Cover Image: Maeve Fly

Maeve Fly

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Member Reviews

Maeve Fly moves to LA to live with her famous grandmother, Tallulah, after being disowned by her parents. She works at "the happiest place on Earth" as the ice princess, she loves to read, and she's obsessed with Halloween - but there is more to Maeve than what meets the eye. When she meets Gideon, her best friend's brother, her whole world changes, leaving room for Maeve to explore the darkest, and most violent, parts of herself.

Maeve Fly is weird, fucked up, and so much fun to read. It gave me everything that I wanted (but didn't get) out of American Psycho, and more. Maeve is so strange and edgy, but she's also funny and interesting. She loves LA, which at the very beginning I was a little annoyed by because it felt awkward, but as the story goes on you can tell the author has a lot of knowledge about LA, and I enjoyed reading about it as someone who has never been to the West Coast.

Maeve also doesn't have a tragic backstory to reason for her being violent, she just is, which is one of my favorite details about her:
"Men have always been permitted in fiction and in life to simply be what they are, no matter how dark or terrifying that might be. But with a woman, we expect an answer, a reason. But why would she do it? Why, why, why?"

This book is extremely graphic, with a lot of sexual content and body horror, but to me it felt like it mostly all served a purpose. We truly got to see how fucked up Maeve is, and the way she makes sense of the things she does. This book also did a great job of building up to the violence instead of just throwing it all at the reader at once. We get to understand Maeve first, and then she really lets go in the last several chapters of the book.
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I really wanted to like this. The book has an interesting premise, but I just lost interest. I still think that this is a good book. I just don't think it was for me. I would like to thank the publishers and the author for the arc of this book, while not for me it does have appeal and I have seen tiktoks about it and others have seemed to like and love it. 3.5 stars for me.
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“What wolves need is a disguise. We need to be shrewder, quicker, ready to outwit and outmatch and strategize. We will never be like them. We will never truly belong here. But we can make it appear as though we do. We play this game from the outside..."

what better disguise for debauchery than a princess?

as she navigates a world in which she is slowly losing the people she loves most, Maeve is in turns captivating and terrifying, as much as the city she loves. by day at the happiest place on earth, by night in seedy bars and haunted hotels, Maeve struggles with her disguise, trying on personas like outfits. in the days leading up to Halloween, Maeve fights to keep the wolf inside contained, eventually losing control. what follows is savagery, a bloodbath, fueled by unadulterated rage.

huge thanks to tor nightfire and netgalley for the arc and for a new favorite. i see that CJ Leede has two more books coming soon....
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One of the most weirdest and most unique horror stories I've ever read. I loved it but it's definitely not for the faint of heart. It is truly horrifying yet also hilarious and weirdly, deeply romantic. It is also a love letter to LA. There is lots of gore and body horror so keep that in mind. Highly recommend for horror fans, especially those of the "Good for Her" type ie Pearl. PS Maeve has excellent taste in music.
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There is somebody out there for whom this book will really work. I imagine somebody young, somebody looking for something subversive and a little weird, and somebody who starts celebrating Halloween in mid August, But unfortunately it didn't work for me.

It’s about a theme park princess with…urges. Dark urges that she tries to keep hidden. Urges that of course cannot and will not remain hidden for long. It’s an often disturbing book, one that owes much to American Psycho in both its horror and commentary on gendered violence.. It’s brutal and gross and sometimes a little cringey but if you like your murder with a side of Halloween kitsch you might want to check it out.
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I'm not bothering to rate this one. I like dark stuff but this one is just weird. I LOVE the whole working as a princess thing while you an evil little heifer but the rest of it sucks balls. It felt like the book was trying way too hard to be torture porny.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.
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When I saw Maeve Fly everywhere on Bookstagram, I had to jump on the bandwagon and see what the hype was about.  

This is going to be the horror book of the year. It started intense and didn't slow down until the last word. It was shocking and brilliant. Definitely the book to pick up for your Halloween reading list.
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Maeve Fly by CJ Leede

“By day, Maeve Fly works at the happiest place in the world as every child’s favorite ice princess.

By the neon night glow of the Sunset Strip, Maeve haunts the dive bars with a drink in one hand and a book in the other, imitating her misanthropic literary heroes.

But when Gideon Green - her best friend’s brother - moves to town, he awakens something dangerous within her, and the world she knows suddenly shifts beneath her feet.

Untethered, Maeve ditches her discontented act and tries on a new persona. A bolder, bloodier one, inspired by the pages of American Psycho. Step aside Patrick Bateman, it’s Maeve’s turn with the knife.”


So from the beginning and from the plot summary above you know this girl Maeve is more than what she appears to be, but it is not the cliche serial killer. What I enjoyed about this book is that you really get to know Maeve on a deeper level that you root for her above all else going on. The first half of the book actually, is about Maeve Fly and getting to know her, her friends, her life, and her past. After a while things escalated and quite quickly. You feel like you know what will happen next, and things go off on a complete turn. I definitely tried to guess many times what would happen, based on your typical serial killer novel and I was very wrong. The ending had be shocked and definitely want more of Maeve Fly.

