Book news, Discussion

Book to Film Adaptations are the WORST

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In recent years, there has been a trend of literally every book being converted into a movie or TV series or Netfliz drama. While this provides exposure to the dying art of literature, it also takes away from the essence of writing itself.

There was a time when Dickens and Austen would write without inhibitions. All they had was this need for their work to be recognised and their emotions to be expressed through their art. To be fair. film as a medium did not exist at such a large scale in those times.

But ever since authors have realised that they can gain so much more exposure by reaching an audience through screen don’t we think that books, in recent times, are being written so they can easily convert into a screenplay?

There are novels whose complexity in monologue and emotion could never be translated into film such as The Catcher in the Rye and yet when you read a novel written from say 2011 onwards there is this element of shallowness which makes you wonder why it was written in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been some brilliant adaptations recently which have surpassed the book itself. I’m just concerned the book industry has become one big commercial film-turning factory.

Does any one else have these concerns?

Book news, Book reviews

Haunting of Hill House ; Book Review

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After the huge success of the Netflix adaptation of this novel, it was inevitable that I had to read the book. Let’s get things straight, the show takes mere inspiration from the book and the two are completely different.  Bottom line, I prefer the show but this is about the novel.

Haunting of Hill House- the novel entails a sappy tale about a lonely thirty something female who has mommy issues and uses the horrors of Hill house as an escapade from her real problems. Now you can either choose to look at it that way or you can view the novel as a classic take on a haunted house.

It is obvious that the author never meant for the horrors of hill house such as the creepy shadows and the lingering touches of the dead to be the REAL horrors. No, you see, the actual horror is in the minds of the people inhabiting Hill house and the way they recklessly treat each other.

As the novel is written from Eleanor’s pov, she does quite a shallow job of painting the other characters. I mean, according to her they don’t have a past or warranted emotions aside from those that revolve around her. I would’ve preferred the novel to be from different points of views.

Don’t get me wrong, I had goose bumps multiple times reading the book but mostly it felt like i was waiting for something to happen but it never did. Even the ending felt a little anti-climatic.

I much prefer the depth that the show provides with its psychological traumas but if you’re looking for a classic haunted house read to give you a few chills- Hill House is the one folks.

Book news

The Things We Can’t Undo | Blog Tour

I had the chance to interview the lovely Gabrielle Reid whose new novel hits shelves really soon so go grab yourself a copy!


There’s no backspace key for life’s decisions.

Samantha and Dylan are in love – everyone knows it. So it’s no big deal when they leave a party for some time out together. But when malicious rumours surface about that night, each feels betrayed by the other. 

Will Sam make a decision she can’t take back?


What was your main motivation behind writing the novel?

I wanted to start conversations, and I wanted those conversations to really consider things from more than one side. Without going into too much detail, I’ve had some personal experiences that made me particularly passionate about the topic of consent and how inadequate “no means no” is for teaching it. Several years back, I think it was around the time of the Steubenville High School rape case, I was discussing sexual violence on a parenting forum. One comment stuck with me, along the lines of “ask a roomful of men if they’ll rape a woman and you won’t find many who will say yes. Ask them ‘would you have sex with a girl so drunk she can barely stand’ and suddenly you get a much uglier picture of what guys will admit to”. At the time, I had a baby son (and no daughters yet), so I found myself thinking very seriously about the perpetrators and whether better education could have prevented them from doing such a terrible thing to that girl.

It was hard for me to empathise with the perpetrator. Really, really hard. Before I sat down to write the book, I disliked my main character, Dylan, and was prepared to write a story where he got thoroughly smacked down for his actions, but in trying to keep it realistic, that’s not the story I ended up with. I think that’s a good sign, though, because I want this novel to be the catalyst for conversations – ones that go deeper than ‘he got what he deserved’ and right to ‘how did this happen? What did he fail to understand?’. I hope I don’t excuse Dylan’s behaviour or suggest that the consequences he faced were in any way comparable to the suffering Samantha (his girlfriend and victim) experienced, but at the same time, I want his story to be a warning to young men, their parents, teachers and girlfriends. Because it really is that easy to become a rapist.

If there is one key thing that you would like readers to take away from this book, what would it be?

