Top 10 Tuesday: Binge-Worthy TV Shows

It’s been a while since I last did a Top 10 Tuesday post so I thought it was about time I dive back in. This week’s topic is actually a non-bookish one for a change and relates to movies or TV. Like anyone, I love a good binge-worthy series – the ones that are so consuming you just have to watch the next episode, and the next, and the next, to find out what’ll happen. You know it’s good when you’ve watched so much that Netflix is checking whether it should play the next episode or not. TV tastes vary quite a lot so this is a hard list to create and still appeal to everyone. For that reason, here are ten shows that I, personally, binge-watched like a fiend (of which there are MANYYYYYY).

Stranger Things

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Gotta love a bit of 80s nostalgia. Stranger Things feels like if Spielberg and Stephen King had produced a TV baby. This is a binge watch for me every time I see it, especially since each season is only 8 episodes long. I love the characters (Dustin and STEVE!) and I’m a big fan of shows involving supernatural elements. For those few people who haven’t seen it, Stranger Things is set in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. After 12-year-old Will Buyers goes missing, Will’s friends and family launch an investigation which suggests the explanation may be otherworldly in nature.

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There’s just something about twisted crime pieces that sucks me in. It’s a mood, okay? Don’t judge me. Mindhunter follows two FBI agents as they interview serial killers in an attempt to learn more about the way these individuals think in the hopes it will allow them to develop better profiling techniques. The acting is great and the show just has this gritty and dark atmosphere that’s so addicting. It’s also produced by director, David Fincher & actress, Charlize Theron. It’s not an action-packed kind of show but if you’re into slower, more subtle entertainment, it’s a solid pick.

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I had to include at least one Marvel show on the list. I really loved Jessica Jones‘s first season but because I’m behind on season 2, I’ve gone with Daredevil. The action sequences are amazing, the characters are well done, and Charlie Cox is some serious eye candy. A blind superhero who’s not really blind is also a very cool concept. When the second season came out, only work was able to drag me away from my Netflix account.

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This one is a major guilty pleasure binge. I’ll admit, I enjoy watching The Bachelor when it’s on (however, the Australian version is a little less insane than the US) and Unreal was created by a former producer on the US Bachelor & Bachelorette. The show is set behind the scenes of a very similar fictional tv series called Everlasting in which we witness the antics on set and the absolute crazy lengths creators will go to in order to keep making high rating TV. It’s got strong female leads and some of it is just hilarious (if a bit dark)

TV 5

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Yes, this is a controversial one but having seen the first season twice and the second season once, I’ve binge-watched each time. If you weren’t already aware (where have you been??), the premise of the show is that following the suicide of student Hannah Baker, 13 cassette tapes she made are sent around to a group of people whom Hannah claims to be the reasons behind her decision to take her own life. I powered through season one because I had to know why Clay, the show’s protagonist, was included on the tapes and even then, I needed to see how it’d end. It’s a tough show to watch at times and definitely DO NOT if you have experienced depression or suicidal thoughts before. Otherwise, it’s deeply emotional, well acted and has some nice underlying messages about how we treat others.

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This show is so British, it hurts (in a good way, of course). It’s a very quirky, dark-comedy – a little bit Wes Craven, a tad Quentin Tarantino, and massively odd, but it’s also really funny and a hell of a ride. There’s only one season so far (greenlit for a second) and it’s 8 episodes long, perfect for binging. The show revolves around two teens –  angsty Alyssa, who wants to escape her home life, and James, who thinks himself a psychopath and is set on murdering Alyssa. The two decide to run away and end up on a road trip full of crazy stuff including a paedophile, exploding car, and petrol station attendant called Frodo. I wasn’t sure how I felt at the start but it really does grow on you in a way you don’t expect.

TV 7

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Another crime series. I don’t watch many mass season crime shows these days, with every episode a different case. However, I do enjoy limited episode series with confined season long investigations. And because of the need to find out who did it and how, I tend to binge them. Broadchurch is a great watch. David Tenant (LOVE) and Olivia Coleman are absolutely fantastic and each of the three seasons is well written and fabulously filmed. The first season deals with the murder of an eleven-year-old boy and showcases the investigation, the impact the death has on his family, and the various personalities of people living in the small coast-side town.

