Cover Image: Maeve Fly

Maeve Fly

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Member Reviews

Unfortunately, I had to DNF this at 56%.
The reason I had to put it down was because it made me physically ill. Like, couldn't hold down water, bile up my throat, nauseous. If that's the kind of thing you're looking for, you'll love this. Be warned, there are quite a few trigger warnings, the biggest for me being sexual violence and torture.
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<b>You want something unique and different to read? Look no further than Maeve Fly.</b>

Maeve Fly is our MC. She is an "ice princess" at a popular amusement park. We all what princess and which amusement park. It just so happens our princess is Halloween obsessed and deeply disturbed. Her best friend (Kate) who is the "ice princess's sister" has a brother named Gideon Green. They end up in somewhat of a dysfunctional relationship. She has some "urges" she struggles to keep at bay (think Dexter vibes). She only cares about 3 things in her life. Her job, her sick grandmother, and her best friend. She becomes completely unhinged once some misfortunes happen with these things. <i>It's best to go into this book as blindly as you can and enjoy the wild ride.</i>

I will say it did take me a little while to get into this book and I would probably describe it as a bit of a slow burn with a majority of the "fun" stuff happening in the last 25% of the book. However, it was very much worth it. It was unique, darkly funny, dark, disturbing, and gory.

<b><i>What a wonderful debut novel. I can't wait to see what twisted story CJ Leede comes up with next. I SEE YOU ;)</i></b>

Thank you CJ Leede, NetGalley, and Tor Publishing Group for the ARC of this book!
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This reminded me a lot of ‘New Cherry Flavour’, not in story line but in vibes. An incredibly surrealist read. I have an obsession with completely unhinged, villainous woman as MCs and Maeve certainly fits the bill. The whole book reads like a fever dream as you read through Maeve’s experiences and deviances.

A new-aged ‘Psycho’ but make it extreme and make it Hollywood. Leede does an amazing job at intricately weaving in and out of reality and Maeve’s insanity. I found myself cheering for her, though she is hands down the villain. Exhilarating, disturbing and shocking; Maeve Fly is a book I will not soon forget and will definitely be checking out more by this author as I am very impressed.
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It is really good. It’s largely plotless, a winding meander through the main characters breakdown. The main character is fundamentally messed up. This book is truly horrifying and twisted. The horror aspect is well-written and well-paced. The narrative style is fantastically done. I found myself sympathizing with the main character, even as she stylized herself on Patrick Bateman. The LA setting is well-integrated into the story and really adds to it.
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Initial Thoughts
Based on the cover alone, I knew that this book was going to amazing. I wasn't sure if it would be amazingly good or bad so I am quite pleased to report that it was very good. Now, this is not going to be a book for everyone but I enjoyed it. I had hoped that it would be a little different when I picked it up and it was just that. It is gory, violent, and disturbing all rolled into one neat little package. And I couldn't stop listening. Maeve spends her days working as a princess at Disneyland but her time away from work is often a bit more depraved. I listened to the audiobook and thought that Sosie Bacon did a wonderful job with this story.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Full review to be posted soon.
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Maeve Fly by CJ Leede
TOR Nightfire 

Before I get into any of the critical stuff, I just wanted to start this hopefully short(ish) and concise review off by stating that I really enjoyed my time reading this book and essentially read my physical ARC over the course of a few days and couldn’t think about picking anything else up in that time. Leede’s writing is hypnotizing and had me entranced in Maeve’s story from the first page. 

The characterization of the supporting characters is excellent, I really liked Gideon and his sister. The gore and horror elements were deliciously nasty and deprived while still feeling very raw and visceral. I think Leede is a rock star and I look forward to what she writes next. People will love this book. That I am certain. Personally, it just felt like the character made a few choices that didn’t match up consistently with her characterization in the first 60-70% of the novel. So let’s dig in.

