Ashley: So……………………what’s our group costume going to be for this retro party?
Britney: Group? I was going to go super retro as my namesake 👑 Britney Spears 👑
Ashley: we could do retro pop singers
Emily: Do you know any others besides Britney Spears?
Jessica: Christina Aguilera was a judge on The Voice
Jessica: That’s all I know
Denise: Do the 90s count as retro?
Jessica: yeah, millennials are old/cringey af
Britney: So then why are we emulating them again?
Ashley: It’s the theme.
Emily: what was it even like back then? Wasn’t everyone homophobic? ugh
Ashley: I watched VH1 I Love the ’90s
Ashley: so I’m like an expert
Denise: Ok, Ashley.
Ashley: And I’ve seen a few episodes of The Office
Jessica: cringe 4 cringe? CHEUGY
Emily: Oh duh. Just googled: Spice Girls. 5 of them
Jessica: That does work!
Britney: do we have an inspiration pic??
Jessica: Is that silly string?
Denise: I choose to believe it is
Ashley: and it’s so easy for us to pick since it’s so obvious who we all are
Emily: Is it?
Ashley: Yeah, just look at Denise.
Ashley: Ginger is ginger.
Jessica: Ok, following that logic I’m automatically Scary 🙄
Britney: Uh……casual racism aside…….who am I?
Jessica: How existential.
Denise: Baby (blonde)
Jessica: Yeah, Baby
Ashley: and I’ll be Posh, obviously
Emily: “obviously” 🙃
Ashley: they’re both basically Sporty now anyway since Posh is married to that soccer guy
Emily: David Beckham
Ashley: See!!! you are sporty ⚽️ 🏈 ⚾️ 🥎 🎾 🏐 🏉 🎱
Emily: Fine, whatever. It’s just for a stupid party I’m going to blackout for anyway, joke’s on you bitches bc I’ll be the most comfortable
Emily: I will NOT be switching shoes with anyone, so don’t ask
Denise: shit wait
Emily: too late 🤪
Denise: fine … we should prob incorporate masks right?
Ashley: I don’t think Posh would do that
Jessica: good thing we’re just dressing up and you aren’t really Posh Spice jfc
Ashley: ok, send pics of your costume when you have it
Denise: I……actually think we just need to get dressed and crimp our hair and we’re good
Ashley: whatever, I’ll see you in 3 weeks
Britney: right, cheerio!! 🧐💂♀️
Denise: NO FAKE ACCENTS
Ashley: I’m doin one
Denise: oh god
Sometimes, being single feels like a 24/7 scarefest—like you’ve been given a free ticket to the most terrifying haunted attraction on earth (where the attraction isn’t even mutual). If solo and dating experiences were inspiration for a nightmare-inducing display, what would it look like? ENTER IF YOU DARE/DATE.
Blind Date Hayride
The torture begins on a daunting and uncomfortable hayride around the property. You’re alone, until a curious mystery man arrives—the nephew of your aunt’s best friend’s brother’s cousin. Since you both are still alive in 2021, they thought you’d be a great match! You quickly learn he is 24, thinks the earth is flat, and can’t stop talking about his “crazy” exes. You reluctantly contribute to the troubling dialogue by saying, “I guess finding a good partner is like finding a needle in a haystack.” He doesn’t get the idiom. Your aunt texts you 15 times in a row on Facebook Messenger to see how the date’s going, sending chills down your spine. Watch out! Despite your apparent lack of interest, he still goes in for a kiss. You jump up and find a spot on the hay bales furthest from him. As you sit, something sharp stabs you in the back of the thigh. Congratulations, you’ve found the needle in the haystack. Sorry, no refunds.
The Interrogation House
As you walk into this dark, cacophonous den, you’re immediately confronted by frightening friends, grim family members, and gruesome internet strangers who have teamed up to hurl hideous questions at you from every direction. “How are you still single?” they scream. “Whatever happened with that one guy?” they hiss. “But what if you die… alone?” someone resembling your mom whispers creepily from the corner. Then, like footage from a Netflix cult documentary, they surround you and begin to chant: “Are you even seeing anyone right now?” It is evident they want to adopt you into their posse of procreators, future divorcées, and people who fight about leaving the toilet seat up. You have to do something now or they will perpetuate the interrogation. “Yes! I am seeing someone!” you shout. “A therapist!” The haters gasp and scatter away like roaches. Whew, that was close. Unquestionably, you have made it out alive. This time.
