Thursday, 29 August 2013

Mending the Line by Christy Hayes

About the book
Mending the Line is the first book in the Golden Rule Outfitters (New Adult) series by Christy Hayes. The book was published in paperback on 7th January and it is 240 pages long.

Plot Synopsis
For as long as she can remember, Jill Jennings’ dream has to become an elite runner. Whist on a run one day though, she trips and breaks her leg less than a year before the Olympic trials. The only person there to help her to the hospital is Tyler Bloodworth – tall, blonde and absolutely gorgeous.

After multiple surgeries and a long time without training, Jill thinks she’s finally ready to pursue her dream again but the first time out, she feels her passion waning. Heading off on a different route, she runs straight into Tyler. He’s been away since Jill broke her leg but he’s back in Lower Fork with one thing on his mind – her. Problem is, Tyler is only there for one more summer then he’s setting up shop with his dad back home. Will Jill and Tyler be able to figure out what they mean to each other in time or are they destined to be a summer fling?

What I thought
Mending the Line begins nine months before the real story starts. Tyler is in Lower Fork working and doing what he does best – fishing. The whole summer he’s had his eye on Jill Jennings but his girlfriend back home means he can’t do anything about his feelings for her. Near the end of the summer, Jill breaks her leg running and Tyler is the one there to take her to the hospital. What he doesn’t know is that Jill thinks he’s amazingly hot. Nine months later after a summer back home, Tyler is back for one last summer before he and his dad go into business together. His one aim, now a single guy, is to get the girl he can’t stop thinking about.

I really enjoyed getting a small backstory before the book really got going. It was nice to know that Tyler was really interested in Jill before anything happened and that he was good enough to think about his girlfriend back home. So many books I have read before have had characters that don’t care about stuff like that and would have cheated but it was so good to see that Tyler had morals and stuck to them. Tyler was also a driven character who knows what he wants and will work hard to achieve his goals.

Jill was not quite as open a character as Tyler was, especially in regards to her feelings. I liked that there was a contrast between the two and that there was something to work at for them both. Jill has always been a runner and it is her dream to run in the Olympics. Breaking her leg messes everything up though and it also makes her questions what she wants in life. Just as she’s getting back on her feet, Tyler turns back up in town and Jill is secretly super happy about that. The previous summer, she liked him but knew he had a girlfriend and now, there isn’t that problem anymore. Just like Tyler, I really liked Jill. She’s a pretty grounded girl who also works extremely hard. Her training shows her dedication but she also has a wonderful personality. Due to her being so focused, Jill has kind of forgotten to have a social life but her broken leg makes her rethink everything.

The romance between Tyler and Jill was super sweet and great to discover. Tyler never rushes Jill which was another aspect of this book that I loved. He knows she hasn’t had that much experience with guys and relationships and he is very patient with her while still managing to let his feelings be known. There are some pretty steamy scenes between Jill and Tyler but they weren’t over the top nor was too much detail given. There was just enough to know what was going on which added a lot more passion between the characters. However, although Tyler doesn’t rush Jill, their relationship appeared to go far too quickly. Some things that happened seemed to quite quickly and therefore, came across as a bit unrealistic.

The plot is pretty romance based so there isn’t too much else going on. However, both Tyler and Jill have their families around them at different times. Along with the opening of the book, having families added into the story really helped to add depth to both main characters. Due to certain events and interactions, I was able to really get to know both Tyler and Jill as well as learning why they are they ways they are and why they act in certain ways.

Overall, Mending the Line was a pretty good book but it wasn’t amazing. 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A few changes...

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been around much recently. Not around as much on the blog and definitely not around much at all on Twitter. I actually can't remember the last time I spent more than 10-15 minutes on Twitter and had a good chat about books with everyone. 

During the last few weeks I have started a new job. For the first time in years, I'm working full time and now have the title of Family Entertainment Centre Manager. Let me just say, this new job is A LOT! Not only is going from part time to full time a big change but this is also my first manager job. I've been either assistant manager or supervisor for the past god knows how many years but this is my big step up the ladder. However, there is so much to learn and it's taking its toll on me and my reading time. 

Truth be told, I'm coming home exhausted every night at the minute. After coming home and making dinner, it's usually around 8pm by time I get to sit down and really relax. I just haven't felt like reading during that relaxing time though which makes me extremely sad. How I ever kept up the blog during uni and working part time at the time same I'll never know. 

At the same time though, I really miss blogging as much as I normally do but something has to give. I've made the decision to only blog as and when I feel like it for a little while until things calm down a bit and I get into a better routine of doing things. I have a TBR pile that covers multiple shelves and it just isn't getting any smaller. So, with that, I've also decided to really cut back on the review books I take at the minute. Publishers, if I'm not replying to bulletin emails at the minute it's because I don't want to take books I don't desperately want to read. I'm so behind with review books as it is and I want to get around to reading most of them first before taking huge piles of new releases. 

I will still be posting the odd review every week and hopefully in October I should be back to normal. I also have my wedding coming up at the end of September so I'd really like to have a bit of a break from now until then and let everything get back to normal. I also want to get back to writing more discussion posts and writing more about other things about books and films because at the minute I feel like I'm just scheduling reviews and not doing much else. 

Hopefully you all stay with me during this little break and I can't wait to get back to being around more in a couple on months when things settle down again. 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

About the book
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally is the first book in a young adult series. The book was published by Sourcebooks Fire on 1st March 2012 and it is 283 pages long.

Plot Synopsis
Jordan Woods has forever been known as one of the boys - she plays on the field with them as the captain and quarterback of the football team. Unlike the other girls at her school, Jordan doesn’t really care about getting their attention though because all she wants is a scholarship to play ball in college. That all changes though when Ty Green transfers to the school and wants on the team. Trouble is, he’s also a quarterback and he’s drop dead gorgeous. Will she be able to keep her head in the game or will Ty distract her long enough to steal her heart?

What I thought
Although not the greatest fan of sports… okay, I pretty much hate sports, I was really looking forward to reading a young adult book about the subject. Not only that, it was really different for a book with football as the main theme to have a female protagonist. This really isn’t something you see a lot of in young adult books so I was ready to read something different and new.

