Some books are kind of like if you swallowed a piece of gum and thought about it sticking to your rib cage long enough you’ve convinced yourself that that’s what happened.
- Author: Cristina Moracho
- Publisher: Viking
- Year: 2017
- Genre vibe: Small town americana where weird sh*t goes down.
- At a glance: Finley’s best friend Betty Flynn was murdered by her ex boyfriend, and nobody in the town of Williston wants to admit it. So when Finley returns home for the summer, she gets caught up in a whirlwind of sex, drugs, and violence in order to try and get Williston to solve the mystery of Betty’s disappearance, and force them to remember her in the process.
So this book is arguably one of the most morally gray/grittiest books I’ve yet read, and it was awesome. It’s no secret to readers of this blog that my favorite characters are often the most terrible people, and when it comes to A Good Idea, hardly anyone has a golden heart to save them from themselves. This book is kind of about corruption, and to what depths it can go inside a person. And that’s part of what made it so good.
A Good Idea is a small-town-weird-shit-oh-by-the-way-MURDER book, which is arguably one of my most favorite genres ever. I was drawn to it because I listened to Moracho’s Althea & Oliver as an audiobook last year, and I loved that book for its dark humor and gritty feel and raw characters, so when I saw Idea I was immediately excited, and I definitely was not let down. One of the best parts about both of those books is the atmosphere–it’s the late nineties, the main characters have issues, and things are pretty screwed up. It’s poignant and at times relatable and at other times kind of horrifying, and it works.
This book was a hell of a ride and I enjoyed it, partially because it’s been a while since I got to read a book with this kind of vibe, and partially because it didn’t end up being anything like I expected it to be. I devoured it in an edge-of-your-seat, I-actually-care-what-the-answers-to-these-questions-are kind of way, rather than in my usual, I’m-emotionally-invested way. Because with this book, I wasn’t terribly invested when it came to emotions. But I was engrossed, and enthralled, and a little bit scared, and that was more than enough to keep me going.
This book is not clean, or easy, or shiny in very many ways. It’s difficult, and messy, and dark, and I honestly loved that about it. The lack of apology stuck with me, and I appreciated it.
So overall, this book is…
- 5/5 stars
- for people who are not afraid of the dark, and maybe those who are a little curious about it too
- wet dirt, wet sand, wet eyes, wet palms, wet hair, and fear that rattles your teeth
- Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea by Missio