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September 2012

My Book Schedule

By Books & AuthorsNo Comments

In the past I’ve announced excitedly (see OMG…OMG…the latest in The Enemy Series by Charlie Higson, Exciting News & Things To Look Forward Too, etc.) when there’s a book coming out that I want to read, but there’s so many over the coming months, I’ve decided to share with you My Book Schedule instead:

Release Date: 20 September 2012
Title & Author: The Sacrifice (The Enemy Series) by Charlie Higson

The sickness destroyed everyone over the age of fourteen. All across London diseased adults are waiting, hungry predators with rotten flesh and ravaged minds.

Small Sam and his unlikely ally, The Kid, have survived. They’re safe with Ed and his friends at the Tower of London, but Sam is desperate to find his sister.

Their search for Ella means Sam and The Kid must cross the forbidden zone. And what awaits them there is more terrifying than any of the horror they’ve suffered so far . . .
(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: 27 August 2012)

Release Date: 11 October 2012
Title & Author: One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern

Journalist Kitty Logan’s career is being destroyed by scandal – and now she faces losing the woman who guided and taught her everything she knew. At her terminally ill friend’s bedside, Kitty asks – what is the one story she always wanted to write?

The answer lies in a file buried in Constance’s office: a list of one hundred names. There is no synopsis, nothing to explain what the story is or who these people are. The list is simply a mystery. But before Kitty can talk to her friend, it is too late.

With everything to prove, Kitty is assigned the most important task of her life: to write the story her mentor never had the opportunity to. Kitty not only has to track down and meet the people on the list, but find out what connects them. And, in the process of hearing ordinary people’s stories, she starts to understand her own.
(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: 27 August 2012)

Date: 19 February 2013
Title & Author: Fuse by Julianna Baggott

After a young Wretch is abducted by the Dome and “cleansed” of her fusings and imperfections, she is only able to repeat the Dome’s latest message: “We want our son returned. This girl is proof that we can save you all. If you ignore our plea, we will kill our hostages one at a time.” Willux will go to any lengths to get his son Partridge back, including murder. Partridge sacrifices himself and returns, in the hope of taking over the Dome from within, only to uncover more of his father’s chilling, dark secrets.

Outside the Dome, Pressia, Bradwell, and El Capitan are decoding the secrets from the past – tucked away in one of the Black Boxes – to uncover the truth that might set the wretches free of their fusings forever. Those fighting Willux will be pushed over boundaries, both land and sea, heart and mind, in their quest – further than they ever imagined.
(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: 27 August 2012)

Date: 4 April 2013
Title & Author: The Traitor Queen (Book 3) by Trudi Canavan (Paperback Version)

Events are building to a climax in Sachaka as Lorkin returns from his exile with the Traitor rebels.

The Traitor Queen has given Lorkin the huge task of brokering an alliance between his people and the Traitors. Lorkin has also had to become a feared black magician in order to harness the power of an entirely new kind of gemstone magic. This knowledge could transform the Guild of Magicians – or make Lorkin an outcast forever.

The Traitor Queen is the triumphant conclusion to the Traitor Spy trilogy, which began with The Ambassador’s Mission and continued with The Rogue.

Hopefully this will give you an idea of what I’ll be reading over the coming months and what reviews you can expect.
(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: 27 August 2012)

Write & review soon,


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By Love & Relationships2 Comments

I love seeing videos of happy couples, because of this my faviourate TV advert is this one:

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It’s advertising Renault’s 4+ package, but I like it because it shows the couple meeting, falling in love and going through loads of life experiences together.

I’ve noticed that there’s more happy gay couples videos than ever before. They show gay couples meeting, falling in love and sharing life experiences. However many of these videos don’t appear on mainstream TV, which is disappointing. Here’s some of the happy gay couples videos I’m talking about:

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We’ve come along way from gay, lesbian and bisexual people not being represented in the media at all, to where we are now. I hope that as attitudes continue to change in the future, videos like these are on mainstream TV. I think it would be great to get to a point where the couples sexuality doesn’t matter.

