‘If I Stay’

I think it’s only normal that after finishing a good book, that you’re excited to see the on screen adaption of it whenever it comes out. So I was one of the first in line to go see If I Stay once it was out in Belgium.

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What is this movie about?

Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined.

My rating: 4/5

What I thought of it?

First of all I must say that I was really happy to see Chloe Grace Moretz attached to this project because she’s definitely one of my favorite actresses. And I was more than happy that she rocked this part. She was amazing as Mia and really made it all believable.

As for the other characters; I had never seen a movie with Jamie Blackley before, but he really did a good job portraying Adam. Also, his chemistry with Chloe was awesome! And Mia’s parents were also cast really well, both physically as how they played the part. They were simply perfect. So castwize, this movie is totally awesome.

I also love how they sticked close to the book, although there were some additions and changes that I didn’t like 100%. But the story is still the same and it’s still as heartbreaking as the book. So if you plan on going; kleenex is definitely needed.

But in my opinion, the movie was a bit slow at some points. The book isn’t very long, so of course it’s “more difficult” to make an entire movie out of it, but sometimes I felt like they were stretching it out a bit. But that’s the only thing that bothered me. Otherwize I’m completely in love with this movie and once again, I was bombared with all kinds of emotions.

This movie is definitely a must see for anyone who loves a movie about family and friends. It’s drama/ romance, but the plot is just so amazing. Just imagine if you were in her situation and had to choose…

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

‘Isla and the Happily Ever After’ – Stephanie Perkins

I have been looking forward to the release of Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins  ever since finishing the previous book in this series. I even got frustrated when it took so long for my book to arrive but when it finally did, I was so happy to complete my collection.

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Stephanie Perkins)

 

What this story is about?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

My rating? 4,5/5

What I thought of it?

Once again, this story was every bit as cliché as the first two, but not in a bad way. I really loved these series and they may be among my favorites this year. It’s lighthearted and just written in such a lovely way.

For this book specifically, I must say that I loved it less than Anna and the French Kiss, but I loved it more than Lola and the Boy Next Door. ‘Anna’ was by far my favorite but between the last two, the competition was far closer.

The reason why it didn’t reach ‘Anna’, is because towards the ending, I had some trouble with Isla and certain decisions she made and just her behaviour in general. She just became a bit irrational and it annoyed me. She created drama where there shouldn’t have been any, although some reactions were kind of justified, she just blew things up. But Josh, he’s such a cutiepie. All the male characters in these series are so swoonworthy, it’s nearly unreal. But they all still have their flaws, which makes it even more interesting.

What did disappoint me a bit is that the characters from the other book hardly made an appearance. They were mentioned but weren’t really a part of the story until later on. (but there is one big thing in the ending with the other characters that made me aww like a madwoman!). Either way, I would have loved more interaction between the new and the old characters because when they did appear all together it was just pure love.

All in all, if you’re into chicklit and love fluff, this is the series for you! It’s cliché but so romantic and cute. I totally loved it and I’ll be on the lookout for more books written by Stephanie Perkins because I love her style.

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

 

 

‘The Scorch Trials’ – James Dashner

With the release of the first movie in ‘The Maze Runner’ series coming closer, I found that it was about time to give the second book The Scorch Tials’ by James Dashner a chance. I was a bit disappointed in the first one, but nonetheless, I’m all about second chances.

Warning: this post contains spoilers for those who haven’t read the first book yet.

The_Scorch_Trials_cover

 

What is this book about?

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

My rating: 2,5/5

What I thought of it?

I will admit that I wasn’t very rushed to start the second book in this series after the first one disappointed me. But I was still curious about those unresolved things in the first book, so with a long week of travelling by train ahead of me, I found myself giving this another try, hoping to receive an answer to all the lingering questions.

This time around, I enjoyed the characters a bit more than in the first one, even though I’m still not such a fan of Thomas. I was really intrigued by the addition of Jorge, and consequently disppointed when he didn’t have such a big part in the book.

Unfortunately though, the storyline disappointed a bit this time. There was still a lot of mystery – which I hoped to see solved – but nothing really cleared out. (Ha, there is still a third book so not really surprising, I guess). To be honest, I kind of missed the maze in this book. The Scorch wasn’t as appealing to me as the maze and it didn’t really leave a lot to the imagination.

But still, I found myself unable to stop reading. I wanted to know what WICKED was and what their intentions were. Nonetheless, it was all a bit repetitive. They ran, they ate, they slept, they encountered a problem, they ran, they ate, they slept and so on and so on. It didn’t really bore but it wasn’t like I was biting my nails in anticipation.

