Friday, 29 September 2017

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Hello bookworms!

I recently finished The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo and I adored it more than any other book I have read this year! It was heartfelt, courageous and it left me crying. So without further ado, here is my review!


The Light We Lost is a warmhearted story about Lucy and Gabe, two people who met on the 11th of September, when the twin towers were destroyed. We follow Lucy and Gabe's relationship over 13 years, where they weave in and out of one another's lives and never truly get over each other.

Gabe is determined to become a photojournalist and Lucy wants to work in TV, focusing on children's programmes. Lucy and Gabe meet in college and from then on, they know there's a deep connection that will keep them together for a long time.

Gabe comes back into Lucy's life after college and they become a couple, at least for a few months, until Gabe decides to take a job abroad. It takes Lucy a long time to come to terms with him leaving, but eventually she opens her heart to Darren, who is close minded yet loves her very strongly.

However, Gabe manages to keep coming back to Lucy throughout the rest of their lives and she knows she'll never truly get over Gabe.


It took me a while to read this as I was struggling to concentrate on anything at the time, but I'm glad I finished it. This book is different to anything I have ever read and is about a relationship that grows up with the people. I bought this book on a whim because I saw it on Instagram and thought it sounded beautiful, especially since it's set in New York.

My favourite character has got to be Gabe because even though he leaves Lucy, he realizes he can't live without her, and is willing to give up everything for her. We see Gabe's character grow throughout the book from a self absorbed photographer, to a loving, devoted artist. He never forgets about Lucy and always comes back for her whenever he's in New York.

The one character I couldn't stand was Darren, Lucy's husband. He's arrogant, misogynistic and hates the fact Lucy doesn't want to give up her job to look after their children. I never warmed to him and even though he loved Lucy, it seemed that she never thought she deserved better, that she didn't deserved her life with Gabe. She didn't want to break up her family because of her own desires; and while that's a very motherly thing to do, it's not within her best interests.

Lucy tells the story of her and Gabe to him and it's obvious that he's hurt himself in some way. Jill Santopolo really knows how to keep you gripped to a story, even if you've guessed the ending. I don't warm to Lucy as much as much as I do to Gabe, but I understand her way of thinking, her selflessness and her desires. At first, when she and Darren got acquainted, her excuses for not liking him made my eyes roll, but after a while, once I saw the cracks in the relationship, I understood her reasoning.

I don't want to give away any more spoilers, so I urge you to read this book! My favourite part is when Santopolo uses fire as a metaphor for love. There are all types of love; wildfires are full of passion and heat and desire. And then there are hearth fires, the safe and comforting kind of love that may not have the spark, but it gives you reassurance.

I rate this book 5/5 ✩ because it really moved me and it's the kind of book I would usually never pick up, but I'm glad that I did.

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Don't forget to comment on what you thought of the book!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Film Review: Baby Driver

Hello there! In this week's blog I'm going to be writing a review on the film me and Oli saw the other week called Baby Driver.


Baby Driver is about a man who has got into debt with a con artist and he has to be the getaway driver for clients. He slowly pays his debt off but once he thinks it's over, they tell him he has to keep driving.

Baby has tinnitus so he plays music to drown out the ringing. He developed it when his parents died in a car crash.

Baby falls in love with a waitress at the diner his mum used to work at and tries his best to protect her and his disabled foster father.


I wanted to see Baby Driver because it looked action packed and stars Ansel Elgort from The Fault in Our Stars. Ansel's acting is always good and he didn't disappoint.

However, I don't think the plot was well thought out as there were moments where the film lulled and I lost interest.

The best parts of the film are the speeding cars and getaways. They were all entertaining and came with a few surprises.

We see Baby develop a conscious for the victims of the robberies and soon he is committing crimes himself to protect his loved ones. We slowly see him find his way as his feelings develop for Debora (the waitress). However, he kills to protect her and ends up in prison.

We then flash forward to when he is released from prison which felt rushed. I thought the film would perhaps end differently.

The women in the film aren't given exciting roles; Debora is your typical waitress who dreams of running away with Baby and we only see Debora when Baby pays attention to her. He has to let her down on several occasions to protect her but his foster father ends up hurt instead. No matter what Baby does, people keep getting hurt.

Debora doesn't seem to have many opinions about anything and by the end of the movie she seemed irrelevant and Baby seems to see her in the same light as his mother - good singer, a waitress, beautiful.

Darling, the only other female character is a typical criminal sitting on the side of her vengeful husband until she dies and Buddy inevitably seeks revenge on Baby.

Overall, I enjoyed the film because of the fast cars and Ansel. The plot, however, wasn't the best and Buddy makes Baby deaf so his ringing in his ears is now stuck there without music to drown it out.

I'm going to give this film 3.5/5 ✩

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Film Review: IT


My partner and I decided to go and see IT on release day after I had told him I wanted to desperately go and see it. But when the time came I chickened out when he bought the tickets! However, he dragged me in and the cinema was obviously packed (with a whole school I may add).


If you haven't read or watched any of the IT films, then here is a brief description of what it's about.

George or "Georgie" is Bill's younger brother. And one day, he decides to make a paper boat and goes to sail it down the street. However, to his dismay, his boat  drifted down the drain but is caught by Pennywise the clown. Pennywise lures Georgie to him and bites off his arm and drags him down the drain with him. The disappearance of Georgie has Bill on adventures to try to find him - and he drags his friends along too. To some of them, the adventure is scary and pointless as they all know Georgie is dead.

