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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 whiskey. 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, Rhiannon’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 friends’ plans for marriage and babies while secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man at the grocery checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have it coming, Rhiannon is ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

472 pages, Hardcover

First published April 20, 2017

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About the author

C.J. Skuse

15 books538 followers
C.J. SKUSE is the author of the Young Adult novels PRETTY BAD THINGS, ROCKOHOLIC and DEAD ROMANTIC (Chicken House), MONSTER and THE DEVIANTS (Mira Ink). She was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels lectures in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. C.J. is currently working on adult novel SWEETPEA for HQ/HarperCollins (out April 2017).

C.J. loves Masterchef, Gummy Bears and murder sites. She hates carnivals, hard-boiled eggs and coughing. The movies Titanic, My Best Friend's Wedding and Ruby Sparks were all probably based on her ideas; she just didn't get to write them down in time. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Ryan Gosling present her with the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

You can find C.J. Skuse on Facebook or on Twitter www.twitter.com/CeejaytheAuthor.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,134 reviews
Profile Image for j e w e l s.
309 reviews2,370 followers
September 14, 2018

I live for passages like this:

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.

Isn't that an intriguing, must-read-this-book-now passage? Author CJ Skuse didn’t just write about a sociopathic chick. She became that chick and narrated Sweet Pea from her messed up head space.

I’m torn. Normally, I LOVE unlikable and unreliable narrators, ESPECIALLY sociopathic ones! I wanted to love this one, too. I’ve now discovered that my heart is not as coal-black as I thought. Sweet Pea took me to new, dark depths and I must admit I didn’t enjoy the experience.

Sweet Pea is a young woman that survived a horrific childhood experience. As an adult, she is a monstrous human malfunction, harboring murderous thoughts towards almost everyone in her life. The face she shows to the world is different, of course. She goes to work, maintains a relationship with her live-in boyfriend and loves her little chihuahua.

Behind the facade, Sweet Pea just wants to kill. Watch out and stay out of her way.

The major disconnect I experienced with Sweet Pea is simply due to my ignorant Americanism. Usually I dig everything Anglo. However, in Sweet Pea, almost the entire story is written in British slang, complete with references to Brit pop culture and nasty Brit curse words that I'VE NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE. There are British “inside jokes” that I could never figure out! That’s not fun. I feel left out. (insert sad face)

The other complaints I have are small, but many. The novel is extremely violent and graphic –UP CLOSE/FIRST PERSON murders that involve a lot of cutting and the words “body parts”….No, thank you. On top of the violence, add the undercurrent of prejudice displayed in the story that really irritated me. Also, there is a skanky “erotica” feel to the novel.

Most of the book is filled up with Sweet Pea’s kill lists. She creates a constantly evolving list of people who pissed her off that day or sex offenders that she wants to rid the world of. Sometimes, it is funny, but it is a repetitive device in the novel and I started just skimming the kill lists, since they rarely added anything to the plot.

Sweetpea was not for me. If you take You, Best Day Ever, Jane Doe, In the Vines combine and multiply by 100---you will have an idea what to expect in Sweetpea!

Thanks to the publisher/Edelweiss for allowing me to read and honestly review!
Profile Image for Christine.
831 reviews147 followers
March 13, 2017
I simply cannot get enough of black comedy. Black comedy, with a smattering of crime, is the bees’s knees. Sweetpea is blacker than a black thing. It’s quirky, hilarious, totally refreshing and bold.

Things you will do when reading Sweetpea:

Laugh out loud
Scare the cat laughing
Laugh even louder
Agree with some of Rhiannon’s thoughts
Worry that you have a teeny bit of Rhiannon in you!

Sweetpea is Rhiannon’s journal, following her adventures through life. It is told in a dry witty style. She make lists of things that drive her around the bend or people she wants to kill. They are spot on! Hugely entertaining. Bloody marvellous. She has a dark side. From time to time, she kills people. She is kind to animals and children though. Probably best to be nice to her eh?! Give her whatever she wants, promote her at work and make sure you stay friends with her. Apart from that murdery inclination she is fairly normal, living with her boyfriend and dog and working as a kind of skivvy on the local newspaper.

This is just fabulous. FABULOUS! Sweetpea is a must read in 2017 for all fans of black comedy. Join in the love fest for Rhiannon, a girl who knows how to use a knife!

Recommended, if you want a guaranteed laugh!
Profile Image for Blair.
1,768 reviews4,238 followers
April 19, 2017
Sweetpea is an absolute fucking scream. Profanity very much necessary; if you don't think I needed to use 'fucking' in that sentence, you definitely shouldn't read this book.

If there are awards for 'x meets x' descriptions in book blurbs, some HQ copywriter deserves the equivalent of an Oscar for hitting on 'Fleabag meets American Psycho'. Part journal, part internal monologue, replete with swearing and ironically deployed slang, Sweetpea chronicles the uncensored thoughts and confessions of Rhiannon. An editorial assistant in her late twenties, she's frank and gleefully non-PC about her sex life, cheating boyfriend, boring job/friends, weirdo colleagues/neighbours... and the fact that she's a serial killer. That's right: when she isn't fantasising about offing her patronising boss or reordering the list of people she most wants to murder, Rhiannon gets her kicks by going out at night with her Sabatier knife and seeking suitable victims.

What makes this work? It helps that Rhiannon is oddly relatable and endearing. Aside from the murder thing, her life is so normal, right down to the fact that she shops at Lidl. She's smart and funny but hamstrung by ordinary frustrations: friends who talk about nothing but their kids; a promotion that never materialises; a nagging feeling that she 'needs' to lose weight. And on a deep, sick level, isn't Rhiannon just living every misanthrope's dream? Instead of running away from a would-be rapist, she plays along until she gets the chance to... well, I won't go into it, but it definitely makes her worthy of the 'female Patrick Bateman' label. She extracts prolonged, violent revenge on the girl who made her life hell at school. She doesn't have to suffer Tube perverts because she can threaten to slit their throats (and give them a glimpse of the knife to back it up). And if we've all mentally sketched out our kill lists every now and then, well, Rhiannon might just follow through on hers.

