Spine-Tingling Thrillers for Spooktober!

spooktacular reads

Well, I don’t know about you, but this time of year definitely makes me drawn to creepier reads. Now, I don’t tend to gravitate towards horror, but a good thriller is right up my street. And having stalked a few lately, I figured I’d share a fast and fun list… before the authorities catch up with me 😉

lock every door

Lock Every Door– in the last couple of months, I’ve quickly become a fan of Riley Sager (as you’ll notice from this list)- and for good reason! I was locked in place with this modern gothic novel. Prepare yourself for a creepilicious, entertaining and addicting read!

death of mrs westaway

The Death of Mrs Westaway- in a similar vein, if you’re looking for a thriller with a claustrophobic feel, look no further! This modern take on Rebecca will lead you to familiar and unfamiliar territory. Expect the unexpected from Ruth Ware’s masterful retelling.

ice twins

Ice Twins– moving north now, this excellent atmospheric read will get you in the mood for winter. Warning: may cause a shiver to run down your spine.

last time I lied

The Last Time I Lied– I read a lot of thrillers last month and this slightly-summery mystery was my favourite! Set after the disappearance of three teenage girls, with an unreliable narrator trying to piece together what happened to them, this will take you down a dangerous path to a killer plot twist!

gone-girl-PB

Gone Girl– speaking of twists, if you haven’t read this already, seriously why not?! This husband vs wife drama is the perfect book for *Spooktober* if you haven’t read it yet!

suitable lie

Suitable Lie– looking for a good domestic noir? Then I have the book for you- this moving and melancholic read will show you dark secrets that can lurk behind closed doors. Rather than taking you a million miles away, this one hits close to home.

mountain in my shoe

Mountain in my shoe– another book filled with realism, this wonderfully written thriller will draw you in and persistently nudge away at you until you turn the last page.

nemesis

Nemesis– for something a little different, there are some strong YA thrillers. This series is by far one of the more memorable books I read as a teen. Pacey and brilliantly executed, this story does not relent from the awakening of the first page!

dark matter

Dark Matter– another book that’s more action-based, this is a blend of sci fi and thrillers. With a sprinkling of interesting themes along the way. Provoking some fascinating discussions, this time-bending book is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

you

You– of course, if you are looking for a different kind of terror, then this horrifying reflection on social media is GUARANTEED to freak you out. You’ve been warned 😉

So have you read any of these? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

Big Little Lies was a HUGE SUCCESS!

*Spoiler Free*

big little liesA while back I was in a MASSIVE slump- the kind that wouldn’t budge no matter what I read and wouldn’t allow me to read even the teensiest of books. I needed something a little bit different… And then I decided to give this a try. Now who’d have thought the cure for a slump would be a very dense, 450 page book? Not me! Before I tried Big Little Lies, I struggled at 300 pages. But honestly, this book ended up being my saviour! I was so gripped by it that I just couldn’t get enough of it!

On the surface, it was a murder mystery and centred round a primary school. I’ll admit, I didn’t find the prospect of competitive-mummy-drama all that thrilling- and yet, somehow, it was. The story builds from a point of seeming irrelevance, telling us of the incident from the angle of a bystander, withholding vital information. Told like a police report, the reader is clued in slowly, with hints ingeniously woven into the plot. All the way through the book, right upto the final reveal, we never know for certain who the suspects are and even who the victim is! This adds so much to the suspense and keeps you guessing the whole way through.

More than that, the gossipy tone of many of the characters drew me in and had me deeply invested in even the smaller mysteries. With writing that was simultaneously dark and witty, I felt like I was being led by the hand into a mysterious maze of drama and unexpected excited. Thanks to the third person limited narration, I saw inside some of the main player’s heads, with each one being given a distinctive and loud voice.

The book’s cast felt nothing short of *shiny*. I was instantly attracted to the lead trio. I was actually amazed at myself for clicking so quickly with the likes of Madeline- she felt like the sort of person I wouldn’t be close to in real life- and yet here I was drawn to her. She was just so ruthlessly herself. Invigoratingly so- to the point where I could completely understand how she could form friendships with Celeste and Jane- two people who couldn’t have been more different.

