Me Before You: Book vs. Movie

Me Before YouGoodreads Synopsis

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

Book Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

AHHH I LOVED THIS BOOK.

It made me laugh.

It made me cry.

It made me believe in true love.

I want Louisa to be my best friend. She is such a beautiful person inside and out, and absolutely hilarious. Her family is a little dysfunctional at times, but they are all really loving and caring. She is a little blindsided when it comes to her boyfriend, Patrick. He’s a complete asshole. I don’t know why she didn’t break up with him in the first place.

Will. What can I say about Will? I love him. He’s hilarious, charismatic, and had me wrapped around his finger. Granted, I did have to warm up to him a little bit, because he was very snarky and uncooperative in the beginning of the book, but it’s understandable. He was a good sport for Lou and her crazy little side trips. He went along with it because he loved Lou, and wanted to make sure she got everything she wanted for him.

In the end, it was devastating, but it was his choice. I understand there has been some controversy regarding ablism, but in the end, it’s a book about a guy who wasn’t happy with the hand he was dealt. His view on his own quality of life is what mattered the most, and in reality, there is no room for us to judge his decision, because we’ve never been dealt the hand he was. It’s sad, but deep down, he wasn’t happy, even after falling in love with Louisa.

Movie time!

Movie Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4.5 Stars)

I am a firm believer in the book is always better than the movie, but in this case, I loved them both! The casting was perfect.I fell more in love with the story and surprisingly, the movie was pretty true to the book, which I appreciate. I have watched this movie several times and still fall in love with the story over and over again. Side note: I hated that they casted Matthew Lewis as Louisa’s douchey boyfriend. Excuse me, that is Neville Longbottom, he is not a douchey person!

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See, perfect casting!

Lousia’s red dress is to die for! I want one!

If you haven’t checked out eithter the book or movie, do so! It’s a tear-jerker, but also a warm blanket of love.  I haven’t read the sequel yet, but it is in my ever-growing TBR pile.

Next up is Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Happy reading!

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Dumplin’

DumplinGoodreads Synopsis:

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

Hello bookish friends! Long time, no see. I finally have some time to catch up on my ever-needed blogging, so first up is Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. If you’ve seen my Goodreads account, you know that I gave this beauty 4 stars.

I loved this book because it is me. I know some of you have been following me for a while now, and you know from my review of 45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson (see here), that I have struggled with my weight and body issues for a while now. Reading Dumplin’ made me feel those same things.

I know you’re thinking it. No, I have never competed in a Beauty Pageant because: a.) Stage fright, b.) I don’t have any talents I can perform – reading silently onstage isn’t really a talent, c.) The idea of walking around on stage showing of outfits and answering interview questions, just doesn’t sound fun to me – then again.

Willowdean is me. I know what it’s like to look in the mirror and dislike how I looked, my weight, the way my hair didn’t curl normally, etc. Even now on my current weightloss journey, it is still difficult for me to accept things sometimes. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and a hormone imbalance in February 2016, that I came to accept that losing weight was always going to be difficult for me. Any time I lose weight, I gain it back quickly. This year I’ve given up soda and fast food (very difficult for me, but going strong!), I’ve lost around 7 pounds and have been able to keep it off.

Willowdean’s story reminds me of how I wish stories like this were around when I was in middle school and high school. I think if I had an inspiring story like this, I would have had better self esteem in those years, and probably would have stood up for myself in certain situations that are still in the back of my mind.

Dumplin’ is a story for anyone who has ever felt fat, insecure, anxious, and all around not good enough. We are good enough. We are all beautiful. Other people’s opinion’s don’t determine your worth, so don’t even waste your time thinking about them.

This book is positive, funny, enlightening, and deals with realistic everyday issues besides body image, such as complex/dysfunctional families and friends in unlikely places. In the words of Willowdean, “I think maybe it’s the things we don’t want to talk about that are the things people most want to hear.”

Apparently, this is just book 1 in a series of some sort. I haven’t heard anything on a sequel, but I will definitely be checking it out when it comes out!

Next on the #BloggingCatchUp is What Light by Jay Asher.

Happy reading bookworms.

Four: A Divergent Collection

18126198Goodreads Synopsis:

Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

To begin, I am not one to read novellas, but it came in my box set, so of course I decided to read it. Plus, it was recommended by my sorority little sister!

