Tag Archives: movies

The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill – A Review.

The Surface Breaks is a feminist re-telling of The Little Mermaid all dressed up and ready to go in the most beautiful cover I’ve seen all year. Louise O’Neill takes the story of The Little Mermaid back to it’s Hans Christian Anderson roots moving away from the Disney version we all know so well.

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When I was a little girl I loved Ariel and watched that movie many times but I also owned the (1975) Anime version of the tale. Which is a very close re-telling to the original fairy-tale and as a girl enjoyed both but for different reasons. It’s a much darker story which Disney turned on it’s head and made into something light and filled with a romantic musicality.

The Little Mermaid

I was excited to head into this new re-telling and from the first few pages I knew it had the original story ingrained in it’s roots. Louise O’Neill tells the story we all know well of a young mermaid princess who falls in love with a human boy, and after saving his life desperately wishes to become human. But there are two twists to this tale, the first is her feminist take on a classic, the Mer-people but specifically the mermaids live in a misogynistic and patriarchal society where there only choices are to be pretty to be silent and to be mothers. Beauty is how our little mermaid and her sisters measure their value and it causes repression, anguish and a fierce sibling rivalry.

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The second twist to this tale, no pun intended is this stories darkness long gone are the singing crabs and fishes for best friends but one thing stood still and firm, her roots at the very centre of  The Little Mermaid’s story, I am talking of cause about The Sea Witch. But even the word witch is turned on it’s head on this tale.  The Sea Witch is a major character in all versions and in The Surface Breaks I enjoyed this complicated interpretation of her character Ceto. She’s the centre of most of the stories darkest moments but has some great lines and oodles of body positivity all the while leaving me not really knowing if she was good or evil or just morally grey.

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Enjoying my summer reading time.

I really enjoyed this book, I would say it took a little while to get going, a lot of time was spent in Mer-society which was great… but I could of cut that just slightly shorter and gone above water sooner. The is a very famous fairy tale after all even down to the mermaid  losing her beautiful singing voice, all major plot points we know and love they remain. So there was no need to drag certain things out because as readers we know where the story is heading because we’ve been there before, it’s just a case of where we end up.

The book really got going up for me in the last 50 pages and while reading I felt we were in for a huge pay off. And I really did love the ending… but I could of done with an Epilogue or another chapter, the ending just felt a little unfinished to me especially in terms of Oliver I think he (and i’m being as vague as possibly here to keep it spoiler free) but I feel that all I really needed was a paragraph or two on him and then a chapter on what happens after the end of the book as we know it. It was brilliant but felt a little vague.

Anyone who has read The Surface Breaks let me know your opinions I would love to hear your thoughts.

Over all loved it! Great story telling and an interesting perspective from a unique female character who grows and develops as the story unfurls.

3/5 Stars!

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WWW Wednesday 7th March

It’s Wednesday and you know what that means it’s time for WWW Wednesday- the meme is currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you are planning on reading.

All you have to do is answer these three questions –

What are you currently reading? 

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

So here’s this weeks WWW Wednesday!

What are you currently reading? 

I am currently reading The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith.

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Most of the time crime novels do pass me by but I have recently seen the BBC adaptation starring Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger and it really got my hooked in the series. I know a lot of people would read this series just caused it’s penned by J.K Rowling but I’m not one of those people. So far I’m really enjoying the first book and look forward to reviewing the BBC series soon.

What did you recently finished reading? 

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I recently finished The Dead Poets Society by N.H Klienbaum I caught the film starring the late Robin Williams and if you haven’t seen it go and see it now it’s a classic and has some really inspirational things to say about books, poetry and literature in general.

Now the book unconventionally was written after the film and unfortunately you can tell. Most of the time films, tv, theatre ect they are adaptations and interpretations of the novel, sometimes good, sometimes bad but interpretations none the less.

N.H Klienbaum’s Dead Poet Society is a frame by frame re-write of the film, with all the magic sucked out. The great think about reading an original novel is that you get in the characters heads, you know what they’re thinking and feeling and some that can be lost in a film; it can be interpreted in different way like through facial expressions, a touch or glance or even music… Trying to translate screen to page would be possible if the author had a little imagination or flair or was allowed to deviate from the screen play just a little but copying basically verbatim?

