Maeve Fly

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Pub Date 06 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 06 Jun 2023

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"This is gory and brutal and beautiful and painful and terrifying and a pure delight." —Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author

A provocative debut that is both a blood-soaked love letter to Los Angeles and a gleeful send-up to iconic horror villains, Maeve Fly will thrill fans of My Heart is a Chainsaw and Caroline Kepnes’ You series.

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.

"An apocalyptic Anaheim Psycho." —Grady Hendrix, New York Times bestselling author of How to Sell a Haunted House

"This is gory and brutal and beautiful and painful and terrifying and a pure delight." —Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author

A provocative debut that is both a blood-soaked love...

Advance Praise

“An apocalyptic Anaheim Psycho, a guidebook to the dead spaces of Los Angeles, a Hollywood black mass, an occult ritual that cracks the earth, Maeve Fly oozes enough anguish, alienation, and angst to drown the world.” —Grady Hendrix, New York Times bestselling author of How To Sell a Haunted House

“This is gory and brutal and beautiful and painful and terrifying and a pure delight. Child of God has nothing on Maeve Fly. But I think they might be cousins. Just, let’s not let them Mickey and Mallory across the world, ok?” —Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author of My Heart is a Chainsaw

"Maeve Fly is a revelation. It hurt to turn these pages, but I couldn’t stop. Maeve is every beautiful nightmare you’ve ever dared to dream. An unforgettable read."—Richard Chizmar, New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Boogeyman

“Full of glamour and gore, this genre-rejecting debut is unlike any I’ve ever read.” —Jean Kyoung Frazier, Lambda Literary Award Finalist and author of Pizza Girl

“Leede presents us with a delicious anti-heroine. Her biting commentary on modern day life will suck you in immediately. Keep an eye on this rising feminist voice.” —Tori Amos, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter

“Thoughtful, wild, frightening, and fun. Leede’s anti-heroine makes for a heroically refreshing read.” —Rivka Galchen, author of Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch

“A shocking, wild, and sinister addition to LA literature.” —Liska Jacobs, author of The Pink Hotel

“A firecracker of a book that explodes in your hand before you realize you've lit it.” —May Cobb, author of My Summer Darlings

Maeve Fly is one of those books that is many things at once: sensual, brutal, sly, joyfully unnerving, and a blood-soaked love letter to LA. But at its core it's a horror novel, and it scared the hell out of me.” —Keith Rosson, author of Fever House

“Our collective Hollywood fantasy gets the chainsaw autopsy it deserves in this deliriously indecent feminist slasher.” —Daniel Kraus, co-author of The Living Dead

“Sexy and gory all at once, Maeve Fly is a feminist masterpiece.” —Mina Seckin, author of The Four Humors

"Maeve Fly is a real trip of a book, and definitely not for the squeamish—but if you’re able to put on your big girl pants and look the nastiness of life in the face, you’ll find something special and sparkling here." —

“An apocalyptic Anaheim Psycho, a guidebook to the dead spaces of Los Angeles, a Hollywood black mass, an occult ritual that cracks the earth, Maeve Fly oozes enough anguish, alienation, and angst to...

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ISBN 9781250857859
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Average rating from 89 members

Featured Reviews

When I saw this cover I requested it without
even reading the description. Grady Hendrix had blurbed it “An apocalyptic Anaheim Psycho" and that sold me immediately.

Our main character Maeve is a serial killer who works as a Disney princess at the happiest place on earth. When she's not at work bringing laughter to little girls she's exposing strangers secrets on the internet and cutting of mens ears to make custom Mickey Mouse ears.

Maeve is thriving in Hollywood among all the fakes
maintaining a perfect double life until she meets Gideon her best friends brother. He seems to see through Maeve's facade but what would happen if he really saw all of her..

I don't know how to describe it better than Henridx. This truly reads like a west coast love letter to American Psycho. There were a couple moments in this where I had to stop and settle my nerves so I could read the grotesque violence. But it also bizarrely made me cry for the psychotic Maeve. She was also hilarious and that helped lighten the mood of the book for me.

I'm definitely going to pick up a physical copy of this when it comes out next year. If you love horror, female villains, or enjoyed American Psycho you're not gonna wanna miss this one.

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To start, I'd like to thank Tor Nightfire for the ARC.

This book gripped me on page one; I didn't want to put it down, and when I had to, I found myself wandering back to Maeve and her horrifying yet fascinating personality.