Jordan was a fantastic protagonist. She’s captain of her school’s football team, the only girl on the team and the quarterback as well. If all of that wasn’t enough to make her awesome, she is also better than most of the guys on the team and isn’t afraid to boss them about and show them who is boss. Seriously, Jordan kicked ass. Jordan is also someone who is super smart, makes good grades and tells it how is really is. If any of the guys beat on her for being a girl, or for anything else, she puts them right back in their place.

I really enjoyed watching Jordan and her team/ friends interact. It was slightly strange to see Jordan boss everyone around and for her to have the respect of the whole team. People didn’t second guess her judgement at any time and knew that she was doing the best things for the team. They were also a great bunch to read about off the field as well. As a team, the characters were really close so it was nice to see them all going out together, talking about relationships and sex etc. and for Jordan to have people she could go to if she needed to.

When new student Ty turns up, everything changes for Jordan. She’s having feelings for a guy which is something pretty new to her but also, he plays the same position as she does and wants on the team. Jordan instantly likes what she sees in Ty but soon has a decision to make. Ty is also a quarterback and desperately wants on Jordan’s team but she knows playing in every game is the only way that she’ll get the scholarship that she wants. While she finally thinks she has found someone to be in a relationship with, Jordan also doesn’t want him ruining her future and taking the spotlight away from her.

While I loved the majority of this book, Jordan and Ty’s relationship was a bit hit and miss for me. While the chemistry between the two was great, some things just did not add up. Jordan is a pretty inexperienced girl but it doesn’t take her very long at all to do things with Ty. When I say not long at all, it appeared to happen within a matter of days, maybe a week or so. For someone who has stayed away from relationships with boys, and hasn’t ever had a boyfriend, this was just too much. Jordan’s actions also didn’t seem to match her personality which was a shame.

Although Jordan and Ty together was not great, I did still really enjoy this book. The plot and setting were fantastic and there are some great little twists thrown in throughout the book. Overall, this one was pretty good. 

Friday, 23 August 2013

Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin

About the book
Rules of Summer is a stand-alone young adult novel by Joanna Philbin. It was published by Atom on 23rd May and the book is 352 pages long.

Plot Synopsis
Before heading off to college, Rory McShane wants to have a summer doing something different and more importantly, she wants to get away from her mother for a while. Due to a favour from a family member, Rory finds herself getting off the bus in East Hampton ready to experience a summer like never before. She’s signed on to be an errand girl for the Rules – an extremely wealthy family. The one thing she has to remember is not to socialise with the family but that may be easier said than done.

Isabel Rule is unlike the rest of her family. She’s the black sheep who always seems to be getting into trouble. Not really caring what the rest of her family thinks, she embarks on a relationship with a guy from the wrong side of the tracks. At the same time, a friendship blooms between Isabel and Rory but family secrets and romances could ruin the whole summer for everyone.

What I thought
During the warmer months I love a good summer read but this year I haven’t had that many. Rules of Summer came at a time when I was in a bit of a reading rut and it seemed like something light and fun that would get me out of said rut.

Rory, one of the main characters, has a nightmare of a mother and she can’t wait to get away from her. Luckily, her aunt works for a well-off family in East Hampton and manages to get her a job for the summer before going to college. When Rory gets there though, she’s amazed at the house that she’s about to stay in and even more so, the family who she’ll be working for. East Hampton is far from what Rory is used to and she fears she won’t fit in at all.

Although told from the points of view of both Rory and Isabel, Rory really is the main character as the book starts with her. She was a character who I liked a lot. Rory comes from a place and family with not a lot of money and she’s prepared to work hard to make something better of her life. What I liked the most about Rory was that she was extremely down to earth which is shown through how stuck up and snobbish some of the other people were. Through her summer job, Rory is able to experience a completely different way of life and learns that not all rich people are snobs, which was a nice touch.

While doing her job for the summer, Rory makes an unlikely friend in Isabel, the family’s daughter. Rory and Isabel are about the same age but very different in personalities. Isabel likes her life and the fact that she can pretty much do whatever she wants with her friends but not long into the book, her ideas about life begin to change. Meeting Rory makes Isabel open her eyes to the people she calls friends and how they act towards other people. I really enjoyed seeing Isabel change over the course of the book and to see her and Rory get closer as friends.

A summer read wouldn’t be the same without a romance going on and in this book there are two – one for both Rory and Isabel. Although both romances were very entertaining, they were both extremely different which I appreciated. It would have been easy for the two girls to have wonderful summer romances that worked out well but Joanna Philbin mixes things up a bit. Both girls go for guys outside of their normal tastes but one girl gets a happy ending while the other doesn’t. I liked that this book wasn’t all happy and smiley the whole time and that it gave a bit of variety.

Overall plot wise, Rules of Summer was fun. There is quite a lot going on and a fair few characters to remember but I think this made the summer seem busy and exciting. Along with finding out more about both Rory and Isabel and their friendship/ romances, there are also some more important issues being raised. I liked that Philbin tackled issues surrounding different kinds of family dynamics and the problems they face. This was shown really well through Rory and Isabel coming from very different families with varying amount of money and success.

I really enjoyed Rules of Summer. It was different but fun at the same time with great characters! 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Your Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted at The Broke and The Bookish

1. This has got to be my Google Calender. Not only do I have this blog but I also have a lifestyle/ product review blog and scheduling reviews can be a big headache. Google calenders allow me to see multiple posts on one page and colour coding between blogs makes it easy to see what I'm posting on each day. I used to use a paper calender but I find this so much easier now. 

2. Something I can't live without any more is my whiteboard. Again, with having so many reviews to write sometimes, I can easily forget what needs writing and what has been done already. This is where the whiteboard comes in. On it I have reviews that need writing as well as reviews that need posting to Amazon at a later date due to release dates. Without this, I would never remember to post anything after the review is already written. 

3. My proper to be read pile is absolutely massive at the minute and I'm so behind. But, at the beginning of each month, I set aside a number of books that I want to read in that month. A monthly to be read pile makes it so much easier to find something to read rather than staring at a scary pile each time I want to start something new. 

4. Books are pretty heavy when you're carrying them around and back and forth to work all of the time. This is where my Kindle comes in. Much like my normal to be read pile, I am so behind with Kindle book and those from NetGalley to taking my Kindle to work and only reading e-books on my break means that I get to read from both piles at all times. 

5. This may sound like a pretty strange one but evening shifts help me out so much. If I work a regular 9-5:30 shift, I get home, cook dinner and then don't feel like doing anything at all. But, if I start working at 5ish, I get so much done during the day partly because I have the house to myself and no distractions. On days where I work these kinds of shifts, I get posts and reviews written up and generally get caught up on anything blog related. 