The App Trap
The ding your phone makes when you get a dating app match blasts through the halls at a deafening level. As you cautiously step into a large theater, you’re immediately bombarded with seizure-inducing flashes of distressing profile pics and devastatingly cursed bios. Beware of the barrage of hair-raising suitors—the horrifyingly dull Jim looking for his Pam, the astounding sophistication of someone who’s fluent in sarcasm, the “bad boy” who is literally just bad at everything, and, most disturbing of all, an onslaught of unsolicited fish pics. Then, out of nowhere, thousands of small nieces and nephews appear, lost, searching for their owners after being used for a photo. What in the Children-of-the-Corn is happening right now? Be prepared to be assigned a compatible match whose bio says nothing except: “ask me anything”! (Here’s a question: Why?) This is actual hell. You may think it’s time to go when you see an EXIT sign that reads: “No one new around you!” but you cannot leave until you update your settings and lower your standards. Shudder.
The Domestic Dungeon
You enter an apartment that appears similar to yours. For a moment, you feel at ease—then, in the spot where you get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, you notice the eerie silhouette of a body. The large, dark shape is on your side of the bed, hogging all the sheets, making an evil noise (a “snore”) that makes you want to scream. You run to the bathroom to hide, but the door is locked! Nooooo. Someone is on your toilet right this second—using your Squatty Potty! A loud noise clammers behind you. The mystery shape appears in the kitchen and starts pounding your variety pack of White Claws, leaving only the grapefruit ones behind. The horror. You have lived alone for too long to handle this wretched invasion. You ask it to leave, but the six-foot-tall (well, probably closer to 5’10”) monster claims you’ve been dating for five weeks and this is fine. Hurry, end things now—before it uses your toothbrush or makes an ass imprint in the couch!
Image: BONNINSTUDIO /Stocksy.com
In our society, more often than not, weddings tend to look pretty similar. While people have different preferences about flowers, colors, dress silhouette, etc., most weddings still consist of your standard white dress and a big, beautiful cake. But not everyone has the same dream for their wedding, and for one bride, her dream wedding was more of a nightmare. To celebrate Halloween, Betches Brides style, we spoke to Dre Fox, a bride who got married last weekend in a true Halloween wedding extravaganza.
“As long as I can remember, I have been called the Queen of Halloween—always taking it WAY too seriously, spending months crafting and handmaking my outfits.” When Dre met her now-husband Josh, the two instantly bonded over their Halloween plans the night before, and last year they celebrated together in elaborate Beetlejuice and Lydia costumes.
So when it came time to create a concept for their October 26th wedding, a Halloween wedding was a no-brainer. “When we got engaged, I knew I didn’t, no, COULDN’T do the normal thing. I’ve always been an eccentric person and this needed to be no different.” This is not your traditional wedding, so take a deep breath, and let’s dive in.
The wedding was designed, planned, and coordinated by Ashley Nicole Affair, who went above and beyond to give Dre and Josh the spooky Hallowedding of their dreams. The ceremony itself was kept mostly traditional, with Dre, Josh, the wedding party, and the bride and groom’s parents dressing in conventional wedding attire. Dre walked down the aisle in a stunning Justin Alexander ostrich wedding gown, looking every bit the traditional fairy tale princess, but that’s where the “traditional” part ended. The guests attended in costume, so Dre and Josh got married surrounded by loving friends and family dressed as aliens, magicians, pirates and Freddie Mercury. As one does.
Dress designer Justin Warshaw of Justin Alexander was featured on the most recent episode of the Betches Brides podcast, where he talked all about what it was like attending such an unconventional event. Here’s the episode, where you can hear about Dre’s Halloween wedding, as well as some of the most-asked questions about wedding dresses:
As the day progressed and the celebration moved from the ceremony to the reception, like Michael Jackson in the “Thriller” music video, Dre and Josh transformed into beasts of the night with the help of CGI makeup done by Jen Hearts Art. The result was truly shocking, and not just because the couple looks utterly unrecognizable. Most people getting married spend inordinate amounts of money trying to look like the best possible versions of themselves for their big day. So you can imagine, asking a makeup artist to make you look hairier and uglier on one of the most important days of your life is not just unorthodox, it’s downright subversive. Honestly? I’m here for it.