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Oh, man. Now, this is guilty pleasure town. Netflix recently put a few older seasons of this up and I’m addicted. I will honestly sit for hours and just watch episode after episode of people frantically sewing clothes into the late hours of the morning and bitching about each other behind their backs. Reality tv at it’s most mind-numbingly enjoyable.

TV 9

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BtVS is one of my favourite tv series of all time. Easy. I could watch this thing through 1000 times and still not be sick of it. Yes, it can be a little campy and the special effects are definitely on the dated side, but it’s such a great show and one of Joss Whedon’s best productions. The characters are wonderful and the show itself perfectly straddles action, horror and comedy with some romance thrown in. Watching Buffy and friends kick ass and save the world from vampires, demons and everything else creepy-crawly is one of the best ways to spend a night in.

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While the revival is certainly questionable, the first five or so seasons of Gilmore Girls are one of my favourite things to binge. Every time I watch, I feel like I’m teen again, watching with my mum. It’s such a comforting, heartwarming and fun show that never ceases to make me smile. Watching mother and daughter, Lorelai and Rory go about their lives and witnessing the crazy hijinks of the tiny town they live in is definitely my idea of bingeable entertainment. It’s also funny and ridiculously quotable. Oy, with the poodles already!

What are your favourite TV shows to binge watch?

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Top 10 Tuesday: Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic, courtesy of host Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl, is ‘books with sensory reading memories’. I struggled to come up with selections for that topic so I’ve decided to bump up the top for next week to this week instead, which is popular books that lived up to the hype.

We all know how hit and miss the hype train can be so it’s always nice when you find books that actually manage to live up to expectations. The results are different for everyone so here are 10 books that I found myself agreeing with the positive (and very loud) book community consensus on.


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Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles 1#) – Marissa Meyer

I’ve mentioned this one as a welcome surprise a few times since I read it last year, so I won’t bore you with the same info over again. I expected mediocre and cheesy but ended up having a lot of fun.


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The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller

This book deserves its hyped reputation and awards. It’s fantastically crafted with great attention to detail, lots of emotion, and wonderfully written characters. A romance for the ages with enough war, gods, and political squabbles to interest anyone.


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Scythe (Arc of a Scythe 1#) – Neal Shusterman

One of my favourite reads of 2018 so far. The world is so well constructed and very unique. Although the plot is slower than some people might like, it’s definitely entertaining and there’s a lot of big moral questions.

Review


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Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

One word: Love.

Review


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Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

Absolutely beautifully written. The world and characters are compelling, the prose is gorgeous, and it ends on a major screw you cliffhanger.

Review


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A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses 2#) – Sarah J Maas

You guys don’t need to hear me sing this one’s praises. It’s been done. The first book was massively mediocre and almost stopped me reading the rest of the series. The hype got me to try this one and thank goodness, because I loved it. It’s great.

Review


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Illuminae (The Illuminae Files 1#) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I picked this one off the children’s wall at the bookstore after seeing fabulous things about it (admittedly, this was still pretty early on, even before Gemina) but I was very nervous about the variations in style. I shouldn’t have been. The book is action-packed, with great characters, some big twists, and just generally so much fun to read.


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The Princess Bride – William Golding

The movie adaptation of this book is one I’ve watched several times. I always laugh and it’s just so endlessly quotable. The book is no different. It’s spoofy, humorous fun and I’m sorry it took me so long to finally read it.


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Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie

It’s a classic crime book for a reason. Christie really knows her stuff. This and And Then There Were None are regarded as two of her best novels and they live up to their reputations. I definitely recommend reading this one if you like period crime books and if you don’t already know how it ends.


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Red Rising (Red Rising 1#) – Pierce Brown

I was ready to write this one off as a victim of the hype train but once I got past the first 100 or so pages, I was hooked. The book and rest of the series are a rollercoaster of action, backstabbing, plot twists, and emotional upheaval.

Review

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Which hyped books lived up to your expectations? Help me navigate the minefield!