There may be a lot of blood and a bit of a dive into Rhiannon's troubled past, but this is definitely more black comedy than thriller. (There's also quite a bit of sex. Sweetpea is basically what I imagine that book Maestra would have been like if it was actually entertaining.) Rhiannon's blunt-and-breezy voice is a masterstroke, and her kill lists (Regina George meets The Bride? Adrian Mole meets Dexter?) repeatedly made me laugh out loud. I found it so hilarious, and loved Rhiannon so much, that the rating could have been five stars – but I was disappointed in a development towards the end, and the out-of-character behaviour that results in the wimpy ending.

Still an ENORMOUS amount of fun, though. Sweetpea is nearly 500 pages, but I flew through it in no time, pausing only to note down my favourite Rhiannon one-liners. Now I just need a sequel and a true-to-the-book film version.

I received an advance review copy of Sweetpea from the publisher through NetGalley.

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Profile Image for Sue.
2,691 reviews170 followers
March 7, 2017
I've heard good things, bad things about this book. So I went into it with a Marmite peep!

The story itself builds up really well. Most of it is in the form of a diary. It did make for fascinating reading as well as having the "shock factor"

If you don't like too much bad language.
It's not for you.

If you don't like explicit scenes.
It's not for you.

The woman in this is a butch, but boy, I had times when I laughed out loud with her thoughts. Warped, out of this world and totally alien to me.

Its a thriller, but, it has elements of other genres mixed in which make it palatable for some and I think (like me) certain parts not.

My thanks to Harlequin UK and Net Galley for my copy
Profile Image for Joanna Chu (The ChuseyReader).
151 reviews196 followers
December 1, 2021
~ Quick Summary ~

Rhiannon is a seemingly normal person and we follow her everyday life “blending in” which is nothing but a facade to disguise her inner psychopathic tendencies and joys of killing people. She is like Dexter.

~ Pick this up if you enjoy/don’t mind ~

😂 Constant dark humour and sarcasm and/or

🙍 Constant whining, negativity and just hating life (I found her more annoying than witty)

🩸 Explicit and gory scenes (First time I cringed)

🙍‍♂️ Anti-hero protagonist like Dexter

🤬 Vulgar language

What I didn’t enjoy

Since Rhiannon gave her kill list every chapter, let me give you mine:

One… Rhiannon. She was so one dimensional and just didn’t stop whining. Bloody hell she got on my nerves.

How can a psychopath and serial killer’s life be so boring? The book focused more on Rhiannon’s mundane side of her life and how much she hated her job, friends and partner. Well, her whole life really. I wanted a complex character, someone who I would feel conflicted to root for (like Dexter and Joe). Instead I got a bitter and whiny child. It was irritating.

I didn’t like the writing style. It was in the form of a diary with some dialogue so I felt abstracted away from what was happening and it felt like I was being told rather than shown. Each diary entry was a chapter and they were discrete events so I couldn’t really follow along or remember what had happened before. Even after the exciting chapters, nothing much would follow after and there was no to little tension afterwards. She clearly got a certain high from killing so I would’ve expected her to write more about that but nop. Instead, let's hear more about how much she hates her colleagues.

I didn’t like the language, it was so vulgar and immature at times, for example: “Sucks balls, major cheese balls”.
Profile Image for Zuky the BookBum.
592 reviews313 followers
August 2, 2018
Say hello to my favourite book of 2018 so far! This book is insanely good, I can’t believe I’ve put off reading it for so long. It’s dark, gruesome, funny, and exciting. Rhiannon is one of the best characters I’ve ever read about, what an amazing book to read as the last book of my holiday.

I’m not sure what I really expected from this book, with a quote on the front (of my copy) saying “like Bridget Jones crossed with American Psycho” I honestly didn’t have high hopes. I find most big claims like that make the book a letdown, but this one was totally accurate and I’M SO GLAD!

The story follows the deranged, but at the same time loveable, Rhiannon who is hilarious, relatable, but also… a serial killer. In some moments, I almost thought that Skuse had wormed her way into my brain and written her ‘kill lists’ based exactly on my own annoyances… eg “people who pronounce ‘h’ as ‘haitch’, “Iron Man”, “People who leave doors open so they bang incessantly” etc. Other than the whole killing thing, Rhiannon is a very relatable and down to earth character that I think a lot of readers will resonate with.

Not to mention, she’s one funny bitch. Honestly, this book had some real laugh-out-loud moments. I find it so hard to comically relate to books normally, but Sweetpea was totally my kind of humour. It really tickled me and I was chuckling along all the way through to the end. There are definitely some un-PC moments in this book, but I enjoy the likes of comedian Jimmy Carr, so none of it bothered me.

The plot in this novel isn’t incredible, it’s the main character that makes the book so exceptional. Don’t get me wrong, the story is definitely exciting and fun to follow, however, it’s not particularly unique… but who cares? Rhiannon and the humour make up for anything else that’s lacking, yes, even to the point that this is still a 5-star book! That being said, the ending is shocking and what a cliffhanger! Thank God In Bloom is out in just a few days.

I don’t really know where else to go with this review other than to direct you to the purchase links below! If you like dark humour, READ THIS BOOK! I’ve already recommended this to my dad, my friends & a work colleague, it’s so worth buying.