Obviously, looking like this at your wedding is not what most couples would want, but I really admire their commitment to doing exactly what they want. And the commitment to the theme did not end with the reception attire. As a former pastry chef, Dre made all of the desserts for the wedding, including the bloody-looking wedding cake. Was it a red velvet cake? I need to know if it was a red velvet cake.
Josh’s bomber jacket was adorned with the phrase “JUST SCARIED” on the back, seating cards were made to look like toe tags, guests’ napkins were held together by vampire teeth, and appetizers were black and purple, in keeping with the spooky spirit of the evening. For entertainment, guests were treated to a caricature artist and a tarot card reader. I mean, this is dedication, and I have no choice but to be impressed.
While not every guest was on board with the couple’s vision for the wedding, Dre wouldn’t have changed a thing: “A wedding should be a representation of you. Not what or who everyone else wants you to be. It takes a leap of faith to follow your heart in the face of criticism, but the people that were there? Well, they understand what love without judgment and true acceptance looks like.” I’d say that warms my cold, dead, heart, but then I wouldn’t be staying true to the spirit of this truly remarkable wedding.
Images: Dre Fox; John Moody / Moodyography (4)
Halloween is almost here, and I say this with all the enthusiasm of someone who will be spending the holiday double fisting Kit-Kats and red wine. Look, I know technically Halloween falls on a Thursday this year, so it is socially acceptable to black out like you would on any other thirsty Thursday, but by god I just can’t do it. In fact, the only celebrating I intend to do is with my dog as we sit on the couch and re-watch our favorite Halloween episodes to ever air on TV whilst dressed in costume as Dobby the house elf and his prized sock (I’ll let you figure out who is who in that scenario). So, for those of you who are looking to go all out on the couch this year, here are the best TV shows to watch to get you in the Halloween spirit (without really being in the Halloween spirit).
Friends: “The One With The Halloween Party” (Season 8, Episode 6)
Tbh I was never a huge fan of Friends. I know, I know. Let’s tie me to the stake now because apparently that is an unforgivable sin. Sighs. That said, I do love a good Halloween episode, even if it’s a Friends episode. Monica and Chandler decide to host a Halloween party where Ross tragically shows up dressed as a spud…nik. No one gets his costume and he is appropriately shamed throughout. If anything, you should watch the episode for costume inspo (it’s seriously gold) and also for the hilarity of Joey showing up dressed like Chandler.
Parks & Rec: “Greg Pikitis” (Season 2, Episode 7)
Parks & Rec had quite a few Halloween episodes, but my favorite has always been the first one, which aired during the second season. Leslie Knope stands off against her sworn enemy, Greg Pikitis, a junior high delinquent who pranks the Parks Department every Halloween. This is also the episode where we meet Burt Macklin, FBI agent, for the first time, when Leslie asks Andy to interrogate Greg over his whereabouts and “maybe waterboard” him. To this day I wish you knew how much I regret not naming my dog “Pikitis” so that whenever she secretly sabotages me by chewing a hole in the crotch of my favorite leggings I could venomously whisper “Pikitis” under my breath. Also, Ann throws a Halloween party and it’s trash because Ann is trash. Watching Ann miserably fail at being fun is in itself worth a re-watch.
One Tree Hill: “An Attempt To Tip The Scales” (Season 3, Episode 4)
Were you even truly living in the early ’00s if you weren’t tuning in every week to watch the utter madness that was One Tree Hill? The show was about two half brothers who share the same scumbag dad and a love of basketball, but one of them is rich and one of them is a bastard. This is like, the least dramatic plot line of the entire show, and to illustrate this point, let me recommend to you the Halloween episode of season three. Haley comes back from her world (??) music tour and tries to reconnect with her husband, Nathan. She is a sophomore in high school. Lucas, also a sophomore in high school, tries to be exclusive with his f*ck buddy Brooke (baby Sophia Bush), and he believes his worthiness and willingness to commit must be proven via a killer Halloween costume. He chooses Tommy Lee. I think that says enough about how their relationship inevitably turns out.
