Why I Love… Star Trek Beyond

star trek beyond movie posterI went to the cinema to see Star Trek Beyond for the fifth time this week. It’s now my most watched film at the cinema and I just love it a lot. It’s hard to try and put in words why I love it so much, I do think it might be something to do with the passing of Anton Yelchin which affected me more than any other “celebrity death” ever has, but there’s definitely more to it than that.

Star Trek Beyond is full of hope and characters who trust each other and work together. Pretty much every other summer blockbuster this year has had characters being involved in a conflict against someone they were once friends with, like Captain America: Civil War, or just generally being quite “dark and gritty” like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and X-Men: Apocalypse. Star Trek Beyond is like the opposite of that, the crew of the Enterprise are split up and each face different challenges but they all work together. The line that really encapsulates Star Trek Beyond and its character is when Uhura says “There is strength in unity.” It’s the perfect message for the film and also for our real world where you’ve got Brexit and Trump dividing people and countries. (more…)

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. So this week as we are nearing the end of summer, it’s time to have a look and see what books I really want to read before the end of 2016.

ZorroZorro by Isabel Allende
I love The Mask of Zorro staring Antonia Banderas so I really want to read an actual book about Zorro. This is kind of a biography and origin story for the legendary character and that sounds super interesting.

 

 

Slaughterhouse 5Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
This is a classic and a short one at that. I got it from a firend who was getting rid of a lot of his books as he was moving abroad so I nabbed this one as it’s one of those books I’d been meaning to read for ages. Plus, everyone I know who has read it loved it so that just makes me want to read it more.

 

FracturedFractured by Terri Terry
I read Slated earlier this year and really enjoyed it so straight away went and bought the two other books in the trilogy but I still haven’t read them. I want to at least read the second book Fractured by the end of the year and hopefully I’ll love it as much as Slated so I’ll just end up marathoning the rest of the trilogy.

 

HomegoingHomegoing by Yaa Gyasi
This is one of my more recent purchases. I’m trying to read more diversely and Homegoing has had a lot of good reviews. Plus, it’s got a pretty cover and it’s relatively short.

 

 

Persepolis ElenaSquareEyesPersepolis by Marjane Satrapi
This book has been on my shelves for over a year and it’s a graphic novel so it should be a quick read. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Persepolis and it’s a couple of my friends favourite books.

 

 

What books do you definitely want to try and read before the end of the year?

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week. This week it’s time to be honest and to shed a light on the books that have been on our shelves since before we started blogging. I set this blog up in the summer 2013 but only started regularly blogging from the start of 2014. So these books will have been sitting unread on my shelves for at least two and a half years.

Always Looking Up by Michael J Fox
I love Back to the Future and Michael J. Fox so when I went through a bit of an autobiography phase many years ago, his was one of the ones I bought. I still haven’t read it.

The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper
When there was a film adaptation of The Dark is Rising in 2007 I was all like, “I want to read the book before seeing the film” so I bought a big bind-up of all the books in the series. I’ve still not read any of the books and I’ve also never seen the film.

Last Man Standing by David Baldacci
This book actually belonged to my grandfather. I think we got it him for Christmas one year, he liked it and when I said I was interested in it he let me have it.

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
I love the Bourne film trilogy so thought “Why don’t I give the book a go?” but that still hasn’t actually happened.

The Magicians Guild by Trudi Canavan
I bought this book years ago when it seemed to be everywhere in bookstores. Maybe I haven’t read it because I’ve kind of drifted away from fantasy over the past few years… who knows?!

Jack Reacher: One Shot by Lee Childs
My gran bought this for me when the Jack Reacher film came out in 2012. I love spy/thriller stories so I don’t know why I haven’t read it yet.

So I couldn’t find ten unread books that have been sitting on my shelves for over two years. I’ll take that to mean that by 2019 all the books that I have currently unread will pretty much all be read and my unread books will be new ones! What books have you still got sitting unread on your shelves?

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Favourite First Sentences

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week it’s all about memorable first sentences of a book and what they do to pull you into the story.

i capture the castle“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” – I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
I’ve not actually read the entirety of I Capture The Castle, in fact I’ve only ever read the first chapter (not sure why I ever put it down and I must rectify this soon) but this first line has definitely stayed with me.

 

 

FullSizeRender (75)“I’m pretty much fucked. That’s my considered opinion. Fucked.” – The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian starts as it means to go on and this opening sentence(s) give you the best introduction to Mark Watney.

 

 

pride and prejudice“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” – Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
I like how kind of blunt yet sarcastic this line is and straight away you know this is going to be a story about marriage and romance and the politics that will probably come with it.

 

 

harry potter“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
I like how the Philosopher’s Stone starts because it is so normal and potentially boring but then then you know that something decidedly not-normal is bound to happen.

 

 

stormbreaker“When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it’s never good news.” – Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz.
I read Stormbreaker for the first time over ten years ago and this is the first sentence that immediately sprang to mind when I saw this week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic. It’s so memorable because it is so true, no one ever wants their phone or doorbell to ring in the early hours of the morning because it’s never a good thing.

 

What are your favourite first sentences?

August’s FairyLoot Box

This month’s FairyLoot box arrived a last week and after seeing much excitement on Twitter about what was inside it I was looking forward to getting my hands on it. This was my second FairyLoot box, I got May’s box (and completely forgot to blog about it because it arrived just before I went on holiday) which I liked and I knew I had to sign up for August’s box as the theme was Dark Deeds and I love a villain.