6. A well organised email account is a must have for me. I have so many folders for different publishers/ publicists etc. but this makes it so easy for me to find who I need to email. I can't imagine much worse than trawling through a massive list of emails for one contact and I'm useless and remembering people's addresses. 

7. Not only do I post reviews to Goodreads but this is also where I get the majority of my pictures of covers from. The thing about Goodreads is that it shows multiple versions of the same book so you can pretty much always find the version that you have read. I also use Goodreads because there are so many lists of books that gives me inspiration in regards to what to read next and what to buy.

8 & 9. I'm generally at work in the mornings now when my reviews get scheduled and I don't have much chance to tweet links any more. Networked Blogs  combined with Twitter/ Tweetdeck gets rid of this problem for me. I have set my accounts to automatically tweet and post links on Facebook to my reviews. Although this doesn't add in authors or publishers, at least I know my reviews are out there. 

10. Last but not least is Blogger itself. I know so many people moan about Blogger sometimes and how annoying it can be when scheduling and posting reviews etc. but I've never really had any problems with it. Sometimes I get the weird white boxes around text but these are easily fixed if I remember to preview my posts before scheduling them. Also, I find Bloggers design templates extremely easy to use and to change if I want to do some new things to the blog. 

I tried to make this a pretty varied list - let me know if you agree with any of my picks! 

Monday, 19 August 2013

Sister Assassin by Kiersten White

About the book
Sister Assassin (aka Mind Games) is the first book in a young adult series by Kiersten White. It was published by Harper Collins on 19th February and the book is 302 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.

Plot Synopsis
After an accident that killed their parents, Fia and Annie are left in the care of their aunt. However, with Annie being blind and Fia having a very unique ability, they’re just too much to handle. That’s when the Kessler School for Exceptional Girls shows an interest in Annie and offers both girls a place to go where they can be themselves.

No one knew about Fia’s ability though and they only really wanted Annie. Fia never chose her deadly gift but now she’s forced to use it. Although Fia would do anything to keep Annie safe, her conscience begins to act up and the blood already on her hands makes her question what she is doing. If she doesn’t do what the school says though she knows her sister will be put in terrible danger, but will Fia be able to keep it up?

What I thought
I have had this book sitting on my review pile for months now and I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to reading it. Now that I finally have though, I wish I had picked it up a lot sooner. 

Sister Assassin has one hell of an opening. It starts seven years ago with the death of main character’s Fia and Annie’s parents but it quickly changes to the lives they live now. Fia is sent on a mission to kill a guy she doesn’t know but her conscience changes quickly and she finds she can’t go through with it. She knows her sister is in danger if she doesn’t kill this guy and she knows she’s risking everything. The opening was so exciting and mysterious and it immediately had me hooked.

Kiersten White tells the story in multiple flashbacks which was something I really enjoyed. Sometimes she goes back seven years, sometimes four, two or even eighteen months but she also uses the present time to bring everything back. For me, the flashbacks helped to give the characters a great backstory. They also made me understand the characters and what they have been through in their lives and how those events made them who they are in the present. There is a great history in this book and a very exciting one too.

My only real niggle with this book is the lack of distinction between the two main characters. Although Fia and Annie narrate their own chapters, if the headings hadn’t have been there, I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between the two. Okay, they are sisters so they can be kind of similar but I wanted them to have their own voices instead of sharing one for the most part. Even with the characters being a bit samey at times, they did have some differences. Annie isn’t quite what she seems to be and Fia is a badass who is such a fighter.

Characters aside, Sister Assassin has a fantastic plot. Annie has a very special gift and is initially ‘recruited’ by a school for children with other special gifts. What the school doesn’t know is that sister Fia has a special ability too and one that is seen to be better than Annie’s. The book is set in a world full of secrets and mystery and I was never quite sure who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. There are twists and turns all over the place that constantly kept me guessing. I thought that the ending was quite rushed though and it could have been drawn out a little more. However, there is more to come in this series and with there being plenty of unanswered questions, I’m looking forward to seeing what is in store next.

Sister Assassin is exciting, tense and so different! I thoroughly enjoyed this one. 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Film Review: Only God Forgives

About the film
Only God Forgives is a French/ Danish crime thriller film that was released at the cinema on 2nd August 2013. The film has a run time of 90 minutes and is rated 18 due to language and violence.

Living in Bangkok, Julian is a successful drug smuggler in the criminal underworld. While respected he feels little inside. When his brother commits a terrible crime by raping and killing a teenage prostitute, his world changes dramatically. Retired policeman Chang is called to provide justice. Known as the Angel of Vengeance, he allows some terrible things to happen and Julian’s brother ends up dead. After learning of her son’s death, Julian’s criminal mother is determined to make people pay. As she arrives in Bangkok to collect her son’s body, she orders Julian to find and kill his murderer, causing him to question his family and himself.

Ryan Gosling as Julian
Kristin Scott Thomas as Crystal
Vithaya Pansringarm as Lt. Chang/ "The Angel of Vengeance
Rhatha Phongam as Mai
Gordon Brown as Gordon
Tom Burke as Billy
Byron Gibson as Byron

What I thought
As soon as I saw the trailer for this film, I was extremely excited. It is no secret that I’m a huge fan of Ryan Gosling and I’ll generally watch anything he’s in but I thought the plot/ idea behind this one was really interesting and different.

Set in Bangkok (and actually filmed there) Julian is part of an underground drug smuggler who hides behind a boxing club business. His brother Billy is an extremely shady character and ends up raping and murdering a teenage prostitute and leaving a blood bath behind him. Crazy ex-cop Chang gets called to sort things out which results in Julian’s brother being murdered and his mother wanting the person who did it to die themselves. The whole plot is extremely seedy, dark and twisted but coming from the director of Drive, I wouldn’t expect anything less.

While an absolutely fantastic plot, there wasn’t really anything shocking about it. By that, I mean that there weren’t really any big surprises and I found it to be a bit predictable the whole way through. That being said, I didn’t mind this at all. The plot was still exciting, interesting and gripping even without the shocks being thrown in. Set in Bangkok’s criminal underworld, some things are never quite as they seem in this film and sometimes, more importantly, people aren’t quite who they seem to be either.

