2017 in Review

You guys will all be pleased to know that I made my 2017 goal for movies as of Friday after watching the Circle and my 2017 goal for books with 11 hours to spare. There’s still a few 2017 posts for you to look forward to in the next few days though.

My goals for 2018 are a little less concrete than this year. Largely my goal in completing these lists was to broaden my horizons by reading books in genres and by authors I wouldn’t normally read. On those counts I feel I was successful. For 2018, I plan to check out some more books in genres that I discovered I enjoyed such as fantasy and sci-fi as well as finishing off some books from series that I started this year such as Aftermath (the Star Wars series). So far on my list is – The Dresden Files, some more Star Wars books, Game of Thrones (yes I’ve seen the series) and I’d love to check out more indie authors. I’ll still be posting movie reviews for anything I watch and possibly some TV reviews thrown in but I’m going to keep my focus on books so expect plenty of reviews.

My other exciting news is… That my first novella will be published in early 2018. I’m planning to get a newsletter up and running in the next week or so for anyone who is interested in taking a look at it (more details for you all in the next week or so about the newsletter and the novella)

In the mean time…

happy-new-year-2018-images-4

I’m off to enjoy some delicious punch (well first I’ll make punch then drink it) and I suggest you all do the same.

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Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Title: Beauty and the Beastmv5bmtuwnjuxmtm4nv5bml5banbnxkftztgwodexmdqzmti-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_
Year: 2017
Director: Bill Condon
Genre: Family
Date Watched: March 28, 2017
Category: Live action movie for children

Ever since I found out this movie was going to be made I knew that I had to see it. The original movie was a favourite of mine growing up. Okay, so mostly it was because I also grew up being the strange person who liked books and didn’t act like the other girls so I identified with Belle, but also because I desperately wanted the beast’s library for my own. But, I was even more excited by this version because Emma Watson is Belle.

As much as I loved the original film I feel like this one brought a little something more real and special to it, in part because of the history that was included about Belle’s mother but as a live-action film things like Maurice being sent to an asylum were also more emotional for me.

The cast of this film was great, the special effects were great, the music, settings and costumes as well. I really can’t find fault with anything in the film nor can I think of anything that was missing from the film, so for the first time (and possibly only time), I’m giving this film a 5.

Rating: 5/5 stars

 

The Sound of Seas – Gillian Anderson

Title: The Sound of Seasthe-sound-of-seas-9781471137785_hr
Author: Gillian Anderson
Genre: Drama/Thriller/Mystery
Pages: 277
Category: 18. Finish a series
Format: Paper

Date Started: February 27th 2017
Date Finished: March 5th 2017

The final instalment in this series, started right at the beginning of the year. This third book in the trilogy somewhat diverges from what I’m accustomed to for a trilogy but it does work for it. If you’re looking at this and haven’t read any of the books then stop right here and go back to the first review and decide if it’s something for you.

Picking up right where the previous book left off we are thrown right into the Galderkhaan lifestyle. Yet another new side of Galderkhaan that we haven’t seen before, this time focussing on fishing and the use of the airships. We see a return of Madame Langlois from the first book as well.

Although the majority of the questions I had were answered in this book, there are still things I would’ve liked to see more of. Unfortunately, the many intertwining stories make it quite difficult to devote all that much time to any one of the stories which is both interesting and limiting.

Regardless, I found the series an interesting read and I don’t think it’s quite like anything I’ve read before this and it did open my eyes to how many different cultures and customs could be incorporated into one belief system that is still based primarily on science. I think the quote at the top from a different Gillian Anderson work sums that up perfectly: Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it.

Rating: 3/5 stars

The Girl With All the Gifts (2016)

Title: The Girl With All the Gifts mv5bngexzgrimjctzge3oc00zjaylwfjzjqtywmyotdlztg3ymq5xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymjgynjk3mze-_v1_Year: 2016
Director: Colm McCarthy
Genre: Dystopian/Action
Date Watched: March 3, 2017
Category: A book adaptation

Let me start off by saying that if you have not read this book then go get it right now and read it. It’s one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. Oddly enough, I picked up the book originally because I saw a trailer for the movie and thought it looked very cool. I was not disappointed by either the book or the movie.

The story is that of Melanie who lives in a post apocalyptic society, the movie doesn’t specify but from memory it begins outside of London with the group eventually travelling through London. It’s unclear exactly how old Melanie is but my guess would be around 12, and she’s never known anything outside of cell, corridor and school room that she grown up in. Her and the other children live a life full of routine, transit, school, and food in the bathroom on Sundays.

But what happens when Melanie finds herself outside? What happens when she begins to realise what she is? What happens when she tastes human blood for the first time?

That is the story that get to see here. While the film is not quite as complex as the book and some parts are omitted or altered (such as food being given in their cells rather than in the bathroom), it is still a well crafted film. While there are changes, I would argue that in this case they do not detract from the story  or omit anything of too much importance.

I don’t want to ruin too much of what happens but I will say that the acting is incredible from the well established Glenn Close to the young Sennia Nanua as Melanie. It’s a bit dark and a little graphic in places but the scenery is beautiful and it’s well worth the watch if you’re at all interested in post apocalypse films.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Descent – Julie Cannon

Title: Descent7835680
Author: Julie Cannon
Genre: Romance/LGBT
Pages: 208
Category: 4. Read a romance and/or erotica book
Format: Ebook

Date Started: February 11th 2017
Date Finished: February 14th 2017

Okay, yes, this is a trashy romance book. And yes, the only difference between this and any other romance book you pick up is that it’s the story of two women. But let’s be honest, sometimes what you want is a trashy romance book.

I wouldn’t say that Descent is the best I’ve read in this genre, or even from this author but it certainly follows the formula one would expect from the category. Two women meet, in this case they had met many years earlier and dated at school. There’s tension between them because of their past relationship but also because they’re two of the best mountain bikers in the world.

Honestly, for me at least this is a genre that is still somewhat in it’s infancy and Bold Strokes Books who published this book is one of the more established publishers out there. As a lesbian it’s refreshing to pick up a book with a relationship that’s more reflective of my own experiences even if it’s never going to be a bestseller so I really do hope that people continue to support authors in this category especially as ebooks make it a lot more accessible for everyone.

Sadly, the quote at the top of this article continues to be true. We still live in a world where there is a great deal of inequality. I live in a country where it is still illegal for me to marry my partner, many others experience much worse discrimination. Books like this normalise our experiences and can hopefully bring a little peace to those who have no one to show them their experiences are nothing to be ashamed of. My hope is, that one day there will be so many LGBT characters in books that young people will never need to search for them like I had to growing up.

Unfortunately, there’s absolutely nothing to make this book stand out within the genre as either better than it’s counterparts or worse. I probably won’t be able to tell you anything about it in six months . But if you’re looking for a nice easy read with some enjoyable tension and cuteness then this will do the trick.

Rating: 2.5/5