Blog soon,


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Film Review: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

By Amazon, Reviews, TV, Online Streaming & Films2 Comments

(Click on image for full size Theatrical Poster.)

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) is about a group of pensioners who travel to India to retire in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The Best of British cast are introduced to the audience; We have Evelyn (Dame Judi Dench) who must sell her home to pay her husbands debts after he recently passed away. Graham (Tom Wilkinson) is a High Court Judge who lived in India as a boy, one day at work he says “it’s time,” and decides to return.

Jean (Penelope Wilton) & Doug (Bill Nighy) are a unhappily married couple who have put their life savings into their daughters Internet start-up company which hasn’t yet paid, so are moving to India for a retirement they can afford. Muriel (played brilliantly by Maggie Smith) is a racist, retired housekeeper who needs a hip replacement. The NHS tell her she will have to wait months for the operation, or as an alternative they will pay for her to go to India where she can have it done straight away.

Madge (Celia Imrie) is introduced leaving her life of babysitting the grandchildren to go in search of a new husband in India. Norman (Ronald Pickup) is going to India in search of one night of lust and love after being lonely for a long time. I thought that having seven main characters might be too much to follow, but because the characters were distinctive and the film was well paced it was easy to follow the storyline as it developed.

On their arrival in India they find the hotel is a work-in-progress (the photos on the website had been photoshoped) and are met by the manager Sonny (the Slumdog Millionaire, played by Dev Patel). Sonny has this wonderful saying:
“Everything will be OK in the end, and if it’s not OK, it’s probably not the end.”

The group begin to adapt to this vibrant culture and spicy food as each of them start their new lives in India. Evelyn sees a job advert for a call centre, she takes a taxi only to discover that they want the younger generation – still she speaks to the manager and gets a job as a “sort of cultural advisor.”

Graham disappears early every morning discovering that India has changed a lot since he was young. Graham reveals to Evelyn that when he lived in India as a boy he had this Indian friend, and that one day it became more than friendship. He fell in love with this boy but they were discovered. Graham’s Indian friend was dishonoured and Graham left him, going to University in England. Graham tells Evelyn that he’s never been back to India since and that he feels incredibly guilty for leaving.

Jean makes a point of staying in the hotel and voicing her distase of everything about India at every opportunity. Doug goes exploring, seeing the beautiful temples that Graham recommends.

Muriel has her hip operation and wants to go home, the doctors tell her that she can as soon as she can walk on the plane. We see Muriel’s racist attitudes change as she befriends the cleaner at the hotel. The cleaner invites Muriel to meet her family, which Muriel does. Muriel makes a fool of herself by shouting at some of the children who are playing with her wheelchair, she thought they are vandalising it. During Muriel’s apology it’s revealed that for years she used to be a housekeeper for a family, raising the children, doing the house work and book keeping before the family replaced her with someone younger.

While all this is going on, Sonny is trying to convince his bank manager to invest in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Sonny also has a love storyline, he’s in love with Sunaina (Tena Desae), but won’t tell her as he feels he’s not good enough for her. Still they are in a relationship and she works for her brother – in the call centre where Evelyn is the Cultural Advisor. Sonny’s mother arrives at the Hotel to try and get his life on track including marriage a suitable women. Sonny’s mother feels that Sunaina is too modern and there is an hilarious scene where Sunaina gets in bed with Madge (not realising that Madge took Sonny’s room as hers didn’t have a door), Sunaina screaming realising it isn’t Sonny. Sonny’s mother comes in, tells Madge she “expected better” thinking that Sunaina is a prostitue. The scene made me laugh out loud, but it quickly returned to drama as Sonny introduces naked Sunaina to his mother as his girlfriend.

From the beginning Jean has noticed Graham the High Court Judge, being attracted to his social status. One day Jean tempts Muriel into telling her where he’s going by telling her that she knows of a website where she can get Hobnobs delivered to the hotel. Muriel tells her that he’s going to the public records office and Jean follows him there. Jean is about to disclose how she feels to Graham, but he beats her too it disclosing that he’s gay. Jean runs off embarrassed and returns to the hotel complaining to Doug again of her hatred for India. Muriel asks to use the hotel’s computer, sees the hotels finances and can’t help but organise them.

