new releases

Me Before You | A Review

Me Before You is being called the romantic movie of the year, with an all-star cast this is a film certainly not to be missed. Based on the book, of the same name, that has sold more than six million copies since being published, Me Before You is a love story centred around Will Traynor, a former active jet-setting banker turned quadriplegic played by Sam Claflin and his carer, Lousia “Lou” Clarke played by Emilia Clarke.

Overall I did enjoy this film, it’s a not so traditional love story. It focuses on the situation the characters are in rather than the love story that is clearly present, this is refreshing as many stories focus on romance. At the very core, this film is two people trying to get the other to see how great their life could be, who just happen to fall in love whilst doing so. Me Before You is a human film with three dimensional characters made even more superb by brilliant actors (even if the line up is mainly made up of the cast of Game Of Thrones) I’m astounded how a film that is undoubtedly a tear-jerker got me laughing as much as it did. Louisa Clarke is girl who you will want to be friends with, mainly because you would want to raid her wardrobe for those creative and unique combinations. Whereas Will Traynor is the man who you would want to be taken out by, despite his situation he is clearly still a witty, charming man, who is unfortunately haunted by the harsh reality that he will never be the man he once was. It is true that it differs from the book, not greatly, but just enough that anyone who has read it in the last year before watching it would notice.

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Lou’s determination to get Will to live and stop him from travelling to Switzerland to end his life, is remarkable. Emilia Clarke’s impeccable acting shows her going from this quirky, clumsy girl to a passionate, strong headed, independent woman. I can relate to Lou a lot, therefore a certain favour could be present. All of the cast are stunning, but Janet McTeer and Charles Dance really show how honed their acting skills are. Playing parents in a situation no parent ever wants to be in, they handle the roles of Mr and Mrs Traynor with respect and ease. For me, McTeer shone in the airport scene, I couldn’t imagine the translation from page to screen to be more flawless, partially due to her acting, she managed to convey so many deep emotions without uttering a word. Amazing.

If they wanted to make an impression they certainly have with this film, it’s premiere was a stage for disability right protests, without a doubt it has raised questions amongst able-bodies people about the presentation of disabled people. As Will’s choice to end his own life has been seen as one that is sending the common opinion that all people in his situation no longer want to live. I don’t agree or disagree with this view, I know it’s easy to sit on the fence with big issues such as this, but I truly believe that we need to see more disabled people on our screens, because we are not a total able bodied society. Saying that we need to recognise that not everyone who is put in these traumatic situations aren’t always full of positive energy and sometimes they don’t always see things the same way we able bodied people do. Surely it’s better that Will was shown ending his life in a dignified, if not controversial, way, rather than the shocking real manner of suicides that are present in the world.

Me Before You isn’t a film desperately trying to be a book, it has it’s own grounding from the book, something that is desperately lacking in the majority of book to movie adaptations we see today.

 

Naked by Stacey Trombley | A Review

Before I begin this review I would like to thank Netgalley for an advance digital copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” – Criss Jami

This debut novel tackles such a touchy subject – underage prostitution – in a an excellent way. I wasn’t entirely sure what i was expecting when I went into this book, due to that this review shall be a short one.

When faced with writing a review for this book I was pretty apprehensive, because it really wasn’t my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong it was a well written book and praise should be given for the way in which the subject matter was approached with caution and great care. However, due to the subject matter and general idea of the book I found it really hard to relate to it. I know that you shouldn’t always read books that you can relate to straight away, but personally I find it more enjoyable if I can imagine myself in a similar to the protagonist. It was very hard to connect with this book, it seemed quite forced at points.

With a plot that had great potential, but it seemed to fall down when it came to fufilling that potential. I hate criticising books, but I thought I would see what you thought because I’d be lying if I said I loved every book I have ever read. Overall a debut novel that had great potential, but could have realised that earlier and actually have taken the story somewhere. Unfortunately, for the first time, I have to give this book 2 out of 5 stars.

2 Stars
See you soon,
Ellie

The Colour Of Our Sky by Amita Trasi Review

Before I begin this review, I would like to thank NetGalley for the advance digital copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The best thing about having a sister was that I always had a friend. – Cali Rae Turner

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure I would like this book when I picked it from NetGalley’s endless selection, it’s a new type of book for me but I did know I am interested in people and their stories, and this is something this book encapsulates, people and their stories.

