Til Death Do Us Part | Book Review on "The Venue" by T.J. Payne
Updated: Jul 8
Author: T.J. Payne
Genre: Thriller, Horror, Suspense
Page Count: 291
Hi friends. I'm back with another hot take on the latest books I've read. May has been a pretty heavy month for reading. I didn't even realize how many books I had read until I did a quick "reading wrap-up" for this month over on my instagram . Among those books was The Wedding Venue by T.J Payne.
I believe someone was talking about this one in my favorite Facebook group. I saw that it was offered in Kindle Unlimited so I absolutely snatched it. The cover looked intriguing for sure. Whoever told you not to judge a book by it's cover has obviously never been a fan of reading. The cover is what draws you to the book in the first place. Then the synopsis on the back or in the front cover is supposed to hook you the rest of the way. Literally the cover is the only reason you even decide to purchase, borrow, or listen to a book. Whether you realize it or not. But I digress. Anyway, someone had mentioned this one, and after reading the synopsis I figured it was right up my alley. I gave it a shot. I had high hopes. This was the first book I had read by a male author in a while so I wasn't sure what to expect. Whew. Honey. WHEW! Without further ado, let's get into it.
Excerpt from Amazon
You're invited to Caleb Hunt's wedding! Sure, you two haven't spoken since you had a falling out in high school but Caleb has gotten over that. He's a forgiving person. It was all a misunderstanding. He credits you with turning him into the man he is today. He wants the chance to repay you and everyone else from his life with an invitation to his destination wedding.
An all-expense paid trip to a luxurious resort.
High up in the Alps.
Secluded and private.
It's sure to be a killer party...
Right?! RIGHT?! I know! Whoa! The excerpt sounded intense from the jump. I was excited to check it out. Was scared it wouldn't live up to the hype of the synopsis. Honey. Let me tell you.
It ABSOLUTELY did.
I was shooketh reading this. You hear me? SHOOKETH. I sat and just looked off into the distance when I was done. My husband had looked over my shoulder while I was reading in the bed one night and was like: "What tf is this book even about?" Once I explained it to him, his eyes widened and he shook his head. Which is code for: "How does she read this stuff and then sleep so peacefully at night?" So let's talk about what I liked and what I didn't like about this book.
What I Liked About The Venue
First of all, brownie points for the originality of this plot. I don't think I've read anything quite like it just yet. It was well thought out and paced to perfection. I felt uneasy the entire time I was reading, especially knowing what was going to happen when everyone got to the wedding.
Secondly, I enjoyed seeing the twisted minds at work. You never know what moments in life that may seem miniscule to you, completely consume others around you. Like the fact that they turned their entire reception into a slaughterhouse and then had the nerve to have music playing? And a dance? Amongst the carnage? Like what on earth?! Caleb and Lilith were both sick in the head. Absolutely sick. Moments that the people around them had forgotten and moved on from, fueled the rage and the hatred that bubbled beneath the surface with these two. They were truly a match made in nutcase Heaven, I believe.
Third, I loved the ending. It wasn't a fairytale ending. It wasn't wrapped together in a neat bow. There was carnage. There was damage, emotional and physical. There was pain and there was grief. I loved that it was kind of left open for the possibility of making this a series. A Venue like this is absolutely nuts. The amount of planning and meticulous attention to detail it would take to pull something like this off is not lost on me. It showed just how far the human mind can be pushed before it snaps. It showed a clear picture of how even the most docile of people have a killer inside of them if you reach down deep enough and the right things are at stake. It shows how far people will go in the name of self-preservation and survival.
What I Didn't Like About The Venue
Honestly, I don't really have much to say here. I would have liked to know more from Lilith's point of view. We saw a great deal of what made Caleb tick. We weren't given the chance to see how Lilith got to that point. Or how they made it to that point together. Although, the book would probably have to be a couple hundred pages longer in order to fit absolutely all of that in there. So for the sake of time-saving, it works the way it is.
I do feel as if Caleb and Lilith got off a little too easy. Maybe that's the dark side of me slipping out. Who knows? I feel like they should have served some prison time of some sort. Maybe this is me believing in a system that doesn't truly exist. I can imagine, if they were able to afford something like this for a wedding, then they could absolutely afford lawyers to get them out of it.
Also, it seemed a little unrealistic that people who have never really hung out with Caleb and Lilith or hadn't spoken to them in years would actually accept an invitation to his wedding. Maybe it was the appeal of an all-expense paid vacation that drew everyone in. But if someone I was no longer close with paid for me to come to their wedding, knowing how ridiculously expensive weddings can get, I would be skeptical. I feel like my Spidey senses would have to be tingling. What's the catch, here? Again, that may just be my general distrust for humans and their intentions at play. I just feel like there were so many red flags even before they got there, that had it been me, I would have "noped" out before even getting on the plane.
Recommend or Nah?
If you can't tell, The Venue by T.J. Payne is 100% Booky Babe Approved! If you like thrillers, and you can handle reading about a little gore, this is absolutely the book for you. No question. Run, don't walk, over to Amazon and grab this book expeditiously! You can purchase it from Amazon using the link here
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Well there you have it folks! Read this one. And make sure you come back and tell me what you think. What would you have done? Would you have even GONE to a wedding from an old childhood friend that you hadn't spoken to in years? Let me know! I can't wait to hear your thoughts. Join the conversation over on Instagram and leave a comment on the post about this book.
Until then, Happy Reading Babes! ❤