Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

I understand that this is a very popular book among a lot of people, and I also understand that it represents a lot of important people and a pivotal moment in history but… I really struggled to get on with this book…

This book is a little complicated to describe but I’ll do my best… in brief this book is about two best friends who are both heavily involved in WWII and both end up in Nazi occupied France. Things very quickly turn south as one of them is arrested by the Gestapo, will she tell them all she knows or will she sit in brave silence?

I’m going to start with the positives! This book was interesting, I learned a lot about various roles during the war, especially women’s roles and how much of a big part they played in terms of spying and finding out vital information during WWII. I really do think that some people would really like this book because it was interesting but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

My main issue with this book is that the story is completely mixed up. Most of the time I didn’t know what was going on and when I did figure it out it would change… To give you a sense of this, the first half of the book is one of the characters (I would say their name but it would be a spoiler and they have so many bleeding names!!) writing about her whole life to the Gestapo. Although this is really clever and an interesting idea, in my eyes it set the book off to a bad start because I have literally NO clue what was going on and it made me instantly disinterested.

Also there was no break between what this character was writing to the Gestapo and what they were thinking or physically saying out-loud to Gestapo officers… if that makes sense? Also you’re learning everything about this world and these people’s lives through someone spilling their guts to the Gestapo who would torture them had they not said anything, so how do we know if it’s at all true? Plus, none of these stories you’re learning about are chronological and basically the whole first half of the book makes no sense. I hope i’m not being ignorant, it’s just my opinion, perhaps I was just being too stupid to understand it?

I really wish I enjoyed this book more because it was such an interesting subject that has always fascinated me. But in my opinion this book was somewhat let down by the style in which it was put together. I do stress though that others will enjoy this book! But it most definitely isn’t the book for you if you don’t like a book that you have to persevere with, it is also good to keep in mind that you really have to concentrate with this book, it isn’t great to read late at night before you go to bed because it will literally make no sense.

With that in mind I’m going to give this book a 2 out of 5 stars… it just wasn’t for me but from seeing other reviews it does seem as though it’s a Marmite book…

 

The Giver – Film Review

I liked this film, I definitely liked it, but I wouldn’t say I loved it… I really anticipated this film, especially as I didn’t manage to catch it in the cinema, it looked kinda cool and I was really excited to watch it… but I was a tad bit disappointed… once again, I downloaded this film from Sky (I bloody love Sky) and patiently waited until Saturday afternoon when I had got home from work, dad was in the garden and mum was out with her friend (apparently it’s ‘not their type of film…) So after a long wait I was eagerly anticipating this film. But, although I was disappointed, it wasn’t all rubbish, there were aspects that I did enjoy.

The film is based on a book by Lois Lowry where everything in this futuristic community is controlled, your age, your occupation, your children and even your spouse. At the annual ceremony of age, the main protagonist, Jonas, is now old enough to graduate from childhood to adulthood and is given his life’s occupation. But everyone else has been given their occupation and Jonas is still there on his own, his name and occupation was not called out, but this is because he has been given the very prestigious job that is the receiver of memories.

I really, really enjoyed the book that this film was based on so I suppose I went into this with rather high expectations (the killer of all films). In terms of how the book matched the story, it was basically spot on, I didn’t really notice what they changed or took out, it felt just like the book on screen (bearing in mind that I read this book a while ago and have a really bad memory so I might be wrong). From this you would suspect that I really enjoyed the film… but that wasn’t the case… there was just something about the story that just didn’t translate well on screen but in book form was beautiful. It might be because of the acting, but with high profile actors like Meryl Streep, I was expecting the acting to be better… also, I’m sorry but Taylor Swift just cannot act… just no.

However, I can’t write this film off completely, there were some things that I kind of liked. I really liked how the film starts in black and white and colour gets progressively added as the film continues. I felt that this nicely represented what Jonas is actually seeing, as he is the main character. It also portrayed the world in which they live in with absolute honesty and it didn’t really sugar coat things. I’ve said this already (I think) but I did like that it truly reflected the book and all that it stood for in terms of lessons and morals, but, although it is a beautiful story, I just felt that it just didn’t translate effectively.

This film did keep me engaged so I guess it wasn’t all bad… once again this is just my opinion so feel free to disagree, if you loved or hated this film I would love to know your reasons and opinions in the comments. I’m going to rate this a 2 out of 5 stars, not great but not utterly awful.
If you’re interested in the book, I wrote a review for that and I shall link it HERE

Half Bad – Sally Green

My thoughts on this book. Meh. The killer of all books is high expectations. I read the blurb of this book and I was like, YES I’M GOING TO LOVE THIS, IT’S RIGHT UP MY STREET AND IT’S GOING TO BE THE BEST BOOK EVER… yep I was definitely disappointed… I feel as though this wasn’t the book’s fault (as if books have feelings, don’t crush my dreams, they have feelings alright) it was a good story line with an interesting plot but, I don’t know. Meh. I just didn’t like it all that much…

This book is about witches. But there is not only one type of witch… there’s two… oooooo. Gosh I should really stop with the sarcasm. Anyway there are light and dark witches, light witches are ‘good’ and dark witches are ‘bad’ and are extensively hunted but the light witches. Nathan, the main protagonist is half light and half dark witch and has been victimised all his life, without having done anything wrong. Nathan, along with the government are worried that when Nathan turns seventeen he will become a full dark witch. Because of this the government decided to take drastic measures and cage Nathan so that he doesn’t cause any harm. Nathan decides he has to escape before his seventeenth birthday.

This book does have an interesting story and I know that there are people that love this book and think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. But, um it just didn’t cut the mustard for me I’m afraid.

Although just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean you won’t, again I’ll repeat, some people really do love this book, I might just be a bit odd. So give it a go if you like, it’s an interesting plot, but I just wasn’t much of a fan, and because of that I’m going to award it 2 out of 5 stars * *, harsh I know but it’s only my opinion.