The Clasp by Sloane Crosley These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books If You Like The Big Bang Theory

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is: Top Ten Books If You Like X TV Show/Movie/Comic etc. I couldn't think of ten books I've read for any one TV show or film, the most I could come up with was eight for The Big Bang Theory - and the links are quite tenuous. Anyway, I really want to participate this week as I'm on the look out for books like The Good Wife or Grey's Anatomy or even Greek. Hopefully someone, somewhere has done a list for one of these!

  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - I'm sure you've all read this by now and hopefully concur there's enough Simon Snow nerdniness to qualify it for this list. 

Who Run The World?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Did you see The Other Woman this past weekend? From the time I first heard about it, I decided I'd go and see it because a) I'm a Cameron Diaz fan and b) I feel like I need to step up in terms of supporting female and/or ethnic minority driven films. I really don't like the cinema experience these days but money talks.

The film was quite funny and very sweet. Definitely one to see with your BFF. It was Leslie Mann's film and she was really quite great as Kate who, in the hands of another actress, could've been extremely annoying. Leslie Mann did a nice job of portraying a conflicted, hurt, and somewhat lonely woman who needed a bit of outside encouragement. Her brother's appearance in the film really helped to humanize her too. Cameron Diaz is always a presence on the big screen and that was no exception in this film as she played no-nonsense, tough talking, lawyer Carly. Together, Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz made a great double act. There were some truly laugh out loud comedy scenes too, playing off their height differneces. As a 5 footer myself, I related to the Kate character in that respect! Finally, Kate Upton's role as Amber wasn't that big but she was an important link in terms of amping up the friendship, sisterhood aspect of the film. The script called for her to be the ditzy blonde but she managed to come across as sweet and a tad naive rather than bimbo-like. The male supporting characters were all very well played too. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was very funny as the serial cheater of a husband. He kind of hammed it up, almost panto-villain like, but I think it was fine for this kind of film. Anyway, considering GoT, Jaime Lannister is a rather complex and layered character so we know he can act. 

However, all that being said, I'm in no way saying the film was perfect. Something felt missing but I just can't put my finger on it. Perhaps it was more to do with the editing? Also, as my sister pointed out when we watched the trailer, it's kind of like John Tucker Must Die 2.0 - and obviously there are plenty of comparissons to The First Wives Club. So, sure, the story wasn't original but the ladies really seemed like they were good friends off the screen and it helped create a warmth to the film that made you smile just a little bit.

The soundtrack was excellent except for the inclusion of Girls Just Want To Have Fun during a montage scene (always fade out in a montage - montaaaage). I personally might've started the scene with Girls... but then record scratch cut it and restarted with something a little more fierce by I don't know, someone like M.I.A or even good old Nicki Minaj, who is in the film! Then again maybe those  kind of songs are expensive. Or maybe the director/music supervisor/producers wanted a reference point for a certain target audience but come on, we're in 2014! Girls Just Want To Have Fun needs to be retired as the ya-ya, besties forever theme. However, the music supervisor won me back with the inclusion of Tried By 12 - awesome. (Even though that scene was kind of uncomfortable but that's a discussion for another day).

Overall, The Other Woman is a really fun film. The whole way through I couldn't stop thinking it would have been a brilliant, "chick-lit" book back in the day. Is it a book?! Still, the best thing for me is that, even though I don't like going to the cinema anymore, it was still nice to be part of a big group of women all giggling and enjoying themselves. Dear Hollywood, more please?

All The Things You Are by Clemency Burton-Hill

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Publisher: Headline
Source: Bookbridgr
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the acclaimed author of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STARS comes a richly rewarding novel about the way a life can change in an instant. In the bestselling tradition of Douglas Kennedy. A rich, tense and absorbing novel of a woman's journey to Jerusalem from Manhattan to follow her heart, no matter what the cost. When New York journalist Natasha Bernstein loses her job and discovers her fiancée has been keeping a dark secret, her world collapses. Turning to her family, she takes inspiration from her formidable grandmother Esther, who runs a community centre in downtown Manhattan. As she starts to rebuild her life, Natasha's friendship with Rafi - the enigmatic architect working on Esther's centre - restores her sense of wonder at the world and her faith in who she is. But when Rafi and Natasha take a trip to Jerusalem, they are plunged into a story far deeper than their own. Here, questions of family and loyalty mean more than life itself, and they must ask themselves what they are ultimately prepared to fight for. In a divided world, is it history or love that makes us who we are?
I absolutely loved this book! As I think I've said before on here, I'm always drawn to books about Jewish families and as soon as I saw Jerusalem in the blurb, I immediately requested All The Things You Are. The plot reminded me at times of that mini-series that came on a few years ago, The Promise, starring Claire Foy - who I've just seen is playing Anne Boleyn in the Wolf Hall adaptation. Perfect casting but I digress...The subject was sensitively handled and there was no 'preaching' - all sides of the situation were presented through various characters. However, All The Things You Are is ultimately a story about love conquering all.

