Genre: Adult

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

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Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Night Film
Marisha Pessl
Genre: Adult, Horror, Mystery
Publication date: July 1st 2014
by Anchor Canada

Now in paperback, the New York Times-bestselling author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics' hypnotic literary thriller, Night Film.

On a damp October night, the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. By all appearances her death is a suicide--but investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. Though much has been written about the dark and unsettling films of Ashley's father, Stanislas Cordova, very little is known about the man himself. As McGrath pieces together the mystery of Ashley's death, he is drawn deeper and deeper into the dark underbelly of New York City and the twisted world of Stanislas Cordova, and he begins to wonder--is he the next victim? In this novel, the dazzlingly inventive writer Marisha Pessl offers a breathtaking mystery that will hold you in suspense until the last page is turned.
-A copy was provided by Random House of Canada for review-

Night Film is a book that I can say is unlike any other. And now I’m going to contradict that and say it reminded me a bit of The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. Not in story or plot, but in its atmosphere and compelling nature. Night Film gives us a mystery like no other, following a horror movie director – Cordova – who has become a cult favorite and a huge enigma; his entire life is an endless puzzle. After his daughter commits suicide, Scott’s journalist nature can’t help but dig into this story. What he finds is at once fascinating and horrifying. But… what’s the real truth?

At 640 pages, this is one whopper of a book. Don’t let this intimidate you, though, it never has a chance to get boring, but it does take a while to get through. The whole of the book is dedicated to finding out who in the hell is Cordova, and what kind of life he really held. Every new chapter gives us a new – often horrific – clue to grip onto; with every new bit of information, our whole image of this man’s mysterious life unfolds in our minds. And with every new speculation, my eyes just kept getting wider and wider. At one point I thought I was losing my mind along with Scott. With that said, this is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for the impatient reader. While we do get tons of clues and theories throughout, the pacing is unhurried, and concrete answers seem to never come. In my opinion, though, this is what makes the book so addicting. The need to examine and obsess over every new inch of string we’re given. You don’t rush through an experience like this!

The writing is very impressive. Pessl takes a story that is very slow moving, and turns it into a highly addictive read. Her characters come alive in only a matter of pages, and her atmosphere is phenomenal. I do admit that I was irked at first by the heavy use of italics, but I did eventually get used to it and stopped noticing. I could see this being grating to some, though. The foreshadowing and atmosphere that she achieves, however, is, by far, the best aspect of this novel. It’s written with this infinite amount of ominous energy that really propels you forward, making you devour every page you turn. It’s a hard one to put down for even a second, as you’re sure that in just a few sentences you could learn something new and shocking – and we often do. Cordova’s history, his movies, his estate, everyone who ever knew him; they all bleed with uneasiness and menace. Let me tell you, this becomes quite the thrill ride when you feel as if you were living it, as Pessl effortlessly propels us into her characters’ shoes.

Then, just when you think they have given you the whole story, you’ll be wrong. I do admit that I was a tad disappointed by the ending. Even though I was expecting it – it’s heavily foreshadowed throughout the novel by mimicking Cordova’s movie style – the “make of it as you wish” ending is not always my favorite. On the other hand, it’s the kind of ending that leaves you gasping, questioning the meaning of everything you have read; it’s daring and memorable, for which I admire.

Night Film is one book that will stand out in my memory for many years to come. It’s unique and highly creative, with an impressively eerie atmosphere that really makes the whole book feel evil, yet inviting. Like an addiction, no?

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Exclusive Sneak Peek at The Gifted Dead + Giveaway!

Exclusive Sneak Peek at The Gifted Dead + Giveaway!

Posted by on 09/10/2014 • 18 Comments

For fans of Urban Fantasy, I’ve got a treat for you today: an exclusive sneak peek at The Gifted Dead by Jenna Black as well as a chance to win!

Unique and Catchy Scene from The Gifted Dead!

Paris, France

Lynda Powell shut the bedroom door in her son’s face, turning the deadbolt despite Patrick’s Gift. If he wanted in, the lock would open for him, but at least she’d made her wishes clear.

