Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (★★★★☆)
Flynn’s debut novel is a somewhat predictable thriller starring damaged narrator Camille Preaker, a journalist who returns to her hometown — and her even more damaged family — to report on a missing child and a recent child murder. Super dark and incredibly disturbing, Sharp Objects is not for the faint of heart. Trigger warnings for cutting, suicide, child murder, animal abuse, child abuse, and pretty much everything in between.
Vox by Christina Dalcher (★★★★☆½)
Described as The Handmaid’s Tale for a new era, Vox takes place in a horrifying near future where women are limited to 100 words a day. Similar to Atwood’s tale, Dalcher’s America turns downright dystopian when it’s taken over by an ultra religious political party, with women quickly losing the right to work, read, or own property. While a little rushed toward the end, I had a hard time putting down this cautionary tale, which draws very obvious parallels to our current political climate.
the mermaid’s voice returns in this one by Amanda Lovelace (★★★★☆)
The third and final poetry collection in the women are some kind of magic series is here, and comes complete with individual poetry from 13 of Lovelace’s peers. While I enjoyed this collection — which once again delves into Lovelace’s painful past — I found it to be the weakest of the three, with the witch doesn’t burn in this one, followed closely by the princess saves herself in this one being my top two.
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (★★★★☆½)
Set in a world that’s basically Las Vegas but with real magic (read: its fantastical residents take sin to the next level), this high stakes, fast paced novel sucked me in and did not let go. Based on the predictable plot lines alone (like the fish-out-of-water romance and the main character who turns out to be secretly more important/powerful than anyone imagined), I definitely did not expect to like this novel nearly as much as I did. Color me pleasantly surprised!
The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross (★★★★☆½)
Inspired by the world of Renaissance France, The Queen’s Rising has all my favorite things: an all lady boarding school, strong female friendships, courtly intrigue, beautiful gowns, a secret rebellion, revenge, bad ass women, a slow-burn forbidden romance, and a matriarchal society. All this combined with Ross’ lush writing make for an amazing debut novel. Even more books in this series, please and thanks!
The Umbrella Academy Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way (★★★★☆)
I bought the first volume of Way’s superhero dark comedy way back in 2008, but I didn’t get around to cracking it open until over a decade later. Thanks, Netflix! Super weird, but in the best way possible, The Umbrella Academy‘s out-of-the-box characters (i.e., Spaceboy, a boy who lived on the moon and has the body of an ape, The Rumor, who can manipulate reality by saying the phrase, “I heard a rumor…”, not to mention their monkey butler Pogo), make this a must read.
Geekerella by Ashley Poston (★★★★★)
Everyone gushes about how cute Geekerella is … and they are 100% right. This Cinderella retelling follows two cuties who fall in love over an accidental text message: Darien, the star of a film reboot based on the cult classic sci-fi television series Starfield, and Elle, the Starfield blogger who hates everything about Darien’s casting. Part romance, part love letter to geek culture, this fractured fairy tale is perfect for anyone looking for a light, fluffy, nerdy read!
Deadly Class Vol. 5: Carousel (★★★☆☆½), Deadly Class Vol. 6: This is Not the End (★★★★☆), and Deadly Class Vol. 7: Love Like Blood by Rick Remender (★★★★☆)
I am officially caught up on the Deadly Class trades, and with the exception of a couple of jaw-dropping twists and even more character deaths, Volumes 5, 6, and 7 just could not compete with Volumes 3 and 4. I’m still excited to see where Remender and company take the series going forward, but it’s hard to be excited when most of your faves are dead. Please, Rick, don’t killing all your darlings.