Due to the nature of the characters involved in this film, there is also something different going on and there are plenty of new people introduced throughout to help keep things interesting. Although a part of a drug smuggling business, Julian is not at all like his brother. Julian’s character is an interesting one mostly because he barely says anything throughout the film. There are no long conversations between him and other characters and never do we really get to hear his thoughts about what is going on. It is only when he mother arrives in town to pick up Billy’s body that we get to see more of who Julian really is. When his mother barks orders at Julian to murder the man responsible for Billy’s death, he’s clearly torn between family loyalties and his own idea of right and wrong. Unlike in other films where Gosling is known for using his body/ looks to please the audience, that isn’t the case here. Gosling’s performance, for me, was very understated and quiet but one that I will remember for a long time.

Other characters are just as good, if not better, for the most part. Playing the part of the Angel of Vengeance, ex-cop Chang is Vithaya Pansringarm. By looking at this guy, you would never expect him to do the things he does in this film. Although retired, Chang is a character that will go to any length to get justice or revenge. His character was extremely creepy and mixes torture techniques with strange karaoke scenes of him singing love songs. By looking at Chang you would expect a well-respected and quite ‘proper’ policeman but that is far from what you get. He doesn’t follow rules and he doesn’t care how he gets his results – he just gets them!

Julian’s mother is just as bad. Crystal is played by Kristin Scott Thomas and what a different role this is for her. If anyone thought they had a bad mother, they are sorely mistaken. Crystal is a bitch and a half and is very outspoken. As part of her own criminal business, she is used to having the final say and she works the same way with her sons. As soon as she arrives in Bangkok, Crystal is giving orders left, right and centre and expects things to be done immediately. I absolutely loved Kristin Scott Thomas in this role. Not only did she scare the hell out of me but she also made me very thankful for having such a lovely mum.

I had heard rumours about how gory/ sick this film was but I don’t think I was prepared for it at all. I don’t have a weak stomach and can generally sit through quite a lot but there were some scenes that I winced at. With the gore obviously comes a lot of violence. I can see people not wanting to sit and watch the whole thing after seeing some of the scenes involved. However, I do think that these scenes were extremely well done and they did fit in with the rest of the film really well. Also, I didn’t think they were too much even though some of the scenes were a little hard to watch at times.

Overall, I think people will either love this film or hate it. Personally, I loved it. Only God Forgives is stunning to watch while also making me look away at times. A must for Ryan Gosling fans with a strong stomach! 

Friday, 16 August 2013

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

About the book
Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. It was published by Bloomsbury on 15th August and the book is 432 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.

Plot Synopsis
After suffering a terrible year in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen year old Calaena Sardothien has come a long way. By winning the King’s contest, she is now the royal assassin and must do whatever missions the King sets for her. Even though she is ordered to kill in cold blood and go against everything that she believes in, Calaena is far from loyal to the crown and has an agenda of her very own. Calaena must decide whether following her heart is worth the risk, because she may just lose everything if she does.

What I thought
Throne of Glass was one of my favourite books of last year and I have been dying to read the sequel ever since finishing the first book.  

Calaena is a character that I loved from the very beginning and that feeling only got stronger in this sequel. As an assassin, she really does kick ass… literally. Calaena is strong, fierce and completely bad ass but she still manages to show her softer, more feminine characteristics throughout the book. In Crown of Midnight we get to find out a hell of a lot more about her background and where she comes from. I truly enjoyed these aspects of the book as it gave Calaena more depth and also made her more interesting at the same time. There has been so much mystery surrounding her up until this point so it was nice to have some things explained.

The plot follows Calaena in her new role as King’s Champion after beating all of the competition in the previous book. She’s quickly learning that she doesn’t want to do what the king is telling her to and that her new job is very different from what she was expecting. As Calaena decides to defy the King and go against his wishes, she’s is more danger than ever before because she knows that being found out could mean her death. There is a lot in this book about deception and figuring out who Calaena can really trust and who she can’t. This also includes some people who she thought she was extremely close to and there are some shocks throughout.

Speaking of people who Calaena is close to… oh Chaol Westfall, the Captain of the Guard. He and Calaena have a growing relationship through this book and the plot expands upon feelings explored slightly in book one. I absolutely adored the relationship and friendship between these two characters. Both are very headstrong and stubborn but also passionate about what they do. I wanted to see more of Chaol in the first book and I definitely got that here. There isn’t much time where he isn’t with Calaena or doing something to do with her. Their relationship is quite complicated due to the positions they hold but it is also extremely sweet and lovely as it develops. However, there are some twists in this department but I loved them!

Something that I loved about the first book was the action and excitement that surrounded the competition to become King’s Champion and I missed that in Crown of Midnight. That isn’t to say that there isn’t action and excitement though, because there is, but there is a lot more mystery to the plot this time. There are secrets and lies all over the place and not nearly as much fighting and killing as I would have liked. There are some pretty gory scenes though which I did really enjoy as they fit perfectly into the world Sarah J. Maas has created.

I didn’t quite love this book as much as the first but it was still really good. There were some great developments in regards to characters and plot but I missed the fighting to be honest. Still, a great sequel and I can’t wait to see what is in store next. 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

What to do when you have too many books?

Up until now I have been absolutely terrible for keeping books. Although I have been better recently in regards to taking books for review, I used to get a lot more and pretty much hoarded them. I knew when John and I moved in together that I had too many and did give some to my mother and sister in law which got rid of a large amount. 

But, recently we have been thinking about moving and the type of place we will be renting next. I know I will never have a house big enough to keep everything and this resulted in me really thinking about which books I want to keep and which I wouldn't mind not having any more. Also, at the minute, the books have been taking over our spare room as they were stored in cardboard boxes. I've been worrying a little about the weight of the boxes and so last weekend decided to invest in some huge plastic storage boxes to keep my books in. I managed to get 4 huge boxes for £24 which was a great deal!

So as I bought new boxes, I figured it was time I went through the books again with a strict head on. Even though I only went through them about 6 or 8 weeks ago, I was surprised at how many I put into separate boxes for not keeping. I hardly spent any time deciding which I was going to keep and which I was going to get rid of and even John was surprised at how many I was prepared to part with. 

My biggest problem at the minute is not having bookcases. We do have 3 at theminute but 2 are taken up with DVDs and the other is my whole TBR pile (which scares the hell out of me). I hate having the books in boxes and not on show but there isn't much else I can do at the minute. 

