Zoey’s Staff Picks for April

Here’s what I picked for this month, including short reviews:

Fringe fringe
created by J.J. Abrams, feat. Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, and John Noble

“Three unlikely colleagues – a beautiful young FBI agent, a brilliant scientist who’s spent the last 17 years in a mental institution, and the scientist’s sardonic son – investigate a series of bizarre deaths and disasters known as ‘the pattern.’ Someone is using our world as an experimental lab. And all clues lead to Massive Dynamic, a shadowy global corporation that may be more powerful than any nation.”

I tend to enjoy anything that J.J. Abrams had a hand in making, either writing, directing or producing. Lost is my all time favorite T.V. show, and a few friends of mine were shocked that I haven’t seen Fringe until this past year (the show debuted in 2008 and ended in 2013). I’m currently in the middle of a re-watch, and I couldn’t help but recommend it for one of my staff picks. To put simply, Fringe is a perfect blend between sci-fi and crime drama. There are times when it is unexpectedly funny, as well as unexpectedly moving. All-in-all the show is action packed and creatively creepy when it comes to the science involved. Not only is the plot well written, but the characters are dynamic in every way possible; no doubt this is due to the on-screen chemistry between Anna Torv (who plays Olivia Dunham) and Joshua Jackson (who plays Peter Bishop). If you enjoyed Lost or Heroes, definitely give Fringe a shot.

The Girl on the Train girl on the train
by Paula Hawkins, performed by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher

“A psychological thriller about a woman who becomes emotionally entangled in a murder investigation because of something she witnesses on her daily commute. After witnessing something shocking, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?”

I was recently stuck in a reading slump, where any book I picked up I couldn’t finish, or barely even start. This rarely happens, but the book that pulls me out of the slump usually winds up on my “favorites” shelf. The Girl on the Train just recently pulled me out of my latest slump, one that I was so desperately trying to get out of. I would say that The Girl on the Train is easily comparable to Gone Girlbut in all honesty it should stand alone, not compared. Although the novel does start off a little slow, it’s quick to gain momentum and Hawkins will have you guessing at every page turn. With a myriad of characters and an unreliable narrator, it is easy to feel as though you are a part of the mystery. What had me invested throughout the book was the intertwining relationships between all of the characters; Hawkins doesn’t introduce characters haphazardly; all of the characters are pivotal to the story in some way or another. There’s a brilliant, unexpected ending that I feel as though will leave most readers satisfied. As a side note: I found it ironic that I read a majority of this book while on a train. I found myself wanting to put down the book and do as the main character did. But, as I’ve said, the book was just too good to put down.

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