Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials – Film Review

I know I am extremely late to the game on this one but trust me I meant to see this in the cinema AGES ago as I am a really big fan of the books, but I just never got around to it, so I was really pleased when I finally got to see it! I’m kind of used to the anticipation of watching a book to film adaptation that I wasn’t too nervous, this might have been because the first film was so good, but I have to admit that it was a good film but it was SO different to the book!!

For those who don’t know this film is based on the second book in The Maze Runner series of books. The first film, The Maze Runner was a huge success after first time director Wes Ball’s vision was displayed in an honest adaptation of the book, with stunning visual effects as well as kick ass performances from cast members such as Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ki Hong Lee, so of course there would be a sequel! The second film picks up right where the last left off, there is literally no time wasted which was good because you’re thrown right into the action but you are expected to know exactly what happens which can be difficult if you haven’t watched the first film in a while, you definitely couldn’t watch this if you haven’t seen the first film! This film continues the story of Thomas and his friends after they escape from the maze than the horrors they discover on outside.

This was a very intense, action packed and exciting film, there wasn’t a moment when there wasn’t some sort of danger that they had to escape from! It was very fast paced so the film went very quickly, I was engrossed from the beginning until the end! There were some brilliant aspects to this film, the visual effects were incredible, it was like a desolate/ desert New York, it was pretty much flawless! The acting was also awesome, Dylan O’Brien is just such an effortless actor it’s unreal, this film looked physically and emotionally demanding but was acted beautifully throughout. Another aspect I thought was done really well was the aesthetics of the cranks, in my head when I read the books I imagined the cranks as normal people on the outside but crazy within, but Wes Ball went full on zombie and I didn’t expect nor prepare for the cranks, it’s fair to say I was a little terrified! (but they were awesome!) The thing about this film was that it was VERY different from the book, I don’t think there was a single thing the same, this kind of irritated me because I love the book and think it would have made such a good film the way it was. But on the other hand it meant that I was surprised and was unaware of what was going to happen next which is always exciting.

Overall it was a packed, exciting film that had me fixed from beginning to end, I can’t wait for the third film… if there’s going to be a third film…? I’m going to give this a 4 out of 5 stars, almost a perfect but it strayed from the book a little too much for my liking.

Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige

As soon as I read the blurb of this book in Waterstones I was instantly intrigued, how was it possible to completely flip an original story on its head and create something so versatile and different? I had to find out.

As you can possibly figure out from the title, the story is a continuation from the Wizard of Oz but things are very different from where the film/book left. It’s quite some time in the future and we’re introduced to Amy, a young girl in a bit of a situation at home and at school. One night when she’s left home alone a tornado hits, and guess what, her home flies up in the tornado and lands in the magical Oz. However it’s not quite how the book or the film depicted it, everyone is miserable, grey and depressed, the munchkins are slaves and flying monkeys are wingless. So what happened to the Oz Amy grew up loving? Dorothy happened.

I just thought this was such an inventive idea, although I have to admit, it did kind of ruin the original story of The Wizard of Oz, because as you can probably tell from the synopsis, things weren’t exactly happily ever after for the people of Oz after Dorothy decided to stay… So if you’re particularly fond of the original story I would suggest leaving things to the imagination… Although saying this there were a few nods towards the original story which I really enjoyed such as sayings like “How about a little fire Scarecrow?” I just thought it was a nice touch and good of Paige to appreciate the original story which was obviously a big part of her inspiration.

I did like the characters of this book though! Amy was just so strong and independently thinking that I really grew to love her as a narrator! There are also some nice guys involved, although I have to admit, I wasn’t initially fond of either but they really did grow on me… it was nice, however, to have a little trickle of romance thrown in there… I say that especially as it was quite graphic and gory, I mean it wasn’t all the way through but in some elements it was very graphic, descriptive and had me going “ooommmff too much information”. However it wasn’t Game of Thrones bad, but it was getting there.

A lot of this book did keep you in the dark from things which was really frustrating! I just wanted to know what was going on! Especially towards the end, but the answers only came in the last 50 pages…I knew there must be sequel because it ended far too abruptly, which kind of annoyed me but hey ho, I’ll have to read the sequel eventually, but I’m not desperate to read it straight away, if ya get me. Also I did find the end a little anti-climactic, I mean it was good but I was expecting more, also the main climax wasn’t very descriptive, which really surprised me coming from all the descriptiveness from earlier elements of the book. It made me feel as though the ending was a little rushed, but that might just be me…

I did enjoy this book though and it managed to get me out of my reading slump coming home from holiday. I’m going to give this book a 4 out of 5 stars, a good read with an inventive concept.