Leede's writing is brilliant. She really captures the essence of a late twenty-something in Anaheim, CA with the notion that they are other, superior, a lone wolf. Her descriptions were visceral and disgusting, and I mean that in the best way possible. Though the book isn't overflowing with gore, there is a fair amount of it, and it is done with finesse and tact.

While I enjoyed the story, I would have preferred the ending to be less obvious. However, despite being predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed Maeve's journey into madness and debauchery from beginning to end.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers set in California and female serial killers.

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This was what I wanted. I was looking for something spooky and off the beaten path that I could be absolutely addicted to reading and this gave me all of that. Amazing story!

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Thank you, Tor Publishing Group, Tor Nightfire, for allowing me to read Maeve Fly early!

This debut was gloriously gory and horrifyingly captivating.

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I loved getting to know Maeve and her world, it had what I enjoyed about horror villains, and it was what I was hoping for. I was invested in what was going on and it had a great concept going on. I enjoyed the way CJ Leede's wrote this and was glad I read this.

"Johnny gives me a nod without lifting his head, and I tilt my glass to him in answer. He’s not looking too hot today. Coming off a bender. I feel for him. As much as I ever feel for anyone. I take my drink over to my table and settle into my spot. I crack open my book."

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Holy hell... that's what I thought several times while reading this delightfully debauched and terrifyingly surreal novel.

Maeve is 27 years old and works as a princess at a certain theme park (never really mentioned by name but you'll know). Oh, she's also a sociopathic serial killer as well! Yeah, this book pulls out all the stops as it's written in first person from her perspective. This makes for an extremely unsettling but page turning narrative as she is both antagonist and protagonist of her own story.

Very few authors would be able to have you feel sympathy for the "monster", yet this one manages to do just that. And you might feel a bit dirty inside as you feel that way, knowing the bloody exploits she performs as we stand by and observe.

But that's a very good thing in my opinion. I love a horror book that can bring this kind of emotion in such an unpredictable manner.

I absolutely devoured this book and I can't recommend it enough!

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I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK! Frozen meets Carrie meets American Psycho. I was seeing mixed reviews but this blew me away. Most criticism says it was less horror and more romance but I could not disagree more. This was absolutely depraved in all the best ways. There is a love story of sorts, but it doesn’t dominate the plot and serves as more fuel to the fire that is Maeve.
This book is also a love letter to Los Angeles. I’m also an LA transplant and I love everything about this city - the history, the culture, all of it. I loved seeing the city and so many familiar places through her eyes. The presence of a drunk, violent maybe-Johnny Depp was a surprising, but not unwelcome addition. It added a melancholic depravity to the story.
The Disneyland culture is also a big part of the story. The theme park is like an LA rite of passage - you either sneer at it or let it become a huge part of yourself (I’m the latter). I loved the descriptions of the park, Maeve moving through it.
The horror itself is absolute insanity, Leede holds nothing back. If you like body horror, this book is for you. Maeve is angry, a force to be reckoned with. But she is also so, so alone. The use of Elsa was brilliant symbolism and we see what she could have been.
I will 100% be buying a physical copy of this book, likely to be furiously annotated. It will be released to the public on June 6, 2023.

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What fun for a horror fan! Funny, scary, gross, and touching, all set in Hollywood. Truly a horror fan's dream.

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WHOA. I finished this in three days because I just couldn't put it down. The writing style is very flowy and easy to read, and I really loved the obvious allusion to Disney World. The last fourth-fifth really ramped up to. I enjoyed seeing Maeve's relationships through her perspective. Plus, who doesn't love a female sociopath?

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Maeve Fly isn't like other women. Raised by her old Hollywood grandmother in Los Angeles, Maeve accepts that there are few people in her life who will ever truly see her. She isn't perturbed by this realization. After all, she's got an amazing job at a theme park as a princess, the companionship of her likeminded grandmother, and a single friendship with a rising actress. Except, everything is changing. Her grandmother is ill, her friend is on the path to fame and fortune, and a new manager has been hired to assess her work performance. On the brink of so many changes, Maeve is uncertain about what her future holds. Enter Gideon, the sexy hockey player who shows an interest in Maeve, but she isn't good at letting people in. What happens if Gideon finds out her secret?

Leede creates a visceral gore-fest for the reader to devour. The setting reads as a love letter to old Hollywood while exposing the underside of a city filled with dreamers. Maeve stands out as a complex character readers will struggle to dislike despite the skeletons in her closet. Her raw and honest characterizations plays well against the violent horror aspects of the plot, creating mixed emotions within the reader as secrets unravel and blood splashes. At the heart of this story is a universal truth: the desire to be seen as one really is, to not be alone. Readers who enjoy Chuck Palahnuik will find themselves loving the similar writing style and tone of Leede.

