Category: Popular Fiction

Victoria Pedretti in 'The Haunting of Hill House'

‘The Haunting of Hill House’s Victoria Pedretti Returns for Another ‘Haunting’

Victoria Pedretti, who made her first major on-screen role in Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House will return for a second season titled The Haunting of Bly Manor.

Netflix is continuing their anthology series, which kicked off with a bang with The Haunting of Hill House, which adapted Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name. The second season, The Haunting of Bly Manor, will take on Henry James’ novel, The Turn of the Screw. The novel features the story of a governess, who is coming to care for two children, but it turns out that some supernatural forces have a hold over them.


'The Haunting of Hill House' Promo Image
Image Via shemazing

Pedretti, after starring as Nell Crain, has been quite busy with fabulous roles. She will be playing a role in Quentin Tarantino’s next film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and another Netflix series, You.

She is currently being represented by Gersh and Management 360.

featured image via collider

First Official Look at Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’

If you’ve been counting down the days to Christmas not for Santa but for the latest Little Women adaptation, Vanity Fair has brought it to you early! Who said you can’t have a piece of Christmas joy in June, anyway? With exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes shoots, you can get your first look at Greta Gerwig’s Little Women.


Since Ladybird took everyone by storm with stars Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet, everyone has been asking what Gerwig would do to follow up that masterpiece. Well, she is once again taking Ronan and Chalamet on her journey into Louisa May Alcott’s 19th Century novel, Little Women as Jo and Laurie. Joining them are Emma Watson (Meg), Meryl Streep (Aunt Josephine), Laura Dern (Marmee), Eliza Scanlan (Beth), and Florence Pugh (Amy).


Cast of 'Little Women' Watson, Ronan, Scanlan, Pugh, Chalamet

image via le bleu du miroir

If you’re rolling your eyes and asking yourself if we need another 19th century take on the world, don’t fret. Gerwig, though keeping the adaption true to Alcott’s work, will be adding in modern twists. According to IndieWire, Gerwig is committed to shooting scenes in Massachusetts, not far from where the Alcott family lived, including scenes at the schoolhouse where her father taught.


Saoirse and Timothée as Jo and Laurie

image via slash film

One major aspect that Gerwig is diving into is the relationship between Jo, a girl with a traditional boy’s name, and Laurie, a boy with a traditional girl’s name. According to Gerwig, “In some ways the two are each other’s twin.” To heighten that relationship, she worked closely with the costume’s department. Throughout the film the two will swap pieces of clothing or accessories. Gerwig explains:

They find each other before they’ve committed to a gender. It wouldn’t be wrong to call Saoirse handsome and Timothée beautiful. Both have a slightly androgynous quality that makes them perfect for these characters.

Seeing how Gerwig plans to approach this relationship, it makes me excited to think of all the other themes she will be modernizing in the film. If you’ve seen Ladybird, you know Gerwig has an eye for detail, an amazing one at that. Christmas can’t come soon enough.

featured image via abc news
Cover image of 'Speak'

Hachette Children’s Group Snags Rights to ‘Speak’ Graphic Novel

When Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson was published in 1999, it immediately spoke to thousands of teenage girls. Finally, something was capturing an all too common threat across high schools and colleges: sexual assault. The powerful story that has sparked conversations across high schools is now getting a powerful reboot in graphic novel form thanks to Hachette Children’s Group.

Kate Agar has acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights to Speak: The Graphic Novel from Macmillan, who published the work with illustrations by Emily Carroll, in the United States earlier this year. The story that took high schools and colleges by storm only stands to be more powerful in graphic novel form. The book is set to release in August 2019 along with a new edition of the classic novel, which Hachette Children’s Group also published since the 1999 release.


'Speak: The Graphic Novel' cover image
Image Via Bookish

After being attacked at a party just before starting high school, Melinda accidentally busts the party by calling the police. No one at the party knows why she called the police, and she immediately becomes an object of public scorn. Her best friends turn on her, leaving her alone to deal with the fallout. Through out the story, Melinda doesn’t speak. She can’t articulate to anyone why she called the police, and even when she does make new friends they also turn on her.