That even if you think you’re a good person – even if you are a good person – your decisions can have devastating consequences, so take your choices seriously and don’t stop paying attention to how those around you feel. In my book it isn’t just Dylan who makes a decision that seriously hurts a number of other innocent people – Samantha, as well as her best friend, Tayla, respond to the crime in some drastic ways that cause a lot of pain to each other, family and friends etc

There are many budding authors out there who might be curious about the publication process so, tell us a bit about your experience getting published

The number 1 thing I guess is that it was long! There were years of writing before getting to a complete first draft, then years of editing and pitching before getting an agent. And in the end, that book isn’t the one I’ve now had published! I consider it my “apprenticeship novel” and I don’t regret the time I spent on it, because that’s where I learnt better writing, where I found an amazing writer’s group, and where I built the first positive connection with an agent. But if I hadn’t moved on to the next thing, I wouldn’t be here now. Since then I’ve continued with that same writer’s group and gleaned bits and pieces of knowledge about publishing short stories, writing query letters, how to spot a dodgy publisher… too much to share here in one go, but I’m more than happy to chat to anyone who has specific questions!

I’ve talked in a little more detail on my blog (link below) about what led me to Ford Street and what it’s been like working with my publisher, Paul. I think the process for me was a fair bit quicker than I’ve heard from other writers at major publishers, but I’m not really sure why, except that we didn’t have advance proof copies before a complete print run. There are a LOT of people involved, even with a very small publisher. I thought about it one day and it’s no wonder authors only earn a small portion of the RRP, as those books are also helping the publisher to recover the costs of a structural edit, copy edit, designer/formatter for print, cover design, printer, delivery, warehouse etc. Not to mention the retailer and all their staff! Each step was exciting for me though, as it took me one step closer to publication.

What made you drawn towards writing in the young adult genre?

I kind of fell into it, really. My first book I set out to write as adult fiction, but as one of the two protagonists was sixteen (the other was in his 70s) many people suggested it was at least a young adult crossover. When I started writing The Things We Can’t Undo, I found the words and voice came to me much more naturally, and I sought out a writer’s group of other YA authors. I’ve been writing seriously since I was a teenager, so some of my earlier stories were very YA in nature, including two novels I never finished. Then I worked as a high school teacher, and married another. I led youth group and mentored teen girls at my church; teenagers have always been a part of my life. I found those adolescent years were the ones that really defined who I am – that was when I developed my own faith, I settled into writing and creative pursuits as a real passion, my mental illness reared its ugly head, I established friendships that still last today etc.

Do you have any other projects underway that readers can look forward to?

I do, but none in the publication pipeline yet! I’m writing one that deals with eating disorders (another illness I unfortunately have firsthand experience with) and a social justice issue that is very important to me. I’m also thinking of reworking that “apprenticeship novel” into something different and more YA in nature. It’s about a young girl trying to connect with her biological father, who has early onset Alzheimer’s disease.


FOLLOW THE AUTHOR

Website and blog: www.justkeepreiding.com

Twitter and Instagram: @reidwriting

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006986329392

Book news, Film review, life

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Trailer Reaction

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In anticipation for April 25 when the second season returns I thought it might be high time I make some predictions

The trailer starts off with everyone looking quite distraught and slowly transitions into scenes of rebellion.

It looks like we’re at the brink of a war. Unlike the last season which was all about the handmaid’s this time we’re seeing the ripple effect, the families that were torn apart, people who just want their home back.

We see people travelling on horseback, people being held at gun point and show cases of love. All pointing to a season filled with emotion and shock

The soundtrack is absolutely divine too! it sends goosebumps down your spine and the lyrics can be broken down to mean a million things

The Handmaid’s Tale returns April 25 which is only 22 days away woo!

Book news, Book reviews

Book Review | The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

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Xiomara has always kept her words to herself. In her Harlem neighbourhood, her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But X has secrets. Her feelings for a boy in her bio class, the notebook full of poems that she keeps under her bed- and a slam poetry club that will pull those secrets into the spotlight. Because in spite of a world that might not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to stay silent. 

 


As soon as I heard that this book was written in all poetry format I wanted to get my hands on it.

The beginning of the novel absolutely grips you in, X has this prominent voice that travels beyond the pages and you’re immersed in this world where this girl is trying to find herself and break stereotypes and just be herself.

The author sets the scene beautifully by capturing the diversity of the neighbourhood, the history of X’s parents, her background and her standing on religion. This book is like a neat little package of diversity and I love it.  One of the things this book did really well is that it managed to put every character into the spotlight through X’s poems so no one felt like a sidekick

In terms of the writing itself, it is moving and creative and fresh. Yet, it’s still not the kind of book you wanna finish in one sitting because every page makes you think. X’s story makes readers reflect on their own experiences trying to find themselves and about how if you’re passionate about something you should just go for it.

The only criticism I have is that the plot could have been paced better. I mean there is the build up to the drama, then everything goes down and then bam everything is resolved. I would’ve loved if there was more focus on how relationships were reconciled because that’s often where readers find completion. Some issues were left unresolved, so I’m sensing a sequel?

