The contestants of a reality television dating show compete for love— and their lives— in this pulse-pounding and viciously funny fiction debut from the GLAAD Award-winning author of Real Queer America.
When the final four women in competition for an aloof, if somewhat sleazy, bachelor’s heart arrive on a mysterious island in the Pacific Northwest, they mentally prepare themselves for another week of extreme sleep deprivation, invasive interviews, and of course, the salacious drama that viewers nationwide tune in to eagerly devour. Each woman came on “The Catch” for her own reasons— brand sponsorships, followers, and yes, even love— and they’ve all got their eyes steadfastly trained on their respective prizes.
Enter Patricia, a temperamental, but woefully misunderstood local, living alone in the dark, verdant woods and desperate to forge a connection of her own. As the contestants perform for the cameras that surround them, Patricia watches from her place in the shadows, a queer specter haunting the bombastic display of heterosexuality before her. But when the cast and crew at last make her acquaintance atop the island’s tallest and most desolate peak, they soon realize that if they’re to have any hope of making it to the next Elimination Event, they’ll first have to survive the night.
A whirlwind romp careening toward a last-girl-standing conclusion and a scathing indictment of contemporary American media culture, Patricia Wants to Cuddle is also a love story: between star-crossed lesbians who rise above their intolerant town, a deeply ambivalent woman and her budding self-actualization, and a chosen family of misfit islanders forging community against all odds.
A Note From the Publisher
Praise for REAL QUEER AMERICA and Samantha Allen
"Real Queer America is a book necessary for anyone in -- or allied with -- the queer community, especially those of us who see the bad news day after day. [Allen is] sharing the beauty of the spaces that LGBTQ+ people have carved out for themselves, and she's giving credit where credit is very much overdue, because it's the queer folk who live and stay in red states -- whether by choice or due to a lack of options -- who have to survive there and work to make them better."―Los Angeles Times
"Samantha Allen's America is filled with buoyant queer people in supposedly red states living their lives with resilience and joy. This moving journey starts out in Utah--but Allen's road ultimately takes the reader to the center of her heart. Surprising, inspiring, and thoughtful."―Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She's Not There and Long Black Veil
"A powerful book of memoir and reportage...It is difficult to capture universality in a way that also celebrates uniqueness. Allen does so through the diversity of the individual stories she uplifts, giving any reader an entry point into LGBTQ lives... [She writes] with a vulnerability and humility as approachable and accessible as it is profoundly moving."―New York Times Book Review
"It's kind of like a trans Travels with Charley in Search of America, but without Steinbeck's lightly misogynist depictions of women and meandering, stream of consciousness. As Samantha Allen travels across the country's reddest states and perhaps the most unsafe for queer people, she unearths a humanity that the midwest and south are rarely afforded. Queer people exist everywhere, not just cities, and this book is a fierce testament to that."―Out Magazine
"Allen argues that queerness thrives everywhere, perhaps even more so in states like Indiana, Texas, and Tennessee, precisely because there's still so much advocacy work to do. Allen's openness about her personal story--including growing up Mormon, living an angst-filled double life in Provo, coming out as transgendered, meeting her wife in an elevator at the Kinsey Institute, and undergoing surgery to get a vagina--invites respect. She writes with loving curiosity about other people in the LGBTQ community and blends this with national-level reporting on political and historical LGBTQ issues."―Booklist (Starred Review)
"I love Samantha Allen! Her voice is an essential part of the movement and a new brand of queer hero for these dark times. In the face of the alt-right and crypto fascists, I say- Queeros Assemble!"―Lilly Wachowski, co-writer and co-director of The Matrix trilogy and co-creator of the GLAAD Award winning Netflix series Sense8
"In this clever combination of easy travelogue and thoughtful exploration of queerness in America, journalist Allen retraces her transformation from a Mormon missionary in Utah to a transgender woman living happily in rural Florida...Queer readers will nod knowingly at the descriptions of finding gay-friendly hangouts and questioning whether public hand-holding is safe in a new area, and readers without that experience will still enjoy Allen's charming, humorous recounting of the ultimate road trip through rainbow-colored America."―Publishers Weekly
"Real Queer America is a delight to read...an engrossing journey full of humor, vulnerability, insight, and joy. What results is a beautiful tapestry of, well, the real queer America... Real Queer America is well-written and well-researched, and it's a blast to read, but perhaps its most essential question is that of how complicit 'blue state' LGBTQ people are in dismissing red states as scary places for queers. The whole world is scary, for queers and for everyone. Perhaps Real Queer America will inspire the reader to be more involved in fighting discrimination everywhere."―Rewire
"Samantha Allen doesn't just have her finger on the pulse of queer and trans America--the pulse runs through her fingers and onto the screen and page. I am always amazed at her capacity to get the story, convey the facts, and yet leave no doubt as to what really matters behind the buzzwords and slogans: real people with real lives you'll be grateful to have encountered."―Jay Michaelson, author of God Vs. Gay?