The Accident Season – Moїra Fowley-Doyle

This is one of the most confusing books I have ever read, I think I muttered at one point “For God’s sake just tell me what is going on!” but all the confusion is worth it at the end where all is revealed in an emotional climax (ha, no of course I didn’t cry…). This book is a little fire cracker, only about 250 pages, and I think I finished it in 24 hours, and because it’s so short it’s really fast paced. Also you’re constantly trying to figure things out that you don’t even realise that the pages just keep turning.

Ooof got a bit carried away there without actually telling you what the book is about, sorry about that, I’ll do it now… this book follows 17 year old Cara and her family through the month of October, but this isn’t just any month, oh no, this is The Accident Season. From October 1st until October 31st bruises bloom, bones break and skin tears, accidents happen, one after another for no apparent reason. But this month is different, Cara and her family start to discover the reasons as to why the accident season happens every year, but everything is not as it seems.

This book is so mysterious, there is witchcraft, creepy people who keep appearing in photographs, people who disappear creepily, creepy ghosts and creepy similar otherworldly people. I think you get the picture and get that it’s a bit creepy… I really liked the creepy element though, it made the story really exciting and unpredictable, I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how this was going to end or even what was going to happen in the next chapter. I was left completely blind throughout the whole thing while things kept happening that didn’t make sense but obviously somehow linked together. My mind was genuinely fried trying to figure it out. But I promise all the confusion is worth it in the end when all the loose ends finally tie together!

The characters were also refreshingly normal and relatable and were obviously just as clueless as you are, which made me feel better about being confused. Not only do the characters have to deal with all the creepy stuff going on but there they are also faced with personal problems such as love issues and being a teenager in general, but more importantly there are issues of domestic abuse and Paedophilia. Now I know this sounds really awful and completely different from the type of book I have described but it flowed with the story perfectly, and I think it was really important to have these themes in the book because it reminded me that it is a serious problem in this world and it just reflects how it can happen in any family in any circumstances.

This book really was jam packed with all sorts, but unlike other books, it really works! Although I have to admit whilst I was reading this book, before I got to the bit where it all ties together, which is literally in the last 2 or 3 pages, I was thinking about how I was going to have to write an awful review, because it was just too confusing for me at the time, I just couldn’t comprehend how it was going to end. I’m so glad I didn’t have to write an awful review though…
I don’t know what else I can say, a great book if you love to try and solve cryptic puzzles and a beautiful, emotional ending that will leave you speechless. I’m going to award this book a 4 out of 5 stars, losing one star for my state of confusion…

Magonia – Maria Dahvana Headley

I found the concept of this book really interesting, so interesting in fact that I wizzed through this book whilst on holiday in France (by the way I read 4 books on holiday and all reviews will be posted in due course). Originally though I was attracted to the cover of this book, it is just gorgeous, I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest, we all do… not only is it beautiful, it also reflects the story perfectly, which I find is quite rare these days, I often see covers that have no relation to the actual story at all…

Anyway, let’s stop talking about the cover and start talking about the actual story. The story revolves around 15 year old Aza, who for as long as she can remember has suffered with a unique lung disease (so unique in fact that it was named after her). The disease means that the air is too thick for her lungs and she is effectively drowning in thin air. In the days leading up to her 16th birthday, everyone, along with Aza herself are surprised that she is still alive. However strange events start to occur and Aza finds herself flying through the clouds on board an airship in the fantasy land of Magonia where for once in her life she can breathe normally.

