Book Review: Filthy Animals

I’m kinda “meh” on the cover in all honesty.

Book Title: Filthy Animals

Book Author: Brandon Taylor

Series: Anthology

Genre: Adult Fiction, Short Stories

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Page Count: 300

Notes: I was made aware that his book, Real Life was a favorite of many friends and it was semi popular when it was published but I haven’t read that one, and not likely going to after this one.


Goodreads Summary:

A group portrait of young adults enmeshed in desire and violence, a hotly charged, deeply satisfying new work of fiction from the author of Booker Prize finalist Real Life

In the series of linked stories at the heart of Filthy Animals, set among young creatives in the American Midwest, a young man treads delicate emotional waters as he navigates a series of sexually fraught encounters with two dancers in an open relationship, forcing him to weigh his vulnerabilities against his loneliness. In other stories, a young woman battles with the cancers draining her body and her family; menacing undercurrents among a group of teenagers explode in violence on a winter night; a little girl tears through a house like a tornado, driving her babysitter to the brink; and couples feel out the jagged edges of connection, comfort, and cruelty.

One of the breakout literary stars of 2020, Brandon Taylor has been hailed by Roxane Gay as “a writer who wields his craft in absolutely unforgettable ways.” With Filthy Animals he renews and expands on the promise made in Real Life, training his precise and unsentimental gaze on the tensions among friends and family, lovers and others. Psychologically taut and quietly devastating, Filthy Animals is a tender portrait of the fierce longing for intimacy, the lingering presence of pain, and the desire for love in a world that seems, more often than not, to withhold it.


My Thoughts:

Did not realize that this was centered around love triangles, ugh.


My Review:

I hate being the odd one out but I hate love triangles unless done well and this was not done well at all. For one thing, it dragggggged and I wasn’t overly impressed with the characters as a whole. The LGBT elements were good but I didn’t feel even remotely connected to the characters.

I saw another reviewer say this is as good as Sally Rooney and if that’s the case, I’m firmly avoiding her works. No offense to those that have enjoyed her writing but this just wasn’t for me whatsoever.

(This review also posted on my Goodreads!)


My Rating:

2.5 ⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Weekly Check-in #1 for 2023: I Read 15 books so far

I’m starting my Goodreads Goal small, at 50 books, and so far I’m well ahead of schedule! I’m at ten books and counting. Mostly fantasy, with a couple light hearted historical romances flung in to avoid the dreaded slump.

So many five star reads, but a couple that were just three stars. Wheel of Time & Luck in the Shadows we’re both rereads that are five stars. I hope to finally move on with the series of both books. Wheel I’d ever gotten up to book seven and I remember nothing lol. Luck in the Shadows I only ever read the first book. The Traitor Baru Cormorant is also a five star reread, but I need to continue the series for that as well. The rest I read was a few short Tor stories that aren’t able to be shown here, all of which were mostly three stars.

Currently Reading:

I have to pick both of these up from my library but I’m super excited to finally get my hands on these beauties!

Next Up:

These are three physical reads on my owned tbr that I’m fixing to work on. I’m hoping to complete more series this year, and I also just need to get more books read for my Read 100 Owned Books Challenge. Thirteen isn’t a bad start but I seriously need to increase my reading. I’m trying but lots of things keep interrupting.

Kindle Ebooks TBR:

This is my only book on my kindle tbr, as I’m very much a mood reader right now. I’m unsure what else I’ll be reading and I do hope to be more frequent in blogging here soon. January has been quite busy, busier than usual. I hope everyone’s reading week has gone well!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Never Die by Rob J Hayes

Hello Everyone,

Book Title: Never Die

Author: Rob J Hayes

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: self published (?)

Page Count: 300

Series: Standalone, but part of the Mortal Techniques series.


Goodreads Summary:

The Mortal Techniques novels are a series of stand-alone stories that can be read entirely independently, set in the award-winning Mortal Techniques universe.

Samurai, shinigami, vengeful spirits, and an impossible quest.

The Emperor of Ten Kings has plunged Hosa into war, and the gods are angry.