"In her generous, clear-eyed reporting, Samantha Allen invites us to see ourselves for who we really are: a country of queer possibility. Her work proves these American stories are too powerful to ever be kept in their place."―Melissa Gira Grant, author of Playing The Whore
"Real Queer America ends on a note of hope, predicting that its portrait of queer lives will eventually become antiquated as America grows more and more inclusive of all genders and sexualities. But this will only happen if people of all kinds choose to create communities where we can thrive together. In giving us humanizing portraits of places that many queer people fear and will not visit, Allen has done much to close this divide, and now we, her readers, must take up this message and manifest it in our own lives."―LitHub
"Allen is smart-as-hell, but inclusive and impassioned. Hers' might not be the book all the gay boys are talking about in an exclusive NYC salon, but it is the book the rest of us can read aloud at the kitchen table with our queer family and our blood family, with our chosen sisters and our yet-to-be-educated uncles...So many wonderful books get written for the NYC and San Francisco LGBTQ community. I'm glad Samantha Allen wrote Real Queer America for the rest of us."―Lambda Literary
"[Allen] sheds a light on the struggles and triumphs of rural LGBTQ+ people, and smashes misconceptions about how they live. Part memoir, part journalism, and all heart, this is an important book about queer communities today."―BookRiot
"Real Queer America might be the best travel book of the year...a must-read for all Americans."―Refinery29
"Allen's award-winning work as an LGBT journalist for platforms like Fusion and The Daily Beast is both radically empathetic and comprehensively analytical. This is a balance she has upheld admirably in Real Queer America, an exploration of queer communities in conservative parts of the country-communities that are often overlooked in conversations about what it means to be queer, American, or both. Use this title to help you chart the course of your next cross-country road trip."―Harper's Bazaar
"Bursting with queer joy." ―BookRiot
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 52 members
It's challenging to review this without spoiling, so I'll give a Russian doll of "spoils". My first, non-spoiled part of the review is that the blurb that this is "viciously funny" is possibly the most accurate descriptor of the book. I laughed out loud during pretty much every paragraph, and was having such a great time that I genuinely couldn't stop turning the pages and finished the book in one night. I had only read Samantha Allen's more sober, investigative Real Queer America, so it was a welcome surprise to find that she can also write explosive fiction with so much humor and style. Now on to spoilers.