Graham gets an address for his former lover and with the support of Evelyn and Doug goes to visit him. Graham knocks on the door to be greeted by the wife of his former lover. She shouts over to a man sat at a table with other men. The man turns to see Graham and smiles, walks up to him and gives him the biggest hug ever. Graham stays to catch up, Evelyn and Doug head back to the hotel and you sense there’s at least a really good friendship developing between them based on honesty.

Meanwhile Norman goes out to a exclusive club to try to meet someone and sees Madge. Norman points out a women at the bar to Madge, she decides to help him along by going over to speak to the woman at the bar and telling him to join them in a minute. Norman goes over and we quickly realise he can’t be sophisticated and flirt well. Just as the woman’s about to leave, Norman’s honest and exposes his loneliness. The woman appreciates this and he ends up going back to hers, finally getting that night of lust and love he so desperately wanted.

The next day Graham comes back to the hotel and tells Norman of his amazing night. Graham tells Norman that his friend married a woman, but that she knew that he’d been in love with a man and would never love another. Graham tells Norman that he’s been trapped all these years by guilt and that his Indian friend has had a good life. Norman goes to his room and Evelyn sees Graham and goes to ask him about his night. But Evelyn discovered he’s died of a heart attack. Graham’s Indian friend conducts the touching funeral ceremony and all but Muriel attend. Evelyn emotionally affected by the funeral, talks to Doug about her husband being dishonest about the finances and of how she trusted him. Evelyn breaks down in tears, Doug comforts her before Jean appears asking for her husband back. Doug follows her back into their room before finally loosing his temper at Jean for the lack of respect she shows him.

Muriel goes to visit Sonny’s bank manager. Sonny’s mother tells him that his brothers who own part of the hotel want it sold for the real estate value. Sonny’s mother wants him to move back to Delhi for an arranged mariage. Sonny knows that they will knock down the architecturally beautiful hotel destroying his dream, and that he will loose the love of his life in the process.

Meanwhile Jean & Doug’s daughter has got in touch to say that her Internet business has taken off and she can pay them back. Jean & Doug pack to return to England, with Jean obsessed by “turning to the left” by which she means travelling first class. Before the taxi departs the hotel Doug pretends he’s forgot his wallet hoping to say goodbye to Evelyn. Evelyn’s just got back from work, but she doesn’t want to see him. So Muriel lies for her, telling him she’s not back yet and asks if he wants to leave a message. Doug asks Muriel to tell Evelyn he said goodbye.

In the taxi Jean & Doug are suck in rush hour traffic which is being delayed by a festival. Jean sees a a pedicab and offers the driver all her money to take them to the airport. The pedicab driver says he can only take one person plus luggage and Jean is finally honest with Doug saying that they haven’t been happy for a long time and that they’ve stayed together out of loyalty. Jean asks Doug not to come after her.

At the Hotel the other residents have been told that the hotel is closing by Sonny’s mother and are preparing to leave. Sonny rushes into the call centre where Sunaina works and tells her that he loves her. Sonny explains that he can cope with loosing the hotel but not her.

Sonny takes Sunaina on his bike back to the hotel to tell his mother that Sunaina is the ‘one’ and that he wants to marry her. Sonny tells his mother and she is reminded by a friend of the family that her husband said the same about her to his mother. Sonny’s mother concedes but explains to Sonny that she has a mothers right to worry. Muriel explains that the hotel doesn’t have to close, that Sonny’s orignal figures had been right – but that the hotel needs paying guests. Muriel discloses that she’s seen Sonny’s bank manager and that he has agreed to fund the hotel if Sonny takes on Muriel as the Assistant Manager.

