Category Archives: Books and Television

Page to Screen Series: Episode Two- A Cuckoo’s Calling

Hey guys and welcome back to the second episode of my brand new Page to Screen series launched only last week. The basic premise is that I will talk about books that have been adapted for the big and small screen but in a more in-depth way than when I just do a standard review. I don’t hold back in these discussions but I will try and do this as spoiler free as possible as I know many people still have series this on their TBR.

Here is Episode one where I talked about Atonement.

a cuckoo's calling

If you have dropped by my blog in the last week you may have noticed I have mentioned the Cormoran Strike Series a few (okay many) times. It all started when I binged the BBC adaptation and then began reading the first book. As someone who is not really a lover of crime it was a surprise that I have completely falling in love with this series and it’s characters.

Based on the Robert Galbraith (J.K Rowling) novel of the same name A Cuckoo’s calling stars Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger they play the one legged private investigator Comoran Strike and his new assistant and temp Robin.

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Strike is the son of a model and rock star and internally has been dealing with his mothers murder for years he also lost his leg while serving in the army. So when he meets Robin on the morning he and his long time girlfriend Charlotte break up after a blazing row he has been through a lot.

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Robin has moved to London to be with her boyfriend Mathew and has been temping, an intelligent university graduate Robin is capable if achieving more than she has been doing and at this point in her life she knows she has been floundering. But it’s only when she walks into Strike’s office and he nearly kills her by knocking her down the stairs that she starts to feel a sense of gravitational pull and knows that working with Strike is where she’s suppose to be.

Although her Fiance Mathew hates her doing the job and that friction is felt between them as he desires her to work in a more corporate environment. The reader can feel his dislike of Strike, it just flies off the page and this has been translated brilliantly on screen. Strike who really is just a quite loner, he lives for the job and is busy building his fledgling business but Mathew dislikes him,  just as much he dislikes the fact that working for him makes Robin a low earner.

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Together Strike and Robin have been hired to re-examine the case of Luna Landry a model at the height of her fame when it appeared she jumped from her penthouse. The Celebrity world comes easy to Strike and washes over him like nothing but it’s exciting for Robin moving in these glamours but ultimately tragic circles.

Luna, it’s reveled was adopted and had been investigating her biological family and for a time it’s thought that this could be the reason for her death.

Luna Landry

I really like Rowling’s writing for adults, I’ve said before that Harry Potter wasn’t really part of my childhood it somehow managed to pass me by until about three years ago when I read the whole series. I should say I enjoyed the Harry Potter books but I think when you consume something whether that be books or music or movies as a child or in your teens it has a different effect on you than when you just  experience it as an adult, a huge part of that is the nostalgia factor.

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Reading Rowling’s writing as Robert Galbraith has been a really lovely experience she invokes some interesting discussions including race and disability. I am thrilled that the Strike series is continuing with the adaptation of Lethal White I just hope the book comes out soon!

I hope you enjoyed Episode two of my page to screen series, I love reading your comments especially if you have opinions on the books or the series, I’ll see you next time!

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International Women’s Day- Favourite Ladies in Literature 2018

Hello everyone and happy International Women’s day! All the way back in 2016 I wrote a post for International Women’s day on my Favourite Fictional Females, in 2017 I decided not to do the same list because I didn’t think it could have grown or changed that much from 2016.

This year I am giving the list another go, with fresh eyes and newly acquired reading habits and although I have gone over my list from 2016 and I still stand by all the ladies on that list I just want to add a few more. I always like to hear what you guys think and any ladies you think should have made my lists and haven’t.

Robin Ellecott – The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

 

From going over my 2016 list I realised how heavily my lists are influenced by what I’m reading at the time and Robin is a perfect example of that as I’m currently reading The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (not that that means she doesn’t deserve to make this years list!) cause she does, she’s awesome.

Robin is a strong and Independent woman  who has had some bumpy roads in life, her career has taken and nose dive and although she doesn’t know it she’s in a relationship with the wrong man. Robin is all about fighting for what she wants and she wants a career, she wants to be a PI and although she took some wrong turns and dark corners that have lead her the wrong way she is fighting for the life she wants and deserves. She’s brilliant, a power house and above all a great detective.