I fell hard for all of the characters. They were all written with such warmth and light even though their circumstances might have been difficult. Tash (I love the name Natasha so I was already on her side) was curious and intelligent and passionate. After managing to push Rafi from The League out of my head (no easy feat), I was able to completely appreciate All The Things You Are's Rafi very much. He was so positive and upbeat, whereas Natasha was naturally more skeptical. His outlook was quite inspiring, actually. They balanced each other out perfectly - she grounded him with doses of realism and he injected her life with optimism even in the face of adversity. This was also nicely reflected in their careers - Rafi, the artchitect; Natasha the journalist.

Esther must have been difficult to write because of the great responsibility that comes when writing about the Holocaust and Holocaust survivors. Esther possesed the right amount of gravitas and lightness. There were some lovely moments with her character, particularly between her and her daughter Ros (Natasha's mother). She was definitely a scene stealer and could have a spin off book all of her own. I like to think in the alternate literary world that is my bookshelf, Esther would be friends with Ziva from Francesca Segal's The Innocents.

The story is set in both New York and Jerusalem. These are two cities which have been in my heart since childhood - only one of which I've ever made it to (how crazy is it that a Theology graduate has never been to Israel?!). In the authors note and Q&A at the back, Clemency Burton-Hill talks about how much she loves New York and this is evident in her writing. You can pretty much taste the city because it is obvious that she cannot get enough of the city, which I completely understand. I would LOVE to live there, even just for a few months (although maybe not during another polar vortex). Similarly, the parts of the story set in Israel were also evidently written from a place of love. It was clever making it a holiday destination because it allowed us, the readers, to go on a whirlwind trip around all the tourist destinations too. Oh and the references to all of the food were amazing!

However, the theme at the heart of the story was inter-cultural relationships, and the exploration raised some interesting discussion points. I don't really have an opinion either way - my own heritage is more mixed up than a super smoothie and I love it. However, there's always going to be little -and sometimes larger- issues to overcome when merging two cultures. This became a reality for Tash and Rafi eventually as they got to know more about each other and were confronted with their own family histories in their ancestral homeland. For example, at one point, one of them refers to the other's cultural group as "those people"- not in a horrible way but it came out like that during a heated discussion. In a mixed relationship, won't there always be a 'them' or 'other' hovering in the background? Particularly during arguments, in the heat of the moment, these sorts of phrases come out, don't they? Eventually, a compromise will have to come about in some way but where do you draw the line? Perhaps when children come into the picture. Again, I'm not coming at this from any particular angle - I'm a firm believer in you love who you love - but I'm just curious and this story brought these kinds of questions to the table. At the end of the day, does love really "transcend tribe" (as stated in the book) and blot out these issues in its all conquering nature?

Overall, All The Things You Are is a wonderful novel that I truly appreciated on many levels - as a Theology graduate; as a lover of New York; as a person with a pretty mixed up heritage; and most importantly, as a fan of a good love story filled to bursting with beautiful characters (I really didn't want to say goodbye to Rafi and Tash and their families!). It also made me really want to tick that other city off my list - Jerusalem 2015, perhaps?

Past The Shallows by Favel Parrett

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Publisher: Washington Square Press
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Harry and Miles live with their father, an abalone fisherman, on the south-east coast of Tasmania. With their mum dead, they are left to look after themselves. When Miles isn't helping out on the boat they explore the coast and Miles and his older brother, Joe, love to surf. Harry is afraid of the water. Everyday their dad battles the unpredictable ocean to make a living. He is a hard man, a bitter drinker who harbours a devastating secret that is destroying him. Unlike Joe, Harry and Miles are too young to leave home and so are forced to live under the dark cloud of their father's mood, trying to stay as invisible as possible whenever he is home. Harry, the youngest, is the most vulnerable and it seems he bears the brunt of his father's anger.
Knowing Favel Parrett is Australian meant that I had exceedingly high expectations for Past The Shallows. A little unfair perhaps but I have yet to come across an Australian YA novel that I dislike. I am pleased to announce this statemement is still true. Past The Shallows is hauntingly beautiful and I'm still thinking about it now.

