Tuesday 18 April 2017

Beauty and The Beast Was A Beauty To Watch

Source: Disney UK


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. 

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
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository

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.


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.

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
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository

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.


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.

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!



Reading Time

How Was Your Month?