Thank you SO MUCH to HQ for sending me this a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Tracy Fenton.
923 reviews174 followers
February 12, 2017
OMFG – This book is OUTRAGEOUS – it’s dirty, disgusting, crude, rude, inappropriate, tasteless and I f*cking LOVED IT. The main character Rhiannon has to be the funniest psychopath I’ve ever read about, I was practically salivating from the first page until the last and was shaking my head in disbelief at the things she was saying and thinking. The story is told via diary entries and each day Rhiannon writes her Kill List – OMG – some of her observations are priceless. I do need to point out that this book is without doubt a Marmite book and if you are easily offended then I would avoid this like Genital Herpes. In the meantime I am going to track down and stalk CJ Skuse and make her my new bestfriend because I think I LOVE her and her brutal wit.
Profile Image for Nastja .
225 reviews1,392 followers
November 26, 2021
Тот неловкий случай, когда героиню нужно сделать опасной социопаткой и серийной убийцей, чтобы она в книге могла откровенно подумать все мысли, которые регулярно приходят в голову всем нам.

Profile Image for Matt.
3,724 reviews12.8k followers
January 31, 2018
After having written a number of Young Adult novels, C.J. Skuse turns to her darker side in penning this piece, rich in angst and homicidal actions. Rhiannon Lewis hates her life and most of those who cross her path. Using a series of diary entries, she explores this hatred by tipping her hand to the reader. Many of her entries begin with a list of those she despises the most and why they rub her the wrong way. Be it people from the news, those at her place of employment, or people with whom she must interact in public, Rhiannon cannot let things flow off her back. As the narrative progresses, the reader learns that Rhiannon was once famous for being the sole survivor in a horrific attack on a daycare facility, though she suffered significant injuries. These injuries seem to have numbed her ability to truly care for others, while also helping to foster a sense of vigilante behaviour, which she uses to restore balance in the world. Rhiannon has many secrets, but none darker than the need to punish those who have wronged the innocent and to harm people who do not serve a useful purpose in her day to day life. The narrative is full of these struggles and the list of personal enemies that Rhiannon finds troublesome seems to grow as time passes. That being said, a personal event turns everything on its head and forces Rhiannon to reassess her life and the choices she’s made; a new feeling for this seemingly cold and emotionless woman. Whatever the struggle, Rhiannon Lewis will not be the same by the end, though no one can truly tell how she’ll turn out. Skuse offers a very dark and demented path through this novel, sure to interest those who enjoy personal struggle and protagonists with deep and homicidal secrets.

I chose this book on the recommendation of a friend, who knows how much I enjoy a twisted tale. I was not entirely sure what to expect, but did hope for some psychological thriller that would keep me up well into the night. Instead, I pushed through this personal journal of a twenty-something woman who has a hit list a mile long and many deep secrets she wants to keep from others. Rhiannon is quite the repulsive character, particularly because of her attitude towards the outside world. As she mentions throughout the narrative, she has a ‘me’ side and a public persona to uphold, a difficult act to support through troubling times. However, her Dexter-like duality might serve to better underscore her struggles on a daily basis. The reader cannot help but feel a ray of sympathy for her, though surely dislikes her ongoing attacks on anyone who is not perfect. With a cast of varied secondary characters, Skuse is able to prop up her novel with a vast array of fodder to fuel Rhiannon’s fire, though no one can be sure when things will take a significant turn. The story itself is decent, though there are surely segments that drag and left me wondering how long it would take to push through. This is definitely not a fast-paced piece, nor is it something with mysterious crumbs left throughout the narrative. The reader must dedicate themselves to getting to the very end, where more surprises lie in wait. I am happy to say I made it, though the journey was anything but simple. Still, Skuse kept me wondering and guessing, with some significantly curious means of tying up loose ends by the final few entries.

Kudos, Madam Skuse, for a great piece, which differs greatly from your usual fare. I am eager to see what else you might bring up for publishing in the coming years. I know I’ll keep an eye open!

Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Profile Image for Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*.
301 reviews119 followers
October 19, 2019
"I don’t want to talk any more about today. I just want to overeat and shit myself and die. Or shit myself after I die. Apparently that happens. And when you give birth too. Ugh. What a world."

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 and squashes her sliced loaf, to the driver who cuts her up on her way to work. And then there's the people who really deserve to die.

This story had me roaring with laughter like the mad woman I am. It is 100% my kind of humour, for which I am 100% not sorry for. It's certainly NOT your average humour, and it could very well offend and disturb a lot of people. But not me, I loved it!

So, in order to try and lead a relatively normal life, Rhiannon, creates The Act. This is basically her way of fitting in with her colleagues and her group of friends. (aka 'The PICSO's'. You'll have to read it to find out what that stands for. It's absolute class, and everyone has a PICSO or ten in their lives!) They have no idea that she is a psychopath with uncontrollable murderous tendencies.

The story is told in diary format, which I love because it's so easy to follow. What I loved about it most of all though was the humour. It was dark, deeply disturbing and very un-pc. Worryingly, I heard my own thoughts countless times throughout!

"Got on the scales first thing – still not lost the Christmas poundage. Googled ‘West Country Liposuction’. Can’t afford it. Had an eclair." (Yes! Cake IS the answer!)

Had I have read this in a public place, I'd of got very strange looks because I was laughing and snorting and nodding my head in agreement all the way through. Rhiannon, you're a gem, albeit a murderous one!!

Without giving too much away, here's a couple of tasters of her many Kill Lists which cropped up throughout the story;

1. People who walk in groups along the pavement so no one else can get past, like they’re fucking in Reservoir Dogs. (Why do people do this?!)

2. Middle-class people who believe it’s their God-given right to bring their babies into restaurants and allow them to squawk all through a meal. (Ugh, don't get me started on this one!)