Peyton, not being dramatic at all, decides to dress as an angel of death, and her father only gives a half-hearted shrug in protest to this alarming outfit choice. The episode culminates at a Halloween party at underage nightclub TRIC, where Fall Out Boy casually performs. Watching this episode live on air, my only question was, where I can I replicate the angel of death outfit to properly alarm my mother? Watching the episode as an adult has me asking quite a few more questions, like why is there so much leather during this underage party? Is it too late to call a hotline about Peyton’s obvious issues with depression? And what blackmail did The CW have on Fall Out Boy to get them to continually perform on this godforsaken show? THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT KEEP ME UP AT NIGHT.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: “Halloween” (Season 2, Episode 6)
For those of you who are like, Buffy The Vampire Slayer? What’s that? SHAME ON YOU, YOUTHS. To educate you poor, misguided children, Buffy is iconic and, as far as I’m concerned, should be mandatory viewing in all schools, sort of like how that Romeo & Juliet movie from the 1960s was. The show follows Buffy, high school cool girl and avid scrunchie wearer, who eviscerates people with snarky one-liners by day and slays vampires by night. If anyone has a problem with that plot description, they can take it up with me and the pointy end of my stake, mmkay?
Any one episode will have enough monsters and vampires to feel like a Halloween special, but the Halloween episode from season two is truly something else. In an effort to seduce the vampire she has a crush on, Buffy dresses up like a girl from his youth: an early 1800s noblewoman. I took a similar tactic to impress the guy in Kappa Sig I dated by dressing up like a cheerleader one Halloween, complete with underwear that said “haze me” on the butt. To each their own I guess, Buffy! Things go amiss for Buffy and her friends when the owner of the Halloween store enchants everyone’s costume so that you transform into the thing or person you’ve dressed up as. Mayhem ensues. The episode is complete with treacherous wigs and even more treacherous English accents, and is an absolute must-watch.
The Office: “Costume Contest” (Season 7, Episode 6)
Like Parks & Rec, The Office has a LOT of Halloween episodes to choose from, but I think we can all agree that the one from season seven was the best. Pam raises the stakes of the annual costume contest by awarding the winner a Scranton book of coupons that could amount to $15,00o in savings. This leads the employees of Dunder Mifflin to think that the book is literally worth $15K and so everyone goes all out for the costume contest. Angela shows up in a naughty nurse outfit (lol I can’t wait to hear how she rationalizes that one to Jesus), Jim actually wears a costume, and Gabe is doing the most as Lady Gaga.
Stranger Things: “Trick or Treat, Freak” (Season 2, Episode 2)
Guys, is there literally anything in this world that’s cuter than watching 13-year-old nerds coordinate their group Halloween outfits?! I don’t f*cking think so. Stranger Things is fun to rewatch because it feels appropriately spooky and nostalgic, which is what Halloween is all about. Plus, at one point during the episode Nancy gets drunk at a costume party and yells at Steve. I’m sorry, but if drunkenly sobbing in a bathroom after fighting with your boyfriend isn’t a Halloween mood THEN I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS.
Gossip Girl: “The Witches of Bushwick” (Season 4, Eipside 9)
First of all, I forgot this episode of Gossip Girl even existed, let alone that it’s aptly titled “The Witches of Bushwick.” As a person who used to call Bushwick her
penance for past sins home, I can honestly say that there are, in fact, witches in this area of Brooklyn. Not to name names but there was a very suspicious incident at a vegan cafe wherein I mistakenly asked for creamer in my coffee and later became mysteriously ill. I’m just saying, it’s suspicious is all. The episode takes place at Chuck’s Saints and Sinners masquerade party at the Empire Hotel and it is PEAK Gossip Girl in terms of fashion and fighting. It’s a very Serena-heavy episode in the sense that Jenny and friends try to overthrow her while Nate and Dan both try and woo her. Also, Chuck and Blair are there and are perfect.
