Sunday, 22 September 2013

Have I Got Some Recommendations for You!!

I have read some really absorbing books recently, books I could hardly put down and which kept me guessing till the last pages ...

Never Have I Ever: A Lying Game Novel by Sara Shepard 

This novel is the second in a series - I hadn't read the first: "The Lying Game" but no problem!  There are 2 central characters - twins - but one (Sutton) was murdered, so watches events from the sidelines, unable to influence the action but getting  flashbacks which enhance the story. The other twin (Emma) must pretend to be her dead sister, only her killer and Ethan - a bit of a loner - know the truth, and Emma's life is in danger if she doesn't fill her sister's shoes convincingly.

Sutton had a life of privilege, and she and her friends - frankly - abuse their positions of wealth and popularity by being 'bitches'.  They play an unpleasant game they call the 'lying game' - elaborate pranks and ritual humiliation for the town and their fellow pupils.  Emma is quite different from Sutton, having been brought up in foster homes most of her life; she studies rather than slacks and she treats people honestly and with respect - she begins to make Sutton seem a much nicer, more mature person.  Emma also seems to be falling in love - although with her sister's killer watching her every move this may not be the best idea!

Bloodstone by Nate Kenyon

This was a chilling novel which built its tension well - it was hard to tell (as a reader) who to trust.  

The setting was pivotal, a town that nobody ever seems to be able to leave, a concealed, dark watery place that has always seemed to draw bad happenings to it.

There are flashbacks to a journal written by one of the town's forefathers who embroiled himself in ancient witchcraft rituals and perhaps he even drew the bad energies to him.

No one in the town is safe from the danger when evil becomes personified, and the action is gruesome to say the least.  Nate's writing style reminded me of Dean Koontz.  Be warned - this book is a dark, disquieting read.

and I've watched some brilliant films ...

The Gangster Squad [Film]

This was a very stylish, film - there was edgy glamour with Emma Stone as the "Kingpin's" moll and there was a lot of bloodshed - brutal beatings, killings and  car chases.  Sean Penn is menacing, Ryan Gosling is the gangster with a soft heart.  The setting is LA in 1949 and the top secret police crew have their work cut out trying to stamp out vice in the city while breaking the stranglehold mob boss Sean Penn has around the citizens and their way of life.

Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters[Film]

Another bloodthirsty film, but this time it is fictional brother and sister Hansel & Gretel who show us what happened next with their lives after they escaped from the witch in the gingerbread house.  And it is not good news for witches everywhere!  They are vigilantes with weapons and tricks which have witches being beheaded and dismembered left right and centre.  A "scoop your brain out" action packed film.

About Time [Film]

A fabulous funny film - strongly british vibe which you will love if you enjoyed Four Weddings & a Funeral, Love Actually and/or Notting Hill.  

The main character is a teenage boy, intelligent but a little clumsy and awkward.  He has a wonderfully loving (eccentric) family, and the plot follows him falling in love and growing up - but he has a secret weapon, an ability to time travel so that he can 'do over' events to his own satisfaction (so much less frustrating than Groundhog Day).  You will probably laugh, you may even shed a tear, but I bet you'll be still thinking about it the day after you watch it!!

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