Film Friday #1

Welcome to my new feature, Film Friday. Here I will recap the films I have watched this week, and ones that I have either discovered or talked about. 

Watched: 

You've Got Mail (1998) Poster

You’ve Got Mail 

My parents always raved about this film, but it’s not one I’ve ever seen, even though it was released in 1998! Starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks as two owners of competing bookshops, they fall in love over the Internet. 

I thought this film was lovely (I can’t resist a film about bookshops!) and really cute. Even if I did want to shout ‘RUN FORREST’ everytime I saw Tom Hanks. 4 Sofas from me! 

Flight (2012) Poster

Flight

Starring Denzel Washington as a pilot who saves a crashing plane, his life comes under the spotlight when it is discovered he was drunk and high on cocaine at the time of the flight. 

I saw this at the cinema list week. During the adverts before the film, I told my other half what the film was about. He said ‘I hope it’s better than it sounds then’. And it was! Although lacking in action after the first 15 minutes, this drama was really thought provoking. It also had some funny moments with John Goodman, and me and my other half were pleasantly surprised. We have a running joke that he picks terrible films (usually involving aliens or whatnot), so if he doesn’t particularly want to see it then it will be good! I’m a fan of Denzel anyway, but this added to his repertoire of great films. 4 sofas! 

Heard/Talked about:

Poster

Timeriders: the Movie (link to Timeriders website as no IMDB page)

I’m a huge fan of the Timeriders series of books by Alex Scarrow. I’ve read 4 of the (currently) 7 part series, and I have enjoyed them all. I have books 5 and 6 on by TBR shelf, and I think they are a great YA series. 

There is a petition here to get Hollywood to turn this series into a film (or set of films!). And I don’t know why it hasn’t already! The poster is amazing.

Jurassic Park 4 officially announced for 2014, will be filmed in 3D.

Jurassic Park 4

It has been confirmed with an expected release in Summer 2014. I love this trilogy, and can’t wait to find out more about the new one. Also rumoured to be released in 3D.

That’s my film wrap up for this week. What are your opinions/thoughts? Can you recommend any other good book-orientated film aside from You’ve Got Mail? 

Blog Tour: Book Review of Ever by Jessa Russo

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Jessa Russo’s Ever!

Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been on hold for the past two years. She’s secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he’s completely oblivious.

Of course, it doesn’t help that he’s dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.

Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.

Some girls lose their hearts to love.

Some girls lose their minds.

Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.

I don’t read a lot of paranormal books. I used to, but I think the boom of vampire/werewolf/angel books put me off. So why was I so excited to read Ever, you might ask?

Well everyone knows I am a sucker for a pretty cover. And look at it!  Its just so awesome. I love the twinkling sunlight, it makes it seem a bit hippy-esque and makes me think of summertime beaches;  like I imagine California to be like. And yay for brunettes!  But wait, why is the guy all misty like? And why does Ever look so sad?

Well that’s because Freddie is a ghost, and Ever can’t touch or feel him since the car accident two years. Her best friend at the time, Ever can’t imagine life without Freddie. She wishes they could be more than friends, but she has to face facts; he is a ghost and always will be. So when Toby moves into Freddie’s old house and takes a liking to Ever, she gives in to the romance and the feelings she gets from him.

Aside from the ghost thing, this book was 70% romance, which suited me just fine. The triangle between Ever, Freddie and Toby is thrilling, sexy and makes for good reading. Tbh I thought Ever was a bit of a drip. There were so many questions surrounding Toby and I twigged pretty early on what his story was. So I was kinda annoyed at how naive Ever was. But I should give her credit, as her only male contact all her life is a ghost. She would quite often ask (important) questions and then either get distracted or tell whoever to get lost before they had a chance to answer. Make up your mind girl!

The majority of the supernatural stuff was crammed into the last 25% of the book and I felt there was too much going on. Ever kept pushing everyone away so we never get the answers to a lot of questions, and I just found it to confusing and wishy washy. I knew what was going on, but it felt like it had either been cut short or possibly had bits added to link to the sequel. 

That being said, I really enjoyed this book, especially the first half. And of course Ms Russo left us with a MASSIVE cliffhanger, so I have no choice but to read the second one!

