Posts Tagged: Adult Fiction

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

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Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Bird Box
Josh Malerman
Genre: Adult, Horror
Publication date: May 13th 2014
by Ecco

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Most people ignored the outrageous reports on the news. But they became too frequent, they became too real. And soon, they began happening down the street. Then the Internet died. The television and radio went silent. The phones stopped ringing. And we couldn't look outside anymore. Malorie raises the children the only way she can; indoors. The house is quiet. The doors are locked, the curtains are closed, mattresses are nailed over the windows. They are out there. She might let them in. The children sleep in the bedroom across the hall. Soon she will have to wake them. Soon she will have to blindfold them. Today they must leave the house. Today they will risk everything.

I was up til 3am to finish this. Holy fuuuuuu…! This was one hell of a crazy ride. I love horror and thriller novels, and this one kept me on the edge of insanity from beginning to end.

It began with strange news stories of sudden killing sprees ending in suicide. A LOT of suicides. From people who were good, happy, full of life. When more and more stories started to pop up, Malorie, once skeptical, started to get very very nervous. She only knows one thing, and it’s that it’s all caused by something you see. Something that your mind either can’t process or understand to such a degree that you lose your sanity. Which means to survive, you need to learn how to live without eyesight. I found this incredibly frightening. There’s nothing more terrifying than the unknown, and this book utilizes this concept to perfection. Blindfolded throughout most of the story, we walk through this ravaged world with nothing but eerie noises and gut feelings that something is terribly wrong. That danger is RIGHT THERE, watching you. It plays with our imaginations in a wild, horrifying way. It’s easy to understand how people died, even knowing how to protect themselves. Not taking a peek would be so hard in that scenario – either fear or plain curiosity would be the end of many. I was even trying to mentally coax our protagonist to just look, just for a second. GAH!

Told using past and present perspectives, we learn how it all began, how Malorie made it to this point, and how she’s now surviving – merely existing, really – with two small children, trying to figure out how to make a better life for them in a seemingly dying world. The character building is excellent. You get to know Malorie through and through. She also grows quite a lot from the skeptical, average young woman to a strong, determined survivor throughout this story. She raised these kids in a harsh, yet necessary way for them to survive. It really broke my heart, but I understood its necessity. It’s easy to put ourselves in her shoes. When she was terrified, I was terrified along with her. When she felt something watching her, I found myself covered in goosebumps. It was some fantastic writing! We also meet a bunch of secondary characters who end up being a sort of family unit, getting through this tragedy together. The group dynamic is soon shaken, though, when a new guy arrives with crazy stories and a weird vibe. No matter what the end brings, there will always be humans who end up being just as threatening, it seems. We can be our own worst enemy, sometimes.

For my one minor complaint, there were a couple of events in the book that had me question its realism. Events that were maybe added for shock or emotional value, but appeared a bit too easy or simply unlikely. This wasn’t a big deal overall, though, especially how everything else – the fear, the desperation, the reactions – felt incredibly genuine. The ending could be a hit or miss for some. Don’t expect to get many answers to the “why” of it all – you can only know what your characters know. I would definitely recommend this to fans of horror, especially those who enjoy post-apocalyptic/survival stories.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Posted by on 12/18/2014 • 15 Comments

We’ve all been asked something along the lines of “What would you bring with you on a deserted island”, but for Anna and TJ, this is not rhetorical anymore. And unfortunately they didn’t even get that choice. All they have on the island they’re stranded on, is what has floated in from their plane crash. A suitcase full of mostly useless stuff, but stuff nonetheless. Stories like these really make you appreciate everything we have, here. The choices that we have. For Anna and TJ, they’re only hoping to survive from one day to the next.

One thing I appreciated from this novel is that it isn’t overly dramatic. There’s not a new crisis in every chapter, they don’t have near death experiences and close calls every 3 pages….

Review: Into the Night by Suzanne Rigdon

Review: Into the Night by Suzanne Rigdon

Posted by on 11/24/2014 • 8 Comments

I don’t read a lot of Adult or Vampire novels that often anymore, but this one sounded interesting so I figured I would give it a go. (I am assuming it’s an adult book due to the age of the characters) I did like it, but it wasn’t anything that blew me away. I guess it has to be really unique in order for me to really love it. The characters were done pretty well, and the story was engaging enough, but I just felt like I needed more out of it. I didn’t feel like we got enough back story on any of the characters, especially the main ones. Things also seemed to just be kind of rushed through when it got to the action parts.

Selina was an…

Review: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Review: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Posted by on 09/12/2014 • 16 Comments

I didn’t love this, but it’s a very unique – I’d even say peculiar – story with some candid personalities and buried secrets. And of course, Lauren’s writing makes the storyline so intriguing that it compels you to read even if it’s not blowing your mind. This review will be short, because the whole of this (also short) book is one haunting secret after another being unearthed into a story full of tragedy.

Brought together in this house by the death and upcoming burial of a husband and father, this story encircles the lives of half a dozen people who make up our narrators of this novel. While we learn the ins and outs of what makes these people who they are, we also learn that, ultimately, this is the…

Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Posted by on 09/11/2014 • 20 Comments

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…

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: 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…