Dec 052023

Uh, somehow, I forgot to my October book recap, I can’t imagine why. #stress #changes #newneighbors #help

  1. Delicate Condition – Danielle Valentine

I gave this a 4 at the time based on peer pressure, but in hindsight this was barely a 3. Just go read Rosemary’s Baby instead.

2. Just Another Missing Person – Gillian McAllistor

I really enjoyed this multiple POV thriller. My second McAllister book – I think she’s going on the short list of authors whose new releases  I look forward to! This was a very twisty missing person (wow you don’t say) story and the only issue I had was that one of the POVs was kind of pointless and didn’t add very much to the plot, and she wasn’t even an interesting character.

3. Mary – Nat Cassidy

Yoooo, remember what I was just saying up there about Gillian McAllistor? Punt Nat Cassidy to the top of that short list because his horror-writing skillz made my heart swell. Interesting characters; biting, snappy, witty dialogue; actual well-written horror scenes that made me feel sickly and gave me chills even while listening to this audio book (superb narration BTW) in broad daylight on neighborhood strolls. I LOVED THIS BOOK. If I was backed into a wall to give a gripe, I guess I would just say that it felt a tad longer than it needed to be. But the characters! The ghosts! The story! M A R Y!! There were parts to this book that I felt under my skin. Loved it. His new book is currently waiting for me at the library so I will RUN NOT WALK there tomorrow after work to snatch it up!

4. The Family Game – Catherine Steadman

Eh. Writing was fine. Really unlikeable characters – some intentionally unlikeable, but I didn’t care for even the good ones. Unoriginal plot. Just eh. Mindless thriller.

5. A House With Good Bones – T.Kingfisher

This is my third or fourth Kingfisher book and I just adore their writing. Dialogue can break a book for me so easily, I don’t give a shit how well-built a world is or how brilliant the plot is. If someone can’t write natural discourse for their characters, then I am immediately taken out of the story.  But this was chef’s kiss, an original take on the haunted house trope, and honestly it was also a depressing and very real exploration into family dynamics and loss. I highly recommend this. ESPECIALLY the audio.

6. Burn the Negative – Josh Winning

See above re: dialogue writing because I’m sorry Josh but you ain’t Winning at that. This wasn’t even remotely scary, but actually so fucking stupid which sucks because the synopsis made it sound like something I would love.

7. Looking Glass Sound – Catriona Ward

I loved “Last House on Needless Street” by this author so I was stoked when this arrived at the library for me. Guys. I’m sad. It was FINE but it didn’t punch me in the face like her last book. Also it was kind of hard to follow and I’m still not sure I completely understood it so maybe this book is actually utterly brilliant and I’m just too much of a stoop.

However, I can’t deny that Ward is an incredibly gifted and smart writer. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right place for this one. October was pretty fucked up for me emotionally and mentally, so…let’s blame it on that. I might revisit this one day.

8. Lay Your Body Down – Amy Suiter Clarke

It was OK. If you enjoy religious coverups / church scandals / grooming / then you might like this one. I like all of those and in theory this book should have been super enthralling to me, but it ended up being just OK, fine. I think I’m just too hard to shock because when “the thing” was revealed, I was just like *shrugging unicorn emoji* Why am I so hard to please.

9. Death Valley – Melissa Broder

Oh how it pains me to say that I only gave this a 3. I loved Broder’s Milk Fed so goddamn much, it was a 5-star for me, so this one was highly anticipated. Oh, it still was packed with her irreverent asides and hilarious comedic writing, but it was the story itself that fell flat for me personally. I loved the first half. I loved her conversations with the desk people at the Best Western she was staying at, and her subsequent unhinged sexual fantasies involving them. But then she gets lost in the desert and the rest of the book is just a fever dream fuller of inner monologues and observations. I quickly grew bored, I’m so sorry Melissa!!

10. Black Sheep – Rachel Harrison

LOVE this writer so much. She is top tier with witty dialogue, and her ability to write…well, not really “horror comedy,” but maybe…”light-hearted horror”? Is that corny. That’s corny. That’s too Lifetime. Quirky horror. We’ll go with that. She writes the disgusting scenes, isn’t afraid to get bloody, but her books still have me cracking up bigly. I’m glad that I didn’t read much about this one going in because I had no idea what the actual plot was, aside from the fact that it’s about a woman who goes back home to the town she couldn’t wait to escape. And her mother is a great American scream queen, but I just kept picturing her as Elvira, lol.  This was a great read, perfect for October.

11. Cover Story – Susan Rigetti

I needed this book more than I realized after a month of horror and lots of misses. It was quick, engaging, set in NYC and partially revolving around an ELLE internship, turns into a caper. This was a lot of fun. And I liked that there were emails and text messages breaking up some of the chapters.


And that was October. I guess 5 “I really liked this” books isn’t too bad…?

Say it don't spray it.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.