It took me a while to finish this book, as it took a long while to get into it. But when I did I was blown away with how wrapped up I got in it, I never thought I would be passionate about these two characters, I watched these two young girls grow up and hope for the others return. It was incredibly moving. The Colour of our Sky tells the story of Mutka and Tara, two childhood friends—one struggling to survive the human slave trade and the other on a mission to save her. Escaping her destiny Mutka  is transported to a foster family in Bombay. There she discovers a friend in the high spirited eight-year-old Tara, the tomboyish daughter of the family, who helps her recover from the wounds of her past. Tara introduces Mukta to a different world—ice cream and sweets, poems and stories, and a friendship the likes of which she has never experienced before. But in 1993, Mutka is kidnapped and Tara blames herself, moving to America with her father she never stops hoping for Mutka, coming back to her home in order to search for Mutka eleven years later. Tara find an endless trail of dead ends and a lack of caring of other people. The story is an emotional one, and follows Tara in a desperate search to find her childhood best friend, her sister.

The alternate narration of chapters switch between Mutka and Tara shows an insight into the very different lives of the pair, I was convinced I would be drawn to Tara, but I slowly found myself drawn towards Mutka and her story instead, I think this is because of the writers ability to make you feel for her and hope on her behalf as there are times throughout the novel in which she looses hope so you become her advocate. This book was nothing like I expected it to be and for that I am thankful, this story of two girls enforces the connection between two people, and makes you want to call anyone you have ever lost contact with, it’s emotional, it’s a journey, it’s a must read. Without a doubt this book deserves 4 stars.

4 Stars

Sorry for the briefness, but i’m still easing myself back into blogging.
Ellie

Joshua Johnson | An Author Interview

Today I have a special interview for you with Joshua Johnson, a self-published author who has a new book ‘A Malmont Summer’ coming out on August 1st. I had the opportunity to interview him, I have been super excited to share this with you guys, Josh is a truly lovely person and writes a cracking book. Not only this, but he is a self-published author and I feel that they don’t always get as much promotion and publicity as company published authors. Oh and by the way, it’s quite a long one so grab a cuppa and a chocolate biscuit. Without further ado.

1) On a scale of one to ten, how excited are you for the book release?
Incredibly excited! This is a story that I’ve been carrying around with me for such a long time, and I’ve already started work on the sequel, so I can’t wait for readers to finally meet who I’ve been tweeting about for months and months!

2) Can you give me a short summary of the book?
Sure! A MALMONT SUMMER follows four characters— Heidi, Danielle, Lottie, and Hannah— who all attend a private boarding school for girls in Santa Monica, Los Angeles.All four of them are daughters of extremely rich families, but when they break for summer, they discover that they all have very opposing views when they discover what is on one another’s bucket lists— Heidi’s is based on experiences, whereas Danielle’s is based on what money can bring her— and so they decide to flit across to Australia where it all kicks off when they each try to prove that they’re the one in the right!

3) What would you say served as inspiration for the book, if there is any?
I think it was definitely the idea of travel— I really want to see everything there is out there, as I think the world is too big of a place to stay where you are forever, and the nature of these characters (they have all the money in the world at their fingertips) meant that they can go anywhere and at any time, and that’s proving so much fun to write. Just in this book, they go from a boarding school in Santa Monica, to golden beaches in Australia, before ending up climbing a snowy mountain. That type of location flexibility would be difficult within other stories. I also really wanted to write a series that looks closely at a group of characters and their dynamics. There’s different ways at looking at these different characters, and I can’t wait to hear what other people think when they read the book, especially now since I’m further down the line and working on book two. Character predictions are going to be fun, I hope.

4) I think any good book can be summed up in 5 words. Can yours?
A summer to be remembered!

5) What is your writing process? Do you have a certain seat to sit in or a certain song to listen to that really gets you inspired?
It’s funny you should mention music actually, because before this book I always, always, always used to write in silence— but with A MALMONT SUMMER, I couldn’t write it without music! Upbeat summery tunes definitely brought me a lot of inspiration and got me in a summery mood when I was writing this book in the dreary, British months at the start of this year.

