Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Sweetpea by CJ Skuse

By CJ Skuse
Published by HQ (2 November 2017)
I bought the Kindle version with Audible narration

Publisher's description
The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…
I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcoholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.
Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.
Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.
A kill list.
From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.
Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

My verdict
I think my #BookLove2017 banner for Sweetpea sums up my thoughts. This was the first audiobook I had listened to properly without reading the book first. And it was the perfect choice. I didn't have time to write a full review at the time, so felt compelled to create this banner instead, adding it to my #BookLove2017 tweets.

Sweetpea is a devilishly dark comedy, filled with outrageous humour and some explicit descriptions. This is certainly not a book for the faint-hearted or easily offended. I loved every minute of it - and every word.

I listened to the audiobook while I was out and about walking and had some very odd looks from passersby as I couldn't stop laughing! I have been known to read a Kindle while out walking but there was no way I could have read Sweetpea while on the move. I would have walked into every lamppost and every vehicle and would probably have been run over in the process.

Rhiannon, the female serial killer protagonist, has such a distinctive compelling 'voice'. She's sharp, witty, sarcastic, highly critical of others (to the point of wanting most people dead) and a psychopath, which she readily admits in her head (though not to anyone out loud, obviously). I found myself rooting for Rhiannon, even though I really shouldn't do so, as she's certainly not a 'people person'.

I loved all of the other characters too - even the ones I probably wasn't meant to love. I believe that this was a direct consequence of listening to the audiobook. While the words on the page were the same as the ones I listened to, Sweetpea was brought to life brilliantly by the narrator, Georgia Maguire. Georgia was perfect for the job, with her different voices and accents for every character. I had planned to listen to the whole audiobook but I switched to the Kindle version at around 70% because my listening time was more limited over the festive season. When I switched back to the Kindle version, it was Georgia's voices that I heard in my head.

If you're looking for an audiobook equivalent of 'a book you can't put down', this is the one to choose! Sweetpea is unique and brilliant! It's also gruesome and disturbing! And I need more!!!

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