Lou Clarke- Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

 

I am such a long time Me Before You fan and Lou fan, Lou is full of heart right down to her core. She loves her family wants to do the best she can for them, she’s a little lost though which makes her totally relatable. Lou’s self discovery and love and eventual  loss of Will makes her one of my favourite characters.

Me Before You- Book Review

Demelza Poldark- Poldark Series by Winston Graham

 

Ahh Demelza, anyone hate Ross as much as I do? I mean seriously what was that guy playing at? Demelza is brilliant she is strong and fiery, she was a poor girl who came from nothing, a father who beat her and left her half starved but this eventually lead her to Ross her future husband… I don’t want to spoil the series for anyone who hasn’t read it or watched it but the woman can handle herself and she needs to cause she’s going to go through some seriously tough times- all hail Demelza Poldark.

Catherine Earnshaw – Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 

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Oh how we all love to hate Kathy Earnshaw, one of the most self indulgent and selfish characters ever written. But Kathy was strong, wild passionate and a free thinking individual. What ever you think of her life choices and some of her questionable decisions and motives no one can question Kathy’s strength of heart.

Dolly – Cheerful Weather For the Wedding by Julia Strachey 

 

When we meet Dolly it’s her wedding day and she is decided whether or not to marry her fiance while her former lover waits to talk to her desperate to talk to her but he is trapped downstairs while she locks herself in her bedroom drinking in her wedding dress. Dolly is a great example of the tragedies that can befall us in adult hood especially if we don’t know which choice to make.  Dolly is also a woman who I think we have seen many times before if real life, the lines between reality and fantasy are just a little blurred and she doesn’t realise till it’s to late how damaging that can be.

My full review of Cheerful Weather for the Wedding 

So I hope you enjoyed my choices for International Women’s day, hope you’ve all had a good day and I’ll see you next time!

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Let’s Talk About Grantchester! 

A Priest and Policeman walk into a bar… I know what you’re thinking this sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but that one line is basically the entire premise for this show… (sort of). Based on the Sidney Chambers novels by James Runcie Grantchester has now returned to ITV at 9.00 for its third series and it’s a welcome return in the shape of a typical British Sunday night drama.

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For those who don’t know the books or the show follows clergyman Sidney Chambers (played by James Norton) and his sleuthing adventures with best friend older Policeman Geordie (played by Robson Green). The two men are bound by friendship but also by their differences many of which are not just generational. Where, for instance, does young Sidney and Geordie who is twenty years his senior stand on subjects such as the death penalty? And in the most recent series infidelity? All are explored in a show that has morality, love and friendship at its very core.

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The series follow the men’s personal and professional lives and their many highs and lows Sidney and his long standing will they won’t they with his ‘friend’ Amanda is an on-going theme throughout the show. This is a detective series though with a weekly murder in this quaint English village that really shouldn’t have that many murders and more often than not it’s solved by the Priest, not the Detective, but that is all part of the charm of this programme.

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If Sidney and Geordie aren’t enough to reel you in and Sidney’s dramatic almost romance with Amanda still doesn’t have you convinced then watch it for Leonard the lovely shy Priest, who always provides comic relief. Oh yeah and Dickens, because who doesn’t love a black labrador puppy following James Norton round on a bike? That’s right, no one!

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I hope you enjoyed today’s post I’d love to hear your thoughts, see you next time!

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Shadowhunters Season 2 Episdoes 1-3 Review

Hi guys, today I want to have a chat about the brand new season of Shadowhunters!

For those of you who don’t know or are stopping by my blog for the first time, I am a huge fan of Cassandra Clare’s books and have been hoping so hard that the Freeform adaptation is going to be a success. This isn’t going to be a negative review but it’s not going to be a glowing one either, it’s just going to be a quick discussion about, which for me are the highs and lows of season 2 of Shadowhunters so far.

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The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Let’s start with the good,  since season one the actors seem like they’re really getting a handle on their characters and coming together as a unit. My problem is not with the actors, I think they were well cast and are it seems a talented lot, my issue is how the writers have chosen to portray the characters from book to screen (but I’ll get to that).