New Girl: “Keaton” (Season 3, Episode 6)
New Girl has always been the gift that keeps on giving for me, especially since I’ve always self-identified as having the spirit of a crotchety, 90-year-old man, in the same way that Nick Miller does. This is one of my all-time favorite episodes because we find out that Nick has been sending Schmidt fake messages from actor Michael Keaton FOR YEARS. Schmidt for some reason believes with his whole heart that the actor who plays Batman has been sending him supportive letters and emails for his entire life when in fact it’s been his mom and then roommate Nick writing the sage advice. I almost peed myself watching this episode—it’s that good.
These are the best Halloween episodes to re-watch in preparation for (or during) Halloween. If you don’t spend the next 3-6 hours watching this powerhouse lineup of television, I’ll be personally offended. Smell ya later!
Images: Giphy (5); Tenor (1); weheartit (1)
Sponsored by TRESemmé
Halloween is coming up—I shouldn’t have to tell you that. When it comes to Halloween, there are two types of girls: the ones who go all-out from head to toe and have been planning an elaborate costume since April of the year before, and the ones who literally can’t be bothered to do more than throw on a T-shirt and do a slightly different beauty routine. If you ask us, Halloween hair doesn’t get the respect it deserves. If done correctly, it can totally make your look for the night. Plus, it works for either type of Halloween enthusiast. Like, if you’re super into Halloween, your hairstyle obviously has to be incorporated into whatever costume you choose. If you DGAF, you can try one of these hairstyles and literally not change your outfit at all, and boom, you’re festive. We teamed up with TRESemmé to give you four hairstyle ideas to try this Halloween.
1. Space Princess Braids
You know the one! She’s from a galaxy far, far away and her brother is a very, um, solitary figure. Her hairstyle is easily the most recognizable thing about her, and luckily it’s not that hard to recreate the look yourself at home. Here’s how you do it:
- Part your hair in the middle and split your hair into 2 sections
- Create 2 pigtails right above your ears
- Braid your first pigtail and then coil the braid into a bun. Secure with bobby pins
- Repeat for the second pigtail
- Finish with TRESemmé TRES Two Freeze Hold Hair Spray so you can dance all night without your precious braids falling.
2. Space Buns
Even outside of Halloween, space buns are a good hairstyle to have in your arsenal of know-how because you can wear them to nights out, festivals, and… ok, that’s about it. Still, you can do space buns if you want to be an alien, a bear, a tiger, and just about any cat/animal. This is what you do:
- Part your hair in the middle and split your hair into 2 sections
- Create 2 pigtails high at the top of your head
- Tease your pigtails if you want more volume
- Twist your first pigtail away from your face and coil into a bun. Secure with a hair tie
- Repeat for the second bun
- Mix 3 tbp of TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Gel with 1 tbsp of colorful glitter in a small bowl (it ain’t a costume without glitter)
- Apply glitter gel to your part, painting outwards, using a small paintbrush.
- Finish with TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hair Spray (again, you want those suckers to stay in place).
Ah, yes. The mermaid. It’s a popular choice, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Whether you’re going to craft your own seashell bra using real shells and hot glue (hi) or just put on a bikini top and call it a day, your look obviously won’t be complete without a fishtail braid. The fishtail braid is one of my favorites because it looks really intricate but it’s actually incredibly easy to do.
- Pull hair back into a ponytail
- Divide the ponytail into two smaller, equal-sized ponytails
- Separate a half-inch section of hair from the outside of the left ponytail
- Pull this piece across the top of the left ponytail over to the right ponytail
- Next, separate a half-inch section of hair from the outside of the right ponytail
- Pull this piece across the top of the right ponytail over to the left ponytail
- Repeat steps 3-6 until you run out of hair. That’s it!
- When you’re finished braiding, secure the ends with an elastic
- Finish with TRESemmé TRES Two Ultra Fine Hair Spray to lock in your style.
4. 50s Hair
We’re talking tight, bouncy curls reminiscent of a certain former ingenue who is transformed after a summer of lovin’. Throw on your favorite red lipstick, some black leggings or leather pants if you have them, and a black leather jacket (or pleather, we don’t judge here) and you’re dressy and comfortable. The curls may take a little more skill, so you might want to enlist a friend to help with this.
- Before blow drying, apply a heat protectant spray like the TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer before styling. Trust us, you’ll thank us for this tip later.
