I received this book from The Next Best Book Club in exchange for an honest review.

“My stalker is smart, just like I would be. He or she finds the shadows. Shows up when I’m wasted or popped too many little blue pills. So I’ll be far enough away from reality to believe they are real…I know this because that is what I would do,” (Goldberg 7).

Depressed, alcoholic, and self-medicating thirty-year-old Lexi Mazur doesn’t have a lot going for her, especially when her boyfriend Steve dumps her. But she manages to find happiness in her reality TV shows, especially Socialites, becoming obsessed with it’s star Magnolia Artois. Lexi follows her on social media and knows she and Magnolia would be friends and that she would be a good addition to the show. And Magnolia posts so often, it isn’t hard to figure out where she’s going to be and to just happen to be in the same spot. It’s how she won over Steve and her other ex Jeremy, manipulating things in her favour is easy for Lexi, stalking even easier. But now Lexi’s feeling watched, or is it just the pills making her paranoid? When notes and threatening phone calls are coming to Lexi’s apartment she wonders who her stalker is, could it be Magnolia afraid of losing the spotlight? Her only friend Pria who Lexi thinks has an unhealthy relationship with her? Lexi will have to use her own stalking skills to find out who her stalker is, but could her stalker be even better than she is? Continue reading

“He didn’t see what she did, and she could never really tell him what was really wrong – that it had all been a mistake: She didn’t know how to be a mother; why had that ever seemed like a good idea?” (Stage 4).

Seven-year-old Hanna loves her Daddy. He understands her better than anyone and he is her most special person. She imagines a life where just her and Daddy get to live happily each day, but Mommy stands in the way, and Hanna thinks it’s time for her to leave. Suzette loves her mute daughter, despite Hanna acting out only for her to see, despite homeschooling her for years after she is expelled from every school she and her husband try to enroll her in. But Suzette has noticed a surprisingly violent tone to Hanna’s mischief, and already battling an autoimmune disease, she wonders how much longer she can handle her daughter. Continue reading

I received this book from The Next Best Book Club in exchange for an honest review.

“Death was all around us, constantly. Why was it so easy to ignore? Why didn’t people go mad, everyone terrified and helpless, blind to when or how death would visit them, or what world stood beyond the threshold? Were we dust, or were we immortal? Expendable or sacred? Fertilizer, or divine?” (Doyle 212).

Life isn’t going to well for Sandy Kurtz. He’s in his thirties and working at Lowe’s, his wife doesn’t love him anymore and now they have a baby coming, oh and Sandy’s also a werewolf. Six months ago after leaving his apartment after an argument with his wife and getting into a strange accident, Sandy finds that every full moon he now turns into a fearsome, carnivorous wolfman. But he’s sure he can handle it, he keeps finding ways to get his wife out of the house during the full moon, and he tries to stick to the forested areas where there are lots of dear. But will it be enough? Can Sandy continue to keep the wolfman at bay, and what will happen when the baby’s born? Continue reading

“Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn to see fear’s path. Where the dear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain,” (Herbert 283).

With the new movie coming out and the book itself just being a classic sci-fi novel, I’ve been curious to read Dune for awhile. I was luckily gifted a beautiful copy by my sister for Christmas last year with teal-sprayed pages and artwork on the inside of the dust jacket as well as on the front and back cover. Was I surprised to find that the book was 688 pages? Yes. Was I even more shocked to learn that Dune is only the first in a six book series? Double yes. I made it my challenge to finish the book by the end of September and somehow I did it. Continue reading

CW: Animal abuse.

“How many generations of women had delayed their greatness only to have time extinguish it completely? How many women had run out of time while the men didn’t know what to do with theirs? And what a mean trick to call such things holy or selfless. How evil to praise women for giving up each and every dream,” (Yoder 161).

One day a mother becomes convinced she is turning into a dog. Her teeth are sharper, there’s hair on the back of her neck, and what is that really just a cyst at the base of her spine? She watches over her two-year-old son full-time while her husband is away on business trip after business trip, finding herself alone and obsessing over her newfound canine qualities. Continue reading

“But what use was logic? It ended where love began,” (He 360).

Cee has been trapped on an island for three years, slowly gaining her memory back. She doesn’t know how she arrived on the island, her own past, and it took her a bit to remember her name but she does remember that she has a sister named Kay somewhere across the ocean and Cee has to find her. Meanwhile sixteen-year-old Kasey Mizuhara lives in an eco-city, a floating city in the sky  where she and it’s residents are protected from the natural disasters happening below. All eco-city residents are required to do  is spend a third of their time in a stasis pod and attend meetings virtually to preserve their carbon footprint.  Kasey enjoys life in the eco-city but her older sister Celia  longs for a more human experience, the ones their ancestors had before climate change. But now three months later Celia is missing and while logic tells Kasey she’s dead she can’t stop herself from retracing her sister’s path, because Celia had secrets but so does Kasey.