As most of us bloggers receive a large amount of books every year I was wondering what everyone else does with theirs. I know we can't keep every single book we get (unless you live in a mansion) but where do they go after you've read them?! Do you pass them on to family and friends or give them to a local library or school etc?

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Book to Film Review: Marley and Me

About the film
Marley and Me is a comedy/ drama film that was released in 2008. It has a run time of 121 minutes and is rated PG. The film is also based on the book of the same name by John Grogan.

After getting married, John and Jennifer Grogan decide to move to Florida. With the couple’s jobs as newspaper writers not being as good as they could be, Jennifer decides that she wants a baby. Instead of giving Jennifer what she wants, husband John gets her a puppy instead. Marley, a cute and cuddly golden Labrador seems to be a great addition to the family until he grows into a 100 pound, fully grown dog. Marley’s antics provide great writing for John’s column but when he and Jennifer finally do have a family on their own, they realise an un-trainable dog might not be the best thing for them.

Owen Wilson as Johnny "John" Grogan
Jennifer Aniston as Jennifer "Jenny" "Jen" Grogan
Eric Dane as Sebastian Tunney
Alan Arkin as Arnie Klein
Haley Hudson as Debbie
Haley Bennett as Lisa
Kathleen Turner as Ms. Kornblut

What I thought
For so long I have been putting off watching this film because I already knew how it ended. A few weeks ago though it was on TV and there wasn’t really anything else to watch.

Playing the lead roles of John and Jennifer are Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. At the beginning of the film we get to know them as a couple and also what each of them wants separately. John wants to be taken seriously as a journalist at some point while Jennifer is getting broody soon after the wedding and wants to start a family. Wilson and Aniston are really great together on screen and make a fun and cute couple. I wouldn’t say there is an awful lot of chemistry between them in the romance department though but this is a family film so it doesn’t matter too much. They do make good best friends though and it is clear how much they rely on each other.

Out of the two main leads, it would be hard to say which one was better. While Owen shows a love and friendship with Marley, Aniston has some quite big issues to deal with throughout the film. Both actors do much better than I thought they would in regards to really emotional scenes or topics which is why I can’t decide who I liked the most in this film. Also, over the course of their relationship, both characters change a lot so we get to see a lot of growth and development in the characters which both actors portrayed really well.

Marley and Me doesn’t have the most exciting plot but instead, it tells the story of a young couple and their family. John has a wonderful relationship with Marley from the moment he buys the dog for Jennifer. It isn’t long after the couple get Marley that they realise he is going to be a handful. He’s impossible to train, doesn’t listen and pretty much does whatever he wants and eats whatever he wants. As a columnist, John uses all of the bad and funny things Marley does in his writing - which proves to be very popular with his readers. While Jennifer wants Marley to be a more well behaved dog, John accepts that Marley will always be a bit unruly. I really loved watching the relationships between John/ Jennifer and Marley. It was also really interesting to see how feelings changed after the couple started a family and how having children as well as a crazy dog affected the couple’s relationship.

Marley and Me is a great family film which is fun for everyone but it also has more serious aspects to it for the adults watching. There is plenty of comedy moments throughout this film due to the way in which Marley acts and the things he gets up to. Marley and Me was extremely heart-warming and I loved (nearly) every minute of it.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Friday Night Alibi by Cassie Mae

About the book
Friday Night Alibi is a contemporary new adult novel by Cassie Mae. The book was published as a Kindle e-book on 29th July and it is 241 pages long. I received this book for review through NetGalley.

Plot Synopsis
In Sundale everyone has appearances to keep if they wish to keep the trust-funds promised by their parents. That’s where Kelli Pinkins and her perfect reputation come in – she’s everybody’s Friday night alibi as either girlfriend or best friend that parents love! Kelli’s job means that she has a pretty non-existent social life apart from the one that is made up. On a very rare Friday night off though, Kelli meets Chase, the boy no girl’s parents would approve of. He isn’t part of the Sundale elite, he’s older than Kelli but he can also give the one liners as good as she can. As hard as Kelli may try to ignore Chase, she knows the attraction is there but can she fight it? If she can’t, will her having a social life mean ruining everyone else’s?

What I thought
To start with, I absolutely loved the idea of this book because it was so fun and different. Kelli is a really sweet girl who combines helping out her friends while making a large pile of cash at the same time. Sundale is a town where the kids are supposed to behave properly, date the right people and generally have a perfect reputation. If they don’t, they’ll lose their trust funds. So, Kelli becomes everyone’s Friday night alibi so they can all do what they really want. Poor Kelli though ends up staying home every Friday playing X Box and pigging out on snacks (which doesn’t sound all bad!).

Although this is Kelli’s usual routine for a weekend, there is the one rare night that she sneaks out with the best friend. But, when this happens, Kelli worries about being caught out and panics when she sees someone she knows. This causes a hilarious scene of her hiding under a pool table, getting gum caught in her hair and being chatted up by the extremely sexy but older, Chase. The pair have a fun banter between them from the very beginning but Kelli decides that Chase is more annoying than anything else.

Both main characters were great on their own as they had so much going for them but they were even better when together. Kelli and Chase don’t always get along in this book and their relationship takes a lot of building before we get to the good stuff. However, although some may say it was drawn out, I loved the build-up and the tension between the two characters. Kelli and Chase begin as friends, kind of, and it takes time for them to get together which is much more realistic than them falling in love after such a short period of time.

For me, the strangest aspect of this book was the religion. Although not forced onto the reader, Kelli has strong feelings about religion, hers especially. The reason I say strange is because I have never been brought up as religious and I don’t really believe in the idea of it in general. So, for me, a character having such strong views on the subject and being a weekly church-goer was something quite new for me to read about. Although I don’t have the same beliefs as Kelli, I loved her strength to stick to certain things and not let anyone change what she believed.

Overall, the plot has such a lot going for it. There are great characters put into really fun situations as well as a slow and sweet romance. Cassie Mae is a fresh and fun voice in the new adult genre and one I will be looking forward to reading more of. 

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Film Review: A Good Day to Die Hard

About the film
A Good Day to Die Hard is a 2013 action film and the fifth instalment in the Die Hard series. The film was released in the UK on 14th February, is rated 12A and has a run time of 98 minutes.