So while I enjoyed the story, I still wasn’t blown away by it. I plan to read the last book sometime soon – now that the rest of the story is still fresh in my mind -, but first of all, I’m going to start ‘Isla and the happily ever after’ which has fi-na-lly arrived!

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

 

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I guess you must have been living under a rock if you haven’t heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge yet. In case a rock has been your roof for a while; The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is an activity where you challenge your friends to throw a bucket of ice water over their heads to raise awareness for the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

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The rules are simple; if you have been nominated by a friend or family member (or colleague or whatever), you have two options. First option; you  don’t accept the challenge, and just donate 100 dollars to ALS to support their research. Second option: You dump a bucket of ice water over your head – and videotape it – and then you can choose the amount of money you donate to the ALS charity.

Now, the reason I’m explaining all of this, is because some people have been getting on my nerves with this whole challenge. Don’t get me wrong, I totally support the idea to raise awareness and I love how much money there has already been raised. It’s just mind-blowing and I hope this will help the research to find a solution for this horrible decease.

BUT- yes the big but – it’s getting such a hype that people are just doing the challenge to be popular. They don’t even care about the charity that’s behind it anymore and just dump a bucket of water over their head without donating.

I see people begging to be nominated, just so they could video their own challenge, but almost 50% of the people that I’ve seen doing it never even mentioned ALS or their donation. I just want to sceam at all those people that if they’re nominated they HAVE to donate no matter what. It’s making me so angry that people have turned this into a hype and have probably forgotten about the real reason it’s being done.

It’s already bad enough that so much clean water is being wasted for this challenge, so it’s even worse when people then go on and ignore the charity behind it.

So if you’re nominated, please do it right. Mention ALS, bump a bucket of ice water – yes with ice cubes! – over your head, and challenge your friends to do the same within 24 hours and if not they’ll have to donate 100 dollars. Then you go ahead and donate your prefered amount via this website.

I just felt the need to rant about this because I’m sick of seeing people doing some halfassed version of it. If you’re doing the challenge, you should at least do it right.

And well, I guess this little fellow has a point as well;

ice-bucket-challenge

I guess if you did the challenge perfectly ánd used bathwater or dirty water (as Kristen Stewart has done already in her challenge video), I’d love you even more.

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

‘Eleanor & Park’ – Rainbow Rowell

I had already read two books of Rainbow Rowell and while they didn’t blow me away, I still liked them. But according to many people, Eleanor & Park is her best work. I didn’t need more to convince me to read this book.

rowell_ep_usWhat is this story about? 

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

My rating: 3/5

What I thought of it?

I really liked this story and the main characters Eleanor and Park in general. While it might seem like another teenage love story, this book definitely isn’t. There is so much more to it. But sadly, I felt like that “much more” that there is, wasn’t fully explored.

Eleanor doesn’t live in a perfect family and her stepdad is the worst person alive. That fact just gives so much opportunities for the story, but it’s a little bit pushed to the background sometimes even though it’s the biggest “thing” that stands between Eleanor and Park. Maybe the author wanted to focus more on their relationship as a couple then the family relationships Eleanor has, I don’t know.

Nonetheless, it’s a really lovely book about a real relationship that isn’t all flowers and sunshine. I really loved Eleanor and Park together. They were the cutest and many times I was just giggling over them. I loved how they met and how their relationship developped. And their nerdy side is just amazing.

But on the other side, there were often moments where I didn’t understand Eleanor. Especially in the end. I won’t spoil anything, but it just kinda sucked. So on that part, I sometimes didn’t like Eleanor. But Park, god, he’s such an amazing, caring character. There probably isn’t a single flaw in that boy. He also had the loveliest parents even though they also had their flawed moments. But that’s only realistic. And as much as I loved Park’s parents, that’s how much I hated Eleanor’s. It would be obvious to hate Richie most, but I hate Eleanor’s mom most for letting her children live like that. And then Eleanor’s dad, who just doesn’t care is equally bad. God, I hate people like them. Like hate with the capital H. Yeah, that much.

To finish; kinda spoilerish; this book has an open ending and I have a love/hate relationship with those. On the one hand I hate that I don’t get closure when finishing a book, but on the other hand I love that I can let the characters live on in my head and let them have the ending that I want. But still, open endings sometimes suck and sometimes I just want to know what the author had in mind for them.

Anyway, this is once a again a story that reads really smoothly and everyone who loves a nerdy romance with a little bit or angst will probably love this book.

Until next time,

With love,

Ellen