished reading this THIS MORNING and the entire point of me even getting motivated to read the dang blasted thing was I only had Saturday, the 2nd, in which to start AND finish it . . . .
#2 Random Strangers on Social Media: It is December and several different “bookish” places are posting statuses (statii????) about Yearly Reading Challenges along with the magical goal of 100 books. NO ONE forces you to participate in them or that 100 books is a mandatory challenge goal, so take your “but I have a life” or “but I work all day and then am superparent to my minivan full of children and don’t have time to sit around doing nothing but read” and . . . .
Just because YOU don’t want to spend your spare time reading or participate in a challenge for fun doesn’t mean you need to put others who do on blast. You’re probably the first to rant about being “bullied” on social media too. Hypocrites. And on that note, this is my 200th book of the year. Challenge complete . . . .
Well, minus the crying. This was rough, but it takes more than a brutal storyline to get me to squirt some tears (more specifically, my period). Living Dead Girl is about – here I’ll just let the book tell you . . . .
“Once upon a time, I did not live in Shady Pines. Once upon a time, my name was not Alice. Once upon a time, I didn’t know how lucky I was.”
When Alice was 10 years old, her class took a field trip to the local aquarium. Alice got separated from everyone after being disappointed in the lack of dolphins and opting to go see the penguins on her own. It was there that she met a gentlemen who informed her that her class was now watching a movie and he would show her to the theater. Five years have passed since that day. Five years since Alice has seen her mother and father. Five years since she last saw her house at 623 Daisy Lane. Five years of living with Ray . . . .
“You can get used to anything. You think you can’t, you want to die, but you don’t. You won’t. You just are.”
I had never even heard of this book until over the weekend and I’ll be damned if I can remember what “if you liked this, you should try THIS” list it popped up on over at the Faceplace, but I am completely blown away I haven’t seen it over and over again on the Banned Books Week suggestions. To whoever decided to market this as a Young Adult selection, I give you mad props because you must have balls the size of watermelons. I can only assume the pitch was something of a “think of this like a modernized after school special.”
Living Dead Girl is definitely a story each parent will have to decide for themselves if they think their child should read (and I encourage parents to read this first before allowing your kid to check it out). While there are not necessarily specific details given regarding the abuse Alice suffers, that does not make the story less graphic and two-and-two is easily put together regarding all of the goings on. As the story progresses there’s a solid chance questions will arise about some of Alice’s behaviors and what she is willing to do in order to no longer be the focus of Ray’s attention. Not to mention that, much like in real life, a tale like this cannot have a happy ending. Assuming my children would actually read on their own voluntarily, I would probably attempt to keep this one off their TBR until high school. Highly recommended to anyone who thinks they can handle it and zero judgment for anyone who knows they can't....more
“I don’t find the idea of people or children hurting and killing each other upsetting. I find it familiar. I find it is home.”
Allow me to share Millie’s mother’s CV:
“Forty-eight-year-old Ruth Thompson was a popular member of staff at the women’s refuge where she worked. Employed as a nurse counselor, she was the main point of contact for the scores of frightened women and their children who were in hiding … Following her arrest, the bodies of eight children were discovered in the cellar of the house and a ninth found in the so-called playground.”
When I found out this was about a girl whose mother was a serial killer I was like . . . .
The only gripe I have? After recently finishing the very "skillet to the face" type of Young Adult novel which was Living Dead Girl, I would have marketed this as YA as well. It earns 4 Stars because I’m pretending it was (it would probably be 3.5 otherwise). Be warned if you are an avid thriller reader that this one may not have all chills and thrills you need to satisfy your stabby side, but it definitely has a lil’ summin’ summin’ . . . . .
“You’re the spit of your mother, they used to say at the women’s refuge you worked at. That’s what I’m afraid of.”...more
Overdue book review? I’d say so since I read this thing last freaking year. The most disgusting part? I was offered another reader copy by Crooked Lane for review and was actually ballsy enough to ask for this one instead. Proves once again no one should ever do anything nice for me.
Perhaps the most shocking thing of all is that I actually REMEMBERED this story – which is practically a miracle. Especially when it comes to mysteries/thrillers since I read so many of them and they tend to blend together. Lies She Told was obviously just different enough that even my broken brain couldn’t forget the plot . . . . despite forgetting to ever post a review.
The story here is of Liz. Liz used to be a successful author of romantic suspense, but her last book really went in the dumper. Now she’s under a 30-day time crunch in order to get her new story finished and get back on top of her game. Follow along with not only Liz’s life, but also Beth’s – Liz’s new female protagonist who discovers her husband is having an affair. Make sure to pay attention, though, because the dual narrators along with a potential case of life imitating art are sure to create some #blurredlines . . . . .
Let me allow the book to tell you what it’s about . . . .