3. Interrupters. (Yep, totally agree!)

I know it's a pretty harsh attitude to have, but I'm certain loads of people think these things, the older I've got, the less tolerant I've become, so these felt very relatable for me! Not to the extent that I want to kill anybody though, I'd like to point out!! Rhiannon, you're my kind of girl. But I value my life far too much to be your friend!

C J Skuse has created incredibly believable characters with such depth and imagination that every single one of them stood out for one reason or another. Sweetpea was an absolute joy to read. However, it certainly won't be for everyone because there's violence, profanity and stuff that is quite simply, very, very wrong. But, for me, entertainment-wise, it was very, very right. I just hope the author will be writing another instalment, because, damn it, that ended on a cliff-hanger! I need to know what happens to Rhiannon next!

This gets a well-earned 5 stars from me, mainly because I can't stop thinking about it and I end up chuckling to myself!

Oh, and here's what would be on my Kill List, just for the record;

1. Boasters.

2. Upstairs neighbours who think it's a grand idea to have laminate floors with insufficient underlay and 3 tap-dancing kids.

3. People who lick the wooden stick of an ice lolly.

4. The previous tenant of MY flat, who insists on getting 'payday loans' under MY address with no intention of paying it back. YOU DO NOT LIVE HERE ANY MORE. THEY WILL FIND YOU. AND KILL YOU. Or maybe just insist you pay it back in manageable instalments of £1.21 a month.

I'd like to thank the author, C J Skuse, and the publisher, HQ (UK), for the opportunity to read this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The pleasure was all mine!
Profile Image for Sarah.
2,605 reviews170 followers
April 19, 2017
This is probably going to be a love it or hate it book, but I for one absolutely loved it! It certainly isn’t one for the faint hearted lets put it that way.

Rhiannon is just the most fabulous character. Each chapter starts off with a list of people and things she hates. It’s like watching an episode of Grumpy Old Men, apart from it’s a young female serial killer. Not sure I should be worried as there were so many things that I agreed with on her daily lists.

To be honest it’s not shocking that Rhiannon is slightly damaged. She has been through quite a lot in her life. If anything it has left her quite un attached from things and people. There’s only really Tink her dog that she seems to have any affection for. She’s someone you certainly wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of that’s for sure!

Sweetpea is without a doubt a deliciously dark and twisted read that had me well and truly gripped. Everything is very much a matter of fact in Rhiannon’s world. People who do wrong to her or to others in society deserve to die, simple as that. Whilst it may be a dark read it is actually a very humorous one also. Without a doubt Sweetpea is going to be THE much talked about book in 2017. Brilliant just brilliant!

My thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin (UK) Limited for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
Profile Image for Bren fall in love with the sea..
1,574 reviews270 followers
August 30, 2020
“It’s hard to find Happy, isn’t it? It lands only briefly before it flies off, like a butterfly.”
― C.J. Skuse, Sweetpea

I have real mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it captured me and I read it in one sitting. On the other hand, I had many issues with the plot.

So Sweetpea is just your average girl next door..except she has a "kill list" of people who piss her off.
And in some cases, the names on that list cease being merely names and become..um..statistics.

I do love books like this. Jane Doe, My sister, the serial killer, the You series. Also My lovely wife.

But I did not love this. I did not HATE it. I did not even dislike it. But certain things..well..bothered me. I will list the good and bad below, the bad first, good second.

I must echo the reviewers who wrote about the British slang. I did not get alot of that because I am American so often I had no idea what the characters were talking about.

VERY GORY. A bit to much for me.

The inner dialogue. Sometimes that works good but there was SO MUCH of it. It grew redundant. And I just felt impatient and wanted to call out..get going already!

Way to long..exhaustingly long. And tiny spoiler:

Major plot point that did not seem real. Would a lady like Swetpea be HONEST and tell baby daddy he was in fact the dad? Why didn't she lie? She is the type who would. So that really got to me because it didn't seem REAL.

All of a sudden she decides to become honest? And she knew how much A.J. loved her so she must have known he'd never go quietly. It seemed that plot twist was just there because it had to be so it turned me off a bit.

The good:

Well..it was fascinating. Really it was! And made me kept reading. And I am going to read part two so the writing was superb and got me hooked.

No issues with plot or writing..it was just, for me, overly long and to gory with plot twists I did not believe. I still obviously enjoyed it as I read it in one sitting. I'd give this three stars and look forward to reading part two. Thank you Monica for referring me to this book!
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,430 reviews992 followers
February 6, 2017
Ok having just finished this one tonight I can tell you its going to divide opinion!

I'm giving it 5* and a big fat YAY because it made me laugh and laugh and then go ewwwww then laugh and laugh some more.

It is brutal when it comes to the violence, it is quite definitely irreverent and it embraces its own heart - the psychopathic serial killing main protagonist will have you falling in love with her even as she does the most horrendous things - but she has enough redeeming features that you feel you can love her anyway. Plus the kill lists are classic - you will find yourself nodding along although for most of us these things form a mild annoyance rather than a distinct and sometimes unstoppable urge to commit murder...

I loved it. And will review it in more depth nearer to its publication date.
Profile Image for Sara.
1,080 reviews359 followers
December 2, 2020
The diary entries of a female serial killer with a rather tragic and infamous past, Rhiannon is not your average psychopath. Or maybe she is. She has a normal job where she's underappreciated, a group of 'friends' that are all boring and irritating, a boyfriend who's having an affair, and a kill list. Every day Rhiannon lists the people she meets during the day who she wants to kill - from the checkout guy in Aldi to the guy who queue jumps in Starbucks.