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Absolutely incredible! Disturbing and funny and odd. Leede’s writing feels fresh and exciting, I ate this up and wanted seconds!

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This. Is. the most. Fucked up. Book. I have ever read. And it is a work of pure genius and I loved every page of it. This is not a book for everyone, it is a specific horror that I don't even think all horror lovers will vibe with. But goddamn, this truly was like a more fucked up Psycho. Even a more fucked up, disturbing American Psycho (IMO). Like if this was made into a movie, I don't know if I personally could handle watching it. But as a book, incredible. I couldn't even try to put my thoughts into a cohesive line of words. Liiiike... am I fucked up for enjoying this so much?

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Hilarious. Violent. Brilliant. Feminist. Bonkers. There are a lot of words that can be used to describe Maeve Fly. This novel tells the story of a young girl in LA who lives with her comatose grandmother and works at an unnamed but very obvious theme park with her best friend. Maeve is a strange girl with even stranger interests. Her story is not for the faint of heart. I hope everyone enjoys this book as much as I did and I am eager to see more from this author.

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This was a fun, face paced, horror. I usually don’t like a lot of humor in my horror books, but I think this one does it well. Blood good time.

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I enjoyed this crazy story. Good storyline , twisted, and fun. Look forward to more by this author. Unexpected ending

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This book aches to be a female lead American Psycho type of novel, with protagonist Maeve Fly at the wheel. Maeve is obsessed with Halloween music, doxxing terrible people online, and her job at DisneyLand where she impersonates Elsa from Frozen. Maeve is indifferent to most people except for her best friend Kate and dying grandmother, a former Hollywood silent movie star, Tallulah Fly. I enjoyed Maeve’s journey although sometimes Maeve’s obsessions and edginess seemed forced. Most of the brutal scenes weren’t described in detail – we were only hinted at what would happen and it’d cut to black. For a book promising an edgy, dark character it kind of annoyed me (but I’m probably in the minority here) that we didn’t get to see more gore.

I read Story of the Eye in my early 20’s and have recced this book to many people (is this why they think I’m twisted?), and Maeve is obsessed with this book too. I must say, that I was supremely HAPPY that a certain scene came to fruition after the promise of the book’s cover. I would’ve been annoyed otherwise.

However, I did LOVE this book – so don’t take my little gripes at heart. I just love girl villains so want people to push the envelope when it comes to that. The final line of this novel though is PURE PERFECTION and I absolutely love it. In other words, I will definitely look forward to this author’s next novel!

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A disturbing, shocking, uncomfortable, and brilliantly written debut, Maeve Fly is both a horror novel and a love story. A scathing critique of society and a vehement demand for feminine rights. With duality at its core, this novel explores the masks of normalcy we don in an attempt to hide the darkness that is humanity.

Leede takes us on a journey with Maeve through the glitz and glamour of famous theme parks and well-known strips while simultaneously exposing the greed and corruption barely hidden below the surface. As a reflection of this contradiction, Maeve, herself, embodies these extremes posing as a princess by day while harboring an ever increasing propensity for violent outbursts. As Maeve’s world begins to crumble, her sanity unravels, and everyone becomes a target.

Maeve Fly is the inversed Patrick Bateman, the psychotic main character of American Psycho. This story is written with complex ideologies and sophisticated language arming the reader with tools to dissect the world in which we live much as Maeve dissects her victims.

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Savage!! I just finished and I am speechless!! F*cking speechless!! Grotesque, brutal, I can’t write a review yet, but I will. I’m hyped up and **NO SPOILERS** THAT ENDING!!! It damned crushed me!! It’s perfect but it sucks EGGS!!!!!! I’ll be back. GOD, I can’t breathe!! I’m shaking. The RAGE!!! This was so fucking good!! I’ll be back…….

Thanks so much to NetGalley, Tor, and the author for this!! I don’t reread books, ever, but I will absolutely read this one again.

