Sunday, 28 February 2016

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín | Review

Genre: Historical Fiction , Adult , Romance
Publisher: Scribnr
Published: May 5th 2009
Pages: 262 
Rating: ✰✰✰✰&1/2

Hauntingly beautiful and heartbreaking, Colm Tóibín's sixth novel, Brooklyn, is set in Brooklyn and Ireland in the early 1950s, when one young woman crosses the ocean to make a new life for herself.Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America -- to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood "just like Ireland" -- she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.By far Tóibín's most instantly engaging and emotionally resonant novel, Brooklyn will make readers fall in love with his gorgeous writing and spellbinding characters.
This is a bit of a different read for me but after I watched the movie , I just had to read the book which is unusual for me! 

I felt more sympathy for Éilis in the book and she grew on me throughout but I would say that I felt more connected to the concept than the character. The subject matter is a very personal one to not only Irish people , but anyone in a country that their people have had to immigrate. Despite this , I did like Éilis and I appreciated forthcomings and flaws. This book is very Irish and I'm not sure whether anyone who isn't Irish would like it as much but hey , maybe you want to learn!

The plot moved slower than I expected but I loved getting to know the individual characters and parts of Éilis' story that we don't really see in the movie. I also loved the contrast between the people in her Brooklyn life and her Irish life , which I won't go into due to spoilers but it's very 50/50 in my opinion. 

My one problem with this book was the ending and I'm not sure if I can complain about that. This is an adult novel and I usually read YA so let's just say that the ending is very cutthroat heartbreaking. There's none of this bittersweet , "I'm sad but I'm happy.". Oh , no! The ending is very different to the movie and although I was disappointed with that , it was personal preference whereas this made me want to erase reading that part out of my brain. I really wasn't expecting it but I definitely don't regret reading it because the best books are heartbreaking in my opinion.

If you're feeling the need to read something a little bit different , definitely give this one a go! I enjoyed it more than the movie but the movie was really great! The story is so beautiful that I think it can carry through! 

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Movie Reviews

I've mentioned on my blog before that I have never really been a movie person but for the past month or so , I've started to appreciate the stories that are short and snappy but still have an emotional impact on you! Blogging has recently began to feel like a chore so I'm going to mix it up a bit and start to talk about more than just books. Most of my posts will still be book related but there will be posts about other stuff I'm interested in. 

In this post , I'm going to discuss some of the movies I've seen recently and what I thought of them! You may notice a pattern in the casts of the movies but I'm an actor binge watcher and proud! 

Tobey Maguire , Kirsten Dunst , Willem Dafoe

When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.

I decided to start with the movie that doesn't fit in with the others. I watched this movie because it was the only DVD we had and I actually quite liked it. I've seen the new Spider-Man movies but I'm not a big super hero fan. I thought that this movie was easy to follow and hilarious at times! I gave it 3.5/5 stars!

Jack O'Connell , Domhnall Gleeson , Miyavi 

After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
I honestly adored this movie! Combine WWII with fabulous actors and it's bound to be amazing. This movie was raw and realistic which makes it so terrifying and intriguing. I don't know why I only heard about this movie last month because it deserves so much hype. I gave it 5/5 stars!

About Time
Domhnall Gleeson , Rachel McAdams , Bill Nighy.

At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think.
My thoughts throughout this movie were "I don't want this to end!" which rarely happens to me. It was such a cute movie , it makes you feel unbelievably happy and has a really great message. The characters are so unique and hilarious but pulled at your heart strings at times. I can't recommend this movie enough! 

Ex Machina 
Alicia Vikander , Domhnall Gleeson , Oscar Isaac

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.
I didn't expect to like this movie as I'm not the biggest sci-fi fan but there was more focus on the characters than on the science in this movie. The concept is exciting and terrifying and I never really knew who's side I was on. The amazing thing (Well , one of them!) about this movie is the fact that there are only 3 speaking characters and yet...It works! The cinematography is beautiful and it keeps you on the edge of your seat! I gave it 5/5 stars. 