I went from being a person who had never read any climate change books to reading two in one year. Still, I don’t think this is a genre I’ll be actively looking for. It’s privilege and selfishness on my part, being reminded about how much we’ve screwed the world and continue to do so is bleak and makes me existential, and I suffer from enough enough existential dread before reading books about climate change. Continue reading

“So why can’t we linger and dream?/Walk with me/Still/Linger on with me/Still” (Still, Alice by Heart, Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik).

Unlike my usual reviews, I’m quoting some lyrics from the song “Still” which appears in the Off-Broadway musical Alice by Heart which this book is an adaption of. Why? Because there is nothing quotable in this book. It is written so oddly, so disjointedly that aside from three or four characters I really had no idea who anyone else was or what exactly was going on. One of my favourite niche genres is “kids who cope with trauma by escaping into fantasy realms via books” (here’s looking at you The Neverending Story, The Book of Lost Things, and countless others.) and I expected Alice by Heart to be the same. With the premise of fifteen-year-old Alice Spenser and her best friend Alfred, who happens to be suffering from tuberculosis, are forced to take shelter in an underground tube station during an air raid in 1940s London and with Alice using her and Alfred’s beloved story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to cope through the chaos as the story unwillingly morphs and takes on qualities of the war around them. It sounds promising, it sounds right up my alley, especially since I knew about the Off-Broadway musical first and as a long time musical fan the fact that a book had been written after the musical was intriguing. But Alice by Heart just didn’t do it for me. Continue reading

“It caught fire in 1982, 1985, in 1993, 1996, in 2003, 2007, and 2018. And times in between. Because it is Malibu’s nature to burn,” (Jenkins Reid 3).

Has Taylor Jenkins Reid made my list of new favourite authors? I think so, wow has 2021 been a year of good reads!

Over the course of a night in August 1983 the Riva family is having their annual end-of-summer party, and things are about to change. Surfer and model Nina Riva’s tennis-star husband has just left her for another tennis star but that won’t stop her from hosting the party her siblings look forward to each year. Jay and Hud, a surfer and photographer team, have secrets from one another that could strain their strong bond. And baby Kit has a few secrets, one she’s been keeping from herself and one from her siblings involving and invitation she’s sent that her siblings don’t know about. By the end of the party secrets will be revealed and the night will literally be up in flames, because that’s what Malibu does: it burns. Continue reading

“Ever wonder what happens to those final girls? After the cops eliminate them as suspects, after the press releases their brace-faced, pizza-cheeked, bad-hair-day class photos that inevitably get included on the cover of the true crime book? After the candlelight vigils and the moments of silence, after someone plants the memorial shrubs?

I know what happens to those girls,” (Hendrix 5).

Lynnette Harker is one of six real-life final girls. After surviving two horrifying instances as a teenager, doing the press-release and being loved by sickos around the world, Lynnette and the other final girls fifteen minutes are up. For the past decade Lynnette and the other five final girls have been meeting with their therapist Dr. Carol Elliot who has provided a safe space for them to talk, to bond, to put their lives back together after surviving a horrifying unimaginable situation. But when one of the women misses a meeting Lynnette’s worst fears are confirmed: someone knows about their group and is picking them off one by one. But what makes a final girl a final girl is that she doesn’t die, she fights, she survives, and that’s what Lynnette is going to do. Continue reading

My co-worker recommended Ghost to me knowing that I’m a lover of horror. I was intrigued by it just by it’s binding, the white cover and honestly just the size of it. The book is about the size of a picture book and was shelved among the children’s books but for the subject matter I found that might not be the best place to shelve it, but it from it’s size it would look juvenile among the middle-grade chapter books. I almost wonder if reprinting it into graphic novel size wouldn’t be better and reach it’s age group better, but honestly the illustrations are so gorgeous in this book that shrinking them down would be a crime. I might recommend this book to the young, mature child who doesn’t scare easily but otherwise think that a middle-grade reading level is best for Ghost.

Ghost uses a variety of ways to tell these thirteen chilling stories, to gush about the illustrations again reader’s might just go through to look at the pictures because of how beautiful and eerie they are. But Ghost also uses onomatopoeia for many of it’s stories, which would make this a great book to read around a campfire, as well as creepy poetry and haunting prose to tell these thirteen tales.

It can be really hard to find horror for young reader’s (youth today know of Fear Street because of the Netflix movies but have never heard of goosebumps) that doesn’t end up being more silly than scary. Of course I’m not implying stories should traumatize children, but the horror genre is one that’s beloved by many and one that some kids want to be introduced too but can’t find a good Segway into. I found Ghost to be a wonderful sort-of beginner’s horror anthology because even as an adult some of the stories are children, and even though I may recognize certain tropes they would be new and chilling to those being introduced to the genre.

Read my thoughts on each story below: Continue reading