Maeve is a woman on the precipice of change in her currently “stable” life living with her wealthy grandmother in Los Angeles. She works for a magical theme park and has acquired the much coveted role of the ice princess (queen, technically), and is more than content with her rituals and routines involving her infatuation with the macabre, with Halloween, self-pleasure, her late night hobbies (Much approved, Maeve, cancel those far right conservatives!), and spending time with her best friend. All of this stability Maeve so cherishes is thrown out of sync when a mysterious trail of broken and mangled doll effigies are left in her path throughout town. She feels as though she is being watched, vulnerable, and preyed upon. But Maeve is also a predator. 

We have never seen a character like Maeve Fly on page before. For an animalistic killer, she also has a lot of apathy towards a lot of things too. She loves and has sympathy for the things she holds most dear. Her grandmother, her job, the park where she works, her best/closest/only friend, her grandmother's cat, her books, art she is drawn to, etc. She for sure is a sociopath, 100%. But I think there is more to her than that too. She socializes and places herself into a lot of public situations compared to the average anti-social. I do think she feels for the bad things she does, at least her first few kills. Maeve has this sense sense of survival-induced ego that protects her from "feeling" remorse or a sense of morality. I think she is far more animalistic, like a predator, compared to a heartless killing machine. By the end, Maeve is forced to face her inner dark impulses and chooses to act on them, unapologetically, right to the final page of this book.

Strangely enough, I found myself totally justifying and being totally cool with a lot of the things Maeve was put to in the first half of this book. I think it’s important for me to note, too, that I love sex positivity and I also love violence. More than I probably should. However, the one type of violence that you can always miss me on is sexual torture and that you can just miss me on. That Serbian Film-tier shit that just does not appeal to me in the slightest regardless of the gender of the creator or their characters, but we will get into that later. I loved the first 70% of this book. The last 30% (ish) took a bit of a nose dive for me into more… shock value and edgy for edge sake territory and devolved into something a lot less unique than how it began.

***spoiler Section***
***(Scroll to the bottom for final rating)***

Hilda, for example, was not in any danger at all until she placed Maeve's wellbeing (survival) in danger. So it's almost like a fucked up self-defense mechanism. But, so far anyway, she doesn't seem to kill for pleasure or to fulfill a dark need. By the end of the book, I thought I had Maeve pinned as a totally different kind of monster—  but her decision to violate Liz with the acid and pipe though just felt like she lost some of those feminism kudos she gained throughout the book. When a male serial killer violates another man or woman, sexually, it’s equally as repulsive and uninteresting (to me). It also throws off Maeve’s character a bit too— like, she’s written as someone who takes down pedophiles and incels but then sexually violates woman in sadistic ways… just gives me two different ideas of the psychology behind why Maeve is the way she is. 

But I suppose that’s how it is with most serial killers even in real life. I was just hoping for something a little more… creative? I don’t need her to have an avenging need or reason to kill, which let’s be real, she did. But what detracted so much of the enjoyment and excitement for this book, for me, was the choppy ending that bore two scenes of sexual torture. To be fair, I don’t find it interesting or appealing when men rape and kill and torture either. But that’s just me.

There is also the build up to the girl leaving the doll effigies for her which was a reoccurring plot point throughout the book but ended up canceling itself out as something between a hallucination and Maeve’s boyfriend Gideon’s way of reaching out to her darkness. This felt like two ideas that hadn’t been decided on and so the author went with both, which, isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it made the build up feel caught in flux for me by the end. The imaginary was gorgeously grotesque though. Seriously, Leede matches Brom and Stephen Graham-Jones and even raises the bar for grizzly details.

**End of Spoiler Section**

As for the comparisons to the Easton Ellis book-- it's comp'd all over this book in blurbs and on socials, so I get that vibe. But this also feels far more feminist and progressive than American Psycho. American Psycho can also be interpreted as fantasy/all in Bateman's head too. But he certainly was a sociopath and not really killing for survival either. Maeve Fly gave me more Neon Demon and Hard Candy by way of Ottessa Moshfegh and Marquis de Sade vibes. 

I do believe that this book will be talked about long after its been devoured and has a seat at the table any the topic of serial killers in fiction is brought up. If you were to remove those two things she did in those two scenes, this would have been a 4.5, even 5-Star mace-to-the-face read for me!