The show is enjoyable with highs and lows and it has something that a lot of shows don’t have, a built-in fan base. If I was watching it having not read the books I would say it had a bit of a Vampire Diaries feel to it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing it just the way Shadowhunters is shot, the ‘iffy’ dialogue and the interaction between the characters stinks of a teen drama and The Mortal Instruments book series is so much more than that. After all, children’s/young adult literature that can only be read by children is pretty poor quality literature and the same should be said of adaptations of its works should it not? The book series is a hard hitting gritty saga with some seriously mature content, done differently I think the show could have received a much wider audience and I feel the show runners and writers did the show a disservice by putting it in such a pigeon hole.

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Now for the not so great, hardly anything that’s currently happening in the show actually happened in the books. I do not understand, do the writers think they can do better than the author? The author who sold millions of copies of her books, who is beloved by her fans because her world actually makes sense.

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Look, the Shadow World like all the best words out there (Narnia, Middle Earth, The Wizarding Word and so on) has rules, break those rules and everything around you starts to crumble. I laughed out loud watching episode three, Clary all of a sudden having a rune that gives her the same powers as Tessa Grey? Come on writers, there is no such Rune that’s one of the reasons Tessa (A character from The Infernal Devices for all who don’t know) is so special, she is unique and all of sudden, what she isn’t unique, she isn’t special? And don’t get me started on the whole Stele swipe thing, what is that seriously?

I am not opposed to writers changing a few things when books are adapted for the big and small screen, look at A Game of Thrones and Outlander they are both fantastic examples of book to television done really, really well and changes have been made in both shows without damaging the integrity of the core material.

Magnus Bane

I also want to talk about the character of Magnus, what the hell have they done to him?!Book Magnus is funny, sexy, sassy and full of one-liners, t.v Mangus is sooo serious and a bit needy for my taste. For me there is no comparison it’s like the writers have sucked all the life out of the character. Harry Shum Jr who plays him does a good job but the lines he is given are not a lot to work with.

Overall I am giving Shadowhunters a 3/5 stars it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. I believe the show runners are changing for the second half of the season so we will see what happens going forward.

Parabatai

Mild Spoilers for Lady Midnight and Episode 3 of Shadowhunters ahead

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I don’t want to end this review on a negative note to I would like to mention something that I loved. In Cassandra Clare’s most recent book Lady Midnight she talks a lot about Parabatai and what they mean to each other and at one point explains how the Parabatai ceremony is almost like a wedding. When Jace saves Alec I really felt that we got a good idea of just how bonded Parabatai are and how if one of them dies a part of the other would die too, it was a beautiful scene.

That’s it for today I hope you enjoyed my Shadowhunters chat! I’ll be back with more Shadowhunters later in the season, see you next time!

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Let’s talk about Shadowhunters!

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Disclaimer these are just my opinions and are not meant to offend anyone!

I think  I should say before I begin that I am a big fan of The Mortal Instruments/ Infernal Devices (I am yet to read Lady Midnight) and ever since the terrible but I think we can all  say well-meaning film adaptation I have gone into this series with trepidation and LOW expectations. I think it’s fair to say that the casting is just better than the film but my only real issue is Magnus but I’ll get there- one thing at a time.

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I did want to wait until I watched the whole series and do a series review but… I thought it was okay to have a chat about Shadowhunters before season 1 wraps. I was watching Youtube today and I heard PolandBanana Books say something which made sense to me, (I am power phrasing here) but basically she said when it comes to fantasy there are rules and you have to stick to those or no one knows what’s going on. I think she makes a really good point, the great thing about Cassandra Clare’s books is that she has created the Shadow World weather reading about Shadow Hunters in Victorian London or Modern day New York us as readers know the rules. We know how a Stele works, what Runes do what a Parabati is (lets all pause for a Will and Jem moment) but the show has blundered in and broken a lot of these fundamental rules which for me when watching the show play out is problematic. The biggest ‘rule break’ for me in the show so far is Alec and Jace and their Parabati bond.

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Spoilers from here on guys!

When I think of Parabati I think of Will and Jem the ultimate Parabati they were in love with the same woman from crying out load and they still loved each other just as much, their bond was that unbreakable the only thing that can break a Parabati bond is death, death! It is not so easily broken by one Parabati ‘searching for the other’ or being angry at the other.