Anywho, this book made me so happy. I love being able to learn more about Tobias. We see him transform from Tobias the “Stiff” and son of Marcus, to Four, the Divergent and future leader of the rebellion. And in all honesty, seeing this transition for Four, makes me love him so much more. I would love to see these played out in some deleted scenes of sort or a short TV movie.

HOWEVER, I am glad I read it AFTER I finished the Divergent Series, because Four/Tobias’s mysterious demeanor was not hindered by reading his backstory first. Four is meant to be mysterious, and I feel reading this book first would have ruined the series for me.

I can’t really put into words how these four short stories made me  feel. If you’ve read the entire Divergent Series, I would definitely check this out.

Here’s Theo James for your viewing pleasures:

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts 1 & 2

29056083Goodreads Synopsis

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

I was really excited to get this book – like really excited. I mean what Harry Potter fan wouldn’t be excited to read a new Harry Potter story for the first time in NINE YEARS. You may be thinking, “But Shelby didn’t you just read The Hogwarts Library?” Why yes I did. But here’s the thing. Those three short books didn’t have anything to do with Harry Potter, those were just the text he read while attending Hogwarts. Cursed Child was my chance to read a Harry Potter book for the first time in nine years.

I wanted to love the book so bad. I truly did, but there were parts (I am praying Queen Rowling did not write) that I simply could not wrap my head around. At the end of the review I will post my spoiling rants about these parts, and you can rant along with me. Until then, let’s focus on the good things.

Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed reading the screenplay format. I love stories with a lot of dialogue and characters who like to talk a lot. This was a quick easy read. I think it was easier to read than other plays simply because as a Potterhead, I have already been transported into the Wizarding World, and I had no problem imagining the settings and storyline. Granted, I would love to see the play in person, but that is definitely not in the books for me any time soon #BrokeCollegeStudent

The “good” parts, I cried at. We see all these tumblr posts about what if this and what if that, that it was truly magical to see that some of our deepest wishes had come true in this play. Our memories of the Golden Trio were livened by these good parts, and I loved seeing how they turned out as parents. I also loved seeing the connections between the children and how friendships did or didn’t form.

And while I didn’t like specific events in the books, I loved the “new” characters. I want a whole series dedicated to the next generation of Potters, Weasleys, and Malfoys. But we all know I want a Marauders series as well. A girl can dream.

PLEASE STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT RANTING SPOILERS

Enjoy some funny gifs before continuing to the rant

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Now onto my rant.

  1. Trolley Witch: Um, you cannot turn the beloved trolley witch into a psycho, mystical being with weapons as hands and her sole purpose is to ensure students remain on the train at all times… Deep in my heart I know that Queen Rowling did not write this tidbit.
  2. Adult Harry: We had SEVEN BOOKS show us that he respected Professor McGonagall 110%, but this book throws that out the window when he acts like a frickin’ jerk to her. Shame on you adult Harry – McGonagall is queen. Also, I found it ridiculous that Harry literally told his own child that he wished he wasn’t his dad. Excuse my French, but WHAT THE ACTUAL F*@K. He spent how much of the original series wishing to know his parents and he’s just going to flat out say he wishes he wasn’t Albus’s dad. Screw you Harry. You’re parents would be ashamed of this behavior.
  3. Voldemort & Bellatrix’s Secret Love Affair Resulting in Secret Love Child: This came completely out of left field and is another WTF moment. What is this fanfiction??? How can you even okay that sort of storyline, Queen Rowling? Why??? Also, I did not need that image to EVER be made. No thank you. Never again.
  4. Luna/Neville: Excuse me, but wee spend an entire series growing attached to these characters. Where are they and why aren’t they merely mentioned? It’s okay to mention, but not be present, but to entirely ignore that the heart of Dumbledore’s Army isn’t mentioned is purely wrong.
  5. Hermione and Ron Never Getting Together, and Hermione Becoming an Evil Shrew/DADA teacher: Hermione’s worth is not determined by a boy, thank you very much. I have a really hard time believing that Hermione would become evil after not ending up with Ron. Even if they didn’t end up together, I imagined they would always be friends seeing as they went through some pretty tough stuff together. I also find it highly unlikely that Hermione would never become Minister of Magic simply because she didn’t end up with Ron. There is no way feminist Queen Rowling wrote this part.
  6. After the book came out, everyone shipping Albus and Scorpious: Why can’t people just be friends? Why does everyone have to automatically assume that they secretly had the hots for each other and should be boyfriend and boyfriend? I’m not saying that there is anything against this, but why do we have to make every book about someone’s sexual orientation?

