Monday, November 27, 2017

Review: Blackbird

Blackbird Blackbird by Molly McAdams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Because he is the darkness
He is the devil….
…and I love him”

"Blackbird fly, blackbird fly. Into the light of the dark black night."

How can you possibly be jealous of a girl who has been kidnapped and taken from her home, and all of the people she loves? It's fantasy, it's unrealistic, but that's exactly how I found myself feeling. Every time I would think that it would be followed by "seriously, stop.. you're crazy". It was a weird feeling, and one I wasn't completely comfortable with; but that's one of the joys of reading, gaining the ability to step outside your comfort zone and experience things in a new way.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Review: Until It Fades

Until It Fades Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Life is too short to do what other people think you should do.”
― K.A. Tucker, Until It Fades

I usually like K.A. Tucker, and this was no exception, even though the theme of the poor girl being swept away by the rich sports star is completely unoriginal. For that reason, I almost didn't read it, but I still enjoyed it because Catherine was a very relatable character. Both she and Brett were humble which made the whole thing more tolerable. If you're looking for your next favorite book, this probably isn't it, but if you're looking for an easy, interesting read; Until It Fades will do nicely.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: Pretending to Be Erica

Pretending to Be Erica Pretending to Be Erica by Michelle Painchaud
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Blah.. I picked this book up because I needed something to read while on vacation. It had been sitting on a shelf for a while, so I decided to give it a try. It wasn't terrible, but it definitely wasn't great. The ending was a bit anticlimactic after the build up that led us there. Violet was adopted by a con man for the sole purpose of pulling off the ultimate heist. She was raised knowing that one day she would become Erica, the missing girl whose parents owned an extremely valuable painting. In a way, I felt a little sorry for her because she came to love the "mother" and friends she made while pretending to be Erica. She'd been raised as a tool and lacked that familial bond she was desperate for. On the other hand, not one character in the entire book made a lasting impression. For that reason, the best I can do is 2 stars.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Review: Spectacle

Spectacle Spectacle by Rachel Vincent
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read Menagerie, the first book in this series a few months back and was hooked immediately. Urban Fantasy, supernatural elements set in today's world, is my absolute favorite genre, and Vincent does not disappoint! Her ability to create a world that's new, and addictive when so many have already had their take on it is inspiring. In Menagerie Delilah finds out that she is gifted after being outed and captured for the world to see. Living in captivity after a lifetime of freedom is unbearable, and after making friends with the others they're able to take over Metzger's Menagerie, the traveling circus, and run it for themselves. Using the income provided they are able to live and buy back their friends and family that have been captured and imprisoned by others. Unfortunately, their freedom doesn't last long and they are all recaptured by Willem Vandekamp, the owner of the Savage Spectacle. Vandekamp is a ruthless man who's willing to use the cryptid's in any way that will bring him the most money. Delilah and her friends thought that being chained and starved was the worst thing to happen to them until they were face to face with the cruelty of Vandekamp and his crew. Delilah and those around her intent on gaining back their freedom, but things are run a little differently in their new home, and they must wait for their chance to escape.

The Savage Spectacle's owner has created an electronic collar that allows them to not only track the cryptids, but paralyze them and stop them from using their abilities. It's a type of total control that works but also makes them overconfident in their ability to keep the upper hand. While being held prisoner, Delilah is used to serve the clients every desire, nothing is off limits as long as the right amount of money is paid. Gallagher and Eryx are mad to fight brutal battles with other cryptid's until one of them is no longer standing. Killing someone for sport goes against everything Gallagher believes in but he does it after they threaten to kill Delilah if he doesn't cooperate. At the end of the book, they're finally able to escape, but Delilah is pregnant with Gallagher's child. The two of them were forced to have sex when a high paying client wanted to watch the champion and his motivation for winning sleep together. All of the cryptid's split up into groups as they were leaving with no clear plan on where the were going and promises to try and reconnect in the future.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: The Queen and the Cure

The Queen and the Cure The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The very best things in life are born of difficulty. Whatever comes too easily is easily abandoned.”