When the god of death gives Ein a mission to kill the immortal emperor, he knows he can’t do it alone. He needs allies, heroes who will fight for him. How else can an eight-year-old boy hope to do the impossible?

Whispering Blade, Iron Gut Chen, the Century Blade, and Flaming Fist. These are all names of legend. And the god of death has given Ein a way to bind them to his cause. There is only one catch. In order to serve him, they must first die.

Never Die is a stand alone set in the world of Mortal Techniques. It’s a wuxia adventure filled with samurai, shinigami, heroes, and vengeful spirits.


My Thoughts:

First Rob J Hayes book and it didn’t disappoint!


My Review:

Rob J Hayes is a new to me author. I’ve seen his work be praised by Mark Lawrence (another author I’ve yet to read) and I have finally taken the plunge and tried out Never Die. It started out strong, with characters aplenty. It definitely had that familiar grimdark feel and I liked where this was going. But there were parts where I didn’t fully connect with the characters and overall some of the story felt not quite for me. I can’t put my finger on why. Great writing, good characters, maybe it’s just that it’s been a bit since I read anything like this?

Never Die starts off with a character known as Whispering Blade attempting and failing to defend innocents. She’s brutally cut down (quite literally) and a boy, Ein, brings her back, binding her to him. He needs her help, in killing someone that he himself can’t kill.

What follows is a good hell of a story, and I was sucked in from the beginning. Lots of good lines in regards to honor, loyalty and strength. I’m definitely a fan of Hayes and looking forward to grabbing his next book.

My final rating: 4 ⭐.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

January TBR 2023: Can I Read 50 Books in a Month?!

Happy New Year!!! 🥳🎉🥳

If you saw that I have a huge challenge to Read My Shelf down a hundred books, then you’ll know I’m going to put in serious effort in making that goal happen. I used to read hefty amounts as a kid. I could easily manage 50 small chapbooks a month. But nowadays, it’s harder to focus and concentrate. I’m hoping that this is the year of reading and making my goal to read 500 books for 2023 happen! I’ve tried making that goal before, but always wound up only reading 200/250 books. This year I barely scrapped 300. I’m a fast reader. I love reading. But depression, anxiety and stress has made reading a challenge. I’m trying to get back into it and crossing my fingers this year wins!

My Big Priority Reads:

There are a few books that I haven’t gotten to the past few years that I’ve been putting off. Here are my top fifteen!

The Dragon Republic I put off long enough, along with Theft of Swords and Song of Achilles. All of these are books I’ve been dying to get to, but just pushed off for some reason or other.

Series Continuation:

Likewise, here are ten series that I’m hoping to get through!

Several of these I’ve started but dnf’d for now. Storm Front I’m at book six. (I think.) A few I have but never cracked open like Lamora and Abercrombie. I very much want to get through these!

Other Priorities:

Huge stacks of unread books, but these aren’t as much of a priority as the others apart from the “clear your shelf” challenge I have going on. I’m serious about reading more than just 20/25 (rarely 30) books a month. I know for a lot of you that’s a lot but for me, it’s really not. I miss reading and I hope, along with the rest of you that also suffer slumps, can get back into reading for 2023.

Here’s to a happy new year!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

2023 Goals + Reading Plans: Ambitious As Usual

Hello Everyone,

I have already posted about my “Read 100 Books Challenge”, now I am focusing on which books. I’m in the mood for a few rereads but also I have specific reading plans in place. Let me show you what I am reading for January 1.

I read this book back in October 2021 and I’m still thinking about it! If that’s not a sign for me to reread it and start this coming year on a high note, I don’t know what is. Sure that ending left a sour taste in my mouth but I’m going to read it again anyway and continue on with the series. This time, I’m checking the physical books out at the library. I cannot stop thinking about this book. The world building. The math. The whole atmosphere! I miss it and I am determined to get back into the series!

Another book I can’t stop thinking about is The Ruin of Kings. Everyone seems to be reading this series and though I’ve read book one I haven’t continued. I’m glad my library has the whole series so I can binge accordingly!