It might be a good idea for this book to come with a CW, because there is graphic body horror, e.g. dismemberment, bludgeoning, etc. It was all the more shocking considering the light-hearted wit that characterized the first 70% of the novel or so, and the kind and generally balanced way Allen tackled the foibles and follies of the characters. This is the only reason I brought the novel down a star- the rest of it had been so enjoyable, but the end turned brutal. After coming to understand and love the characters, nearly all of them died in truly viscous ways. I understand why Allen chose to go that route (a meta-commentary on smashing apart the heteronormativity of American institutions like The Bachelor), but I think it would have been possible to keep at least some of the characters who are brutally killed alive. For instance, there's a truly touching scene between two of the feuding contestants at the end of the novel, but in my opinion this was ruined by the following paragraph describing those characters' gory dismemberment/deaths- it would have been more touching/poetic if they made it out alive and became firm friends after their ordeal. A recent article in Vice outlined how the true legacy of the Bachelor is the friendships contestants make with each other, and it would have been more powerful had Allen kept that legacy intact, with at least one example of friendship surviving the horror(s) thrown at them.
In sum, this book is a genuine page-turner and a showcase of Allen's incredible talent, but (without spoiling) I would recommend readers follow the novel up with something else a little more light-hearted.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an ARC in return for an honest review!
Thank you Netgalley for this ARC for an exchange of an honest review.
Very entertaining read. I recommend it.
So, I can't say that I've applied it much before, but I think the expression "madcap adventure" is probably used to liberally. Rarely are things actually madcap, they're just messy or chaotic, or – in the case of fiction – badly written, so nonsensical. That being said –
This a freaking marvelous madcap adventure! I read this novella in one sitting and at a blazing speed because as the smashing (literally) denouement approached I was desperate to see how it'd unfold.
Following four contestants and a skeleton crew while filming a pseudo-The Batchelor series on a remote PNW island, Patricia Wants to Cuddle is simultaneously a scathing satire, a genuinely beautiful love story, and a graphic horror adventure. Doing all three at once should be impossible, but this books manages it expertly.
Each character/caricature (but intentionally so!) is developed beautifully for their purpose and their interactions are compelling. You hate them and root for them and place bets on who'll win the corsage … or survive the night. The behind-the-scenes setting adds interest and tension, but also a certain salaciousness, in an energizing way. The PNW is a perfect setting; gorgeously verdant and majestic while also banal and threatening all at once.
Altogether, this book is just a great time. And lest this pithy review make it seem shallow, there is also an urgent beating heart infusing these pages; there is love and loneliness to spare throughout – and this keeps the events of the text from being as meaningless and shallow as … well, that culture it is satirizing.
My only complaint with this book is actually with the blurb, which implies that Patricia is a perspective character in the text, which – for better or worse (I can't decide) – she's not.
This book was absolutely excellent! So many times I was audibly gasping and shocked at what was happening, I wish it was longer because I want more from this page-turner of a read!
It has an amazing premise: a Sasquatch is stalking a Bachelor-esque reality TV show crew and cast while filming on a remote, Pacific Northwest Island.
I enjoyed the interspersed fan theories and letters about the filming's happenings on the Island, and provided some backstories into the lore and history of the island's not-so-friendly human and non-human inhabitants.
Great read! Would recommend to anyone wanting a short, page-turning creature feature!
What to say about this book? I know it's some sort of social commentary but what? If you like shows like The Bachelor and are fans of Bigfoot, this would be for you. I'm not going to lie, I loved the cattiness of the contestants, the vapidness of the "Catch" and seeing what may actually go on behind the scenes of shows like this. Maybe I'm vapid for not understanding the true meaning behind this book but all I know is that I really enjoyed it and sometimes, that's all I'm looking for.
I picked this up because of its Bachelor-satire premise - I'm always down for that, and you never know what angle you will get. Well, this angle was certainly the first of its kind!!
Bachelor-style reality TV + lady sasquatch + black comedy horror = a great way to spend a Saturday night!