I really enjoyed this book, it was full of wonder and interesting theories that I’ve never read before. Along with a good story, this book is also paired with some great characters that restore my faith in humanity somewhat (even though they’re not real people, but we’ll skip over that fact…they’re real to me…) The character of Aza was a really strong female lead, all through her illness and the way she embraced death so willingly and without fear was really commendable and brave. I also really liked the character of Jason, Aza’s best friend. He cared for Aza so much and he always went out of his way to help Aza in any way possible. He was just a really cute guy best friend (he reminded me a lot of Simon Lewis from the Mortal Instruments series)

The start of the book though I did find it quite difficult to read as it’s written very phonetically (if that makes any sense), what I mean is that it was almost as if you were inside Aza’s head and you learn A LOT about her life, her past and present in a very short space of time and it was just a little difficult to take in. Although saying this, I love that kind of writing, where you can really hear the character’s voice, so it’s as though the character is talking to you and telling you their story and not reading it.
This book kind of reminded me of an interesting mix of Peter Pan and the Fault in Our Stars, if that isn’t a spark for the imagination then I don’t know what will…

Just to add a little factoid at the end as I found this quite interesting when I found out, the concept of ‘Magonia’ originated from the Saxons who thought that ‘Magonia’ was a scientific breakthrough, and genuinely believed that there were sky people controlling the weather and stealing all their crops, it was Saxon fact. So the inspiration for the book came from Saxon mythology. Sorry if I just completely bored you there, I do love history, and I just found that interesting, and if you already knew, sorry again…

I really liked this book, it was fresh, new and exciting, I had no idea how the book was going to end, however little bits here and there were quite predictable. I’m going to give this book a 4 out of 5 stars, a good read.

The Heir – Kiera Cass

I have been looking forward to this book for a long time and I am seriously disappointed that only now I am picking it up! It was certainly different from what I expected but at the same time I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The book jumps twenty years ahead from the last selection book and Maxon and America are now parents with four children; Eadlyn, Ahren, Kaden, and Osten. The Heir is told from the perspective of Eadlyn who is the first in line for the throne. Thanks to rebel attacks and various uprisings, Eadlyn must par take in her own selection to help boost morale must to her annoyance. Now she must find the love of her life to help protect her country and her family.

The protagonist Eadlyn, I thought was certainly different and someone whom at first I thought was a bit of a cow but throughout the book she began to open up a bit more and started to become a better person. At times I do admit I wanted to chuck the book in the pool due to my frustration however there were also moments when I high-fived the air! Her character development was remarkable and something I really enjoyed reading.

I also loved the bond between Eadlyn and Ahren as well as their younger siblings. I swear, it’s so adorable when they are all together. However I disliked what happened to him at the end of the book! UGH! He was one of my favorite characters, but then he had to do that! Like…Why?

As for Maxon and America, I loved seeing them as parents. I loved seeing Maxon in daddy mode, but I’m so worried about him. So much pressure in his shoulders, and then what happened at the end was a fatal blow for him! I just want to hug him and tell him everything will be alright! As for America, I thought she was a bit out of character but that could be down to the fact she’s now the queen as she now has to ‘behave’ herself!! I also loved to see Marleen, Lucy, Aspen and May moving on with their lives and starting up families.

The boys! *swoon* To say I had one favourite would be a lie, I had many. At the moment I love Henri, Hale, Kile and Erik, who I know isn’t officially apart of the selection  but I think something could happen here… Seeing the selection from a different perspective was also enjoyable as this time we were able to root for someone we like to win instead of just rooting for the main character.

Now let’s talk about the ending! Again I almost threw the book in the pool thanks to the terrible and frustrating ending. It just ended! So my happened at the build up to the end and now we have to wait till ages to find out what happens as well as answers to many biting questions. I’m having book hangover right now!

Cass’s books have always been an easy read for me and this one was no exception as whizzed though it in a matter of hours. It contained a lot of romance, drama and unexpected events, which I really enjoyed so I am happy to give this book 4/5 stars. Did I like it more than the first three books? No. But it’s definitely in my top three!

We would also like to apologise for the lack of post recently as we have both been really busy and I’ve just come back from holiday (it was lovely, thanks for asking). But this does mean I’ve read thousands of books and more review will be posted soon. It is also the summer holidays here in the UK in a weeks time so we hope to read a lot more! Thank you!

Plastic – Film Review

IMDb page link 

Trailer link 

This was a little bit of an impulsive watch, not going to lie. I had it downloaded on sky plus but never got around to watching it. The only reason I did actually find the time was because I’d just got home after an exam and felt like a little bit of down time before I started revising again. I was actually pleasantly surprised! It was super action packed and exciting!

This film is based on a true story about of group of young adults (I think they were about 19/20, but I’m not entirely sure…) who work together to con various rich people with credit card fraud. However, one day they try to con the wrong sort of person, get caught, and let’s say they end up in a pretty sticky situation with a gangster who is demanding £2 million.

