Tag Archives: trigger warning

Lil Red’s Book Club: False Witness By Karin Slaughter Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: False Witness By Karin Slaughter Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we will be discussing a book called False Witness by Karin Slaughter – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we begin, however, I will be placing an extreme trigger warning on this book and post. False Witness covers every type of abuse imaginable, violence, rape, and drug addiction. It is definitely not a book to be read by the faint of heart. With that in mind, let’s get to it:

Big sister Leigh and little sis Callie spent their childhood in poverty and immersed in abuse at the hands of adults who should have been protecting them. Finally, the hunted became the hunters and the sisters murdered one of their abusers – the father of the child that Callie was babysitting. They cleaned house, covered their tracks, and lived their lives as if nothing happened afterwards.

To cope, Leigh worked hard to the point of obsessive and became a defense attorney for a major law firm. Callie, on the other hand, turned to hard drugs to ease her pain from scars both mental and physical. She would show up in Leigh’s life occasionally to steal money and possessions but mainly lived on the streets or seedy motels.

For over twenty years, the girls thought that they had gotten away with the perfect crime and did their best to keep it in the back of their minds. That is, until Leigh is hired to defend a new client on brutal rape charges. Who is he? None other than the boy that they babysat all of those years ago.

Andrew Tenant is clearly guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and everyone seems to know it. However, he expects to get off scot free because he has leverage over Leigh that will incriminate both her and Callie if she doesn’t succeed in trial… He knows that they killed his father. How, you may ask? Read False Witness to find out!

Let me start off by saying that False Witness in its entirety was insanely hard to read. Its content was nothing short of heartbreaking and deeply disturbing. Having said that, it was a book that kept my attention to the very end with twists, turns, and complete curve balls on every page.

The subject matter was, at times, unbearable. However, Karin Slaughter crafted the two sisters in such a way that I was rooting for them harder than I have for any other character in the books that I have read recently. Despite their flaws, both Leigh and Callie were likeable, smart, so strong, and sometimes absolutely hilarious. In fact, I liked them even more because of everything that they have gone through.

Slaughter hit hard in this book to the point that it was almost grueling. She shined a light on very real issues and wrote in such a way that it felt like you were reading a true story. The sense of urgency in this book was palpable. There were also delicious moments of comic relief that had me in stitches, which was much needed and appreciated.

I am going to award Karin Slaughter’s False Witness with a six out of ten star rating. While I can’t say that I enjoyed this book due to its graphic nature, I loved how it was written as well as the two main characters. If you can stomach it, False Witness is certainly worth the read. If not, please don’t bother with it because it is not worth damaging your own mental health.

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Night Swim By Megan Goldin Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Night Swim By Megan Goldin Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today we will be discussing a true crime thriller called The Night Swim by Megan Goldin – without giving any spoilers away, of course. It took me a while to get started on reading this book because these past few weeks have been super busy for yours truly. However, once I finally cracked it open I devoured it in less than one week and it was excellent. In fact, it has easily been one of the best books that I’ve read in a good long while.

Before proceeding with the review of The Night Swim, I will be placing a trigger warning on this book as the true crime aspects include rape and murder. Here we go:

Rachel Krall is the creator of the hugely popular true crime podcast called Guilty or Not Guilty. Love her or hate her, she is a household name who reached overnight celebrity status when she uncovered new information that lead to a man falsely convicted of murder to get out of jail in one of her seasons. Between investigating, writing, and recording for her podcast, Rachel is an extremely busy woman and is in crunch mode because the highly anticipated third season of Guilty or Not Guilty is about to begin.

While previous seasons of her podcast reviewed crimes and trials that had already happened, season three will be completely different as Rachel will be reporting in real time at the trial of Scott Blair – a teenage swimming champion accused of rape. Rachel travels to the sleepy, small town called Neapolis in coastal North Carolina, which is already incredibly divided about the case before the trial has even began.

Before reaching town, Rachel stops at a roadside diner for some caffeine and returns to her car to find a letter tucked under her windshield. Despite Rachel’s celebrity status, she has maintained anonymity and her fans don’t know what she looks like, making this delivery alarming. Even more shocking, however, are the contents of the letter from a fan named Hannah who grew up in Neapolis.

Hannah explains that she believes her older sister, Jenny, was murdered twenty-five years ago and wants Rachel’s help to uncover the truth. As previously mentioned, Rachel is a busy woman and her time in Neapolis is spent between investigating a current rape trial and a cold case from a quarter of a century ago. Will her skill and instinct lead her to new information to give closure to Hannah? What will be the outcome of season three of Guilty or Not Guilty? Read The Night Swim to find out!

Despite downright disturbing subject matter, The Night Swim was a captivating read and it really felt like I was investigating the cases right along with Rachel. The book went back and forth each chapter between Rachel’s detective work, letters from Hannah, transcripts from her podcast, and a play by play of the rape trial. It made The Night Swim completely unputdownable because it felt like I was Rachel’s partner and I was urgent for more information to try and solve the cases. While I didn’t get the grand reveal right, I was damn close and was pleased with how much I was able to piece together.

What I enjoyed the most about The Night Swim was how seamlessly it weaved together the past and present cases that Rachel was investigating. In Neapolis, everyone knows everyone and having information from twenty-five years past about current characters provided insight that you rarely get in psychological thrillers. And, of course, Rachel was an amazing heroine who you will find yourself rooting for the entire book.

If the subject matter of The Night Swim isn’t triggering for you, then I cannot recommend this book enough. To further confirm this, I will be awarding it with the prestigious ten out of ten star rating. I have never read a book like this before and I honestly wouldn’t mind reading it again. Megan Goldin is definitely an author to look out for!

What are you reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Have You Lost Weight?

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Have You Lost Weight?

Trigger Warning – This post discusses eating disorders!

Hi everyone! Have you ever received a compliment that made you a little upset? As a recovering bulimic, I admit that I still worry about my weight a lot even though I haven’t purged in several years. So, when I was asked twice in one work day if I lost weight it definitely had me feeling some type of way – even though I don’t really do anything to work out except for a couple of short walks once or twice a week.

I genuinely hate being asked if I lost weight because the thoughts that instantly form in my mind go along the lines of “was I overweight before?” and “challenge accepted, I’ll lose more”. It is extremely triggering for me and, although I have much better coping skills now, I still have to deal with those thoughts and I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t still thinking about it.

A lot of people think that asking someone if they have lost weight could be a compliment but I know firsthand that it is anything but. I encourage all of you to really think before you ask someone that and would advise to only ask it if you know for a fact that the person is actively trying to lose weight for a healthier lifestyle. You have no idea if the person you’re asking has or had an eating disorder, an illness, or tons of stress that has attributed to their recent weight loss. What you think is a compliment could actually be harmful and has the power to hurt feelings and exasperate issues that people are currently struggling or used to struggle with.

If you genuinely want to compliment someone in regards to their weight, I would recommend just telling them that they look good. “Hey, you look nice today” has a lot less of a negative connotation than straight up asking if they lost weight. Some people might roll their eyes when they read this post as they are sick of having to “monitor” what they say. But, as writers, we all know that words have power and effect everyone differently.

I know all of the statements in this post to be true for me personally and I just wanted to open everyone’s eyes to a comment that they might not even think about before they make it. Choose your words carefully and don’t use them to cause anyone any additional stress – with the state of the world right now, I promise that we all have a lot more important things to deal with than racing thoughts about if you lost a couple of pounds. Just something to think about!

What is a “compliment” that you hate receiving? What is a compliment that you like to give to people? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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