Tuesday, 18 April 2017

"Beauty and The Beast" Was A Beauty To Watch

Source: Disney UK

Review


I had high expectations for this version of Beauty and the Beast, despite knowing it could go quite wrong. Thankfully, ever so thankfully, I fell in love with it and now know it will be one of those movies I will watch over and over again and won’t be bored.

The live action of Beauty and the Beast stays quite closely to its animation counterpart. Surprisingly, most scenes had the actors/actresses mimic the actions of the animated characters, which I thought it was clever touch of detail and I much appreciated.

Source: Disney UK

I loved Emma Watson in the part of Belle. She displayed the courageous and steadfast nature of Belle, and it was just so believable to see her as the character. Watson isn’t an amazing singer, but her voice blended sweetly with the songs and was supported well by the rest of the cast. She was beautiful in this role and the chemistry between Dan Stevens and herself were great to watch. 

The romance between the two has always somewhat been controversial. A lot of debate regarding Stockholm Syndrome and Beauty and The Beast has arisen since the animation, but the movie portrays the importance of choice and self-will, which I really liked. The one aspect this live action does better than the animation is conveying the relationship progress between Belle and the Beast. There is a lot more banter between the two, with the two making jokes and sharing their love for their different interests. It made the romance more realistic and believable - you can’t help but root for them. 

Source: Disney UK


There are certain scenes that are added and some songs that are changed, but it doesn’t take away from the story and wasn’t something drastic that I felt like wasn’t necessary. Josh Gad as Lefou was a standout character for me, with his voice and humour. I also like that they adapted his character to include diversity - despite the controversy around his role. Favourite musical number would have to be Belle for its rich sound and the strength in the singing from everyone in the song. Be My Guest was probably the most satisfying to watch on screen, with the extravagant CGI effects, that made the song all that more fun. 

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, seriously go and watch it. It was amazing and I have been repeating the soundtrack for the past 2 weeks since watching it. 
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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Experience A Whirlwind of Emotions in "This House of Grief" by Helen Garner

Title: This House of Grief
Author: Helen Garner
Publication Date: August 20th, 2014
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On the evening of 4 September 2005, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother when his car plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven, and two, drowned. Was this an act of deliberate revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garner's obsession. She was in the courtroom every day of Farquharson's trial and subsequent retrial, along with countless journalists and the families of both the accused and his former wife.

In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life. At its core is a search for truth that takes author and reader through complex psychological terrain. Garner exposes, with great compassion, that truth and justice are as complex as human frailty and morality.


Review


It's hard to give such a novel a rating, due to the nature of it. I rarely do read non fiction, although that's something I'm trying to change.

Garner is renowned for her recounts of criminal cases, and I can understand why. She adds a personal flair to the case, which makes reading it a lot more comfortable. Covering a murder trial is never easy, especially one in which the father is accused of killing his children. I commend Garner for enduring through the countless trials conducted over the years. She writes in a way, which presents the facts, but also prompts readers to critically analyse both the prosecution and defences arguments. Garner writes of her thoughts and feelings but does not endeavour to force them on the reader, which I really apppreciate. Whilst reading it, I found that I was made to think for myself and really come to a decision.

The case itself is one that is absolutely shocking, but having occurred in 2005, I was young and barely remember the case. This House of Grief gave me the insight I needed to fill I'm th gaps. At times the recount of the trial did become dreary and I glossed over parts of it. However, I felt like that was due to the way that trial was conducted, and not necessarily Garner's writing. There's only so much glamorising that can be done, without losing the reality of the case. The ending really picked up, and the intensity of the case was reflected perfectly. I flew through the last 100 pages purely because of how fast paced and engrossing the trial became. Truly, I did feel like I was in the court right next to her.

I felt such a rush of different emotions reading This House of Grief, but nothing beats the sorrow I feel for the three young boys. Garner conveys this Grief perfectly, narrating that we cannot sympathise having never lost a child, but through the course of the trial the three boys have become “ours” - ours to mourn over and to fear for our own children - which I believe to be true.

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Thursday, 6 April 2017

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Empire of Storms
Series: Throne of Glass #5
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
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The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.


Review


To be quite honest, before writing my review I actually read a few just to get a feel of how other readers rated this book. And boy was I surprised. Empire of Storms was another great addition to the series - at least to me. Now I find my views to be controversial oooOoooO.

