meg says read this, Read This, Uncategorized

Read This: The Woman In Cabin 10

Recently I read a mystery book that I had really been looking forward to. Unfortunately, I was totally let down when I finally got my hands on a copy. So, I was a bit apprehensive when I checked out Ruth Ware’s The Woman In Cabin 10 last week. Though really, I shouldn’t have been because when have Reese Witherspoon’s recommendations led me astray?
So, here we go. The Woman In Cabin 10. Read it, right now, if you haven’t already.

I read this in less than 24 hours. It’s a page turner, it’s exciting, Ware’s writing is great. This was exactly the type of mystery I was looking for. The story begins with Lo in her apartment in England, being awoken by her cat who keeps nudging her. Of course, she tried to sleep it off…until she heard a noise. (If you’re a restless sleeper because of everything that “goes bump in the night,” then this is probably your worst nightmare.) The noise wasn’t just the refrigerator or the air conditioner or some banal house sound, it was an intruder. The physical harm the intruder caused was minimal, but the psychological damage was much more than Lo lets on to her coworkers, boyfriend, neighbors, police, etc. Of course, who could blame her? It was a violation of her privacy, and she was trapped in her own home, and her cell phone was stolen. So! That was a bit of a jarring opener to Lo’s story. Amidst the whole, get all her credit cards sorted, and a new phone, calling locksmiths, and all the other unpleasantries that go along with being robbed – we find out that Lo was prepping for a big gig for her journalism job with a travel magazine that would hopefully open doors for her to climb up the industry ladder. With Lo’s boss in the hospital, she’s supposed to fill in as a guest – taking a cruise on a luxury liner, and reporting back all the details, and hopefully schmoozing some advertising deals with fellow passengers in the process. With Lo’s luck running a bit amuck lately, of course everything doesn’t go quite as planned. Ruth Ware writes intently. It’s easily to imagine Lo’s surroundings, how she’s dressed, whether the person she’s conversing with is a snobby jerk, etc. You’d think maybe with a story that opens with a burglary, that’s where the mystery would be…think again. Ten cabins on this ship, and not everyone is accounted for at the first dinner. Dun, dun, dun.

With recent thrillers like Gone Girl or The Girl On the Train maybe you’re wondering as a reader, is Lo a reliable narrator? Well, that’s up to you to read and find out.

Who’s the woman in cabin 10? Does Lo have reason to be suspicious of her fellow passengers? An ex-flame? Her boyfriend who’s off on a work trip (what’s their status anyway?)

I love that Ruth Ware doesn’t belittle the reader. I hate when we’re clonked over our heads with repeated facts, and the dots are connected so cleanly way before a story is wrapped up, as if not to give readers a chance to speculate their own theories – she does the opposite.

If you’re looking for a book you won’t be able to put down, something original that will keep you guessing, with a great plot and interesting characters – I say give this one a try! I enjoyed this one so much that I immediately texted two friends who’d read it so we could chat. Then of course, I recommended it to a lot of people, and of course had to post here. Now I’m thinking that I’ll need to read Ruth Ware’s other novels as well! Have you read The Woamn in Cabin 10? What did you think, did it meet your expectations? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

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Friday Five, meg says listen to this, meg says read this, meg says watch this

Meg Says: Friday Five

 

Switching it up a little on this Friday. Here are five things I found super exciting about this week, still all relating to my latest read this, listen to this, and watch this obsessions:

  1. Sarah Dessen’s Once and For All and Paula Hawkins Into the Water are both available for me to pick up at the library. I foresee some pool or beach side reading in my weekend plans (pending this rain storm passes, otherwise it’ll probably be snuggled up.)
  2. I re-watched About Alex for (I think) the third time, a few days ago and was reminded why I was obsessed with this film in the first place. If I ever made a movie, this is the tone, vibe, soundtrack feel, cast chemistry I’d be going for.
  3. This anthology video Maren Morris released:

  4. HOW HAVE I NOT MENTIONED IT HERE?! (But across various other social media platforms.) JOHN GREEN’s NEW BOOK! Set to release in October Turtles All the Way Down. Go ahead and pre-order your signed copy now. (Literally can’t wait!)
  5. Speaking of awesome things happening in October…Stranger Things SEASON TWO!

meg says watch this, Uncategorized

Meg Says Watch This: The OA

THE OA. I’m sure you’ve heard about it at this point, or at least seen some buzz on your Facebook news feed. Friday December 16th Netflix decided to be like “hey, Surprise! here’s a new original series.” They know their binge-watching audience. I actually didn’t see the trailer prior to starting the series. I did hear some comparisons to Stranger Things though, which I don’t think are very fair. Sure there’s a peculiar female character at the center of the series, who experiences nosebleeds, perhaps possesses some supernatural abilities, and has a twisted past – but I think the similarities stop there. Anyway, I watched it all that weekend because I couldn’t pull myself away.

The series opens with a young woman jumping off a bridge, surviving, and her parental guardians coming to pick her up from the hospital. Upon their arrival, we discover this Prairie was once blind, but now can see. You think that’s weird? Oh, just you wait. It gets crazier.

Sure I could go through and give you a play-by-play of each of the eight episodes, (varying in length,) but I think that would take out the fun of watching the show yourself. I guess the mind warp it sends you on, you might want to take the term “fun” lightly.

