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The Plot

Lex Gracie is Girl A – the one who escaped the House of Horrors and saved her siblings from further abuse. Lex’s parents never left the House of Horrors, really – her father was gone before he made it out of the house of his own creation while her mother was imprisoned for the rest of her life for her involvement.

Abigail Dean’s novel Girl A begins with the death of Lex’s biological mother in prison. She is tasked with executing her mother’s will and estate. Lex cannot run from her past any longer when she must retrieve consent and signatures from all of her siblings so that she and her sister, Evie, can turn the infamous House of Horrors into a force for good – a community center.

Lex is a high powered attorney with adopted parents that she adores. She must journey into her past and face her siblings, coming to terms with the horrid past they share.

Reviews and alternate cover of Girl A

The Verdict

While marketed as a thriller, this novel is more of a deep character study into abuse and the trauma that resolves around parental destruction. This novel is winding, but not in a race-to-the-end kind of way. The text follows Lex as she makes contact with each sibling from the House of Horrors and how she processes the taxing emotions that come along with this action.

Girl A is not a typical thriller, but rather a slow burn character study that gives insight to parental and domestic abuse. I would say that this novel is more of a literary fiction text that utilizes thriller themes to explore deep concepts. The marketing for this novel is not exactly transparent, so readers should prepare for a slow, thought-provoking read rather than your typical racing thriller experience.

This fact looks like it has affected the ratings of the novel, as it comes in at a 3.67 on Goodreads currently. I tend to agree with this rating, as I expected something very different than what I received. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the psychology take on an abusive household escape that Dean executes here.

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

If you’d like to check out Girl A, you can find it at the link below!

Sarah Moon is a stone-cold sorceress from Tennessee whose interests include serial killers, horror fiction, and the newest dystopian blockbuster. Sarah holds an M.A. in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing. She works as an English professor as well as a cemeterian. Sarah is most likely to cover horror in print including prose, poetry, and graphic forms.

Book Reviews

A Murder in Reverse: “Wrong Place Wrong Time”

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The Plot

“A brilliantly genre-bending, mind-twisting answer to the question How far would you go to save your child?”  — Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Jen watches her son murder a stranger. Stab him to death. She and her husband, Kelly, watch as their son Todd is taken into custody.

The next morning, Jen wakes up and it’s yesterday. Jen knows that at the end of the night, her son kills someone. She is determined to stop it.

Jen goes further and further back in time trying to discover why Todd murdered a stranger and how to stop it.

The Verdict

This book is twisty. Right when you think you know the ending, something else is there to prove that the story is more multifaceted than that. While the premise of the novel is simple, Gillian McAllister elevates a simple concept with deep, dark twists.

It is best that you don’t know too much going into this one. For fans of Blake Crouch, this is such a good thriller with time travelling vibes.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Book Reviews

Woom: An Extreme Horror Novel

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“That doesn’t invalidate it,” Angel said. “There’s no statute of limitations on pain.”

The Plot

Angel is a man who knows pain: physical, mental, sexual. The story begins with Angel visiting Room 6 at the Lonely Motel and ordering a plus-size sex worker to his room. What comes next is Angel’s retellings of painful stories while performing sexual acts on the sex worker, Shyla.

The novel reads as a book of short stories, as Angel relays stories to Shyla and she tells him stories back. This is a novel of pain and disgust. Angel’s stories are so dark and traumatic that Shyla can’t believe they are true. As Angel bares his soul, we see a side of him that is melancholy and unable to process hurt in a natural way.

The Verdict

This novel is full of disgusting visuals and isn’t afraid to get dirty. This truly is an extreme horror novel. As a warning, there is discussion of feces, blood, rape, sex, and body horror. This novel is not for the faint of heart. You’ll close this short novel feeling dirty. Angel is a character that begs for sympathy while his stories narrate that he may not be as innocent as he perceives.

When the subtitle says this novel is extreme horror, believe it. Only the strong will survive Duncan Ralston’s Woom. It is more splatterpunk than anything, but true literary quality lies beneath the filth.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Read it yourself by clicking below!

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Book Reviews

Did She Do It? Stacy Willingham’s “All the Dangerous Things” Asks Us Just This

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One year ago, Isabelle’s life crumbled when her baby was abducted from her home. Her marriage to her husband, Ben, is destroyed as they try to navigate the fallout.

The Plot

Even one year after the abduction, Isabelle seeks answers. She is still doing appearances at true crime expos to get information on the attendees, thinking the abductor will be there one day. Abductors usually revisit their crime and Isabelle swaps her appearances for the event guest list, never taking any money for her talks.

Some think that Isabelle killed her own baby as evidence from the case says the perpetrator came from inside the house. Isabelle hasn’t slept – not fully – since Mason was abducted. Her therapist is worried that she may be having hallucinations. Is Isabelle the killer or is she on a quest for true justice?

The Verdict

I absolutely loved the complication of not knowing whether Isabelle was a reliable or unreliable narrator. This was my favorite aspect of the novel. It made me question everything that Isabelle had to say and the actions she executed.

Isabelle is a character that, as a mother, I really felt for. I wanted to believe that Isabelle was innocent, but I was hanging on the edge of my seat waiting to find out. Stacy Willingham is the master of a story that winds all around, waiting for you to find the truth.

If you are interested in reading Willingham’s first novel, A Flicker in the Dark, check out my review here.

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

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