The Poet X released on 6th March 2018. I would highly recommend grabbing a copy. Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont for providing me with one!

Book news, Cover to Cover

Cover to Cover | Anne of Green Gables

So I got hooked to the mini series which you should totally check out and started reading the books which are so filled with the joys of girlhood. I am thoroughly enjoying the writing!

The Original Cover

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Having green as the theme colour makes so much sense but the checkered pattern really captures the era it was set in. The illustration of Anne in her humble abode gives a nice homely film. Looking at this cover it’s the kind of book you wanna crack open on a Sunday morning

The special edition

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This is the one I own and I absolutely love it! It takes me back to my childhood when I’d read those old school short stories. I absolutely love how it’s a painting. However, I’ve never been a big fan of illustrating the main character as it doesn’t leave much to the imagination

The Puffin Classics

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Correct me if I’m wrong but Puffin have done a few classics in these types of covers where they’re hardcover collectiles and I love them! I love the font and the imagery and the colour scheme. It’s almost abstract in a sense

The Modern version

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So turns out Puffin reprinted these in 2008 with a modern twist. Most classics come in this format but the illustration is what makes it stand out. I’m kind of drawn towards the sketch and it gives the book a peculiar feel

Another modern version

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This is a bit different in that they’ve used a real model. It certainly does look very pretty with all the vibrant colours

which ones is your favourite?

Book news, Discussion

How Do You Read?

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So you know that voice inside your head that narrates the story as you read the text on the page?

I just realised that most authors that I have read up to this point in my life have been of either American or British descent and also almost all of the books I have read were published in western society.

This got me thinking

The voice the author had while writing say a set of dialogue is different to the voice I hear when I read the exact same dialogue.

For example, if I’m reading a novel where two American teenagers go to a burger joint I’m assuming the author gave them American accents and western mannerisms.

BUT

As reading is a subconscious endeavour, despite the characters being American I give them the Australian accent I grew up learning. This is simply because I haven’t been exposed to real world American accents as much

Doesn’t that strike you as the weirdest thing?

50 people in a room could be reading the exact same page but since they have different backgrounds, life experiences etc ultimately they’re never really reading the exact same page.

I guess this is a really good way of understanding diversity and how when we travel beyond surface level everybody has a completely different worldview from yours.

Book news, Discussion

Top 5 The Sun And Her Flowers Quotes

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After the huge success of her first book, Rupi Kaur gave us her next ultimatum and I am here to share some quotes from her recent book that hit me right in the feels

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Let me know some of your favourite quotes and be sure to check out my other posts related to Rupi Kaur and her poetry!

Top 5 Milk and Honey Quotes 

Milk and Honey and the rise of modern poetry

Book news, Discussion, life

Your Bookshelf Is Your Identity

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Have you ever thought about how the books you read help shape your identity?

In the process of moving house most of my books were lying in my garage in boxes so I thought it was about time they went on a bookshelf

A queer thing happened as I started putting together my bookshelf

I realised I simply did not want to display or keep certain books.

While these books had bought me great joy at a point in time, they did not represent the person I am at this moment and part of it is because I have grown out of those genres.

16 year old me would never even think of touching a non fiction book let alone a self help book but 19 year old me proudly displays her collection of historic, political and spiritual books.

This got me thinking, the books we read end up forming such a big part of our identity. I know it seems like every book doesn’t leave its mark but if you’re an avid reader, over time, the myriad of books you’ve read becomes a physical representation of the person you were at certain points in time.

In my early teens, I was a sucker for fantasy, contemporary and romance novels but as I’ve grown my taste has changed into classics, psychological and spiritual readings.

How much of your identity comes from the books you read?

Book news, Discussion, Film review

Mini Series That You Can Finish In One Day

It can be relentless investing in a show that lasts five seasons and a healthy 22 episodes. So I’m here to share with you a new addiction of mine: Mini series!

Now, these have become very popular on Netflix but have been around for ages

Alias Grace

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This one has taken Netflix by storm. Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, the series consisting of 6 episodes follows the life of Grace who has been accused of murdering two people. It’s narrated in this beautiful monologue way and the suspense just propels you to finish it in no time

Anne with an E

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Based on the novel Anne of Green Gables, Anne with an E is another 7 episode thriller. It explores the life of young Anne after she is adopted into a family residing at Green Gables. The series captures the innocence and trials of girlhood with an added sense of drama

BBC Mini Series

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I am grouping this into one category as there are so many promising shows that BBC have developed. Some of them are as less as 4 episodes long and aim to adapt well known classics such as War and Peace, Tess of D’urbevilles, Pride & Prejudice and so on and so forth