3.5/5 Stars
WGB Score: 79%

Thank you so much Net Galley and TOR Nightfire for sending me a physical ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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patrick bateman walked so maeve fly could run. this book was dark, funny, and entertaining. maeve was completely unhinged & I loved loved gideon
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I really really wanted to like this book because the synopsis sounded so intriguing. However, I was bored for 3/4 of the book and it really didn’t pick up until I was about 75% in. The concept was interesting, a girl who’s a Disney princess by day at Disneyland, serial killer ar night. However, it was slow paced and very random at some parts. It kept me interested enough to keep me from DNFing but even the ending was lackluster and I wish I had ended my month with a better read.
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During the day, Maeve Fly is a park princess, starring as the ice queen. At night she spends her days in the town she loves, kitsch, glamor, filth and all. Her life is good. She loves her work, has a best friend she cares for deeply, and has a good routine.

There are only two problems.

One: the people she loves won’t be in her life forever.

Two: Maeve Fly is not like the people around her. She is fundamentally different. Dangerous. A wolf among sheep.

When she meets her best friend’s brother, Gideon Green, the vision she had in place for her future changes. Will Maeve continue to hide? Or step into the same bloodsoaked shoes inhabited by so many misanthropic literary heroes before her?

I think you know which she chooses.

After I finished Maeve Fly by C.J. Leede, all I could think was holy fucking shit.

I could talk about the razor sharp prose. I could talk about the horrific mutilation scenes. I could talk about Leede’s willingness to dive head first into pure, unabashed brutality.

(Of note: I do not exaggerate when I talk about the extreme level of brutality. American Psycho is a comp title for many reasons; this is one of them.)

As good as the violence and gore is, as much as they’re deserving of praise, the thing that truly makes Maeve Fly great is the genuine, pure love Maeve has. For the Halloween songs she devotes chapters to, for the very few people in her life she has chosen, for the city around her. In fact, Maeve Fly is in and of itself a love letter to Anaheim, to horror, and to the terror of womanhood. 

And, of course, a love letter to American Psycho.

Characters not only directly reference the novel (“She asks what I do for a living. ‘Murders and executions,’ I say.), but Maeve Fly shares several structural similarities (Maeve often discusses her favorite music, à la Bateman’s song reviews).

Leede, however, puts her own spin on her inspirations, bringing a level of delight and excellent character work to Maeve’s world that makes it (in my opinion) a more enjoyable read than American Psycho.

(The tidy page count also helps; Maeve Fly is a tidy 288 pages, whereas American Psycho is over 300.)

While it’s not necessarily to read American Psycho to understand and enjoy Maeve Fly, I found great delight in noticing the parallels and references. I would strongly suggest it. 

I would also strongly suggest keeping the Maeve Fly playlist on hand to listen to the songs Maeve discusses, especially if you’re not familiar with them. Leede—and Maeve—have excellent music taste. 

This debut will be hard to beat, but I cannot wait to see what Leede writes next.

Maeve Fly has easily joined the ranks of horror books I champion endlessly to anyone who will listen (which I plan to make a list of this year, so stay tuned for literary proselytization). Until then, just know: I want YOU to read Maeve Fly!!

Thank you to Tor for providing a digital ARC via Netgalley, and thank you to C.J. Leede for such a fantastic novel. If you are interested in Maeve Fly, it releases June 6, 2023. Find more information from the publishers or consider supporting indie bookshops by purchasing the novel at or from your local B&M!

User-defined content warnings are avaliable via Storygraph.
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By day, the woman who calls herself Maeve Fly works as one of the most popular princesses at the happiest kingdom/tourist trap on earth (admittedly, the b-campus that's mostly reserved for adult visitors)—she has the coveted role of the Scandinavian princess villainess/heroine from that famous animated film with the oh so popular song about letting inhibitions go. By night, she's a partier. At all times of the day, however, she thinks some seriously bad thoughts. Sometimes this is about taking a toot of coke while on her shift, sometimes it's about unusual sexual hijinks, and often it involves bloodletting. She's indulged a few of these thoughts, and as her first person narrative continues over the course of several stressful, revelatory days, Maeve Fly will only come to indulge her inner demons all the more. 