Everything I want to comment on this show, depends on how you interpret it as a viewer. The details throughout the series are just mind blowing. The mounting information that builds upon itself, (which is a lot to remember while you’re watching,) and the metaphorical meaning within scenes is just such an abundance of creativity – I can’t think of anything quite like it.

It’s a little bit sci-fi, a little bit mystery, a lot a bit confusing and interesting. As much as this show has you trying to “figure it out” I think it’s also a beautiful story weaving together a group of “misfits” finding a common thread, and the ability to support each other through their differences.

I’ll admit the first episode made me a bit uncomfortable, mostly because I was watching it alone and I had no idea what I should expect. (Plus, the violence in the dog scene and fight scene made me terribly anxious.) But then as the story began to unfurl I just couldn’t stop. I might’ve watched the series twice. The second watch just gave me more questions.
Anyway though, a fantastic series. The amount of work Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij put into creating this is just mind blowing to me. It was shot beautifully, the music is perfect, and I think the cast is incredible. They all portray their characters in such a believable way – I felt consistently sucked into the story; nothing deterred where I felt distracted from what was on the screen. The minute details from scene to scene are so enthralling, and if we get a second season I’d be curious to see if we’re reading into things or if the meaning really is all there. I don’t think anything was done by accident in this piece of work.

I almost felt guilty recommending it to friends because of the mind bender I knew I was sending them on, but at the same time it’s such an interesting art form I’d feel guilty not to share. I have so many questions, ideas, and theories but I don’t want to spoil anything. I made a Reddit account, so I could post on there instead of driving my friends crazy with my hypotheses.

If you haven’t watched it yet, and would like to see the trailer for yourself, BUT I think it’s more fun to dive in without any preconceived ideas.

 

meg says watch this

Meg Says Watch This: Stranger Things

Two words: STRANGER THINGS.

Netflix new original series brought to you by the twin brother duo Matt and Ross Duffer has such an amazing story packed into eight episodes. I’ll admit, I’m a scaredy cat – I’m annoying to watch thrillers with because I hide under blankets or peek through my hands, but for whatever reason syfy is a different story. I’m so fascinated by anything paranormal. I had an unhealthy teenage obsession with Roswell and conspiracy theories. The kids are so brilliantly cast in this show (well, all the characters) that I was hooked immediately. It’s set in the 80’s and everything about it was done right – the house decor, the muted outfits, the music, the old corded phones.

I don’t want to spoil any of the mystery of the show, so I’ll tell you this. A group of friends are playing a heated game of Dungeons and Dragons and it’s time to head home for the night. Three boys set out on their bikes, and only two end up making it home. The episodes cover the span of a week while Will is missing. But there is so much more to the story. (Isn’t there always?)

It’s a fantastically crafted piece of work with a beautiful nod to the likes of E.T. and the Goonies, but with it’s own unique appeal. I started it last week after a girlfriend recommended it, and now I can’t stop telling people to watch it. I personally didn’t find the show scary, just sufficiently suspenseful. But I like to think of it as an innocent suspense that plays on imagination.

I love that it’s 2016 and this is the kind of project that people are creating. The technology of our time is amazing, but it’s cool to see a little rewind.

(If you’ve already watched it: I was reading an interview with the Duffer bros from Variety the other day, and they said they have a 30 page document about Upside Down. Thirty pages! I just love the depth of the story here. ALSO, a Season Two has been confirmed!)

Read This

Turn the Page Tuesday, Read This: “We Were Liars”

E. Lockhart is one of my favorite authors. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is one of my favorite novels. Her characters are typically independent, witty, strong, smart, inspiring young women and their perspective on life and adventures is such a breath of fresh air. Being that I follow about a zillion YA authors on Twitter who were all buzzing about it, I was in the camp of complete anticipation to get my hands on a copy of her latest, We Were LiarsI was following the Tumblr (check it out for awesome quotes, photos, playlists and more) with all it’s bits and teasers, so I knew there was a certain mystique surrounding the story, and I didn’t want the suspense to be ruined before I could read it. I pre-ordered the book, and brought it with me to the beach one weekend, and I read it in a few beach sittings. It’s not my favorite Lockhart novel, but there’s still something…special about it. The curiosity sparked by the mystery was enough fuel for me to keep reading. Plus, the gorgeous description of the Sinclair cousins, and friends? Those beautiful words were enough to suck me in immediately. (Example: He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.) It’s funny because the characters are so articulately and artistically described in these acute details, but at the same time you don’t necessarily feel like you know their depth. At first this frustrated me as a reader, but later I came to think that it may have been more of a story-telling technique, intentional in its design. I don’t want to spoil the aura of surprise with this one, but I’ll say it’s a story with much more than meets the eye. Perhaps you pick it up and think it will be about a snotty rich family’s summers in the Vinyard, or first love, or teenage rebellion and careless days spent in the cloak of invincibility. Maybe it’s all of those things, but it’s more…there’s the flip side of love in loss, and there’s the struggle of navigating uncertainty in friendship and relationships, there’s the drama of coming to terms with the fact that our family members are humans with their own flaws and mistakes, and it’s about the moments that shape and define who we are and what we will become. Summer may be coming to an end, but there’s always time to pick up this book and jump right back in. Be prepared to get attached to these characters, and maybe for a little bit of shock and surprise. At one point, I felt like I’d been punched in the chest by surprise, and while that caught me off guard, I also wanted to applause the success of plot twists. Definitely a READ THIS! recommendation.

(via We Were Liars Tumblr)