“Once upon a time, in a world free of snow, there lived a little girl, and her name was Madison. Madison was like all children: half make-believe. One day her mother said: “We are going to the mountains, to cut a tree for Christmas.” The mountains were much bigger than Madison had ever imagined. Their car was like an ant crawling up the side of a sugar jar. Finally they stopped. Madison was so excited to see the snow. She ran inside the trees, surprised at how dark it was in the woods. Madison turned around She couldn’t see her mother or father. Her heart started beating faster. She was lost! Madison ran and ran, calling, “Mommy, Daddy!” But the more she ran, the more lost she got. Suddenly she went tumbling down a long white cliff. The earth rose and fell, and she could see nothing but snow. Madison landed in a place where the snow rose over her waist. It took a long time, but she fought her way out into another forest. She was shivering. Night fell. All night Madison walked, touching the dark trees with her bare hands. By the time the sun came up, the shivering stopped. Madison began to feel very warm. The snow looked soft, and comforting. Madison wanted to lie down and sleep. She stumbled, her head hitting a tree as she fell. Then everything was white.”
So there you have it. Madison’s family was only looking to experience this once in their life . . . .
Instead we fast-forward three years to the present where their daughter is still missing (and presumed dead). Enter Naomi – her expertise is finding lost children. Things don’t always end well, Naomi has found her fair share of dead children and she definitely doesn’t presume the families who hire her are innocent.
I often hold back on reading a book my friends all loved for fear of being the voice of reason odd one out. This time I’m late to the party simply because it took forever for my turn to come up at the library. If there’s one thing I’ve learned to pay attention to it’s Shelbyscreaming at me when it comes to mysteries. She, like many of us, reads a lot of them, but her bullshit detector is pretty spot-on and she can usually tell me what I’ll love or hate. And this one????
Maybe the best thing about The Child Finder is that you never feel like you’re wasting time. It doesn’t have many pages, you are well aware of what is going on with the child and the writing is succinct. But you don’t feel cheated either. All of the characters are fully developed and the goings on are quite believable. In a world filled with novels where a “superbadawful” has happened to a main character who then can ONLY find healing in the form of a magic penis (or vagina, as it appears my currently reading selection is going to do), it was quite the change of pace to have an admittedly broken lead who was a badass boss despite being damaged.
Okay, not really. In reality, you can leave anytime you want. There are only three rules that have to be followed . . . .
“No visitors. No contact. No return.”
In other words, if you choose to leave? Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya. You see Caesura isn’t your average town. Known as “The Blinds” by all who reside there, Caesura is a place for second chances. A new and improved Witness Protection Program, if you will, where the residents have had their most recent memories erased in order to obtain a fresh start in a town where not only does no one know their neighbor’s real name, but also don’t know whether they are part of the program because of something they did or something they told. Really, though????
At least that’s the consensus. I mean how else could they all live peacefully? A tiger can’t simply change its stripes, right? That line of thinking was working out great – until someone committed suicide by bullet-to-the-head in a town with only one gun and another person was murdered. Now the residents are about to find out . . . .
“You might not remember the world, but the world remembers you.”
I can’t even specify what’s making me hold back on offering up that final Star, but I am going to withhold it. Still, Sternbergh is a dude with plenty of creative juices flowing and he really knocked this one out of the park....more
Abby and Gretchen have been friends ever since Abby’s 10th birthday party. Let’s just talk about that party for a minute. Who in their right mind would (1) plan their party after someone has already sent out invitations for another party? Margaret, that’s who . . . .
Apparently everyone #sadface. But seriously, what was with the stereotype all girls loving all things horsey back in the ‘80s???
(Countdown to girl from elementary school who was obsessed with horses discovering this review and trolling me for life in 3, 2, . . . . )
Anyway, poor little Abby. It didn’t even matter that Gretchen brought a stupid children’s bible as a gift, they were BFFs as soon as they skated under the sparkling lights of the disco ball on that roller rink.
Fastforward to high school and two girls who really only argue about one thing . . . . .
I picked this up because . . . well, duh, it’s almost Halloween, but mainly because of the cover. Look at the majesty which is the cheesy VHS horror rental at your local Blockbuster (#ripblockbuster). It was exactly what I was looking for while I counted down the seconds until the premier of the new season of the best 1980s deliciousness since the actual 1980s . . . .
If you are actually looking for “unspeakable horrors” like the blurb states, you need to look somewhere else. On the other hand, if you want to feel a little nostalgic in the form of chapter titles that are also well-known ‘80s hits, references to Chi-Chi’s fried ice cream, The Thorn Birds, Flowers in the Attic, puka shell necklaces, and on and on while you experience some campy good times, this one might be a winner. The story does drag a bit when it comes to the teen angst and nonsense in lieu of the barfing of pea soup, but eventually readers do get the scene they’ve been waiting the whole book for . . . .
