4.8 min readBy Published On: October 30th, 2023Categories: Features0 Comments on Caught Reading in Southie – 3 Book Reviews for You!

You’d think with all the rainy Saturdays, I’d have lots of reading time – but it seems like October slipped right away.  If you didn’t know, I spend my weekends working my second job at LoveChild on West Broadway.  Feel free to stop by, grab some bevs and blooms – and let’s chat about books!   I’d love to hear about your current reads.

October Books leaned heavily into the crime, murder-mystery type.  I promise more contemporary fiction, etc. are on the way for the winter months.

Book 1:The Locked Door By: Frieda McFadden

Grab The Locked Door if you find yourself a fan of Frieda’s blue-covered The Housemaid, the television show CSI and enjoy looking at your neighbors wondering which one has a prisoner locked in the basement.  This book is a quick read that will only take you an afternoon to get through, but you’ll feel gross after reading it.  However, I still recommend it! — Readers meet the main character, Nora, as an adult, a successful surgeon who prefers to hang out alone at seedy bars with an Old Fashioned in hand.  She’s not looking to build a connection with anyone. God forbid they recognize her face and connect her to her father’s crimes.   Aaron Nierling was considered a hard-working family man until he was found out to be a collector of severed hands – specifically, the hands of young women that he murdered in his basement.  The book follows Nora as an old boyfriend re-appears and a detective starts poking around when some of her patients show up mutilated just like her good ol’ dad’s victims. Hot tip:  Most of her books are free on Kindle Unlimited.

Book 2: The Gilded Ones By: Namina Forna

Grab The Gilded Ones if you’re looking for a fresh YA fantasy that’s unlike any book you’ve read before.   Deka awaits her turn to test her purity – will her blood run red or run gold?   If it runs red, she’ll be fully accepted into the community that’s kept her and her family always on the outskirts.  But if it runs gold, they’ll drain her for all she’s worth and take turns killing her in any way they can think of.  Deka soon learns she is one of few, the few that chosen to take down monsters that encircle their homes – Deathshrieks.  We follow her journey as she not only figures out who she is, where she belongs, and if she’s human or if she’s a monster.  This book was cruel – but with true messages of how women can be treated – but also uplifting as we see that what first was considered “impure” of Deka – is actually her biggest strength.   The emotions behind the friendships and the battles, the bands of loyalty, and episodes of deceit will have your head ping-ponging back and forth.  One thing that I didn’t expect from this book was it made me question what decision the main character should make when she’s stuck between what’s expected and what’s right.  I’ve never read an adventure or a fantasy book like this, but I couldn’t put it down.   One of the comments on the back of the book compared it to Children of Blood and Bone, Mulan and Black Panther – I think they were on the track, but just a bit more dark.   If I was still teaching high school ELA, I would definitely add this one to my classroom library – but I recommend to any reader looking for an adventure.   Hot tip:  The paperback version is only $12.99 – a steal!

Book 3: When We Were Bright and Beautiful By: Jillian Medoff

Grab When We Were Bright and Beautiful if you enjoy reading about New York City’s upper crust being extra crusty.  What I mean by that – is rich, stuffy families combined with young gun playboys with no consequences.  At the beginning, I was aggravated.  Cassie Quinn, the main character, is called back to the Upper East Side because her brother has been accused of sexual assault by his girlfriend.  Initially, it’s excuse after excuse and I honestly wanted to whoop the brother upside the head (and actually the author too for writing the book).  BUT, I kept with it and there were sub-stories that kept weaving themselves around Billy’s courtroom drama including:  Cassie’s adoption, interactions with the established doormen, Cassie’s relationship with a married man, the immaturity of her other brother – Nate, the “actual” money stream from her mother and her pitiful father.   You’ll get to the end and pour yourself a stiff drink while screaming at the last chapter or turning on the show Billions.

Other worthy options:

  • Kill Show by Daniel Sweren-Becker:  a “true” crime novel that highlights the obsession from fans and the media, plus how it can greatly impact the victims.  It also takes a look at who sees “crime” as a fame opportunity!

  • When I’m Dead, by Hannah Morrissey: highly recommend this grisly mystery novel that focuses on the medical examiner and her husband (detective)’s missing daughter and classmates.

  • The Final Girl Support Group, by Grady Hendrix: throw back the last girls standing in movies such as Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer and more.  All of the “final girls” come together for therapy until someone starts hunting them down one by one.  Note: some of the more disturbing scenes I’ve read in a while!

If you got this far, thank you!  Let us know what you think via the comments on @caughtinsouthie or catch me at @glossinbossin / @josiegl on Instagram.

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