The group of friends set off, gaining new members by the day and venture to find Georgie. Soon, they all start to see the things they are scared of come to life. And Pennywise is among the horrors that lurk down the drain...


I knew what I was getting myself in to and was preparing myself by pushing my face in to Oliver's armpit before every scary scene. However, there were obviously a few scenes that made me jump but surprisingly I managed not to scream.

I haven't yet managed to get my hands on the book or watch the first movie - so there will be more reviews and comparisons to come!

I hadn't read anything about IT before - I had only seen the trailers. So when I went into the movie I was prepared for some comedy and horror which is a weird but brilliant combination. I recognised some of the actors - in particular Finn Wolfhard who is a cast member in Stranger Things. The children all acted well and I enjoyed the funny bits, cringed at the bad and hid away at the sight of Pennywise the clown.

In the trailer I thought that they showed a lot of scary scenes and if this was only the trailer, then I couldn't wait for the real deal...

However, when the movie finished I couldn't help but feel that there weren't enough scary scenes; believe me, the ones that were there were terrifying! But I hoped there would be more jumpy bits. The one scene that made me lurch out of my seat was when the clown appeared behind Beverly Marsh, the only girl within the friend group.

I liked the diversity and back stories of the children and we see what they're scared of. Pennywise feeds on this and so the children learn that they mustn't be afraid, otherwise they'll "float too."

Overall, I thought the film was executed well and the only thing I can fault is that there needed to be more horror scenes!

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Let me know in the comments what you thought of IT and if you've read the book!

Monday, 4 September 2017

The Princess Saves Herself In This One: By Amanda Lovelace

Hey guys!

So I impulsively bought The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace and read in within a matter of hours. It reminds me of Rupi Kaur's work as it is raw and you can just tell Lovelace poured her heart and soul into her work. That's what makes a great writer. You have to take sad, upsetting situations in life and turn them into something that others can relate to.

About Amanda Lovelace

Amanda is a lover of fairy tales and she lives in New Jersey. She has a BA in English Literature and a minor in sociology. Her first book in the series Women are Some Kind of Magic is The Princess Saves Herself In This One. The second book in the series The Witch Doesn't Burn In This One will be released on March 6th, 2018.

Top Ten Poems:The Princess Saves Herself In This One

I'm going to include some of my favourite poems that are in the poetry collection and why they are my favourite.

Poem One

you have
been the
of each
& every
one of

           - you left but you stayed.

This one really intrigues me and in my interpretation of it, I think it's how a loved one can be a miracle and a nightmare at the same time. People will leave but the memories will haunt you forever.

Poem Two

the princess
locked herself away
in the highest tower,
hoping a knight
in shining armor
would come to her

         i didn't realize i could be my own knight.

I love this poem because I always thought someone would come and rescue me, the damsel in distress, but really, we need to save ourselves. And for me, it's been my family and friends who have always been there to help me piece back the pieces of my heart.

Poem Three

in the ran
will be washed

- right down the fucking drain.

This one hits home for me. I made promises to people and people made promises to me. Unfortunately, promises get broken in the heat of things and once a promise is broken, it's hard to trust again. My advice: don't make promises you think you can keep. You won't. He won't. Just go with everything and if things work out, that's amazing, but if they don't, you won't then hate them for breaking a promise they said they would keep.

Poem Four

i was the one thing
he had to deny -
the beautiful truth
within his
terrible lie.
              - who knew such a young heart could shatter?

This is really sad. To me, it's about how the one you love hasn't always got your best interests at heart and you live within their world of lies, building a beautiful truth.

Poem Five

he was made of fire
& i was made of ice.

i came too close to
his flame

& he melted me
with his embers,

reducing me down
to a puddle.

with time,
i froze over again,

but i was never
quite the same -

a fragile, watery imitation
of what once was.

           - where was my fear of fire when it came to you?

This is a beautiful poem combining opposites, and like Lovelace wrote before, opposites attract but sometimes they can tear each other down. To me, this poem means never being the same after a break up. We all change, become stronger, more resilient but also less trusting of others.

Poem Six

to fix me
                     he left me
                     s h a t t e r e d
than i had been

       - but now i've got gold in the cracks.

This poem is very fitting in my life at the moment because before I met him, I was a complete anxious mess and during, he helped build my confidence up, helped me get back on my feet again.

Poem Seven

is a
then i
must have
all of
my armor
      - a war i never agreed to fight.

To me, this poem is how I see my current situation; I was fighting but I didn't protect my heart in the process. I never expected to get burned so badly. And I did not sign up to this - this monstrous pain that feels never ending. We shed our armor when we love someone and have to trust they won't hurt us.

Poem Eight

the constellation
of stars
             s c a t t e r e d
across his
is the
that guides me
each time
i find myself

        - you are my home.

This is true for me - home is the smell of his skin, his lips on mine, the embraces we have. The way he holds my hand when I'm nervous or excited or just wants to, feels like home. Part of him will be like home, always.

Poem Nine

did not
teach me
to love
but he
the bridge
helped me


   - i thank the universe every day for you.

This is so so so important! No one can teach you how to love yourself, but they can help in the process. It's important to learn to love yourself, but sometimes we need a helping hand to guide us along the way.

Poem Ten

i have
so much love
to give,
but no one
ever wants

  - a cup overfilled.

This feels true these days; I gave so much of my love away but there was always more to come.

I hope you guys enjoyed this week's blog!

If you want to know more about Amanda and what she's up to, click here.

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