Before I downloaded it from sky, I hadn’t really heard about it before, but it is quite new, only being released in 2014! I didn’t watch it for a while though because A: I’ve had very little time recently and B: I kept forgetting it was there. However the basic plot line really pulled me in and enticed me to watch it! It was very exciting, clever and full of fast paced, high action.
The cast was very good as well with people like Ed Speelers (who I recognised all throughout the film and it really annoyed me. Turns out he was the guy from Eragon, I knew his faced looked familiar!) Also Will Poulter (who we all love let’s be honest, and he has better eyebrows than me…) AND Alfie Allan who I hadn’t seen in anything else but Game of Thrones, so it was quite refreshing to see him acting as a different character (however his character still manages to be a complete dick head)…

It was really amazing to think this actually happened, these kids where honestly so clever, even though they were criminals, I was applauding them on their initiative and intelligence! I really enjoyed this film, it’s not really a family film though as it has some naughty scenes and quite a bit of violence, it is a 15 so please bare this in mind before watching it. I’m going to score this a 4 out of 5 stars, overall I was entertained and that’s what I want from a film!

Angelfall – Susan Ee

I wouldn’t have picked this book up if it wasn’t once again for ‘Booktube’ and I am really pleased that I did as I enjoyed this book very much but maybe not as much as others. I am a massive fan of dystopian and i thought this book worked really well and had everything a dystopian novel needed.

The story follows Petryn, a 17 year old trying to help her frayed family survive in a post-apocalyptic California. As you can probably tell from the title, Angelfall, this book is about angels. It’s a post-apocalyptic novel where angels have invaded Earth. When her younger sister is taken by angels, Petryn must team up with an unlikely companion Raffe, to not only rescue her sister but uncover the secrets the angels hide!

The world created, I thought worked well and was very realistic which i enjoyed.
There was so much action and creepiness as well as humour which made this book a perfect read. This also made this book such an easy read, and I managed to fly through it in two nights!!

Petryn the protagonist, in my eyes was a perfect strong female protagonist; she was determined, stubborn and a total badass which was fab!! I enjoyed getting to know her immensely. This book is a brilliant journey of great character and spirit. Raffe, her companion I loved as well. He was brilliant and someone who I really grew to like! He has a long and mysterious past, which I am yearning to find out more about, but he is also compassionate, loyal, caring, trustworthy, and sweet beyond measure.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the relationship and dialogue between Raffe and Petryn as it was sarcastic and witty which made it funny to read! I can’t wait to see more of their relationship in the next book! (Totally ship them both!!!)

Character the only character I didn’t like was Petryn’s mother as she was creepy as hell?!! Personally I don’t think she was needed but I can totally see why Susan would want to include her as she really intrigued me!

One of my only criticism was the ending! I had no idea what was going on and I got so confused! We still didn’t know anything about why the angels are on Earth? Or anything behind their plans which was a bit frustrating. Again, I don’t want to spoil it but what happened to Petryn’s sister I thought was very weird and scary; I didn’t like it!! Whatever happened to happy endings?

Overall I am happy to award this book with 4/5 stars as I thought the plot was brilliant and really creative! The characters were fab and I could easily connect with them! It was such an easy read so if you are in a reading slump, I certainly recommend it!!

I would also like to thank Net Gallery for sending me this book and I can’t wait to read the next one!!

Love, Rosie (Where Rainbows End) – Cecelia Ahern

I’ve wanted to read this book ever since I watched the trailer for the film with Lily Collins and Sam Claflin (Gods). No matter how much I wanted to watch the film I made sure I read the book first, so no doubt I will be watching the film very soon and I hope it lives up to my expectations (always risky).

A little bit about this book… it basically follows the lives of two best friends, Rosie and Alex who have been best friends since they were about 4 years old. This book maps out their whole life through a 50 year time span and all the troubles they have along the way. This book is written in a very unique way, it’s all through letters, emails, notes and MSN messages. Not going to lie, it took me a while to get used to it, but once I did I was flying. The way it was written made the story incredibly fast paced but I never felt like I lost anything from the story which I think is a real credit to the author to be able to pull that off…

When I read this book I was in such a contemporary mood and I wanted to read something a bit mushy and full of love. This did have elements of love but I’ll tell you now it wasn’t all sunny, there are some moments when you’re screaming at the characters to just look up and see what’s right in front of them, and trust me it takes them a while… so if you want something really lovey dovey perhaps this isn’t the best option, but this in no way detracts from the quality of the story! This book also had me literally laughing out loud at some points, some lines were so witty and genuinely hilarious! But it’s not all laughs there are some very serious moments that are all relatable to someone and involve moments in everyone’s life that are meaningful which makes the audience for this book so wide and diverse!

