Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

10112885Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Released: 20th August 2013
Published by: Random House
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Source: Library
Pages: 602
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Goodreads | Bookworld | Book Depository
Everybody has a Cordova story. Cult horror director Stanislas Cordova hasn't been seen in public since 1977. To his fans he is an engima. To journalist Scott McGrath he is the enemy. To Ashley he was a father. On a damp October night the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Her suicide appears to be the latest tragedy to hit a severely cursed dynasty. For McGrath, another death connected to the legendary director seems more than a coincidence. Driven by revenge, curiosity and a need for the truth, he finds himself pulled into a hypnotic, disorientating world, where almost everyone seems afraid. The last time McGrath got close to exposing Cordova, he lost his marriage and his career. This time he could lose his grip on reality.


The space around Cordova distorts...the speed of light slackens, information gets scrambled, rational minds grow illogical, hysterical. 

Night Film is a novel which inexplicably draws you in to a thrilling mystery riddled with the unknown, following a path that is as uncertain as the activities of the enigmatic Cordova himself. The story follows Scott McGrath, a reporter once again enthralled by this urban legend in his quest to find out what really happened to Ashley, and his two new younger comrades Nora and Hopper who each have their own secrets to hide. What makes this book a memorable one, is not just its hefty size - it's the unputdownable quality that draws you further and further towards the dark epicentre of Cordova's mysterious paradox. I ended up questioning what was real and what wasn't just as much as the characters did, and that is one sign of some masterful storytelling indeed.

The suspected but unseen threat, fueled by the imagination, was punishing and all-powerful. It'd devastate before you even left your room, your bed, before you even opened your eyes and took a breath. 

This book is so wonderfully crafted - especially with all the different textual forms interwoven throughout. It makes the whole situation seem so much more eerie when it appears to be so plausible. News articles, creepy websites and even reports from a mental institution all bring an aura of logic to this otherwise irrational epoch. Although yes, there are some parts which flow a little slower than others when it comes to Scott's personal life and the backgrounds of Hopper and Nora, there is an undeniable sense of urgency and palpable tension as the darker side of Ashley's life was revealed. Amidst the puzzle of her death is a glimpse at the supernatural. The whole book is like a storm brewing, where at first the clouds roll in before a fog falls over the whole investigation, until the climax where the wind, rain and lightning bring some epiphany, though only to leave more destruction in its wake.

The mysterious threshold between reality and make-believe...Because every one of us has out box, a dark chamber stowing the thing that lanced out heart. It contains what you do everything for, strive for, wound everything around you. And if it were opened, would anything be set free? No. For the impenetrable prison with the impossible lock is your own head. 

This is a book where you really don't know what is going to happen next, or what you'll read yourself into. Even the most mundane of events end up holding some significance, and comes a point where the line between reality and the surreal is blurred. Each page brings its own set of questions, perhaps even a red herring here and there. Each person that Scott interviews who was involved with Cordova and Ashley's death gives information, but what can one really believe? Where is the truth? My one tiny flaw with this book was the ending. Yes, it is only fitting that its nature would coincide with the very style of the book, but you can't help but feel frustrated that after coming so far and the end is so near, it appears just out of reach. However, make of it what you will - I think there may be a few theories brewing there if you ask other people who have read this book.


Night Film is definitely one of the best and most unique thrillers I've read this year. I am so glad that I picked it up and got to experience a novel that is so engrossing, so murky and yet with some striking moments of clarity. 

Book Swap Opportunity!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Yes, yes it is - but why not be spontaneous once in a while?

I've been looking at my shelves alongside my TBR pile and figured out that it would be nice to swap the 'old with the new' per se. Pretty much all of the books pictured are in mint condition, otherwise they have only been read once - and I take good care of my books! So from this thinking I was wondering if any other Australian readers would be interested in swapping some books with me? 

In terms of postage, an idea of Australia Post pricing is as follows:

Standard satchel (up to 500g) - $8.25
Medium satchel (up to 3kg) - $13.40
Large satchel (up to 5kg) - $17.10

And hey - if there's some extra room in the satchel I may just through in an extra mystery book as well :)


  • The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
  • Shiver the Whole Night Through by Darragh McManus
  • The Vanishing Moment by Margaret Wild
  • What If by Rebecca Donovan
  • Hush by Donna Jo Napoli
  • There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake
  • The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
  • The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen
  • Love Bomb by Jenny McLachlan
  • Veronica Mars #1 Mr Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
  • Veronica Mars #2 The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
  • The Door That Led to Where by Sally Gardner


  • The Ratcather's Daughter by Pamela Rushby
  • After Moonrise by P.C. Cast
  • Jumping Fences by Karen Wood
  • Love Match by Monica Seles
  • Dangerous by Shannon Hale
  • Writing Clementine by Kate Gordon
  • Take Back the Skies (ARC) by Lucy Sazon
  • The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu - TAKEN
  • Life In Outer Space by Melissa Kiel
  • Cherry Money Baby by John M. Cusick
  • Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant
  • The Drowning Girl by Margaret Leroy
  • Dreaming of Zhou Gong by Traci Harding
  • The Hunt for Pierre Jnr by David M Henley