Beyond that, Allen has written a thoughtful study of how badly we desire to fit in, what it feels like when we do not, and the things we are willing to do in order to feel comfortable in a lonely and often uncomfortable world. Most important to contentment, it seems, is knowing yourself. From one angle, the takeaway message of the book is (this line I am stealing and butchering): Sometimes people die and it's unfortunate if you love them before they do. And in many ways this is true, Full Stop. But I also think the book makes it apparent that you can be wildly fortunate if you know and love yourself before you go. And, I think that it is also apparent that if you know and love yourself, then loving someone else is always bound to be good fortune, even if they leave. [To that end, I must say - the letters between Kathy and Maggie were beautiful, earnest, and familiar to me. They are proof that love and life matter, Glamstapix posts be damned!] Knowing and loving yourself also makes room for you to care for others, including those who are different, difficult, or dangerous.
(So many more feelings, thoughts, and lessons than all seasons of The Bachelor franchise combined!)
In any case, I will recommend this book highly to my book clubs and friends, and to fans of Grady Hendrix. Many thanks to NetGalley and Zando for the review copy! Can't wait to purchase the real deal.
There is something incredibly delightful about this book. It's funny in a mostly sarcastic way. It's a little dark. I like when books are a little dark.
Contestants and production crew of a reality show travel to an island in the Pacific Northwest. What starts out as a dating reality show becomes something closer to Survivor or something more sinister. I'm just going stop there. If you love reality TV and are able to laugh at yourself about it, I definitely recommend this. I also recommend this to people that dislike reality TV. It's funny. It's what a lot of us would like to do to reality TV IRL. Well, maybe less gruesome. Maybe just write a book about what you fantasize about doing.
In Patricia Wants to Cuddle, we meet up with the final four contestants and “The Catch” himself. They’re traveling to a remote island located in the Salish Sea where they are inching towards unveiling a final two contestants before the finale of the show. All the contestants are differently motivated and the prize husband is really anything but, but it’s a competition and they’re all in. Throughout the book, we also get to know a few of the crew and some of the locals who help set the stage.
I am not a Bachelor/Bachelorette devotee. I watched precisely one season (21) of the Bachelor and maybe one and a half of Bachelor in Paradise before vowing to never go back. I have, however, watched four seasons of UnREAL and I would watch four more if I could. I feel like the latter equipped me to never have to watch the former because, well, it’s gross. And the UnREAL vibe is strong in this book.
Having just finished a series of stories featuring the final girl trope, I loved the fresh way Samantha Allen connected the horror final girl to the Bachelor-esque final girl. Though this book is rather light-hearted (even in spite of the harsh events) I walked away with a lot to think about this connection.
Patricia Wants to Cuddle isn’t traditional horror because the spirit of the book is truly kind of zany. I saw one review describe it as madcap and the word stuck in my head the whole way through. It is violent, be warned, and it is shocking in parts, but the hilarity of the overall story tempers the brutality.
My only super tiny complaint? I wish we’d gotten to know Patricia a little better.
Fans of fun, abstract and kind of out there contemporary fiction will dig Patricia Wants to Cuddle, especially if they’re feeling a Pacific Northwest setting.
Well this was a fun read - sort of. If you love the Bachelor, or should I say hate the Bachelor and if you’re into blood and gore, then this is the book for you. But let me add that this is a well written novel that I simply couldn’t put down. As I said, perhaps not for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for this ARC
honestly samantha had me at "queer grendel" but when u tack on classic horror tropes and skewering the bachelor?? hell yes. this was exactly the fun, bloody romp i needed to end my december (a month in which i accidentally read a bunch of sad sad books all in a row). highly recommend to horror fans, satire fans, n anyone who wants to read about queer characters who don't die.
Couldn't decide between 3.5 and 4. Took a while to get into the narrative as it was split between characters but once I was in, it was great. A slightly exaggerated but also true look into reality TV and a behind the scenes of the 'match making' programmes like Love Island and The Bachelor. Between the shadey producer and the bimbo influencers there were really no likeable characters. I also enjoyed the outside bloggers and social media commentary.