FairyLoot is a monthly YA subscription box based in the UK that tends to focus more on fantasy stories. You can find out more about the box here.

The book in this month’s FairyLoot box is Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and it came with a signed bookplate, an art poster, a bookmark and a letter from the author. Now you may have seen that that book has already come into my possession through my subscription to another YA box, Illumicrate. Yes, it’s a shame I got the same book but it’s understandable. Each subscription box wants to have the newest and most anticipated release and if you’re subscribed to multiple boxes it is only a matter of time before you end up with the same book. I’m sure I’ll find a good home for my spare copy soon.

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The goodies that came with this box were great. There’s a candle that smells of The Dark Side – turns out The Dark Side smells like Fruit Loops (glad the card that came with the box told me that as I’m a Brit who’s never had Fruit Loops in her life) which is an interesting scent but I like it. There’s a cool Harry Potter coaster with a quote from Draco Malfoy by BookOtter and a bar of soap inspired by Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses which smells lovely from Behind The Pages. There’s also some evil-inspired nail decals from House of Wonderland and then there’s the Animorphia notebook that I’m absolutely in love with. I’ve been thinking about getting an adult colouring book for so long but haven’t got around to yet so this is perfect, it’s a notebook but there’s beautiful animal illustrations you can colour! I honestly love it. It’s my favourite thing in the box and the fact I already have Nevernight doesn’t even bother me because this notebook more than makes up for it.

FairyLoot is a great box if you like fantasy books and related goodies and each month has a theme. It’s not too expensive but I know I just can’t keep on top of monthly subscription boxes so I’ll only get one if the theme takes my fancy.

REVIEW: Pete’s Dragon (2016)

Petes_Dragon_2016_posterPete (Oakes Fegley) has been living in the woods for years with his best friend Elliot, who just happens to be a dragon, but when Pete is discovered by park ranger Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) their happy life is upended when she and the townspeople try to take Pete back to civilisation.

Pete’s Dragon is old-fashioned and kind of nostalgia-inducing in the best way. It is full of imagination and wonder and is such a light, hopeful film after all the grim, dark stuff we’ve got lately. It is a family film full of great character dynamics and no one is made into a pantomime villain, even Gavin (Karl Urban) the man who believes Elliot to be dangerous has some redeemable qualities and you can see the reasons behind his actions.

Pete’s Dragon is a beautiful film. The shots of the forest are stunning and the work gone into bringing Elliot to life is top-notch. He looks like a real creature and the way he interacts with Pete and other characters is brilliant. Elliot has the characteristics of a big friendly dog and he is so well animated that you can see his personality shine through in his actions and in his eyes.

The film is a bit slow to really get going. It takes its time setting up Pete and Elliot’s relationship as well as other characters in the town like Grace and her relationship with her father Meacham (Robert Redford). However, once Pete comes into contact with Grace and the rest of the town the pace does pick up a lot and the final act is a roaring adventure.

Pete’s Dragon is a lovely film, full of heart and old-school adventure. 4/5.

August’s Illumicrate Box

I went to my Gran’s yesterday and my Illumicrate box was sitting there waiting for me. Illumicrate is a UK based subscription box for YA book lovers, the box is sent out every three months and you can find all the info about costs and shipping here.

I’ve had the Illumicrate box for a while now and you can check out what was in the February box and the May box – so far I’ve only read one of the books I’ve received, hopefully I’ll catch up on the books I’ve received through various subscription boxes by the end of the year.

I was really impressed with this month’s box. On social media it said it would contain two books, both of which would be pre-releases which is very cool, but I had no idea what books they’d be. The two books were Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and The Graces by Laure Eve. I’ve not read anything by Jay Kristoff before (Illuminae is currently sitting unread on my shelves) but wow Nevernight is such a beautiful hardback book I can’t really deal with it. The story sounds interesting too but really I just can’t get over how pretty this book is. The Graces is all about magic and witches and it’s not released in the UK till the beginning of next month! I like the sound of both books and I can’t wait to read them. Both books came with a signed bookplate and Nevernight also had a art card, bookmark and there’s a video from the author you can access while The Graces came with some temporary tattoos and a letter from the author.

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Now for the goodies, there’s a Gilmore Girls-inspired tote bag by Colorful Geekiness (a show I have never seen but have heard nothing but good things about), Colouring Quotes by Ashley Poston, a couple of amazing Harry Potter coasters from Taratjah Art (I love them so much!) and some Strawberry Tea from Post Tea that smells absolutely gorgeous – I’m not much of a tea drinker but I think I’ll have to make an exception and try this tea.

There’s also some extras relating to Red Rising by Pierce Brown, Unboxed by Non Pratt and A Torch Against the Night by Sabba Tahir. There was supposed to be a sampler of A Torch Against the Night in all of the subscription boxes but the publisher was unable to send enough copies so in my box that was missing, however the lovely people at Illumicrate has it all sorted out and if you’re like me and didn’t get the sampler, you can contact them with your order number and they’ll send one out to you.

I really do like Illumicrate, so far the books have all been new to me and in the case of When We Collided from May’s box, the sort of thing I wouldn’t normally pick up. It’s been nice receiving I’d never even heard of, books from new-to-me authors and from genres I don’t always read. I do get a bit worried about just getting more and more unread books and goodies that I won’t necessarily use but so far that hasn’t been the case. The next box will be sent out in November but you’ve got to be quick if you want one, they seem to always go super fast!