Clean by Juno Dawson – Book Review

Clean by Juno Dawson – Book Review

I met Juno Dawson at YALC last year and I was instantly a fan. I bought two of her books right there and then, and I was excited for her latest release, Clean. I’ve just finished the book in about 3 days flat and my god, what a good book!!

I met Juno Dawson at YALC last year and I was instantly a fan. I bought two of her books and I was already excited for her new book, Clean. And I loved it!!

When socialite Lexi Volkov almost overdoses, she thinks she’s hit rock bottom.
She’s wrong. Rock bottom is when she’s forced into an exclusive rehab facility.
From there, the only way is up for Lexi and her fellow inmates, including the mysterious Brady.
As she faces her demons, Lexi realises love is the most powerful drug of all…

I’ve been waiting for the book that will pull me out of my reading slump that I seem to have been in for this entire year, and I think — I don’t want to be confident — but I think this one has done it…

Clean by Juno Dawson:
My Thoughts

Clean is the story of Lexi Volkov, the 17-year-old daughter of an international hotel chain owner. After falling in (what she thinks is) love with her drug dealer Kurt, she tumbles down into what feels like an inescapable drug problem.

When her older brother Nik decides to intervene, Lexi finds herself in the place she never thought she’d see: rehab. The rest of the book follows her 70-day, 10-step recovery process at the Clarity Centre, a rehabilitation centre for the rich and famous, situated on its own picturesque island. For party girl socialite Lexi, it’s hell.

I really loved getting to know all of the different characters that Lexi stays with at the Clarity Centre. It was so interesting to read about all of the reasons for their rehab attendance, from sex and drug addictions to OCD and eating disorders. All of the characters were completely unique and explored in so much detail. Sometimes, when a book has a lot of characters that are central to the story I forget some of them, but with this one, I can remember every single person in detail.

Clean really does bring the light the struggles that people go through when battling addictions and disorders. The book is filled with sadness, pain, happiness and so much hope that these characters you grow to love will make it through.

It’s clear to see that Juno has done her research, because everything is completely believable. I don’t know very much about how the rehab process works, and as someone who has never even been drunk (OK, call me boring) I wouldn’t begin to imagine how it must feel to have to overcome an addiction. But the writing in Clean makes it so easy to imagine, and although the characters are so far from being relatable (I’m definitely not a super rich socialite daughter of a hotel chain owner), you still feel for them and wish for them to succeed every step of the way.

I loved this book, and it’s definitely one of those that I think everybody should read. If you love a book that will make you appreciate the small things in life and make you realise how important your life is to those around you, read Clean. Grab a copy from the library, or next time you go shopping — just whenever you get a chance, please read this book!

Have you read Clean, or anything else by Juno Dawson? Let me know your thoughts!

I’m Charlotte: media graduate, virtual assistant and avid reader. I’m a Hufflepuff, a space fanatic, and I love to write about books. More about me…

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Ready Player One – An Okay Film That Slightly Improves on an Okay Book

Ready Player One – An Okay Film That Slightly Improves on an Okay Book

A couple of months ago, I posted my book review of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I had a lot of mixed thoughts about it, so it turned out pretty long… you can read it here if you want to see what I thought!

The day after I finished the book I went to see the film in the cinema, and my god, I was TORN. I tend to be very sensitive about how close film adaptations are to their books, and Ready Player One had me torn in two. I won’t go into it to much here… here’s my review of the film and how it compares to the book.

A couple of months ago, I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and it was... okay. Then the film came out and I had NO idea what to make of it when I saw it. Here's my attempt at a review...

The Positives

World Building

My very first opinion of the film was that it was that it set up the world and the characters very well. The book is packed full of world building – like, I think it’s about 85% description – so I wondered how this would translate to the screen. It actually did pretty well – there was a lot of explaining in the form of narration at the beginning, but they did a good job of picking the most important parts of Cline’s extensive world building to highlight.

Appearance

I was also impressed by the appearance of the main character, which pretty much matched the image I had in my head when reading the book, and the look of the real world as well as the virtual world inside the OASIS. It all looked great, and again, almost exactly how I imagined it!

This is where the similarities ended, though. The rest of the film was SO different, and I was overwhelmed with the changes. That’s not to say that these changes are a bad thing, though… there’s a mix of both. Some changes left me a bit irritated because I loved them in the book, whereas others vastly improved on their respective sections in the book.

Challenges

Possibly the biggest change is the challenges that the ‘gunters’ have to do in a bid to win the game – and this was one of the changes that was a huge improvement on the book. The book’s challenges are, quite frankly, a bit boring, and when I read them I was a bit confused how they’d translate. So, I wasn’t shocked to see that for the film, the challenges were completely revamped to make them more exciting, more intense, and a lot more dramatic.