I absolutely loved this book and read it in one day. It's a little hard to review the book without spoilers, but it starts off as a propulsive contemporary read and leans into speculative fiction/sci fi in the middle half, and especially at the end. I love how many queer characters are in the book, and especially the inclusion of the lesbian love letters. There's great dark, dry humor throughout the book, and the satire about the reality tv show works really well. In the first few pages, I was unsure if the characters would be a little too much like caricatures, but the author actually fleshed everyone out just right. I'd recommend this book to anyone.
This is a really good book - great fun in a dark and twisted kind of way. It’s really well written and explores the dark world of reality TV beautifully.
This book had to be the weirdest book I've ever read. Interesting surprisingly mostly because of how it was set bachelor style and we got each contestants point of view which was amazing but then it started getting weird
So if you're into the Bachelor and something a little crazy. Then this book is for you
“Patricia Wants to Cuddle” is a book that straddles genres. Is it a mystery, a satire, a thriller, a social commentary, a dark comedy? It doesn’t quite know what it wants to be, and so I didn’t know either as I read it. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before, with a truly bizarre premise, as if the author crossed the Isle of Lesbos with Planet of the Apes. I liked it, it’s a quick read and one I won’t soon forget, but it left me wondering why.
This was thoroughly entertaining, but exactly as much so as your average episode of The Bachelor. I’m not sure if the author was trying to make some sort of point about the evils of reality TV, but if so, it was pretty fruitless. The main point I got from this book was how deeply compelling The Bachelor is - so much so that I was bored when petty TV drama gave way to Bigfoot-mauling. Devoured the first half, though, so I can't complain.
This was one of the more bizarre books I read in a while. Part fiction, part light mystery, part gory horror, this book starts off with the final four girls of reality show The Catch (think: The Bachelor) heading off to the Pacific Northwest for the show’s finale. But mysteries of the island’s past come to haunt them unknowingly… I don’t wanna say much more without spoiling anything, but suffice to say this took a pretty sharp turn in my opinion and at times felt like it was going off the rails a little bit! That said, it was an incredibly quick read and I was very engaged throughout the book. (I’ll admit I did a little skimming when the gore became intense, not because of the description but because I thought it wasn’t critical to the plot and I wanted to get back to the story.)
There’s certainly depth to this book that can be appreciated beyond its surface - commentary on gender, acceptance, etc - but in general if you’re looking for a shake up from some sleepy fiction books, this is definitely it!
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Funny and super gay but also w-t-f. There's a specific audience for this who will absolutely love it.
I really didn't know what to expect from this book, but I loved how it turned out! I thought it would be a light, fun read, but it ended up having a lot more depth than I expected. (I do feel that I NEED to go live on Otter's Island now, so maybe I'm a biased source on that! I adored the ending.) The characters were lovable -- or at least love-to-hateable -- and the mix of perspectives and styles kept me turning the pages. I also liked the "final girl" vibe of it all; I didn't expect to lose so many characters! (Sorry, Casey. I liked you, even if your profession was vile.) It was funny, thought-provoking, and super appealing to modern readers. I'm looking forward to more from Samantha Allen!
Well, that was the weirdest book I’ve read in a while! Not at all what I was expecting. I kept it saying aloud, “what in the world am I reading!?” However, I must say that I couldn’t put it down and I was totally engrossed. I didn’t like most of the characters which turned out helpful to not be attached when it all started to go down. It is definitely a book I would recommend to someone who is looking for a little escapism, and is looking for something a little outside of their typical genre. I would say this book is “Devolution” meets “A Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires”.
PATRICIA WANTS TO CUDDLE is a fantastic, wild ride that was just pure fun. The plot is a bit bonkers, the twists and turns are unexpected and hilarious, and Samantha Allen just cemented herself as an auto-buy author for me! I enjoyed this book so much and only wish it was longer so that I could have lived in this world for a little more. It is a queer, in all senses of the world, romp that takes the idea of elimination with the confines of a reality show to a whole new level.
