Thursday, March 30, 2023

2 Bloggers 1 Book - Burn the Negative


This time around, Stormi and I chose a buddy read which also managed to clear an ARC off our books.  I love it when that comes into play.  I tried to read this author's previous novel and didn't get far but have always planned on picking it up again.  So read on to see what I thought of the choice this time and then hop over to Stormi's at Storm Reads to see her thoughts.

TITLE: Burn the Negative
AUTHOR: Josh Winning
PUBLISHER: G.P. Putnam's Sons
PUBLISHING DATE: July 11, 2023
PAGES: 368

FROM GOODREADS: Arriving in L.A. to visit the set of a new streaming horror series, journalist Laura Warren witnesses a man jumping from a bridge, landing right behind her car. Here we go, she thinks. It’s started. Because the series she’s reporting on is a remake of a ’90s horror flick. A cursed ’90s horror flick, which she starred in as a child—and has been running from her whole life.

In The Guesthouse, Laura played the little girl with the terrifying gift to tell people how the Needle Man would kill them. When eight of the cast and crew died in ways that eerily mirrored the movie’s on-screen deaths, the film became a cult classic—and ruined her life. Leaving it behind, Laura changed her name and her accent, dyed her hair, and moved across the Atlantic. But some scripts don’t want to stay buried.

Now, as the body count rises again, Laura finds herself on the run with her aspiring actress sister and a jaded psychic, hoping to end the curse once and for all—and to stay out of the Needle Man’s lethal reach.

MY THOUGHTS: Usually I start out my reviews with everything I like about a book and then lead into any issues I might have had.  For some reason, I feel the need to do the opposite this time around so bear with me.  HOW DID THE LUGGAGE SUDDENLY APPEAR????  If any of you decide to pick up this book and can make the time, please come back and let me know if I missed something.  It probably shouldn't have bugged me so much that the luggage was lost and then her hotel room suddenly trashed and her belongings thrown everywhere. It may seem small, but this luggage leads into several other plot points and my head just never got over it!

Ok, rant over.  So in "Burn the Negative" we have Laura.  Laura was a child actor on an infamous horror movie in the 90's which many say was cursed because of all the trauma and death surrounding it. Think Poltergeist rumors because that's immediately what I thought of.  Laura got out of acting after the movie, changed her name and has been living a completely different life as a journalist.  When a decision is made to remake the movie, as we know EVERYONE does nowadays, Laura is tasked to write an article about the revamp.  So she travels to California from the UK, loses her luggage (sorry, thought I could let it go) and very quickly it seems like the curse is alive and well.  But how much has to do with Laura?

I really enjoyed the slasher feel of this novel and we have a great villain, the Needle Man, which seems to be a cross between Freddy Kruger and Edward Scissorhands.  It's obvious the author has a background in film and truly loves movies and the art they can create as I believe his past novel, "The Shadow Glass" dealt with film and media as well.  I didn't really like Laura and at some point in the book, I think I suspected everyone she came into contact with of foul play.  I also thought the first part of the book drug a bit but then picked up in the last 25%, creating some pacing issues.  I will also add, if you like mixed media books, this might be one for you because in between Winning's tale, you also get articles, script excerpts, clippings, etc.  

I am glad I read this book and it was mindless enough read on a weekend I really needed one.  "Burn the Negative" would make a great slasher film and honestly, I feel like I might enjoy it more on the big screen.  That being said, I don't regret picking it up and definitely will give this author another try.  

RATING: 3 paws


  1. Yep, you liked it a bit more than me. The luggage though, I agree didn't make sense. 😃

  2. I'm bummed you and Stormi didn't really like this. I'm so curious about the luggage, lol. Sounds like a big continuity error, but I plan on reading this and I'll let you know what I think!

  3. Now I have to read this one just to find out about the luggage! ;D