I've been looking forward to reading Nightfall ever since it landed in my mailbox, along with all of the creeptastic paraphernalia you see pictured above. This book demands a certain type of reading experience. It's not the kind of story where you can read a few pages here and there because then you won't get the full effect. You can't read it while sitting on the bleachers at your kiddo's soccer practice. And you can't read it with all of the lights on, though you might be tempted once the eeriness really sets in.
At first, I tried reading while Supernatural was on in the background, but it's hard to ignore the Winchester brothers for very long. I thought it would add to the atmosphere of Nightfall, but it was distracting.
So, then I switched to the Supernatural soundtrack on Spotify, and that was actually working pretty well, until it just made me want to go back to watching Supernatural. :P What are you gonna do, am I right?
The next time I sat down to read, it started raining, the wind gusting hard against the windows, and the ominous weather lent itself perfectly to the weather turning colder in the story, knowing that the characters were about to embark on a journey with 14 years of night ahead of them.
And then the kids get left behind. And knowing what the Day inhabitants of the island have to do to prepare for Night, well...
Much of the book is terrifying.
And some of it is just flat-out surprising.
But on the whole, this story was completely engrossing and totally...
You can check out my full review below, and you can also check out a Top Ten Favorites List from the authors, as well as enter to win your own copy of Nightfall.
Author: Jake Halpern & Peter Kujawinski
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
The dark will bring your worst nightmares to light, in this gripping and eerie survival story, perfect for fans of James Dashner and Neil Gaiman.
On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long.
Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.
Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.
Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.
And it may already be too late.
As I mentioned, I was pretty excited to read Nightfall. I've long been a fan of horror and stories of things that go bump in the night, and Nightfall epitomizes the type of scary book that will keep me up all hours of the night reading. Even if it terrified me to do so at times.
Because it wasn't necessarily what was happening in the story that was always scary. Nightfall is just so atmospherically creepy. It was impossible not to put myself in the character's position, with Night falling fast, the chaos of preparing for the trip, and the cold, bleak winter that was upon them.
The creepy factor itself was upped a few degrees simply through fear of the unknown, not knowing what to expect from Night since none of the elders were talking. And then to get left behind? The fear of being left alone on the island -- with who knows what nightmarish creatures lurking in the forest -- was an almost palpable thing.
The characters were a little younger than I expected going into this book, but that makes their story no less interesting. I think the fact that they are only around fourteen and the fact that the focus is on their attempt to get to the boats -- and not necessarily on a romance -- made the horror of their predicament much easier to get invested in. The narrative is split between the three teens, and although it felt a little Marin-centric at times, I think I enjoyed Kana's perspective a bit more than the others.
If you're looking for a creepy read to add to your Fall/Halloween TBR, look no further. Nightfall is a very atmospheric read and is high on suspense. I'll likely need a re-read, since I sped through it the first time around, ready to see those kids make it. :)
GIF it to me straight:
About the authors:
Jake Halpern is an author, journalist, and radio producer. His first book, Braving Home (2003), was a main selection for the Book of the Month Club by Bill Bryson and was one of Library Journal's “Best Books of the Year.” His next book, Fame Junkies (2007), was the basis for an original series on NPR's All Things Considered and portions of the book were published in both the New Yorker and in Entertainment Weekly. Jake’s most recent nonfiction book, Bad Paper (FSG), was excerpted as the New York Times Magazine and it was chosen as an Amazon "Book of the Year." Jake’s debut work of fiction, a young adult trilogy, Dormia, has been hailed by the American Library Association's Booklist as a worthy heir to the Harry Potter series. In September of 2014, Jake signed a two book deal with Putnam / Penguin for two more young adult novels. As a journalist, Jake has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, GQ, Sports Illustrated, The New Republic, Slate, Smithsonian, Entertainment Weekly, Outside, New York Magazine, and other publications. In the realm of radio, Jake is a contributor to NPR's All Things Considered and This American Life. Jake's hour-long radio story, "Switched at Birth," is on This American Life's "short list" as one of its top eight shows of all time. One of Jake's stories is the basis for a new movie being produced by 20th Century Fox and Heyday Films (which made the Harry Potter movies). Last, but not least, Jake is a fellow of Morse College at Yale University, where he teaches a class on journalism. He recently returned from India where he was visiting as a Fulbright Scholar.
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