Book Review of “Cars & Girls: A Femnoir Sampler”

You know how sometimes you instinctively feel that you have to wait until just the right time to read a certain book, no matter how good it is? And then you break down and read it and realize how good it was you trusted your intuition? For the book wouldn’t have meant as much if you read it at any other time. 

I had Cars & Girls sitting in my to-read stack probably close to a year before I felt motivated to pick it up. And, yes, reading these four stories right after I had my heart destroyed for the first (and last, I swear!) time offered a strange sense of redemption and consolation. Not that much can help–just wait for the pain to fade, as I’m discovering.

But, reading about some kick-ass women really assuaged some of the razor-sharp emotional pains I was feeling all over. (Of course, I rather wish my first–and last!–go at the love thing had worked out, but at least I can say I at least took the risk, for once.)

I would definitely recommend this read. You can buy it here,

(Possible Spoiler Alert?)

My favorite parts of the stories:

In 500, I liked that when the self-determined, in-control Honorable Emily Maltravers embarks on a dangerous covert-op of sorts, she makes sure she doesn’t screw over a fellow female in the process.

In Road Runner, I relished how recently-released-from-prison bad girl Holly Hellbound planned to take revenge on the men who have exploited and abused her. A perfect “bad breakup” read, though, no, I did not plan to go a similar rampage (for the record *laugh*), but it was satisfying all the same. It was a nice aftertaste to have a real “nice guy” in the story’s mix…who did not appear to act in a typical self-gratifying, I’m-doing-this-to-get-laid, or boost my ego, in regards to the women like Holly he helped/was helping.

Though I liked them all, my favorite was the backwoods small-town waitress Loretta who plans to take the machismo “good-ole-boys” to task after they mess with her little sister in Barracuda. It was especially fitting, since I am surrounded by people who still cling to the stereotypical racist and sexist views of the South, and have stood up to their hate-driven backlash on more than one occasion. Loretta’s gritty, matter-of-fact strength provides a great role model for women everywhere, young and old alike. If I were teaching (and teaching in a more liberal state) I would make this story required reading for my high school literature students. Or, I would probably add it to the reading list anyway, and get summarily fired in conservative Florida.

If you loved Thelma and Louise and Natural Born Killers, you’ll love Crown Victoria. An odd testimony to the power of love (in a strange way) set in a violent underworld society. I am reminded of the (trite, I know) stock image of a beautiful flower growing out of a concrete crack in a stark, grimy urban environment. It made me feel oddly hopeful that there might be somebody out there who could possibly love me, despite all my flaws. Weird, right?


Author: The Chaos Realm

Copy Editor/Proofreader, Historian, Freelance Writer, Virtual Assistant.

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