Monday, 30 March 2015

March reading round up...

Here's the books I've been reading in the month of March...

The Farm by Tom Rob Smith
A dark psychological crime thriller mostly set in rural Sweden. Aside from the disappointing ending I really enjoyed this book- you can find my full review here.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
An emotional story about Alice who at 50 gets diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, and how it turns her whole life upside down. I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to watching the film adaptation. I'll be posting a full review next Monday. 

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
I was expecting a heart warming and funny family drama but was really disappointed and struggled to get through it. It read like a pitch for a film, and most of the book consisted of main character Judd either moaning about how unfair it was that his wife had cheated on him because she was so hot, or describing the hot factor of literally every female character and deciding whether he'd want to sleep with them/ how great their asses were etc... The fact most of those women had no other purpose in the book made it even more infuriating. On top of that all the characters were completely unlikeable! 

Doctor Who: I am a Dalek by Gareth Roberts
This was a short and sweet Doctor Who story about a dalek discovered in an archaeological dig in the south coast of England. It was enjoyable enough and a very quick read. 



Sex Criminals Volume 1 by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky
Sex Criminals follows Suzie who discovers she can stop time when she has sex. Then she meets Jon who has the same power and they decide to rob a bank! I thought this was a really fun and unique concept, but I must admit I found it quite slow to start and it got bogged down in origin stories of the characters. Although I won't rush to get the next volume I will pick it up at some point as the art work is stunning and the dialogue is often funny and heavy on sarcasm, and I feel like it could get a lot more interesting.  

Rat Queens: Sass & Sorcery Volume 1 by Kutis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchurch
For some reason I wasn't expecting to like Rat Queens and the art work didn't immediately grab me. I'm pleased to say I was pleasantly surprised. Described as "Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world" it follows a gang of four badass battle maidens for hire. I absolutely loved it- diverse and interesting female characters, lots of humour, great dialogue and a good story. Very much recommend! 

The Fade Out Volume 1 by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips*
This is a noir comic set towards the end of Hollywood's golden era. It follows a war damaged writer who prefers drinking to actually writing, a film that finds itself in trouble after it's lead actress is found dead and her replacement. The story started off quite dark and mysterious as we find that nothing and no one are as they seems but I found this quite slow. Not a whole lot happened and I don't feel like I'll be rushing to continue with it.

Saga Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
This series keeps getting better and better! Following a couple from opposing sides of a galactic war, told through the eyes of their daughter, this volume introduced even more amazing characters and as usual the artwork is stunning. It ended making me desperate to read more but now I'll have to wait ages for volume 5 boo :( Definitely my favourite comic book series at the moment. 


*provided by NetGalley for honest review

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Lately...

For today's post I thought I'd be lazy and do a picture post of life'n'stuff from the past couple of weeks! I tried to take a picture every day but obviously forgot on about 80% of the days, but here's the pictures I did take!

"Clarrrrrriiiiiice" 
 Lush bath time
Got surprised with some goodies from Primark :)
 Mr Lola being a stealth cat in my little sisters room!
Celebrating 10 years of new Doctor Who by rewatching it!
I've been ill in bed most of this week, which of course led to book buying online.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Recently watched...


Before I Go To Sleep (2013)
I wasn't a huge fan of the book it's based on (review here) but was interested to see how the story worked as a film. There were a few changes here and there which seemed unnecessary, but overall I thought the film was predictable and a little silly. I think changing the diary to a video diary was strange (although understandable) and the film lacked the suspense of the book. 2/5



Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
This was a strange and hugely likeable film about Lars, a socially awkward loner who announces that he has a girlfriend that he's met online, but she happens to be a life size doll who he believes is real. It was a funny, and very touching story that portrays how lonliness, and family trauma can affect people. A very sweet film! 4/5


May (2002)
I stumbled on this film on Netflix and decided to give it a watch. It's a strange psychological horror about a young woman named May, who is a little eccentric and desperate to make friends. When all of her attempts go badly she decides to make her own friend. This was weirdly good, and I liked the Frankenstein like story. 3/5 

What have you been watching recently?

Monday, 23 March 2015

Book review: The Farm by Tom Rob Smith...


(Minor spoilers)
Yet again I was sucked in by a book with a mysterious blurb! This is an intriguing thriller about a young man named Daniel who gets a phone call out of the blue from his father telling him his Mum is ill and is in a mental hospital, and that he should believe nothing she says. Soon after he gets a call from his Mum telling him that his father is lying, she's not mad and has uncovered a crime.