This was hilarious, graphic and disturbing. I don't know what it says about me as a person that I could totally relate with a psychopath like Rhiannon, but I could completely understand why Rhiannon does what she does. Some diary passages almost seem 'normal' with funny anecdotes, pulling you into a false sense of security before dropping little bombshells of information about Rhiannon's past or giving an offhand comment that really makes you do a double take. She starts off almost rational with her kills, if a little over enthusiastic, and we see this all slowly unravel as her mental health deteriorates and she begins to loose control.

At no point would I say Rhiannon is likeable. She doesn't care to be liked, and I think this may bother come readers. She's mean about her colleagues and her so called friends, only using them for what she can gain from them socially. However, I think presenting the story in a way that allows the reader to see inside Rhiannon's mind makes her more accessible. We get some of her vulnerability, her rationale and very British dark wit. She's distinctly unique enough to be intriguing and hold a story.

I also really enjoyed the plot of this. I was never quite sure where this was going, other than a spirally sense of loss of control on Rhiannon's behalf. No-one was safe from her kill list, and the revenge aspects that rumbled on throughout the plot comes to fruition rather beautifully.

Darkly witty, very British thriller that reads almost like a female Dexter mixed with Bridget Jones. But better.
Profile Image for Fiona.
1,220 reviews224 followers
March 5, 2021
As the great Bart Simpson himself once said, Nobody ever suspects the butterfly.

Bridget Jones's Diary meets American Psycho, Sweetpea wasn't perfect but it was a lot of fun.

Sweetpea follows Rhiannon as she lunches with friends, complains about their complete focus on babies, weddings and husbands, works at the job that just won't let her get ahead - your average British woman's life, right up until she murders the man following her home after a night out, and you learn that the kill lists beginning each chapter could be more than wishful thinking.

Everyone's had a revenge fantasy, and this is mostly a fun indulgence in what if. The murders though, and some of Rhiannon's raunchier exploits, don't always meet the tone - yes, I know this was about a serial killer when I went in, but those parts jar pretty hard on occasion. I've read worse; it's not about the content but the way it bumps up against the rest of the book.

However, that said, this was original and so easy to read; despite the cliffhanger (never ok!), I'll definitely be continuing with this series.
Profile Image for Monica (crazy_4_books).
681 reviews114 followers
July 14, 2021
"Rhiannon Lewis Diaries Part One"
It says on the cover "Bridget Jones meets American Psycho". I haven't read any of those, never watched the film with Christian Bale, but I saw the Bridget Jones movies, and I see why the comparisons. Only, Rhiannon is a British Psycho. I've had this duet on my shelves for months, bought them convinced but then I read a bad comment from the person I got these books recommended, so I hesitated for months. But I'm on a cleanse of my physical TBR needing to make more space so I grabbed it finally. It was a surprisingly outcome I enjoyed it as much as I did.
Last year I loved "My lovely wife", about a female serial killer, but serial killers stories are not my cup of tea; however, earlier this year I read "Jane Doe" and really enjoyed that one, maybe my taste is changing. This is a very dark, sinister, twisted, and funny thriller. Rhiannon is clearly a crazy bitch sociopath, but she has a killing code she sticks to, at least till almost the end. She does not kill randomly, she murders those who wronged her in the past, bad men (pedophiles, sexual abusers, and cheaters). She never kills animals or defenseless women. She writes lists of all people she would love to kill, not that she would actually do it. She reminded me of a female version of Raymond 'Red' Reddington, who is a criminal mastermind with a moral code.
The plot gets very twisted at the end leaving a cliffhanger that gladly I could continue since I have the second book. Also, it gets bloodier and more gruesome. If you are into these dark type of stories, with lots of gruesome scenes, lots of sex and violent scenes too, you may like it.
I had a lot of fun with this one, more than with "Jane Doe", so I'm rounding it up.
Profile Image for Laura Peden.
673 reviews118 followers
May 13, 2019

𝗦𝘄𝗲𝗲𝘁𝗽𝗲𝗮 𝗯𝘆 𝗖𝗝 𝗦𝗸𝘂𝘀𝗲
𝗡𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗮𝗿𝗼𝗿: 𝗚𝗲𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗶𝗮 𝗠𝗮𝗴𝘂𝗶𝗿𝗲
𝗦𝗽𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗱: 1.2x 𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗱
𝗟𝗲𝗻𝗴𝘁𝗵: 12 hrs 23 mins
𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗹: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
𝗣𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


"𝙒𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙣𝙞𝙘𝙚. 𝘼𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙣𝙤𝙤𝙣 𝙘𝙤𝙘𝙩𝙖𝙞𝙡𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙖𝙧. 𝘼𝙘𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙮 𝙖𝙣 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙩𝙪 𝙛𝙪𝙡𝙡 𝙢𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙮 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙖 𝙥𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙤𝙛 𝙨𝙖𝙪𝙘𝙚𝙮 𝙗𝙪𝙩𝙡𝙚𝙧𝙨. 𝘼𝙣𝙙 𝙖 𝙥𝙚𝙣𝙞𝙨 𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙤𝙥𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 4 𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙨 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙢𝙮 𝙛𝙖𝙘𝙚. 𝙄𝙛 𝙤𝙣𝙡𝙮 𝙝𝙚 𝙠𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙩 𝙜𝙪𝙮 𝙬𝙝𝙤 𝙙𝙞𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩..."