Love Ashley

 

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read in 2018 (So Far)

This week’s top ten Tuesday topic is a list of your favourite reads of 2018 so far. I touched on this briefly when I did the mid-year freak out tag a few weeks ago but since it’s always fun talking about fantastic books, I thought, why not expand on it here. Creating this list was really tough in places because I’ve read some great books this year. If you were to ask me the same question again tomorrow, I’m likely to have changed the list by then, it’s just that hard. I’m so indecisive – did I like this book better than this book? Oh, but I rated this book higher, but then I read this one super quick, it’s just crazy. So here are the ten I’ve come up with for today. The books are listed in order of the date I read them (because who wants the grief of trying to rank them, heaven forbid)


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Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertalli)

★★★★★

I feel like I’ve raved about this one enough for you guys to know how much I enjoyed it. Like I said in my review, it’s better than Oreos – sweet, funny, emotional, and uplifting, this is the definition of a good YA contemporary.

Review here.


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A Torch Against the Night (Sabaa Tahir)

★★★★

It’s always a nice thing when books avoid sequel suckage syndrome. This was a great adventure. I love both Helene and Elias so it’s was really interesting watching them play cat and mouse across the country. The prison scenes were also extremely entertaining and the book ended in a place that left me super excited to read A Reaper at the Gates.


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The Cruel Prince (Holly Black)

★★★★

I’ve never been a huge fan of fairy books, with a few exceptions, but it’s books like this that have started to change my mind of late. Yes, the world building is a little lacking and some of the plot is on the slow side but I had a great time reading this one. The characters are morally ambiguous, there’s scheming and backstabbing, and the ending is fabulously dramatic. I can’t wait for The Wicked King.

Review here.


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Red Rising Series (Pierce Brown)

★★★★★

Yes, this is three books so I’m cheating but 1) they were all excellent and 2) I didn’t want a third of this list to just be RR books. I loved this series. LOVED. Well written characters, epic action scenes, dramatic twists, amazing world building, and some intense emotional moments, what more do you want? Also, unlike some other series, it finishes even stronger than it begins. Definitely would recommend to sci-fi fans!

Series review here.


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Call Me By Your Name (Andre Aciman)

★★★★

This book was such a change of pace for me. I picked it up after falling in love with the film and the novel is just as magical. The writing is absolutely beautiful and the book itself is just heartbreaking but so, so worth it.


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Warcross (Marie Lu)

★★★★.5

This was my first experience with Marie Lu and it was wonderful! The Warcross matches themselves were so much fun and Emilka was a strong, smart and well developed MC. The plot twist at the end is predictable but still enjoyable because of the direction it takes the story. The sequel, Wildcard, is one of my most anticipated releases for the second half of 2018.


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Scythe (Neal Shusterman)

★★★★★

I had to wait for ages to get this book in Australia but it was worth it. The world is unique and extremely well constructed, the book deals with some big questions about morality, power, and life itself, and the characters are complex but likeable. The plot will be a bit slow for some people but I enjoyed it immensely!

Review here.


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Leah on the Offbeat (Becky Albertalli)

★★★★.5

I’ve had a good year so far with Becky Albertalli books. Leah was one of my least favourite characters in Simon but after this book, I gained such a new appreciation for her. She has her stubborn moments but she’s also super relatable and I loved the development of her relationship with Abby. Plus I got to spend some more time with the other adorable Simon characters. Winner!


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The Last Olympian (Rick Riordan)

★★★★.5

Up until this book I’d had fun reading the Percy Jackson series but I had yet to reach a book where I was genuinely super keen to find out how it would end. That was this book for me. The plot was exciting and actually felt like it’d have a lasting impact on the world of the books instead of just being Percy and co’s latest adventure. I loved that the stakes felt real and there was a chance for characters to showcase true bravery. It was a much more mature read and I really appreciated that!


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The Song of Achilles (Madeline Miller)

★★★★.8

Wow. I cannot believe I waited so long to read this one because it was AMAZING. Miller puts so much detail into the book but without bogging down the story. I loved Patroclus as a narrator and the romance between him and Achilles is beautifully done. The downside, however, is that the book leaves you an emotional wreck at the end.

Review to come soon!

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And that rounds out my top ten! Are there any favourites we’ve shared? What have been some of your best reads of 2018 thus far?

Here’s to many more fantastic books in the second half of the year!

