OK then, onward and upward!
I loved Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves and I was excited about Slice of Cherry. I'd heard it was darker, bloodier, and even better than Bleeding Violet. And guess what? They were right! These people who say these things: so smart!
It's not a sequel, but Slice of Cherry takes place in Portrero, the same town as Bleeding Violet, and Hanna and Wyatt make a cameo. Slice of Cherry is about Kit and Fancy, daughters of an incarcerated serial-killer known as the Bone-Saw Killer. And the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. The girls can't fight the desire to cut and kill (well, it's not like they try hard).
All Fancy wants is for her and her sister to be together and be allowed to be themselves, even if that means an occasional homicide. Reeves has this way of combining blood, murder, sex, and a light-hearted playfulness into a book that is difficult to put down but creates this uncomfortable squishy spot inside you.
I'd find myself rooting for Fancy and her murderous desires, only to be disgusted with myself for doing so. Through their special abilities in the dangerously magical world of Portrero, Kit and Fancy turn murder into a game. Although it made me squeamish at times, I loved how remorseless Fanny is. She doesn't apologize for who she is. Ultimately this is a book about being true to yourself, sticking by your family, and searching for what it means to be "good."
There are some books where you love the world and the characters so much, you want to dive into the book and live the characters' lives. This is not one of those books. Reeves does an excellent job of making Portrero and the girls' world feel disturbingly real, but I'm really glad it's not.
If you want to read a book you can feel in your gut, I highly recommend Slice of Cherry.