Rant Over

Ahhh, that was relaxing to finally vent to people who know what I’m talking about. This post comes just in time for the soon-to-be-released screenplay of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I look forward to seeing the movie at 10:05 p.m. on Friday November 18th (already purchased my tickets and the only time that would work with my busy schedule!) I look forward to sharing that wonderful review with you in the very near future.

The next review coming your way is Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth. Until next time bookworms.

 

Life Update + Insurgent: Book vs. Movie

Hello bookworms! As you can tell I have been on a slight hiatus due to school – it is kicking my butt! On a happy note – my first session of grad school is over and I received a 4.0! So excited! I finally have a break, so I am catching up on all of my blogging from August (sadly only textbooks were read during September and October). Now time to catch up!

11735983Goodreads Synopsis:

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

When I finished Divergent and started Insurgent I tweeted:

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I got addicted to the first two books fast because Insurgent picks up from the exact spot Divergent ended. I do have to say I enjoyed Divergent just a little bit more than Insurgent. Insurgent was full of twists, turns, and completely action packed. The story focuses on Tris and her search for answers to all questions about divergence. We also see her relationship with Four blossom during this difficult time – and it gives you all the feels! Like this:

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And this:

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However, there was another cliff hanger ending – and we all know how I feel about cliffhangers:

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Movie Insurgent had some changes, but didn’t sway from the book too much. I still choose the book over the movie! I love Miles Teller but I hate him in this series. I just want to punch his smug little face in every time his face was on the screen. Also, Theo James is beautiful with his deep, husky voice –> Theo James Speed Dating Questions

That’s all for now. Look for my next blog post on Allegiant! Keep reading bookworms. Have a great Veterans Day weekend!

 

 

 

The Hogwarts Library

The Hogwarts Library is by J.K. Rowling and features the books Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. 

41899Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

A copy of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them resides in almost every wizarding household in the country. Now Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Comic Relief, which means that the pounds and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope that passing wizards feel more charitable if they see you being attacked by a Manticore.

– Albus Dumbledore

Let me start off by saying that I am really excited this book is getting turned into a movie – even though I wasn’t entirely convinced that they could turn this “textbook” into a full length movie, let alone the announced THREE movies. If you haven’t seen the trailer you can see it here –> Fantastic Beasts Trailer . If Eddie Redmayne can’t convince you to read this book or see the movie, then you’re missing out! Also, I pre-ordered the bound version of the script that is being released in November!

There is only one way to describe this book – pure magic. It lets readers indulge in a small part of the wizarding universe. I think what makes it more real is that this particular copy is property of Harry Potter, so there are small scribbles and notes throughout the book that add so much more character and depth to this  very “nonfiction” book. I enjoyed this very short book very much, but there are so many creatures, I can’t pick a favorite. Although I am secretly hoping that they create a HarryPotterGo app, because I would catch these fantastic beasts all day long!

111450Quidditch Through the Ages

Did you know that: there are 700 ways of committing a foul in Quidditch? The game first began to evolve on Queerditch Marsh – What Bumphing is? That Puddlemere United is oldest team in the Britain and Ireland league (founded 1163). All this information and much more could be yours once you have read this book: this is all you could ever need to know about the history, the rules – and the breaking of the rules – of the noble wizarding sport of Quidditch.

Like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I enjoyed this other glimpse into the wizarding world! It is amazing that Rowling has an explanation for everything! Everything you need to know about the history of quidditch is in this book. Other insights include why brooms were chosen and why they were made a specific way; teams around the world; different “broom games”; and rules and regulations of the sport everyone (witch, wizard, and muggle) has come to love and appreciate!

16122245The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The Tales of Beedle the Bard contains five richly diverse fairy tales, each with its own magical character, that will variously bring delight, laughter and the thrill of mortal peril.

Essential and enjoyable reading for Muggles and wizards alike,The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a uniquely magical volume. With illuminating notes by Albus Dumbledore.

We first hear about this book in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Hermione receives a copy from Dumbledore’s will and then we later hear the story of the The Three Brothers.