Love Ashley

Top 10 Tuesday: Series I’d Like to Finish or Continue with Someday

This week’s TTT topic is: book series I’ve given up on. I had a think about this for a little bit and since I didn’t feel comfortable including any series where I only read the first book before going, nah, not for me, I was running a bit short on selections. Instead I’m going with Jana’s (That Artsy Reader Girl) provided alternative which is: series I’d still like to finish someday. To give myself some more options, I’m also including series I want to continue with at some point. For me, this means the series hasn’t finished being written yet but I’m a little behind on it.

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The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer

I only started this series last year so it’s definitely not the oldest unfinished one on my shelves. At this point I’ve only got one book to go, Winter, which is relatively sizeable. I’ve been really enjoying it so far, mostly because the characters are strong, different, funny, AND ethnically diverse, which is always great. It’s a really well done fairytale retelling series but there’s still a lot of originality which keeps it feeling fresh, fun and surprising.


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The Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini

It feels like I’ve had only one book left in this series FOREVER. Oh wait, it actually has been forever. I’ve reread books one and two quite a few times over the years, and read book three once, but for some reason I never make it all the way through. I get busy, or distracted, or something. I’m determined to get there though, it will happen! Watch out Eragon & Saphira, I’m coming for you…eventually.


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The Mortal Instruments – Cassandra Clare

I gave up on this series after reading City of Fallen Angels years ago because it was so annoyingly bad. The problem is, I now really want to read The Dark Artifices and after reading about 180 pages into Lady Midnight, I found myself fairly lost. Then I realised some of the characters and backstory had been introduced in City of Heavenly Fire. I’m sure you can see where this going. So yes, I’m going to reread the first four books, finish the rest of the series and then finally make my way back to Lady Midnight. Lord save me from death by Clace angst.


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The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Cycle is one of those series that I felt pressured to read because of the amount of love the books get online. I found The Raven Boys a bit of an average read. It had it’s moments, but the tone and plot was always slightly odd. However, still I persisted – I mean, people LOVE these books, right? I had to be missing something. This idea pushed me through the next two entries in the series and unfortunately I still don’t fully get the crazy level of devotion people have to them. However, because of all my answered questions, as well as the amount of time I’ve now invested, I feel like I have to finish it all off by reading The Raven King, so that’s what I’ll do.


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Mistborn Trilogy – Brandon Sanderson

I read The Final Empire a few years ago back when I was at university and quite enjoyed it. The magic system was really original, the characters were interesting, the book got me with a twist about two thirds in, and I really loved the idea of the hero defeating the villain only to become one. I’ve had the second book for a while but haven’t been in the mood to read it yet. I’d definitely like to in the future though.


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The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo

Originally, after finishing Shadow and Bone I had intended not to read anymore of this series. Mostly because the plot felt a little mediocre and I found the idea of Mal as Alina’s love interest extremely boring. However recently I’ve been thinking that I might finish the series after all. This is in large part due to the fact that I’d like to get a proper introduction to Nikolai (everyone seems to adore him) so that if I end up wanting to read King of Scars, I’ll be able to do so.  I also happen to be a fan of The Darkling as a villain so if I keep going, I’ll get some more development with him too.


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Poison Study Series – Maria V. Synder

I read Poison Study a long time ago now, we’re talking way back, when I was in mid high school. At the time it seemed like another series I didn’t think I would continue with. Like the Grisha books though, recently I’ve been seriously considering going back to it. It seems weird but I think that now, having gotten a bit older and read more widely, I’d enjoy the book a lot more than I first did. Guess the only way to find out is a re-read.


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Outlander Series – Diana Gabaldon

This is the first series on my list that isn’t actually complete yet, although it’s about eight books plus several novellas and spin offs in already. These are really long novels at around a thousand pages each so they do take a fair amount of time to get through, which means you really need to be in the mood. I took a break after reading Drums of Autumn as it wasn’t exactly my favourite in the series and I’ve heard that the next one, The Fiery Cross is the low point in the books before they very successfully pick up again. The motivation isn’t there right now, but it will be further down the line.


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A Song of Ice & Fire Series – George RR Martin

This is another series which is still many years off being finished and one in which each installment is extremely chunky, requiring motivation and concentration. When I began these a few years ago I read several very close together and burnt myself out a little about two hundred pages into A Feast for Crows. I’d like to go back to the series some day but not right now. However, considering the pace at which Martin writes, I can probably take as much time as I need.


