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Book Review: The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

September 21, 2021 Leave a comment
Image of a digital book cover. A green overtone street with a house looming in the background with no lights in the windows. A cat's silhouette sits in a streetlight.

Summary:
At the very end of Needless Street lies a house. In this house lives Ted with his cat Olivia. They sometimes have his daughter Lauren with them. Ted’s cat Olivia believes the LORD sent her to take care of him.

This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet they are all lies.

Review:
Every review I saw of this book before I requested it on NetGalley promised an amazing twist that cannot be revealed or it will spoil the book. What I can say after reading this is….there’s definitely a great twist that cannot be revealed or it will spoil the book. I thought I had the twist figured out and was all ready to be disappointed at it being not that great. Turns out I had not figured it out, and it is that great.

So what can I really say in this review without spoiling things? This book is not what it at first seems to be (or even second or third) so if you feel yourself thinking you know exactly what type of book this is going to be and you think you won’t like it, keep reading, because it’s not that type of book.

Olivia the cat is by far my favorite character. A cat who believes she has a calling from the LORD to take care of her owner. Who reads the Bible by knocking it off a table sometimes and then lets those verses guide her actions. Who calls dogs brouhahas. There aren’t enough words for how much I love Olivia the cat.

This book explores trauma and survival. There are therefore some elements that may be disturbing to some readers, but there is never gratuitous violence or sexual violence. There is some cruelty to birds in the first chapter. This is not a repeated plot device of the book, and a character spends a sizable chunk of the book investigating who did such a thing.

If you are intrigued by the last house on Needless Street and its occupants, pick this one up. And keep reading even if you think you know what type of story it’s going to be telling. It will certainly surprise you.

4 out of 5 stars

Length: 335 pages – average but on the longer side

Source: NetGalley

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Bloggers’ Alliance of Non-fiction Devotees (BAND): August Discussion: How Did You Get Into Non-fiction?

August 10, 2011 15 comments

Hi guys!  It’s hard to believe a month has gone by already since our very first non-fiction discussion in July.  This month Amy is hosting, and she asks us how did we get into non-fiction?

I actually found myself baffled by this question.  Um, I don’t remember not reading non-fiction?  I was raised very religious, although I’m now agnostic, as most of you know.  Anyway, because my parents were religious, I was encouraged (strongly) to read my Bible every day.  That combined with the kid versions of the Bible were probably my earliest forays into what is technically considered non-fiction. *coughs, coughs*

My earliest memories of non-fiction reading that wasn’t connected to religion is a toss-up between cats, airplanes, and westward expansion.  I was fascinated with all three, although cats probably won.  I had an ongoing campaign from when I could speak until the age of seven to get a cat when my parents finally caved.  I used to wreak havoc in the non-fiction section of the library taking out every single book on whatever topic fascinated me at the moment.

My love of non-fiction definitely played into my first choice of major in undergrad–History with a focus on US History.  These classes consisted almost entirely of reading primary documents, and I loved it.  I was also finally surrounded by other people my age who felt the same excitement at reading non-fiction as I did.  So you see, I never really “got into” non-fiction.  I was born that way. Haha.

Check out the non-fiction books I’ve reviewed and discussed since the July discussion:

Friday Fun! (Dessert Pizza)

February 26, 2010 8 comments

When I was in middle school, Pizza Hut came out with dessert pizza.  I very rarely got to go out for dinner, as my parents didn’t have much money, but my middle school had a merit competition twice a year.  The kids who got over a certain number of merits for various things like memorizing Bible verses got to go out to Pizza Hut for the buffet, and let me tell you, the only reason I was memorizing Bible verses was for that dessert pizza.  But then suddenly dessert pizza vanished from the menus of pretty much every pizza place.  I thought they were gone forever.  Oh, I was so wrong.

This week it was my friend’s birthday, and three of us went out to a local bar.  My two friends were suddenly like, “Let’s get the dessert pizza.”  Wait. What?!  It arrived, and you guys, it is an ooey gooey amazingness of awesome.  It’s cinnamon, maple syrup, and sugar sauce with slices of apples topped by cream cheese like stuff.  The most delicious dessert pizza I’ve ever had.  I brought the leftovers home, and after eating them last night, and I promptly decided I needed more, so take-out it was!  Not to mention a left-over slice for breakfast.  Welcome back to my life, dessert pizza!

I realize my Friday Fun posts have a tendency to be about food, but dammit I love food!  Happy weekends, everyone!