The first two thirds of the book mainly consist of Daniels mother explaining and laying down the evidence of a series of dark crimes she believes she has uncovered. Daniel agrees to hear her out and then objectively decide if he believes her. Tilde his mother sets the scene and tells a mysterious and suspense filled story of the events she has witnessed since moving to remote rural Sweden and the small town tight nit community there. I found this part hugely enjoyable, the writer really captured the feel of an isolated Winter countryside amongst strangers you couldn't trust. The story had me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what clue Tilde would reveal next. All along you had to question was she a reliable narrator- was she going through a paranoid filled psychotic episode or was everything thing she said true? I found myself changing between the two often, I wanted to believe her but could never be sure.

The last third of the book follows Daniel as he travels to Sweden and attempts to find out the truth for himself. Again I found this part really enjoyable and at times particularly sad at certain revelations. 

Then there was the ending. Sometimes the ending of a book can change your whole opinion of it, and I felt so let down by the conclusion of The Farm after it had been such an enjoyable read to that point. I feel like the ending left too much in question, there were too many threads left hanging. It came so abruptly it was as if the writer had just decided that was that. I finished the last page and just felt disappointed. I understand he didn't want to give a definitive ending, letting the reader make up their mind but I don't feel he gave enough of the story to be able to reach a conclusion myself. 

Despite that I still gave it 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. I very much enjoyed most of the book and found it an interesting and multi layered take on the idea of someone loosing their mind or being made to think they had. It also looked at the idea of psychological traumas and guilt and how we deal with them. What made it more interesting was learning something like this had in fact happened to Tom Rob Smith and his Mum. The ending aside I would still recommend giving this a read, especially if you like dark Scandinavian set thrillers.

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If you'd like to read my other book reviews you can find them all here.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Sweet Club subscription box...



Today's post is all about a brilliant new subscription box called The Sweet Club. The Sweet Club offer a fortnightly or monthly subscription service where you can pick 8 different sweets from their huge selection (including lots of pick'n'mix classics, and US candy) and get them posted to your door with free p&p. Yum! 

As soon as I found out about them I couldn't resist ordering a box to try, and spent ages trying to decide which sweets to choose- there's so much yumminess! As you can see I settled on Rosey Apples, Milk Chocolate Cashews (these are seriously GOOD), Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs, a Jelly Belly selection, and some of my favourites from childhood- Cable Apples, Sour Peaches, Milk Shakes, and Yellow Bellies. 

My box arrived the next day and the portions are incredibly generous making me one very happy customer! I think this is a great subscription idea, and would make a great nostalgic gift too. The box arrived gift wrapped, and would also make a great Easter gift as an alternative to eggs. They are well worth checking out, and they also have an introductory price too.

Right now I'm going to overload on sugar... 


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Friday, 20 March 2015

NOTD: Revlon Colorstay in Sequin...



For some reason I haven't worn nail polish in ages, so thought I'd give this beauty from Revlon a go. It's the first time I've used it, and I love it! It's a lovely tarnished silver, that gives the effect of brushed metal. As with all Revlon polishes this applied nice and even, and is lasting really well. Even better I picked this one up from Poundland! :)

Monday, 16 March 2015

Book review: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson...


Before I Go To Sleep is a book I'd heard about so much I knew I had to read it. I must admit I had really high hopes for it, after so much hype. It's about a forty seven year old woman who has amnesia. Everyday she wakes up and she doesn't know who, or where she is and each night when she goes to sleep she forgets all over again. The she begins to keep a journal to try and aid her memory, and starts to suspect she can't trust her husband. 

Firstly, I thought the premise of it was a good idea, and can never resist a thriller that has a mysterious blurb. Once I began reading though, I found it painfully slow. For at least the first half I felt like nothing really happened. It was written in the form of Christine's journal, so obviously we were getting repetition of her working everything out again each day. If you are into slow burning books then I'd say this could be a good one for you, but I get too impatient and prefer something on the pacier side!

In terms of the story it started well, but the more you learnt of Christine and her life the more it became unbelievable. Without spoiling anything, the explanation of her amnesia and the types she had were a far stretch of actual amnesia, and it seemed actual science was ignored to aid the story. 

I couldn't help but get frustrated with the glaring plot holes, and obvious clues to the final 'twist' that I don't know how the protagonist hadn't noticed since she'd wrote the journal and re read it every day. I found pretty much most of the characters unlikeable and their actions just didn't ring true to real life- again it seemed like it had just been engineered to work with the twist at the end.

Overall, I found this book slow and predictable. The twist took so long to happen and by the time it did it just kind of fizzled out into a nothing-y ending. If you are into slow burners and you don't mind a bit of conjecture then give it a try, if like me you do then I'd say avoid!

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If you would like to read more of my book reviews find them here.