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Red Sparrow Trilogy – Jason Matthews

I enjoyed the first book in this series a lot more than I thought I would when I read it a few months back (even with the constant references to Dominika’s clothing). I don’t read a lot of espionage or thrillers so it’s nice to have something different on occasion. After the end of book two, I’d like to continue on with the series and see where it leads.Divider

Which series do you have plans on reaching the end of soonish (or sort of soonish, or maybe even just before you die)?

Are there any series that you’ve given up on part way through because they declined in quality?

Love Ashley

 

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Book to Movie/TV Adaptations, Part 2

I wasn’t really in the mood to do this week’s TTT post because (a) it’s winter here, (b) then I have to ask, what the hell is a “winter read”, and (c) I’m likely to do a TBR post soon. Instead I’m doing an older topic from The Broke and the Bookish‘s archives which is top ten best/worst book adaptations. The criteria for making this type of list is always hard because is it a matter of how closely the adaptation followed the source material or is it about the quality of the actual adaptation? In my case, it’s usually a bit of both. I’m cool with the adaptation making changes to the book’s story as long as they’re good changes and don’t mess with my enjoyment of the movie/show. I actually did this same topic for a top ten last year but since then I’ve seen a few other adaptations that I’ve thought were pretty good. Then there were others that missed out on my original list. Besides, no-one’s ever said you can’t do the same topic twice. And well, if they have…er, my blog, my rules, I guess.Divider1

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Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

This is a dark and slightly odd book with a significant shift right in the middle. The movie does a great job of matching it’s eerie tone and remains very close to the book’s plot. Rosamund Pike is perfect as deranged “cool girl” Amy, while Ben Affleck also does a great job as her imperfect husband, Nick. The only thing I wish it’d done was include the couple’s final lines of dialogue.


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Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

Controversy aside, in my opinion TRW is a good adaptation of Jay Asher’s book and in a lot of ways, I think it even surpasses it. Often where adaptations deviate from their source material, it’s a bad thing but with this one it works well. The decision to spread Clay’s experience with the tapes over several days instead of one night and actually taking the time to flesh out each of the characters involved enhances the story and ideas of the novel rather than damages them.


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Call Me by your Name – Andre Aciman

This is a beautifully written book, and although it’s difficult to transfer prose and imagery over to film easily, this adaptation manages to capture the tone of the novel instead through scenery, music, camera angles, and expressions. The set locations are stunning and the casting is absolutely perfect. Also, while the ending is a little different from the novel (which is sort of an extension on the film), it’s still fits the spirit of the story whilst still being damn heartbreaking.


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Love, Simon (Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda) – Becky Albertalli

I had high expectations for this one and to my relief, it met them. This is another adaptation where there were a few changes made to the plot, mostly in terms of cuts (likely for time reasons). However, the movie never strays from the feeling of the book and is always true to the characters. It’s super adorable, majorly feel-good, diverse, and an easy movie to re-watch.


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The Martian – Andy Weir

The success of The Martian as a book rests heavily on the humour, sass and strength of it’s main character, Mark, and this translated extremely successfully over to the adaptation. Matt Damon is fantastic in the role, as is the rest of the cast of famous faces. The movie’s funny, visually striking, and also manages to get a bit less bogged down in some of the scientific elements than the book, which is a big plus.


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The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

I had heard that this particular series was quite different from the book but after recently, finally, watching it, I found it to actually be quite similar. Yes, some of the ages are different and you get a lot more background with regards to the characters and how Gilead came about, but for me these additions have enhanced the story and answered a lot of questions that I know I had while reading the book. The acting is great all around and the show itself is extremely addictive, even if it’s sometimes hard to watch.


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It – Stephen King

I don’t usually do horror movies, at all. I am the biggest wuss you will ever meet but I was determined to see the 2017 movie adaptation of this book and despite looking through my fingers at several points, I really, really enjoyed it. The child actors are all great in their roles and Pennywise is damn scary. Although the movie only focuses on the child part of the book, it’s still a HUGE book and they did a great job cutting down the story while still keeping the important parts intact. Definitely looking forward to part 2 next year.