The rest of the changes, though, didn’t impress me as much… instead, they left me feeling a bit disappointed that they changed some of the best bits of the book.

The Negatives

Art3mis

Art3mis is another ‘gunter’, and someone that Wade looks up to. He reads her blog, and she’s practically famous in the ‘gunter’ community. In the book, he doesn’t meet her throughout the whole book (until they’re forced to at the end). She’s worried about meeting Wade in real life because she thinks he’ll find her hideous due to a large birthmark on her face and the fact that she’s overweight.

However, in the film, Wade literally meets Art3mis within 20 minutes. Not only that, but she has the faintest little birthmark and she’s conventionally Hollywood attractive and thin. Not at all how I imagined someone who hides her appearance behind a beautiful online persona, and definitely not someone who matches her description in the book.

I really liked the suspense of him meeting Art3mis and the rest of the gang in the book, and the build-up to their meeting with Wade wondering if they’d look like their virtual characters. But in the film, he kind of stumbles across them and it’s all very unplanned and convenient. Ugh, I didn’t like it.

Romantic Emphasis

While I’m on the subject of Art3mis, they did the exact thing I expected (and dreaded) from a high-budget Hollywood film: they focused waaayyy too much on the romantic relationship between Wade and Art3mis. The book didn’t have too much emphasis on the romance between them. It was there, sure, but it wasn’t really at the forefront of the story. In the film though, it took up far too much of the story, and it was boring!

Super Long Battle Sequence

Another thing I hated was how long the battle sequence went on at the end of the film. In the book, I appreciated that the battle only lasted a couple of chapters. I’m not a huge fan (if a fan at all) of battle sequences, which is one of the reasons I don’t like superhero or action films. So when the big battle scene in Ready Player One lasted about 4 hours, I was ready to either fall asleep or leave. 😀 It just wasn’t needed – it was dragged out for way too long and it reminded me a lot of the scene in Avatar, where it could have lasted 5 minutes instead of 5 hours.

Summary

I’m sure there are other things I’ve missed out of this review, but I’ve tried to remember as much as I could. As much as I wasn’t a big fan of the book, I still wanted the film to be a good adaptation. It was a very odd experience, because there were a lot of things that were great and improved so much on the book, but there were possible a lot more things that I didn’t like.

Generally, it’s a fun film to go and see, and I think the consensus is that if you haven’t read the book, you’ll like the film a lot. But as someone who finished the book just a day before I saw the film, I just couldn’t help but compare the two. Maybe if I hadn’t read it, my opinion would be a lot more positive… but I’ll never know. 😀

What did you think? Have you read the book, seen the film, or both? And if you’ve seen both, how did they compare for you?

I’m Charlotte: media graduate, virtual assistant and avid reader. I’m a Hufflepuff, a space fanatic, and I love to write about books. More about me…

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Juggling Life as a Multipotentialite

Juggling Life as a Multipotentialite

Do you ever feel like you have so many plans and ideas, but no motivation to get any of them started? That’s how I’ve been feeling for the past couple of months or so — and it shows in how much I’ve been updating my blog. I only realised in the last few days that I’ve posted only three times in TWO MONTHS. Two months!! That’s ridiculous.

It makes me frustrated because I spent a lot of time (maybe too long…) redesigning my blog from the ground up, but I’ve hardly been using it! So… why is that?

It’s not because I’m lazy… it’s actually because I want to do way too much. Let me explain by introducing you to the wonderful world of multipotentiality.

Juggling Life as a Multipotentialite
 

 

What the Heck is a Multipotentialite?

Have you heard of the term ‘multipotentialite(multi-potential-ite)? It was coined by Emilie Wapnick, founder of Puttylike, and is used to describe people who have passions in multiple things, no matter how unrelated those things might be. Here’s a better and more in-depth explanation from Emilie herself:

“A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits.

Multipotentialites have no “one true calling” the way specialists do. Being a multipotentialite is our destiny. We have many paths and we pursue all of them, either sequentially or simultaneously (or both).

Multipotentialites thrive on learning, exploring, and mastering new skills. We are excellent at bringing disparate ideas together in creative ways. This makes us incredible innovators and problem solvers.

When it comes to new interests that emerge, our insatiable curiosity leads us to absorb everything we can get our hands on. As a result, we pick up new skills fast and tend to be a wealth of information.”

Source: Puttylike

Multipotentiality is for people who don’t have a desire to follow any one path; for those who have interests in so many different areas and want to pursue every single one of them.

