Book Review: The Girl On The Train

“I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts. Who was it said that following your heart is a good thing? It is pure egotism, a selfishness to conquer all.”

Rating:

Written by British author Paula Hawkins, and quickly becoming one of the fastest-selling novels in history after its release in January 2015, debuting at No. 1 on The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2015 list, The Girl On The Train is a psychological thriller that follows an alcohol divorcee, Rachel Watson, who takes the same train to work every single day. As Rachel passes by the same houses, she comes to recognise the people she sees and begins fantasising about the relationships and lives of those that reside there. One of these houses belongs to her ex-husband Tom, who now lives with Anna, who he cheated on Rachel with, and their baby daughter. A few doors down, Rachel spends most of her commute fantasising about the seemingly happy lives of Scott and Megan Hipwell. But everything changes when Rachel witnesses something from the train window and Megan is later found to be missing, presumed dead. Becoming entangled in a missing person’s investigation, Rachel’s involvement promises to send shockwaves throughout both her past and future.

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Book v Film: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”

Book:
Film:
Adaptation:

Based on Ransom Riggs‘s debut book and directed by Tim Burton, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children follows teenager Jacob (Asa Butterfield), who sets off to a mysterious Welsh island, using clues from his grandpa’s old photographs, to find out who his grandpa really was after his unexplained death. Led to a large, abandoned orphanage, run by the mystical Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), Jacob begins an adventure that spans different worlds and times. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and about their special powers, as well as the powers of their enemies. Chosen to protect the Peculiar Children, Jacob must discover his own power to save his new friends from the nightmarish Hollows and Wights, who are led by the mysterious Mr Barron (Samuel L Jackson).

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You Should Be Reading: The Girl With All The Gifts

“And then like Pandora, opening the great big box of the world and not being afraid, not even caring whether what’s inside is good or bad. Because it’s both. Everything is always both. But you have to open it to find that out.”

Rating:

Written by M.R. Carey, based on his Edgar Award-winning short story, Iphigenia In Aulis, and originally published in 2014, The Girl with All the Gifts is a set in a dystopian future in which most of humanity is wiped out by a mutated fungal infection that eradicates free will and turns its victims into flesh-eating “hungries”.

Set at an army base in rural England, a small group of children, who appear to be immune to the disease’s effects, retaining normal thoughts and emotions, are being studied by the ruthless biologist Dr Caldwell. Spending their days in a classroom, taught by the empathetic Miss Justineau and guarded by the ever-watchful Sergeant Parks, the story centres on a particularly special young girl, Melanie. Melanie excels in the classroom and loves each day she gets to spend with her favourite teacher Miss Justineau. But when base falls, Melanie escapes along with Miss Justineau, Sergeant Parks, Pvt. Kieran Gallagher, and Dr Caldwell, and must discover what she really is to ultimately decide both her own future and that of the whole human race.

Continue reading “You Should Be Reading: The Girl With All The Gifts”

Book Review: The Girl With All The Gifts

“And then like Pandora, opening the great big box of the world and not being afraid, not even caring whether what’s inside is good or bad. Because it’s both. Everything is always both. But you have to open it to find that out.”

Rating:

Written by M.R. Carey, based on his Edgar Award-winning short story, Iphigenia In Aulis, and originally published in 2014, The Girl with All the Gifts is a set in a dystopian future in which most of humanity is wiped out by a mutated fungal infection that eradicates free will and turns its victims into flesh-eating “hungries”.

Set at an army base in rural England, a small group of children, who appear to be immune to the disease’s effects, retaining normal thoughts and emotions, are being studied by the ruthless biologist Dr Caldwell. Spending their days in a classroom, taught by the empathetic Miss Justineau and guarded by the ever-watchful Sergeant Parks, the story centres on a particularly special young girl, Melanie. Melanie excels in the classroom and loves each day she gets to spend with her favourite teacher Miss Justineau. But when base falls, Melanie escapes along with Miss Justineau, Sergeant Parks, Pvt. Kieran Gallagher, and Dr Caldwell, and must discover what she really is to ultimately decide both her own future and that of the whole human race.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Girl With All The Gifts”

You Should Be Reading: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”

Rating:

The debut novel by Ransom Riggs, originally published in 2011, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a young adult book that combines a collection of vintage photographs with a narrative led by Jacob, a teenage boy who follows clues from his grandfather’s old photographs. Led to a large, abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island, Jacob begins an adventure that spans different worlds and times. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and about their special powers, as well as the powers of their enemies. Chosen to protect the Peculiar Children, Jacob must discover his own power to save his new friends from the nightmarish Hollows and Wights, who are led by the mysterious Mr Barron.