Amy Harmon never ceases to amaze me. She is able to traverse multiple genres and somehow pulls it off flawlessly. I know each time I pick up one of her books I am going to love it. In the second installment of The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, we follow King Tiras brother Kjell. He's the bastard son of the king and lacks all of the finesse and regality that Tiras possesses. He's more comfortable leading the Kings army, ridding the kingdom of the last of the Volgar. He's also one of the gifted, something he has always denied but has recently accepted. During his travels he finds Sasha, broken and bleeding, driven out by her own community for the gift she was born with. Sasha is able to catch glimpses of the future, but has no ability to direct it and must piece together what she is seeing to make sense of it. Sasha has no memory of who she is or where she came from. Almost immediately upon rescuing her, she's determined to become Kjell's but he's insistent that he doesn't want that, or her. Their journey of finding our what's in Sasha's past will also lead Kjell to the past he didn't know he was missing.

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Review: Fury

Fury Fury by Cat Porter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"She'd lived. Oh, how she'd lived. She hadn't allowed the brutal past to define or mar her. She'd become what she'd chosen, her own design."

I was given an ARC copy of Fury and I adored it!! I put off reading it because I don't have a kindle anymore, and reading on my phone isn't easy but I wish I hadn't waited! I couldn't put it down. My phone and I just moved all over the house, outside, in the car until I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer. Fury was a sort of brutal, raw, and unspoken story, but the very real story of two young adults meeting at the worst moments of their lives but forging an unbreakable bond of survival. I was invested from page one, but the last quarter of the book ripped my heart out. I wanted so much for these two to find their happily ever after, but their world is a gruesome one and things don't usually work out that way. The end was bittersweet, sadness over so much lost time, the happiness of finding one another again, and the unknown of whether they had it in them to make it work after all. This was my first of Cat Porter's books, but definitely not my last.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Review: Cold Reign

Cold Reign Cold Reign by Faith Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“There is no going back. There is no revival of our humans. There is no erasure of our horrors. No healing except of time and she is a vengeful mistress, leaving scars that are forever. But there also is no proof of foreknowledge, only of twenty-twenty hindsight. You guessed. You did not know. Knowing is only for God.”

I loved Edmund for those words! Eli was struggling in that moment, and when no one else knew what to say he said it perfectly. Jane has transformed so much as a person through this series, and learning to love and trust her new found family is a major part of that growth. Her relationship with Bruiser is as amazing as I hoped it would be, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for those two.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Review: The Serpent King

The Serpent King The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Wanting to believe something is powerful”

“If you're going to live, you might as well do painful, brave, and beautiful things.”

“Nothing makes you feel more naked than someone identifying a desire you never knew you possessed.”

I found The Serpent King through the Goodreads Choice Awards and it's been on my to-read shelf a few months. The description seems a little bizarre so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed each of the characters. The book unfolds from the three main characters alternating point of view during their senior year of high school together. Though they are all the outcasts, they couldn't be more different than one another and yet still such great friends. Dill Early is the son of the shamed snake handling preacher turned jailed pedophile, and he is literally paying for the sins of his father. He and his mother barely make ends meet, and she is just as fanatical as her husband. He's in love with Lydia, the second character who actually comes from a good family, but has dreams of escaping their backwoods Tennessee town. Lydia is a fashion blogger with an eclectic sense of style and a snarky attitude to match. Their friend Travis is a very large, introverted guy who prefers living in the fantasy world of his favorite books to his reality. His father is an asshole who drinks too much and doesn't shy away from getting physical with his wife and son. Each of them is dealing with their own stories, histories, and problems but with each other, they attempt to work them out. Unfortunately, it's not all sparkles and rainbows and their place in the small town tragedy will forever alter their course through life.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I can’t help thinking it’s a shame he’s such a sadistic bastard, because he has wonderful manners.”

“The door opens and he stands in the doorway, my handsome, psychopathic husband.”

I have seen Behind Closed Doors discussed several times in different groups and decided to give it a try. I seriously couldn't put it down until I finished it. It's pretty similar to Gone Girl, just less twisted. It's not so much the surprise at how things happened, or how they played out but the horrible reality of it all that makes you want to get to the end. There isn't a lot of suspense because you know pretty early exactly what's going on, but each page introduces a new horror or the next step towards the end.