Maeve lives in her nearly comatose grandmother's spooky mansion in the Los Angeles hills. The only other beings allowed in that place are Hilda, her grandmother's hospice nurse, and Lester the Cat. Maeve pretty much as run of the place, and as her favorite season approaches, she has some interesting plans for decorating this year. Her best friend is fellow princess worker Kate, an aspiring actress who dates bad choices while hoping to score parts in their productions. When Kate's younger brother and professional hocky player Gideon moves to town, Maeve expects him to be some kind of meathead. In fact, he turns out to be much more interesting ... much more twisted in all the right ways.

When Maeve's magic kingdom nemesis Liz finally ascends to managerial position and makes good on all those threats she's been making to terminate Maeve's dream job, well, that might be the last straw to start her down the path of chasing her real dreams … the sort that will make hellish, nightmare lives of her unfortunate victims. Will Gideon or Kate be a part of them? Or how about that nemesis Liz? Will Grandma's house turn into a Hollywood Horror House? Will Maeve ever face consequences for her increasingly disturbing deeds? Some yeses, some noes, and a few twisted surprises await in C.J. Leede's debut novel, Maeve Fly.

Over the years, the psychopath has become a staple in fiction, not merely as an antagonist in a thrilling tale but as a central character. Broken minds offer wonderful food for thought. In fact, the psychopath is a marvel of sorts, which has triumphed in a way that werewolves, vampires, and other monsters have not. It has transcended its penny dreadful origins to become an archetypes that manages to straddle the line between genre and lit. On the one hand, we have Robert Bloch's Psycho and similar psychological suspense yarns, which reflecting the realities of the Ed Geins of the world by moving this character type from society's fringes into its heart, giving it a home (and motel) within our communities and neighborhoods. Then, we have Bret Easton Ellis' first three books, which examines psychosis and nihilism in the children of privilege. As well, there is Hannibal Lectors (from Thomas Harris's popular series) and Quentin P. (from Joyce Carol Oates' highly disturbing Zombie) and similar wickedly intelligent and utterly savage personalities … That's all well and good, but Maeve Fly (and presumably her author C. J. Leede) wonders where are the savage female psychopaths written by women? Well, they exist (Kenzie Jennings' Reception comes to mind), but they haven't broken into the public consciousness quite the same way as the aforementioned killers or the occasional psychopathic women written by men. Here's hoping Leede's effort yields some fruit and breaks this unexpected glass ceiling.

Maeve Fly offers a first-person narrative about a killer who has almost no backstory (and doesn't need one, thanks) making her way through modern day LA, yearning and desiring for the unspeakable and finally exploring her own darkest desires. It's a novel steeped in perversion and graphic horror situation, no small amount of black comedy, and quite a few pointed jabs at coastal cultures and lousy party conversations. It's a hoot of a book if you can get into it.

One of the challenges in doing so is this: Maeve Fly's narrative is all about extremes. The horror she will bring is certainly of the extreme variety, including some creative and savage assaults with curling irons, broken bottles, mice, scissors, and more. However, the extremism is not limited to the violence. It is there in the language and ideas as well. The book opens up with plenty of asides about "what all men want to know" and assumptions about fantasies "all men share " or descriptions of women's breasts as "the source of all despair" for one character. She and her grandmother are the only two wolves in a world populated by sheep. Maeve's got her opinions, and they are not simple personal ones but sweeping statements. Over the course of the book, her eyes are opened to uncomfortable truths—she maybe doesn't know as much as she believes—but mostly, the character is too Narcissistic to think outside herself unless pushed. This can be a bit of a hurtle to overcome for some readers. It also happens to be as pointed and perfect a satiric jab at the world we live now in as Patrick Bateman's obsession over brand names was for the time and world author Bret Easton Ellis lived in then. Of course, recognizing this and maneuvering through the metatexual self-awareness are two very different things—the latter of these more than anything might be the breaking point for some readers.

