Tag Archives: thriller

Dolly by Susan Hill

Dolly by Susan Hill

Set in the dank dark landscape of the English fens, orphan Edward Cayley is sent to spend the summer with his Aunt Kestrel, whom he has never met. With him is his spoilt and spiteful cousin Leonora, also visiting for the summer. After Leonora’s birthday wish for a beautiful Indian doll is not fulfilled, the furious rage she unleashes unsettles Edward and haunts him for many years to come. Years later when Edward and Leonora are the only surviving members of the family, he returns to the the fens, and discovers the frightening consequences of Leonora’s actions, which are inescapable…

‘In the distance he heard the sound of paper rustling and the muffled crying of Dolly, buried beneath the earth.’

The problem with reading ghost stories by Susan Hill, is that her fans expect it to be as good (if not better) than The Woman in Black. While I will say this one isn’t quite as frightening, I also don’t think they’re particularly comparable. Dolly is quite a short story, only 153 pages long, but it feels a lot shorter. The majority of the book is leading up to the terrifying consequences of Leonora’s actions, which means that 80% of the story is spent on the edge of your seat waiting…

‘The grasses whisper, the wind moves among the gravestones. And somewhere just about here, by the low wall, another sound, not like the grass but like paper rustling. But there is no paper.’

What I liked the most, were her brilliant descriptions of the English fens, and the old gothic decaying house. Her writing style is such that you could read any of her books and be happy just reading her atmospheric writing, even if the story isn’t perfect. I would however highly recommend Dolly – it is a short but intriguing ghost story, great for reading in front of the fire on a winter’s evening. Just don’t expect it to be the next Woman in Black.

Love From,

Original Book Girl

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Gone by Michael Grant

Gone by Michael Grant

‘One minute the teacher was talking about Civil War.
And the next minute he was gone. 
There.
Gone.’

Suddenly all the adults and children over the age of 15 have disappeared; there one minute, gone the next, just vanished into thin air. Sam, Astrid and Quinn must try to work out how to survive in a world turned into chaos. Cut off completely from the outside world by a giant barrier, they’re trapped, and a new order is rising. Some of the survivors have power, a mutant power…

I LOVED this book. Yes, I needed to use capital letters to express my strong feelings. I’d been putting off reading the Gone series for quite a while, mainly because of all the comparisons to The Hunger Games. I felt the need to take a leisurely break from the world of dystopia (more reviews coming up about what I read in-between).
After reading Gone, I didn’t actually feel it was remotely similar to The Hunger Games – other than the idea of a dystopian future – and frankly, it deserves to stand on its own as a brilliant novel rather than riding on the back of all the HG success.

I really like Michael Grant’s writing style; there is no singular viewpoint, while there are a number of clear ‘main’ characters, there are in fact so many characters, that you become far more emotionally attached to them as a group. 

It’s so fast-paced and action packed that it felt like watching a film or a tv series, and would in fact, be an instant hit if made into one (should it stay loyal to the novels). The twists and turns, the mix of sci-fi with dystopia, well, it just makes for a highly entertaining and gripping story. I can say with great pleasure that I will be going out to buy the following four novels (Hunger, Lies, Plague and Fear), and continue to read them until the end of the series. In a way I’m glad I waited so long to read them; now I can take my time enjoying them while everyone else waits on the edge of their seat for the sixth (and final) book ‘Light’ to be released!

We’re sitting in the dark willing to sell our souls for another peppermint with enough uranium to give a terrorist a wet dream.’

If you like thrilling, gripping novels, or have a taste for the dystopian or exciting sci-fi, you will relish the Gone series. 

Contains a fair amount of violence and cruelty, so more suitable for age 14+

Love From,

Original Book Girl

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Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

‘I’m a sliver-thin light, diamond sharp, that can slip through gaps in the world we know. I will come into your dreams and speak soft words when you think of me. There is no happy ever after – but there is an afterwards.
This isn’t our ending.’

After a local school is set alight, Grace races in to try to save her daughter Jenny from the fire. The story begins while they are in critical condition in the hospital. Even though she is unconscious, Grace decides she must find the arsonist in order to protect her children.

I really wanted to love this novel. I adored her first book Sister, and had heard that they were quite similar in style.

The problem is, this style didn’t work for me with this particular story. Rosamund packs a lot of emotion into her writing, and you really do feel for her characters. For me, the problem was that I didn’t find the concept believable. A mother and daughter are unconscious in the hospital, and the entire novel is narrated while they are having out-of-body experiences. This time, instead of the emotional language and stubborn main characters making me relate, I became bored. I can honestly say I only finished this book because I made myself. The emotion felt forced and over the top, and I found myself shudder at the mother’s obsessive nature.