- Curl hair in 1- to 2-inch sections and in different directions to create a more volume and texture
- After curling a strand, release the section and loosely pin the curl at the scalp to allow it to cool
- Once the entire head is curled, release the pins and gently brush through
- Apply TRESemmé Extra Hold Mousse to hair and scrunch through to add control and hold volume. Volume is key with this look!
- Pull the hair back on one side and finish with TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hair Spray
No matter what route you go with, TRESemmé products will hold your style in place all night and keep your hair looking good.
I live and die for Halloween. I recently told a few friends that I couldn’t make dinner plans Halloween weekend because, although I currently don’t have plans, if we’re not doing something that requires a costume, I am not going. And while I’ve had my costume planned for the last six months and I’m dying my hair blue for real just for the costume, I understand that not everyone loves Halloween as much as I do. Or like, even if they do, they might have actual real lives and things to do aside from planning one outfit half a year in advance (what’s that like?). But if you have a ton of other things to focus on, or just DGAF about buying an elaborate costume for Halloween, there are still options for you to look amazing that don’t require a ton of work. I found some cute options that are cheap, easy to throw together, and look like you actually care about the greatest day of the year.
I’ve seen this costume around for several years now and I think it’s such a cute idea. All you have to do is throw on a flannel and some overalls you probably already own, or even just mom jeans if overalls aren’t your thing. Get a cute straw hat or use your beach hat from the summer. Then the rest is just makeup. Load up on eyeliner, draw in a mouth, get some cheap drugstore black lipstick, and draw in an orange nose and cheeks. It’s so simple and really requires zero artistic ability, but looks really put-together.
2. A Mouse, Duh
Because the hardcore girls just wear lingerie and some sort of animal ears, you can throw together an easy costume that everyone will get with this hilarious “I’m a mouse, duh” shirt. Also, huge oversize shirts are so trendy right now that you’ll definitely be able to wear this post-Halloween too. Get some cute mouse years from Amazon or just make your own, pair with chic over the knee boots, and if you really want to sell it, you can draw on a little nose and whiskers. This costume is so comfortable you can literally just wear it straight to bed when you come home hammered.
3. Wednesday Addams
Wednesday Addams is an absolute classic and an easy costume for anyone. I’ve been Wednesday myself several times as an additional backup costume. This dress is super cute from Hot Topic and you’ll definitely be able to rewear it afterwards. To sell the Wednesday look, braid your hair in pigtails, do some dark makeup, and look morose. Costume finished!
I am obsessed with Stranger Things and Eleven’s new 80s look is perfect for a quick costume. I also definitely bought this shirt from Hot Topic just to wear in real life. Costume pieces you can actually rewear are the best. Not only is this outfit really easy to throw together, but to make sure you look like Eleven, put your hair half up with a scrunchie, draw in a nosebleed with lipstick, and carry around a box of Eggos. Not only will everyone get it, but it’s way cooler than the pink-dress version of Eleven that has been way overdone for the past few years. It also has the makings for a great group costume.
5. Where’s Waldo?
Do you have a red and white striped shirt? What about glasses? Then you can throw together a super easy Where’s Waldo costume. If you want to be an overachiever, get a matching beanie. You can even buy this cheap set from Amazon if you want to be extra about it. The nice thing about being Waldo for Halloween is it’s so recognizable and doesn’t require a bunch of makeup or styling. You can throw it on and be good to go. Plus, then you can photobomb random people’s pictures all night and be hilarious. I mean, that’s what I would do.
This is my favorite of the bunch. Just be dead. Literally dead. Not only do you get to wear a super comfy sweatshirt, but it’s so funny. I would pair it with a skirt and boots, and if you want to really go for it, do some ghostly dead girl makeup, too, complete with dark lipstick. Or you could just be like me and never, ever sleep. Then you’ll already have the dark circles and sunken-in look! Don’t forget the cold, dead look in your eyes that only comes from true exhaustion! Perfect!
Please post pics of your favorite last minute costumes in the comments!
Images: Hot Topic (2); Shop Betches (2); bangtsikitsiki / Instagram; Giphy (3)
Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.
