The Village (2004) Movie Review

Streaming on: Tubi TV

Length: 1 hour and 48 minutes

Genre: Thriller, Drama, Mystery

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Writer: M. Night Shyamalan

Stars: Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, and Joaquin Phoenix

A series of events tests the beliefs of a small isolated countryside village.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made me Do It (2021) Movie Review

Movie Description

Streaming on: HBO Max

Length: 1 hour and 51 minutes

Genre: Horror, Thriller, and Mystery

Director: Michael Chaves

Writers: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick(screenplay by), James Wan(story by), and Chad Hayes(based on characters created by)

Stars: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, and Ruairi O’Connor

The Warrens investigate a murder that may be linked to demonic possession.

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides Book Review

Author Information

Alex Michaelides was born and raised in Cyprus. He has an M.A. in English literature from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and an M.A. in screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. The Silent Patient was his first novel and was the biggest-selling debut in the world in 2019. It spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list and sold in a record-breaking forty-nine countries. Alex lives in London.

Book Description

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life. 

Review

Thank you to Celadon Books, Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for the advanced reader and advanced listening copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Thoughts and Themes: I rarely read mystery books and I haven’t read many since I was a teenager. I used to love this type of book so I’ve been trying to get into them again. I listened to this one on audiobook and I believe that I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had read the book.

I’m not a big fan of the way that the mystery unravels itself in the end of the book, I was really enjoying it until the last hour of listening. I found that this portion of the book sped up but it also was a little off to me. I found that the book kept speeding up while they were close to figuring things out only to slow back down with filler information. While I like twists and turns in the book, I would like the tension to remain in the story without it feeling like it was gone.

Something that I did enjoy about this book was the way that Greek Mythology was weaved into the murder mystery. While the beginning of this story was slow to start because it had to introduce the murder mystery and the Greek aspects, I found that the best part to read.

Characters: In this book you get to meet a few characters as they are interreacting with Mariana. I liked Mariana as a main character and found that she was easy to follow along with. I liked getting to learn a bit from her past and also see how that past informs the way she investigates this murder.

I also liked the short pieces that we get from the male perspective. I thought those pieces were just the right amount of creepy and the way they are written kind of deter you from figuring out who did it.

I wasn’t really invested in any of the characters throughout this book. I wanted to like Mariana but she was just the character we needed to tell the story to me. I did like Zoe though and really wanted to believe the best of her even as Mariana starts to doubt her. I like the relationship that Mariana has with Zoe and also the relationships we get to see that Mariana has with some of her patients.

Writing Style: This story is told in third person when it is about Mariana and then it switches to first person when it is the male perspective. I thought this was an interesting way to write this because it makes you feel like the male is our narrator for the rest of the story. I wondered if this was the case and someone was watching Mariana’s every move throughout the book. I really liked having the shift in point of view included because it throws you off and it also makes you question the reliability of our narrator.

I liked that the way this book is written makes you question who is believable. I was wondering the whole time if I should believe what Mariana thinks or what those around her are trying to tell her. I liked that Mariana is a therapist because that makes you think that she must be reliable. The way that the book sets up this story makes you believe that she is the only one who is reliable throughout this whole story. It really isn’t until the end of the book that you start to think about how reliable Mariana is.

Layover Book Review

Goodreads Summary: Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work. His life is a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, Joshua meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their flights, Morgan gets up to leave, leans over and passionately kisses Joshua, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.

As Morgan slips away, Joshua is left feeling confused by what just happened between them. That’s when he looks up and is shocked to see Morgan’s face flashing on a nearby TV screen. He’s even more shocked when he learns the reason why–Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets to discover the truth about why Morgan is on the run. But when he finally thinks every mystery is solved, another rears its head, and Joshua’s worst enemy may be his own assumptions about those around him…

Thoughts: This was another book that I followed along with the book while listening to on audio which I found was a great way to read this book. There were so many moving parts in this book that I found it great to pause the audio and re-read certain portions in the book.

