Posted in book review

Night Film, Reviewed

Night Film
Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Description from goodreads:

On a damp October night, 24-year-old Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror film director Stanislaus Cordova–a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years. 

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself. 

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world. The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

Review:

*inhuman screeching*

This. BOOK! Oh my gosh you guys, this one is a ride. I read this one for Tome Topple last month, and even with NaNoWriMo happening, I read it in about two and a half days. It’s a 640 page book, and I devoured it.

First, let’s talk about the format of this book. It’s a little similar to Everything Must Go, the Illuminae Files books, and House of Leaves in that it has more than just text, or even illustrations. There are web pages, articles, photographs, etc., and it really adds something to the story. (I also listened to this one, but kept my physical copy handy for referencing those pages.) Also, my copy has a thing at the end of the book where you can access bonus content online!

If all mysteries kept me on the edge of my seat, not knowing what to expect next, not knowing who to suspect, and were just this damn trippy at times, I would probably read way more of them.

I really don’t know what to say about this book without spoilers, and I honestly think it’s better going into it not knowing much about it. I didn’t even re-read the synopsis before I started it, so I could read it with fresh eyes and no preconceived notions (I think I remembered something about a journalist, and some reclusive film dude, and that was all).

From the beginning, it’s so good! So good! I barely managed to remember to write while I was reading this because I didn’t want to put it down. There are so many twists, so many wheels within wheels. I loved it. I absolutely loved every “WTF?!” moment of it.

I didn’t get super attached to the characters, which is weird for me and a book I loved, but I’m fine with it. I feel weird about calling this a plot-driven novel, because characters are kind of the main focus, but I’m pretty sure that’s what this is. Kind of. I don’t know, oh my gosh. Ok, both are important and drive the story forward.

Anyway… I freaking loved this book and I can not wait to read more from Marisha Pessl ASAP, and I highly recommend this one if you like mysteries.


I rated this one 5 out of 5 stars, and it was probably my favorite autumn read.

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Posted in books, reading challenges

Autumn Reading Challenges

Autumn is coming! Autumn is coming! I’m so excited 😀 Ok, so autumn isn’t my favorite season (allergies suck, ugh), winter is, buuuut… I still love autumn.

Maybe it’s because it’s the promise of winter arriving soon, or because of Halloween (!!!), or because my birthday is 2 weeks before Halloween, or any number of other things, but I love autumn. Not as much as winter, but a lot.

This year, I’ve been in a reading funk and I haven’t been in the mood for the genres I reach for the most. For the past few days, I’ve really been feeling darker books (horror, thrillers, mysteries, gothic lit, etc.), and I’ve been searching for reading events/challenges, read-a-thons, etc. that center around those genres. And I found some!


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R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge

This challenge that runs from September 1st through October 31st is one I think I’ve heard of, and possibly participated in a long time ago. It’s now being hosted by My Capricious Life and Estella’s Revenge, and it sounds like a really relaxed, fun thing, with several “Perils” (levels) to choose from. I’m going with Peril the First, which is to read four books for the challenge.

Some of my possible reading choices for this challenge:

I’m also thinking about reading some Agatha Christie and/or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for this one.

If anyone wants to buddy-read any of these, please let me know because I’d love to partner up to talk about them!


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#FrightFall Readathon

This one is hosted by Seasons of Reading and runs from October 1st-31st, and (as far as I can tell), the only requirement is to read at least one scary book. I’ve been itching for good horror books for ages, so I’m really excited for this one, and I hope I find something that actually scares me.

If you guys have any suggestions for truly terrifying reads, let me know in the comments!


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Gothic September– Edgar Allan Poe read along

For this month, I’m joining this read along hosted by Castle Macabre and it’s So! Exciting! ❤ I love Edgar Allan Poe, and I’m definitely going to try to keep up with the schedule.