TW: be advised that there is mention of sexual, and gruesome scenes throughout the book that may be triggering too many.

Thank you for the ARC!
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I wanted this book to work for me so badly but I just wasn’t a fan. I love horror and I love unhinged and destructive female characters so I thought this would be the perfect book for me. It’s bloody and violent but ultimately it felt lackluster. I know that there are horror fans who will adore this book, but it just wasn’t for me.
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This was a wild ride that I didn't want to end!

Maeve is a "disney style" ice princess by day and a halloween obsessed psycho by night. She lives with her dying grandma and Lester The Cat, over time Maeve comes to terms with her dark feelings and starts to embrace them. 

The first half felt like a dark comedy, I felt icky for laughing when things would happen and more icky when the gore would show up. This book is filled with Violence, Sexual content, body horror, and some torture. While reading at some point I was like is this porn? Is this torture porn? It has been said that this is the "female version" of American Psycho. I haven't read that yet, but from what I know this is not as violent and definitely not as sexually violent. 

I would have loved if it was maybe 100 pages longer, and the ending didn't feel rushed and squished, but overall this was a wild ride and I want more from this author!!!
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wow! what a wild ride. c.j. leede is definitely cementing herself as a strong new voice in the extreme horror genre. the first third of the book moved a bit slowly, functioned more as a character study than something very exposition heavy, but once the narrative picked up steam, it was a fun, chaotic romp right until the end! maeve was the true embodiment of "lonely women behaving badly" trope, and her depravity and internal monologue was absolutely delightful. drawing from bataille and bret easton ellis affirmed that this book has such strong satirical elements, focusing these acts of repulsion from a woman's perspective--really encourages us to think differently about extreme horror. the end of the novel was also a huge subversion of how i thought the story was going to go, and i was on the edge of my seat squirming until the very end. can't wait to see what leede writes next!
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Thanks so much to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with this e-Arc! I have a planned review of this on my Instagram and will also review on Goodreads once I get to this read. This is one of my most anticipated reads of this year! Until then, I am giving a star rating as a placeholder on Netgalley. Stay tuned for my in depth review on all my social media platforms!
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Maeve Fly works as Elza in Disneyland and she’s in love with her job. Maeve also loves Halloween and specific literature I would probably never attempt. Her job and her grandma are the only two things keeping her sane (mostly). But her grandmother is dying and her manager is set on firing her…… life only gets worse when her best friend’s brother moves to town.

Seeing Maeve descent into true madness was amazing, but it became TOO DARK in the last 30% for me. My stomach dropped and I had chills. There were many parts I just couldn’t read because I was horrified.

The only real reason I deducted a star is because the very ending (last ~5%) felt cheap. After everything the book put me through, that ending did nothing and I was left hoping for something completely different.

For all the fans of American Psycho, you’ll love this, including the moment Maeve picks up the book.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to read Maeve Fly.
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If you know me you know I LOVE an unhinged woman in my books. Comparable to American Psycho? YES PLEASE! Maeve is an unhinged woman that works at Disneyland with her best friend. Once her best friend’s brother comes to town he allows her to unleash her true psycho behavior. 
Overall I ended up really enjoying this one and being completely surprised as to where this was going and what was going to happen. It was depraved, unhinged, and wild just as promised. The first half was a little bit slow for me but the second half made me love it. Such a great debt novel!
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This was such a captivating read full of lots of gore. Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for an ARC.
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TW for discussions of rape and sexual violence.

I could talk in circles about the problems I have with this book but I’m going to restrain myself and keep it brief. MAEVE FLY is boring, derivative and extremely repetitive. I understand her depravity is the point of the story – tackling the patriarchal assumption of victimhood associated with female villainy. Still, I am realising there are certain boundaries I should set up with myself when reading. Specifically, books that have explicit rape scenes, particularly those written to titilate or horrify are not for me.

I see the text as hyper-critical of the privilege of white upper class women as well as examining what kind of loneliness and alienation leads to the category of antisocial pretension and violence that Maeve takes part heavily in throughout the text. After all, she is a “wolf.”

At certain parts, the narrative becomes unfocused, resulting in a choppy, inconsistent pace. The physical violence (AKA gore) only comes into play towards the end when Maeve decides to go all “Bateman” on everyone. Bateman’s name being so directly referenced (in the scene where Maeve rifles through her bookcase) is executed in the corniest way. To be fair, besides the murder, rape and light cannibalism Maeve is kind of a major cornball. I am referring here to her obsession with existentialist literature depicting men who become entrenched in their own misery and take it out on others around them. That, alongside her love of Halloween music makes her Bateman enough without the explicit comparisons. 

I don’t understand how this is being marketed (or perhaps just reviewed in this way) as a feminist story. Maeve is an internalised misogynist who chooses a man she barely knows over her best friend who she supposedly harbours strong feelings of devotion towards. Their relationship is the reason why I like the earlier chapters (before the bizarre hockey romance turn). I didn’t enjoy reading about a woman who bases her entire identity on nihilistic male characters, realising that in full with murder and inflicting sexual violence on women. Maeve is interesting for sure but more as a crystallised vision of a woman who swallows the lies of patriarchy so thoroughly that the seeds planted within her bloom violently under her careful attention. For example, Maeve doesn’t relate to women-authored and centred texts because she believes they are all essentially about victimisation or sexuality.

