Review: Bad Mommy, by Tarryn Fisher

Bad MommyBad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whew! I just finished ‘Bad Mommy’ last night and I’m still trying to process everything I read. This is one of those stories that will leave you questioning exactly WTF you just read. As much as I enjoyed this book – and I did enjoy it – I am so glad to have gotten off of that crazy train! One more hour in the mind of Fig Coxbury and I’m sure the craziness would’ve rubbed off on me.

As many others have pointed out, including Tarryn Fisher, this story has a ‘Single White Female’ meets ‘Fatal Attraction’ feel to it. Although, ‘The Hand that Rocks the Cradle’ is the movie that stands out in my mind, if we’re throwing out movie comparisons. Remember that one? Creepy stuff.

In any case, Fig Coxbury is one seriously crazy lady. There is no disguising the fact that this woman is certifiable. Nutso. Bonkers. Cray-cray. You get the picture. This lady was 100% looney tunes.

Fig sees Jolene Avery and her daughter, Mercy, at the park one day and becomes obsessed. She convinces herself that Mercy is the reincarnated soul of the baby that she miscarried years ago. Fig begins stalking Jolene, going so far as to purchase the house next door to her when it goes up for sale.

Jolene has the life that Fig thinks she deserves. In her mind, Jolene has her daughter and the “perfect” husband, Darius. Fig befriends Jolene and slowly infiltrates every aspect of her life. She hangs out with her friends, invites herself over during family time and shows a complete disregard for normal boundaries and socially acceptable behaviors. If Jolene buys something, so does Fig. It is very, very creepy.

Although Fig’s feelings toward Jolene bounced back and forth between resentment, envy and admiration, somewhere along the way her actions become more laced with malice. She is no longer satisfied to be the friend in the shadows. She wants everything that Jolene has and she begins actively plotting to get what she wants.

At first, I was enjoying the novelty of Fig’s craziness. I kept thinking that Fig was the perfect mate for crazy Joe from Caroline Kepnes’s ‘You’. She was like the female version of Joe with her crazy rationalizations and her stalker behaviors. However, just like Joe, crazy gets old.

After a while, I was irritated with the bat-shit crazy thought processes that made up Fig’s inner monologue. Luckily, about the time that I had had all I could take of her insanity, the POV changed. It happened rather abruptly and I didn’t see it coming, but I was grateful. If the story had continued in Fig’s POV, I’m not sure I could’ve handled it. Ms. Fisher did a great job of impressing upon me the craziness of the situation and taking me right to the brink of what I could handle, and then changing it up before I lost interest.

Darius’ POV is presented next. Surprisingly, he was just as crazy as Fig! I knew this guy was kind of a douche, but the depths of his betrayal was shocking. His duplicitous nature was a complete surprise to me.

Finally, Jolene’s POV is provided. Although all of the narrators were unreliable, Jolene was the only one that didn’t exude craziness. My heart went out to her. She had invited a whole lot of crazy into her life and paid the price. Move away Jolene — far, far away. Change your name. Live off the grid. Hide!

All in all, I enjoyed this trip to crazy town quite a bit. It was definitely a unique and unexpected reading experience. I don’t think I could handle reading too many stories like this in a row, but it provided a nice change of pace. And that ending – creepy. I hope it was a joke. Creepy. Very creepy.

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Review: Never Never (Part 3), by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Never Never: Part Three (Never Never, #3)Never Never: Part Three by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the third, and final, part of Silas and Charlie’s story. While I didn’t hate the story’s conclusion as much as most of my friends did, I am definitely disappointed. I feel so….underwhelmed.

Charlie and Silas continue digging around, following the clues that they’ve left for themselves. Eventually, they unearth some disturbing truths. The reasons for their relationship’s decline were explained at last, which was kind of sad.

However, after all the build-up and suspense surrounding the reasons for their amnesia, we are given a cheesy, ridiculous reason. Seriously? It was a total let down!

I was willing to accept aliens, government conspiracies/government testing, drugging by one of their angry dads, some sort of accident…virtually anything but what we got. Instead, after all the anticipation, we are given a sweet, but completely unbelievable explanation. It was almost like they just got sick of the story and just wanted to end it quickly. Again, it was disappointing.

That being said, I didn’t completely hate Part Three. There were some very interesting revelations and I was still very engaged right up until the ending. I’m a bit torn because I actually liked most of it, but the ending really dragged it down. So, I’m going to average it and go with a 3-star rating. It started out as a 4, but the ending was a 2.

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Review: Never Never (Part 2), by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Never Never: Part Two (Never Never, #2)Never Never: Part Two by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After the huge cliffhanger at the end of the first book, Part Two has Silas searching for Charlie. She never made it home after they left the club. With the help of the clues they had written down, Silas does his best to find her.

If you thought that the first book was unbelievable, Part Two takes it to another level. The “amnesia” that these two seem to be experiencing keeps getting stranger and stranger. I won’t spoil it for you, but I will say that the “amnesia” storyline was unrealistic enough in the first place. It didn’t need to be made more so.

