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 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 »
The final (and weakest) novel in The Thousandth Floor trilogy isn’t nearly as exciting or as high stakes as the first two books, and it definitely doesn’t feature as much fun, futuristic technology. From an unnecessarily long plot, to a very predictable conclusion, this is one trilogy that should have been a duology … or maybe even a standalone. Despite my numerous complaints, this is not a terrible read, but I wanted so much more than unnecessary will-they-won’t-they romantic drama.
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (★★★★☆)
Obsidio, the conclusion to The Illuminae Files, brings all your favorite characters — and let’s face it, some not so great new ones — together at last. While there are no horror elements like in the first two books, the plot more than makes up for it with some amazing AIDAN moments, the inclusion of comic book elements and illustrations, and a glorious and super experimental final battle. It’s certainly not the best book in the series, but it definitely goes out with a bang.
This collection of previously released Wattpad poetry has been re-edited to form a brand-new Amanda Lovelace duology titled Things That H(a)unt. While not as empowering as the rest of Lovelace’s collections, this one is still super raw and emotional, and features amazing opening and closing poems (the strongest of the bunch). Bonus: it’s her prettiest collection, and has beautiful illustrations throughout.
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Part memoir, part self-help(ish) book, part something else entirely, Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive seeks to remove the stigma society places on depression, by revealing the author’s own struggles with the disease, as well as peppering the book with facts and statistics on depression and suicide. Super personal and very raw, I see this as a sort of companion to Notes on a Nervous Planet, which is structured in a very similar manner. Warning: this one is not nearly as light-hearted, but equally helpful.
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage (★★★☆☆½)
Baby Teeth stars a pint-sized sociopath with designs to kill her mother, the mother herself, and the father who is completely oblivious to his wife and daughter’s true selves. You know, totally normal family dynamic type stuff. The story is made up of alternating chapters that switch between the crazed daughter who is too smart/demonic to be believable, and her mother, who is convinced she will never be a good enough wife and mother. While a super interesting premise — mostly because the kid is not alright — the plot definitely drags at times.
Rust & Stardust is based on the 1948 kidnapping of 11-year-old Florence “Sally” Horner, a crime that would go on to inspire the Vladimir Nabokov classic Lolita. Despite being pulled straight from history, Greenwood’s novel is less a true crime story and more historical fiction, exploring the horrors that Sally was most likely forced to endure during her 21-month ordeal, and the ramifications it had on the people in her life. This heartbreaking and beautifully written novel deserves every single star (and then some).
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