Grace and Jack are the ideal couple. They're the beautiful people with everything you could hope to one day have, and everything about them is perfection. Behind closed doors, things are anything but perfect though they will do anything to keep their secrets.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Review: Silence Fallen

Silence Fallen Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Mercy Thompson series is probably the longest running series I still read faithfully. Silence Fallen is written in two different timelines, with alternating points of view from Mercy and Adam. Mercy helps in explaining the changing timeline. There are so many characters that have become an integral part of the story, most of which make an appearance in Silence Fallen. Mercy finds herself in the middle of yet another conflict between the supernatural when she is kidnapped by the world's most powerful master vamp. Fortunately, she is able to escape, but she is stuck with nothing in Europe, and unable to reach her pack. I'll list a detailed review below for a recap to use before starting the next book.

Mercy is kidnapped by Marsilia's ex, Iacopo "Jacob" Bonarata and his second Guccio after he learns of the alliance between the fae, wolves and vampires in the tri-cities. He is under the impression she is the most powerful person in the area and discounts her as weak a little too quickly. She is able to escape him, and his pet wolf, Lenka. She hops a bus in coyote form and ends up in Prague where she asks Libor, the local pack alpha for shelter. Meanwhile, Adam, Honey, Marsilia, Stefan, Elizaveta (witch friend), and Larry Sethaway (goblin leader) are all headed to Milan to retrieve her. Of course, Mercy can't sit idly by and wait to be rescued, so she, Jitka and Martin (wolves from Libor's pack) head out to locate Mary the head of one of two seethes causing trouble in their territory. Mary and Kocourek both have their own seethes in a very small area which is typically a disaster waiting to happen. What she finds while out looking, and getting kidnapped for the second time is that Guccio and Mary have a thing; well Mary has a thing and Guccio is using Mary for her power because as well as being a vampire she is also a witch. They have taken over Kocourek's seethe and made plans to usurp Bonarata which he tries to use Adam for. It all comes down to plots upon plots when Honey is forced to kill Lenka, masterminded by Bonarata because he is losing control of her, and Adam is forced to kill Guccio. Guccio thought he was using Adam by trying to bind him to kill Bonarata, but gets himself killed in the process. The Columbia Basin pack returns home to Aiden having caught their garage on fire while doing his homework.

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Review: Etched in Bone

Etched in Bone Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Unfortunately Etched in Bone marks the end of The Others series, but FINALLY we get the good stuff, though not nearly enough. It only took five books to get us there, and I hate that we don't get to see how the relationship between Meg and Simon plays out. Bishop has said that 2018 may bring a spinoff series, so maybe we will get small updates that way. The Others quickly became one of my favorite series due to the originality of the world and characters created. It's no easy task to reinvent what's already been overdone. Each group of the terra indigene, and each member of that group is unique and contributes to the overall story of Lakeside. Meg came in and changed things up a bit for all involved including the humans. What's left was more than a functioning group of others and humans, but more of a family working together for the safety of all.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Review: The Gunslinger

The Gunslinger The Gunslinger by Stephen King
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

The Gunslinger was recommended to me and I can definitely see the appeal. However, it's just not my thing. It took me forever to finish even though it started out promising. The premise is fascinating, but the writing style makes things too complicated. In King's defense, I almost never enjoy male writers and I have no idea why. The imagery was amazing in some places and so overboard that it bored me in others. I wanted King to just get to the point. It's the same way I feel when I read some of the old classics, yes, it's brilliant; but if I'm not enjoying it, then it's pointless.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review: Sweep in Peace

Sweep in Peace Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I didn't even realize until now that a few of the new characters in this second installment come from the author's other series The Edge. It has been seven years since I read that series, but it didn't even click until I read another review where that was pointed out. Knowing that now, after finishing this book makes me wish I hadn't learned of it. It's a stark reminder that all children have great potential, but the reality is usually not what we hope for...

Sweep in Peace picks up with Dina alone at the inn and no word from Sean. She is given an opportunity to host a peace summit between three warring factions, one that every other innkeeper has turned down. Dina is desperate to keep the inn going, and in order to do that, she needs guests. She agrees but has no idea what's really in store for her.