It’s for people like me.

As soon as I heard the term multipotentialite and listened to Emilie explain what it means, it instantly struck a chord with me. It was like she was describing me in every way. It was the epiphany I needed: I’m not lost. I’m not so bad at everything that I can’t pursue anything as a career. I’m a multipotentialite!
 

 

The Challenges of Multipotentiality

But being a multipotentialite comes with its challenges. Sometimes, I often think it would be easier to have that one passion that I want to follow; that one goal that I can work towards. I see people with a dream career who work their way through their goals, travelling down that very specific path, and are satisfied when they get there.

Instead, I’ve got a list of goals, a whole bunch of passions, and no desire to follow one of them in particular. Maybe it’s a good thing. It gives me variation, and it gives me so many things to explore and learn about. But it also means that I feel overwhelmed by the options, like I don’t have the time to get through them, and I sometimes wonder if I ever will!

That’s why my blog has been so deserted recently. It’s definitely not that blogging doesn’t interest me anymore, because it’s still my most favourite hobby! But recently, my brain has been so bogged down in SO many ideas that I’ve fallen into a huge slump. I always think that having a ton of ideas will make me work in overdrive to accomplish them, but for me, it’s the complete opposite.

I have an awful habit of thinking too much about these ideas that I don’t actually do any of them. It just pushes me into a slump so big that I don’t want to do any of them, and then I worry that I’ve deserted all of my ideas for too long, which makes me not bother doing them at all. And that’s not ideal!

 

My Goals For 2018

So now that we’re over halfway through 2018 (what?!!), I’ve decided to make a real effort to get some of my goals accomplished. I want you (and myself) to keep me accountable, so I’m going to write down some of my goals right here. If I come back at the end of the year and realise I haven’t done a single one of them, I’ll be disappointed in myself. Like a disappointed parent. But… I’m my own child. This is getting weird.

So, without further ado, here are some of my goals for the second half of 2018…

1. Go to YALC, have a wonderful time with my fabulous friends, and attend at least 3 workshops (last year I only attended one, so I want to up my workshop game!).

2. Start a bookish podcast and chat with some amazing bloggers and authors (if I could interview an author I love, I’d be well happy).

3. Take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November and at least attempt a first draft of a novel.

I could carry in listing a million different goals that I want to accomplish, including starting a YouTube channel, opening an Etsy store, and so much more (these are literally all plans that I have fully formed in my multipotentialite head), but for the sake of my sanity and actually getting things done, I’m going to focus on those three in particular.

The first one of my goals reminds me: YALC is only ONE MONTH away!! I’m going to be writing a post soon (again, if I write it here, I hope it’ll keep me accountable and I’ll actually do it) about my tips from attending all three days last year, as well as some of the things I’m looking forward to and the books I’ll be taking with me. If you’re attending YALC this month, let me know in the comments and we can fangirl together!

 

What now?!

If you’ve read this much of my rambling, I applaud you. I’ve been in such a huge blogging and reading slump recently, so I’m hoping that by writing a post explaining why, it’ll get me back into the swing of things. (Three blog posts in two months is shameful.)

I’m currently reading Clean by Juno Dawson and I’m loving it, so I’ll definitely be reviewing that once I’ve finished it. I’ve got a few other posts hopefully ready soon too (and I found another one in my Google Drive that’s FULLY WRITTEN and I never published it!!).

I’m coming back, blog! My indecisive multipotentialite brain WON’T DEFEAT ME!

To find out more about multipotentiality, watch Emilie Wapnick’s TEDx Talk below or read more about it here. If you find yourself agreeing with everything she says like I did, please let me know and we can discuss it together! 🙂

I’m Charlotte: media graduate, virtual assistant and avid reader. I’m a Hufflepuff, a space fanatic, and I love to write about books. More about me…

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Love, Simon – A Perfect Adaptation of a Wonderful Book

Love, Simon – A Perfect Adaptation of a Wonderful Book

In the past couple of years, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli has been HUGE in the book blogging community. People have been loving it, and for good reason! It’s full of great LGBT rep, and perfect characters that you can’t help but love. You can read my review of the book here.

Love Simon film review

I finally read this book this year when I found out that the film adaptation, called Love, Simon, was being released. I’m glad I read it first because it made me SO excited to go and see the film! Here’s what I thought…

Not sure what CinemaScoop is? Read all about it here.

Haven’t seen Love, Simon? Watch the trailer:

Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it’s a little more complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Directed by Greg Berlanti (Dawson’s Creek, Brothers & Sisters), written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger (This is Us), and based on Becky Albertalli’s acclaimed novel, LOVE, SIMON is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about the thrilling ride of finding yourself and falling in love.