As you can probably guess from the synopsis, the story is bleak. There is a great deal of loss and hopelessness throughout - the whole book is weighed down by a heavy, almost inescapable sadness. Then there was Harry. There's a reason people always talk about wanting to think like a child again because even those who are forced to grow up far too quickly can lose themselves in childlike delight and fantasies. Harry was a small ray of light in a terribly grim story. It is because of Harry that Past The Shallows also highlights the kindness of strangers. Harry's interactions with George and Jake are bursts of gold. I'm still not completely sure why George took to Harry so much (I don't think it was anything sinsister either, so don't worry about that). I thought perhaps he was friends with Harry's granddad or another member of the family. Either way, I loved their time together and just like Harry, I felt relieved to have a small respite from the oppressive nature of the father. It's a testament to Favel Parrett's talents that the father, whilst saying very little, and not being around all that much, was such a dark presence, constantly upsetting the balance.

With regard to the other characters, it's impossible to feel sorry for Miles, the middle man, literally. Miles is the Atlas of the story, bearing the weight of responsibility for his little brother, worrying about his big brother, along with the expectations his father holds for him. Instead of being allowed to explore and be the child that he is, like Harry and his rich friend of sorts, Miles has come of age and must work on the boat, putting himself in danger both from the sea and the temperments of his father and colleague Jeff (a brutal, heartless man who I despised - see, once again, being able to invoke such emotions in reader is a testament to Favel Parrett's writing). Many of the scenes between Miles and Harry were heartbreaking - particularly when the father took a turn for the worse. 

The prose was very simple. Much was left unsaid. However, this was part of the beauty of the novel. On the one hand, it reflected the pure, simple, and wholly good nature of Harry. On the other hand, it reflected the sadness and emptiness felt by all those left in the wake of the father's moods and the mother's death. Similarly, it also mirrored the setting and the lives of those in the fishing huts and caravans in the town. 

Being a story about fisherman, naturally the sea is also a character in Past The Shallows. At times, generous and giving, at other times a playground and a means of escape. However, it is also something that can be more fearsome and overwhelming than the father. I remember watching a surfing documentary and one of the Hawaiian coastguards (or something similar) said that from a young age, in Hawaii, the children are taught to respect the ocean as much as they enjoy it. I kept on remembering this line whilst reading Past The Shallows, particularly in light of the father's and Jeff's behaviour.

Overall, there are plenty of other themes in the novel such as, guilt, grudges, loneliness, friendship, escaping vs. running away. Far too much in this little book to dissect in a short review. However, I would highly reccomend Past The Shallows. It is thoughtful and moving and will haunt you for days. 

What's Occurring?

Friday, April 18, 2014

As I've said before, I've never really gotten into the habit of doing a Friday links type post but I often have little topics that I want to talk about or come across things in the week that warrant sharing, so I'll try and do this at least once a month. 

The Pages

  • I think I'm heading into a reading slump. I've got two more that I have to read and then I'm not sure what I'll do. Maybe try and get through some non-fiction? I've been meaning to get Misty Copeland's Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. Also, Elaine Lui - author of my favourite gossip blog Lainey Gossip - has her book out this month, Listen To The Squawking Chicken.  I've also been inspired by Natalie's (Natflix&Books) chick-lit post. I might go back to some old favourites or try some new ones. I don't know. I also think I need to just stick to one book at a time.
  • Anyway, at the moment I'm reading Past The Shallows (which is actually really good) and All The Things You Are (which I think I will like once I can sit down and get into it). 

The Soundtrack

  • I was in Boots the other day (our most popular national drugstore chain) and was pleasantly surprised to hear The Thrills' Santa Cruz (ETA: Actually it was Big Sur but both are great songs) being piped through the sound system. Then I heard Beating Heart Baby by Head Automatica and Bandages by Hot Hot Heat on the same day and got all nostalgic. Also, I watched A Lot Like Love and Breathe by Anna Nalick is featured at some point. That song always makes me think of Grey's Anatomy. So, I've been revisiting those types of mid-aughties songs/artists. 
  • Also been listening to my Camp NaNoWriMo playlist (here if you want to listen too).
  • New music - LOVE Paolo Nutini's new album Caustic Love, especially One Day. I like Shakira's new album too - ever since seeing her live in 2010 (I think) I've been a big fan. She better be releasing a new World Cup song. As much as I love Waka Waka, I think we need something with more of a Latin flavour to get us in the mood. Not long now, eh?!

