Monthly Archives: July 2016

Book/Film: Me Before You

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skshfsInvited by a friend to watch Me Before You, I went and watched this emotional film at the cinema a few weeks ago. Having not read the book, all that attracted me to the film was the trailer and the impending love story (I’m always a sucker for a love story). However, I did go home and order the book (which I finished reading today), but I would suggest reading the book first and not make the same mistake I did.

Starring a truly wonderful cast of Sam Claflin as Will, Emilia Clarke as Lou, Jenna Coleman as Treena, Matthew Lewis as Patrick, Charles Dance as Stephen Traynor, Janet McTeer as Camilla Traynor, Samantha Spiro as Josie Clark, Brendan Coyle as Bernard Clark, and Stephen Peacocke as Nathan, the film was set up perfectly. It is also pretty faithful to the book, hardly surprising when you consider that the author, Jojo Moyes, wrote the screenplay.

‘Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of color. And neither of them knows they’re going to change each other for all time’.

It’s a truly beautiful story, heartbreakingly emotional but also quite inspirational. The book and the film push the idea that life is meant to be lived and you should be grabbing every opportunity you can.

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Disclaimer – I do own the above image, it is from: http://filmmusicreporter.com/2016/04/22/me-before-you-soundtrack-announced/

Book: Carrie Hope Fletcher’s ‘On the Other Side’

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From the title, you can see that I am recommending Carrie Hope Fletcher’s On the Other Side. Spoiler alert. This book is remarkable and once you pick it up, you’re not going to be able to put it back down in a hurry.IMG_5064.PNG

I must preface today’s recommendation by stating how incredibly biased I am, due to the fact I was already a huge fan of the author before reading her debut fiction novel. Carrie Hope Fletcher is an actress, YouTuber, singer, songwriter and author. But even being biased in favour of Carrie, I only recommend things that I truly endorse or have enjoyed and I promise that this review is entirely honest.

I managed to get my hands on the book three days before the release date by going to Carrie’s first book signing for On the Other Side. This was held in Sheffield’s Orchard Square Waterstones (my closest Waterstones while I am at university). It was held here as Carrie is currently touring with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (in which she plays Truly Scrumptious) and as part of the tour she has been performing at Sheffield’s Lyceum theatre for the last three weeks.
Although I only got to meet Carrie briefly while she signed my copy of the book, she was so lovely and made the wait (and missing my train) so worthwhile.

On the Other Side is ‘a love story like no other’, excuse the cliché, but it’s true. Framed creatively within Evie Snow’s venture to lighten her soul after death so that she can pass through to heaven, the story is brilliantly beautiful.

IMG_5096.JPG‘Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It’s the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she’s become her twenty-seven-year-old self and the door won’t open.

Evie’s soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it’s too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow, some way, she may also find her way back to her long lost love . . .’

Now, it’s no secret that I am a sucker for a good love story or that I am a hopeless (or hopeful) romantic. The love story in this book filled my heart with so much joy (and wet my eyes occasionally) and the ending was perfect. For those that have read the book, I will leave my spoilerific list of eye-watering moments at the bottom of this post.

The book was so well written and I didn’t want to put it down. It took me two and a half days to read (which is good for me since I’m a slow reader) and I was sad, when I was finished, that I had no more pages to read.

This is a book I’m going to try to force my friends and family to read too because it’s just too beautiful and magical (and I mean really magical at parts) not to be read by everyone. I truly recommend you, yes you, to pick up a copy. Waterstones (not sponsored) are currently selling copies half price. Click here to go to their website.

I have never had a favourite book, not really, and especially not since being a child, but with finishing On the Other Side I can finally state that this is my favourite book and will be for a very very long time.

Thank you Carrie, I cannot wait for further novels from you! ❤

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SPOILER ALERT – DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ ‘ON THE OTHER SIDE’.

MY SPOILERIFIC LIST OF EYE-WATERING MOMENTS FROM ‘ON THE OTHER SIDE’:

  • When Evie and Vincent parted ways for the last time (p205).
  • When Isla said her mother was the greatest artist that ever lived (p255).
  • When Lieffe thinks that Evie is brilliant (p261).
  • When Vincent says ‘Evie, you were my single greatest adventure’ (p302).
  • When Vincent says ‘Goodbye’ and lightning strikes the tree (p331).
  • The very end (p340).

Music: Chris Bourne

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Today I am recommending Chris Bourne. I found his music though his brother, James Bourne, who you may know as one third of Busted and one sixth of McBusted. It was at a McBusted gig that Hollywood Ending were performing as a support act and I realised Chris Bourne was a member. Following that gig, I became a huge fan of Hollywood Ending but about a year and a half/ two years later they split up. Chris, who produces and writes music, has recently started his own solo career and the following track is his debut single:

I love this song so much and I hope that those to follow are just as good. Please check him out and show him some support!

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Book: Paper Towns

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51hgkNew+XL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Paper Towns, a John Green novel, recently turned into a film (2015), is a story about a boy who likes a girl. However, this girl is Margo Roth Spiegelman and is somewhat of a mystery to everyone she knows. After an all-night adventure, Margo disappears leaving behind clues for Quentin to follow. The book takes place in the last few weeks of Quentin’s school life adding further stress to the exams, prom and graduation.

Having never read a John Green novel, I was first introduced to Paper Towns at the cinema when I watched the film for a friend’s birthday. I enjoyed the film and decided to pick up the book. I first found the book to be quite slow (probably due to knowing what was going to happen thanks to watching the film first – oops). But once I got half way through (its only about 300 odd pages) I was enraptured and couldn’t put the book down.

The story, which follows a very basic structure unwinds in a very linear fashion (find a clue, follow clue, eventually find girl), frames questions about life, people and friendship. While it seems that the book is about Margo, which in a way it is, the story sees the development of unique and unusual friendships between different types of people as they come to the end of their high school careers. Many of which are brought together by the events surrounding and the disappearance of Margo.

I really enjoyed this book and urge you to give it a read if you haven’t yet. If you struggle through the first half, like I did, try your best to power through because I really did enjoy the ending. It was definitely worth the time and effort.

Here’s the trailer for the film (I also really enjoyed the film but it did follow a slightly different ending):

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Disclaimer – I do not own the above image, it is from: https://www.amazon.com/Paper-Towns-John-Green/dp/014241493X

Music: Once Upon a Dead Man

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12509323_300x300Today I am recommending Once Upon a Dead Man, a recently established band featuring Charlie Simpson (of Busted and Fightstar) and his brothers Will and Edd, and long-time friend Simon Britcliffe. The four have released a debut EP album called ‘Concepts and Phenomena’.

As a fan of Charlie Simpson and his past musical work, including his solo album, I was obviously going to check out his new endeavour Once Upon a Dead Man. I listened to the album, expecting something good, but it was even better than that. It has a similar style to Charlie’s solo work but with an electronic undertone, and Charlie’s voice is also complemented by the extra voices of his band mates.

Below is my favourite song from the EP:

Check out Once Upon a Dead Man (click here to go to their YouTube channel) and their EP!

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Disclaimer – I do not own the above image, it is from: https://vimeo.com/onceuponadeadman