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These Toxic Things - Review

With a title like These Toxic Things, you would think it would be a story play on Black social media topics in real-life situations. You know the trending Twitter threads you come across – I jumped out of a window so I wouldn't get caught cheating, my girl has a grudge book that she faithfully updates, and who could forget the infamous Zola drama? To hear the word "toxic" regarding a story, you think of the unbelievable yet entertaining real-life toxicity moments people experienced. This book had none of that. I think the best thing about this book was a review I read that literally said, "Fuck this book."

"Mickie Lambert creates “digital scrapbooks” for clients, ensuring that precious souvenirs aren’t forgotten or lost. When her latest client, Nadia Denham, a curio shop owner, dies from an apparent suicide, Mickie honors the old woman’s last wish and begins curating her peculiar objets d’art. A music box, a hair clip, a key chain―twelve mementos in all that must have meant so much to Nadia, who collected them on her flea market scavenges across the country.
But these tokens mean a lot to someone else, too. Mickie has been receiving threatening messages to leave Nadia’s past alone.
It’s becoming a mystery Mickie is driven to solve. Who once owned these odd treasures? How did Nadia really come to possess them? Discovering the truth means crossing paths with a long-dormant serial killer and navigating the secrets of a sinister past. One that might, Mickie fears, be inescapably entwined with her own."

It's not a strong "fuck this book" feeling, and it's more of an "I wasted my time" feeling. TTT follows Mickie Lambert, a "digital archeologist" (real shit, that is the coolest sounding job ever), who makes scrapbooks for those who want to preserve a memory based on a personal souvenir. While working on the latest project, her client randomly dies by suicide, rumored to be murdered. From there, she goes down the rabbit hole of trying to learn about the woman's life and why she chose her souvenir items as the highlight of her memory bank.

I think the synopsis did a bit of catfishing while describing what readers were about to get into with the book. While it's very entertaining and makes you want to pick up the "thriller," there are two separate plots throughout the story. Micki is being stalked, but not by the person who may or may not have killed her client. The author tried to connect these two different coincidences to make it seem like a giant ploy in the story. And speaking of plots, I figured out both of them rather quickly. There honestly was no need for me to finish the book, which is why I DNFed with only five chapters left. There was nothing else to add that made me want to continue.

What bothered me the most was the paranoia this woman had for EVERYTHING. I'm talking about when you turn off the lights in the living room and run with all your might to the next shining beacon just so the monster won't get you. And this is before the threatening text messages and phone calls. Is she afraid of life? Maybe it's because she grew up in a police household, but from my understanding to her knowledge, she's never gone through anything to make her take all these precautions. Oh! And here's the other kicker: When she started to get these threatening messages, she didn't take the precautions to keep herself safe! Something as simple as locking the door and arming her security system was all but forgotten. Hell, she had signs that her house was broken into and still didn't speak up about it! Can you tell the main character was my least favorite person in the story?

Overall I gave this book 2.5-stars, and that's because I got through 90% of it. It's safe to say it's not what I expected. Between pointless POVs from the stalker/killer that added nothing to the story, the forced millennial slang riddled in the book, and the overall writing, this was a no-go for me. I could care less. There was no Mystery, Thriller, or Suspense. Just words. I usually don't pay attention to other people's reviews because, to each its own. But this was something I probably should have listened to, and I was warned and didn't heed it. So yea, fuck this book.

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