Because of Melinda’s inability to speak up, the story is extremely powerful. It isn’t about survivors or victims refusing to tell their stories, it is about no one being there to listen. What’s powerful about this story in graphic novel form is that there is no descriptive text to surround the dialogue. Melinda’s silence becomes harder to ignore as a reader, adding a level of depth to an already heartbreaking story.

In an interview with The Bookseller, Agar explained why it was so important for them to acquire the graphic novel:

As soon as I saw Emily Carroll’s masterful adaptation, I knew that we had to have this graphic novel edition sitting alongside Laurie Halse Anderson’s classic on our list. Sadly, the story at the heart of Speak remains as relevant and pertinent as it was 20 years ago, and the graphic novelisation is an amazing format in which to tell it.

Anderson has agreed with Agar, stating that she is glad it will be Hachette to publish the graphic novel. She adds that Speak can help communities, schools, and people in general learn how to deal with these situations and speak up!


Laurie Halse Anderson and 'Shout' Cover Image

image via whyy

Also published this year, was Laurie Halse Anderson’s book of poetry, Shout. In response to nothing changing among the way we handle survivors’ stories in the media, especially with allegations towards those in high seated positions, Anderson once again picked up the pen to express her rage.

featured image via the mary sue
'Recursion' by Blake Crouch

Netflix Planned to Adapt ‘Recursion’ Universe Before the Book Was Even Published

Probably because it’s the heart-palpitating summer read you’ve (or at least I’ve) been waiting for.


I wrote an article earlier this year about how Netflix was adapting Blake Crouch’s yet-to-be-released novel Recursion; my only familiarity with Blake Crouch at that time was his Wayward Pines Trilogy and his novel, Dark Matter—the cake-hole blowing, mind-bender about a man desperately navigating the multiverse in order to return home to his family. If that article was to have matured, wrinkled and become the middle-aged version of its relatively naïve self, it would be this article. A not-so-book-review book review aimed to inform the world of the glorious ride that is Recursion (and its future with *our Lord and savior* Netflix).

*Cue angels singing*


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Strap in and get comfortable—it’s going to be a bumpy ride. That’s the advice I would give to anyone about to read Blake Crouch’s newest novel, Recursion. Scratch that; the ride contains fewer bumps and more of the type of sudden drops experienced on a roller-coaster that has no business allowing four-foot-tall children to experience it. Exhilarating, panic-inducing, “OMG did I tell my mom I loved her this morning” madness.


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*Mild Spoilers*

Allow me to backpedal. Like the climb to the top of a track, Recursion is a story of building momentum. The book begins on November 2, 2018, and follows protagonist Barry. Barry is a detective with the NYPD, attempting to talk a woman out of jumping from the top of the Poe Building and to her death (obviously). The woman, Ann is suffering from a worldwide pandemic known as False Memory Syndrome (FMS)—a condition where the infected remember whole other lives that they supposedly never had. Ann remembers a husband and a son. Barry tries to relate to Ann’s emptiness, confiding in her the fact that he lost a daughter years earlier.


 “At least she once existed.”


…I’m sure you can guess what happens next.


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The beginning of Blake Crouch’s novel is undeniably cinematic, as is the whole story. At the center of the plot is the aforementioned NYPD detective and Helena, a scientist who, motivated by her mother’s Alzheimer’s, devotes herself to research which involves mapping the human brain—memory. Although a lot of what revolves around these characters could (by snobby losers) be dismissed as overtly cinematic and arguably mainstream; this thriller is one of the most gripping, moving, and coherent epics you will read this year. The stakes continue to rise as the characters’ reality literally crumbles… over and over.


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The science seems to make sense (from the perspective of someone who got a D + in Physics); it never feels like Crouch is reaching with his theories or explanations. I might go as far as call him the Christopher Nolan of literature. A contemporary mastermind of thought-provoking and emotional storytelling.