Luckily for you, Jessa is kindly giving away a paperback copy of Ever and its sequel Evade, so you don’t have to wait to find out what happens next!

Enter at her blog here:

International giveaway!

If you want to read the book straight away, then check it out on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Book Review: Geek Girl

Geek GirlHarriet Manners knows a lot of things. She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a “jiffy” lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn’t quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she’s spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves. As her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

Geek Girl‘ by Holly Smale has such a pretty cover. A book about a gorgeous geek? That sold me from the start, before I’d even read the blurb. My copy was obtained via Netgalley from Harper Collins UK. There’s something so easy about an ebook that just makes you devour the pages. Maybe because it is so simple just to have ‘one more flick’, whereas in paper books I feel the need to finish on a chapter. Also I think because it’s not easy to tell where you are in the book (I know it gives a percentage, but it’s nothing like judging the actual size of a book). 

Anyway, I got through this book really quickly. It is not the kind of book that will change your life, but if you are looking for a lighthearted, funny YA book that Geek Girl fits the bill. Harriet is a definite geek, and everyone knows it. She has one best friend, as well as an arch enemy, a stalker, and a love interest. What more could you want? Harriet somehow stumbles into the world of modelling. Hoping it will transform her into one of the cool kids, Harriet agrees. Even though it is her best friend’s dream to be a model, Harriet goes behind her back to take part in photo shoots with the gorgeous Nick. 

However, when she returns, she discovers she isn’t such a good liar. Her best friend won’t talk to her, her stepmum has left and bizarrely modelling doesn’t make you instantly cool. Harriet has to try and sort her life out before it all blows up. 

There are some really funny, quirky moments in the book, such as when Harriet hides under the table to get away from situations. And her stalker Toby, hides in the bush outside her house. I would definitely recommend this, but only for a quick lighthearted read. It is nice to see geeks get the spotlight, and to show that just because you are pretty, it doesn’t stop you from being a geek. 

4 sofas from me! 

Book Review: Breathe

Breathe (Breathe, #1)

When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart.

Breathe‘ by Sarah Crossan is my latest dystopian YA read. My copy was a proof copy borrowed from my librarian friend, and as such, did not have the pretty cover shown above. However, I was delighted to get my hands on it. 

The book is set in a future where all the trees have been cut down. As a result, the oxygen levels have dropped, forcing everyone to live inside the Pod. Oxygen is used like currency; only the Premiums can afford oxygen to play sports, and buy tanks for day trips outside the Pod. 

It is told from 3 perspectives; Quinn, son of one of the Pod politicans, who lives a nice Premium lifestyle. Bea, Quinn’s best friend, works hard to try and change her auxiliary lifestyle to that of a Premium. And Alina, who is part of the resistance. When a mission goes wrong, she has to enlist the help of Quinn and Bea to escape the Pod and get to the Glade, where the resistance has gathered. 

I have to say I did really enjoy this book. I think it is written really while, and I like having the different perspectives. It allows us to get different views on the world, and on the characters. One of the things that makes this book a good read is that the story is plausible. There could be a future without trees, and the harsh reality is that we probably will not realise the consequences until it happens. 

Bea is an excellent character. From the beginning we empathise with her, and the struggle she faces as an auxiliary to succeed in society. She is loyal to Quinn, despite him preferring flings with other girls than her. So when Alina asks for his (their) help in escaping the Pod, she goes along with him. However, I think the character I liked most in ‘Breathe’ is Quinn. As the son of a high society man, he is spoilt. But when injustice occurs, he is confused. Thus we follow him on a personal journey of discovery, a Premium as part of the resistance. 

The only niggle I had with this book is that I just didn’t feel like there was anything particularly awesome about it. It was a good read, it had some twists, and I am looking forward to the next novel to be released in 2013. But I was just left wanting a bit more. 

Do you disagree? Think ‘Breathe’ is the best thing since sliced bread? Let me know! 

Book Review: Pale

Pale

The Lazarus Serum can bring you back from the dead – but when you come back you’ve changed – you’re a Pale, an outcast. It’s the last thing Jed wants, but an accident changes everything and Jed’s forced to discover the true cost of living forever.

