I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organised by the @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest (or insert your own standard version of the same). Thanks to Heleen Kist for a copy of this novel.
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THERE’S A FINE LINE BETWEEN INNOCENCE AND GUILT. AN EVEN FINER LINE BETWEEN JUSTICE AND REVENGE.
Data scientist Laura prefers the company of her books to the real world – let alone that cesspit online. But when her best friend Emily becomes the victim of horrific cyberbullying, she makes it her all-engulfing mission to track down the worst culprits.
Petite corporate financier Suki is about to outshine the stupid boys at her firm: she’s leading the acquisition of Edinburgh’s most exciting start-up. If only she could get its brilliant, but distracted, co-founder Laura to engage.
Event planner Claire is left to salvage the start-up’s annual conference after her colleague Emily fails to return to work. She’s determined to get a promotion out of it, but her boss isn’t playing ball.
As the women’s paths intertwine, the insidious discrimination they each face comes to light. Emboldened by Emily’s tragic experience, they join forces to plot the downfall of all those who’ve wronged them.
But with emotions running high, will the punishments fit the crimes?
A pacy and suspenseful novel with its feet firmly in the #MeToo era. 9 to 5 meets Suits with a dash of Black Mirror.
Stay Mad, Sweetheart is a whole new ball game and is so highly relevant and topical. It’s an intense and emotional tale of revenge and I indulged in, and devoured every word of it.
Laura, Claire and Suki have all been affected by similar experiences and are not taking it lying down. All involving men, and all being swept under the carpet or rewritten to tell make men into victims.
Heleen takes a sensitive subject matter and tackles it head on – showing the dark and realistic side and the reality of how people can be affected. She does not shy away from telling it as it is rather than giving it a Hollywood make over. Sexual harassment and abuse is rife and needs to be discussed in the open in an honest way and Stay Mad, Sweetheart does this. It made me angry!
Stay Mad Sweetheart is thought-provoking and really made me question how I, and society view certain behaviours and how we need to rethink the narrative around a lot of things. It made me reflect on certain terms we use to describe thing and how truthful these were and how harmful they can be. In addition to a #metoo narrative, another strong theme of this story is around #BeKind and the impact of trolls on social media.
Despite exploring dark themes, the writing is easy to follow and moves at a good pace. It’s emotionally charged and uncomfortable at times but it needs to be said! A superb piece of story telling that hopefully serves to raise some awareness around sexual abuse, trolling and victim blaming. Stay Mad, Sweetheart really packs a punch and I cannot recommend enough.
Author Bio – Heleen Kist
I’m Heleen and I love writing novels.
If this sounds like an addiction, that’s because it probably has become one.
I’m Dutch and I live in Glasgow with Scottish husband and our two kids.
My debut crime novel IN SERVITUDE came out in 2018. I’m very proud of its success in various awards + reviews.
STAY MAD, SWEETHEART is my latest novel: a dark yet empowering feminist thriller that’s getting rave reviews already.