The Troye Sivan Songs, Cenobites, and ‘Bright Young Women’ That Got Us Through the Week

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Read Bright Young Women
Photo: S&S/Marysue Rucci Books

Jessica Knoll’s third novel is an enraging and thrilling read that takes our culture’s enduring obsession with Ted Bundy and sets the record straight: He wasn’t some mastermind criminal who escaped prison twice after brilliantly evading authorities. He was a creepy weirdo “run-of-the-mill incel” who likely made the women he approached feel bad for him (rather than smitten), and who managed to escape a couple of low-security jails because the police were incompetent.

Specifically, Knoll tells the story of Ted Bundy (without ever mentioning his name) through the eyes of his victims—a perspective that’s almost never been considered. (There are at least 10 movies and countless books on the type of person Bundy was.) Filled with tons of snarky exchanges and descriptions of dumb powerful men that belittle them to their rightful size, it’s a triumph of a novel that was an equal parts infuriating and cathartic read. I devoured it in two days. —Lauren Tousignant

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