Published by: Stoke Books

My copy from: Myrick Marketing & Media via Netgalley

Pale‘ by Chris Wooding is part of a series aimed at children with dyslexia, or have trouble or lack of enthusiasm with reading. Thus, it is quite a short book. I thought the ideas behind the book were good. Its nice to see a book in this category with fantasy elements. 

The premise is that when someone dies, if they are injected straight away with a serum then they can come back to life as a Pale. However, they look different. As such, they are treated differently by society. Most Pales live in a place called the Graveyard, and are stripped of their wealth and belongings. Jed, a popular boy, despises Pales, like the rest of his classmates. However, when he saves his girlfriend from being hit by a car, he becomes one. And so he gets to see what life is like on the other side. 

Although I enjoyed the fantasy aspect, it is also very clear how this book relates to real life; bullying, segregation and thankfulness. Therefore I think this book is appropriate for children/teenagers, as there is a strong message they can take away. Furthermore, the action in this book makes it a good read.

I’m going to give it 4 sofas as it wasn’t really long enough for me, but I think it is perfect for its target audience. And the cover is good too! 

Book Review: Eternal War (Timeriders #4)

The Eternal War (TimeRiders, #4)

Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912.
Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010.
Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026.

But all three have been given a second chance—to work for an agency that no one knows exists. Its purpose: to prevent time travel destroying history…

A time wave has struck that alters the entire history of the American Civil War. Abraham Lincoln has followed Liam into the present from 1831 and now the world is in a dangerous state of limbo…Can Maddy persuade two colonels on either side of no man’s land to cease fire long enough to save the future?

Eternal War‘ by Alex Scarrow is the third in the TimeRider series. The basic storyline is three teenagers who have been saved from death are transported to a hub where time replays itself every 2/3 (i cant remember!) days, before and after 9/11.

A bit like the tv show ‘Primeval’, each book takes place in a different timeline. If something changes history, then a time wave occurs and changes the present. The three then have to figure out how to change it back, by going back in time.

I really enjoyed the first three books in the series; however I did read them all in one go so by the 3rd it was a bit too much. The books do jump around a lot; from the present to the past/future and sometimes different places too. I think it takes some time to be immersed in the book because of this. However, each chapter is clearly defined in time and place so it’s easy to double check you know where/when you are!

I think these books are great for YAs who like a bit of action, but aren’t afraid of the sci-fi aspect of the timechanging. There is great character development throughout the books, and I think these books are underrated.

The reason I’ve jumped back on the TimeRider ship is because I received the 5th book as a present, so had to read the fourth. And I can’t wait! But what do you think? Have you read any of the Timerider series? Should I keep reading? Please share your thoughts/comments below 🙂

Book Review: The Scorch Trials

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles, variables and no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back.In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. Thomas can only wonder—does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?

The Scorch Trials’ by James Dashner is the second in the Maze Runner series. If found the first book good, but lacking in passion for the characters (check out my review here). The book begins as the Gladers are taken to a building far away. Here, they are told that the maze was only the beginning. To survive, they must cross the scorch- the wasteland crawling with people infected with the Flare. The Flare turns people into human-eating crazies. 

I can see why the publishers are so eager to compare this to the Hunger Games. I agree it is a very dog-eat-dog scenario, but the first book was lacking reader connection to the characters. In the beginning of ‘the Scorch Trials’, Teresa is taken away. We do meet some new characters; Aris, Jorge and Brenda. I think Brenda was introduced as another love interest for Tom; however with lots of guys to choose from, I think it’s a bit stereotypical both her and Teresa go for Tom! 

I did devour this book in one day (long train journeys!) so this may have differed my review slightly, as I didn’t take the time to ponder over the characters. I did enjoy the book, and will definately read the third book. However, I just feel there is something missing? The books has action, and does have character development, but there is something that nags me about the book. 

The only thing I can think of is that in the Hunger Games we straight away have compassion for Katniss; she looks after her sister, as well as her mother, and evokes some sympathy, which makes you back her as a winner. Tom from the Maze Runner series just doesn’t evoke any emotion. He seems to have been plonked in the winner/underdog position, but I have no reason to love him.

However James Dashner’s writing is good, and the setting and concept is just amazing. Here’s hoping the third novel brings some satisfaction! 

Have you read the second or third novels? Do you agree with my opinion? Let me know if you think I should persevere with the series.

4/5 Sofas from me!