Part One: In this section of the book you are introduced to all of the characters that are going to play a significant role in the search for this missing person. You get to meet Joshua, a guy in his mid twenties who typically keeps to himself and hates his life, Kimberly, a detective who is a single mother that works on missing people cases, and Morgan who has been claimed as a missing person. Joshua and Morgan meet at a random encounter at the airport and Joshua does something completely out of character and follows her onto her flight. It isn’t until later that he is concerned and obsesses over her case as he finds out that she has been reported as a missing person.

I like how the characters are introduced to you slowly and you get to see them interact with other people before they interact with each other. I like how you get to see Joshua interact with others and his thought process and how that differs drastically from the actions he takes with Morgan. I also really enjoy how you are hearing Morgan’s story through her interactions with Joshua and you can begin to guess why she has taken the actions that she has.

So far this book has just confused me and I am unsure of what is really going on. I am unsure if Morgan is a real person that Joshua is interacting with or if this is a figment of his imagination. Maybe Joshua creates Morgan so that his life is more interesting and everyone around him is just going along with him or ignoring his strange actions.

I really enjoy the parts that you learn more about Morgan and about why she is a missing person. I like the circumstances that lead to her actions and to her responses to Joshua. I think it is interesting to try and figure out what Joshua is thinking as he continues following the story of this woman.

Part two: In this section of the book another mystery is revealed and you start to find out that the mystery of Morgan being a missing person is a lot more complicated than you originally thought. This part makes the book really pick up and takes you through a roller coaster ride of feelings and thoughts.

I really enjoy the way things stack onto each other and how the mystery becomes more complicated before it gets anywhere near being solved. I love that you think that the book is almost done to only find out that you are just halfway through this book.

Part three: This portion of the book wraps up the story as everyone gets involved in the story of two missing people. I don’t want to put any spoilers so I won’t say how this ends. It does have a great closure and the story does come together quite well. I think they did a good job explaining the whole thing and I liked how characters explained their actions.

Overall: I like that the pace of this book is very slow and easy to follow along. The narrator was great to listen to and their voice was smooth and easy going. The way that characters were slowly introduced into the story was well done and smooth.

I like how each scene gets its own chapter and there is space to take each of these scenes in. I really enjoy how you can get through the chapters quickly and it makes you feel like you are reading this book quickly. I also like how it transitions smoothly between a chapter of Joshua and Morgan, Joshua on his own, and Kimberly.

I really like how the book goes back and forth between the story from Joshua’s perspective and Kimberly’s perspective. I like how you get to know not just their ties to the story of Morgan but also their lives beyond that. I really enjoy the moment that their two lives get wrapped up with each other because of the mystery. I liked how the two stories came together and the reasons why Kimberly was searching not just for Morgon but also for Joshua now.

You can get this book at Eso Won Books or look for it at your local library.

Bloodstream Book Review

Goodreads Summary: With her acclaimed novels Harvest and Life Support, Tess Gerritsen has injected a powerful dose of adrenaline into the medical thriller. Now, in a new blockbuster, Gerritsen melds page-turning suspense with chilling realism as a small-town doctor races to unravel the roots of a violent outbreak — before it destroys everything she loves.


Lapped by he gentle waters of Locust Lake, the small resort town of Tranquility, Maine, seems like the perfect spot for Dr. Claire Elliot to shelter her adolescent son, Noah, from the distractions of the big city and the lingering memory of his father’s death. But with the first snap of winter comes shocking news that puts her practise on the line: a teenage boy under her care has committed an appalling act of violence. And as Claire and all of Tranquility soon discover, it is just the start of a chain of lethal outbursts among the town’s teenagers.

As the rash of disturbing behavior grows, Claire uncovers a horrifying secret: this is not the first time it has happened. Twice a century,the children of Tranquility lash out with deadly violence. Claire suspects that there is a biological cause for the epidemic, and she fears that the placid Locust Lake may conceal an insidious danger. As she races to save Tranquility — and her son — from harm, Claire discovers an even greater threat: a shocking conspiracy to manipulate nature, and turn innocents to slaughter

Thoughts: I asked my sister for a audiobook recommendation and she said to try one from Tess Gerritson if I was a fan of medical things. I decided why not give it a try and I’m so happy I did.

