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.

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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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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.

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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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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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Runes by Ednah Walters Review

I have been in a bit of a reading slump recently and for me normally the best cure for a slump is a good YA novel with a decent love interest. I had seen Runes bouncing around Booktube and in my need for something YA, light and fluffy I gravitated towards it, it also helped that it’s currently free for Amazon Kindles! I was also drawn to Runes because it was about mythology and I love books about myths, legends and fairytales.

This book focuses on Norse mythology and it was interesting learning more about Norse Myths as I was only really aware of them in relation to Vikings.

Runes

Runes follows Raine Cooper a teenage girl whose mysterious black-haired, blue-eyed neighbour  has just moved in next door. Raine is having a hard year, her father is missing and her mother  is losing the plot, but she always has her two best friends Cora and Erik and her trusted swim team. When mysterious and accidents start to happen in her life always surrounding her swim team Raine starts to wonder if her mysterious new neighbour and his creepy friends have something to do with these strange and dangerous goings on.

Sadly, although I have seen many positive reviews for this book I felt this was just a mash up between really poor versions of The First Mortal Instruments Book and a bad Twilight and other common YA tropes that I’ve seen time and time again.
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This book has insta-love by the bucket load and all the stereotypical bad boy cliches that YA is known for… this is the kind of book that gives YA a bad name. BUTTTT slightly redeemed by a pretty decent cliff hanger but I won’t be moving on to book two.

Paint and Butterflies Rating – 1/5 Stars

I hope you enjoyed my Runes book review, happy reading everyone!

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Let’s talk about… My Rating System and How I Review My Reads

I have been wanting to write a discussion post for a while about my rating system and how I personal rate and review my books. From looking at other bloggers and Vloggers out there is seems that most people work from the 5 Stars Goodreads/Netgalley/Amazon basis. Which when you are all reviewing as part of the same ‘community’ keeps things pretty clear cut, or so you would think.

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I problem with the 5 Star rating system that I have heard mentioned a few times- how can I rate Pride and Prejudice (or classics like it) the same way I would rate The Host by Stephenie Myer these are two great novels both which I have given a 5 Star rating but is there any way we can compare them? Surely isn’t one better or more valued than the other, so how can they be equally worth 5 Star?

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Stop. Or you will drive yourself rating system crazy!

This is true. When most sites only give you the option of a 5 Star rating and I like to keep my blog in line with how I have rated a book else where (be it Goodreads, Netgalley) where ever, so where in lies the limitation. I see decimal points used a lot and I’m not against that but it’s not really how I like to rate I stick to the 1-5 barrier and if I think a book is a ‘low’ 4 star for example I will say so in my review the same way I would if it was a high 4 star but didn’t quite reach the pinnacle of a 5 star rating.

I have 3.26 Goodreads

Some might say this is pretty low but I would say I am a harsh but fair reviewer and I don’t give 1-star ratings, my opinion is if a person bothered to sit down and write a book, they at least deserve one star. If I give a book 1 star the likely hood is I hated it or DNF, it happens to the best of us and is nothing personal.

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2-star ratings are normally books that I haven’t particularly enjoyed, perhaps struggled to get through for whatever reason. I like a story to really pull me in and keep me there and if a book doesn’t do that a book is alway going to get a lower rating from me. A 2-star rating can be from anything from writing style or pacing to dislike of a character. That’s the great thing about books they are totally subjective, something that I don’t like some else is going to love!

I always think of a 3-star rating as a pretty solid read that I have had a great time reading that book. If I read a book and give it 3 stars that is a good rating I enjoyed it, I just reserve my 4/5star ratings for books which really, truly grab and stay with me.

When rating a book four stars I think of it as really rating 5 stars because I so rarely give out a 5-star ratingS. (I’ve done it a handful of times since I’ve bee blogging) Some of my favourite books are books I have rated 4- stars, I know I am a tough reviewer and I don’t give out praise easily but that’s because when I give a 5-star ratings I want them mean something.

I guess I think of 5 star rated books as perfect (to me) I have rated The History Boys by Alan Bennett 5 Stars along with The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Clockwork Prince as well as a handful of others and I look forward to finding more!

The most important thing is rating, reviewing it’s fun right? Let’s remember the subjectiveness of reading what’s for me might not be for you but we read, hear about new books and that’s what it’s all about!

Happy reading everyone!

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After You by JoJo Moyes – Book Review

Ebook provided by Netgalley in return of an honest review.

Spoilers for Me Before You Ahead!

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After You is the sequel to Jo Jo Moyes international bestseller Me Before You. The first novel followed Lou Clarke a young woman stuck in a rut and suddenly finds herself desperate for a job and working for Will. Will is a former international playboy, business man and now Quadriplegic.

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Will and Lou (or Finnick and Khaleesi!)

Will wants to die, he intends to end is life and for his friends and family the clock is ticking to change his mind and keep him living. Lou finds that in Will’s sad life she might have something to learn from a man who used to live big and Will finds that from Lou he might just have something to Learn…

Me Before You was one of my favourite reads of the year it is heartbreaking and beautiful and left me feeling like I really knew all the characters but in particular Lou and Will.

So when I heard there was going to be a sequel to a book that a genuinely LOVE I was nervous but really excited.

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What did I think?

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After You picks up about a year after Will’s death and we take a look at the repercussions for Lou and the other characters. Lou is suffering greatly without Will and her grief leads her to getting drunk and falling off a roof(classic Lou). Her fall leads to Lou meeting the lovely Sam a paramedic and perfect for our grieving heroin.

Me Before You

After You is a book about grief, Lou’s grief, the grief of Will’s parents and the grief of characters who are new to the story. It’s  a book that is a process, Lou wanting to fore-fill her promise to Will. I really enjoyed re-visiting Lou again but as I was reading the problems I had with the original novel were still present- I don’t really like Lou’s family, I find them selfish and grasping and to be honest just really unlikable and I have similar issues with Will’s family.

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Emilia Clarke as Lou in the up and coming film (2016)

What made Me Before You great was having Lou and Will together in their different  family dynamics and I missed the dialogue between the two of them with Nathan always in the back ground making a happy three.

I enjoyed reading After You but the best part for me was the end-

SPOILERS

When reading Me Before You and now After You all I wanted for Lou was a happy ending and After You gave me that and I’m so grateful.

Would recommend. 4/5 Stars keep your eyes peeled for the film that comes out in 2016!