When police officer and detective John McClane finds out there is something going on with his son, Jack, he heads off on the first flight to Russia to figure out exactly what is going on. While believing his son is in some kind of trouble, Jack is actually a CIA agent undercover. In the midst of discovering his son’s secret life, John McClane finds himself knee deep in Russian mobsters and nuclear weapons.

What I thought
So far, I have been a big fan of Bruce Willis and the Die Hard series. There hasn’t been a film I disliked… up until now.

The film starts off with a pretty big bang. John McClane, played by Bruce Willis heads off to sort out his troublesome son is Russia. He gets on a plane and lands in a place he has never been before but seems to quickly be able to locate Jack. After an explosion at the courthouse where Jack is part of a trial, an extremely long car chase takes place. While there is plenty of action going on, and a pretty good car chase, this part of the film was so long! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good car scene but this one seemed to go on forever. I think I was about 40 minutes in when I looked at the clock and this part of the film had only just finished.

In regards to the rest of the plot, A Good Day to Die Hard is pretty disappointing. I was expecting something quite interesting and complex, with some really good bad guys (like in the fourth film) but that wasn’t what I got at all. I found the plot to be very average, at best, and it did little to hold my interest. To add to a quite boring plot, there is the terrible writing. In previous films in this series, there have been some great one liners, some witty remarks from both Willis and the bad guys and just some generally great dialogue but this film didn’t really have any of that. The one liners given to John McClane were nothing new, they were predictable and they weren’t funny like they have been before.

However, while the plot and dialogue were disappointing, Bruce Willis was not. Although he gets a script not up to the standards of previous films, he does the best he can with it. Also, he is far from being the age he was at the beginning of this series but he still plays McClane extremely well. Age does not seem to be a weakening factor for Willis as he is still a great action film actor. There were some especially great scenes of him and Jai Courtney who plays his son Jack being the action heroes and kicking some arse. Speaking of Courtney, I had first seen him in Jack Reacher and instantly liked him and this film only strengthened those feelings.

As an action film, those scenes are the best things about this one. There are plenty of chases, gun fights and stunts to keep fans happy. Although I previously said that the long car chase annoyed me, it was spectacularly shot and I can see a lot of people loving the drama and excitement of it. I would have loved for this to have been cut short, even by just a little bit, in order to make time for a better plot. The pacing of this film was also very erratic and I didn’t like this. At times, there are extremely long action scenes and then a very long time without anything at all.

Overall, A Good Day to Die Hard just wasn’t for me and I really hate saying that. While the acting was spot on, there was just too much that annoyed me about it. 

Thursday, 8 August 2013

In Too Deep by Coort Voorhees

About the book
In Too Deep is a contemporary young adult novel by Coert Voorhees. The book was published by Disney Press on 9th July and it is 324 pages long. I received an e-book for review through NetGalley.

Plot Synopsis
Annie Fleet knows she’s a bit of a nerd. She loves history and is a master scuba diver, two things that don’t always get attention she thinks they should. Annie is proud of the things she enjoys but her crush Josh doesn’t seem to see how amazing she is because of the things she does. On a school trip to Mexico, Annie plans to show Josh that there is more to life than being the son of someone famous. While on the trip, their teacher has other plans though. Knowing that Annie is an amazing diver, he plans to use her to help find Cortez’s lost treasure.

One crazy event leads to another and puts Annie right in the middle of a long lost treasure adventure, along with Josh. They’re not the only ones searching for this treasure and soon they find themselves running from a group who are willing to go to any lengths to find it, even if it means hurting people in their way. Will Annie and Josh be able to find what they’re looking for, and realise they’re perfect for each other at the same time?

What I thought
I can’t say that I have ever read a book, young adult or not, about diving and long-lost treasure. I requested this one from NetGalley because it sounded so different but also fun and quite summery at the same time.

To start with, I absolutely loved Annie. She’s comfortable with herself, knows what she likes and isn’t afraid to show that. Going to a private school with kids with a lot of money could have meant a lot of bullying and teasing for Annie but luckily, her friends accept that she has different hobbies to them. Annie also knows that she comes across as a bit of a nerd because of her hobbies but she can have a laugh and a joke about it with her friends which was nice to see. I also really enjoyed seeing a character with such passion for something, other than a boy. Yes, there is a romance to this book as well but the plot outshines that by far.

Speaking of romance, Annie’s crush is Josh who is the son of a famous actress. Everyone seems to love Josh but it was never clear if this was because of him or because of his status which was a bit of a shame. It was shown that he didn’t particularly mind having to do a lot of publicity etc. because he was doing it to help his family, which was a really sweet thing. He did also just want a normal life though and to be left alone at times which I could understand. Although to begin with, I thought Josh was going to be a bit stuck up, once I got to know his character more throughout the book, I realised he was really sweet and nice.

I absolutely loved the plot of In Too Deep. Coert Voorhees has come up with something that I have never seen done before and in a great way. She is able to mix wonderful characters in with a super exciting story. Annie, Josh and a couple of others go to Mexico on a school trip, thinking they’re there to help out after a natural disaster but really, their teacher is a treasure hunter. As stated before, Annie loves diving and history so her teacher knows she’s the best person to have helping him out. But, the treasure hunt turns into a disaster after someone tries to kill Annie in the water. She isn’t one to be discouraged though and after finding something exciting, she knows she has to carry on the hunt. The plot has a blend of thrilling chases, intense mystery and an exciting outcome. I was desperate to find out more about the treasure being hunted, the background to it all and who would find it in the end… if anyone. There is a lot of information put into this book about the background and history of the treasure which was a great thing to discover over the course of the story.

Due to the nature of the plot, there are also quite a few changes in scenery. One minute the characters are in Mexico, then back home, then Hawaii and back home again. I enjoyed all of the different locations because they brought out both new things in the Annie and Josh as well as the plot. The different locations also gave this book a quite exotic feel which I liked. It made a change to have so much going on and for a book to not be set in just one place.

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely read others by this author again. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Out of Breath by Rebecca Donovan

About the book
Out of Breath is the third book in (new adult) The Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan. The book was published by Penguin on 2nd July and it is 496 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy.

Plot Synopsis
Emma has been through a lot. Because of her past, she trusts no one and lets no one in… apart from Evan. Apart from her best friend Sara, he’s the one who has been there for Emma through everything, no matter how bad it may have gotten. But, she broke his heart and no she’s on her own in a quite sad and miserable state.