Saoirse Ronan , Domhnall Gleeson , Emory Cohen 

An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
It's one thing if a movie is set in the past but if it's set in the past about Ireland , I'm sold at the first glance. I think anyone feels a more personal connection when it's their own history but I won't go into that too much! I loved how this movie flowed and you could feel Éilis' pain and joy throughout. I'll admit that I was a bit annoyed at the ending but I'm a bit biased! I'm also reading the book and I'm loving it!I gave it 4/5 stars!

Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think? Do you have any recommendations? 

Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Impact That Bloggers Have On Book Sales | Discussion

I always love to write discussion posts and when I was thinking of some ideas , I came up with a topic that I was genuinely curious about. Do book bloggers have an impact on book sales? If so , what type of impact. Publishers send ARCs out to book bloggers and booktubers so surely , they know what they're doing , right? The thing that confuses me is that if we take an extremely popular book in the bookish online community like Throne Of Glass by Sarah J Maas and look at how popular it is outside of the community and it's really not. I can only speak from my own personal experience but I have never heard of someone reading the series unless I recommended it to them. It's not even sold in many book shops here! 

So how big is the impact that we have on book sales and why do publisher's invest in our promotion?

One of the biggest reasons a book would sell because of the blogging community would be recommendations. Some of my friends come to me because they know that I've read a lot of books that they've never even heard about and they recommend it to someone they know and so on and so on. 

There are also A LOT of book bloggers. Whether or not a book sells much outside of the community , it can still do amazingly if we love it. At the end of the day , we are a community of book lovers so who else would they aim their promotion at?

I wanted to know what other people thought about this topic. Here's what the people I contacted had to say on this topic.

"Do ARCs and blog tours have an impact on book sales , in your opinion?"

"As a reader of blogs, I think it does. Especially when there is hype around a certain book, I'll make a note to add it to my TBR. I think ARC reviews are more effective than blog tours because I sometimes feel that blog tours get repetitive and it actually makes me lose interest in the book." - Jess from Princessica Of Books.

 "I think it definitely has. There's so many book bloggers out there, and of course, we all buy books. I'm not sure if the reviews would reach the rest of the world, though. I don't think quotes in books do much, but if you check Goodreads, lots of popular reviews would convince you a bit!" -Denise from The Bibliolater 

"It's difficult for me to prove how useful book bloggers are in terms of increasing book sales. That being said, every book blogger that I have met has been so passionate about literature that it seems impossible not to be affected by their enthusiasm. Bloggers will shout about the novels they love online and that word of mouth power can not be discounted." - Louise O'Neill , author of Only Ever Yours and Asking For It.

I also put up a twitter poll about this topic...These were the results. 

I think I would have voted either of them as well. I think that the most important thing that I learned while making this post was that book blogging may not have a massive impact on book sales but it has a very important one. I guess that that's the only answer we'll ever get , and that's okay with me.

I want to end this post by linking an article that I found while researching for this post. It's basically an author explaining to other authors that she thinks book bloggers are wonderful!

I'd love if we could continue this discussion down in the comments!  

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Book Haul #2

My last haul was posted back in August so I think it's time for an update! These are all of the books and eBooks that I have bought or received since my last haul and the reviews will be linked if they exist. They're not in chronological order as I don't remember when I bought them for the most part. 

Physical Books 

Half Wild by Sally Green 
The Diviners by Libba Bray 
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime by Mark Haddon  
The Martian by Andy Weir 
The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory 
Queen Of Tearling by Erika Johansen  
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Winter by Marissa Meyer


Trouble by Non Pratt 
Forever With You by Jennifer L.Armentrout 
The Next Together by Jenny Han
PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han 
Days Of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor 

Total amount of books: 20
How many of them have I read so far? 11 (That's not too bad , ay?)

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?