Tuesday, 16 May 2017

'Jack Be Quick' by Benjamin Thomas: A Book Review

A picture scrawled in blood pushes paramedic Noah McKeen into a game of hide and seek with someone attempting to honor Jack the Ripper.

Tormented and controlled by little white pills and visions of the woman he had intended to start a family with now in the company of another man, Noah fights to control his sordid selfish behavior and stop a brutal reenactment of history’s most notorious serial killer.

Note: I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 


I don’t know what it is about murder mysteries that thrills me so much. I’ve always loved them. From watching CID to binge-reading Hercule Poirot to playing James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club games on my laptop, I’ve done it all, and loved every minute of it.

So it should come to you as no surprise that I really wanted to get my hands on Jack Be Quick. Jack the Ripper is one of history’s most fascinating serial killers, and I really hoped this novel would do justice to his horrendous work. 

Did it?

Hmm. Yes. 

I’ll admit, the first half of the book wasn’t particularly engaging, seeing as the story was more character-centric than plot-centric. There was also a lot of focus on Noah’s drug addiction, which, while important to the story, did seem to take away from the mystery at hand. 

Next to death, caffeine and narcotics were candy and soda. Maybe his real addiction was tragedy.

I did like his relationship, or lack thereof, with his ex-girlfriend Amber. I loved how, despite whatever went down between them, they still truly cared about each other, although their ways of showing it were a little twisted. 

 Detective Alyssa Madsen was another great character: a total badass, just the way I like my detectives. Her banter with Noah was interesting to say the least, and one of my favourite scenes involves them striking a friendship over a few drinks. 

“Maybe sanctuary isn’t a place. Maybe it’s the people you surround yourself with.”

The mystery itself was good. I loved the fact that there was a lot of involvement with respect to ‘Jack’ (no spoilers), although I was a little disappointed with the reveal. I suppose I expected something more dramatic. I also felt that his backstory could have been explored a little more. That would have given the plot a really nice touch, and given the reader a chance to perhaps – just perhaps – connect with him. 

I liked the writing. It was fast-paced, engaging and well done. I highlighted a couple of quotes (mentioned above) and would have shared more with you, but – well – spoilers!

The ending sort of intrigued me. It paved the way for a sequel, quite possibly, but there’s no cliffhanger as such. There’s enough resolution for it to work on its own.

I’m going to go with 3.5 stars out of 5 for Jack Be Quick

A good homage to Jack the Ripper, Jack Be Quick is a thrilling read, although not quite as addicting as Noah’s little white pills. 

Jack Be Quick came out in stores and on Amazon on May 9th. Pick up a copy if you think it’s your type of read!

PS: Benjamin, or the editors over at Owl Hollow Press, if you’re reading this, do drop me a comment down below and tell me why there’s no comma in the title. Honestly, I’m really curious. (LOL)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Truth About Bipolar Disorder

bipolar disorder
noun: bipolar disorder; plural noun: bipolar disorders; noun: bipolar affective disorder; plural noun: bipolar affective disorders
  1. a mental condition marked by alternating periods of elation and depression. 
I'll admit: it's not easy admitting to the internet that you have bipolar disorder. But I've done that in the past, and I'm doing it again, because it's not a bad thing or something to be ashamed of. It's just a part of who I am, and it's a part I've accepted. 
It's been almost two years since my first symptoms of bipolar disorder (depressive episodes) started cropping up, and to celebrate that, I thought it would be nice to openly talk about the things I've been through and maybe, just maybe, prevent you from making the same mistakes I - and my doctors - did.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

'Open Minds (Mindjack Series, #1)' by Susan Kaye Quinn

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

'All the Glory' by Elle Casey: A Book Review

Jason Bradley has everything going for him. He's Banner High's first-string varsity wide receiver, headed to another State championship, and the college recruiters are already knocking on his door. His girlfriend is every guy's dream, there's a brand new black Camaro with a 6.2L, V-6 engine parked in his garage, and he's on cruise control.

