Generation X – Douglas Coupland

Set in the early 1990’s we see Dag, Claire and Andy try to navigate their life by telling stories.

Coupland’s novel is a kind of social commentary about the “disaffected and directionless” generation after the baby boomers and honestly, I found it pretty boring. To be fair to Coupland, he really does capture this kind of listless energy within the narrative and there’s a lot of interesting stylistic choices that I’d get a kick out of analyzing. As an everyday read though, its very meh and I’m not really sure why its been given the cult status it has.

Great for study, not so sure about anything else.


Pet Sematary – Stephen King

I think the best word to describe Pet Sematary is sinister. From the novels outset there’s an impression, an underlying feeling that something evil is going to happen. The narrative is disquieting, with a slow building terror that grips you until the very end. But Pet Sematary is most frightening because the story is so relatable, and in this way I’m reminded of Freud’s theory of the uncanny: ‘that class of frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar’. We can all imagine our selves in Louis’ position and given the option, I believe we would all take that chance…

Stephen King is a master of his craft.

Scandalous by L.J.Shen

This review is going to be short and sweet – you already know how much I love Leigh Shen, you know that I think she’s an amazingly talented author who gets better with each and every book and so there’s not much point repeating all of that! I love L.J, simple as. Scandalous was a great read and I finished it in one sitting, smashing through it. If I had to rate my favorite Hotholes in order I think it would go something like this…

  1. Dean
  2. Vicious
  3. Trent
  4. Jamie

This was ridiculously hard to decide upon and I also have a bit of a thing for Bane. I can’t wait to see what L.J comes up with for him. I lurveees a badboy.

I also love books that play with the age difference, and with Scandalous it just added to the chemistry Edie and Trent have. He’s this suave, cool and collected older guy while she’s warm blooded, caring and very passionate. They both have issues and dramas that add to the plot and I think Shen is very gifted at creating scenarios which allow you to get to know Trent and Edie more. I do wish that Trent had tried to connect with Luna a little harder. I know it was part of the character development but I was in love with that little girl and wanted more for her.

Overall this was another 5 star read and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Shen to anyone looking for a bad boy, steamy as fuck and at times funny read.

Freakonomics – Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

Freakonomics is ultimately about the economics behind seemingly random things and the importance of asking questions. For example, Chapter One’s focus: What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common? A burning question, I did not know needed answering! Yet by the end of each bizarre chapter, everything makes complete sense.

Having never been interested in economics, I didn’t know how I would fair with this book but it was pretty incredible. It was easy to follow, insightful and surprisingly funny!

Lesson learned: Don’t trust real-estate agents.

Balance by Lucia Franco

I’m a little bit in love with the taboo lately (which you’ll see in some upcoming reviews) and this book scratched that itch more than perfectly.

Balance is about a avaerage gymnast wanting to become an Olympic medalist, fighting for it with everything she has to prove them wrong. Who’s them? Well her sexy instructor, Konstantin Kournakova (Kova) two time Olympian, for a start. If it isn’t enough that Kova is her instructor, he’s also 32 which adds a delious bite to the taboo edge. Oh…and he has a girlfriend.

Their dynamic is on fire, the chemistry is amazing and I loved the entire thing. There are all sorts of sexy tangles in this web that Lucia Franco weaves and if you are a lover of taboo romance then this is definitely a must read from me.

Taboo Tales by Alexa Riley

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Okay so here’s another taboo one… are you picking up on my obsession yet?

This is my first Alexa Riley, and I was’t sure what the expect from the dynamic duo. Taboo Tales is the combination of My New Step Dad and Trailer Park Virgin in one volume. One features a step-dad and a horny virgin, and the other features a pseudo-dad and pseudo-brother and well… a horny virgin.

These two reads were good, but a word of warning to the prude — they are smut. Pretty much pure filth about white trash. If you like Jab Comix and over the top cheesy porno lines, then you’ll love this!

Now that said, why did I only give it 3 stars? Well, by now you should know that I love filth, the dirtier, the depraved — the better. But for some reason I struggled with this, I just felt like there wasn’t enough build up to connect. I read one review where they called Taboo Tales a masturbatory aid, and that pretty much sums it up. Good if you want quick filth while you get off, but if you want anything more than that it’ll leave you feeling a bit unsatisfied.

Before I Go To Sleep – S J Watson

Christine has amnesia. Every night when she goes to sleep she looses her memory. She’s not sure who she can trust, especially when she begins to realise that those closest to her are lying…

Before I Go To Sleep is a well-written, psychological thriller that kept me turning pages late into the night. Full disclosure: I guessed the ending around 100 pages in (just call me Sherlock Holmes) but that didn’t disappoint me. I needed to find out if I was right!

The narrative structure reminded me a little of Gone Girl; a triptych set up moving between the present, the past in the form of a diary and back to the present for the final reveal. The two novels are completely different though, I just thought it was worth noting.

A good concept, well executed. Worth checking out.

Room – Emma Donoghue


Jack is five years old and he has never seen the outside world. He doesn’t even know it exists. All that he knows is the single, locked room he lives in with his mother.

Room is not a comfortable read yet you find yourself drawn into Jack and Ma’s world and unable to stop. In the times I did, the narrative haunted me; I found myself dreaming about being trapped in a single room. But Room is not a thriller, it is a purely character driven story and in Jack and Ma, Emma Donoghue has created truly original characters that you are not likely to forget.

Room is at once heartbreakingly sad and strangely uplifting, I definitely recommend.

Beast by A.Zavarelli

This was my first book by the incredible A.Zavarelli (whom I got to meet in Berlin! Also got to meet the model from the cover. Eeek!) and I’m a little sad I waited this long! If you don’t like taboo and dark then this one is most definitely not for you. It plays with themes of revenge, abuse, stockholm syndrome and has very strong, questionable sexual themes.

That said, I freaking loved it!

Beast was angsty, twisted, dark as hell and you knew reading it that you should be repulsed or even disgusted but instead she sucked you in and made you want this taboo pairing to work.  I devoured this in one night, I couldn’t get enough of Javi, Belle and their brutal relationship. I had a serious book hangover after this one, my mind was left reeling and I sat whispering ‘fuck’ several times before I finally put the damn thing down.

I think I’m a little desensitized when it comes to dark and taboo, a lot of what I read is classed as that but to me it doesn’t seem very dark. Beast was different. This was pitch black dark. Fumbling around on the ground trying to find your courage kind of dark.

So if you like deviant and depraved, go and buy Beast now!