“Mother, don’t be like this,” he said in the overly patient voice he’d been using with her ever since his father, her beloved Harry, had died.

Had it been only two months ago? The seemingly endless cycle of appeals had made it seem so much longer. Now word had come from the Abbey…

Review: Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Review: Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Posted by on 09/05/2014 • 6 Comments

What a crazy ride. I love thrillers, and while YA thrillers can be a lot of fun and even sometimes pretty creepy, it never lives up to what an adult book can dish out. This is your hardcore serial killer novel involving a mentally unstable psycho who thinks he’s doing the world a favor.

This story is told with the help of several perspectives: from the killer himself, to the detective trying to find him; to her daughter, along with a few other key players. Beukes tackles multiple POVs with excellence. Even though each character is widely different – we go from a homeless man to teenage girls – every single one has a distinct, realistic voice that makes it easy to slip into their psyche, in addition to…

Review: The Fever by Megan Abbott

Review: The Fever by Megan Abbott

Posted by on 07/22/2014 • 13 Comments

The Fever ended up being quite the interesting read, especially psychologically speaking. It’s both a puzzling mystery as well as a look into the rashness of teenage girls burning with jealousy.

What I noticed almost immediately was the writing style, to which I can’t say I’m exactly a fan. Megan tells this story with the help of three family members who are each given a perspective in the story. We switch back and forth from father, son, and daughter in a very spastic manner, each perspective lasting from a mere paragraph to no more than a couple of pages. While, in a way, I enjoyed the style in which it told the story with quick back-and-forth glimpses from several point-of-views, constantly being pulled in all directions made me feel very…

Review: The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

Review: The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

Posted by on 07/08/2014 • 21 Comments

*slow clap* I don’t even know where to begin reviewing this book. It was a book that I didn’t plan to read, I heard from my co-blogger it was a split POV story told in the third person and I thought “Rubbish! I don’t want that in my life.” Then a little birdie came along, one by the name of Christina of A Reader of Fictions and she said “Look, you need this book in your life. Total Jenni bait.” So I gave it a go and wow. I’m at a loss for words (which, if you know me, NEVER happens) because this book was just… everything.

We are introduced to the world through the eyes of a little girl named Melanie who spends her time in a cell and…

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Posted by on 07/04/2014 • 18 Comments

Landline is different from what I expected: first of all it’s an adult book which I only realized when I started it, but this is totally my fault and also not a bad thing. I was due for an adult book. And, unlike her usual contemporary reads, this one has a bit of a paranormal vibe to it. I’m not sure how I felt about this at first, I loved the mind-f*ck nature of it, but it has an element that very rarely impresses me [time-travel], so I was afraid of the direction it was going in. In the end, though, I can say I quite enjoyed the story. It has a bit of a fairy-tale quality to it, so have to go into it with an open mind, but…

Review & Giveaway: The Fever by Megan Abbott

Review & Giveaway: The Fever by Megan Abbott

Posted by on 06/05/2014 • 14 Comments

Upon finishing The Fever I wasn’t really sure how I felt about it and to be honest I still don’t really know.  Usually when I write a review I go into having a general idea of what I want to say and I already have a good idea of what my rating will be.  Going into writing this review I am hoping that it will provide me with some clarity when it comes to my thoughts on the novel.

At the heart of my… indifference for the novel is the way in which it is told.  It’s a split POV tale that is told in the third person.  I always struggle when it comes to stories told in the third person, let alone when we have three different…

Review: The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

Review: The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

Posted by on 02/11/2014 • 18 Comments

What a strange little book this was. I have to be honest right up front and say that I wasn’t sure how I felt about The Good Luck of Right Now for most of the time I spent reading it. It was strange, it had characters that I couldn’t relate to; but as I sat there reading I realized that I couldn’t put it down. Bartholomew and the people that came into his life wormed their odd little ways into my heart and I truly cared about their well-being and had to see where everything went for them.

Right off the bat the thing that stands out in this novel is the way in which it is told. Each chapter in The Good Luck of Right Now is a letter…