I must be as certifiable as Rhiannon because I think Sweetpea just stole my crazy heart 🙈 I should probably be ashamed for enjoying this one but I’m not. She’s void of a filter, downright nasty and has zero tolerance for people’s bullshit. Raunchy, offensive, angry and doesn’t feel the least bit bad about it. A quintessential British, snarky broad with an axe to grind. I nearly pissed myself several times listening to this delicious dark comedy. CJ Skuse crafted the Grand Daddy of character studies with Rhiannon; a cranky, homicidal serial killer with wit like no other and just enough empathy to make you fall in love with her. She could slit the Queen’s throat for no reason and I’d probably clap afterwards. The narrator is spot on in this role. Perfect accent, brilliant pacing with intentional pauses in all the right places. The deadpan delivery really worked well with the story/narrator combo. I 𝗖𝗔𝗡𝗡𝗢𝗧 stress this enough: this book is at times (well, most of the time really) graphic, crude material and not for the feint of heart; its audacious and unapologetic. 𝘼𝙇𝙎𝙊, while I’m fully confident the book can hold her own, I cannot imagine experiencing this particular story in any other format than audio. If you enjoy something wicked every once in awhile or maybe your in the mood to take a break from your usual bag, I challenge you to listen to a just a few chapters of this polarizing book; they’re short and snappy throughout the entire performance. If you find yourself intrigued, take the plunge and give something different a try. Just have fun with it and don’t take it too seriously.
Profile Image for Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows).
1,553 reviews318 followers
September 7, 2020
"How many men does it take to tile a bathroom? One - but only if you slice him veeeery thinly." 😈 This is my new favorite joke - thank you, Sweetpea!
This was definitely quite the interesting read. If you have delicate sensibilities, then you'll definitely be offended at times. I, personally, had the best time. However, there were definitely some things about this book that just didn't quite work for me. While I realize this is basically written in diary form, it makes sense that I felt like I was being told rather than shown - but since I visualize my reads, it felt like it was coming through in 2D form, rather than 3D, if that makes any sense. At times it was exhausting being inside her head. A lot of repetitive negativity without much levity at all. At certain points, I wish she would just kill me so I wouldn't have to listen to her anymore. If I made a kill list, she would definitely be on it.

What I did love about this was the insanity of it all. The need she felt to kill that was so ingrained in her that it became her addiction. And seeing the progression of where she was at the beginning of the book to where it ended was truly quite interesting. But that ending. Can we talk about the ending?! I'm definitely going to be getting the next book because I now need to know what happens from here. Kudos the Skuse for making me obsessed with Rhiannon now.

I do love being in the head of any good psychopath, but sorry Rhiannon, I think I prefer Teo and Joe over you. 🤷 However, I definitely have a magnetic pull to this storyline and will have to see what happens from here. And let's face it, this book is perfect for a reader like me. For those who aren't familiar with British slang and references, there may be a lot of things that make you scratch your head - I had to look up a few things but the way it's written you'll pick up on the gist of it if it doesn't register immediately. And, not gonna lie, the things that didn't quite work for me.... really actually grew on me as I read. So much insanity and I'm always, ALWAYS here for that.
Profile Image for Mandy.
720 reviews13 followers
July 5, 2017
Ha great fun, if you don't mind lots of sweary language and dark psychopathic ramblings which you can't help but agree with at times (often?). Lots of laugh out loud moments and I loved it.
Profile Image for Bill Kupersmith.
Author 1 book196 followers
January 7, 2019
Absolutely loved this book! Rhiannon is just your everyday twenty something with a builder boyfriend named Craig and a little Chihuahua that she dotes on, working for a provincial newspaper in the West Country as an editorial assistant patronised by the entire staff. Her secret hobby is being a serial killer. She has a block of Sabatier knives that she puts to use 'fishing' - strolling alone in the night to attract would-be rapists though she also keeps a bully from her childhood tied up in her deceased parents' old house. This book is supposed to be her diary. She leaves a body part from one of her prey in a toolbox in her boyfriend's van, which leads to a pun on coq au vin! The entire book is full of similar jokes and if you enjoy coarse humour you'll find this book is absolutely hilarious. Because all of her victims thoroughly deserve their fates and Rhiannon had a very stressful childhood (the only survivor of a mass murder attempt by a neighbour), we can make allowances for her antisocial behaviour . Each chapter began with a list of annoying people she would like to murder, and I totally agreed with her about people ahead of one who continue chatting with the cashier in the supermarket check-out lane.
Profile Image for Liis.
571 reviews108 followers
April 5, 2017
Who is Rhiannon? Simply put she is a killer and that’s not even a spoiler. She loves her pet dog and her Sylvanian family doll house. Her parents are dead, her older sister gone to the US of A. When she’s not at work as an editorial assistant for a local newspaper, she has a number of side activities. Apart from walking her dog (even though it’s questionable as there is some overlap), growing herbs, dreaming of the Honey Cottage in Wales and adding to the Sylvanian family, she could be slapped with quite a hefty criminal record. Rhiannon might not have the heart or empathy, but she is cunning and she doesn’t hurt any innocents (except that one time). Completing the picture of Rhiannon’s life is her BF Craig. BF Craig who is plugging Rhiannon’s workmate, Lana.

Rhiannon is just so over the top full of sarcasm, black humor and retorts. I know the girl has an issue and what not, and while it definitely made her distinctive, I feel her ‘voice’ wasn’t an underlying creepy kind of cool. It was the slightly obnoxious Johnny Bravo type of cool. At times I did wonder whether I was able to take it all in, especially since Sweetpea is delivered in first person and in sort of a diary form which did let the story down for me a bit as they come across a bit comedy stand-up’ish. You know the ones where there is one anecdote after another, instead of a fluid storytelling? I know, this is a journal type format, so I can’t really blame the delivery.

There is a lot happening in this book, what with a healthy cast of characters, and Rhiannon’s special brand of free-time-activities. I feel like I should tell you more, but I won’t… in terms of plot, let���s just say that as she works in the newspaper she has access to information and her kill list is there for a reason. How she deals with each item/person on her lists? For you to find out… The plot doesn’t feel all over the place. Everything is explained, the timeline flows smoothly and if you’re willing to take it with a pinch of incredulity at times, then have at it. Just beware, if you are highly empathic, you may get an owwie or two along the way, lots of profanity and cussing. As for me? I had to definitely shut a bit of my brain off. Sometimes ignorance truly is bliss.