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Deliciously unhinged and psychotic, Maeve Fly is a modern-day Patrick Bateman (American Psycho)! I loved every twisted element in this book, from Maeve's job as Elsa in Disneyland (or something like it), her crusade to dox conservative soccer moms online, and her love of Halloween. The backdrop of LA was the perfect setting for Maeve to exist- what better atmosphere to kill in where you're among the masses donning wolves' clothing? But, Maeve's not all bad-her dedication to caring for her ailing Grandmother drives her actions, but what dark secrets lies in the history of her Grandmother's life in Old Hollywood? I loved all the references to real-life places in LA, including the tar pits, and Viper Room, and the pace of the book really kept me on the edge of my seat. And let's talk about this amazing cover art! I was instantly drawn to it, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I do judge a book by its cover! TOR Nightfire continues to bring the best in horror year-to-year, and I'm so stoked to see what this author and the publisher put out in the future! Thanks NetGalley and TOR!

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This was a fun, gross, gory, horror book with romance.

I enjoyed the flow and pace of the writing,
and the LA scenery depicted. It is nice to read a female serial killer book (since most are male) and hear the inner thoughts of the killer as you read. This would make a fun scary movie and I think it will be a really successful book.

I will definitely be giving away a copy on my tiktok page @hauntedhousebooks close to debut time.

TYSM for the opportunity to read this ARC.

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Maeve Fly
By C.J. Leede
Publisher: Tor Nightfire
Publish Date: June 6, 2023

Genres: horror, psychological horror, slasher

What you need to know:

Maeve Fly is a pretty princess. Really, her day job is that of a famous children’s ice princess character. Her best friend Kate is also a pretty princess. Maeve fills her days with Kate in the happiest place in the world, and her nights following Kate and her man of the month to strip clubs and dive bars, with her book, on the Strip in LA. Maeve is (dis)content until she meets Kate’s brother, Gideon, who seems to awaken a dark, primal fury inside.

My reading experience:

I was completely blown away by this book and Maeve’s character! The complex personality of Maeve is conveyed so well with her inner talk and her actions. Being a psych nurse I believe I may have analyzed Maeve a little more than the average reader might, but I was genuinely intrigued by her complexities, and truly impressed with how well her personality was developed and shown to the reader throughout. I will not use “unhinged” to describe Maeve, as I don’t believe that she just lost it. I believe Maeve is who she is; what she is.

This book is raw, brutal, and graphically violent and erotic. I applaud such raw honesty in writing.

The ending destroyed me… seriously, I’m still recovering.

I loved this book, I loved Maeve.

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Maeve Fly was incredible. We follow the titular Maeve, who is so terrible and cool I couldn’t help but kind of like her (when I wasn’t absolutely horrified by her). This book is going to be a classic- absolutely will recommend it to horror lovers!

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"There are many definitions of insanity in this world. One could argue that spooning a man’s eyeball out of the socket and performing carnal acts of religious desecration with it is insanity…"

Seeing this cover will either gross you out or excite you. It was both for me. It took things that are so normal and put them together to create something that will haunt your days. It’s beautiful and had my attention quick. I couldn’t turn my back on something that I knew was going to deliver something twisted.

Patrick Bateman would be so proud.

I am blown away by the craziness that is this book and I'm kind of in love. I keep saying that horror needs more females and C.J. certainly answers my demon-filled prayers. She makes you cringe, turns your stomach, and makes you laugh as she envelops you in a blood-soaked hug from the depths of hell.

The last 30% of this book was bonkers, and so incredibly messed up that I had to reread it. That is what made this book a true gem and highly recommendable.

"You are what you are, and no matter what you think, you cannot change it. A wolf is only ever a wolf."

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I just reviewed Maeve Fly by CJ Leede. #MaeveFly #NetGalley

This book was SO GOOD!!!! I loved it! The ending was SHOCKING!!!

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Where does one even start with Maeve Fly? I loved it! I genuinely absolutely loved it, but it took some time to grow on me. Perhaps like a fly laying eggs and it taking time to hatch, so this story has latched into my brain and created a swarm of interest second to none.

This book starts out slow and it took me a minute to determine if this was young to be something I liked. But just like the main character in this story, I sensed a darkness that I loved. This book is DARK and it's intense. It truly isn't for the faint of heart, but I think for those that don't mind some violence, some gore, and some mutilation. Go read this book because it's a slow descent into madness that will leave you hungry for more. Oh and did I mention the twist at the end will have you SCREAMING AS YOU FLIP THE LAST PAGE!!