I’ve got so many series, authors, and books to discuss but those are my top two projects I’m focusing on in January. Also I hope to read this because of the date:

I’ve been intrigued by this for ages but heard mixed reviews so no idea how to feel about it.


I also have at least fifty odd historical romance books that I want to get through. I’ve a handful of other fantasy novels, some ya, and a few historical fiction books on my tbr. I hope to get as many crammed in as possible to start with but with past slumps I’m not holding my breath. What are your reading plans? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

December Reading Plans: Preparing for Read 100 Books Challenge

Hello Everyone,

My reading plans for December are light and easy. I’m just going to mostly mood read and catch up on a few things here and there. I’m also going to plan to read 100 books for the start of next month, January, for the Read Your Books Challenge.

I’ve modified the challenge to better work for me, but here are the rules and stipulations for me:

  • Read 100 Books for January
  • NO BUYING NEW BOOKS ALLOWED
  • NO new arcs
  • Preorders are allowed up until Dec 31
  • Only allowed to check out library books to be part of the series that I’m reading
  • No ebooks library or freebies, I must read what’s already in my kindle!
  • I may not add new want to read books to my Goodreads shelf unless part of a series

Those are my plans for December so that I can hopefully manage to knock my tbr from 5500 down a bit. I’d like to see it down to a 1000 books but I’m not holding my breath lol.

TBR booklist soon to come.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

TBR Tuesday: Reading All the Things!

Hello Everyone,

I’m now going to post my tbrs on Tuesday and my weekly check-ins on Friday. I hope to stick to the schedule but with my scattered mind we’ll see. Here’s what I’m working on!


Current Reads

ITS FINALLY HERE!!! My library copy of Babel has come in! I hope to start reading it tonight!

I’m in a fantasy heavy mood, and I’m also reading some classics off the banned book lists, and some old fantasy and sci-fi books that I missed out on. My reading is all over the place as I attempt to cram in all I can before the end of the year.

I have a few things to tackle such as Banned Books, Newberry Awards, Women Authors, Goodreads Nominees, and Read Your Own Bookshelf. I hope to get through these and I’m at 15 books for the month already! I’m crossing my fingers that I can keep up the momentum into the new year and start off strong. Are you reading any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Current Reads: I’ve Already Read 12 Books So Far!

Hello Everyone,

Another current reads where I talk about what I’ve read so far this month. And I’m impressed with myself, I managed twelve (and a half!) books already! ☺️👏 Now granted I’m not anywhere near my Netgalley goal. I’ve read four Netgalley books (I’m working on the forth as we speak!) and I haven’t increased my percentage at all. But it’s still early. Let’s talk about what I’ve read!


Books Read:

I hate to say it. But I dnf’d this book and series. It just didn’t work for me. I didn’t like the characters, I didn’t like the plot and I just gave it up. This was my second attempt and I’m calling it quits. Sorry for all the fans out there but this just wasn’t my cup of tea. 2 ⭐.

Immediately after that I read this and y’all. The hype is worth it! This was beautiful and five gorgeous ⭐! I highly recommend it especially for the Halloween season!

Then a few Netgalley books were read, a really cute graphic novel that I gave five stars to, and also a short story by Madeline Miller that I sadly gave two point five stars. I’m not going to be reading Circe or Song of Achilles any time soon. Sorry!


Current Reads:

I started a few things that aren’t on my kindle because I’m trying to power through and get them finished before the end of the year. Here’s what I’m working on:

Tigana is one that I’m eager for. Next year I plan on catching up with all of Guy Gavrial Kay and I have heard so many good things about his books.

Mask of Mirrors I have book two as a Netgalley Arc so I want to crush both of them this month. Considering their epic page count? I hope to be successful.

The Cloud Roads is by a top ten favorite author of mine. As I’ve caught up with Murderbot aside from the last book, I’m going to her fantasy series next!

The City We Became is a NK Jemesin masterpiece…or so trusted friends have said. I’m leery but excited at the same time.


Next Up:

I have a stack waiting for after I finish the ones above. These are shorter so hopefully I can finish them faster!

And that’s what I’ve been working on! What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: They Drown Our Daughters

Hello Everyone,

Such a pretty cover!