As for my writing process, for every book it’s different, but with this one I didn’t actually have too much of it plotted when I set out to write it, but I think that was because of my change in approach. This book had no deadline on it— I just told myself it would be done when it would be done, as I writing around college studies— which is something I haven’t done before, and the story just grew in the telling. I definitely have book 2, 3, and 4 plotted out now though—it would be a bit scary if I didn’t! As for where I write, anywhere really!

6) Okay, a fun one— if you could have dinner with any other five writers, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
J.K. Rowling— because if it wasn’t for her, I don’t think I would have read so much, and I wouldn’t be writing!

Victoria Schwab— her writing is one of a kind, and her imagination is amazing.
Roald Dahl— growing up, I loved his books, and it would be great to talk to him. The way he can bring emotions out in readers by making writing look easy is very commendable.
Lemony Snicket— how does he manage to make every story fit in thirteen chapters, not matter the length of the novel?
Myself, at the beginning of writing— to tell myself to wait and not be so eager to publish. You’ve still got a lot to learn about how to write,

7) This is a slightly controversial question, so don’t feel like you have to answer it. But it’s often seen as stereotypical for women to write about women and men to write about men. I know your book revolves around four girls, so what was it like writing from a female perspective? And do you think these stereotypes should be maintained or should there be an encouragement to break them?
I think this is a great question, and so I am more than happy to answer it! I said last year, “in 2015 I want to write books that lead onto discussions”, and so I’m so pleased that this is a topic that has arisen!

In my personal life, my four of my best friends are all females. In fact, I’m the only male in my friend group, and it was like that all the way through college! And so writing about four girls came very naturally to me, as it’s nothing out of the extraordinary for myself.

I do massively agree with you— there is a stereotype where this happens, and I know some male writers seem afraid to write as a female, but females are people too who have emotions and feelings and personalties— not robots or some unknown species— and I think this “fear” should be broken down.

Harry Potter was written by a female, and yet Harry is a boy.

The Fault In Our Stars was written by a male, and yet Hazel is a girl.

Both went on to be huge and spawn films and millions of fans— and I think that supports my point quite nicely, if I’m truthful.

‘A Malmont Summer’ is available from August 1st, for £7.99 in the UK, however prices vary depending on the country, it’s being released in 15! Also its available for pre-order £2.99 on Kindle. It was a pleasure interviewing Josh, you can find him on twitter here, so be sure to give him a follow for updates about Malmont and his other projects.

Happy Reading,
Ellie

Trust In Me, I’m An Accidental Rebel

Happy Tuesday, it’s actually Tuesday this week. Proud moment!
Haven’t really got an introduction for you this week, but I hope your having a good week so far. As mentioned before, Tizzy Tuesday’s  are now fortnightly so I can explore some more diverse content on my blog. So shall we begin?

Trust In Me by Sophie McKenzie:
Sophie McKenzie is one of my favourite writers of all time, I have read most of her young adult novels. So when I heard that she was releasing another adult novel following the roaring success of Close My Eyes in 2013 I grab the chance to buy it last week when I had to make up the money of a Amazon order (we’ve all been there) and luckily it arrived at the weekend. It’s all good you knowing about how I acquired the book, but what is it about?

Trust in Me tells the story of two close best friends who know everything about one another, or McKenzie would like you to think! When Livy’s sister dies fifteen years previous, her and Julia begin to tell each other everything, they are the friends that the other would turn to in a time of need. Or so Livy thought. When Julia is found dead in her home, Livy struggles to come to terms with the idea that her best friend has taken her own life and sets out to clear the image that has been created of her and prove that Julia in fact was murdered. Little does Livy know that what she will discover will tear her own life to shreds, and make her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend.
I am intrigued by the cover of this book, personally it makes me think of The Great Coat by Helen Dunmore, a very spooky read indeed. The water, that look like glass at a first glance, on the front cover makes me think that Julia may have drowned herself, or perhaps was drowned by someone else, as the hands look as if they are struggling to breath and stay above water. Is this a clue as to how the mystery may unravel?