Both Celeste and Jane were wonderful characters in their own right and the development of their stories lead to some real depth I hadn’t expected from a story like this. In fact, it was thanks to their perspectives that all my previous expectations were subverted. I appreciated the way it allowed female friendships to blossom; I liked how it dealt with family drama in a way that felt authentic and not overblown. Sure, there were divorced and blended families, which led to some issues, but it wasn’t pure melodrama and there were signs of real love and beautiful bonds between them. Most importantly, however, Big Little Lies explored the subject of trauma in a raw and believable way. It dealt with characters trying to make sense of horrible situations, coming to terms with hardship and finding some resolution. As a result of this, they weren’t just painted as victims and designed to be merely gawped at. Instead, the people pictured at the centre of the chaos felt relatable, evolving through the continuous narrative, and allowing you to grow close to them.

While you become friendlier with a select few characters, you also got a flavour for everyone else involved. What was great was how they felt fleshed out, even though they were mostly described through a biased slant. Funnily enough, I particularly liked viewing characters from Madeline’s point of view. She certainly had strong OPINIONS (in all CAPS) about Bonnie (her ex-husband’s new wife) and Renata (her sworn enemy 😉 ). Viewing them through this lens made them seem more antagonistic and never knowing their true thoughts lent to the air of suspicion that surrounded these characters.

For all my biases, however, I never got close to guessing any of the plot twists. Everything was veiled so well, that it wasn’t until the curtain was pulled back by the author that I had the AHA moment (as it should be 😉 ). With a BIG showdown, all the truths came out. And somehow, masterfully, Moriarty managed to take this explosive ending and gently nudge it to a harmonious conclusion. For all the heretofore mentioned action of the story, it remarkably finished on a sweet note. I don’t know how Moriarty did it, but the whole experience felt crafted so that I would feel the *exact* right emotions and the *exact* right time. For that matter, I couldn’t have enjoyed it more if it had been designed especially for me– it was just that good!

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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So have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

A Less Than Thrilling Book Blurb

thrillers.png

In my effort to read more widely this year, I’ve started picking up a genre I rarely ventured into in the past: I have entered the rather dark and deadly world of thrillers. And while I have found some of these very entertaining, I find I am often rather put off by the blurbs. So I decided to put together an example made up of all the composite elements that I see so often on the shelves. Enjoy!

*Dramatic voice*

Jane Doe hasn’t been the same since the death of her BELOVED (but ultimately irrelevant) RELATIVE. Even though she has the perfect life, perfect husband, perfect home- her life is far from uncomplicated.

Something isn’t right. Everything around her is SUSPICIOUS- phone calls in the middle of the night, weird glances from her husband and even people following her that disappear whenever she looks round! Then, just when she thinks she might be going crazy, she sees something shocking that will change her life forever. *dun dun dun*

Now she has so many questions- like will she ever find out the truth? Or won’t she? Is she losing her mind? And most importantly, in the grand scheme of things, does it even matter?

GIRL- GOING SOMEWHERE…. is just like Gone Girl… sort of… I hope… (Whatever- it has “girl” in the title- so that means women have to like it- and so do men- otherwise you’re all sexist!!)

Still you should read it cos some girly magazine said it’s “SPECTACULAR” (well, “spectacularly bad”, but that’s almost the same) and BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!

*Disclaimer: you may, or may not, see the twist coming*

Okay- that was a little weird- hope you enjoyed that. Let me know if you’ll be reading Girl Going Somewhere… when it hits the shops- in, well, never! And see if you can guess the *crazy* twist!

 

Why I Should Have Read Gone Girl Before I Watched the Film

gone-girl-PB*Don’t worry- no spoilers!*

So I made the classic mistake: I watched the film before I read the book. And I have to say because as I was reading it, I couldn’t help but think “this would be so much better if I didn’t know what was gonna happen!” Cos this book has so many twists and turns that it easily could’ve been a complete mind-bending shocker. But it wasn’t- because I knew *exactly* what was gonna happen- which was a real shame.

It didn’t completely spoil my enjoyment, because this is a really well-crafted book. According to Amy Dunne, cool girls don’t exist- but not to worry cos cool books definitely do- this one proves it!

I was also glad to see that the ending worked so much better in the book than the film. Half the reason it was better was because having literally been inside the character’s heads I was able to understand why they made certain decisions (as I said, no spoilers). That made it far less frustrating (I mean, there’s still an element of frustration, but at least it made sense). Also, the ending was given far too much space in the film- 30 pages worked out as half an hour and so much that was speculated on was added. Here, it felt condensed, to the point and just drilled home the whole point of the story. Which is another reason why I should have read the book first!

So the moral of the story is READ THE DAMN BOOK BEFORE YOU WATCH THE FILM.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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It’s kind of appropriate that I’m posting a review of “Gone Girl”, cos I may be gone for a few days (well, I may get the chance to read posts and comment, but I definitely will not be posting).