This also appears to be marketed as general fiction. Maybe because it’s set in the olde days of yore??? Be forewarned that this is NOT going to scare you and should probably have been cross-marketed for both teens and geezers....more
Even though I have books that I read SIX STINKING WEEKS AGO and have still not reviewed, I’m bumping this one to the top. Mainly in hopes that I can get Spongebob’s voice out of my brain singing this on a loop . . . .
If you have children whose brains you have allowed to rot in front of the television like me (#motheroftheyear), you should be able to relate. And I’m really sorry for the earworm I’ve just passed on.
Meet Paul. He’s been married to Mia for nearly 10 years now. He’s a hardworking guy who brings home the bacon so the missus can stay home and raise their two boys. He drives a new Ford Flex to show that he “support[s] America while demonstrating that [his] ego does not require a fancy sports car.” He’s pretty old school and might fancy himself to be a bit like this fella . . . .
Best Day Ever gets rounded down for having the nerve to have the disclaimer “A Psychological Thriller” thrown on to the end of its title. If you are looking for something “thrilling” that puts you on the edge of your seat, you need to look elsewhere because this isn’t it. There aren’t any twists and turns you won’t see coming and there are no bells and whistles added on. It doesn’t need all that because Paul is everything a nutcase is supposed to be and Kaira Rouda never allows him to break character. If you’re going to write a guy like Paul, you have to commit or it fails. Rouda has done an exceptional job writing a real trainwreck of a fella that, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to put down until his story is finished. ...more
I am now so far behind in reviewing that all of my read-but-not-yet-reviewed selections can't fit on my home page. Bonus this go 'round is somehow I didn’t even manage to mark this one down as something I was reading at all (#failure).
But wait, you ain’t seen NUTTIN’ yet. Not only have I never read Dexter, but I have never seen an episode of the highly acclaimed television series either . . . .
In case you too have recently emerged from cave dwelling and now mingle with the masses, the story here is of Dexter Morgan. His day job is in the forensics department with the Miami police force (specialty blood splatter - come to momma), but it’s what he does off the clock that makes things real interesting . . . .
“What are you?” Father Donovan whispered. “The beginning,” I said. “And the end. Meet your Unmaker, Father.”
Some of you might be thinking “not a man of the cloth?!?!?!” To which I say OH YES A MAN OF THE CLOTH. See, this is one of those priests that you sometimes see on the nightly news who totally had it coming to him. Such is the case with all of Dexter’s victims. You see, a superbadawful happened to Dexter when he was a wee little boy. When the Morgan family took lil’ Dex in as a foster child, pops Harry realized pretty early on that there was something off about the boy . . . .
“I’ve been expecting this. What happened to you when you were a little kid has shaped you . . . But you can channel it. Control it. Choose – . . . choose what …. or who … you kill . . . There are plenty of people who deserve it, Dex.”
So that’s it. Dexter solves crimes by day and rids Florida of human waste by night. He’s my lobster because . . . . .
This is one of those times where I really wish Goodreads had half stars, because this was a classic case of a perfectly average book. Killing Mr. Griffin went on my TBR simply for the fact that when I Googled “banned books” it was one of the first I hadn’t already read (and that I might want to) that popped up. I have to admit, if I were a teacher and saw a kid reading a title like this, I might want to disappear all the copies from the school right quick too!
The story here is one that is probably familiar to most . . . .
“That Griffin’s the sort of guy you’d like to kill.” “Well, why don’t we then?”
But not really. The plan is to get revenge on the literature teacher who has made a group of student lives’ hell all year. They’ll kidnap Brian Griffin . . .
Drive him out to the middle of nowhere, make him beg for his freedom while promising to stop being such a shit human being and then let him go. The only thing no one expected? Mr. Griffin’s heart condition. The rest of the story is just how far they are willing to go in order to make sure their little escapade remains under wraps.
There’s a chance I would have been more generous with my rating, if a truly horribly executed bait and switch hadn’t been attempted. My initial thought was “good lord, for something published in 1990 this seems REALLY dated.” Then I noticed the original publication date was 1978. It’s not the worst thing in the world for a book not to stand the test of time, and really the subject matter here was waaaaaay provocative for young adult at the time.
That being said, allow me a moment to offer a nickel’s worth of free advice to the powers that be: DO NOT TRY AND EDIT BITS OF A BOOK TO MAKE IT SEEM NEW. Not unless you’re going to re-write the whole shebang. You can’t make the occasional edit by throwing in references to things like DVDs and cell phones, without eliminating all of the left-in blasts from the past like girls getting phone calls on the family LANDLINE or riding around in cars with bench seats . . . . .
But the best had to be wishing they had an iPod while burying the body because . . .