So what we have here are 4 contestants in the final stages of a Bachelor-esque reality show, and the novel's perspective switches between the women vying for the "The Catch," a producer on the show, and other characters that swirl around them. To save production money, the show takes the cast and crew to a remote island off of the pacific northwest (instead of say, Bali or Croatia) and there the witty parody of reality TV turns quickly to a creepy tale of monsters. I don't want to give away more than that, but all this to say: if you love the Bachelor and/or you love slasher films, you CANNOT miss this book. It is so, so fun.
Patricia Wants to Cuddle was an absurdly amusing story about a realistic TV show called The Catch where a group of women all vie for the attention and corsages of one mediocre dude. They all fly to a remote PNW island for the big finale selection and suddenly encounter female Bigfoot?!
Sound familiar? This one was ridiculous and addicting, but I had a few problems with it...like wtf does "she was "as clingy as a pitbull" mean?! Also, you obviously have to suspend reality a little for this and even though I am pretty sure it's satire that was a little hard at the end.
If it's a sapphic book I'm bound to give it a high rating because let's be honest, there aren't enough of them. So my excitement for this book when I heard it was sapphic and reality tv-show style, was high. And it did not disappoint. It was categorically insane and I loved every single bit of it. This book was genuinely hilarious on every level and just bad shit enough for it to be captivating from cover to cover. READ IT.
What on earth just happened here then?
It started off a cheesy rehash of the bachelor/love island style. We meet 4 equally ridiculous women going after the horrific ‘catch’ all for different reasons but mainly, to get followers on glamstapix that I presume to be Instagram! And then it just gets wild.. the last 20% of the book is just ridiculous and I certainly needed a lay down afterwards. You will not even come near to guessing/predicting what was going on.
This book was so fun!!! The moment I read "lesbian sasquatch" in the description, I knew that I would love Patricia Wants to Cuddle. This book, part satire, part lit fic, and part horror is a campy and hilarious ride from start to finish. The story follows four women as they compete to earn the affection of "the Catch" on a reality dating show that takes them to the remote Pacific Northwest. There they find themselves ensnared by something that lurks in the woods as the show begins to fall apart.
While the book itself is funny and smart, it's also surprisingly tender. I loved Renee and Maggie, and I found the letters written between Maggie and her wife to be so touching and lovely. I managed to feel shocked at every twist and turn the plot took, and I thought the setup was done so creatively. Altogether, Patricia Wants to Cuddle is inventive and engaging while remaining light enough to make me laugh. The ending was perfect, and I loved seeing Renee's character development play into it.
If you're looking for something deceptively fun and endearing with just the right amount of gore, pick this one up ASAP!
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an ARC in return for an honest review!
It's odd to describe a slash flick turned novel as "delightful" and "balm for the disillusioned BIPOC woman's soul" but here we are. Patricia Wants to Cuddle is equal parts love letter to America's obsession with commodifying and televising love, insight into how soul-crushing it is to feel isolated from both your identity and society at large, and gratuitous slasher gore at its best.
The novel has a premise sure to entice from the start: The Catch - a clear riff of The Bachelor - sends the four remaining ladies and the eponymous Catch to a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. From their arrival, it is clear that this pack of would-be social media influencers is not alone on the island.
(Potential light spoilers ahead!) Allen sets a brisk pace that hits a fever pitch towards the last quarter of the novel. Every chapter is told from a different POV giving us insight into their inner workings and interspersed with shockingly tender sapphic love letters and crumbs of a decade-old missing person case on the island. While there are many threads running throughout the novel, Allen does a great job of resolving them just enough to leave the reader satisfied while allowing us to draw our own conclusions.
I also want to take a moment to highlight how well-written the character of Natasha is. Her arc is absolutely bananas in the best way. Despite some . . . shocking decisions she makes throughout the narrative, as a reader, I was there with her every step of the way.
