Book Review – Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston

books, reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’ve had this book on my shelf for ages. I was so excited to get it because it sounded like such a fantastic story and it looked beautiful. I was hoping to read it last year but I didn’t get a chance. That’s what happens when you set yourself a stupid reading challenge that restricts your choices. I’ve been making slow progress with my current read, so I decided to spend some time yesterday getting through this one. I hoped it would be a change from the heartbreaking Dear Edward. Well, it didn’t quite turn out like that.

Book Review – Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

books, reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

It’s safe to say that my Sunday didn’t exactly go to plan. I was intending to get stuff sorted. Mostly organise my week’s photos and then read this book. Thanks to unforeseen events, that didn’t happen, so I was rushing to get this book finished in time for this review. Good job it’s a pretty short book and one that is easy to read. I just about finished with enough time to spare. I was a bit later in getting to bed than I’d hoped but we can cope with that.

Book Review – Burncoat by Sarah Hall

books, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I often wonder if this whole reviewing thing isn’t a little bit futile. Not the reading books or talking about them bit. I think that’s a great part of life and something that everyone should be encouraged to do more. No, I mean arbitrarily assigning a rating to everything that I read. I never used to do it but jumped on the bandwagon a few years ago. Ratings don’t really tell you very much because they’re so personal. Everyone has an individual spectrum of greatness and it’s all very dependent on context. Take Burncoat for example. I’ve seen plenty of people say they prefer it to The Fell but I’m the opposite. The difference? They read Sarah Hall first and I didn’t. If I’d read them in a different order would I have flipped? It’s both impossible to say and pointless to speculate. On with the review.

Book Review – The Fell by Sarah Moss

books, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Short books are great for getting your reading count up but sometimes their length can be deceiving. What should only take a few hours to read could end up taking a couple of days because of the emotional toil. I definitely think that’s what happened with this one. I’m not sure that I was ready for this book. We’re still very much in the Coronavirus pandemic and, as a clinically extremely vulnerable person, I don’t feel as though my life will get back to normal for a while. So, maybe it wasn’t the right time to be reading this? However, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to resist seeing what Sarah Moss had in store for me.

Tuesday Review – The Green Knight (2021)

films, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. I never spent much of my time reading Middle English poetry. Although, I had an awareness of the story, so I might have briefly touched upon the subject. Now, normally, I don’t think it’s important to know the original text before you see an adaptation but I think this might be a bit different. After all, Middle English poetry isn’t something that many modern cinema audiences are necessarily ready for. Especially when the adaptation is potentially going to be mistaken for an epic fantasy action film. In the age of Game of Thrones, the idea of what fantasy is has become pretty specific and The Green Knight was sure to be that straightforward.

Book Review – Summerwater by Sarah Moss

books, review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

For most of my childhood, my family spent our Summer holidays in Scotland. This means we weren’t exactly expecting sun and beach days. Don’t get me wrong, we did actually have plenty of great days where we could just relax by seas all day. However, we were always sure to pack for rain and wind. So, I have a deep personal connection to the premise of this book. We might not have been in log cabins but rather a static caravan. If anything, I’d say it would probably be colder and has the added benefit of there being absolutely not space. You can imagine just how sick of each other we got after 1/2 weeks. All of this comes together to explain why I was so keen to give this a chance. It also helped that it was a short book with an S title. The perfect thing to read for my August Spell the Month Challenge.

Tuesday Review – Luca (2021)

films, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My last Tuesday blog ended with me saying that I needed to stop watching random animated movies and start watching real films again. Of course, when I said real films what I meant was grown-up films. It’s not that I think animated films aren’t real. So, I guess it could be considered something of a failure that I’m back this week with another animated feature but I think this one’s okay. After all, the latest Pixar release is a far cry from the random stuff that keeps popping up on Netflix these days. I’ve always been a big Pixar fan, so I knew that I had to check this one out as soon as possible.

Book Review – Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

books, reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I promised myself that I would try and read some Pride appropriate books during June and, so far, I’ve not done a great job. I’ve got my book club’s choice to go yet but I decided it was time to get some LGBTQ+ representation up in here. I had originally set aside Giovanni’s Room to read during Black History Month but that never happened. It’s probably a good thing as well because James Baldwin doesn’t address race in this book. Instead, his entire focus is sexuality. Making it the perfect book to read in the month of June.

Tuesday Review – The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

films, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have to be honest, I wouldn’t have watched this film if it wasn’t for its link with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. From the Netflix trailer, it just seemed like any other family animation mixed with every repetitive homicidal AI sci-fi film. Yes, it looked good and there were elements that really interested me. Mostly Olivia Colman. I didn’t think it was gong to be bad but I just wasn’t the market for something so seemingly unoriginal. Then this weekend happened and I hadn’t watched a new film for today’s post. There was only one thing to do. Find the quickest and easiest thing to watch on Netflix.

Book Review – Lanny by Max Porter

books, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

So, we’re at the start of the new month and I’m telling myself that I’ll make more time for reading in May. I was so close to not finishing my monthly reading challenge again and was reading Lanny right up to the last minute. I had such high hopes for myself. It was such a short read that I even thought I’d manage to fit another book in before the end of the month. That clearly didn’t happen and I found myself on a mad dash to get the last few pages in before April 30th was over. I just about managed it and crossed off my final letter of the month. I had wanted to read this book for ages, so I do kind of wish that I’d read it at a better time. I’ll probably have to go back at some point and give it the time it deserves. Maybe I’ll even try the audiobook. I’d be interested to see how they handle it. But for now, I’ve got to try and get my thoughts together to writer this damn review.