Saturday, 23 January 2016

#31 Dangerous Girls

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

This book is a YA thriller centering around an intricate friendship group that go to Aruba over spring break. The story mainly follows Elise, Anna and Tate. Elise and Anna are best friends and Tate is Annas boyfriend. When Elise is brutally murdered towards the end of the holiday Anna and Tate are immediately in the firing line as the main suspects in her murder,

I really enjoyed the layout of this book as the chapters are split into before the holiday, during the holiday and the trial. It ever so slowly reveals more information allowing the reader to bring about their own conclusions of what happened. It goes into detail about Anna and Elise's friendship as well as the jealousy of the others in the friendship group and how this would play into the overall plot.

The main things i liked about this was how gripping and fast paced it is, i couldnt put it down and felt that although it was YA it lived up to some of the other adult thrillers ive read such as Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. The writing wasnt overly descriptive which is one of my pet hates in YA and it was a good length (388 pages), it flowed really nicely but the ending seemed a little rushed and i would have liked more detail of what actually happened in the end, it was glossed over intentionally which i did not appreciate. From looking online this book isnt that well known which is surprising as it was extremely well written and deserves more popularity.

A few things i disliked, the ending. Without going into too much detail to avoid spoilers, id heard that there was a big twist, i waited in anticipation and not only did i not like it but it brought this book from a solid 4 star rating to a 3. Also a few of the characters are pointless page fillers, the friendship group was rather small but to only focus on 3 characters in a mystery thriller seems silly, surely if you want the reader to guess who killed her you would provide background and potential motive for each character which this really lacked.

I saw on Goodreads that there is a sequel to this and as much as i didnt like the ending, i really need a sequel to this! from what ive read it doesnt follow the same characters but the plots are similar with the possibility of a few linked characters from the first book? Im not sure as the synopsis is raher vague.

Overall this was utterly gripping and the time jumps worked really well, each section was interesting and really developed the overall story, there was times when i had to stop myself from glancing down the page to read it faster and find out what was going to happen,
although i didnt care for the twist i still really enjoyed this.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

#30 Night Film

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

This book is a mystery/psychological thriller set in New York that follows washed up investigative journalist Scott McGrath as he looks into the mysterious death of 24 year old Ashley Cordova. Ashley was the daughter of reclusive horror movie director Stanislas Cordova who has been off the grid since 1977. Scott has been in trouble in the past for writing slanderous stories about Stanislas and the dark and disturbing films he makes.These slanderous stories tainted Scotts reputation and he was no longer as highly regarded within the media profession.

When Ashleys death is ruled as a suicide Scott decides to look into it, not only because he deems it suspicious but because of his aberrant fascination with the Cordova family and the redemption he seeks after his career was ruined by them. Scott then begins an investigation in order to find out what happened to her. Scott teams up with Nora and Hopper and the three of them try to uncover who Stanislas is. Nora is a 19 year old aspiring actress who basically forces Scott into allowing her to be his side kick after promising him information on Ashley. Hopper is a drug addict/alcoholic with a difficult past whose intentions on finding out what happened to Ashley arent really discussed.

Scott was by and large a decent protagonist,his character was quite flawed yet realistic. Nora, i found to be really irritating but i think she was written this way purposely, she was a bit of a stereotype and didnt grow on me at all.

This book is just over 600 pages and is filled with news and web articles, police files along with clues that they find on the way. The visual aid really adds to the story and keeps the reader guessing. I think without these snippets i may have gotten a little bored and it is a little tedious in parts. 600 pages is a lot and the story remained gripping throughout. One of my favorite elements was the mystique surrounding Stanislas and the underground cult following he gained, that alone made for some interesting reading.

This book was marketed as a horror story and i really failed to see any element of horror incorporated, it was rather disappointing. The characters also lacked a little for me, i enjoyed the story surrounding the Cordova's but Nora and Hopper really bored me. There was many times where i found the dialogue when they were questioning people to be dull and unnecessary and it really dragged out the chapters.

The ending was a pleasant surprise, it was satisfying which you dont normally get with a thriller/mystery story. It wasnt rushed and flowed really well and seems to fit in well with the rest of the story.