The Words

  • As I said above, I'm doing Camp NaNo and so hasn't been too bad. I still don't really love what I'm writing but I've had this one, mainly the main character, rattling about in my head since about 2009. So, it's cathartic to let her speak even if I'm not keen on what she's saying. Anyway, so far I've written 15,499/20,000. I like that you can give yourself such a low goal for Camp. Takes the pressure off. 

And The Rest...Links And All

  • I finished my Coursera course - yay! It was quite interesting and I find myself spurting off stuff about EU policies and whatnot every now and then. 
  • Still no luck on the job front - in fact it has been a fortnight of back to back to back rejections. 
  • I booked my ticket to see Rainbow Rowell at Waterstones Piccadilly. So excited!
  • I've got a new reality show addiction - Eric and Jessie: Game On. 
  • Game of Thrones is back with a bang. Are you watching? 
  • I've watched a lot of these Lauren Mechelle Youtube videos. Over the last two years, I've gotten really into haircare and skincare routines - trying different products, researching, Into The Gloss-ing. Unemployment will do that to ya. Anyway, her videos have been the most helpful. 
  • Finally, did you see Captain America 2? It was probably my favourite Marvel film to date. Also, I will now only refer to Chris Evans by Bedhead at Celebitchy's special name for him

Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Publisher: Hachette Children's Books
Source: Netgalley 
Rating: 3/5

Sabine has always lived two lives - her Roxbury life and her Wellesley life, both of which are almost polar opposites. Each day, she has to go through the motions in Roxbury and then again in Wellesley. She calls the changeover the 'Shift'. However, an accident in her Roxbury life changes everything, causing her to consider sorting out the situation once and for all. She just has to decide which life she'd rather live forever. 

Described as a YA Sliding Doors, I was immediately gripped by this interesting premise and the book certainly started with a bang. I found myself reading much more than I planned each evening thanks to the fast and furious pace and, of course, this perplexing premise. Unfortunately, it kind of fizzled out for me and didn't go in the direction I had expected. I assumed it would be in a similar vein to Teri Terry's Slated series (which I love) but it did not pan out that way. The 'fantastical' element - if you can call it that - took a bit of a back burner once the romance started.

In terms of characters, I couldn't really get on board with Sabine. I respect the name choice though. I empathised with her plight to begin with but she seemed to get lost from about halfway into the book. I understand that she was debating which life to choose but I found it very difficult to get in her head, even though the story was told in the first person. I didn't get Ethan much either but only because I felt like we weren't given the opportunity to get to know him. He just appeared suddenly and then next thing we know, he's everything. Even the explanation at the end didn't make up for the lack of development. I know it was supposed to be Sabine's story but if Ethan was going to be part of her life, he needed to be a little more formed. Overall, I think there were maybe too many supporting characters who were just there, standing around. I felt like there might have been more to Miriam and Lucy - friends of Wellesley Sabine - but their relationship was never explored. However, Roxbury Sabine's best friend Capri was nicely written. Also, why did Wellesley Sabine dislike her brothers so much? Maybe there should have just been the one brother, especially considering the end. 

Then again, this is all down to personal preference. I like a character driven story but if you like a fast paced plot, you'll be pleased with this one. It does move quickly but the direction of the plot switches dramatically, so be prepared. As for what happened to Wellesley Sabine towards the end?! It seemed a little out of the blue and I'm not sure what to think about it. Was it shocking? Yes, definitely and I'm sure that was the intention. However, I can't help think that there might have been another way to propel Sabine's story forward. The whole project was a big one so perhaps I am asking for too much - two lives to flesh out, a fantastical/psychological element, and a romance is a lot to pack in to a 300- odd page book, so props to Jessica Shirvington for even attempting it. 

Overall, I liked the idea and really enjoyed the first half but unfortunately I wasn't overly keen on the finale. I've tried to avoid giving away anything major here but there's a lot I want to talk about, so if you've read it, let me know! 

Remembrance by Theresa Breslin

Monday, April 14, 2014

Publisher: Random House Children's Publisher UK
Source: Netgalley 
Rating: 4/5

The year is 1915 and the war has already gone on longer than predicted. Two sets of siblings become friends in the unlikeliest circumstances just before the realities of the war begin to permeate their lives. Focusing on the fighting and life back home, the story follows the friends through the thick of it and the aftermath. 