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Well behaved women rarely make history .. 🤩 wow this book had me in a chokehold! What a crazy ride I had so many moments of “did that just happen?”. Are main character is Meave , she works as a princess with her best friend. Her grandmother is one of the old beauty’s of Hollywood in the golden age. Life is good right? Wrong Meave has a dark secret at night she is anything but a delicate princess. Id like to describe this book as if American psycho and promising young women had a baby. What a complex character I found myself at times well most of the time cheering Meave on, even thought I should definitely not be lol which is the power of great writing!! I want more of this book! I will be recommending this book to anyone that will listen. Read this book, thank me later 🖤🖤🖤🖤

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Deliciously creepy, and un-put-downable. A story that kept building, and building and building in anticipation until it exploded. Absolutely loved it.

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Wow. I’ve heard author CJ Leede has drawn plenty of inspiration from Stephen King. But I don’t think Stephen King has written something this dark. Maeve Fly throws readers into the mind of a warped Disneyland princess actor. Maeve has everything she could ever want, a best friend, her idol of her grandma, and a job she absolutely loves. But what happens if she starts to lose the things that tether her to sanity? Using incredible references, humor, and twisted description, Leedes has written something truly special for the horror genre. We are not worthy.

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Let me introduce you all to a new friend of mine, Maeve Fly. But before you meet her you need to know a few things. For one, she’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. So beware, she does bite and it’s way worse than her bark. And yes, she may be a princess at Disneyland but let’s be real at the end of the day, she’s got acting and Hollywood in her blood Just because she works at the happiest place on earth does NOT mean she’s nice girl. Actually, it’s probably safest if you don’t meet her in person at all. Instead you should probably just read about her through C.J. Leedes’ new novel Maeve Fly, it’s safest that way and trust me, she’s gonna be someone soon, just you wait , I’m always right!

Thank you C.J. Leede, this is in all honesty, my one of my favourite books I've ever read! Maeve Fly is the feminist monstrous antihero, I never knew that I needed. A far cry from the final girl archetype, Maeve is a clear decent of Pyscho and the 21st century female version of American Psycho's Patrick Bateman with a love of all things horror and halloween. A feminist take on the monstrous-self narrative told entirely through Maeve, and she simply wants to demonstrate in this dark and bloody tale how one can be monstrous without being a victim, esp. as female. I seriously recommend this book to anyone who's a fan of feminist horror, dark horror or american psycho. This is definitely for fans of blood and gore.

I got this book as an advanced reader copy from Tor publishers through Netgalley, and I loved this book so much, I definitely will be getting a hardcover copy for my horror collection when released in June because Leede's dark, and humorous writing style brought Maeve to life and I fell in love. Never have I related to a protagonist so much (not the murdering part), but the last of connections, isolation and feeling as though one is an outcast and alone surrounded by people who just don't understand you, and the social acceptability of provided to men for their behaviour and gender and social expectations narrowly confine what is deemed acceptable for women.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who ever wanted to take a utensil to some else's eye!

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For readers who grew up on Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat, graduated to Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho, and yearned for a hybrid--it's Maeve Fly, a heroine for the ages and the best Disney princess ever. Old Hollywood glamour and modern kitsch rule Maeve's life, and she's happy being her singular self, modeled after her grandmother (an old Hollywood icon) and owning her destiny. The fly in Maeve's ointment is Gideon. There's a difference between having your needs met and being understood, Maeve knows. And she'll never be understood. Right?
Maeve Fly is not for the squeamish, and the book pulls no punches. It's a fast-paced quick read that hits hard and absolutely delighted this reader. The (very successful) ending is why true horror romances haven't caught on in a big way. Can Maeve Fly have everything? It's all in her name. Give this to readers who prefer (old-school) Maleficent to Aurora and prefer their roses with bloody thorns.

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Holy crap thisbook was mond blowing i dont even know where to start. Honestly i liked all the characters even tho some are crazy. But the writing was so good that this book read super fast. I will keep an eye out on this author now because this book is going to be the best book yet this year

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When I tell you that this book is the perfect recipe for a good horror/slasher I truly mean it. The mind of Maeve Fly, our main character, is so Dark and deranged yet she is so funny, witty, and intelligent. You know you should hate her but you can’t help but love her. The story is fast paced and I legitimately could not put it down! I wanted to stay in Maeve’s world and hear her thoughts. She is so unique and the story itself is so unique that I myself have never read anything like it. It’s gory and stomach churning, yet Maeve will have you laughing at the same time she is making you feel deeply unsettled by her actions. It’s everything I needed to pull me out of a reading slump and I will read anything CJ Leede writes. Maeve Fly is 2023’s new horror icon. 🪰

Don’t walk, RUN to get your copy when it is released in June, you will not be disappointed.

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