This is one of those books that keeps you on your toes and if I was reading it in physical form I’d have to hide it in the closet. Unfortunately the thriller part of the book only kept me entertained for the first portion of the book.

There came a point as I was listening to this book that I no longer cared to solve the mystery. Even when the solution was revealed I didnt really care for it. It all made sense but it just was a bit boring for my taste. I didnt care for the repetitiveness of some things that occurred. While I am glad to have read this book it just didn’t really meet my expectations.

I recommend this to those of you who enjoy market paperbacks and thrillers. You can get this at a Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.

Remarkables Book Review

Thank You to HarperCollins for the advanced copy of the book in exchange for my review.

Summary: Marin wanders into the woods one day and spots some teenagers in the house there. Just as quick as they were there they vanish and she’s left wondering where they went. That’s when Marin meets Charley and finds that he can see these teenagers too. Why are they the only ones who can see them? What is the story of these teenagers?

Thoughts: I love all young adult books and because middle grade does fall under that category I decided to read this one. It did not disappoint me at all, I found myself laughing, crying, and emotionally moved by the characters and story in this book.

The relationship that Marin has with her parents is nicely contrasted with the relationship that Charley has with his own family. I like how his relationship with his family reminds Marin of how she feels about her friends and how Charley says something along the lines of Marin not knowing what its like to care about people regardless of all the bad things they’ve done. That sentence wraps up Charley’s feelings about his life really well and it was a moment I had to pause at.

I really enjoyed the twists that happened throughout the book and the lesson that was ultimately learned at the end because of these twists. I think it was a great lesson for Marin and Charley as well as for you as the reader to learn. It’s a great thing for middle graders to learn but it’s also something adults can benefit from as well.

I recommend this to those of you with children who are middle aged readers as well as those of you who enjoy YA books about family, friendship, and the past/future.

You can purchase this at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.

The Woman in Cabin 10 Book Review

The Woman in Cabin 10

This was the library’s book club pick for the month of May and I was so excited to finally have a chance to read this. I don’t really read adult fiction because I find the plot lines too dense for me to follow. Honestly, adult fiction scares me because I can’t decipher what I’m supposed to get from the book without discussing it with others. This is the main reason I only read adult fiction when it’s a book club pick.

The Woman in Cabin 10 tells the story about a journalist, Lo Blacklock, who has recently been given an assignment on a luxary cruise. Before going on this assignment, Blacklock, has her home broken into and her sense of security is damaged. When Blacklock first arrives on this cruise things seem perfect and smooth until one day she is certain that she has seen a woman being thrown off the ship. The only problem though is that all the passengers and the crew are all accounted for so did someone actually get thrown overboard or is everything Blacklock’s imagination.

This book starts off very slowly and halfway through I still didn’t have any idea as to what was happening. Now normally this would throw me off and I wouldn’t want to continue reading because my opinion of the book would be ruined but it was different in this case. I think since this book already told me there was a mystery aspect to it and it wasn’t an obvious case I wanted to keep reading. You’ll find yourself guessing along with Blacklock as to what occurred that day and then second guessing yourself as to if the events are real or not.

I actually loved the pacing in this book because it uses more than half the book to build up suspense. I love that we get time to actually meet the main character along with the others who are on the cruise with her. Because you get to know everyone on the ship you can guess who it is and there is more of a shock when things start to get revealed.

Psychological Thrillers are a genre that I haven’t read in quite a long time, not because I don’t enjoy them but because I don’t venture into adult fiction often. When it comes to movies, psychological thrillers are one of my favorites because it makes you think and actually pay attention to what is going on. Maybe that’s why I worry about reading them, I’m always worried that I’ll forget the plot of a book if I don’t get through it quick enough but this book was such a good read once things started unraveling that I couldn’t put it down.

I recommend this to anyone who is a fan of thriller, mystery slightly horror books. I find that if you are looking for something to kind of scare you and keep you up at night, this book is perfect. This book made me slightly curious about the movie coming out in the future but not so sure if I want to ruin this book by watching the movie.

About the Book: Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong

About the Author: Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.

About the book and about the author are borrowed from Goodreads.

If you would like to read this book you can find it at
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019DKO5BM/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 or look for it at your local library.