Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Last 4 Books I've Read

I've recently managed to pull myself back into reading. After being stuck in a rut of buying book after book and not actually reading any. So I have read quite a few good books recently and I thought it might be nice to share them with you. I don't know about you guys but if someone tells me how good a book is then it makes me want to read it even more. Then again maybe that's just me.

So here are the last 4 books I have read and what I thought about them. (No spoilers! Promise!)

HATE LIST - JENNIFER BROWN 

I first found this book on Goodreads. I added it to my to-read list and left it for ages before finally buying it in Waterstones. I have to say it didn't take me long to read it at all. I couldn't put it down, the more I read the further and further it dragged me in. The story is based around a girl and her boyfriend who make a list of all the people and things they hate. It's all just a stupid game until he decides to go into school one morning with a gun and shoot the place out. Now, this has already happened when the book begins, and the rest of the plot is focused around the main character going back to school and having to finally face all of the people that she and her boyfriend hurt.
This book was extremely emotional and I felt a large amount of empathy for the main character. While reading the book you feel as though you're living through what she is. The book is well written and the characters are interesting. Although I did find a few areas of the book a little less interesting and found myself wondering whether or not they really needed to be in the book at all.
However overall an excellently thought out emotional book about scars, forgiveness and healing.
THE SHINING - STEPHEN KING 

I am a massive and I mean MASSIVE fan of Stephen King. I've got an entire bookshelf dedicated to his books (which you can see here if you want to) and having already read a few of his books I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into this one. I've watched the film depiction of The Shining and although it creeped the crap out of me I thought it was brilliant. And I can confirm that the book is too! However the one thing I did find shocking was the lack of similarities between screen and paper. The book is completely different to the film! Like ridiculously different. The book seems to approach the Overlook Hotel as being possessed and having a mind of its own. Whereas the film focuses more on Jack and Danny's relationship and Jack's descent into madness.
Overall the book was just as chilling and action packed as the film. I wouldn't say it's my favourite Stephen King novel but it's definitely worth a read! Although I would definitely advise you to read the book before watching the film.

ONE OF US IS LYING - KAREN MCMANUS
I finished this book in a matter of days, I just couldn't stop reading it. This suspense/mystery book kept me on the edge the whole time. It follows the lives of 4 young individuals who enter a detention with another student, and he dies. They are all suspects but who actually murdered Simon?
The usual idea when reading a mystery book is spending each and every page trying to guess who did it. However as much as I tried and tried I just couldn't get it. The book kept me guessing until the very end. It was very well thought out and fantastically written. Each new chapter is written from a different point of view of one of the characters. Which is actually quite refreshing especially since some hefty novels can get a little dull when they are written from only one point of view.
This is probably the best book I've read for a little while, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. You won't be able to put it down until it's finished.

DUMPLIN' - JULIE MURPHY

This is another one of the best books I've read for a long time. It is just completely fabulous in so many ways. The main character is relatable to so many women, and it brings to life some of the thoughts and feelings some young women do have. The story line is compelling and the characters are well described.
The story follows the population of a small town that base their entire lives around a beauty pageant. This particular year involves a new contestants that break the mold.
This book has everything from pain to romance, selflessness to personal growth. It's definitely worth a read and i guarantee it'll leave you feeling good about yourself.


Hope you've enjoyed hearing about my latest reading adventures, and I hope you like these books as much as I did. Until next time!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Murder On The Orient Express: Film Review



I went to see this film on Friday night which was it's opening night. I hadn't heard a lot about it in all honesty it just happened to be my other half's turn to pick a film. I also hadn't seen very many trailers for this film at all. It seemed to come out of nowhere. Of course I'd heard of Poirot, having lived with an elderly person who loved the TV series. However it was actually quite nice not knowing anything about the film beforehand.

In case you haven't seen any trailers for the film it features a lot of quite highly ranked actors and actresses. Including roles played by the likes of Willem Dafoe, Dame Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad and Kenneth Branagh.

Anyway, lets get on with it.

As you may have already guessed Murder on the Orient Express is an adaption of one of Agatha Christie's Poirot novels. I haven't read the book myself but if it's even half as good as the film then it will definitely be a great read.
I don't have a lot of negative things to say about the film, so I'll crack on with the positives first. In my opinion the film was fantastic. I couldn't look away from the screen. From the first scene where an unlikely group of people enter a famously first class train along with the accidental attendance of Hercule Poirot, to the last scene where you finally find out who exactly did it. Most all-star cast were great especially Josh Gadd who is really showing that he can play anyone- a talking snowman, Disney's first openly gay character and now a depressed alcoholic. I was especially happy to watch Dafoe's performance since he's one of my favourite actors. However this could have easily gone wrong considering sometimes a famous cast doesn't make a good film.

One thing that can be disappointing about a murder/mystery film can be whether you can guess the murderer easily. About a quarter of the way into the film I thought I had it figured out, turns out I was wrong. Well, half wrong. If you're reading this and have already seen the film then you'll know what I mean. The film wasn't predictable either, so I didn't find myself sitting there yawning because I could see that scene coming from a mile away.

Now let's talk about the main man. Poirot. Kenneth Branagh isn't an actor I can say I've heard of. However I have to say that his performance as one of the most famous literary detectives was amazing. It's surely a risky business trying to find someone perfect to play such a well known character. Especially when that character has already been brought to the TV screen in a British Drama in 1989. That being said I think that Branagh was the perfect person to portray the worlds greatest detective with a hint of OCD. Although looking a little more aged than the TV series Poirot, Branagh was a picture with his excellently pressed mustache and his Belgian accent. He portrayed Poirot's need for everything to be perfect and 'just so' very well also. He still managed to make us chuckle with his rudeness and left us in awe of how exactly he knew so many facts from so little evidence.

I read some other reviews of this film after seeing it, although it didn't end up getting a bad score on sites like Rotten Tomatoes I did find all the negative reviews had a similar pattern. They all mentioned that the all star cast was a bad choice. They also referred to the film as a 'Cast-astrophe' mentioning that 'all star casts result in duff movies' which I don't agree with in this case.
However something I can pick out of the film is the lack of need for Johnny Depp. Don't get me wrong I am a huge fan of Depp's acting. I just think that if anyone else played his character it wouldn't have had a negative impact on the film at all. Depp's true brilliance didn't shine through in his portrayal of Edward Ratchett. In honestly he seemed to give a lazy performance overall.
Although having said that it wasn't just Depp that disappointed. I also found Michelle Pfeiffer's portrayal of Mrs Hubbard very wooden and overacted. Perhaps another actress should have been considered for this role.

There isn't anything else negative that I could have said about this film. Apart from a couple of casting and acting issues it was flawless. If you've read this whole review and still haven't booked your tickets to see it then what are you waiting for?

Let me know what you thought in the comments!



                                                                        91/100