I had to DNF  sometimes that’s just the way it goes.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I will probably read Still Me by JoJo Moyes I was lent this by a friend and can’t wait to jump into it and loved the first two novels! I have read the first couple of chapters and it was great to re-visit Lou and Nathan and I’m looking forward to reading about Lou’s next step and her New York adventure.

Me Before You – Review

After You – Review

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I also am planning on reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by very soon.

That’s all for this Wednesday, see next time!

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Page to Screen Series: Episode 1-Atonement

Hi Guys I’m starting a new series here on Paint and Butterflies Books a page to screen adaptations series and as I have very recently watched Atonement I thought it would be a great place to start.

One of my favourite things about reading apart from the actual reading of course is when beloved books get adapted for the big or small screen. I have reviewed some great and… some not so great adaptations but one of my favourite films I have never spoken about – Atonement. The book by Ian McEwan and the film starring Kierra Knightly and James Mcavoy, Dir by Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice)

 

 

I came to the film before the book when it was released in (2007) and have been really fond of it ever since. The book I read about three of four years ago and it only deepened my love for the story, while reading it I realised just how loyal the film version had been to the original material.

Firstly if you haven’t seen Atonement go see it right now, I’m about to spoil everything. The story is set the ‘golden’ summer before World War One, both the novel and the movie are set in three parts the first part being hot summers day at our main character Briony’s parents country home in England it is important to note that Briony is thirteen years old. Briony is the youngest of three children,  her sister Cecilia is a Cambridge graduate and is home enjoying the summer and their elder brother Leon is coming home for a visit bringing his friend Paul Marshall a chocolate millionaire with him for the weekend and Briony is elated to see her brother. But also a little confused, her universe is shifting and for the first time in a long while she’s not the center of it. She is a young writer and plans to write him and perform him a play to celebrate his return- The Trials of Arabella by Briony Taliss.

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The young family invite Robbie the housekeepers son to dinner after seeing him on the approach their fine country house. This wasn’t just a random act of kindness Robbie is like a member the family, Cecilia, Leon and Briony’s father had taken kindly to his House Keepers son and he had paid for his schooling and later his Cambridge education in which he attended at the same time as Cecelia although they weren’t friends they never spoke.

Everything that occurs for the rest of the novel and the rest of these characters lives is decided on this one sunny afternoon. Briony sees something she doesn’t understand-her sister and Robbie having an argument fueled with sexual tension by a fountain in the garden. Briony sees this through a window, with no context  but instead of asking questions she starts to doubt Robbie’s moral character and being the kind of character Briony is she creates her own fantasy scenario with hero and villains and her own version of right and wrong unable it seems to distinguish from what is truth or fact and what’s in the reality going on around her.

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Later that evening Briony catches Robbie and Ceclia having sex in the library, they have just confessed their  love for each-other. But in Briony’s mind Robbie is further the villain who was hurting her big sister, the fantasy continues. Now a fantasy is fine in it’s self when no harm is caused.

Briony’s cousins Lola, Jackson and Pierro are staying with them while their parents are divorcing and surrounded by scandal and the troublesome twins Jackson and Pierro go missing at dinner. While everyone is looking for them in the darkness Lola their elder sister is raped and is discovered by Briony. Briony did see the perpetrator but could never be sure who it was. She convinces herself it was Robbie and tells the Police she is knows it was him and this certainty puts him in prison until the start of the war. The question is how accountable is Briony for her actions? I think from a very young age we know the basics of right and wrong and when it’s play time and when’s it’s not. Briony is forever in a state of play, she doesn’t learn or progress the same way other children do she doesn’t care about the world outside her own childhood bubble and thinks if she tells her story to herself or others that makes it so. She said Robbie was evil so it was so it’s the whole writer is God complex, she is dark and terrifying.

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The rest of the book follows Robbie and Cecelia’s separate lives and reunion, and of course the repercussion the war, and what it had on them and Briony. For Robbie that was prison and having to join the army as a private thanks to Briony’s actions always keeping him closer to the danger. Eventually his on journey would lead him to Dunkirk. When Robbie and Cecilia do finally get to see each other again for half an hour in a coffee shop Cecilia has to leave to go back to the hospital where she is nurse. You can still feel that love between the two characters but also the distance because they have never really been given a chance to be together.