Entertainment Weekly caught up with Crouch to talk about all things Recursion—they called it his “his most personal (and trippy) novel yet.” He divulges his inspiration for the novel as well as talks about the Netflix deal made nine months before the books’ publication last week. A film and series are in the works. Here’s a long and shamelessly exploited excerpt from that interview:


ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You mentioned this was project was really close to your heart. Why was it so personal? Did you find it challenging to execute? Was there any significant inspiration?


BC: This was a really, really hard book. This is definitely the hardest book I’ve ever done. I wanted it to do things that no other book I’d read had managed to do — without getting into spoiler territory, in the back half of the book, reality actually begins to disintegrate for our characters. I wanted to dramatize what that looks like. Michael Crichton [is an influence] for sure. I feel like he’s always looking over my shoulder and I’m looking over his. The way he would pick a scientific topic, whether it’s Chaos Theory or DNA manipulation, in each book he did he was tackling a piece of science. I feel a lot of inspiration from his body of work.



EW: Talk a little bit more about the idea behind the book.


BC: Coming off of Dark Matter, which was probably my breakout book, there was a bit of pressure: “How do you top that? What do you say that you haven’t already said before?” I kept thinking about, what is the thing that’s fundamental to the human experience? The more research and the more time I spent studying, I kept coming back to memory, and the way that memory is even more than incredible than we think it is. It sounds very obvious to say that our memories make us who we are. It’s even more than that. It’s fundamental to the way that we experience reality.


EW: So how did you want to play with that?


BC: Here’s a thought experiment, if you’ll indulge me: Imagine we’re sitting across from each other. Wherever you are, you’d see my image coming to you at the speed of light, and you’d hear my words coming a lot slower — still very fast, 600 miles per hour. What our brain does it holds the image that you see of me until the words arrive, and then it would sync the visual and the audio at the same time. The upshot of this is it’s about a half-second delay — which means that we are living in memory. We never experience what we think of as the present moment. Even the present moment is just this tape-delay, half-second reconstruction of what the present was a half-second ago. We live in memory. We live in our working memory.


EW: And of course, this is on the way to Netflix. It was announced as a major deal with Shonda Rhimes and Matt Reeves adapting the book into a movie and a series. What does that look like to you? What can you share about the development process so far?


BC: When it did come time to think about selling it to Hollywood, I was like, “I don’t know how this is going to work. This is definitely not a two-hour movie, but it feels bigger than the small screen, too.” I went into the process a little bit on edge — I was concerned that people wouldn’t see it the way I was seeing it. Remarkably, Shonda, Matt, and Netflix just stepped up like, “Hey, we know how to do this.” It’s very early days, in development, but I believe the plan is to launch it as a movie on Netflix, which can then spin off into multiple TV series. There are single sentences in the book that could be an entire season of television, that we just blow right past. The cool thing about a streamer like Netflix, which is breaking down the boundaries between film and television and what we can and can’t do, is it was sort of made for a book like this. Netflix was made for, “Let’s let the book be what it wants to be when it becomes a visual medium.” When they pitched it to me, they were like, “We’re envisioning this as a universe.” It’s exciting.







Recursion is one of those books you can’t stop reading because you have so many questions that NEED answers. How do you just go about your day not knowing? The last time I neglected all responsibilities and read until my vision blurred was with Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter. With Recursion, I read it in one sitting. A solid seven hours. I’m not sure if I’m proud of that or vaguely embarrassed. Other people were out in the world working over the course of those seven hours—diligently contributing to the machine that is society. Laughing, loving and experiencing. I allowed Blake Crouch to do all the living for me. AND THERE ARE LIFETIMES IN HIS NEWEST NOVEL.

Crouch’s novel admirably tackles humanity and what it means to exist. I walked away from that reading experience feeling a little bit better about my own circumstances. As the characters develop and make peace with their subsequent reality, so does the reader. I will watch the heck out of this, Netflix.


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You win again…






Featured Image Via Entertainment Weekly.