Title: They Drown Our Daughters

Author: Katrina Monroe

Series: Standalone (?)

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Page Count: 300

Genre: Gothic Horror

Trigger Warnings: suicide, drowning


Goodreads Summary:

For fans of Jennifer McMahon and Silvia Moreno-Garcia comes a haunting and atmospheric new novel from debut author Katrina Monroe.

If you can hear the call of the water,
It’s already far too late.

They say Cape Disappointment is haunted. That’s why tourists used to flock there in droves. They’d visit the rocky shoreline under the old lighthouse’s watchful eye and fish shells from the water as they pretended to spot dark shapes in the surf. Now the tourists are long gone, and when Meredith Strand and her young daughter return to Meredith’s childhood home after an acrimonious split from her wife, the Cape seems more haunted by regret than any malevolent force.

But her mother, suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s, is convinced the ghost stories are real. Not only is there something in the water, but it’s watching them. Waiting for them. Reaching out to Meredith’s daughter the way it has to every woman in their line for generations-and if Meredith isn’t careful, all three women, bound by blood and heartbreak, will be lost one by one to the ocean’s mournful call.

Part modern gothic, part ghost story, They Drown Our Daughters explores the depths of motherhood, identity, and the lengths a woman will go to hold on to both.


My Thoughts:

It’s queer, it’s Gothic horror, and it’s said fans of Silvia Moreno-Garcia should like this. So why didn’t I? 🤷


My Review:

I actually read this ages ago, back during the summer and forgot to post a review. Whoops. Let’s see if I can scrabble a brief background on what I read, what I liked about this and why it didn’t work for me!

A curse, a haunting, and a queer girl in search for answers. All that sounds good, right? But for some reason I just wasn’t drawn into the story! I felt no connection with any of these characters, and it felt like other authors have done this and made a better job of it. It had all the creepy elements, but I wasn’t captivated. Probably 15 year old me would have adored this but adult me is just “meh, it’s okay” and I’m sorry but that’s just how I feel about it. The writing was good and showed promise. The plot was decent and showed vague interest. But overall? This was another solid 3 star read for me. Maybe her next book will work better for me.


My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: The Last Goodnight

Hello Everyone,

Book Title: The Last Goodnight

Book Author: Kat Martin

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Publisher: Kensington

Page Count: 300

Notes: A dnf


Goodreads Summary:

A thrilling new suspense novel from the bestselling author of The Perfect Murder that fans of Jayne Ann Krentz and Laura Griffin won’t want to miss! A cold case is heating up, and with another body turning up, one woman is hot on the trail of a killer…with the help of the rancher who hired her to deliver justice.

When Kade Logan said goodbye to his estranged wife eight years ago, he never thought it would be the last time he saw her alive. Now her car has been hauled out of a nearby lake and Kade is determined to track down the man who murdered her. Enter Eleanor Bowman, a talented private investigator who’s about to stir up a hornet’s nest on his Colorado ranch.

With old scandals still buzzing about his late wife’s many affairs and new violence erupting, Kade is faced with the discovery of another beautiful woman’s body. Are the two killings linked? Who is the man who seduced, then murdered both victims? Ellie believes they are dangerously close to the truth.

From corporate Denver high-rises to posh Vail mansions, Kade and Ellie sense the killer is closing in again, and this time Ellie is the target. Kade must risk everything to save the woman he’s coming to love—before she becomes the next one to die . . .


My Thoughts:

I tried to reach my usual fifty percent mark before dnf’ing but I just wasn’t enthused about this book. It wasn’t for me. Maybe another by Kat Martin might be, as some of her books I have enjoyed in the past.

My Review:

This is a first in a series, and a murder mystery featuring a private detection agency helping Kade Logan track down who killed his ex wife. It was slow to pick up and I didn’t feel connected with the story at all, and it felt a little like an off episode of CSI maybe. A woman at the private detective agency, Ellie, goes undercover and tries to figure out who did the murder of his ex wife. Overall the writing wasn’t bad, but I just wasn’t interested. I’m granting this a solid 3 stars.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book