Remembrance was stirring, thought-provoking, and heartbreaking. I rarely read anything about World War I - the last being The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn - but this is definitely the most realistic and moving WWI novel I've come across. There's so much packed into it but it is all handled with such delicate sensitivity that you can't help but become absorbed.

I loved all of the characters. Each and every one of them just got to me. I loved Charlotte for her compassion and steadfastness; Maggie for her courage and fire; John Malcolm for his patriotism and bravery; Alex for his loyalty; and Francis for his heart. They all just seemed so real, which further enhanced the horrors they encountered.

Many themes were covered in Remembrance. The changing role of women in society was handled well, as seen through the eyes of Charlotte and Maggie as they threw themselves into work that previously would have been frowned upon. The breaking down of class boundaries was shown through the relationships - both romantic and platonic - between the friends and their families. Pacifism was handled extremely well through Francis's story and his thoughts on Just War theory (which I haven't encountered since my final year of university!). Patriotism and duty was explored through the actions of all characters, from Charlotte signing up to be a nurse, to John Malcolm and Alex's eagerness to enlist and defend their country. Also, poignantly, through the deaths of the soldiers nursed by Charlotte who wanted to know if they had fought the good fight. Finally, the shrinking world in terms of borders and other nationalities, with the diverse allied force comprised of soldiers from a number of countries - from India to Canada.

The pacing of the novel was beautifully executed, with each year of the war split off into different parts. This helped keep things as clear as possible because there was a great deal of information to digest and it might have been overwhelming without the parts. I loved the use of letters, particularly John Malcolm's letters home and Maggie's letters to Francis.

Overall, Remembrance was a wonderfully crafted novel. It is the perfect novel to read as a companion to this year's First World War Centenary programming and events.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Publisher: Headline
Source: Netgalley & Bookbridgr
Rating: 4/5

During a blackout in New York City, Lucy and Owen find themselves trapped in the lift. Despite living in the same building, the two have never spoken before but once they get to talking, there's no denying the spark between them. So they navigate the rest of the blackout together, pondering the big things and the little things. However, life happens and circumstances change, and the two find themselves whisked off to opposite sides of the world. However, they keep the spark ignited by exchanging postcards and allow fate to do the rest of the work. 

The Geography of You and Me is a sweet and heartwarming contemporary young adult romance about how it's really the people that make the place and a testament to the fact that true friendship - and love - can survive the miles. It was a wistful and quiet read. After reading three of her other novels, I've come to realise this is Jennifer E. Smith's style and I very much like it. Fan for life here. Given the premise, this could have easily been fluffy and wishy washy, or mad cap caper style, or a steamy romp but I liked the way Jennifer E. Smith handled it. There was something more substantial to it - behind the themes and Lucy and Owen- that made it more than a poolside read, just like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The actual story was very well paced as I didn't feel it dragged in any places. In fact, sometimes it went too quickly! I wanted to soak up more of Edinburgh and Lake Tahoe or even Prague (I must go to Prague. It's not even that far from here). Speaking of which, this book should carry a warning on the front: CAUTION. WILL IGNITE A SEVERE CASE OF WANDERLUST. Between them, Lucy and Owen visited and lived in such a great number of jealousy invoking places. The descriptions - particularly of the weather- were spot on for the places I've visited myself and made me want to visit the rest. However, there's a bit towards the end that sums everything up nicely, as Lucy realises that when you travel it's not what you bring home with you but rather what you leave in that place - a little piece of yourself. Obviously, this is made even better if you have someone to share it with. 

The use of third person narrative really helped push the story along. I was thinking about the differences between first and third person the other day when writing about I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan. I realised many of the YA books I read are written in first person, which is great if you love the character (and I don't mean you have to like the character but there has to be something there) but if you don't, there's a danger the whole story can fall flat. I think third person worked particularly well here considering we were constantly flipping from Lucy in Europe to Owen in the USA. There's nothing worse than alternative points of view in the first person where both characters sound alike. 

Anyway, returning to the story, I liked Owen and Lucy. Both were so lonely that you couldn't help but will them together again. Whether or not they were actually falling in love was debatable, which was great, although I'm sure it's safe to say they were very much in like. I'm not much of a fan of insta-luv so I enjoyed that this was a sloooow burner and the ups-and-downs of their relationship seemed much more realistic because of it. Basically, Lucy and Owen actually seemed like teenagers. It was nice to have the parents so involved in the plot too although I would have liked to see more of Lucy's brothers - I love twins in stories! 