I didn't enjoy Sweep in Peace as much as the first book in this series, and because of that will probably end this series here. There was almost too much going on, too many types of people/creatures, worlds, universes, and problems. It was good enough to finish, just not good enough to continue with the series.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence

The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Gift of Fear is not typically the type of book that I enjoy reading. It almost felt like homework, and because of that took me a while to finish. Why then did I keep reading? Because it was interesting, and a lot of the information was useful. Gavin de Becker is a well-known expert on violent behavior, and he shares the information he has learned about our body's own natural defense system, fear. Fear, which is not to be confused with anxiety or worry, is brought on by a real threat that your body has sensed even before your mind knows why. Using that and the things learned here will give you a head start on keeping you and your loved ones safe. Throughout the book, the reader is given many true accounts from the last few decades, along with an insider's perspective.

“Intuition is always right in at least two important ways; It is always in response to something. It always has your best interest at heart”

“It is understandable that the perspectives of men and women on safety are so different--men and women live in different core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them.”

“We must learn and then teach our children that niceness does not equal goodness. Niceness is a decision, a strategy of social interaction; it is not a character trait. People seeking to control others almost always present the image of a nice person in the beginning. Like rapport-building, charm and the deceptive smile, unsolicited niceness often has a discoverable motive.”

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: Clean Sweep

Clean Sweep Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The husband and wife duo that is Ilona Andrews are brilliant at creating their own worlds. As an urban fantasy, Clean Sweep is set in modern times, but there is so much more to it than that. Dina runs a bed and breakfast in a small Texas town, but that's where the normalcy ends. As the Innkeeper, she provides a room to all types of paranormal travelers, and once granted the room they're in neutral territory, and under her protection. Clean Sweep has a new spin on magic, the earth and its place in the galaxy, as well as the different types of paranormal beings.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Review: Burying Water

Burying Water Burying Water by K.A. Tucker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Burying Water may not quite compete with Ten Tiny Breaths, but it's up there. It's told from alternating past/present pov, with Jesse narrating the past and Water narrating the present. Water wakes up after being left for dead with no recollection of who she is or how she got there. She eventually chooses the name Water because of the tiny water symbol tattoo she has, even though she has no memory of getting it. After months of recovery, she moves in with Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety old lady that I adored! She has no qualms about telling it exactly like it is. The two of them make an unlikely, but fun pair who each help the other in their own way. Eventually, the two parts, past and present, connect to provide the full picture of Water's life and Jesse's place in it.

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Review: Gone for You

Gone for You Gone for You by Jayne Frost
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was given a copy of Gone for You in exchange for an honest review.
Gone for You was a decent book, and I liked that it was based in Texas. The characters were very one-dimensional, nothing especially great or terrible about either one. The whole rockstar thing is kind of cliche and overdone, but that's to be expected. The pacing was good, maybe a bit rushed at the end but I finished it pretty quickly. As the reader, you're given a little background about the main characters here and there, but it just isn't enough to form a connection which means I wasn't really invested in the outcome. If you're looking for something quick and light, this is it.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Review: Hell's Ink

Hell's Ink Hell's Ink by Nicole Reed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First, I hate the cover.. It's cheesy and doesn't represent the book well. Second, Hell's Ink reads very much like Son's of Anarchy. Other than those two things I did enjoy the second installment of Forever Inked. Hold Dawson was the enemy in book one, forcing Helen into a life she didn't want to be a part of. Even though it was clear he was forced into some of his bad decisions, I still couldn't get over his role in Helen's capture. Luckily, we did get to see another side of Hold and his point of view.

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Review: Beautiful Ink

Beautiful Ink Beautiful Ink by Nicole Reed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Un-freakin-real.. I have so much to do today, but I absolutely could not stop until I finished Beautiful Ink. I loved everything about this haunting, tragic, yet beautiful story. Helen was raised in the Hell's Highwaymen MC, destined to be the wife of her best friend Holden when he took over the club their father's started. She loves Holden, he's always been her protector and friend but she doesn't love him in a romantic way. The brutal, vile bastards take everything from her and seem to enjoy it. Holden is the only bright spot in their evil destruction, but even he isn't clean of the corruption. My heart ached for Helen, and the life she endures.. It's unreal that this could actually be based on a true story, and I can't wait to read book two.

“I don’t want in this life anymore. I can’t live like this. I am dying inside.”

"Dying is the least of my worries.
Being found would be a fate worse than death,
the thought of reentering the life that I fled is my darkest nightmare.
He would make my life a living hell."

"Blood in and blood out.. you're fuckin' choice.
But know this: it is forever now my blood that runs through your veins.
And I will drown you in it before I let you escape me again."