Having said all that, I think Rosamund is a wonderful writer, and if the story had been one that felt realistic to me, I’m sure the language would have had an entirely different effect (as it did when I read Sister). I look forward to the next book she brings out, and hope that I like it as much as I did her first novel.

Love From,

Original Book Girl

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Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

‘Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you – sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.’

Imagine that love is a disease, and it must be cured by all costs. The disease turns you crazy, you can expect a rapid heartbeat, a flurry of overwhelming emotions, the inability to think rationally, and often the patient would rather die than be healed of this terrible ailment.

I thought the concept was very imaginative; using love as the main problem in society brings a slightly new twist to what is becoming a fairly common dystopian scenario – there’s a government trying to control the population by taking away individuality. Well, we’ve seen this many times before, and in many new YA dystopian novels, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying Delirium. I wasn’t quite as gripped as I was with something like The Hunger Games or Divergent for example, but I do like Lauren Oliver’s writing, and I was a fan of her previous book Before I Fall.
I will be reading Pandemonium (the second in this trilogy) when I get the chance, although I think these constant YA trilogies will very soon wear me out!

If dystopian futures are your bag, then you may want to give Delirium a try.

Love From,

Original Book Girl

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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

‘He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.’

This is the first Cormac McCarthy book I have read, and I was far from disappointed.

Set in a post-apocalyptic future, a man and his son on the brink of starvation journey along the road hoping to survive. The earth has fallen apart, vegetation is gone and it snows ash all around them. Those left alive must either run and hide, or fight each other, some even turning to cannibalism.

It is a bleak, bleak tale, but captivating nonetheless. I have yet to read another book with such depth and such simplicity all at the same time. The focus is on the unnamed man and boy, and their relationship – the lengths a man will go to, to protect his son. It isn’t your typical heroic-survival-in-a-desolate-world, but more the real end of the world, almost the end of humanity altogether. The style of his writing mimics their journey to such an extent, that you feel as if you are right there with them, watching it unfold before your very eyes. His words are wonderfully poetic.

Heartbreaking and incredibly powerful, this is one novel that you really must read. A sad story, but not without the most important ingredient; hope.

Love From,

Original Book Girl

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Sister by Rosamund Lupton

Sister by Rosamund Lupton

‘When I saw your strand of hair I knew that grief is love turned into an eternal missing.’

Beatrice lives in New York, and her sister Tess lives in London. When Tess goes missing, Beatrice jets over to the UK to help the search to find her missing sister.
Slowly Beatrice begins to find out more and more about her sister’s life, discovering secrets that she kept hidden from her family. Refusing to believe the conclusions that the police are coming to, Beatrice continues her own investigation of Tess’ disappearance and unearths some terrifying truths.

The style of this book is similar to that of SJ Watson’s Before I go to Sleep. I was surprised to discover that Sister is actually shelved under Fiction rather than Crime; it is a psychological thriller full of suspense with numerous clever twists and turns leading to a shocking conclusion.

It is Rosamund Lupton’s first novel, but surprisingly I much preferred it to her second novel Afterwards. Sister is far more compelling and relatable, and I found myself racing through the pages. Her writing is packed with emotion, and she goes above and beyond to show the bonds between the characters she creates. I loved the determination and defiance in Beatrice; so lifelike, so believable, so very human.

Love From,

Original Book Girl

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Before I go to Sleep by SJ Watson

Before I go to Sleep by SJ Watson

‘I cannot imagine how I will cope when I discover that my life is behind me, has already happened, and I have nothing to show for it. No treasure house of collection, no wealth of experience, no accumulated wisdom to pass on. What are we, if not an accumulation of our memories?’

Christine wakes up every morning with no recollection of where she is or how she got there. She believes herself to be in her twenties but when she looks in the mirror, she sees a woman in her forties staring back at her. She lives with a man, apparently her husband, although she has no recollection of him either. Every night when she goes to sleep, her memory resets all over again.

From the moment I started reading this book, I absolutely could not put it down. I finished it in a matter of hours, and what an exhilarating read it was too. A psychological thriller at it’s best, to say I’m impressed with SJ Watson’s debut novel would be an understatement. The twists and turns were brilliant, and despite the fact that for the majority of the novel not a lot happens, I found it incredibly fast-paced and raced through the chapters. The fact that Christine, as the narrator, has no idea what is going on or who to trust, makes her a completely unreliable narrator; my favourite kind! This means the reader is equally confused, so the surprises are all the more shocking.

I would recommend this to everyone, it’s such a great read, and definitely lives up to the hype.

Love From,

Original Book Girl

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