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liannaedgelord's books

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María Fernanda Ampuero, Frances Riddle: Human Sacrifices (2023, Influx Press) 4 stars

Full of bangers tbh

4 stars

This is a pretty bleak collection, and I definitely had to stop and take a breath after some of the stories more focused on abuse, but every one of these hits super viscerally without the writing even being especially graphic. Some of them are scary. Some are heartbreaking. "Freaks" in particular was beautiful, almost uplifting. Big recommend.

reviewed Jawbone by Monica Ojeda

Monica Ojeda: Jawbone (Paperback, 2022, Coffee House Press) 4 stars

how am i supposed to rate this?

No rating

jawbone is genuinely haunting. the prose is incredible. the characters feel real. it's a super impressive piece that will stick with me a long time but i fucking hated actually reading it. the dense walls of text are claustrophobic and physically hard to get through. the constant dancing around sexual violence then very occasionally just bluntly describing abuse is more upsetting than just one or the other would have been. the utter disgust with bodies, treating puberty as body horror, is relatable in the worst way. the complete lack of an ending provides no way out of the feelings the book brings up. that's all on purpose and in some ways it's brilliant, but it's also kind of too upsetting to recommend.

reviewed Bonding by Maggie Siebert

Maggie Siebert: Bonding (2022) 5 stars

"Maggie understands that splatter for splatter's sake is boring. Psychopathy is boring. Coldness is boring. …

This book fucked me up in the best way

5 stars

Hell of a thing, this one. Maybe not every story in here is five stars, but most of them stuck with me in a really serious way. In particular, "Every Day For The Rest Of Your Life" made me feel so understood and targeted and beautiful and horrible and complicated. It gave me an awful gender euphoria. Maybe my new favorite piece of short fiction. "Ammon" and "Opportunities" were really cool experiments with perspective and slowburn reveals. "Best Friend" and "Witches" genuinely upset me, which might not be what you want from horror, idk. "The Alumni Association" and "The Prime Minister" made me laugh in a collection that could have been unrelentingly bleak without them. The phrase "Specifically his dead penis" will be rotating in my mind for some time to come. Anyway, read this thing.

Sara Tantlinger: To Be Devoured (Paperback, 2019, Unnerving) 4 stars

I don't know, man

2 stars

It starts out so promising. Early on, it looks like we're in for a slowburn realistic portrayal of someone with mental health issues who's creepy and possessive because of trauma. Then it's like the author gets bored of that and suddenly we're just reading another story about somebody doing murders and talking to dead things because she's crAaAazy. It's ableist, but more than that, it's just boring.