It’s been forever since I posted something here, but during this absence, I’ve read quite a few books that don’t really need full reviews. So here’s some quick book thoughts.
Behind Her Eyes, a.k.a., Fear the Queer 2017. Spoilers, but like, don’t even bother reading it, it’s actual trash:
The ending is literally “predatory murderous gay man kills women to get straight guy”. Oh, and he plots to kill a child. Because you know that’s what we queers are all about! I use he pronouns because as soon as the “twist” comes, that’s how the book refers to him and how his internal thoughts refer to him, regardless of the rest of the book. The alternative is that, of course, trans people (especially trans women) can’t be trusted and are all “really” men. There’s so much shit to unpack in this bullshit, but let’s just remember this shit got published to widespread acclaim in 2017.
The Ice Twins, a.k.a., “mentally ill women cannot be told their own diagnoses nor be trusted with children.”
Honestly, this book is so shit, I don’t even know how to describe it, but the main conflict is an actually Idiot Plot (i.e., a plot that can only work if every character is an idiot). Husband and wife refuse to talk to each other. Husband keeps vital mental health info from wife (including contact from her doctor, which violates so many patient confidentiality laws, I can’t even). Wife is slut-shamed in narrative and then, “gone crazy”, dies. And that’s considered a happy ending.
The Couple Next Door, a.k.a., mentally ill women are violent murderers. Are you seeing a pattern here?
The main plot is actually a pretty good kidnapping-gone-wrong story, pretty tight and legitimately twisty. Unfortunately, it’s bogged down by clunky, samey dialogue; repetitive narration; incredibly ableist views on mental illness while pretending to be fair; and, of course, the ending. Along with a fundamental misunderstanding of DID, the very last chapter is “lol, see, we could’ve had a happy ending, but then wife blacks out and murder someone *insert smug smiling emoji*”.
I don’t know what it is about mysteries lately, but there’s a big trend of writing a last chapter that completely ruins the rest of the book. Also, a word to the wise: a twist cannot be a random thing tacked on at the end. It has to make sense within the story. It has to be believable. Sure, you might not want your reader to see it coming, but a reader has to be able to go back and see where the twist started; a twist must be rooted in something in the rest of your book.
I have read some good books, believe it or not.
I just finished Ararat by Christopher Golden and it was amazing. The book literally feels like the plot, climbing up the mountain in exuberance and racing down in terror. This has a plot twist done right, one I twigged to early in the book, but was still gobsmacked when it came. If you like tightly paced, but not rushed mysteries, very well done characters, and LEGIT DEMONS HOLY SHIT, I cannot recommend it enough.
Currently, I’m reading The Boy in the Earth. I’m getting from the library The Road Out of Hell, about a true series of murders that took place in Mira Loma back in the ’20s-’30s. Plus, I just received One of Us is Lying, which is like The Breakfast Club, but with murder. And, soonish, I need to read Murder in Matera, and do a legit review.
What are you reading? Let me know in the comments. And, if there’s any book you’d like me to read so I’ll review it, rant about it, or just fan with you, let me know, too.