At a certain point, you start to feel like if you’ve read one thriller, you’ve read them all. The characters bleed together, even the most “shocking” of twists can be seen from 200 pages away, and if you have to read one more word in the first person narrative, you’ll scream. I know because I’ve thought this many a time. Even the titles of every thriller are the same. The ____ Girl. The _____ Wife. Are we as a society just out of new ideas? Fortunately, no. I’ve rounded up the best thrillers I’ve read this year with an ending you actually won’t see coming. And I promise, no spoilers. Stock up just in time for Halloween, because these reads will seriously haunt you.
‘The Starter Wife’ by Nina Lauren
I know, I know The ____ Wife. I was suspicious myself because the title is so overdone, but let me tell you, this is nothing like the Debra Messing USA original series of the same name. It’s kind of like Gone Girl but not (you’ll see why once you read it). But, even though the ending of this book was one I’ve read before, the ride was not predictable. This one’s about Claire, who marries hot English professor Byron. Claire is seemingly happy with her husband, but finds reminders of his late first wife, Colleen, everywhere. When she suddenly gets a call from Colleen, she tries to find out what exactly happened and how deeply implicated her husband is.
‘I Know Everything’ by Matthew Farrell
I Know Everything was seriously haunting, and even though the twist itself has been done before, I promise you haven’t seen it done in this way. Also, there were so many twists that even if you predicted one of them, there’s no way you figured out every single one. When a rich woman dies in a car accident, it seems like an open-and-shut case for Detective Susan Adler. But then details start emerging about the accident, and the woman’s husband, who stands to gain everything from her death—and suddenly, things aren’t so simple. I can pretty much guarantee you that you won’t solve the murder before Detective Adler. Warning, though: do not finish this book at night, or else you will not be able to sleep.
‘A Stranger on the Beach’ by Michele Campbell
In this tale of alternating perspectives, you’ll be constantly questioning who’s telling the truth and who’s an unreliable narrator. In this novel, rich Caroline hooks up with blue-collar Aidan after finding out her husband is lying to her, and possibly having an affair. To Caroline, her affair with Aidan is just physical, an escape from her marital problems. But Aidan falls hard and fast—and doesn’t want to let go, either. How hard will he hold on?
‘The Perfect Wife’ by JP Delaney
So I read on the back that this was about A.I. and I was like “ugh, pass,” but then I gave it a try and was really pleasantly surprised. The book opens with Abby Cullen-Scott waking up in the hospital—only to quickly learn that she’s not actually Abby Cullen-Scott, but a robot made in her likeness to replace the real Abby Cullen-Scott, who died in a mysterious accident. Or did she? A.I. Abby has to race against the clock to find out what happened to Human Abby before the same thing maybe happens to her.
‘The Runaway’ by Hollie Overton
If you want a thriller that feels more grounded in reality than others, pick up The Runaway by Hollie Overton. Taking place in LA, it toggles between the POV of Ash, a formerly homeless foster teen, and Becca, her soon-to-be-adoptive mother who also works as a psychiatrist for the LAPD. All seems to be going well until Ash up and disappears, and it’s up to Becca to find her, with or without the LAPD’s approval or help. What at first seems to be a normal expression of teenage angst quickly reveals the dark underbelly of life on the streets.
‘Tell Me Everything’ by Cambria Brockman
Protagonist/narrator Malin starts college at an elite private school, and finds herself friends with a pretty diverse group of kids who all seem fun, but they all have their secrets. At the end of the book, someone will wind up dead. Throughout the book, you’ll discover what everyone in this group that seems to have it all is hiding. There are so many surprises in Tell Me Everything that I’m pretty sure it’s mathematically impossible for anyone to get them all.
‘The Perfect Son’ by Lauren North
Following her husband’s tragic death, Tess Clarke wakes up in the hospital after her son Jamie’s 8th birthday. She knows he’s gone missing, but nobody believes her. Nobody is there for Tess except her best friend Shelly, who suspiciously became a huge part of her life right after her husband’s death. Alternating between the past and the days leading up to Jamie’s fateful 8th birthday, Lauren North takes the reader on a race against the clock.
‘Lost You’ by Haylen Beck
Libby has wanted a baby for as long as she can remember. Her dreams finally come true when Ethan arrives, even though it’s at the expense of her marriage. A hardworking and dedicated mother, Libby never gives herself a break. But when her friends convince her she deserves a vacation, she thinks “why not?” and books a trip with Ethan to a resort. The first few days of the trip go great, until the end of the third day, when Ethan is kidnapped. Libby’s worst fear has officially come to life. But she can’t find Ethan without confronting her past and risking losing him forever.