Rebels By Accident by Patricia Dunn

I stumbled across this book as if by chance after reading a post over at ‘The Book Wars’, you can find the post here, they were comparing the covers of this book and I noticed the more contemporary one and was immediately drawn to it. Upon reading the post I discovered that Yash, one of the bloggers, commented that “The straining paper clip, literally “the weakest link”, holding to unyielding sides together is pretty damn eye-catching.” I couldn’t agree more with her on that one, it really is quite intriguing and made me wonder about what it represented in regards to the plot. So with a little GoodReads research it wasn’t long before I has added it to my To-Read shelf.

‘Rebels By Accident’ tells the story of a young girl who’s life is turned upside down when her first party ends in jail and her parents send her to Cairo for the summer with her grandmother. Although it isn’t as bad at she thinks it will be, that’s until she finds herself in the middle of a revolution. Whilst running from tear gas and guns,she has found the cutest guy she has ever seen and falls in love for the first time.

I’m not going to lie the synopsis i’ve just typed doesn’t want to make me read the book, however it’s not a stones throw away from the blurb, my prediction for this book is that it will be quite unrealistic, but then again someone could argue that it’s a love story set on the backdrop of a revolution. Now that’s something that interests me. So if you aren’t one to judge books by their covers I urge you to this time and give it a try, I will be.

That’s all for this week, hope you enjoyed this weeks installment of Tizzy Tuesday. As always if you have any recommendations or suggestions let me know, but for now have a great week and I’ll see you Sunday with a little treat for you all. Oh and whilst you’re over at ‘The Book Wars’ give their posts a perusal, cause their quite cool and post some awesome stuff, and in my case help you to discover interesting books.

Happy Reading,
Ellie

YouTuber Tuesday

So this week’s Tizzy Tuesday has bit of a theme, I am going to be talking all about YouTuber’s who have books set for release. In case you don’t know a ‘YouTuber’ is someone who makes videos for an extremely large fan base and then uploads them to YouTube for our viewing pleasure, they are often referred to by the media as ‘the most famous people you have never heard off’ but now many of them are branching out from making videos and are now releasing books into the galaxy for our reading pleasure. With the astounding success of Pointless Blog’s (known to many as Alfie Deyes) book, (you can find out more if you click his picture in the bottom of this post) it has seemed to sparked a new interest and discussion point of, are they just video makers, or people that are a lot more influential than ever? With millions of young people looking up to them as role models, and in many cases an honouree elder sibling. So without further ado, I give you the YouTube version of Tizzy Tuesday!

P.s This is sort of in two parts because I’m waiting for more information to be released about the other book, wouldn’t want to give you false information would I?

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg aka Zoella:

One of the most famous people on YouTube with 6,527,576 subscribers (as of 18/11/14) to her beauty/lifestyle channel, it’s no doubt that this book has created a lot of attention. So if you get a copy when it is released next week (November 25th) you should count yourself lucky, I will be waiting till Christmas for my copy, but it sure looks like a good book that her fans are sure to love. It tells the story of Penny a young girl with a big secret, posting to her blog under the alias GirlOnline she tells the followers of her blog everything: boys, school dramas, her whirlwind of a family, and the panic attacks that she has been suffering from lately. When her family suddenly whisk her away to New York, she meets the gorgeous musician that is Noah. Soon Penny finds herself falling in love, with everyone watching through her blog. Little does she know that the perfect Noah has a secret as well, one that could send her world crashing around her. Below is a the book trailer, I really love the song that I they have used!

Overall I won’t be looking at this book as ‘oh that famous girl has written it, it has to be good or I will send her a load of hateful comments’ I will be reviewing this book as if I would any other. Because just like Penny, you might see Zoe Sugg as Zoella the internet personality, but I think when people read this they should read it with the mindset that she’s an author, a writer, she has written this books because it’s something she has wanted to do, not because it gets her more attention or subscribers, she wants to share her insights into anxiety and other thing that people can relate to. Don’t believe me; watch the video below to see how excited she is to share this with all her fans. Enjoy the book and let me know what you think, just don’t ruin the ending 🙂

So that was a rather short part 1 of YouTube themed Tizzy Tuesday, I’m off into the real world where I have to write about things other than books. Oh by the way if you click Zoella’s picture below you can find more information on her book, and the same for PointlessBlog.

   

Hope you enjoyed that , as always let me know what you think and share with me any books you are looking forward to.
Happy reading,
Ellie