For most of this book, Charlie and Silas are separated. She has been imprisoned and must try and figure out exactly who is holding her captive and why. Meanwhile, Silas falls under scrutiny when Charlie does not turn up. He was the last person seen with her and the number one suspect in her disappearance.

Despite the fact that this story continues to get more and more far-fetched, I found myself listening the audiobook intently. I would have liked it if it were toned down a little more, but I can’t deny that I enjoyed it.

As short as each of these audiobooks are, the story doesn’t seem rushed at all. I wouldn’t have minded a little more information on Charlie’s escape and some sort of revenge against her captors. I thought that particular aspect of the story was a bit anti-climactic.

Overall, I’m still very interested in finding out what happened to Charlie and Silas. This story continues to hold my interest, even if this book seemed to get a little crazier. I didn’t think it could get any more unbelievable after the first one, but I was wrong.

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Review: Never Never, #1,by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Never Never (Never Never, #1)Never Never by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t expect to like this serial as much as I did. I had seen plenty of bad reviews for this series, but I am always looking for quick audiobooks that I can finish between other, “deeper” audiobook selections. ‘Never Never’ was exactly the type of quick, “filler” audiobook that I was looking for.

Admittedly, I was wrong about this story. I was completely captivated by this story right from the start. It was just so different from everything else I’d read. I ended up reading all three books back to back, because I couldn’t pull myself away until I knew what happened.

The story is centered on two high school sweethearts, Charlie and Silas. It is immediately apparent that Charlie has some sort of unexplained memory loss. She can’t remember her name or anything about her life. She is scared, but decides to go through the motions at school until she can piece her missing memories back together.

Charlie walks through her school day, doing her best to soak up every detail. She does her best to change her behavior in response to the reactions of her “friends”, slowly identifying her usual behaviors and preferences. She is introduced to her boyfriend, Silas, but has no recollection of him either.

After spending the day together, Charlie figures out that she isn’t the only one faking it. It is clear that Silas has absolutely no idea of who she is either. Things go from strange to outright bizarre!

Circumstances throw these two virtual strangers together. They form a fast alliance, working together to try and figure out what is going on with them. Despite growing closer to one another, all the clues that they unearth paint a disturbing picture.

They were not the happy couple that everyone thought. Both of them had secrets…big ones! Now, they risk losing their newfound happiness as they come to terms with their betrayals.

Emotions run high and tempers flare. Like most YA stories, there is plenty of angst and back & forth to hold your attention. There is no shortage of teenage drama here.

That being said, you need to be in the mood for this kind of story. On another day, I might have found the exact same story to be immature and irritating. However, it was exactly what I was in the mood for at the time.

The first of three serials, this book ends with a huge cliffhanger. That shouldn’t be a surprise. If you’re like me, you’ll want to finish the series immediately.

This story was highly unbelievable, but greatly entertaining. It’s one of those books where you’re thinking, “Yeah right” and rolling your eyes…but you can’t stop listening anyway because you love every implausible minute. Yep, I was hooked! I started the second book immediately after finishing Part I.

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Review: F*ck Love, by Tarryn Fisher

F*ck LoveF*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of the most difficult books to rate that I’ve run across. There were things about this story that I absolutely loved. I can’t deny that I was inexplicably drawn to this story. Yet, there were also things that just didn’t work for me. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with this one.

I love Tarryn Fisher’s writing. ‘The Opportunist’ is a favorite of mine and this book held much of the same appeal in so many ways. I’m not a person that shies away from love triangles or cheating either. In fact, I love the push and pull of an angsty love story. Forbidden is my thing.

As far as angst goes, this book had tons! If you like your stories to bring some emotional pain, look no further. I felt like I vacillated between varying levels of heartache and joy the entire time I was listening to this story. Ms. Fisher definitely toyed with my emotions and made me feel things I wasn’t sure I was ready for.

This is a story about a young woman, Helena, that falls in love with her best friend’s boyfriend, Kit. The relationship begins as a casual friendship, becoming progressively flirtatious over time. Eventually, lines blur and the dynamics of their relationships are forever altered.

Helena was the type of heroine that you could relate to because she was such a flawed human. She had so many insecurities and always seemed to get the short end of the stick. Even though I didn’t agree with many of her choices, even thinking that some were kind of creepy and pathetic –I mean who moves cross country to live in you best friend’s boyfriend’s home town because you can’t have him? — I wanted her to “win” for once. She was kind of like the underdog that you can’t help but root for.

Kit and Helena’s best friend, Della, were much harder for me to warm up to. Della was just a selfish, wicked cow! There was nothing about her that I found to be appealing or endearing. I hated her!

Kit, on the other hand, stirred up a range of emotions in me. At times I loved him. Other times, I thought that he was cowardly and undeserving of Helena. He never seemed to care for her as much as she cared for him.

My biggest complaint is that Kit royally screwed Helena over…more than once…and he got off easy. If you’ve been a friend of mine for long, you know that I demand some damn groveling when the hero screws up. That never happened here, which left a very bad taste in my mouth.

With all that being said, I still could not put this book down. I loved this story, in spite of all my objections. Ms. Fisher has a way of sucking me in to her emotional stories, even when my brain is telling me that I should be offended. The heart wants what it wants. Despite all reason, I loved this story!

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