I really enjoyed this book. It was sweet and a nice book to read anywhere. I wouldn’t say it was a quick read as it was almost 500 pages (although it does span about 50 years so fair play) but I would still recommend it to everyone and anyone who wants to read a light hearted, fun book! I’m going to rate this book 4 out of 5 stars * * * *, it was nice to chug along with but the only reason it wasn’t the full 5 stars was because I felt as though the book never quite reached a climax and kind of just ambled along. But that was my only real issue.

If you’ve seen the film or read the book I would love to hear your opinions so feel free to leave them in the comments below. And also if you feel as though it was an accurate representation pop those down in the comments as well.

Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

How could I have waited so long to read a series that has everything I like; magical powers, war, complicated sexy men, and a magnificently flawed female protagonist! Not to mention the alternative Russian setting! I have to thank the lovely lady in Waterstones who recommended this book to me; I’m so glad she did!! I loved the concept of the book and I feel in love with the world of Grisha however i have to admit that the book got a bit boring in the middle. But apart from that it was a good book and I can’t wait to read the next one!

The book follows the journey of Alina, a pale, lonely orphan who discovers a unique power which turns her world upside down as she becomes a Grisha. With this new power Alina must learn to control it as well as trying to follow her destiny. But discovering her power comes with a great risk?

For me the first part of the book was brilliant as it was full of twist and turns which kept you at the end of your seat. However putting a negative spin on things, i thought the middle part of the book when Alina spent time in the court, got a bit dull and boring. But I did redeem itself at the end and for the last 100 pages i was on the edge of my seat as it was packed full of action.

As for the characters, I thought Alina was brilliant; a real strong female protagonist. I loved the fact we saw her turn from a shy nobody to a strong hero with a destiny that could either save or destroy the world. I also loved Mal; the boy from home who grew up to again be a strong warrior. But then there’s The Darkling who is the complete opposite! He’s dark and mysterious; what more do you want. As every other young adult novel there has to be a love triangle and is this case it involves Alina, Mal and The Darkling. In my opinion I want Mal and Alina to end up together as I think they have a much better relationship and i could definitely see them living happily ever after. However we’ve still got two books left so who knows whats going to happen…

Overall I give this book 4/5 stars was it is has everything a fantasy novel needs; magical powers, wars and a great female protagonist!! It is brilliant. If your a fan of ‘Throne Of Glass’ or ‘Divergent’ I recommend you check it out!

And just recently, I found out that David Heyman, the Producer of the Harry Potter films is planning on making this a movie! Yay!!

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

I probably wouldn’t have read this if I didn’t have to. This book is my one of my exam texts for English (and also my co-blogger’s, we happen to be in the same class). That being said I still really enjoyed it, it was so beautifully written by Hosseini and a really touching story. Although I did find this book quite hard to crack open and read when I didn’t have to, and I’ll be honest if I didn’t have to finish it before the end of the Christmas holidays, I would probably only be about half way… but this is probably because I knew what happened as I have seen the play. So if you read it you may think differently and find it difficult to put down.

The book is about a young boy’s story. This boy’s name is Amir and is growing up in Afghanistan in the 1970’s before the revolution. Early in his childhood a devastating event changed him forever.This is a very hard book to describe whilst not spoiling it, and trust me you do not want this book spoiled or it will change your perspective of the plot entirely.

If I didn’t already know the story I would have whizzed through this book as there are so many twists and unexpected changes. This book also happens to be tragically sad, it’s so tragic that it almost seems unrealistic, but what saddens me most is that things like this do happen in Afghanistan and we only ever hear about on the news, as that is our main source of information, but this is watered down and easy to distance yourself from. But when reading this book it places you right in the middle of the action so you can experience the horrors first hand.

This book is breath taking and really moving, but you’re going to have to read it yourself to really understand what I’m chatting on about… and if you do, have some tissues ready…

I don’t really know what else to say, apart from that it really sent me through a whirlwind of emotions.

I’m going to give this book 4 out of 5 stars * * * *, I might be being a little harsh but I dropped a star because I found it difficult to read, but that is all…