Yet the book makes some good points on a wide range of its topics of interest, including LA's raising of artifice into artistry, about the double standards audience's have for male and female monsters, about the subtleties to be found in extreme fiction, and about the difficulties people from one coast have while visiting the other. It's a smart book told from the perspective of a perceptive character who's not terribly experienced with the nuances of existence. She hasn't really lived enough for cogent understanding on all the topics she expounds, but on specific topics she's got some cleverness that doesn't come from reading a ton of Wikipedia entries or internet posts.

The author namechecks a few works right there in the text, using them as inspirations for the character herself (as well as citations of a sort for the author's own reading) in a wonderfully metafictional way. So we get Georges Bataille's decadent short novel Story of the Eye, Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, and Bret Easton Ellis' seminal American Psycho. Maeve Eye will certainly appeal to readers of those works (and maybe turn some fresh attention toward the Bataille), but the lack of references to savage women suggests the character is woefully underread. When Maeve Fly is at its best, it gets as down and dirty mean as vintage Charlee Jacob, Lucy Taylor, or Joyce Carol Oates. It's as engaging and graphic as the best works by Gemma Files or Lucy A. Snyder.

As a serial killer novel, Maeve Fly is pretty well aligned to find a solid and loyal readership. Moreover, it's a lovely bit of literary suspense and horror that provides a good glimpse into how it feels to live in the madhouse 2020s. It's a literate, clever, and emotionally engaging book. It's also got a few disgusting sequences of creative mayhem that are rather inspired. It's not necessarily fun for folks who cannot indulge in its often perverse sense of humor, but it's a well written work that also happens to be a page turner of the highest order.
A special thank you to NetGalley and Tor Nightfire for offering an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐤𝐞𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐥𝐟 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧. 𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐈 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤, 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐯𝐞 𝐞𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡?

Hailed as the female 𝑨𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝑷𝒔𝒚𝒄𝒉𝒐, this was one of the most bizarre, delightful books I've read lately and is packed full of juxtapositions that shouldn't have worked but did.

Maeve spends her days in sunny Los Angeles working at the 'happiest place on earth' as a princess that children clamor to and adore. By night she walks the Sunset Strip, going to seedy bars and quietly seething with misanthropic rage. But when her best friend's brother moves to town, Maeve finds herself inexplicably drawn to him, and despite her reservations, she dons a new that's out for blood.

I adored Maeve's black sense of humor, and I found myself highlighting several passages while reading, all the while asking myself how in the world could I connect with a character such as Maeve? I think she represented female empowerment (not that I want to go on a murder spree) someone who was unapologetically herself. Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Nightfire for the early read. This book will publish June 6, 2023.
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Normally, I have some pithy one-word wrap-up for the book I’m reviewing, but I got nothin' regarding this one. I don’t think you write a book like this expecting everyone to love it, so that’s what’s coming.  

The first third of the novel is excellent. The prose is engaging, and I was immediately hooked on the Wednesday-Addams-on-steroids character and mix of dark humour. I wasn’t as keen on the copious descriptions of LA - a city I have never been to and have no desire to visit - but there weren’t too many of them. Maeve was a great balance of demented and understandable. Her life is interesting and intriguing. The author has a fantastic style that is visceral and detailed but moves at a great clip. Honestly, the first third had me hooked. 

Unfortunately, I started to lose interest once she started going gah-gah over the guy mentioned in the blurb (it kind of drifts into a Dark Romance at this part), and then the last third just went so off-the-rails and included so much shock value gore it grew tedious. Maeve in the first third isn’t a sympathetic character, but she’s at least an interesting weirdo. But when the book got really rapey and torturey and included so many sex scenes (I don't mind sex scenes at all, but I prefer a slow-burn romance), I was no longer invested in her story. The end twist was also very predictable. It's a horror novel, but it's not scary.  

Likewise, while Maeve is very intriguing at the start, we never really learn the “why” about a few things. Why does she love her job? Why is she so dependent on Kate’s friendship? I also thought the concept - how she’s a Disney princess during the day but a dark and edgy woman in the evening - wasn’t fleshed out enough to be making any sort of commentary.

