Saturday, 3 July 2010

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Lately I've just had the girliest books on my desk at work!! Someone commented "I'm really disappointed in your choice of reading lately" How dare you?? It doesn't matter what others think of the book, it only matters how IT makes you feel. Seriously, just because I don't have a stacks of Charles Dickens and Jane Eyre on my desk! I am into a variety of books and I don't take kindly to quick judgement.

Anyway, going back to the book...

Oh wow, I was left devastatingly upset after reading this, the ending was a huge surprising and I don't think anyone reading the book would have expected it. I watched the film last summer and I really enjoyed it albeit very sad. I had heard that the ending was changed but I didn't in any way expect the change to be so drastic. I had always thought that Kate would sadly die and I guess when you're thinking this, it just kind of helps make it all that easier to read through. A 16 year old girl dying of kidney failure is just as sad as a girl dying in a car accident but the car accident came as a complete surprise. I had to read the ending a good few times for the sadness to sink in. It was awful. Do tragedies like these even exist?

Oh anna! The poor girl.

I really enjoyed the book, the book opened up so many characters to me. We got to learn more about Jesse who was barely mentioned in the film, he was ainly lurking around in the background. I didn't really think much of the lawyer storyline, kind of pointless really but still a nice addition. A great book though and although it was horrible to read at times it made me appreciate love. My sister's love, my mother's. It also made me realise that I am so lucky to have my sister and that she's alive and healthy. Sister lovers, you guys will appreciate this book.

Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger

So Lauren decided to have a dab at a sex and the city-esque book, failed!!

We have the maneater Adriana (samantha)

The very reserved but sometimes a little sluttly Emmy (Charlotte)

And the Editor/wannabe writer who has it all but still looking for love (carrie)

I didn't enjoy it at all really but much to my surprise I got through it. There were only small parts of the book I did like and I kept hoping it woud get better. I think it's difficult writing about three completely different people and their lives. As soon as the reader gains some interest, the writer moves onto the second character. It was laughable at how similar it was to sex and the city, three hot gilrs wining and dining, complaining about love. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

It's such a shame I bought all three books by Lauren, no doubt the third one will be as bad as the second.

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

There were so many things that frustrated me about this book. I'm sure many will disagree with me but as a devoted fashionista, I have to say I thought Andrea was competely nuts giving up her job. Her friends are adults who are at an age where they are completely capable of taking care of themselves. Lily-she gave up her job for Lily???! A reckless drunk who couldn't get her life in order so she has to guilttrip her friend into giving up a chance in a lifetime??! and seriously, what was up with the ex-bf? Stay out of it, it's none of your efffing business! Eugh! My mind just keeps going back to the accident. SHE WAS DRUNK!! and as a result Andrea had to pay. I think maybe, I'm reading too into this. It was clear that Andy had major issues with her boss and had contemplated numerous times on quitting but contiuned to plod through hell (or her idea of, I'm sure many will think of it as heaven!!). I guess Andrea was never really felt she fit into the world of fashion, she admittedly took the job because she knew that having worked for Miranda Priestly would open doors for her. I guess I would just love the idea of working for a fashion magazine, I would not give up on it so easily. A lot of changes were made to the book when adapting into a film but I loved both!! At first I did think it was going to be one of those rarity's that fall into the "film's better" category but upon completeion i think I enjoyed it as much as the film. It was tres difficult to decide, obviously biased since Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep are in the film-two of my favourite actresses!!

Friday, 21 May 2010

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

I'm not a child but unlike most of my friends who have both watched the film and read the book at a young age, I hadn't done either. I can't understand why, what with it being a puffin classic and all. Anyway, I was lured in by the cover, despite the saying "never judge a book by its cover" it's all I ever do. haha

It was a little slow and I can't even understand why it's a classic-giving the impression you HAVE to read this book or else your life won't be complete! Well, isn't that what classics imply. Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Emma, Dickens etc etc aren't these the books all book lovers must read??! I think so and I intend to...

I don't think we can use in defence that it's a children's books and that is the reason why I didn't enjoy it, there are plenty of children's/pre-teens books that I can still enjoy, give my some Jackqueline Wilson any day and the prime example, Hazza!! I enjoy Harry Potter these days, as much as I did when I was 13.

Continuing with my thoughts on The Secret Garden, it was a little slow, the main gist of the book could have fit in half the pages-this is why I lost interest, all this description of the gardent and being outdoors, it just bore me. I did however adore the main characters, I especially loved Mary's transition from brat to relatively normal. My favourite parts were when she started adopting a broad lanchashire accent. V.endearing. I loved Dicken, there should definitely be more people like him in the world, if there were, then maybe , just maybe we coud have hope of making John Lennon's dream come true (see Imagine). Colin, the build up to his character was intriguing and it happened at precisely the point when I starting losing interest so I was quite excited by the apparent change that was occuring but he failed to meet my expectations. I lost interest quickly.

I liked how the book began with Mary as the main character and ended with Colin, I felt the were both equally as dominant and they were both very similar, going through similar experiences.

I'm just happy to have got through it. Book 7-done!

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.

Okay, so it's not a classic, not one of those books which you can proudly say "oh, I've read that wonderful book" and start a debate on most interesting points blah blah blah but I was hooked, I finished it in one sitting. I must say, after watching the film I wasn't certain I would enjoy the book but what with me being a shopaholic and all I thought it might be a good read. It was fantastic, I couldn't put it down. A perfect, light hearted pick me up and the extent in which I could relate to the main character was alarming and somewhat worrying. But it has to be said, she is worse than me. it was a really sweet book, if you're a shopper, you have to read it!

An Education by Lynn Barber.