Continue reading “You Should Be Reading: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”

Rating:

The debut novel by Ransom Riggs, originally published in 2011, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a young adult book that combines a collection of vintage photographs with a narrative led by Jacob, a teenage boy who follows clues from his grandfather’s old photographs. Led to a large, abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island, Jacob begins an adventure that spans different worlds and times. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and about their special powers, as well as the powers of their enemies. Chosen to protect the Peculiar Children, Jacob must discover his own power to save his new friends from the nightmarish Hollows and Wights, who are led by the mysterious Mr Barron.

Continue reading “Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”

Film Review: Pete’s Dragon (2016)

Rating:

Directed by David Lowery and a reimagining of Disney‘s 1977 musical family film of the same name, Pete’s Dragon follows the adventures of an orphaned ten-year-old boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a giant, green dragon. For years, old wood-carver Mr Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), a forest ranger, these stories are little more than a folk tale… until she meets Pete, living in the woods with no family or home. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father, Jack (Wes Bentley), owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about his dragon.

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Film Review: Suicide Squad

Rating:

The third instalment in the DC Extended Universe, following on from this year’s Batman v Superman, and directed by David Ayer, Suicide Squad follows a group of imprisoned supervillains who are recruited by a secret government agency, led by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) and Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), to execute a dangerous black ops mission to save the world from an enigmatic, insuperable entity in exchange for leaner sentences. Bringing together some of our favourite DC supervillains – including Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), The Joker (Jared Leto), Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and Katana (Karen Fukuhara) – will the mission lead to success or chaos, as the squad realise that they weren’t picked to succeed, but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail?

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Book v Film: Me Before You

“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”

Book:
Film:
Adaptation:

Based on Jojo Moyes‘ 2012 best-selling book and directed by Thea Sharrock, Me Before You tells the story of a 26-year-old girl from a small English town, Lou Clarke (Emilia Clarke), who has just lost her job in her local cafe. With only one option left at the job centre, Lou is employed as a carer by the wealthy Traynor family, despite having no skills or experience, to help support her struggling family. Here, Lou is placed in charge of Will (Sam Claflin), a once successful man who enjoyed all aspects of his life, who is now a quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down after being involved in an accident. As Lou attempts to show Will what life can be like if he opens his mind, Will encourages Lou to live her life to the fullest as an unexpected relationship blossoms.

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Film Review: X-Men – Apocalypse

Rating:

The ninth instalment in the X-Men film series, following on from 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, and again directed by Bryan Singer, X-Men: Apocalypse is set in 1983 when the first and most powerful mutant, En Sabah Nur a.k.a. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), awakens after thousands of years. Amassed with the powers of many other mutants, which has enabled him to become both immortal and invincible, Apocalypse plans to wipe out modern civilisation and take over the world, and recruits a team of powerful mutants – including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Angel (Ben Hardy), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), and Psylocke (Olivia Munn) – to help him cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Professor X (James McAvoy), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and Quicksilver (Evan Peters), return to lead a team of young X-Men – including Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) – to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

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You Should Be Reading: Me Before You

“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”

Rating:

Jojo Moyes‘ 2012 best-selling book, Me Before You, tells the story of a 26-year-old girl from a small English town, Lou Clarke, who has just lost her job in the local cafe. With only one option left at the job centre, Lou is employed as a carer by the wealthy Traynor family, despite having no skills or experience, to help support her struggling family. Here, Lou is placed in charge of Will, a once successful man who enjoyed all aspects of his life, who is now a quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down after being involved in an accident. As Lou attempts to show Will what life can be like if he opens his mind, Will encourages Lou to live her life to the fullest as an unexpected relationship blossoms.

Set to be released on 3rd June, the film adaptation is directed by Thea Sharrock and stars Emilia Clarke as Lou and Sam Claflin as Will.

Continue reading “You Should Be Reading: Me Before You”

Book Review: Me Before You

“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”

Rating:

Jojo Moyes‘ 2012 best-selling book, Me Before You, tells the story of a 26-year-old girl from a small English town, Lou Clarke, who has just lost her job in the local cafe. With only one option left at the job centre, Lou is employed as a carer by the wealthy Traynor family, despite having no skills or experience, to help support her struggling family. Here, Lou is placed in charge of Will, a once successful man who enjoyed all aspects of his life, who is now a quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down after being involved in an accident. As Lou attempts to show Will what life can be like if he opens his mind, Will encourages Lou to live her life to the fullest as an unexpected relationship blossoms.

Continue reading “Book Review: Me Before You”

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