If you enjoy really dark novels with lots of gore and sexual content, you will enjoy this (no judgment from me!), but I think I’m done with these edgy books as they seem to be disappointing me as of late. It could be that in my old age, I’ve softened a bit. When I was 21, I probably would have loved this book, but because in the last near-twenty years I’ve read so many awful things in real life, and especially at my old job where I worked in criminal case law, shock value horror just serves to make me disheartened today. Now, if these things were happening in the novel for a social critique or an allegory of a systemic problem in society, it would have worked better for me. But to have these things happen to innocent people, not as a form of justice against someone awful or to make a statement, rubbed me the wrong way. No one who receives violence in this novel deserves it, even remotely so.

As such, a novel about a woman murdering people or harming them in disgusting ways, but with no real “downfall” or “comeuppance” moment (I guess you could argue the ending was such, but I would hardly call that “justice”) makes me wonder who are we to be rooting for in this novel? What is it trying to say? American Psycho, which this has been compared to, was gory too, but it was a comment on corporate culture in comparing the quest for greed and status with homicidal sociopathy.  I think the only reason Maeve Fly is being compared to American Psycho (a book I find overblown, by the way) is that she’s someone you wouldn’t expect to be a serial killer, just like Bateman was at the time of publication. Back when American Psycho first came out, part of the resonance behind it was the idea that a serial killer isn’t just some weirdo but could be someone “successful.” We don’t have that bias anymore.    

Another idea I had was that the novel might simply be showing a woman serial killer who is just born bad. This is an increasing trend in media right now, that we have women killers or evil women who haven’t been “turned” bad by trauma, but who are just naturally evil. This rise is a response to, perhaps, how many male killers we have in media who haven’t needed to be “corrupted” by anything. Up until recently, there was this latent idea in society that women were inherently good-which is a form of sexism-and having just plain evil women in books and movies today is an attempt to disprove that notion. If that is the purpose of the book, then it definitely hits that mark on that front, though I don’t think that idea is strong enough to carry the entire novel and the torture and rape aspects of it.

I do love things that are subversive and push the envelope but perhaps I just prefer it to be more subtle? As I’ve said, I think the author has definitely talent with their prose and descriptions, so perhaps I’ll check out another of hers in the future.
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Loved this crazy ride of a novel!  Maeve Fly is almost a dual personality. She spends her days as an ice princess at the Happiest Place on Earth, and her nights prowling the Sunset Strip, giving into her basest desires. Maeve starts to think she can have it all when she meets Gideon, her best friend's brother, but her firing and beloved grandmother's death, descends her into madness at an alarming rate. I can see where the comparison to Patrick Bateman might come from, but Maeve is by far smarter and more sinister. Just fair warning: there is  A LOT of graphic description of sex and violence. But somehow, you end up admiring Maeve just anyway. There's a refreshing honesty to her craziness. I wish this had been longer. 

*Special thanks to NetGalley and Tor Nightfire for this e-arc.*
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I had a blast reading this one! ( not sure want this says about me 😂)  Being inside Maeve's head was very reminiscent to being inside Patrick Bateman's head in American Psycho but way less boring in my opinion. I loved the satire, and L.A vibes atmosphere, and all the music references. While this book is about a woman working as a Disney princess at Disneyland - it is not for the fate of heart. There are many graphic/disturbing scenes of sexual violence that was shocking at moments even for a seasoned horror reader. I know some scenes will stay in mind for awhile 😨Maeve is a terrible, evil person but I really liked her as a character  🤷🏻‍♀️😂 her love for Lester the cat sold me! 5 bleeding stars! 

I think fans of American Psycho and those L.A vibes will enjoy this one!
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It’s been a while since I’ve been this caught up in a story - no TV, no scrolling, and excited that my plans were cancelled so I could keep reading. I tore through it in a day - I couldn’t put it down! 