 


Bookish Bingo: Fall 2017

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I came across this one, hosted by Pretty Deadly Reviews, by accident, and it looks like fun! This seasonal bingo runs from through the autumn season. I’m not sure how well I’ll do, but I love bookish bingo, so I’m going to play. (I wonder if you can count a graphic novel for “Illustrations…” If so, I’ve got one square already.)

I’ve already thought of some picks for about 6 of these, so yay!

 

 

 

 


And, there’s also a Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon coming around on October 21st! I’ve missed the last, like, 4 of these, so I’m hoping to remember this time and actually participate.


 

Whew! That’s a ton of things to (hopefully) inspire me to read a bit more, and more broadly, for the next 2-3 months. I’m super excited about all of these, and I can’t wait to post wrap-ups and see how many things I managed to complete.

 


Are you participating in any reading events this fall? Let me know about them in the comments!

 

Posted in book tags/memes

First Lines Fridays: July 14th

first-lines-fridays

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

The Rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first

Finally… reveal the book!

 


They said I must die. They said that I stole the breath from men, and now they must steal mine. 


 

 

Interested? Keep reading to find out which book this is from.

 

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Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

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cover; links to goodreads

What it’s about:

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


I was on the fence about this for a while, but I kept seeing it around and finally just grabbed a copy when I found it on sale. Now that I’ve actually read the description, and heard good things about it, I’m kind of wondering why I didn’t seek it out sooner because it sounds like something I could love.


If you’ve read it, what did you think of it? If you haven’t read it, is it on your TBR, too?

 

Posted in book recommendations, book tags/memes

Must Read Mondays: July 3rd

must-read-mondays

Must Read Monday is a weekly thing I do here to recommend books I’ve read and enjoyed. I might sometimes throw in something I gave 3 stars to, but for the most part they’re books I gave a 4-5 star rating to. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily amazing literature, but it does mean I liked them enough to recommend them to other people.


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (book 1 in the Millennium trilogy) by Stieg Larsson

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cover; links to goodreads

When I read it: January 2012

Genres: contemporary; Scandinavian lit; mystery; thriller; crime

Recommended for: This is a tough one to recommend because I know so many people with different tastes in books who all loved it. So, I’d say just give it a shot and see if it’s for you, but it might take a while to get into it.

Trigger warning for: rape, sexual assault, violence (I think…it’s been a while since I read this so I’m not 100% sure when things happen in the series. Please let me know if I missed something.)

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


What it’s about:

Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into a complex and atmospheric novel.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of iniquity and corruption.


I read this over 5 years ago, so it’s really fuzzy in my memory, but I do remember that it took me for-ev-er to become invested, and I loved it by the end. My mom (who isn’t much of a reader) was the one who kept pushing me to keep going, insisting it would get better, and she was right. I think it took something like 40-60% and about a week of reading for me, but after that I flew through the rest of the book in like a day.

This isn’t a light book. It isn’t fluffy. It isn’t easy to read at many points. But, it was a very good book (and series as a whole), and I do recommend it quite often when someone asks me about it or for mystery/thriller recommendations.


Did you read it? What did you think of it?

Posted in book tags/memes

First Lines Fridays: June 2nd

first-lines-fridays

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

The Rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first

Finally… reveal the book!

 


“’Going bra shopping at age fifty-two gives new meaning to the phrase fallen woman,’ I announced as I gazed at my reflection. 


 

Interested? Keep reading to find out which book this is from.

 

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Playing With Poison by Cindy Blackburn

16061422What it’s about:

Pool shark Jessie Hewitt usually knows where the balls will fall and how the game will end. But when a body lands on her couch, and the cute cop in her kitchen accuses her of murder, even Jessie isn’t sure what will happen next.

Playing With Poison is a cozy mystery with a lot of humor, a little romance, and far too much champagne.

 

 

(The cover links to goodreads)

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


I’ve been cleaning up my goodreads TBR and Kindle, and I found this. I have no clue if the book is any good, but the first line made me snort my coffee up my nose, so I might try reading it at some point.