Emma has secrets and refuses to let anyone in to know about them, they’re just too dark and scary. Evan, however, can’t seem to get over Emma and desperately needs to know the truth and he won’t stop until he knows exactly what happened to Emma. Will Emma risk sharing everything with the love of her life or will she end up losing him forever?

What I thought
The Breathing Series has been one of my favourites from the new adult genre and I couldn’t wait to read the final book in the trilogy. Main characters Emma and Evan have been through a hell of a lot together up until this point and I desperately wanted to know how it all ended for them. As this is the last book in the trilogy, there may be spoilers for the previous two books.

In the second book, Emma’s life spiralled out of control again and she realised that she just couldn’t stay in Weslyn anymore. She needed to get away and has now headed off to Stanford University, like she had always planned to. But now, she doesn’t have the support and love of Evan to get her through the days and ends up being miserable and depressed. The secrets of the not so distance past are haunting her and without the forgiveness of the one person that matters, she doesn’t know how to cope.

I really enjoyed the change of scenery in this book. Now that Emma has gone off to university, she has made new friends (her roommates) and has a whole load of other things to contend with. Although in a new place and living a completely different life, she still keeps up the close friendship with Sara from back home which I was glad to see. It was also nice to see Emma with a whole new group of people with personalities and with people who didn’t know about her broken past. Donovan had also come up with a way of including Sara with Emma’s roommates which was a nice touch. It really did bring out a different side to Emma, even if that wasn’t always a good thing.

Emma becomes a bit of a hermit while away at university. She has struggle concentrating, she doesn’t go out to parties like her friends do and she doesn’t meet guys, not until her friends force her to have a little fun anyway. During this time, Emma meets Cole, a friend of a friend and eventually the two start seeing each other. Emma is adamant that they’re not dating though and they end up with a strange kind of relationship. I absolutely adored Cole which is hard to say because of how much I love Evan. Cole is in the dark about Emma and her past but he knows there is something bugging her. He doesn’t ever pressure her to talk about things she isn’t comfortable with though and he really is the sweetest guy. Even though I really liked him, I couldn’t help but hope for things to work out with Evan still without having Cole’s heart broken in the process.

Plot wise, there are so many twists and turns. This isn’t a book that just follows the new kind of relationship between Emma and Cole. It also delves into the past and the secrets that Emma is keeping hidden, it has some bits about Emma’s family and the mess that it is. It also has Evan back and a fight for what he thinks is right. With everything going on, Emma goes through some really rough times but I didn’t always like the way that this was dealt with. Emma is a certain kind of person who doesn’t do certain things but in this book, it seems that all of that has been forgotten. Because of such sudden changes, I ended up a bit confused about who Emma was as a character at times.  

While I enjoyed the plot for the most part, I did feel as though it was drawn out a bit longer than it probably needed to be. But, with all of the twists and turns, the new characters and a new romance, this really was a good book. Out of Breath also really ties up the series extremely well and I think fans will be pretty happy with the outcome. I know I was. Now that this series is over, I will definitely be looking out for Rebecca Donovan’s next book. She has the ability to write fantastic stories with great characters that really draw you in. This series is highly recommended by me!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Film Review: This is 40

About the film
This is 40 is a romantic comedy film that was released on DVD in the UK on 24th June. The film has a run time of 128 minutes and is rated 15. It is also a sort of sequel to the 2007 film Knocked Up.

Pete and Debbie appear to be an average married couple with two young children. They both have pretty good jobs with Debbie owning a store and Pete a record label. But, with them both turning 40, Pete and Debbie begin to re-evaluate their lives and realise that their perfect lives are far from that. The film tells the story of Pete and Debbie in the midst of mid-life crisis’ and trying to figure out their less than passionate relationship.

What I thought
Sometimes I really want to watch a film that you don’t need to pay much attention to. This was exactly that film. Although called a kind of sequel to Knocked Up, it isn’t at all really. The only reason it is called this is due to the two main characters being in Knocked Up.

Pete and Debbie have been together a long time, each has their own business and they also have 2 daughters. The routine in their house is far from perfect, with Pete being pretty lazy and Debbie feeling like she has to do everything in the mornings. As she reaches her fortieth birthday, Debbie decides it is time for change and the whole family could benefit from doing things a bit differently. I really enjoyed seeing what family life was like for this couple and how much the kids became a part of the story.

Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann both do great in their roles as Pete and Debbie. Rudd gives Pete a laid back attitude and it soon becomes clear that he doesn’t really think a lot of things through. Rudd has always been a great comedy actor for me and I’ll pretty much watch anything he is in. He didn’t disappoint in This is 40 either. Pete is a silly character who doesn’t take life as seriously as maybe he should and this was a great contrast to his wife. Playing Debbie is Leslie Mann who also does a wonderful job. Unlike Pete though, Mann’s character is quite over the top. She screeches, screams and is a bit pathetic when she doesn’t get her own way but I still loved her in this film.

Even though the two main actors were great in their roles, the were outshined by Leslie Mann’s own children who play Pete and Debbie’s children in the film. Maude and Iris Apatow were utterly amazing as Sadie and Charlotte. It must obviously have helped that they are real siblings and that they also got to work with their mother. The scenes with each of the girls was great because their personalities shined through. As the elder sister, Sadie is a teenager with a hell of a lot of hormones and she was hilarious when it came to showing how she really felt. Younger sister Charlotte, bless her, didn’t really know what the hell was going on with everyone and she just wanted everyone to be happy. How sweet!

Plot wise, This is 40 was pretty weak unfortunately. It was nice to see the life that Pete and Debbie had for a while, and to see the problems they had in their marriage. However, there were just too many problems going on and it was one thing after another all of the time. The plot doesn’t really delve deeply into any of the couple’s problems and instead, skims over them like they’re not all that important. Even though there was quite a lot going on, I felt as though the film was a lot longer than it probably should have been. At just over 2 hours long, I think a good half an hour could have been chopped off the time. After an hour and a half, I was getting a bit bored and just wanted the film to end.

Overall, This is 40 was pretty good but not great. As a comedy film, there are plenty of laughs throughout although some parts really grossed me out quite a bit. I just wish the film had been a little shorter so I didn’t get bored with it towards the end.  

Monday, 5 August 2013

You & I by Emily Gillmor Murphy

About the book
You & I is the debut young adult novel by Emily Gillmor Murphy. The book was published by Transworld Ireland on 6th June and it is 352 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy.

