Spring Book Haul


 

 

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix – “In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her? Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. For decades she’s been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realised someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece. But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and that no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife… they will never, ever give up.”
 
Force of Nature by Jane Harper – “Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side. The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises. Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with. Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.”
 
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix – “A heartwarming story of friendship and demonic possession. The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries—and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?”
 
Survive The Night by Riley Sager – “Charlie Jordan is being driven across the country by a serial killer. Maybe. Behind the wheel is Josh Baxter, a stranger Charlie met by the college ride share board, who also has a good reason for leaving university in the middle of term. On the road they share their stories, carefully avoiding the subject dominating the news – the Campus Killer, who’s tied up and stabbed three students in the span of a year, has just struck again. Travelling the lengthy journey between university and their final destination, Charlie begins to notice discrepancies in Josh’s story. As she begins to plan her escape from the man she is becoming certain is the killer, she starts to suspect that Josh knows exactly what she’s thinking. Meaning that she could very well end up as his next victim. A game of cat and mouse is about to play out. In order to win, Charlie must do only one thing… survive the night.”
 
The Divines by Ellie Eaton – “The girls of elite English boarding school, St. John the Divine, were notorious for flipping their hair, harassing teachers, chasing boys and chain-smoking cigarettes. They were fiercely loyal, sharp-tongued, and cutting in the way that only teenage girls can be. But for Josephine, now in her thirties, her time at St. John feels like a lifetime ago. She hasn’t spoken to another Divine in fifteen years, not since the day the school shut its doors in disgrace… But an impromptu visit reawakens blurry recollections of those doomed final weeks that rocked the community. With each memory that resurfaces, she circles closer to the ugly secret at the heart of the school’s scandal. But the more Josephine recalls, the further her life unravels, derailing not just her marriage and career, but her entire sense of self.”
 
In The Clearing by J.P. Pomare – “Amy has only ever known life in the Clearing. She knows what’s expected of her. She knows what to do to please her elders, and how to make sure the community remains happy and calm. That is, until a new young girl joins the group. She isn’t fitting in; she doesn’t want to stay. What happens next will turn life as Amy knows it on its head. Freya has gone to great lengths to feel like a ‘normal person’. In fact, if you saw her go about her day with her young son, you’d think she was an everyday mum. That is, until a young girl goes missing and someone from her past, someone she hasn’t seen for a very long time, arrives in town. As secrets of the past bubble up to the surface, this small town’s dark underbelly will be exposed and lives will be destroyed.”

July Wrap Up – Books

 

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – This was my work book club book for July, and I absolutely loved it. I have to admit it was a slow-moving book, and although it took me a while to properly get into it, the characters were richly developed and there was a bit of a twist in the story that kept me interested. This was beautifully written, and if you’ve got the time to invest in a heavy story I’d recommend picking it up.
 
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre – I saw this pop up on Goodreads and it was receiving some good reviews from friends so I thought I would pick it up. I have read and enjoyed some of A.R. Torre’s work before, and was keen to see whether I enjoyed this as much as I did her ‘The Girl in 6E’ series. I liked this because it was an easy read and a lot of fun, and I always enjoy the fact A.R. Torre is comfortable writing ‘unlikeable’ characters.

July Wrap Up – Movies


 

 

Atonement – I had forgotten how utterly breath-taking this film was, until re-watching it this month. I also found that knowing what the “twist” of the story was made this all the more beautiful to watch. Although having said that, I highly recommend watching this if you’ve never seen it, and go in blind because it really is magical to see the story play out the way it does.
 
Transformers – I don’t know why I was in the mood to re-watch this awful movie, but I was, and I loved every second of it. I think I’ll go ahead and watch the entire film series over the course of the next few months, just for some mindless entertainment.
 
Fear Street Part One 1994 – Okay, this Fear Street Trilogy made my July. What a fun idea, and an awesome lil set of films. This was a blast from the past in full 90s mode, and I loved it. I am really loving the revival of the old slasher genre, and having this tie in with a book series I read as a kid made it all the more fun for me.
 
The Sound of Music – This is one of those classic movies I re-watch every year or two, because it brings comforting nostalgia vibes. This was the perfect movie to watch on a sick day at home.
 
Book Club – If you’re in the mood for something cheesy but light-hearted and with a couple of genuine laughs, this is a great option. The cast in this movie was outstanding, and it was wonderful to watch a film with older women unapologetically living their lives to the full.
 
Fear Street Part Two 1978 – Why are horror movies set in the 70s always top tier? I really loved this continuation in the Fear Street Trilogy, and enjoyed it more than the first. It had everything I love in a slasher movie, which really is just that it was set at a stayaway camp. I can’t wait to watch part three.
 
Bo Burnham: Inside – I’ve heard so many songs from this comedy special be featured on Tik Tok that I felt like I really needed to watch the entire thing to see what all the fuss was about. This was a really interesting special, I didn’t know much about Bo Burnham going into it, but a lot of the songs are catchy and have stuck in my head ever since (Jeffrey… Jeffrey Bezos)
 
Fantasy Island – South Australia went into lock down in the second last week of the month, and I decided to try and make the most of a bad situation, but watching a movie a day throughout lockdown. This was the first movie I decided to watch, and although it was cheesy and mindless it was also… pretty terrible.
 
National Treasure – This was Sebastian’s pick for our second lockdown movie, because it’s one of his favourites and I was keen for some more mindless entertainment. This was a lot of fun from start to finish, I love the conspiracy theory element and Nicolas Cage was as terrible and amazing as always.
 
Knives Out – This was the best movie I’ve seen in a while, and might just end up being my favourite movie of 2021. It had an outstanding cast, was beautifully shot, and kept me guessing from start to finish. This felt like the return of a good old fashioned murder mystery, and I loved every second of it.

Nostalgic Book Haul (August)

 

Sweet Valley University #55 – The First Time“Finn thinks it’s time for Elizabeth to prove her feelings… but Sam knows it’s time she ditched Dr. Cool. Nina’s new guy is way more enticing than 9 a.m. calculus… but can she blow off class again? Neil’s falling in love… but Jessica thinks he’s making a big mistake. Chloe likes Theta’s zany pledge requirements… until she’s told to betray her best friend.”
 
Sweet Valley University Thriller Edition #10 – Channel X“When Nina Harper and Bryan Nelson see the sign, they think it’s too good to be true. All they have to do is watch television with electrodes strapped to their heads, some guy takes notes, and Nina and Bryan get paid. It’s a cinch. But nobody tells them about the side effects. Nobody tells them that every student who takes part in the experiment changes–really changes. At first the students’ behavior turns a little weird, then it gets disturbing. Before long it grows horribly, brutally violent. Nina seems safe from the side effects–for now. But will she be safe from the vicious attacks sweeping the campus… and from Bryan?”
 
Sweet Valley University Thriller Edition #10 – Face It“For three thousand miles, Jessica’s trapped in a car with Elizabeth and her boyfriend, Sam. A guy she totally can’t stand! Like this cross-country adventure will really bring them all closer. Drive them further apart is more like it. But Jessica does get close to someone in that car. And Elizabeth goes farther away than anyone ever imagined…”

August TBR

 

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay – “Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road. One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, “None of what’s going to happen is your fault”. Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: ‘Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.’”
 
Into The Water by Paula Hawkins – “In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool…”