Cover Image: Maeve Fly

Maeve Fly

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Member Reviews

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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This was a wild ride filled with debauchery and gore, and right up my alley. How could you not be all-in with a tale about a female serial killer who is a Disney princess by day, has an obsession with literature and all things Halloween and has old Hollywood vibes?! Maeve’s horrifying but fascinating personality captured me. Also… am I fucked up for enjoying this as much as I did?
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This book is exactly what I was looking for, a mix of creepy, fun, gorey, horror. Leede's descriptions were colorful and clear, making it easy for the reader to enjoy and picture every scenario.
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Thank you NetGalley and Tor Nightfire for the eARC in exchange for my honest review!

What a treat this horror book was! Maeve Fly was unlike any character I've ever had the pleasure of reading. After her day ends working as a Princess at "The Happiest Place on Earth," the maliciousness ensues. Maeve has deep, dark desires that must be fulfilled. There's suspense, gore, and horrific scenes throughout this book as Maeve takes you with her on her violent sprees. 
Her bond with her grandmother was everything and was such a great aspect of this story. There's no one like Tallulah, except Maeve. I also enjoyed Maeve and Gideon's relationship. It made me question if they were more alike than will have to read to find out!

I can't wait to read more for CJ Leede. This book totally exceeded my expectations!
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What the fuck did I just read!  I mean this in the best way possible.  Maeve Fly is an extreme horror debut that is simply wonderful.  As its already been said, Patrick Bateman step aside,  Maeve Fly has arrived!
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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review. 

This book felt like it was trying to be shocking merely to do so. Many of the violent and gross scenes felt over the top and unnecessary. I don't mind violence and gore as long as it serves a purpose, but all of this felt purposeless. I also didn't like the way the main character, Maeve, was written. She's a Disney princess by day, pschyo by night? The two sides of her didn't transition well and it was almost like she was trying to be that hardcore girl while just being out of place in reality. I also found myself getting annoyed as yet another horror MC is OBSESSED with Halloween. So many authors use this as a distinguishing feature and it makes characters feel unoriginal and not well thought out. I do appreciate the fact that the author explored the fact that not every violent person needs to have some sort of traumatic childhood and upbringing. It did somewhat humanize Maeve, but in the end I just don't think this book was successful in what it sought to portray.
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What I Loved: 
✨Horror + Romance: I don't know if I've ever read a romantic horror book?! I love this blended genre! Gideon truly sees Maeve for who she is!  It's a match made in heaven (or hell since this is a horror book!) 
✨Dark humor: really dark, satirical, and completely over the top.  I find the absurdity quite amusing, laughing out loud multiple times. 
✨Female empowerment - Maeve questions why society has always permitted men to be who they are regardless of their darkness but not women!  Women’s darkness needs to be reasoned or answered. Maeve’s going to break that mold. She's unequivocal in her “desires,” never apologizing for who she is.
✨Narration: Sosie Bacon nails it! And not with a tiny tack hammer, but a big massive sledgehammer, reaping destruction across LA! Bacon embodies Maeve and all her wickedness. 

Beware, though, this book is very graphic: body horror, torture (think American Psycho), and violence. And also lots of gratuitous sex. Parts of the story are disgusting and gory and amped for shock value. But in between all that, CJ Leede writes a terrific character study in her debut novel. I'm really excited to re-read this one because I think my WTFs clouded some of the details.
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Maeve Fly works at the happiest place in the world. She loves her job embodying the villainous and powerful ice princess for little girls to idolize. She also loves Halloween, her pink mustang, and trying out the personas of the characters in her favorite books. She spends her days working alongside her best friend, Kate, reading and drinking pina coladas in a secret bar, and caring for her famous comatose grandmother, Talullah. Oh, and she's excellent at disposing of bodies.

Two seemingly opposite worlds collide when Maeve is introduced to Kate's brother, Gideon... and Maeve's life and Maeve herself spiral deeply out of control and into depravity. Her impulses, anger, and desires become harder to control and we see very quickly that Maeve has racked up more than one body in her Hollywood home on the hill. 