For me, my book list mainly compromises of books which have recently been adapted into a film. An Education received great reviews and an Oscar nomination for the adorable Carey Mulligan. I watched the trailer for An Education and was instantly attracted and wanted nothing more than to go see it when it was released. Unfortunately, due to lack of time I was unable to do so. Instead I bought the book.

The trailer gave away what most of the film is about, and I  presumed that the entire book was adapted into a film however this isn't the case at all. The book is in fact a memoir of Lynn's life and it gives a detailed description of her life from being a pre-teen to being in her 60s. I found the beginning very interesting but come mid way and I was bored. I can see now why the film is based on only the first 50 pages of the book as that is the only interesting part of the entire book. The rest is just boring! I mean why would I be interested in reading about someone's life, someone I know nothing of nor heard of until this film was released. The ending started to pick up a bit but I think that's only because it was in comparison to the middle which truly was dull. It took me so much energy to get through it. No offence Lynn and I am sure none taken, what with you being a successful writer and me being a blogger with no followers and the fact that you'll probably never read this!!

I did enjoy the ending though, maybe I'm being a little harsh.

Also, I didn't understand why there was so much emphasis placed on the older gentleman who lured her away to fancy places, she really didn't seem to be effected by him at all and I don't understand how her entire life stemmed from this one incident which occured. Everything in life effects what we do next. It jsut didn't seem like a life altering event at all, if anyone should have been effected it would be the parents, she just didn't seem at all phased by him.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Push by Sapphire.

The lead up to the Oscars and after Monique won the Oscar for best supporting actress, I heard many things about Precious and I was more and more curious to watch the film. I knew it was about a young girl who had a tough life growing up and but the film had an uplifting message towards the end -at least that's what the trailer implies. Also, most of these sad films (sorry to generalise) do end with an uplifting message.

Someone I knew had been to see the film ( a few cinemas re-released it after the Oscars) and said it was terrible and it made her feel incredibly glum and she said, quote: I know sad things happen in this world but I don't want to have to pay to go see it happen.

I had a different view on it (without even watching it)I think that some times it's good to be taken away from your comfortable life and to be shown how difficlut some people's lives are, how trivial are problems can be in comparison. The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Pianist (the film) all haunted me for days but they resulted in me having a more positive outlook on my life, it may seem silly to read about someone else's life to realise how lucky I am but that's exactly how they made me feel (along with other emotions-mainly sadness)

After missing out on seeing the film, I decided to buy the book instead.

I started it and finished it yesterday, it's incredibly short. I'm not sure if I can actually describe how I felt but I don't remember ever feeling so disturbed in all my life. Reading about the abuse made me feel empty and lost. Completely disgusted.

In a way, it shows me just how strong human beings are and how far they can be pushed, I was amazed at how the character was still able to go on. It also lost my faith in people, I can describe how, it just has. I hope this feeling fades and I'm sure it will do.

Brick Lane by Monica Ali.

It was a good book in the sense that I finished it and I was kept entertained throughout but I found the charaters frustrating.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

I first heard about this when reading the "The Time Traveller's Wife" (which I LOVED-a truly remarkable book), on the front cover of the book, it stated "the next The Lovely Bones" since I loved "The Time Traveller's Wife", I felt absolutely complelled to read The Lovely Bones, I read the plot summary online, I wasn't at all intrigued, it just didn't seem like my kind of book but I went ahead and read it anyway. I was more intrigued when I found out that the film had been adapted into a film and Rachel Weisz had a part in the film, I had to read it before the film was released. One thing I love doing is reading the book and the watching the film adaptation, I love seeing a book brought to life.

I went ahead and started reading and it was one of those books I just couldn't put down, it kept the reader hooked and wanting to know more and more. It really was...well, lovely! It was well written and the characters were charming. It may seem silly describing it as lovely since the film is about a young girl who was murdered but it was how the family were supporting each other that I loved, how they were there for each other and Susie-even though she was gone-played a big part in their lives.

One character I didn't like was Abigale (the mum). I understand that everyone has their own way of dealing with things and it was made clear later in the book that she was already feeling quite isolated prior to Susie's death (the picture Susie took) but I just felt she had a responsibility as a Mother and I can't believe she thought it was just okay to just leave them all and that sending a few postcards will make it okay. I mainly felt sorry for Buck-who I adored- he was only 4 at the time. I was disappointed in her and I most definitely wouldn't have been so easily forgiving.

The film was very well done, I was a little unsure on the choice for Mr Harvey. Stanley Tucci is one of my favourite actors and I didn't particularly like the idea of him playing such an awful character, the transformation however was brilliant and left Stanley unrecognisable. The young actress who played Susie did a superb job, she played the part flawlessly.

Julie and Julia by Julia Powell.

If I could give one piece of advice in regards to the book, it would be this: do not read it. I was intrigued by the trailer, it looked like something I would really enjoy especially because Meryl Streep is in it (one of my fave actresses). I always feel complelled to read the book before watching the film so I bought the book.

At first, I felt the book was a little slow to begin with and I kept expecting it to pick up and eventually gain my full attention but the book was just dull, that's the only way to describe it. I have one chapter left (just after she turns 30) and I can't even find the energy to finish this book. There is no real flow to the book and Julie just continuously throws in a random story now and again (what was the whole thing about David Strathairn all about??!) and there's no real structure to it. I also hated Julie with her constant negativity and screaming at Eric-ALL THE TIME!!! Shut up already Julie, this was your idea so just get on with it.

I didn't see the point in including the mini instalments on Julia, I found myself just skimming through it just for the sake of completion but didn't find it at all interesting.

End. Of. Rant.