Oops! I seem to be rambling. I swear this book isn’t the worst thing I’ve read – in fact, I’m not actually that mad about it. I’m mostly just disappointed with the lost potential this text represents. 

Thank you to Tor Nightfire and Netgalley for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Maeve Fly looks just like her old Hollywood grandmother Tallulah, but unlike her, does not work in film. Instead, she is a princess in a thinly disguised amusement park. 

Besides hiding that IP, Maeve is a thoughtful, well-read woman who knows what she wants. Sex and power and to live her own life within the phony constraints of LA. 

Her BFF Kate is her only friend, at least until Kate's brother Gideon moves to town. He and Maeve hit it off, but this is not a romance. This is Ivy Pachoda meets Stephen Graham Jones meets Stephen King. 

Hold on to your ears and you won't believe your eyes - this is a dark, wild ride, and best of all, there's a cat in this story!
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When I was in my early twenties, I was so in love with the Bret Easton Ellis novel, American Psycho, it essentially formed the basis for my personality. With hindsight, there are probably better books to personify, but I didn’t encounter Shirley Jackson until my thirties.

I’m not going to say CJ Leede’s novel, Maeve Fly, is a “modern-day, feminist retelling” of Easton Ellis’s classic; it’s more like a loving homage. Maeve Fly, our protagonist, has way more depth, nuance, and self-awareness than her male counterpart, Patrick Bateman. 

Maeve is working as a literal princess at a popular Anaheim theme park (you know the one), and caring for her aging grandmother, while harboring savage compulsions. Until she doesn’t harbor them anymore. As a young woman, she sees the way the misogynistic world operates, and she will go to violent lengths in order to correct it. 

But when Maeve meets Gideon, sibling to her best friend and rising ice hockey player, she realizes there may be joy in a “normal” life. Can Maeve overcome her dark nature to embrace a safer existence?

Maeve Fly is absolutely bonkers. It’s an ode to LA, to Disneyland, to dark deeds under sunny skies. In the post Me Too era, I got a lot of satisfaction from Leede’s passages of torture against creepy men abusing their power.  

I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to read American Psycho as a primer to Maeve Fly, but I certainly enjoyed the nods in the former novel’s direction. I had absolutely no sympathy for Bateman in American Psycho, but Maeve’s struggles were clear and relatable. And while I would never go to the lengths Maeve does to vent my frustration, there is a certain sadistic glee I got from reading this book. 

Maeve Fly is a riotous, gross journey into the mind of a deeply disturbed woman. I enjoyed every second!
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Boy, howdy, this took a long time to get where it was going. This is such a slow buildup, and I had several instances where I almost DNF'd it. Parts of it felt overly wordy, and I found myself starting to lose interest, wondering when we'd get to the "American Psycho" part.

I was a bit disappointed in the actual murders. While certainly extremely creative, they all seemed to happen off-screen. Things would just start heating up, then the book would cut to the aftermath. Also, how were any of her actions never linked back to her? She never wore gloves, so her fingerprints would be everywhere, and she was always wandering around covered in blood. I can forgive a little lack of notice because of Halloween but complete disregard? Nah.

I don't feel like I got to know these characters much. Despite being written from Maeve's perspective, I didn't truly get to know her. Her escalation into mass killing seemed to happen outside of nowhere without any clear path to it. Gideon is mostly a mystery, as is Kate. And who was the girl???

I will give C.J. props for an extremely tragic ending, though. While I wasn't extremely attached to anyone, Maeve's discovery at the end did tug on the heartstrings. I was hoping she'd get her happy ending, especially after the nasty bout at the party, but alas....c'est la vie, I suppose.

Thank you to NetGalley for the copy! Everything in this review is my honest opinion.
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MAEVE FLY by @ceejthemoment starts out with Maeve working at "the happiest place on earth", snorting lines in between shifts while wearing the Ice Princess costume. If you think this is delinquent behavior, hold on to your butts because this spirals into uncanny, dark places from here!

MAEVE knows she is different and usually has her nose in a book and has little interest in people. But when she meets her best friend Kate's brother Gideon, sparks unlike she has ever felt occur and blossom as she realizes he also has a penchant for the darker side of life.

I will mostly leave it here so as to not take away all the coocoo bananas craziness that this book has to offer. Come to this with an empty stomach and a wide open mind! Stay if you like unencumbered characters, body horror, and characters that you really should not morally like but can't help it.

I loved this. It is weird, it is atrocious, it is gross and scary, and I still love it. Is something wrong with me? Maybe, but you won't find out until you give this a try!🤣

I am currently enjoying pretty excellent weather in Utah while working and am so excited that summer is starting to show it's sun! What is your favorite summertime activity?

Thank you to @netgalley, the author and the publisher, @tornightfire for the e-ARC and for the audio-ARC. This one is on shelves NOW!


#netgalley #maevefly #cjleede #tornightfire #macmillan #macmillanaudio #booknerd #bibliophile #reader #readmorebooks #horrorbooks
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