It’s a little weird how this is seen as children’s literature, but these are the “fairy tales” for the wizarding world. The tales are surprisingly creepy, but extremely well-written and fully developed. Just like the previous two, this is a wonderful addition to my Harry Potter stack of books.

 

Truth be told, I kinda wish I was a wizarding child. But let’s be real, I’ve been waiting for my Hogwarts letter since I first read Harry Potter in third grade. I simply adore that J.K. Rowling didn’t write these three book to earn more money, but rather for a purpose. Proceeds from the sale of these three books are donated to Lumos, a charity working to transform the lives of disadvantaged children. Great books for a great cause and for a Potterhead looking to indulge in more of the wizarding world.

Up next on my blog, I’ll be reviewing NYTimes Bestseller, The Help by Kathryn Stockett! Until next time bookworms!

Dream Catcher Trilogy

Hello lovelies! I finally have some extra time to catch up on some blogging! Here is my review of the Dream Catcher Trilogy by Lisa McMann from the month of June!

1661957Wake (#1)

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can’t tell anybody about what she does they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant.

I was really excited for this book. The plot sounded interesting, but upon reading, I became disappointed. First off, I was excited for a supernatural-romance. However, Janie, the main character, met Cabel and suddenly they were head over heels for one another. In some books, escalated romances work, but this one, not so much.

The narration was irritating. It was a third-person, but present tense, and it didn’t work for the flow of the plot. Not to mention, the plot was very vague, weird, and choppy. I feel like this whole book was a generalized introduction for the other two books. As a reader I was not pulled in and wanting more until the very end, at which it ended in a cliffhanger and still no answers to any of the main questions.

Ultimately, I read rest of the trilogy simply because I wanted to see how they continue the story and connect to the “supernatural power” of falling into people’s dreams.

Fade

Fade (#2)

SOME NIGHTMARES NEVER END.

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They’re just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.

Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody’s talking. When Janie taps into a classmate’s violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open — but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie’s in way over her head, and Cabe’s shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability — and it’s bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what’s to come is way darker than she’d feared….

After reading all three books, I have to say that the second book is better than the first and third. This book shows a little more mystery in the plot and is more developed than the first, but the writing was still simple. However, the plot was a little far-fetched and not relatable for a high school student. I understand their is a sort of supernatural aspect to the book, but even the every day scenes weren’t entirely realistic.

After their whirl-wind romance in the first book, Cabel and Janie’s relationship was more developed and not so puppy-love-at-first-sight in this book. However, they are definitely that couple that needs to take a chill-pill because their relationship is a constant roller-coaster of emotions and moodiness.

7823635Gone (#3)

Things should be great for Janie—she has graduated from high school and is spending her summer with Cabel, the guy she’s totally in love with. But deep down she’s panicking about how she’s going to survive her future when getting sucked into other people’s dreams is really starting to take its toll.

Things get even more complicated when she meets her father for the very first time—and he’s in a coma. As Janie uncovers his secret past, she begins to realize that the choice thought she had has more dire consequences than she ever imagined.

In all honesty, I should have stopped reading after the second book. I had higher hopes for this book seeing as I had enjoyed the second more than the first, but this book was poorly written in comparison to the first two. The plot had a lot of WTF moments. I felt as though this book was meant to bring the trilogy full circle, but it felt like an extended epilogue that really should not have happened.

There is no real story. Janie mopes around for almost the entire book, and any depth or personality the characters had completely disappeared. The “romance” aspect completely disappeared. Why try to make us love characters – especially a sweet, over-protective guy like Cabel – and then take away the romance plot line? Hello! That is the only reason I picked up the third book, I was hoping for a redemption of love! Sadly that did not happen.

 

As for the series as a whole, it’s a quick, easy read. If you’re looking for a filler series in between heavy reading material like NYTimes Bestsellers, then this is a good choice for a dumbed-down, chillax read. I do wish this was all one book rather than three really short books. I also hated how there was zero consistency. In the first we discover Janie’s abilities; in the second we follow Cabel and Janie in an undercover sex scandal operation; in the third we meet Janie’s “dead-beat”, dying father and see Janie as a mopey brat, who would rather be by herself so she can keep her vision, instead of embracing her powers and being with the boy she loves and who basically worships the ground she walks on. There was no point to this story and I should have stopped at Fade. 

Alright lovelies, my next post will be featuring the incredible Hogwarts Library by J.K. Rowling! Happy reading!