Plot Synopsis
Living in the Irish country, eighteen year old Olive is about to leave everything she knows and move to the big city for university. Soon after moving to Dublin, Olive begins to be pursued by Tom, a guy who doesn’t think further than the next party or the next girl. Olive decides quickly that Tom isn’t for her and pushes his advances aside. But, when a tragedy strikes Olive’s, Tom is there for her, proving that he can also be a really good friend when he needs to be. Tom’s own family life is far from perfect and in the midst of trying to help Olive and be there for her, he has his own troubles to deal with and knows he can’t do everything all at once. Will he be able to convince Olive that he is the guy for her or will his own life spiral out of control before that can happen?

What I thought
It is such a refreshing change to read a young adult book set somewhere different. I don’t think I have ever read one set in Ireland, let alone by an Irish author. I’m trying to expand on the types of books I read at the minute and try new authors so I was excited about this one.

You & I is told from multiple perspectives, not just those of protagonists Olive and Tom. As Olive has just moved to Dublin to go to University College she moves in with other students and begins to make friends. Tom goes to Trinity College, lives nearby and already has his own set of friends. Along with Olive and Tom, we get to hear from friends and family members which helps the reader to see other sides of the main plot. I really enjoyed being able to get to know more than Olive and Tom. Both of their lives are complex and there are many people involved so it was great to know how events affected everyone.

The book follows Olive and Tom as they try to get through life at college. I really enjoyed reading about the day to day events of this kind of life, because I have done it myself. Some of the scenes in particular felt so realistic as I read them so I wonder whether some of the writing comes from the author’s own experiences. I remember feeling lost during Fresher’s Week, not being able to find my lecture theatres and not knowing everyone. Gillmor Murphy got these feelings perfect and I could imagine myself in Olive’s shoes. I also loved reading about Olive getting to know her new flatmates and having to deal with people from different backgrounds and with different personalities to her own.

Although a debut novel, Gillmor Murphy’s writing and characters are addictive. Olive and Tom are both extremely likeable but it is also possible to sympathise and empathise with each of them due to their home lives. Each character’s background helps to define them as individuals but it also affects how they live their lives. I really enjoyed discovering Olive’s history and to find out about the things which give her motivation. Her story is a little more mysterious than Tom’s as it is very slowly revealed over the course of the book.

The only slight problem I did have with this book was some of the language used. There are scenes of sex and drug use but this isn’t what I’m talking about. Some of the characters are very stiff in their dialogue using things such as ‘I am’, ‘I will’ instead of speaking in a more relaxed tone. I wouldn’t expect teenagers to speak in such a way so it was slightly unbelievable. Even though this language did annoy me slightly, it was quite easy to look over and it didn’t take away my enjoyment of reading this book.

You & I is a wonderful debut novel which deals with real problems, real people and real situations. I’m excited to see what Gillmor Murphy does next. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Film Review: Hanna

About the film
Hanna is a British/ German action thriller film that was released in the UK on DVD on 29th August 2011. The film is rated 12A and has a run time of 111 minutes.

A teenage Hanna and her father live in the middle of nowhere, Finland. Hanna is unlike other children though as she has been trained her whole life by her ex-CIA father. She is strong, smart, speaks several languages and has incredible stamina. Everything that she has been taught has been in order to make Hanna the perfect assassin and to prepare her for the life she is about to have.

After being sent into the real world on a mission by her father, Hanna quickly realises that she hasn’t had the same kind of upbringing as others her age. Now, she has to stealthily travel across Europe to get to her final destination, fighting off an intelligence operative and her team of henchmen along the way. Over the course of her mission, Hanna faces revelations about herself and questions about who she is.

What I thought
I’ve had this DVD sitting on my ‘to watch’ pile for such a long time now. Seeing Saoirse Ronan recently in The Host made me want to watch Hanna even more and I finally got round to watching it.

The film had me gripped from the very beginning. Hanna and her father are living in the middle of Finland, hunting deer and training extremely hard. Hanna looks quite young so I instantly wondered what the hell was going on and why she was learning how to fight, shoot and speak multiple languages. The life that we see her and her dad living is far from the norm and definitely not in the typical type of location to bring up a child. I really loved how interesting the plot was to begin with. It captures the attention right away and also raises many questions.

To pull off a plot as strong as this, a great lead actor was needed. Playing Hanna is Saoirse Ronan who I hadn’t really heard of until quite recently. However, she is utterly amazing in this film. At the time of release, Ronan was only 17 years old but had already been in a few films. Hanna is a very strange character and very mysterious. Having not grown up in any kind of society, Hanna is distanced from the rest of the world. But, she does know how to hunt, kill and cook a deer and speak several languages… amongst other things. I’m not sure what kind of training Ronan had to do for this film but there was certainly a lot going on for her. Although an unusual character, Ronan makes Hanna likeable. She has had no control over her life or upbringing so it isn’t her fault that she doesn’t understand the outside world. When she leaves her home in Finland, Hanna must deal with real people and real situations, both of which she finds confusing but not scary. It is interesting to see Hanna put into the real world and to watch her realise that she isn’t like everyone else. I also loved seeing Hanna making friends with a young British girl and her family and to try to find things in common with her.

In the supporting cast there are big names such as Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett but unfortunately, both are outshined by Ronan. Bana doesn’t feature as much as he possibly could have as Hanna’s dad and I would have liked to have seen a more emotional relationship between the two. Blanchett on the other hand, has a very large role in this film. She plays Marissa Wiegler, the woman hunting Hanna. Blanchett comes across as very evil over the course of the film and determined to get what she wants, no matter the cost. I find Blanchett to be a great actor in whatever role she takes and this one was no excpetion.

Along with a strong basic plot, there is loads of action throughout. As Hanna races across Europe, she has to fight off those who are chasing her. Although as I said before, I don’t know what kind of training Ronan did for Hanna, she must have done some in the ways of running. She does a lot of running in this film and she appears to be incredibly fit and looks great doing these scenes. Not only does this part of the plot provide some great action scenes, it also provides great scenery. As the film starts in Finland and ends in Germany, there are plenty of places visited in-between. From beautiful snowy forests in Finland to urban Germany, there is always something wonderful to look at.

Hanna is tense, exciting and mysterious at the same time. This is one of the best thriller/ action films I have seen in a while and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.