Sunday, 24 March 2013

Top 5 de-stressing books to read over Easter


You might have noticed that I haven't been very active on here recently. And, as usual, I have only one excuse for that - UNI. It just takes over my life in a completely debilitating way so that even when I procrastinate and am not doing work, I can't actually do anything else either. Boo. But I have been released now for the holidays and can do what I please (to a certain extent). For me, that is travelling, going to the theatre, blogging, writing creatively, singing and reading. So I have come up with a small selection of books that are great for that period after a stressful term and allow you to relax with enticing stories and just are complete page turners. =]
5. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
This book literally has something for everyone – love, loss, war, grief, humour and poignant moments which is possibly why it has been such a massive hit. It is a hugely involving, addictive read. And once you have read that, watch Eddie Redmayne in the television adaption of it so you can de-stress a bit more.

4. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
This is definitely a chick lit for the ladies, but good all the same. And it isn’t your average love story either as it involves a jealous ghost, a naked painting and a friendship that spans across generations. I know you are intrigued.

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
When writing a list of top books to use as a de-stressing tool, a Harry Potter simply has to be there. JK just has this remarkable ability to involve you within another world, so completely and utterly that you forget everything going on around you. Easy to read and a great story to boot, this third one of the series definitely would be my choice but any of them will do. 

2. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
One of my favourite books, that my A level teacher managed not to ruin for me when I studied it under her. The film looks pretty good with a star studded cast including Carey Mulligan and Leonardo Dicaprio. But, as is the case with almost every film, this book can’t be beaten. It manages to embroil you in the 20s culture full of vibrant colourful parties and forbidden love. It really is a fascinating look into human relationships and society as a whole.

1. The Fault in our stars but John Green
John Green's books are seriously good. This latest novel follows the lives of two teenagers, Hazel and Gus, fighting cancer. I am not normally a fan of this type of novel but, although thought provoking, this is almost entirely upbeat, focusing on life rather than death. And this is a rather rare perspective for this genre.  Beautifully written, this is definitely the best modern publication I have read in a while.
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Friday, 1 March 2013

I Give it a Year

To be honest, my amazing news of being appointed the Online Editor of Spark*'s Film and TV section, has one major downside which I did see coming. And that is, I am not allowed to write for them anymore. I just have to do my editing work, which is fun but writing has always been my passion. It isn't just the free cinema tickets that I have received, honest. But I am actually missing the film reviews that I am no longer writing. I still automatically critique every one I go and see but now I have no outlet to publish it. So I might be putting a few here.

The most recent film that I went to see was I Give It a Year. I don't normally bother to pay for the cinema to watch chick flicks as I save them for pyjama days when all I want to do is curl up, stick on a DVD and eat ice cream. And this was a perfect film for one of those days.

The film opens with the wedding of Josh and Nat (played by Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne) and we are able to see how their relationship progressed through the montage of romantic scenes that are displayed. However it becomes apparent that they got married too quickly. And this isn't helped by the love interests that both of the couple have: through Josh's ex-girlfriend (Anna Faris) and Nat's hot client (Simon Baker). As both swallow their feelings and struggle not to cheat, they go to see a marriage counsellor (Olivia Coleman) who wasn't really that much help.

Heart warming and very realistic, this is one of the most cynical rom coms that I have ever sat through as we watched the characters fall out of love with each other rather than in love. It was extremely refreshing to watch the very human emotions being portrayed for once. There were also some really hilarious moments, particularly from Coleman who often advised them absolutely shockingly. I wasn't expecting to like this film at all but the humour and sarcasm made it for me. If you need something that is not complicated to follow at all this is perfect. You can just sit back, relax and let the hilarious reality of married life wash over you. And it has a really satisfying, although slightly unexpected ending (which is an achievement in itself. Nothing unexpected EVER happens in chick flicks).

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