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.Read More »
Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall (★★★★☆)
Somewhat reminiscent of You, Our Kind of Cruelty is told entirely from the male POV, and (spoilers), the boy is not alright. The story’s unreliable narrator is Michael Hayes, who pens the suspenseful tale of how he lost the love of his life, Verity, all while desperately trying to win her back. Written “in a mad spurt of anger at the continued injustices perpetrated against women in our so-called civilized society,” Hall’s compulsively readable thriller will have you screaming about the importance of actually listening to women.
The Favorite Sister by Jessic Knoll (★★★☆☆)
I was super excited to dive into The Favorite Sister, which is a murder mystery/thriller that follows the stars of a reality show centered around successful businesswomen. Especially since I had heard such good things about Knoll’s debut novel Luckiest Girl Alive. Unfortunately what I got was frustratingly slow plot, extremely unlikable women with unbelievable secrets, and chapters that are way. Too. Long. Womp womp.
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger (★★★☆☆½)
The third book in the Devil Wears Prada series follows fan favorite Emily — as well as two new POVs you’ll care slightly less about — and will have you wondering, “Why is there more than one book again?” This time around the action takes place in the suburbs of Greenwich, Connecticut, and seems to be under the misguided impression that all women only need two things to be happy: a slamming body and offspring. Emily deserved so much better.
Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (★★★★★)
The second book in The Nevernight Chronicles takes the assassin school storyline to the next level, with plenty of assassinations and 100% more gladiator stuff. From a surprise LGBT love story, to a murderous antihero you can’t help but love, plenty of sexy times, all the revenge, and four amazingly huge twists at the end of the novel (only one of which I was able to guess), you are in for one wild ride. Who will survive? What will be left of them? And will we ever find out who is writing the hilariously sassy footnotes?
In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire (★★★★★)
This prequel to the gorgeously written and plotted Every Heart a Doorway follows the story of teacher Miss Lundy, way back when she found her own door that took her to the magical world of the Goblin Market. A fun but sad tale, In An Absent Dream — the technical first book in the series chronologically — is beautifully written and heart breaking. Read: another great addition to this absolutely perfect series! Fifty more books in the Wayward Children series, please and thanks!
Cat Person by Kristen Roupenian (★★★★☆)
The short story Cat Person appeared in the New Yorker and went crazy viral, with women recognizing something of their own love lives in the story and men totally missing the point. Now featured in Roupenian’s brand-new short story collection, You Know You Want This, I figured it was the perfect time to see what all the buzz is/was about. While I enjoyed this short, I can definitely understand why this oftentimes uncomfortable read is so polarizing.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (★★★★★)
Taylor’s latest series follows Lazlo Strange, an orphan who wants much more than his provincial librarian life … and gets it when he’s whisked on an adventure to the great, wide somewhere. Lushly told and beautifully written, Strange the Dreamer is the super imaginative, incredibly romantic first book in the fantasy duology of the same name that everyone keeps calling “a must read.” Spoilers: they are not lying, it is a must read. One with an ending that will leave you screaming, “Xfhskfdhdfkshfkahsfk!”