I love this series purely for it being fast paced and action packed, filled with characters who really only have one goal and they’re not afraid to risk anything in order to achieve it. Maas writes in a way that had me engrossed and I like that even though there is such a gap between the releases I don't feel lost by the time I pick up the next one. The characters also felt familiar and I immediately could connect with them - or at the very least start rooting for them again.

I definitely am invested in Aelin’s tale, the progress she’s made and how she has grown throughout the series. Fighting to be my favourite character, next to Aelin, is Manon. She will forever be my favourite “villain”. Her character conveys the importance of humanity, mercy and comradeship perfectly - it is so inspiring. Other characters had interesting arcs, even if they were out of place or really out of character (excuse the pun). The story involves two characters, Elide and Lorcan, more this time but both characters only grew on me by the end. For the most part I couldn’t really care less about they were up to.

The story line came full circle by the ending and everything clicked into place. It was a smart move by Maas to keep everything hidden, but it did feel a little like a finale from another series - no spoilers, sorry. There were some scenes that did seem out of place or really unnecessary and the excessive sex scenes weren’t amazing. I wasn’t put off by them too much but I can see why a lot of other readers wouldn’t think it’d be okay, seeing as this is as YA series.

I can see why some people aren’t huge fans of this series anymore, I get it, it’s definitely nothing like the first three novels in the series. However, I am curious to see how this series will end so I’m in it for the final ride. I still think that Empire of Storms was an enjoyable and exciting read, that kept me invested and engaged, and that’s what I want out of reading a story.

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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Looking Back Through March | Monthly Wrap Up

On The Blog

I had a sporadic month again. No surprises there. I also didn't commit to Top Ten Tuesday this month because there are times when I have no idea what to list under my "top ten" and it doesn't feel right to just write a post for the sake of it.

Let's Talk 

April Most Anticipated Releases

I wanted to celebrate the release of the movie with this fun tag!


Reviews


            


Reading Time




How Was Your Month?

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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Beauty and the Beast Book Tag



The release of Beauty and the Beast prompted me to go find a tag about it to do. And then comes along Kirsty and the Cat Read's Tag and here it is! If you guys want to get on board, do it. It was such a fun tag!! 




A popular troupe, theme or setting you will never get bored of reading

I'm all about family mysteries, I don't know if it's that popular, but generations of mysteries that suddenly is revealed and blow everyone's mind. Including mind. Kate Morton is the best for these!


A book you bought for it's beautiful cover that's just as beautiful inside too

I went to re-read my review for Fairytales for Wilde Girls and the first sentence was "the contents within [this] is as beautiful as its cover." Pretty much sums it up doesn't it. It was magical, whimsical and yet, every time I look at it there is such a saddening feel I get because of how hauntingly beautiful it is.



A book you didn't expect much from but pleasantly surprised you

I feel like you guys are going to be sick of me raving on and on about The Troupe, but this is such an underrated read and needs more attention!! I did not expect it to be so much more than what the blurb let on, and I loved every moment of it.


A book everyone loves but you don't

I feel like I'm going to be shot for even saying this but I did not and still do not like the A Court of Mist and Fury, and that extends to the entire series actually. I just prefer not to read about characters, grow to like them and then have everything taken away from me in the next book. So frustrating! 




A loyal sidekick you can't help but love more than the counterpart

I don't classify Jem as a sidekick per se, but I do find that I love him as much as Will - probably not more, but pretty much the same. Which made reading the series so much harder!





A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught you something valuable

Surprisingly, Dr Seuss' Oh, The Places You Go, really gave me a lot to think about. I received this as a gift from one of my teachers just after graduating and it put everything into perspective for me. I wasn't in a great place in high school but the world is so vast I never really know where I could go.



A book or series that you weren't into at first but picked up towards the end

Code Name Verity was one of those books that I started off thinking it was okay, but then I fell in love with the storyline and the characters. I loved that it was a friendship novel and that it was so touching at the end.


A fictional character you'd love to have over for dinner

So many characters to choose from BUTTT if I had to choose it would be the Mad Hatter. Hands down that would be the most interesting dinner of all time. 

Try Out This Tag For Yourself And Link Me!

Image Source: Disney Clips
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