Review copy provided courtesy of the author
After the loss of their parents, two sisters find themselves up against the world—and a serial killer.
I’ve admired V. Castro on social media for awhile, and have been meaning to read her work for ages, and I’ve got to say, DON’T WAIT AS LONG AS I DID!! This was my introduction both to Castro’s work, and Unnerving Magazine’s REWIND OR DIE series, and I'm chomping at the bit to read more from both!
The big sister responsible for their younger sibling is a pretty common trope, and one that frequently annoys me more often than not, as big sis gets turned into such a "selfless martyr" it becomes pretty pathetic (I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I'm the worst) but Maya is a character I found myself in love with and rooting for. She struggles with the hand she's been dealt--caring for her teenaged sister, working as an exotic dancer while a serial killer targets sex workers, AND on the full moon she transforms into a jaguar--she is a character that would be entitled to throwing a pity party, but always exudes strength and power that kept fully invested in her story.
Another surprise for me was one of my most hated tropes, the one most likely to quit a book immediately, actually felt appropriate and effective here. Seriously, instalove is the bane of my reading existence (that sounds dramatic but it's true) and the odds of me even being "ok" with it are slim, so me actually being for it is HUGE. In part due to Maya being a shapeshifter (therefore having heightened senses) it actually seems logical, but in large part because Castro writes lust and sensuality in a way that's actually pretty damn sexy. Oh yeah, I also tend to find "sexy" writing incredibly cringe, so V. basically took my pet peeves and said "this is how it's done bitch" and I loved every moment!
Hairspray and Switchblades is fast, fun, sexy, badass, and sexy as hell. It also gave me a dream that I was a nazi eating shapeshifter, have you ever dreamed about eating nazis? IT'S THE BEST. I can’t guarantee you’ll get nazi eating dreams from reading this, but there’s only one way to find out...