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Review: Outtakes from the Grave

Outtakes from the Grave Outtakes from the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was expecting a short novella with two of my favorite characters but got so much more. Outtakes from the Grave is the size of a regular book with all of the deleted or rewritten scenes from the Night Huntress series. There isn't anything especially important that you learn, but it's nice to get more of Cat & Bones. I wish this series wasn't over, it has been and will probably always be one of my favorites!!

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Review: City of Demons

City of Demons City of Demons by Richelle Mead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started the Georgina Kincaid series almost ten years ago, and while the books are slow in coming out the last few years they're still as fascinating as ever. Funny story, Georgina works in a bookstore with a coffee shop and has an addiction to white chocolate mochas. After seeing them mentioned over and over I decided to give them a try, and they're now my all time favorite Starbucks drink.

Georgina is a succubus, working for the archdemons of hell after selling her soul. She may be the only employee of all the evil that awaits us with any sense of her former humanity left. She's in love with Seth, a human who she refuses to be intimate with in order to avoid stealing his pieces of his soul. When her boss sends her to a sort of demon trial in his place, she realizes that her evil cohorts really care nothing for justice but are instead accepting the best bribe for their vote. While there, those who have cause to sway her opinion, use their influence to affect her relationship with Seth.

She eventually does the right thing, and only because of her are two somewhat innocent demons fate spared and the guilty party convicted. She wins a bet with one of them that Seth wouldn't stray, even though he doesn't have the ability to be with her. Prior to the bet, she was granted a few hours with Seth, no soul-sucking consequences, and passes that up to help free the two demons who were initially wrongly convicted. If I had one opportunity only to sleep with the love of my life, I don't know that I would have been so noble.. It was a little unrealistic because she could have taken that opportunity before she had even figured out what happened in the murder, but lost it to prove Seth's commitment to her. I hate that she missed out on that, but I suppose that since this is actually taking place between books two and three that would have messed up the story line.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review: Leave Me Breathless

Leave Me Breathless Leave Me Breathless by Cherrie Lynn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So not only is Cherrie Lynn a fantastic author, she is a local East Texan!
I'm not sure why I waited so long to continue this series. Both of the main characters, and even supporting characters were totally likeable and relatable. Ghost is so yummy, I'm hoping he is based on someone the author knows, who may just live around here, and be single. Macy is feminine, kind of conservative, but tough as nails when she needs to be. Although they're from two totally different worlds, Macy learns real quick not to judge a book by its cover.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Review: Menagerie

Menagerie Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The description of Menagerie already had me captivated, and Vincent did not disappoint. I couldn't put it down once I started reading. Menagerie is an urban fantasy, my favorite genre, with fantasy creatures living in the modern world.

Delilah lives with her boyfriend and works as a bank teller since returning home from college. He gives her tickets to the circus to see the Cryptids, fantastical creature/ human hybrids. Not only are each one of them unique characters, they are amazing in their own right, with mermaids, werewolves, shifters, and oracles, among others. While visiting she unintentionally reveals that she is also not human. After being captured and sold to the circus herself she befriends the other cryptids while searching for her own freedom. I can't wait for book 2 which isn't due out until May :(

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Review: Bounty

Bounty Bounty by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kristen Ashley for the win, she writes incredible love stories of completely unrealistic love. Keep setting my expectations up for failure Ashley.. hahaha Seriously though, I have been a fan of hers for years and still enjoy reading her books. Bounty is no different. Deke is a yummy mountain man all alpha and shit, and Justice is his goofy gypsy princess. Loved it even though I couldn't get through it without shedding just a few tears. Shh don't tell anyone, I'm still a badass ;)

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Review: Bad Mommy

Bad Mommy Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow.. I cannot even believe this book. Tarryn Fisher has to be a little twisted to pull off this kind of writing. How she is able to create the most f'd up character that you still can't help but kind of like, I will never know. Fig is batshit crazy, totally out there. She is convinced that she deserves Jolene's husband, daughter, and life. She befriends the family and works her own agenda with each one of them separately. Bad Mommy is split into three parts, with each part being the first person pov of one of the three main characters. Each part gives you different viewpoints of the crazy. I know that every time I read one of Fisher's books, I'm in for a surprise and Bad Mommy is one of her best yet.

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