This book was PHENOMENAL! That's it. That's all you need. But I guess if you really must know more in depth...
I absolutely loved Maeve in the first few chapters. She is chaotic and filled with rage, yet she is consumed with so much love for her grandmother and her city, its almost unbearable. She's a wolf in disguise, and she plays the part well.
The internal monologue and narration by Maeve throughout the book, particularly in the beginning, does a fabulous job of delving into her history, lifestyle, persona, and deepest, darkest thoughts and desires. She is a fully developed and well thought out character, whilst the supporting characters are not given as much backstory and insight... yet just enough to be able to envision where they fit into Maeve's world. The backdrop is in Hollywood/LA and more specifically at "the happiest place in the world" and again, the world building is just beyond incredible.
There are various references to horror books and characters, and the comparisons between Maeve Fly and the others (most importantly "American Psycho" and "Story of the Eye") are very obvious and play a fairly big role in giving you the vibe of the book in general.
There are intense, violent, disturbing, and sexual scenes that are not for the faint of heart, as well as a lot of body mutilation and gore...and a wee bit of cannibalism. If you're a fan of more extreme horror, you will love this one. If you don't like reading the previously mentioned content... maybe take a pass on this one. I wouldn't recommend skimming over as I actually think the more disturbing parts give SO MUCH to the book that you'll be missing otherwise.

Overall Maeve Fly was twisted, brutal, and fabulous! A blend of love and death and desire and gore and depravity- with an ode to LA thrown in for good measure. You're either going to LOVE it or absolutely HATE it. It was the absolute best of horror and I'm in love. A new favorite!
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Maeve Fly was a TRIP. I loved this book! It’s gory, delectable, gruesome, and delicious. If you love horror you need to read this book Maeve is my hero
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This book was absolutely wild - in the best way. Horrific, gory, sinister, psychotic, disturbing.

I love the duality of Maeve - Disney princess by day, killer by night, a lot of sex in between.  

Fair warning, there is a lot of trigger warnings, so this is not for the faint of heart. It's been a minute since a book made me actually cringe while reading some of the scenes.
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5 stars

This is a solid extreme literary horror debut. It's dripping in eroticism, social commentary, allusions to the most depraved and beloved in literature (Hello, Mr. Bateman), and symbolism. Horror and extreme horror are not often seen as highbrow, despite there being a few examples throughout the years. This is highbrow and it's feminist. What a banger! Maeve Fly is unsettling and her voice seeps into the page, makes the reader squirm, and her obsessions and fixations show the unspooling of her mind. This was such a well-done novel. While the extreme horror isn't as graphic as some in the genre because this is being published by Tor Nightfire (which is a well-known publishing imprint), for what this book does deliver, it is shocking to know it's mainstream. People will be quaking, rioting, gagging, and banning this book. I can't wait! Stumble into the depravity of the experience of Maeve Fly, a downtrodden 27-year-old who plays the frozen princess in the most magical place on Earth (yes, she's obviously a cast member at Disney for Elsa, but we can't get sued and who wants to pay for all those copyright claims???) who is obsessed with Halloween, the depraved, and her best friend. This is a new 2023 you don't want to miss. Mainly because it's so shocking and daring to see in traditional publishing. What a feat! I loved this book and while my one nitpick is the ending, I also know it's the perfect ending for Maeve Fly. Forever flying around the carnage of her destruction and never able to land in one place and be happy. That's a perfect summary of her character and the ending fits it well. Superb and I can't wait to see what C.J. Leede does next in the years to come. She's going to take the horror genre by storm.
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Here's another book I've seen countless times on Bookstagram and Tik Tok, so of course I had to get it. The feeling of dreariness and emptiness linger throughout the book as you read as if you're preparing for the heart of the book. It was a bit slow but things start to pick up once Maeve and Hilda go to the cellar.  As you progress in the book, you get bits an pieces of Maeve's life from meeting Kate for the first time to the multitasking of her catching a racist and exposing them all while watching porn and masturbating. Kate, Maeve's friend, is hilarious with her one liners and especially the things she says to Liz to throw her off. I also love the flies at the beginning of each chapter. A nice little touch of creepiness. As the book progresses it's like a rollercoaster. Maeve and Gideon at the ice rink, the earthquake at the club, the curling iron, Maeve and Tallulah's aide, so many creepy and graphic parts that kept your eyes glued to the pages.
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