My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult Review

I watched the movie when it came out in the cinema years ago and decided to give the book a go. I don’t really remember the movie but I remembered enough to know how the story goes.

The first thing I was not expecting when I read the book was that it switches point of view a lot. I have not read anything that switches character point of view that much since I read fanfiction. It was kind of hard to follow along at first.

The book switches between the point of view of Anna, her parents Brian and Sara, her brother Jesse, and also her lawyer Campbell and her appointed guardian ad-Litem Julia. That is a lot of people to cycle through. And it’s a lot to take in for the first couple of chapters. I guess you get the hang of it but it, but I was definitely confused the first time I read from Julia’s point of view because I was like “who is this?”, I thought it was a completely different story and I had missed something at first.

I also feel the Julia/Campbell side story isn’t really needed and is kind of annoying. I mean they cut it out of the movie entirely so I didn’t know it was a thing until I read the book. But probably wouldn’t have missed it if it wasn’t there.

One thing I thought was interesting was that a lot of Sara’s point of view parts of the story were set in the past. Telling the story of the family’s struggle throughout the years as they dealt with Kate’s health issues. I suppose this is to give some context to how they ended up where they are today.

But if anything it annoyed me. The way that the parents were so focused on one child that they neglected their other two. I mean Jesse is basically abandoned and left to fend for himself and Anna is only important because she serves a purpose for Kate. Like it’s crazy.

I suppose I would understand if I was in that situation, I mean you can understand people’s actions to a degree but it made me so angry when reading.

Then there was Brian who, kind of just took himself out of the equation sometimes by working to ignore his problems. Again, not a fan.

Overall I guess the book did make the points it wanted to, about how parents aren’t always suited to make the right decisions for their children when one of them is sick. And how family life is anything but simple.

I think it is an interesting story and a good read if you’re into that kind of thing. Everyone’s point of view is written well and you can see the different personalities come through.

Though I did find Jesse’s additions to the story kind of random – another thing you wouldn’t have missed if it wasn’t there. It was just him off on his own setting fires about the place because he felt like he had no control over anything else. Kind of seemed like it was meant to be a bigger moment than it was when Brian found out it was Jesse starting all the fires.

Aside from all that I think the thing that upset me the most was the ending. A different ending than the one the movie had. It kind of just all happened at once and it almost felt like was all the drama that happened really worth it? I mean I was so done with the book by then…it just made me sad. I guess that was the point…

I felt it was disappointing though, but still overall a good read. Even though I felt like I came out of it having more negatives than positives I still enjoyed it for what it was. Though if I had to choose between the book or the movie I would probably choose the movie.

I wonder if I would have liked the book a bit more if it was written in only Anna’s point of view. Though I suppose to really understand everything fully you needed the perspectives of the others. Because obviously, Anna’s view of what was going on was going to be different from her parents’. So maybe it was good to have the insight from her parent’s compared to what Anna wanted. But they still had a few perspectives too many in my opinion.

Apart from that, the book was still interesting, something very different than any of the other books I’ve read this year. So I will give it that. The rating I have given it on Goodreads is 3/5 stars. Because I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. It fell somewhere in the middle for me, though probably a bit more on the negative side than positive.

And now that I have finished this book, I have officially completed my goal of reading 12 books in 2018! It’s been a journey and I feel really accomplished to have stuck with it. Of course, now that the goal is complete I know I must strive for more next year. But until then, I’m sure I can fit one more book in before the year is out…stay tuned to find out what it is!

~ Courtney x

Currently Watching: November 2018

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So far this month, I have been all over the place when it comes to my TV shows – I think it’s because it’s the middle of a university semester and I have no time to be starting a brand new show, so I’ve been revisiting some old ones.

Of course, I am still keeping up with How To Get Away With Murder, Dynasty, and Riverdale. Because they only air new episodes once a week, I can’t binge them so I have to find other things to watch in between.

So here are some of the things I’ve been watching on and off this month because I just can’t seem to settle on anything:

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The show I seem to be watching the most lately is CSI, I set myself the task of watching every single episode of CSI ever, including spin-offs a couple years back. Though it’s the kind of thing you have to be in the mood to watch, so I’ve watched it on and off for a while. Though have recently finished season three and have been happily working my way through season four.

I don’t know when this binge of CSI will end but so far I’m enjoying it. Watching the show has even encouraged me to finally try and complete the DS game. I never made it past the first case but I always wondered what else the game had in store for me…

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Next, we have 90210, a show I watched for the first time a couple of years ago on Netflix. Or maybe it was more recent? Last year maybe? Either way, I wanted to watch it again. It’s got those high school drama vibes that I live for. I mean if anything it’s basically Gossip Girl set in LA. So, a natural go to.

That being said, I only managed to make it towards the end of season one and then I stopped. I think the main reason why was because the stream I was watching it on was always really quiet? Which was bothering me so I guess I never really went back. I’m just really hoping they add it to Netflix again.

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Another show that I have just gotten towards the end of season one in is Ugly Betty. I bought the box set in a second-hand shop ages ago after not being able to find it anywhere. I loved Ugly Betty when I was younger, and it’s still a good show now.

I kind of wanted to start watching it on a whim and I went with it and it held up well. Though kind of like 90210 it trailed off.

So I think I am itching to get a new show because I have been dropping off watching ones I have seen before, occasionally I will watch some Gilmore Girls or How I Met Your Mother before bed. But aside from that I know I want something new, I think that’s why CSI is sticking because while I might have seen a few episodes on TV, it’s still technically newer than stuff I’ve been rewatching.