But when the school's beloved football coach turns up dead and Jason's found standing over the body, his cruise control cuts off bringing his charmed life to a screeching halt, and the reality of being an accused murderer of the first degree takes over.

When everyone else walks away and leaves him to hang, one girl can't. But it's going to take more than guessing and wishing to get through to him and the truth of what happened, since he seems bound and determined to accept his fate as a criminal, tried as an adult and eligible for lethal injection.

Can one really determined girl get to the bottom of the mystery when no one else seems to care? It would be so much easier to watch him go down, and for many, maybe just a little bit too satisfying. After all, who isn't guilty of finding pleasure in seeing that perfect someone suddenly exposed for the self-centered prick that he really is?

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Goodbye, 2016. Hello, 2017!

It's been a while since my last post. I feel like I've said that too many times this year.
2016 has gone by in a blur. A surreal, sadistic blur. There are tons of memes on Facebook about how much 2016 sucks, and I've got to say I agree. It's been a bad year for me, too, for reasons that I can't admit on the internet, reasons that only three or four people in my life know.

Yes, 2016 was good for me, too, as I'll discuss later on in the post. But at this point, I'm going to have to rack my brains to remember, because all I can see is the grey cloud that still looms over me.

Alas, the past is the past, and there's nothing we can do about how shitty 2016 was. But it's the last day of the year! A fresh start is upon us! What could be better?

So here goes: the good and the ugly of 2016. Let's go.

The Good Memories

1) New House + Same Roommate

Last year I told you about my wonderful roommate and my beautiful room. Well, that hasn't changed, except now I have a room of my own in a new house, and a lot more privacy. My roommate's still the same, which I'm very thankful for, because she is the absolute best friend I could have ever asked for.
As for my new room... plenty of posters, glow-in-the-dark stars, yellow curtains PLUS sea green curtains, a tiny bed, a couch, and a study room... you get the picture. Lovely.

2) Fresh Diagnosis
I finally got the proper diagnosis and the treatment that I deserve, and I'm happy to say that my life is... normal now. With the right medication and the right therapy, I'll never have to worry about my mental health again. :)

3) Book Five?!

I spent all of 2015 working on Not That Kind of Girl, and I'm plenty proud of it, but I'm prouder about the fact that 2016 brought to me Always You, Love Thy Neighbour and my current work-in-progress, The Year I Fell in Love. This has been a wonderful year for writing - and maybe that's why I've been neglecting you, dear readers. Hopefully that'll change in the new year.

4) My Business
I've talked about my editing business previously, so I won't go into too much detail, but Feb 2016 is when the magic happened and the epiphany struck: if you're good at something, never do it for free. And that's how I started critiquing and editing books for a living. Wonderful, innit?

See, all this stuff is great, but I can't think of anything else. Let's just move on to the bad.

The Bad Memories

1) My Grades...

I got a disappointing GPA of 2.7 in my fourth semester, bringing my CGPA down from 3.67 to 3.4, and even though it's now settled at 3.35, I can't help but wonder how the girl who came second in first year with 3.71 is now just... above average.
But hey, it was a trade-off. Mental health or marks? I picked mental health, and that was the right decision to make. So yeah. That's my silver lining.

I promise you there's a lot more serious stuff - legitimate stuff - that I can only talk about in therapy or with my best friends - so I can assure you that this year has not been rainbows and sunshine for me, either. I remember 2015 me thinking, well, it can't get any worse, can it? Well, 2016 sure beat you to it, 2015.

But I know for a fact 2017 is going to be better. I have so much to look forward to! Graduation, my sister's wedding, moving back to Bangalore (hopefully, at least), setting up my business, maybe getting some response from publishers... there's a lot to look forward to, and I hope that this time next year, these will be the things that form part of my "good memories".

Tomorrow, I go back to Mumbai, ready for a fresh start. A clean slate. With the knowledge that yes, this time, and I can say this for sure, it can't possibly get worse. I hope...?

Well, Happy New Year to you, Geeks! I'll try being more active in 2017 - maybe that can be my resolution, to give more time to the things that matter instead of sleeping all day - though I can't make any promises, but I shall see you when I do.