As such, I am absolutely certain that a number of readers may and/or will find this book completely and utterly wrong. There will always be someone who takes a comment in the wrong way. These comments, Rhiannon’s mental monologue, didn’t affect me. It was what got her off that screamed: a) I have found my limit when it comes to psychos and Rhiannon is one step too far gone for me, and b) I was wondering if it was one of those cases where ‘Here, this is outrageous already, lets add more fuel to the fire’.

While I have come across a number of reviews who were praising the book for it’s humor and funny content, I can’t say I, personally, was belly-laughing my way through it. Can’t argue over a sense of humor I guess… But I did find a common ground with Rhiannon. Her kill lists included quite a number of things I couldn’t help but agree with. For example, a group of people taking up the whole pavement (I have resulted to just barrel my way through, really!), wrongly packed shopping bag by those volunteer people who collect money for various things (I drop a few coins in their bucket, but tell them to get their mitts off my shopping bag), office peeves (lunch time!!! lunch time surrounded by men!!!), etc.

Overall… who would have thought I would find my limit when it comes to psychotic characters? This book was slightly too much even for me at times! Especially the acts involving a character called AJ and the ending. These made me gag bit… OK, I lie… They made me gag a lot. Sweetpea, I hereby declare you, The Shock Factor! 3*- I liked it. I liked it because the story flowed well, the plot was legit, there was plenty to keep me occupied plus them kill lists. Discounting 2* because the humor left me, most of the times, neutral, and I was entirely too grossed out by certain events.
Profile Image for V_Nerdbooks.
622 reviews186 followers
October 10, 2018

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Brilliantly Dark and Funny Stars

I already knew after I had finished Chapter 3 that I would be giving this book 5 stars!

The main character Rhiannon is just perfect, I laughed out loud many MANY times, she is outrageous, crude, rude and definitely a psychopath, as she proudly tells us!

"Did a Buzzfeed quiz this morning - How Psychopathic Are You?
Turns out - Very. I scored 82 percent."

Look, one thing you need to know about this brilliant book, you are either going to absolutely love it, or hate it!

If you are not into inappropriate jokes, and classic put downs I would avoid this one like a dose of the clap, however if you like to have your sides split with laughter then add it straight to your TBR.
(I've been adding some of her put-downs in a little book to remember for when me and my husband argue)

The book is written in diary form at the beginning of every chapter, every day she makes a "Kill List" of all of the people that she wants to bump off, this can range from ALL of her work colleagues, to the bloke standing behind her in the supermarket, from her neighbour, to her boyfriend Craig.

The thing is, as funny as her kill list is, girl-next-door Rhiannon Lewis IS actually a killer, and a serial killer at that, something she is very proud of!

"Also, I'm officially as serial killer now, according to Google: "a person who murders three or more people with the murders taking place over a period of time with an extended cooling off period". I fit the bill almost perfectly.
Finally I've accomplished something. Finally I have a reason to go to school reunions.
'Me?' Pause for hair flick. 'I'm a serial killer. Yah, I take human heads to work in my lunchbox. I keep my mother's skull as a bedpost and use my father's nipples as light pulls, you're so sweet to notice!' "

She hates pretty much everyone and everything, except her dog Tink, and her Sylvanian Families doll house, and makes no bones about telling you what she would like to do to anyone that pisses her off.

There is VERY strong language in this book (the C word is used quite a few times) but it is usually done in a fun jokey way....usually!

She has a lot to say about people and their problems, well if you count things like having a baby a problem!

"Just had a text from Cleo - Anni had a baby boy called Samuel at 3.19 this morning. Nine pounds something and no drugs. her vagina must look like a lasagne dropped from a department store roof"

The only way i can describe this book is this, it's a cross between Dexter, YOU by Caroline Kepness, and a Sophie Kinsella / Bridget Jones book!

If those 3 types of book float your boat, and you don't mind the odd dismembered penis and F' bomb thrown in, with a little mix of graphic sexual descriptions, then this little gem is the book for you.

🎧🎧 Narrated by Georgia Maguire brilliantly, I laughed out loud multiple times and thought that she did an excellent job, i will certainly be looking out for her other books

There is a book 2 available now, and i have already got it because if that ending!

Prepare yourself to fall in love with Rhiannon and her literal nutty ways.

P.s, Rights to the book have been bought by a TV company and a series will be on our screens soon.



Come and find us on Facebook or follow us at www.audiokilledthebookmark.com
Profile Image for K..
3,673 reviews1,007 followers
July 27, 2021
Trigger warnings: murder, rape, violence, removal of body parts, torture, mentions of abortion, miscarriage, mentions of suicide, mental health, bullying, gore, blood.

After eighteen months in and out of lockdown, Rhiannon's internal rage at other people hits a tiiiiiiny bit too close to home for my liking.

I stand by everything I said last time. Rhiannon is completely terrifying and yet utterly hilarious. And honestly, partly she's terrifying because of how much I relate to some of her inner thoughts...

Oh my God. OH. MY. GOD. I loved this book so, SO much. It's kind of like Bridget Jones crossed with Dexter. It's so funny and so dark and so fucked up. I loved Rhiannon so much. She's a straight up murderer (that first murder at the 5% mark BLEW MY MIND) but there were so many moments of this story that were indescribably relatable and made me snort with laughter time and time again.

Basically? This was like watching Death at a Funeral. You know you shouldn't laugh because horrible things are happening. But there are tears streaming down your face because it's JUST SO FUCKING FUNNY.

Plus, the majority of chapters start with Rhiannon making a list of people she wants to murder. And it always includes people like the cashier at the supermarket because HE SQUEEZES THE DAMN BREAD WHEN HE'S PACKING THE BAGS and the girl at work who heats up tuna in the office microwaves and stinks out the place and random celebrities who are pissing her off. It's all so...everyday, and I love it.