‘The Swallows’ by Lisa Lutz
This isn’t a thriller in the traditional sense, but there is mystery and intrigue and by the end of the novel, someone ends up dead. Also, Lisa Lutz is one of my favorite writers and wrote one of my favorite thrillers, The Passenger, so I’m going to show her some love here regardless. Anyway. The Swallows takes place at a New England prep school that has a secret underground subculture fueled by misogyny. Sound familiar? But the girls at the school are getting tired of this system. When a new teacher comes, she gives the women hope that they can finally end this gross culture once and for all. But where there’s a boy’s club, there are generations of men who have benefited from a system of misogyny, and they don’t want to give that up without a fight. And boy, is there a fight—and, like I said, someone winds up dead.
‘Take It Back’ by Kia Abdullah
Take It Back is more of a legal thriller than a true thriller with, like, murder, but there’s plenty of suspense and mystery nonetheless. In this classic tale of she-said-they-said, the victim is a teenage girl with facial deformities, and the accused are four good Muslim boys from hardworking immigrant families. The quest for justice becomes the trial of the decade. As the accuser’s story unravels, readers are left trying to figure out what the truth is.
Images: Clever Visuals / Unsplash; Amazon (10)
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When it comes to Halloween costumes, celebrities should really have it easy. All they have to do is choose something fun and non-problematic, pay someone else to make it for them, and go to whatever lame party the Getty Images photographers are at. Unfortunately, there are always some celebs who mess up what should be easy. Some of these costumes are way too over-the-top, while others are just sad, wasted opportunities. While we already dealt with all of the Kardashian costumes this year, here are some other celebrities who could’ve done better this Halloween. Behold, our ranking of the worst celebrity Halloween costumes of 2018.
Heidi Klum hosts one of the biggest Halloween parties in Hollywood, and she always goes all out with her costume. In recent years, she’s gotten into prosthetics, and it’s officially gone too far. Sure, her Princess Fiona costume is impressive, but I’m getting physically upset looking at it. With her boyfriend as a matching Shrek, it’s really more than I can handle. Someone please tell Heidi to relax next year, it’s just Halloween.
Luann de Lesseps
According to Luann’s Instagram caption, she asked her stylist for an “outfit that says nurse, pop-star, and countess.” I’m not sure why that was her desired look, but I’m just getting a slutty race car driver vibe here? Luann looks fantastic and healthy (thank god), but this outfit is just so confusing. Money can’t buy you class, but it can definitely buy you a coherent Halloween look.
While I am a huge fan of Ariana Grande, her brother Frankie is more than I can handle. His troll costume is the exact brand of extra we’ve come to expect from him, and I need a f*cking nap. I really hope that paint takes two weeks to come off just as punishment for this costume.
Oh, Nina Dobrev. I’m not sure exactly what she’s been up to since The Vampire Diaries ended, but this costume has me concerned. Her take on A Star Is Born is at least a little more creative than a half-assed Lady Gaga attempt, but the execution could definitely be better. The weird cage around her waist is really taking me out of it, and I just can’t look at an adult with a pacifier in their mouth. Sorry, no.
I never thought I’d say the name “Joey Fatone” in 2018, but here we are. The third most famous member of NSYNC is really trying to give me nightmares with his The Shining-inspired costume, and this will probably keep me up tonight. Also, the horrific wig aside, why does Joey look like he hasn’t slept in six years? If anyone has any miracle dark circle remedies they’d like to recommend, feel free to slide into Joey’s DMs.
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro & Jen Harley
Okay I thought these two had, like, restraining orders against each other? I won’t pretend to know what’s going on in the world of Ronnie and his baby mama drama, but this is definitely a weak-ass Joker costume. The Harley Quinn (lol because her last name is Harley) is a bit better, but no one is winning any costume contests here. I’d love to know what they dressed their baby as for Halloween, because I bet it’s something sad and outdated.
@heidiklum / Instagram; @countessluann / Instagram; @frankiejgrande / Instagram; @nina / Instagram; @realjoeyfatone / Instagram; @tt_kittymeow / Instagram