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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027

Slice of Cherry

Slice of Cherry - Dia Reeves This was a really unexpected read, and by unexpected, I mean surprisingly good. Really good. I’ve flip-flopped back and forth on it (actually recc’d it to a friend—“It’s about two sisters who become fledging serial killers, I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard it’s good!”), and yeah, I’m glad that I finally read this.It’s very unexpected—the plot twists in ways that I didn’t expect it to, the atmosphere and setting where completely creepy, and the character dynamics kept shifting throughout the book. The book’s chiefly told from Fancy’s perspective, and the way her character ends up is through a slow, twisted path through a literal heart of codependent darkness. She’s very childlike, not only in how she dresses and acts, but the way Reeves describes events through her eyes. It makes Kit’s growing distance feel more like a betrayal, and really gets into Fancy’s darker side. There’s some good moments of her stronger nature—like the chase through the dark park—and you can see that Fancy has much of a chance of being the strong one instead of Kit. Slice of Cherry really feels more like Fancy’s story and her coming-of-age. (With more murder and evisceration.) Because of this, I felt like we really didn’t get to know Kit as well. She’s very obviously the more assertive of the two girls, but we get to see her jealous nature as Fancy takes more control of their murders. I would have like more of her perspective, but at the same time, I don’t think the book would have worked as well if it were narrated by both sisters. (Follow-up? Maybe?)The Turner brothers create for an interesting foil to the girls, if only because they seem to have similar predatory natures. Both Ilan and Gabriel hit my creep radars (especially Gabriel); while they start off as the now-standard “Mysterious bad boys who want to kill/hurt/maim the main character,” Fancy and Kit are just as dangerous and bad. It’s very much an anti-hero story—technically the sisters are avenging serial killers, but their glee at what they’ve discovered is deeply unsettling. It’s almost hypnotic to read as the two sibling sets spiral deeper into this. One of the things Reeves pulls off is her subtly in setting up Portero and its culture. There’s already a layer of Southern Gothic with the East Texas setting, and the fledging serial killer plot. And then the townspeople just casually mention that there are regular monster attacks, and to avoid wearing bright clothing, unless if you’re a part of a special forces group. A lot of this is thrown in to normal conversations—the first monster attack, I basically said, “Wait, what?” (I know there’s the prequel/companion, Bleeding Violet, which now I’m interested in reading.) But the smaller details, like how the townspeople ward off the monsters and even the fact that creatures just lurk around on the street are given much detail, they’re just there. This subtlety also extends to the African-American culture described in the book—you’re not beaten over the head with the fact that the Cordelles are black. Aside from the importance of the Juneteenth celebration, more focus is on Fancy’s deteriorating mental state and relationship with her sister. I wish Reeves would have gotten more into how doors open into other worlds (aside from Fancy’s ‘happy place’), but again, need to read the first book.My one issue with the book is that it just ends on the reveal of who killed the Turners’ father and with Fancy and Kit’s mother finding out about the new murders. It’s extremely abrupt and barely ties up all of the loose ends with little conflict. Honestly, on reading the last line, I was all “What the hell just happened?” I’m sorta split on how I would have liked it to have ended—obviously, this isn’t the kind of book that ties up everything nice and neat, but more closure would have probably worked for me. Otherwise, immensely creepy and strangely hypnotic. Very disappointed in myself that I didn’t pick this up earlier.