Book Review: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

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The next heart-pounding thriller from New York Times bestselling author Riley Sager follows a young woman whose new job apartment sitting in one of New York’s oldest and most glamorous buildings may cost more than it pays.

Release Date: July 2, 2019

Pre-Order on Amazon

Price: $17.10 (hardcover)

Publisher: Dutton

Plot Summary:

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Grade: A

Review:

Soon after reading The Last Time I Lied, I picked up Final Girls (I still need to read it) and of course requested a copy of Lock Every Door the second it was available on NetGalley. Luckily, I managed to snag a copy. There’s something about Riley Sager that I just LOVE. He always manages to incorporate some horror aspect into his thriller novels. For example, with Lock Every Door, Jules is a recently laid-off worker, and finds work as a housesitter in the exclusive Bartholomew Building (in which she and her sister used to obsess about since their favorite book was set there), and for some reason the book gave me some serious Rosemary’s Baby vibes. Maybe because of the uber-rich, yet creepy neighbors, or the fact that it’s alluded that the building is cursed and witches may be involved. However, this being a Sager novel means that although it may give you horror vibes, it never ventures off into supernatural.

I found Jules to be very relatable, as I think we can all identify with her. She was a hard worker in college, received a degree thinking she could better her social standing, instead, she ends up working a crummy office job in which she gets laid off from, and in her desperation to find a new living situation (her loser boyfriend cheated on her), she falls for an ad on Craigslist that is looking for a housesitter. Now, if Jules economic situation hadn’t been so fire, she would’ve bailed at the first inkling of something being amiss at the Bartholomew, but since beggars can’t be chooser’s, she sticks it out even when us readers are yelling, GET THE FUCK OUT!

Some aspects of the story seem kind of over the top, but I feel like it works, or at least Sager has enough thriller cred to make it work. This book is perfect any of you who love mysteries, thrillers, or horror (cause even though it’s not horror it DOES have a lot of horror vibes running throughout).

I really enjoyed this book a lot and have a feeling that Sager will become one of my fave new authors.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Dutton for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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Review: Maybelline Snapscara in Pitch Black

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I haven’t done a beauty post in so long (and not because I’m lacking any new products, I have lots to share!) that I decided that it was long overdue for one. Since mascara is one of the beauty products that I absolutely LOVE, I wanted to share with you my latest find.

What It Is: Clump-free voluminizing mascara

What It Does: Creates volume in one sweep

Active Ingredients: Wax-Free Pigments

Verdict: I’ve always been satisfied with Maybelline mascaras and products in general, so I was really looking forward to trying out this new product cause from the ads it looked amazing and even the packaging was cuter than your usual drugstore buy. But that’s pretty much where the love stopped. And it stopped cold. The wand itself should be fool-proof to use, but I don’t know whether it’s small to larger bristles combo or the formula itself, but once you try to layer this mascara, it starts to get seriously clumpy like you’re dealing with a decade old product, rather than a brand new one, and for some reason it was also very messy (in my attempt to lengthen my lashes, it would also transfer colour over onto my lid whatever I’d wiggle the wand, which I’ve never had this problem with any other mascara before so I know that my application wasn’t to blame). And for those of you that might say, why layer if it creates a mess why can’t you go with only one layer? To put it bluntly, one layer doesn’t provide you with the lift and colour you need (or at least I want), so you’re better off sticking to any other trustier mascara, for this one is a total fluke in my book. Such a shame, because I do love the packaging. Sigh.

Price: $7.77

Where To Buy It: https://www.maybelline.com/eye-makeup/mascara/snapscara-washable-mascara/pitch-black

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My Bad Romance: The New Yorker

Thw Wonder Wheel, Coney Island, NYC 2002

It was a hot, Coney Island summer and we were headed towards the Wonder Wheel. Hands entwined as always, as I pulled off pieces of candy floss. The sugar melted in our mouths, sharing sticky kisses. We laughed feeling lucky for that moment. We had fallen in love in April, and although it was merely July (three months later) we felt like we had been together forever. We were inseparable. No one else mattered to us but each other. We lived on kisses and sugary sweets. We had no regard for day or night, we were always awake, always up to something.

“You know there’s an old gypsy tale that if you ride the Wonder Wheel with someone else, you’ll be together forever,” he said to me, his dark hair blowing into his eyes.

“Are you sure you wanna be stuck with me forever?” I joked.

But I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He was the one person I loved to talk to at any hour of the day, and even when we’d spend the day watching Asian horror movies and eating takeout I’d never get bored.

Like two enthusiastic kids, we got on the Wonder Wheel, feeling like we were on top of the world. Everyone below us was so tiny, and he kissed me at the top of the Ferris Wheel. I could’ve lived in the moment forever. I wanted to live in that moment forever. I wished the night would melt into my veins, and that I could swallow the stars.

“I love you,” he murmured. A phrase he’d tell me so often during the day, and no matter how many times he said it still managed to make me melt. I’d wake up with his uttering his love, and drifted to sleep with him declaring it one more time. I could feel his love embrace my whole being. My heart was full. It had never felt so full before.

And then one day catastrophe happened.

Because fate is unkind to lovers. Fate tore us apart, and ever since my heart has never felt full again. Like those people who can still feel their limbs after amputation, I too, feel this phantom love. Other times I’m just aching for the part of me that isn’t there because he had become so essential to my being.

I often think about that moment at the Wonder Wheel. A part of me hopes that the superstition is true. That fate can be bent and he’ll find his way back to me. Or that time can be rewound and I can find myself back on the top of the Ferris Wheel, our lips sticky with sugar, sharing kisses, sharing breaths, sharing dreams.

By: Azzurra Nox