I think my goal over Christmas break might be to find some new shows. But until now I guess I will stick with my repeats… And I know I haven’t finished Vampire Diaries to start the Originals, but it’s still on my list.

Anyway, these are the main shows on my radar currently, not sure what the future will bring. But hopefully, I find something good. And as always please feel free to leave suggestions of shows I might like in the comments!

~ Courtney x

Grey by EL James Review

I avoided this for a while. Mostly just because I had seen bits and pieces online from it and I was thinking “EL didn’t actually write that did she?” Well turns out she did.

So this book is just Fifty Shades of Grey in Christian’s point of view. Nothing too exciting or great though.

I mean the dialogue between Ana and Christian is the exact same and the events are the same so to me there isn’t much of a reason to read it. It’s the same story. Just with words changed.

I know I said that about Life and Death by Stephanie Meyer but instead with Twilight. But the changes between the original and the new story were more significant.

This one is the same. And if anything I think it’s worse than Fifty Shades of Grey. Sure, in the original, Ana goes on and on about her Inner Goddess which was kind of weird but Christian likes to refer to his ‘manhood’ just as much. It’s not great.

Aside from that, you might think it would be interesting to know what Christian was thinking sometimes in the story while only ever reading from Ana’s point of view. But the way this is written? It’s not giving you much. He’s always hiding his past from Ana and himself it seems, the only real insight you’re given are things from Christian’s dreams which aren’t descriptive as it’s from his point of view as a child.

I wanted to know more about Christian’s relationship with Elena and his past but we don’t get much of that. When he brings Elena up he often shuts her down despite her being his close friend, he doesn’t really want to talk to her about Ana or anything it seems. I suppose he’s a closed-off person but it bothered me we didn’t get more interactions with them.

It’s just all about how Christian is distracted by Ana and is trying to “woo” her. Which you get from the first book anyway.

So I feel like you could give this book a miss if you’ve already read the original book series. I don’t think I would have missed anything by not reading this one.

And now that I have read this one, I can say with certainty I won’t be picking up Darker to read either. Which is Fifty Shades Darker, once again in Christian’s point of view.

I know everyone says this is the Midnight Sun we never got (Stephanie Meyer did start writing Twilight in Edward’s point of view but never finished) but I don’t think it is. I feel like I would have much rather read Midnight Sun to this.

Overall I thought the book was okay. But I didn’t think it added anything more to the original story for me. I rated it 2/5 stars on Goodreads.

I have now read 11 out of 12 books for my reading goal this year and I’m so glad I have been able to stick to my goal! The last book I have chosen to read is My Sister’s Keeper. Very different from the last book I have just read. I did hope to exceed my reading goal this year but with how busy I will be coming up to the new year with university I will be happy enough to just complete the goal. But I am looking forward to challenging myself to read more in the new year!

~ Courtney x

Halloween 2018!

Halloween has been one of those holidays for me that has always been hit or miss.

As you grow up, you enjoy it because you get to dress up and go asking strangers for sweets. But then you hit that middle teenage phase where the last thing you wanna do is dress up or even go out trick or treating because you realise lots of people pretend not to be home so they don’t have to deal with you.

Though the doom and gloom don’t last that long because then you’re 18, going to university and once again excited to be dressing up to go out for one night and party. Any excuse to drink for students is a good one, especially Halloween.

So now that I have reached that phase once more where I get excited to dress up and go out for Halloween, the panic of who/what to be arises.

I kind of settled on not dressing up at all at first, I thought with final year and everything I would be too busy to go out, and party so I never really thought about a costume. That, and I had already made plans to go to a drag show, so I guess I didn’t really need a costume.

But I thought it would be fun to dress up anyway, especially because I was going to be getting meet and greet which meant a photo.

While I wanted a great costume, I was also on a budget because let’s be real, student life with no job means limited money to be spending. So I couldn’t spend a lot of money. I also didn’t want to go as something that would be common because I wanted to stand out.

After searching on Amazon and looking in pop-up Halloween stores I came up empty. But I had the idea in the back of my head that I should be Ash from Pokémon.

Why? I don’t really know.

I guess because it would be easy to pull off because the costume is simple but it’s also nerdy enough that I would probably stand out. I also own some Pokémon badges because my boyfriend bought them for me for my birthday a couple of years ago and I never get to show them off so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.

And so, I ordered a hat from Amazon and borrowed my brother’s jacket my mum made him as he was Ash for Halloween a few years ago and low and behold, I became the very best like no one ever was.

I actually really enjoyed dressing up as Ash. I think it was fun and also I was easily identifiable. That being said I wish I didn’t decide so last minute so I had a chance to get a jacket that fit properly and really perfect my costume. But I still had fun.

My drag show on Halloween was also amazing, I went to see Monet X Change perform and she’s so fabulous. I think I enjoyed her show a lot because of how she interacts with the audience. She was one of my favourites of season 10.

Unfortunately, my meet and greet photo doesn’t look great so I’m not gonna share it here. Though Monet did appreciate my costume which was cool. I was worried she wouldn’t know who I was lol. But all was well.

I think in the future I will try to plan Halloween better. Have plans and a good costume in mind. That way, I don’t have to be scrambling to put something together last minute.

But Halloween is over for another year which means I have about 11 months before I even have to think about dressing up again. So I have some time.

Feel free to leave costume suggestions below, maybe I can use them to give me ideas for next year!

~ Courtney x