“A little music makes work go faster. Besides, there’s always music at funerals. We could pick out some good songs for this one. ‘Down by the Old Mill Stream’ would be appropriate, or that Scottish thing, ‘Where, oh, where, has my highland laddie gone?”
Have no fear, though, as an attempt was quickly made to modernize this with reference to “that old group, the Grateful Dead” . . . . . Only to have the train fall completely off the rails again with “Brush Away the Blue-Tail Fly” . . . .
By the time I was finished reading I was thinking 1978 might have been a re-pub date as well because this sucker seemed like it was from the ‘50s. So, there’s the reason it was a fail for me and I'm rounding down because whoever decided to hack into this did it a huge disservice and should have just left it alone FFS. On the bright side, I didn’t realize Killing Mr. Griffin was written by the same author who wrote one of my fave guilty pleasures . . .
I’m going on a road trip this weekend with my oldest so he can play some college showcase ball. I’m hoping he follows the tradition of what he does when his father takes him on these excursions and immediately falls asleep for the entire car ride. If he does this will be my first audiobook experience . . . .
“Girls don’t fall in love with manipulative assholes who treat them like shit and make them seriously question their life choices. They fall in love with manipulative assholes (who treat them like shit and make them seriously question their life choices) who they think are knights in shining armor.”
I wanted to read this as soon as I saw the title. Because duh . . . .
And just look at that cover? I diiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeee.
My old lady brain failed me and I didn’t realize that I had had a most excellent experience with Heather Demetrios in the past, so I went into this with high hopes yet low expectations. This is another selection that, although as far as I know is not yet challenged, would be a great candidate during this Banned Books Week since it addresses some seriously heavy subject matter that pearl clutching parents across the country would not want their children to read about. That would be a shame, though, because these are exactly the types of stories that need to be told.
While Grace’s home life and upbringing may have made her easier to manipulate than some, her relationship with Gavin felt pretty fathomable to me. Who wouldn’t want to date the handsome rock star? Why wouldn’t she take his side when he said his ex was cheating – after all, she was always flirting with other dudes. And really isn’t it just respectful to not be touchy-feely with other guys if you are in a committed relationship? Grace agrees that it is. But where do you draw the line? At what point do you realize that you pretty much always do what he wants to do. That if you don’t, he gets mad – or hangs up the phone – or peels out down the street and you end up doing nothing at all because he was your plans for the evening. When do you tell him to cut the shit and quit being such a drama llama? When does it sink in that when he shows up at your window in the middle of the night or spends hours across the food court watching you while you work at the cookie store that . . . .
“Your boyfriend’s creepy.”
Is it about the same time you discover this song isn’t nearly as romantic as you once thought it to be . . . .
When he tells you he hates you? When he calls you a whore? When he leaves bruises on you when you’re trying to get away, but he’s not done talking to you yet? When he rapes you? When?
While this may have been just a bit too long for me (I hate making that complaint because I sound like such a dimwit) – it is probably necessary to keep beating some readers over the head with examples of abusive behavior like Demetrios does here. At some point maybe there’s a girl (or a boy) who will recognize that their relationship might be unhealthy too and they will get out of it. And to anyone who feels stuck in a situation like this and has a boy(or girl)friend who threatens to kill themselves should you break up with them? This is what you do . . . . .
“My life. It’s not right. It didn’t begin like yours. It won’t end like yours either.”
When my kid brought this home from high school for his nightly required reading, I was all in for a buddy read. Not only because both my kids have been a bit scumbaggy in the past and fibbed about reading when actually they were smuggling iPhones/Pods up to their rooms or sitting on the toilet staring at the wall rather than attempting to expand their minds, but mainly because . . . .
(If you don’t know the significance of the above image/you didn't immediately get an earworm just from reading this title, you are waaaaay too young to be my friend and also probably the target demographic for this book.)
But then the unthinkable happened and the KID ACTUALLY FINISHED BEFORE ME. And the reason? Because I couldn’t stop reading pornography long enough to catch up to him . . . .
That’s all in the past, though, right? So let’s get to the book.
Welcome to Gardnerville . . . .
“A place with no disease where everyone lives past one hundred doesn’t sound like paradise to you?”
“That’s only half the story. The rest is the reformatory and fourth years and kids turned into monsters.”
Skylar’s sister Piper was one of the aforementioned fourth years. She was a kid who turned into a monster. Now she resides in the reformatory and Skylar needs to get her out before this fourth year’s events begin.
There’s not a whole lot to say about this without giving everything away. I will say, it earns its Stars by feeling original, well written, and containing moments that the cool kids would have this to say about . . . .
(All the cool kids still say stuff like that, right?)
Anyway. Although I did see the “twist” coming, it didn’t really bother me because the getting there was pretty fun and the fact that my kid really got absorbed in the story? That makes all of this stuff . . . .