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Parabati can angry, furious at the other but are still prepared to die for the other and that’s what separates the books from the show they are failing to show the love that should exist between Alec and Jace all because of that bond.
Following along the lines of rules or rule breaking we all know Shadowhunters heal, get their power from Runes so can someone please tell me why Jace was having a blood transfusion in the last episode? What? I mean huh? Seriously?

What

I feel like it is necessary to mention the whole Micheal Wayland Valentine Glamour thing- (pulls exasperated face) the thing is it is these such plot holes/ unnecessary plot devices that give book adaptations a bad name. Is it necessary to once again dumb down material which has been so successful? But I should say that I am enjoying the show and I do want it to be successful but I think at the moment it’s a bit of a ruff and ready adaptation.

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I just want to briefly mention Magnus, Harry Shum Jr is a great casting choice but what is with all Magnus’ dialogue? It is all so beggy in regards to Alec, book Magnus is my favourite character and has so much wit and so much sass he is missing his Magnus charm and I hope we get to see more of the Magnus we know and love soon!

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Finally, I want to mention Jace and Simon (Jace) and the Jace Simon relationship is the biggest let down for me- book Jace has funny line after funny line, his sniping with Simon made me laugh out loud while reading I hope we get to see more of this hilarious relationship.

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But having said all that I am really enjoying this show so far and looking forward to seeing the rest of the season and super excited for season 2!

Hope everyone is enjoying Shadowhunters!

Happy Reading Everyone!

izzy

 

Outlander Season 2 – Update

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It feels like ages since I have had any Outlander in my life but with the ongoing Droughtlander here are some pictures of season 2 and the new teaser to ease the count down to April.

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We last left our couple on a boat sailing to France and the new series picks up from were we left them. Series 2 is based on the second novel Dragon Fly in Amber where Jamie and Claire have arrived in France in French court of Charles Stewart ready to stop the Highlands uprising in an attempt to change history and save Scotland.

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Claire and Jamie will be facing new and more politically charged dangers than their time in Scotland with the clock ever ticking towards Culloden.

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Meanwhile Dragonfly and Amber is the first book that features Jamie and Claire’s redheaded daughter Brianna. While in the books a twenty year old Brianna is mentioned and leads the first chapters the Show-runners have indicated that Brianna may not feature to later on in Season 2.

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I hoped this helped the drought and if you’re still feeling the lack of Claire and Jamie in your lives you can watch the brand new teaser trailer here! If that’s still not enough then go pick up the books 🙂

Lady Chatterley’s Lover – BBC Adaptation Review

Disclaimer at the time this review was written I had not read the D.H Lawrence novel Lady Chatterley’s lover (book review to come)

The BBC is known for it’s period drama’s so it was no great surprise when an adaptation Lady Chatterley’s Lover hit our screen at 9.00pm in Sunday night. The Story of Lady Constance Chatterley (Holliday Grainger) whose husband is paralysed in WW1. When Lord Clifford (James Norton) returns from the war he is changed man and his relationship with his wife suffers greatly when it is revealed he is impotent and they are unable to have a child. Clifford deprives his wife of affection and isolates himself from the world and it was during this lonely period that Constance meets Oliver Mellors Lord Chatterley’s Game Keeper (Richard Madden). Oliver is going through his own heart break having discovered his wife was pregnant with another mans child while he was way during the war and so, through their meetings the two begin to bond.

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The story is one of the distinction of class during that time period and the meeting of two lonely souls. Also Constance doesn’t seem to belong in the world in which she lives all the while Oliver is desperate to see the class system come crashing down. The BBC adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a love story crossing the classes something at the time which was an impossibility.

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Although while watching it it was hard to imagine why it was ever a banned book. Many D.H Lawrence readers have commented again and again that this is not a faithful adaptation and the original story is nowhere to be found. Having not read the book yet I can’t comment but I have started it as I was curious. And I will say this I am 20% percent in and we have only just met Oliver Mellors…

Did I enjoy it?  

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I really, really did, the actors were great in the roles and it was somehow heart breaking and akward for a modern viewer. The class system is really delved into in a way you don’t get to see in shows like Downton Abbey or in film because I think for the sake of entertainment the past has been glamorised. Lady Chatterley’s Lover gave the viewer an idea of how different classes treated and spoke about eachother and what it would have taken for these two characters to be together but not to stay together.

Paint and Butterflies Rating – 4/5 stars

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