Muriel asks the remaining residents if they will stay on at the hotel, asking Evelyn first. Evelyn isn’t sure, Muriel for the first time in the film stands up out of her wheel chair and walks a few steps. Muriel says if she can stand on her own two feet, so can Evelyn and reminds her she has work tomorrow. Muriel convinces Evelyn as well as the others: Madge, Norman and Norman’s new girlfriend to stay on at the hotel.

Doug walks the streets of the city overnight and in the morning returns to the hotel as Evelyn is setting out for work. They greet one another, Doug makes clear that it’s over between Jean and himself and asks if Evelyn is up for meeting up after work. Evelyn agrees and Doug asks how she likes her tea. The film ends with a montage showing Sonny and Sunaina on Sonny’s bike, Doug and Evelyn on a bike, Muriel greeting new guests at the hotel, Madge having dinner with a wealthy Indian and Norman and his girlfriend settling into life together.

The film is definitely a feel good film and one of the best films I’ve seen in years. I’ve watched it again and again. It has a captivating storyline with a good mix of comedy and drama – including some really funny one-liners. It is fantastically directed and shot meaning it shows the stories of the characters well. The characters are well developed, feel real and are excellently represented by the cast.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) is available to buy on Amazon and I highly recommend it.

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Book Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
Pure by Julianna Baggott Book Cover While shopping at my local supermarket I saw Pure by Julianna Baggott and decided to pick it up. I have to say, I’m glad I did. It’s a brilliant read with some really original ideas.

The storyline is epic with every event adding to the story’s development. It is an exceptional storyline, it just makes it complex to summarise the plot in this blog post. So instead of discussing the plot in detail, I’ll give you an introduction to the world and the three main characters:

Pure is set in a post-apocalyptic world; after the Detonations have caused destruction, ash filled air and fusing of people to animals, other people and inanimate objects. We are introduced to two distinct groups of people; the Pures who were safely inside the Dome when the detonations hit and the wretches who were outside of the Dome.

In the Prologue set a week or so after the detonations, a plane from the Dome drops little slips of paper saying:

“We know you are here, our brothers and sisters.
We will, one day, emerge from the Dome
to join you in peace.
For now, we watch from afar, benevolently.”
(From: Pure by Julianna Baggott, 17th September 2012.)

Then the story starts set years after the Prologue. We meet Pressia, a nearly 16 year old who lives in the remains of a barber’s shop with her granddad and has a fist fused with a doll head. Pressia and her granddad know that soon the OSR will come for her, as they do when everyone reaches the age of sixteen. OSR are Operation Sacred Revolution – a roughly banded military type group whose mission is to take down the Dome. But we later find out that OSR was originally stood for Operation Search and Rescue set up to save people following the Detonations.

Next inside the Dome we meet Partridge, he’s the son of the powerful Ellery Willux. Partridge doesn’t really like spending time with his father and his father is usually in the lab doing important work. But then one day Ellery asks to see him. Partridges mother was outside of the Dome when the Detonations struck and has been assumed dead. But when Partridge speaks to his father he gets the distinct impression she’s alive. Partridge is taken on a school trip to were the Dome keeps metal boxes of memorabilia from the dead. Partridge see’s a box with his mothers name and dates on, he opens it and finds things she left for him. Partridge makes plans to escape from the Dome and then escapes. Partridge is later called ‘Pure’ because he has no scares, burns or fusings like everyone else.

Bradwell is introduced to the reader through Pressia. He’s a man with two live birds fused to his back, the birds flutter their wings whenever Bradwell has adrenaline going through his body or is emotional, which throughout the course of the book is often. Bradwell is obsessed with conspiracy theories about the detonations, claiming that those in the Dome deliberately caused the Detonations.

Pure is excellently structured with each chapter having a character’s name and a title to indicate who and what the chapters about. Baggott’s use of description enables the reader to imagine the characters, world and events as clearly as watching a film. The book did have a few sentences that to me didn’t read right, but these didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the book.

Pure is a fantastic read and is a trilogy with Fuse (2013) the second book and Burn (2014) being the final in the series. Pure is available to buy on Amazon.

Blog soon,


I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

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