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And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie

There have been a lot of adaptations of this particular story, because it’s just so good! In this instance though I’m referencing the 2015 BBC mini-series. This version dwells on the darker undertones in Christie’s story, making it a little bit more modern somehow but it still remains both stylish and true to the novel, right to the very, bitter end. Also, it doesn’t hurt that there’s some eye candy in the form of Mr Aidan Turner.


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Divergent – Veronica Roth

Say what you will about the later entries in the series, both films and books (*cough* they sucked *cough), but I really like the adaptation of the first book (Yep, judge away, I know). I’ll admit, they did cut out and strip down some characters (e.g. Edward), and rework certain plot elements but I liked the casting and the story changes never really impaired my enjoyment of the movie. Now I just happily watch it as a stand-alone.


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The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

Alright, I’m not a huge John Green fan but having read the book and seen the movie for this particular one, even I have to say that it’s a well done adaptation that should have satisfied fans of the book. The actors are chosen well  (Shailene does a great job as Hazel), the plot sticks closely to the book, the tone of the movie is very JG-esque, and the ending is still grab your tissues worthy (okay, well, for those people that aren’t me).


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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

Two adaptations were made of this novel, one English speaking and the other in Swedish and surprisingly, both of them are not only very close to the book but well done too. The actors in each version do a great job bringing the characters to life, especially Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth, and the plot is mysterious and engaging. Be warned though, this isn’t a lighthearted book and neither movie shies away from the darker content.

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And there we have it, another top ten done and dusted. Was there a favourite of yours that I missed? It might have been on my first list on this topic published last year. You can find that Top 10 here.

What are some recent adaptations that you’ve enjoyed?

Love Ashley

 

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I feel like Everyone’s Read but Me

I wasn’t really feeling this week’s allocated TTT topic or any of the variations I could come up with for it. Instead I’ve dug up this older topic from the archives on The Broke and the Bookish which is top ten books I feel as though basically everyone out there has read except for little old me. I could come up with a whole lot more than ten for this one but for now here’s a few.

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Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi

This series is everywhere. Like EVERYWHERE, but it got even worse when Restore Me came out this year. I plan on giving it a read soon just to see what all the fuss is about.

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Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

When you talk about YA contemporaries, this is one that constantly seems to come up. It entered the top 100 reads list at my bookstore this year which definitely increased the feeling of being the only one who hasn’t read it.

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The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

The love for this book is crazy. It was on the NY times bestseller list for ages and ages, and it was all anyone talked about online for a good long while. Now there’s a movie coming out and the FOMO is real guys…

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Milk & Honey and The Sun and her Flowers – Rupi Kaur

I’ll be honest, I’m not a massive poetry person. I can admire a lovely phrase or two but I’m not about to go out and buy a book especially devoted to poems. These two works blew up in a huge way last year and the closest I’ve come to reading them is seeing a couple of photos on bookstagram. However props to Rupi Kaur for making poetry cool.

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Looking for Alaska – John Green

Come on, I had to include a John Green book here because (a) everyone seems to love them and (b) I don’t read them. I’ve been hearing about this book ever since I was in high school and it seems to be the JG book to read other than The Fault in Our Stars (which I actually have read!).

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To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

This is one of those classics that I feel like HEAPS of people have read, likely because it was part of their English curriculum but also because I hear it’s fantastic. I’m not big on classics but part of me is tempted to read it sometimes just to join in on the conversations.

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians series – Rick Riordan

This is kind of a cheat answer because I’m actually three books into the series (only two to go!), however I feel like this series was almost a second Harry Potter for people a bit younger than me. Essentially everyone in the bookish part of the internet has read them and the spin off books, and they’re just crazy about them!

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His Dark Materials Series – Philip Pullman

This is another really beloved children’s series that I feel like A LOT of people read when they were younger but I somehow missed entirely.

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1984 – George Orwell

Another classic that people have read because of school or just out of pure interest, likely because it’s great and still culturally relevant. Again, I’m a bit classically deprived here…

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han

Yes, another YA contemporary, I know. I only just recently started picking up a few books in this genre and this one seems to pop up like a game of whack-a-mole. It’s actually so much so, I bought a copy last week. Hopefully I’ll finally get why everyone’s always talking about it. Also apparently the rights have been acquired by Netflix, so that’s cool?