Patricia Wants to Cuddle is an entertaining, zippy read that is somehow both tender and brutal in its scrutiny of social media, love, and what it means to find a place to call one's own. Highly recommend!
Even though outside of my regular genres - I did enjoy the slow and steady character build-up. Horror, but make it literary! The satire of reality TV drew me to this book and what ultimately made it bingable.
The key phrases that Allen uses made this book for me: 'queer grendel,' 'lesbian sasquatch,' etc. I think the book will be an absolute hit in the horror reader community - I was just a bit in over my head with jumping into the genre.
Thank you for the chance to review this!
This book was fast-paced and hysterical, and utterly impossible to put down every time I picked it up.
'Patricia Wants to Cuddle' follows the final four contestants on a Bachelor-esque reality dating show called 'The Catch' as they travel with the crew and their catch to the Pacific Northwest to film. Within days of their arrival, things start to get...weird, to say the least. It's one part genre fiction, one part thriller, one part horror, and it's entirely already one of the best books I've read all year. I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for something I guarantee they've never read before!
This book is hysterical! A perfect mix of laugh out loud level comedy writing, badass queer rep, and grotesque body horror! The way tropes associated with reality tv and the horror genre are put against each other and twisted around is brilliant. I want to cuddle Patricia too!!!
Okay so, this was MOSTLY a 5-star read for me. It started out very strong by perfectly capturing the voice of a well-known Bachelor spoiler writer (known less-than-affectionately to Bachelor Nation as Rita Skeeter - if you know, you know). From there, it continued to be the most on-the-nose book based on The Bachelor I've ever read - and I've read basically all the ones that aren't straight-up erotica. In fact, I was able to mentally cast almost every show character in my head.
The problem that turned it into a 4-star read is that, well, I liked all of those characters. I got attached and wanted them all to either go home and be successful or stay on Otters Island with Patricia and be attendants to Lady Bigfoot (I don't think this is a spoiler, since you can clearly see Lady Bigfoot's hairy, meaty fist on the cover, clutching a Fay-Wray-esque figure). However, apparently I wasn't supposed to get attached, because - spoiler, though I think readers may appreciate knowing - things take a VERY bloodbath-y turn. I mean, really, gruesome, horrific carnage. I'm not sure why it came as such a shock to me; I guess I was being excessively optimistic.
HOWEVER. This is still an excellent book that I think if you like it, you'll really, really love it. I recommend to fans of Grady Hendrix and/or Melissa Broder, people who watch The Bachelor for the social commentary, anyone who ever loved B-movies, aspiring cryptozoologists, fans of dark mean-girl shenanigans (e.g. The Craft, Foxfire, Heathers, Heavenly Creatures), and anyone who sort of wishes they were a lesbian witch living off the land with just your fellow lesbian witches and a sasquatch for company.
“Patricia Wants to Cuddle” offers readers a bit of everything; fantasy, thriller, romance, reality TV…
Several women are vying for a happily-ever-after from a bachelor on a reality TV show. One of the final challenges is set on a remote island where strange events begin to occur. Even more strange is who is behind it all.
Holy SHIT this book took me for a ride in the best way. So much fun. It's the perfect blend of camp-y horror and reality TV show satire with a little splash of queerness (lesbian cults anyone??) that I absolutely loved.
The writing was so good, and the characters were SO interesting and well-developed. Renee's character in particular was so fascinating to me, specifically in the way that she grapples with her sexuality throughout the book. She simultaneously feels "not queer enough" yet also "not straight enough" to feel like she's "allowed" to categorize herself into either group, which is a perspective I found so relatable and refreshing because it's unlike anything I've read before in queer literature. We need more queer stories in all forms, but I've never felt so seen and represented like that through a character before, so that was really special for me to experience.
Honestly everything about this book sucked me in and I couldn't put it down because I had to know how it was all going to tie up in the end. If you're looking for a fun romp and don't mind a little gore, this book is IT. Available in June 2022!