  • No Place by Todd Strasser - HARDCOVER
  • Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
  • Unwanted by Amanda Holohan
  • The Dogs by Allan Stratton
  • The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
  • Havoc by Jane Higgins
  • The Beloved by Alison Rattle
  • Before the Fire by Sarah Butler
  • Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney
  • A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell
  • The Flywheel by Erin Gough
  • Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst
  • Hope In A Bellet Shoe by Michaela and Elaine DePrince


  • Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron
  • The Cinderella Moment by Jennifer Kloester
  • Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • Rain Dance by Karen Wood
  • Love is the New Black by Chrissie Kieghery
  • Dissonance by Erika O'Rourke - TAKEN
  • The One and Only Jack Chant by Rosie Borella
  • Alexander Altmann A10567
  • What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
  • Tandem by Anna Jarzab
  • Why We Took The Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf
  • As Stars Fall by Christie Niemann
  • Are You Seeing Me by Darren Groth
  • Waterfall by Lauren Kate


Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Soulprint by Megan Miranda
Beautiful Disaster/Walking Disaster by Jamie Murphy
A Beautiful Wedding by Jamie Murphy - HARDCOVER
Havoc by Jane Higgins
Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle 
Atlantia by Ally Condie 
The 100 by Paige Morgan
All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher - HARDCOVER
I Was Here by Gayle Forman (ARC)
Hush by Donna Jo Napoli

What I'm looking for:

Preferred Genres (YA or possibility adult)

Dystopian/Science fiction
Historical fiction

Will not accept

Erotica or anything with explicit sexual content

(You can also check out my goodreads shelves here to check out what I like/have on my wishlist, or just general TBR)

If you're interested in swapping some books, take in consideration the following:

  • Open to Australian residents only
  • Send me an email to genie_inabook(at)msn(dot)com with 'Book Swap Interest (#)' with the number of books you are interested in as the subject header
  • Include what books you would like, and a list of books you would be willing to trade for (you can pick books from different piles - I just separated them so you could see the books in the photos better)
  • If you don't have books I would like to swap with, at my discretion it may be possible that you could still have some if you pay postage 
  • Indicate honestly what condition the books are in
  • I will update this post to illustrate what books are taken - first in, first served!
  • I reserve the right to reject requests I am not interested in
  • I am not responsible for books lost in the mail
  • Check back in while this is still open - I may add more books to the list!
  • Expressions of Interest close on 31st May 2015

Genie's Weekly News (30)

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Hi everyone and welcome to my weekly blog feature to recap the week with bookish news and what to expect coming up! So without further ado...

*Reading Right Now*


I'm really liking this one so far!

*Previous Posts*

*Recommendation of the Week*


This was a pretty hefty book in size, but definitely worth reading. I love all the different textual forms interwoven within the story itself and how captivating it all is. The only thing I wasn't 100% sure about was the coming next week.

*From The Interwebs*


Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy!

This is one of those book set in a really short period of time, which will be interesting to read.

*Other News*

  • The 100 year Anzac Day anniversary was on the 25th which is a big event to once again acknowledge the sacrifice Australian and New Zealand soldiers made at Gallipoli so many years ago. We will remember them, lest we forget.
  • School is back on which means as you can tell by the lack of blog activity here. The good news is I'm happy with my results from that big exam blog last term, but now it's well and truly back to work. I'm trying to cut down on my review pile slowly though, so hopefully there'll be more of those around here, and some discussions too.
  • My TeenCon2015 tickets finally came in the mail, it's now less than a month to go and I'm excited!
  • To celebrate 500 ratings on goodreads, author Rachael Craw has a giveaway for 5 #Spark prixe packs!

How has your week been?

Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favourite Authors

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by bloggers at The Broke and the BookishThis week I picked my top ten all-time favourite authors! (Oh how do I choose?)

1. Jackie French


Probably an obvious pick for me, but Jackie French's novels will always be close to my heart - plus, she's lovely in person too.

2. Jessica L. Brooks


I met Jessica through Goodreads a couple of years ago and she is honestly one of the absolute nicest authors I know! I love her magical-realism 'Flora' series and 'Cozenage' dystopian series which are both still going.

3. Rachael Craw


I am so glad to have come across Rachael Craw's book Spark last year! It's quickly become one of my favourites, and she as an author definitely has a spark of her own.

4. Ginger Scott


Ginger Scott is one of the best contemporary writer's I've read books from - she gets it so right, and all her stories are so realistic.

5. Kate Forsyth


I have LOVED both of Kate Forsyth's novels that I've read, and can't wait to see what she writes next.

6. Lara Morgan

The Rosie Black Chronicles was my first proper foray into the realm of YA, and it's still the most memorable YA sci-fi series I've read.


7. Megan Abbott

Megan Abbott


Megan Abbott's novels always have that thrilling allure, with an atmospheric writing style that can't help but draw you in to her fascinating plotlines. I really hope she has another release this year!

8. Rebecca James


Rebecca James has consistently impressed me with her psychological thriller's - they always have that 'unputdownable' quality. 

9. Jane Austen


Because the classics need to be appreciated too - and I honestly love Austen's subtle wit and satire in her novels. I really need to find the time to read more of her work!

10. Charlotte Bronte


I absolutely adore Jane Eyre, so Charlotte Bronte had to make this list!

What are some of your all-time favourite authors? Is it hard to trim it down to just ten?