Sweetpea by CJ Skuse @CeejaytheAuthor #bookreview @HQstories @HarperCollins

Book: Sweetpea
Author: CJ Skuse
Other Books by this Author: Pretty Bad Things, Rockoholic, Dead Romantic, Monster, The Deviants

Description:I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.
A kill list.From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.
Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin UK for allowing me to read a pre-publication version of this title.

I don’t know where to start other than to say THANK YOU Twitter, for introducing me to CJ Skuse.  She knows her way around a gif and her ability to develop a likeable yet gruesome character is both slightly disturbing and extremely impressive. Sweetpea was absolutely brilliant, and three days after finishing it I’m still trying to figure out how to collect my thoughts and coherently express just how much I enjoyed it.

I will start by saying this book is not for everyone. The content is graphic, it’s littered with expletives, and it can be quite shocking.  But if you think you’re up for a trip into the dark and twisted mind of a hilarious serial killer, you will love this.

This book is written in the form of a diary, a la Bridget Jones (with a heavy dose of Dexter thrown in) and takes us through a year in the life and mind of Rhiannon, aka Sweetpea. But instead of starting each day with her current weight and cigarette count, Rhiannon begins each entry with a kill list.  This is probably my favorite part of the book, because these little snippets were so relatable and funny. There were several times I found myself reading and nodding along thinking ‘Yes! OMG I hate that!’ (pen-tapping, people who walk in groups along the pavement so no on else can get past, people who can’t spell, apostrophise and who don’t know the difference between ‘they’re’ and ‘their’ to name a few)…only to remember that I was reading a kill list!

I didn’t expect a book about a serial killer to be funny, but this appears to be dark comedy at its finest. Skuse somehow manages to create a book that is both so WRONG and so RIGHT all at the same time. Sweetpea had me jumping between abject horror and trying not to laugh out loud in the quiet car of the train to London.

CJ Skuse writes YA books (all of which I think I need to run out and buy ASAP!) but this is her first adult novel and it is very decidedly adult.  If you’re offended by swearing and you’re afraid to get a little dark, this book may not be for you.  But if you’re into dark comedy, serial killers, or laughing, this book is for you!

Move Sweetpea to the top of your reading list, it’s available now and it’s a must read!

If you’d like to check out Sweetpea for yourself, you can preorder it now in anticipation of the 20 April release date.

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