Maeve Fly was funny, completely unhinged at times, gory and disgusting (I don’t think I’ll look at eggs the same way for a while), with unapologetically savage, barbaric, and unlikeable women who I never really disliked, and a WILD and pulse-pounding ending!! 

The writing was crisp, intentional and propulsive, pulling me in immediately and not letting go until the very last page. It was one of the most entertaining books I’ve read all year. And my mind is blown that it’s a debut.
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This was a love note of a novel to all the messy, upsetting, disturbing stories I love. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. There are so many horror novels that claim to be "the next American Psycho" but this is the only one to ever actually live up to that promise. I swear to god I could ramble about how amazing this novel is until the end of time.

Maeve absolutely will become the newest horror icon and I look forward to her legacy as a character. C.J. Leede is undoubtedly an author to keep an eye on.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC of this book. 

I am not sure where to begin or where to rate this book. I am not sure WTF I just read, but I think I liked it.   Just be aware of trigger warnings because although it did bother me, it may be problematic for other readers. If you are not squeamish and like odd books, this one may be for you.  3.5 stars!
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The masks people wear. Maeve might appear to be a princess at the happiest place on Earth, but the truth is she's a dark and twisted individual, at times a killer. This is a warped trip into the life of a psychopath who is truly losing it as her world crumbles around her. Graphic in terms of both explicate sex and violence, if you're like me you may find parts of this quite hard to stomach, but like a massive pileup on the highway you'll feel compelled to keep reading if only to discover just how twisted things can get. Disturbing and yet compelling. Thanks so much to Tor Publishing Group, Tor Nightfire and NetGalley for allowing me access to an ARC of Maeve Fly.
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“Life is fleeting and meaningless and crying to be seized from behind and fucked into obscurity.”

I went into Maeve Fly knowing very little, but the connection to American Psycho made me very interested. I love books with terrible main characters, and I’m not sure what this says about me, but I had a certain connection with Maeve that made this story all the more enjoyable.

Maeve Fly is the granddaughter of famous actress Tallulah Fly. They started to get to know each other in Maeve’s adult years, once she left behind her family for a life change. She plays an icy princess at a very popular theme park, but there’s something hidden inside her basement that makes her more villain than protagonist. 

She lives a very solitary life, especially now that Tallulah has been in a coma for a while now. She has one friend, Kate, with lots of potential and she expects to lose her sooner than later. When Kate’s brother Gideon enters the picture, she gets an itch to change the way she’s been living.

This book was predictable, to me at least, but that didn’t really make it any less enjoyable. I loved Maeve’s internal dialogue and loved learning about the different ways she ticked. I definitely commend Leede for Maeve’s portrayal.

This is a dark story. There are plenty of content warnings (listed below), but there’s also some humor involved. It really is reminiscent of American Psycho without being any kind of ripoff or retelling. Maeve is her own story.

CW for violence, blood, torture, sexual assault, rape (on page), body horror, gore, death, sexual violence, body shaming, bullying, and racism
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Maeve Fly was immediately added to my #tbr after I saw it described as "For fans of My Heart is a Chainsaw".  Like Chainsaw was a love letter to slashers, Maeve Fly is a love letter to LA and the misanthropes of classic literature. 

"I have never understood, and still do not understand the notion that a woman must first endure a victimhood of some sort-- abandonment, abuse, oppression of the patriarchy-- to be monstrous."

This novel was full of surprises. It's one of the few to gross me out in one moment and feel sad for our sadistic MC the next. CJ Leede painted  a visceral picture, making Maeve our tour guide through the macabre history of  Hollywood and her viewpoints on society. 

There was a timeless feel to the story. Ever so slowly, we watch as Maeve confronts events that disrupt her carefully curated routine. Which consists of being a princess performer, frequenting bars, reading, and partaking in a murder or two. And if the image of a bloody, psychotic princess doesn't make you immediately pre-order this I don't know what will.

"How silly of us, to think we must do in shadow what men do in the light. What they have always done."

You should prepare yourself for a blood-soaked ride from beginning to end. Leede holds no punches and leaves very little to the imagination. It's brutal, disturbed, and not easily forgotten.
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