“It was a damn silly position to be in, trying to hold the bluff when it had already been called.”

— Halle Butler, Jillian


“I’ll give one of you two hundred bucks to punch me in the face.”

— Ingrid Thorburn, Ingrid Goes West


Two dark comedies slash teeth-grinding cautionary tales with enough sarcasm to make you feel like you’ve eaten a whole bag of Sour Patch Kids. That’s what you’ll get with this month’s pairing of Halle Butler’s first novel Jillian and the movie Ingrid Goes West by writer/director Matt Spicer.

With this pairing, you’ll also find:

  • Human obsession that evokes raging jealousy and psychologically eroding interactions
  • Feelings of superiority as the ultimate motivation
  • Dishonest online identities
  • Shockingly patient significant others
  • Pathological lying that produces hilariously pitiful results
  • Endless pits of external validation and internal monologues
  • Delighting in the self-destruction of others
  • Conflating status with life fulfillment
  • Painstakingly unapologetic juvenile behaviors

When consuming this pairing, you’ll become inexplicably invested in people with very poor judgment. Both of them take your imagination on its worst day and reproduce it in a cringe-worthy display. They let “primitive aggression” (p. 75) between women play itself out sans remorse, forcing us to look at how we determine self-worth in a society that is technologically advanced yet morally vacant.