Monday, 27 October 2014

The Best Book To Movie Adaptations

The Great Gatsby

I read 'The Great Gatsby' for my A Level coursework at school and to be honest, on the first reading I didn't really see what all the hype was about. It was an interesting story and I did enjoy reading it but it didn't make me want to talk about it like my favourite books have done. This was until I watched the movie (the latest one, the older version didn't really do much for me).

I think my favourite thing about the movie is the soundtrack, I love how they have managed to modernise a story written almost 100 years ago, the parties genuinely seem like parties I would want to go to now and I think this is something the film focuses on and makes the focal point.

Perks of Being a Wallflower

I have this tradition that if I know a film is coming out that has a book, and it looks really good, I will have to read the book first before I watch the film. This was another (very rare) case in that the film enhanced what I had already taken from the book. I feel like the character development in this film was just so spot on and I felt as if they were the people I had met - yepp they are my friends now - in the book.

I love when a film is true to the structure of the book as well. In some books which are told through letters, the film adaptations are just from the narrators perspective rather that sticking with the fact that they are writing letters and this is how the story is told. When you have read the book first, this just makes it come alive even more when you are watching the film.

Catching Fire
I was not a fan of the Hunger Games movie (more to come on that another time), when Catching Fire came out I was very dubious that again I would be disappointed by ohmygosh was I wrong. Catching Fire is my favourite book of the trilogy so I had even higher expectations and they were not disappointed at all. I have to admit that if I had produced the movie I would have portrayed it completely differently but I loved this alternate interpretation. It makes reading the book and watching the film two different experiences whereas with the other two I feel I read the same story as I see. The way they show Panem and the arena is so beautiful and Katniss' wedding dress was even more perfect than I imagined. Generally it was just an interesting interpretation and now I am very excited for Mockingjay Part 1!

If you haven't watched/read any of these you really really should. Also, if you have any other book to movie adaptations that you love then let me know, I love comparing the two because it shows how differently the same story can be read by different people.


Monday, 20 October 2014

'Orange is the New Black' (aka the most addictive TV show ever)

Now I will start off by saying I wouldn't recommend watching this if you are 16 or under. At times it can get pretty graphic and I don't want to be held responsible for ruining your innocent mind.

Orange is the New Black is an American prison drama/comedy. It will have you on the edge of your seat one second, then laughing until you cry, then just plain crying, I still don't understand how it does that. Probably because of the amazing character development and the way you even feel sorry for the convicts because you see so much into their back story.

There has been two seasons so far which follow mainly the life of Piper Chapman. Piper was sentenced to 15 months in prison after helping her drug dealing girlfriend transport money. Whatever picture you may have painted of her from this does not meet her squeaky clean first impression. It turns out now she is with her boyfriend Larry and has turned her back on her girlfriend and her bad influence. However, her girlfriend lists her as one of the accomplices and she gets put into prison.

Along the way we meet a huuuuge amount of characters. A few of my favourites are:

Lorna Morello (so cute and pretty but with a creepy back story)

Alex Vause (Piper's ex-girlfriend, sooo hard to hate)

Nicky Nicholls (just for the hair and how nice she really is)

And generally the whole 'Latina' crowd because I'm genuinely impressed that I can understand what they are saying about 80% of the time! Thank you A Level Spanish!

In general I would recommend this to boys, girls, teenagers, young adults, adults, pretty much anyone because it's just a funny show but with a killer plot line. I have watched the two seasons on Netflix probably in about a month and now I am waiting in agony for the third to come out next year,

If you decide to start watching let me know what you think and we can have a big old discussion about it. Or if you have watched it and didn't really like it I would love to know why because so far everyone I've talked to has loved it!

Monday, 13 October 2014

My To-Read List

I have a holiday coming up and for most people that would mean sunbathing, sleeping and eating but for me it's all about powering through my ever growing list of books to-read on Goodreads! I thought I would go through the ones I have chosen and why,

Never Let Me Go - Kazou Ishiguro

My English teacher recommended this to me and I managed to come across it in a charity shop for £3 which practically forced me to buy it. It seems like quite a gripping read and something you would finish feeling as if you've learnt something about life (high expectations).

The blurb:

As a child, Kathy – now thirty-one years old – lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.

And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed – even comforted – by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailsham’s nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood–and about their lives now.

Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

This is one of those books that you have to read, I am really interested to find out more about Japanese Culture through this. Feminism is a subject that is widely discussed at the moment and this seems like an important perspective of this struggle.

The blurb:

Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. It begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup, and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men's solicitude and the money that goes with it.
In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction—at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful—and completely unforgettable.

If I Stay - Gayle Forman

I know the film just came out and I know I've missed the hype but I was too scared to see it because everyone said it made them cry so I thought I would read it first then watch the film in the privacy of my own home. I'm really excited for this because the reviews have been amaaazing.

The blurb:

Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heart achingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

I will aim to read all of these and then give you my thoughts after my holiday! Yay I can't wait! Comment what you thought of these books and if you have any more recommendations for me.
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