 

 

 

Cecilia mentions how Leon stands outside her flat and tries to see her and another implication of what Briony has done to so many people hits again, this lie had destroyed a family, two families. The family have lost Cecilia, Cecilia has lost her family, Robbie’s mother left alone and had to watch her only child be dragged off to prison and probably lost her job because how can she keep working for the family now? And Briony really has come off unscathed, yes she nursed in a hospital for a bit but really she’s the centre of the universe like she always wanted.

Atonement

There is a section in the book where Robbie and Cecilia are living in a white house by the sea it’s something they talk about a lot in the book and in the film, they are together and they are happy. In this scene Briony apologies to Cecilia and Robbie tells them she wants to help clear Robbie’s Name. She also tells them that Paul Marshall the chocolate millionaire really raped Lola but she is also now his wife.

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We later find that this conversation was fiction and all happened in the context of Briony’s Novel she has released in the present day, and never could of happened because Robbie died at Dunkirk on the last day of the evacuation, Cecelia also died because of a bombing and burst water main and were never reunited. Briony sees this book as her Atonement, cleansing herself of her crime. I have mulled Briony over and over in my mind and I personally think she is vindictive, nasty little madam who was old enough to know better. She lived in her own head more than was normal and as much as writers and creatives do live in their own head a little (or a lot) Briony blurred the lines of reality and fantasy until she couldn’t see which was which.

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I found a quote from James Mcavoy who played Robbie saying she was ‘nuts…and she can rot in hell…’ I’m inclined to agree.

 

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New Releases and Books I’m Excited to Read in 2017

There are some great books coming out this year and I for one am really excited about some of this years up and comers! Here are some of the books that will be hitting the top of my TBR as soon as they hit the shelves.

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Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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Cassandra Clare is one of my favourite authors and I love it when a new Shadow Hunter novel is released. Last year I blasted through Lady Midnight and although I will definitely have to re-read it before the release of Lord of Shadows in May, I just love this well-developed world and look forward to every new book.

Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

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I had heard so much about the first book in this series A Court of Thornes and Roses and just wasn’t that interested in another Beauty and the Beast re-telling. Sometimes I love a re-telling (anything Alice in Wonderland related I am always all over!) But Beauty and the Beast seemed so familiar to me, the story so set in stone I wasn’t willing to give ACOTAR a go UNTIL I got a copy for Christmas and boy was I wrong. I blasted through ACOTAR and its sequel A Court of Mist and fury back to back. I haven’t reviewed them yet so I will leave it there, but needless to day I loved them and I can’t wait till the third book comes out in May and wish I had it in my hands right now!

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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I read the first book in Laini Taylor’s  A Daughter of Smoke and Bone series about three years ago. Her writing style was so beautiful her imagination is something deep and unusual that creates deep intriguing stories. I’m not sure what happened because it was three years ago but I failed to pick up book 2 and 3 in the series although I always planned to…

Now she had a new book coming out this time about a war between Gods and Humans and I can’t wait to see what she has in store! Hopefully, I can finish her first series before Strange the Dreamer hits the shelves March 28th!

Other books I’m excited to read this year!

I always have a rough idea of some of the books I would like to get to in a year, I don’t like my TBR for a year to be too big because things always change with new books coming out and ARCs I may get sent or just books that I just have to buy. But I do have a few books that I plan to get to in the immediate future- (other than the above) and that I’m particularly excited about reading.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – Currently reading

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Okay, look. This series like the A Court of Thorne and Roses series was never really on my radar, but after reading  ACOTAR and ACMAF I found that I loved Sarah J Maas’ writing style so much that would be doing myself a disservice as a reader if I didn’t give her first series a shot and so far I’m loving it.

The Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry 

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Anyone who follows me on Goodreads knows that I have been looking for a Gothic novel (preferably with a romance for quite some time, the romance doesn’t have to be the main plot,  it can be a sub- plot)  but it has to be written in the modern day and not a classic like Dracula or Northanger Abbey, although they are both great stories. I am hoping the Essex Sepernt is going to fill that void. In my hunt for a gothic romance written in the modern day I have found some great pieces of fiction my favouite being  Bodies of Water by L.H Leslie. Any recommendations on this subjection very welcome!

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

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I know people have their opinons about Stephenie Meyer but when I was a teenger I enjoyed the Twilight books, I’m not a teenger anymore I’m a twenty something and have grown beyond Edward, Jacob and Bella and can see their flaws. I also have read her first adult novel The Host which I love and keeping The Host in mind I am embarking on The Chemist with great optomism, her first thriller I belive.

 Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern 

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I’m a long standing fan of Cecelia Ahern, I have been reading her since I was a teenger and since her first novel P.S I love You. The Lyrebird sounds quite mysterious to me, it is about a woman I belive who has earned herself the nickname the Lyrebird beacuase of her great talent for mimickary.

I have decided to go into the book almost blind because I feel that I will get most out of it that way.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, I’ll see you next time!

Mel and jared

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The Fault in Our Stars – Movie Review

If you follow me on Twitter (@chloemckayyy) you might have seen me tweeting about The Fault in Our Stars today. I have had a couple of (well deserved) days of work and a few of my friends and I got together and decided to have a bit of a movie marathon starting with The Fault in Our Stars.

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Now I have been putting on The Fault in Our Stars for a while now (both book and movie, I’m still yet to read the book), sometimes I do this when books get a bit over hyped I start off wanting to read it and at some point when the hype just goes seriously insane my interest wanes and the book goes on my probably not going to read anytime soon TBR.

But I have to say watching the film adaptation has totally changed my mind and I have already ordered myself a copy of the novel by John Green.

Synopsis of the film (and book)…

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“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

When you go into a film knowing you are watching a story about two young people with cancer the emotional heights can be high (tissues at the ready anyone?)

I loved the book (not the film) My Sister Keeper by Jodi Picoult so had that sort of in the back of my mind when going into The Fault in Our Stars, they were absolutely NOTHING alike but both just as brilliant.

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What I loved about this film aside from the fabulous acting, the story does the amazing job of telling a love story but also a really unfair love story. This isn’t just a story of two teenagers who fall in love this is a story of the realities of life and sometimes, although we don’t like to think about it, life can be absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. We can laugh, we can love, be kind and a terrible disease can rip all those things away from us, us and the ones we love and who love us.

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This film didn’t hold back, and I’m sure a huge part of that was due to the author of the novel John Green. When a story is sad the easy thing to do is to say, don’t worry everything is going to be alright, or give the characters a happy ending. That doesn’t happen here and that is so brave.

The pay off for me as a viewer was, firstly I have ordered the book and can’t wait to read it to compare it the film, I should also say that I didn’t just wipe a couple of tears away while watching this movie I wept, I sobbed uncontrollably. I fell in love with these characters and when you love with something you wish there was a better way, but there are real people out there who have to deal with these issues, so when it comes to this film and this ending I really feel there was no better way.

Okay?

Okay.

I hope you enjoyed my The Fault in Our Stars Review, see you next time!

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Cheerful Weather For The Wedding Review

I feel as though I have been a little slow on the uptake when it comes films recently – or at least good films, I put this down to the fact that I am drowning in books. I have no excuse I know but it’s the only one I’ve got.  Cheerful Weather For The Wedding was adapted for the screen from Julia Strachey 1932 novella by Persephone books the cover painted by Lamorna artist Harold Knight is stunning.

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The summer before…

I finally got round to watching the film Dir Donald Rice and staring Felicity Jones and Luke Treadaway it is also has fabulous and hilarious supporting cast including Elizabeth McGovern, Mackenzie Crook and Ellie Kendrick.

The film and novella  are about a young woman called Dolly and are set on the morning of her winter wedding day.While her rather curious family are down stairs she is upstairs in her room, drinking rum, vomiting, and acting nothing like the traditional movie bride we have all come to know and love/sneer and laugh at. Throughout the film Dolly continues to barricade herself in her bedroom becoming further and further acquainted with rum, avoiding one particular guest who waits to see her desperately before she says I do. The story is told though a series of flash backs between the summer before the wedding and the present from either Dolly’s or the waited guest (Joesph’s) perspective.

Keeping their nerve

Dolly’s family I think  are great representation of every family and it is Dolly’s family who make the film great. The deaf uncle, the child with home made cherry bombs and his two parents begging him to behave and failing miserably. A husband who’s wife loathes his family and the judgmental mother who will always disapprove of her child’s choices and is blind of the real goings on to her own family, and siblings who in spite ourselves we sneer at and find a constant, reliable source of amusement.

Goodbye my love

Cheerful Weather For a Wedding is a realistic love story told through the eyes of the leading man on the morning  the love of his life is set to marry another man. The story is written beautifully and shows the complexities of women, it also portrays how saying what you feel is difficult no matter your sex and how sometimes the end of the story is simply goodbye.