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The Kingkiller Chronicles – Patrick Rothfuss

This is a fantasy series that’s become huge. Basically everyone I know who enjoys this genre has read these. It’s been on my Goodreads to-read shelf for ages but I keep putting it off because I’ve heard the beginning is extremely slow. Then again, I should probably learn from my Nevernight experience and just do the damn thing already.

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Which books do you feel like everyone else has read but you? (Don’t worry, I won’t judge…much. Kidding, I won’t at all, promise).

Love Ashley

Top 10 Tuesday: Names that Best Suit Their Characters

This week’s TTT topic is best character names (see That Artsy Reader Girl). What in all bookish hell does that mean? Is it names I’d actually consider naming my future bookworm children? Names that I find the most humorous? The best badass sounding names? Or perhaps it means the best weird and unpronounceable fantasy names? (Okay, highly unlikely with regards to that last one).

Who bloody knows?

So for this topic I’ve decided to do a list of ten names that I think really suit their respective characters. These are names that you only have to read once to get a sense of what that character is like without ever having read a scene with them in it. Admittedly there were a lot of names I wanted to use on this list but here’s just a snapshot:

1Kaz

SIX OF CROWS DUOLOGY – LEIGH BARDUGO

Saying that Kaz’s name suits him is like saying Niagara Falls is a bit wet. It’s unique, memorable, and hard edged, just like the man himself, but you also definitely get the feel that the person it belongs to has a bit of devious streak too.

2Emika

WARCROSS – MARIE LU

Emika as a character is quirky, kindhearted, and knows how to take care of herself. Her name is unusual but I feel like it matches her cool and ballsy nature. It’s the perfect name for a rainbow haired hacker!

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LIFEL1K3 – JAY KRISTOFF

I honestly thought this sounded ridiculous when I read it – a girl named after a laundry detergent? Yet, somehow it’s so well suited to Lemon’s sassy and zany nature. She can be sweet but don’t mess with her either, she definitely packs a punch for someone so small.

4august

THE MONSTERS OF VERITY DUOLOGY – V. E. SCHWAB

I don’t think I’ve ever met a dodgy person named August. When I hear the name it just makes me think of someone kindhearted, thoughtful and sweet. Ergo, the name really suits our favourite Sunai cinnamon roll.

5alucard

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC SERIES – V. E. SCHWAB

Alucard’s name manages to capture his aristocratic roots while still suiting his adventurous, rugged scoundrel personality. There’s a sense of refinement to his name but it still feels right for a charismatic pirate captain.

6Celaena

THRONE OF GLASS SERIES – SARAH J. MAAS

I’m not a huge fan of these books but I had to include this one. Yes, I know she has another name (spoilers!) and while I like that one too, I feel like the first better captures the different sides of Celaena’s character during the first half of the series – her girly-ness, self-doubt, and I-will-cut-you nature. This is easily the right name for a badass assassin.

7Hannibal

SILENCE OF THE LAMBS – THOMAS HARRIS

It’s a little weird, a bit gothic sounding, but still polished. It also happens to rhyme with the word Cannibal, so there’s that. Essentially, it’s perfect for an intelligent serial killer with culture and taste and a mysterious background.

8locke

THE GENTLEMAN BASTARD SERIES – SCOTT LYNCH

I have no idea if it’s the alliteration or unusual sound but I have no problems imagining a smart, witty, and smooth thief like Locke to go with this name.

9Lou

ME BEFORE YOU – JOJO MOYES

Lou is bubbly, warm and young at heart. Although it’s a simple one, her name speaks to each of these things and definitely suits someone who’d get excited over a pair of bumblebee striped tights.

10daenerys

A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE – GEORGE RR MARTIN

This one’s a little harder to articulate. It’s more a feeling of just being right for the character. Daenerys’ name, even without all the later titles, is a strong one. It’s distinctive and memorable, just like the woman herself. The name also shortens to a sweeter nickname, Dany, which, although only used by a very select group of people, suits the tender part of her that she largely tries to hide from others.

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And that makes 10! What names do you think best suit their characters? Or better yet, have you ever come across any names that ended up sounding completely wrong for a character?

Love Ashley