Thank you so much to Netgalley and Zando Projects for providing me with a digital arc of this book. It will probably become one of my favorites of the year and I'm super grateful to have read it.
This book is absolutely insane.... in such a good way! It really gets set up to be one /type/ of story and then so quickly becomes this completely nutty, gory nightmare horror book that is also just a little bit wholesome (?). My only major critique is I think it suffers from being a little too short - another 50 pages or so would've really added some depth and fleshed out the end of the story, especially where the major mystery is concerned, and I think I would've been just a little more invested if I got that kind of ending. Other than that though I thought this book was really good, unique, and just a super captivating and fast paced time!
Thank you to NetGalley and Zando Projects for an arc of this book! This book is weird in the best way possible, it’s camp, it’s horror, it’s very gory, and at some points, funny, as well as very gay. The weirder it got the more intrigued I was with it.
How do I describe this book without totally giving away everything great about it?
The book follows the cast and crew of a Bachelor-esque reality dating show to a remote island in the Pacific Northwest where they are looking to film. And let's just say that things don't go as planned.
This book managed to be both comedic and gruesome - which is not something I can say is done well very often but damn Samantha pulls it off so well. While the blurb and the cover do give away some of the twists, this book pulls you in at first in one direction, then promptly clotheslines you and drags you away on a different path - in the best possible way.
I've never read any of the authors other works, but I might have to because wow I absolutely loved everything about this writing - the POV switches, the dialogue, EVERYTHING. Hell, I don't think there's a single main character in this I'd actually want to meet in real life, but I LOVED them! They were all awful, terrible people (with a couple exceptions) but they were also so much fun to read and worked perfectly with the story.
My only main complaint is that the ending is a bit rushed and would've loved to see just a tab bit more exploration of some of the side plots, but honestly it still works.
This book was absolutely delightful. It was a genuine page turner. I can not WAIT to own a physical copy!! It's a little hard to review the book without spoilers. Honestly, I think the less you know about it before reading, the better.
Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen is a chick-lit satire of reality television shows. What is supposed to be a dating reality show (think the Bachelor) turns into something that resembles something closer to Survivor, or possibly something even worse. This book was funny and fast-paced. The characters were SO interesting and well-developed.
I thought this book was really good, and sooooo unique. Do yourself a favor and READ IT! Available in June 2022!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
This book was so weird, but also pretty fun. A gruesome and wacky ride, this queer horror is strange and satirical, and honestly indescribable. I can see it becoming a real cult favourite!
I absolutely loved this book. Honestly, I think the less you know about it before reading, the better, because it's a wild ride.
The story starts as a Bachelor-type show that is down to the final four girls. I enjoyed getting to know all the different contestants and seeing the producers working behind the scenes. This final four portion of the show takes place on an island in the Pacific Northwest and the island itself is like a character in the story. It's a little creepy and definitely sets a mildly unsettling tone. There are also some residents on the island who occasionally cross paths with the contestants. Later on in the book, there is a major shift and it becomes a gory slasher horror story. I don't want to give more specifics than that, but please just know that it does get violent and a bit dark so be prepared!
Even though this book is short, it put me through a range of emotions. Mostly, it is really really funny. Some of the moments and lines made me laugh out loud. It also made me cry a little at a few places, which I was not expecting! It's also full of queer characters and I loved the moments of community and love and connection that were shown. This was so much fun to read, but it also is a nice commentary/satire about some aspects of society. One of my favorite books I've read this year for sure! I wish it was longer!
TW for gore, death/grief, blood, car accidents, and homophobia (not portrayed as acceptable)
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
This books is different from anything I have read before in the best way possible! Campy, funny, sapphic drama and that left me surprised at each turn. I enjoyed getting to know the characters for the first part of the book and each of their perspectives surrounding the reality tv show they were part of. The second half of the book was just wild and I couldn’t predict where it was going up until the very end. The setting and place description was also great and added to the story.