Overall, I was very much smitten with The Geography of You and Me whilst reading it and I think it is my favourite of Jennifer E. Smith's books (those I've read so far anyway). I would recommend this to fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han, and those who like their summer stories with a little bit more behind the words. Oh and of course for those with itchy feet. So without further ado, I'm off to tinker with my own travel list. 

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison

Monday, April 7, 2014

Publisher: Penguin
Format: Paperback
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Meet Don Tillman. Don is getting married. He just doesn't know who to yet. But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. One thing he already knows, though, is that it's not Rosie. Absolutely, completely, definitely not. 

I LOVED this story and just can't really fault it in any way, shape, or form. It's interesting that the author said it started out as a screenplay because it was very cinematic. However before I found that out, I had been chastising myself for turning everything I read into a film in my head because should we really be doing that? That's not a rhetorical question, I really don't know if author's like us doing that or not. Especially when we complain about all the adaptations. Anyway, The Rosie Project was as near to perfect as you can get - a highly intelligent rom-com. Whilst reading it, I had been watching this brilliant Channel 4 series called First Dates and couldn't help hearing the theme music [below] whenever Don talked about his projects. 

The cast of characters was fairly small, which was good because I ended up caring about all of them - yes, including Gene! Don was probably one of the sweetest characters I've ever encountered during my literary adventures. He's tied with Ryan Dean West from Winger as my favourite character of the year so far. Rosie was a delight too because she actually seemed normal. It sounds stupid but I think it's quite difficult to write a love interest who seems like a 'normal', regular, everyday person who has good days and bad days but isn't some kind of manic pixie, femme fatale, or whatever other stereotypes are favoured these days. Basically, I wanted Rosie to be my friend. In fact, she kind of reminded me of one of my friends quite a bit.

I don't know too much about Asperger's but I do know/knew people like Don. However, I liked the way it wasn't the main focus of the book because we are more than our diagnoses (real or imagined). In a way, this book reminded me a little of the film Adam, which starred Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne, who is Australian, just like Rosie. How'd you like them apples? Anyway, Adam is a brilliant film and I'd recommend it whether you liked The Rosie Project or not. 

As for the inevitable movie, I just hope they make sure it's completely Australian and I'm positive it will be a box office hit. We don't need Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, love them as I do, just keep it homegrown and authentic. Oh and have Miguel d'Oliveira, the First Dates composer from above, do the music. Perfecto. 

Overall, it was a charming and hilarious, wonderfully sweet, big bear hug of a novel. I loved it! 

Fall Into

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I've always been a fan of The Gap - especially during the summer. My sister often makes fun of me for frequenting this inoffensive (or boring as she would say) clothes shop. During that scene in Crazy, Stupid, Love she cackled and nudged me knowingly, then assaulted me with the phrase for a little while until she grew bored and forgot about it (hopefully she's not reading this now).

My love mostly stems from being indoctrinated by their adverts as a child. Well, I like their Breton stripes, polka dots, and denim a lot too but back then, it seemed like an Event when a new Gap advert premiered. Well, it did to me anyway and I wanted to be in one so badly! So I wanted to look back on some of the adverts that made the most impact on my younger self. 


This was probably my favourite. I remember we'd all do the dance.


I looooved this one - can you guess why? I wanted to be the lead singer! Look at her killing it, rocking that natural hair. The 90s/early 00s was a nice time to grow up. Positive messages. Diversity on the screen. What went wrong?


The Christmas ads were always cheery and memorable. I STILL think of this at Christmas nowadays. Forget high concept, pull on your heartstring, mini movie adverts. THIS is a Christmas advert people. 


This advert introduced me to Donovan. Need I say more? Exceptm once again, I would've paid big money to be in one of these adverts.


I remember my mum and my gran loved this one. Once again, we all learnt the dance. 

Some others: West Side Story Crazy Cool; Missy and Madonna (I remember we were on holiday in Florida when this came out); More Christmas; Give A Little Bit

There's nothing really like these adverts anymore. It's all about being rather silly or overly sentimental to get the product trending on Twitter, which is fair enough but...I preferred these. I'll stop romanticising the 90s now but go on, admit it, you wanted to be in a Gap ad too! Right?