Also? Rhiannon collects Sylvanian Families. Like............a serial killer who collects adorable little children's toys and gives them names like Richard E. Grunt? P.E.R.F.E.C.T.I.O.N.

Quotes I loved:
- "His cock sprung out like a small Samurai, ready to do battle. Ba-doing! It had a bend in it. I wasn't sure whether he was pleased to see me or giving me directions to the bus station."
- "Work was a turd on a turtle's back and went twice as slow."
- "Her vagina must look like a lasagne dropped from a department store roof." (on childbirth)
- "God, men are exhausting. I can see why the first lesbian gave up."
- "I don’t want to talk any more about today. I just want to overeat and shit myself and die. Or shit myself after I die. Apparently that happens. And when you give birth too. Ugh. What a world."
Profile Image for Melissa (Catch Up Mode).
4,566 reviews1,872 followers
March 28, 2019
3.5-ish stars

Started this book on audio, which really saved it for me. The narrator is awesome and spot on with her inflections for Rhiannon. I got a real sense of her motivations, which are quite complicated. Switched to the print copy because it was taking too long--the book is, shall I say, quite graphic and I had only certain places I could listen to it without offending everyone. I saw a couple of reviews where US readers didn't "get" some of the things she was talking about. Well, that's the US reader's problem, not a problem with the book. The audio does help with that a bit, but maybe you just need to brush up on your UK slang and references.

This is NOT a book for everyone. It's crass, dark, sexually and violently graphic, and Rhiannon is a sociopath and a narcissist among other things.

Yet...I found myself liking her just a little (while at the same time being absolutely appalled by her choices), because we live the book inside her head and get to know how and what she's thinking. The author's characterization is fantastic, very rarely do you get a glimpse inside of a believable character like this, and that takes some talent.

What I didn't like was the ending cliffhanger. I get that there will be a book 2 (which is probably already out in the UK, but not in the US) but I don't like waiting to find out what happens. I barely can wait a week for a cliffhanger TV show, much less months for a book.

If you like dark, really insanely twisted books, this one will fit perfectly.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Mandy White (mandylovestoread).
2,029 reviews528 followers
February 8, 2018
Well... that was different! Not what I was expecting but I did enjoy it. It made me laugh, it made me cringe. Can see that this not for everyone.... but my goodness it was funny!
Profile Image for Jack Stark.
Author 6 books32 followers
April 22, 2017
5.047942 stars

Erm… well… err… gosh… umm… What did I just read?!

Let me try and summarise. Rhiannon is as mad as a box of frogs. Done – end of review.

After becoming a survivor of a high profile tragic event, she became somewhat of a child celebrity. Of course, as she got older her celebrity status wore off and she started to get bored with everyday life. She writes a kill list at the beginning of each journal entry, mostly of people that have irked her somehow that day (understandable). Crazy shit then happens. Lots of very crazy shit. Lots of very explicit crazy shit. This whole story is completely batshit crazy… and wonderful.

I think this is either going to be a book you love, or hate, or are somewhat indifferent to. I love dark humour but it is very rarely done well. This is an instance of it being done well. I listened to a large amount of this as audiobook (I often do the whispersync thing). On three separate occasions I laughed out loud in public and looked like a crazy person.

There is no getting away from it. This book is very explicit. There isn’t really too much romance – it’s just straight up sex. In lots of detail. Normally romance/sex annoys me and just gets in the way of a good story. But the sex in this is very different. It is described factually and wittily and therefore added to the humour. I didn’t really need to emotionally relate to it for it to have its intended effect. Rhiannon is incredibly sarcastic (on everything) and I love her!... well, I also really don’t like her. I’m so torn – so much internal conflict. I would make a good character in a story.

Normally I would add blockquotes throughout my reviews, but I’m not going to go there with this one! I feel there really isn’t anything I could quote that wouldn’t either be a spoiler or wouldn’t give a true feel for the story. Just read it, and you will see why.

If you enjoy the TV series Dexter, you will probably like this. Fun fact, I learnt about Dexter when a work colleague once said to me “Oh my god, you need to watch Dexter – he reminds me so much of you!” I was this person’s boss. This tells you what kind of ship I run. I really enjoy being facetious during ‘very professional, serious discussions’ at work. Back in the dark days of Facebook I used to do a ‘CJ’s hatred of the day’ which often started with ‘CJ’s hatred of the day is people who…’ Rhiannon’s Kill List reminded me of this. I AM NOT A PSYCHOPATH – shut your face. Peace and Love.

There are a couple of moments that feel like they should be ‘reveals’ but they are very obvious and I saw them coming from a mile off, because I’m so clever.. Overall though this story is funny, witty, clever, shocking, predictable in parts and completely unpredictable in others. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone. But if you like very dark, inappropriate humour, and the stabby stabby (not a euphemism, but it could work as that too) – go for it!
October 19, 2021
Anyone who knows about my love of audiobooks will also know that I am pretty much obsessed with every book that is narrated by Georgia Maguire.
After listening to her narration of 'Behind Closed Doors', she got me addicted to audiobooks! She is engaging, funny, can do a multitude of accents and I could literally listen to her narrate the phone book. When she narrates the Sweetpea series, it is an experience.
So imagine my excitement when I asked my library if they could order the audiobook series for me because I wanted to experience it all over again. And within a few hours, I had it downloaded!
This series is so unique, dark and hilarious with a serial killer POV that is unlike any I've read before. The humour has me laughing out loud constantly, and often in public, but I don't care because I am utterly absorbed in Rhiannon's life.
Highly recommend this book, and especially the audiobook.
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