 

🎬 UK Release: 6th April 2018
🎬 Director: Greg Berlanti
🎬 Starring: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg, Miles Heizer, Keiynan Lonsdale, Logan Miller, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Tony Hale

Love, Simon: My Thoughts

I’ll cut straight to the chase: Love, Simon was SO GOOD and SO close to the book!! I think it helped that the author had a lot of input (I think). I absolutely loved the cast – every character was cast perfectly. Some of them might not have been how I imagined them, but every single one of them was captured perfectly (so much that I forgot how I imagined them in the first place). Simon’s parents were perfect too, and I loved the dynamic of his family.

The way they did the Blue mystery was great, with all of the ‘suspects’ taking turns to be in Blue’s place so we were teased into believing that each person was Blue. The whole thing is a bit less mysterious in the film and I thought it was fairly obvious who it was early on (maybe because I already knew). However, I feel like it’s a lot easier to be more mysterious in a book, so this didn’t bother me one bit.

There were a couple of things they were different from the book, but I didn’t mind these at all because they were all pretty insignificant. For example, book Simon has 2 sisters, but in the film he has 1; in the book, Leah plays drums in a concert, but doesn’t in the film; etc. The only thing that niggled me a bit (okay, maybe a lot) was the fact that (warning – spoilers) in the film, Leah suddenly told Simon that she was in love with him. That doesn’t happen in the book, does it?!! I was a bit surprised at that.

The ending, where Simon finds out who Blue is while sitting on a ferris wheel in front of a cheering crowd, was cheesy as heck – but it was perfect for a film like this. It’s the sort of film where you don’t care about bits being cheesy. It was the best ending, and definitely lived up to the ending in the book.

Love, Simon was so good, especially if you love a great feel-good film that perfectly captures the essence of the original book. It’s also great for LGBT representation, which we can never have enough of!

P.S. Want a month of free cinema with Cineworld? If you enter my referral code when you get your own Cineworld Unlimited card, we’ll both get a free month of unlimited cinema! See details below.

My Cineworld referral code: RAF-79BP-56QM-27WE-63AC

Enter this code in the promo code box when you register for your own Unlimited membership online. We’ll both receive one month’s free membership once you successfully pay for and complete your first 90 days of Unlimited membership. (If you see a lot of films, I can fully recommend it. You also get 10% off cinema snacks, 25% off certain restaurants, and other exclusive offers too!) Valid in the UK only.

I’m Charlotte: media graduate, virtual assistant and avid reader. I’m a Hufflepuff, a space fanatic, and I love to write about books. More about me…

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Days of Wonder by Keith Stuart – Book Review [Blog Tour]

Days of Wonder by Keith Stuart – Book Review [Blog Tour]

Confession: sometimes I’m a really bad blogger. I’ve reviewed books in the past where I’ve read them the day before my review was supposed to go up, and I’ve struggled through them. This was especially the case if I didn’t get into a book as much as I’d hoped and it can feel like a real slog.

Today, I’m on the blog tour for Days of Wonder by Keith Stuart and I must admit, I did the same thing: I left it until a couple of days ago to start reading. I’ve been in such a huge reading slump recently and I really had to motivate myself to start reading. I literally finished the book about 30 minutes before I wrote this review.

The good thing, though? I LOVED IT.

Tom, single father to Hannah, is the manager of a tiny local theatre. On the same day each year, he and its colourful cast of part-time actors have staged a fantastical production just for his little girl, a moment of magic to make her childhood unforgettable.

But there is another reason behind these annual shows: the very first production followed Hannah’s diagnosis with a heart condition that will end her life early. And now, with Hannah a funny, tough girl of fifteen, that time is coming.

With the theatre under threat of closure, Hannah and Tom have more than one fight on their hands to stop the stories ending. But maybe, just maybe, one final day of wonder might just save them both.

Last year, I read A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart and it instantly became one of the best books I’d read that year. It was heartfelt, funny, raw, and made me feel every emotion I could possibly feel. So when I was asked to join the blog tour for Stuart’s second book, Days of Wonder, I couldn’t wait to get my copy!

OK, as I said above, I didn’t start reading it until the last minute. But when I did start reading it, I finished it within 48 hours. I stayed up until almost 1am because I couldn’t put it down. It’s one of those books where you get to a point where you want to go to bed and stop reading, but then something else happens, and then something else, and you find yourself still reading 50 pages later.

I loved how the book is split into two perspectives – Hannah, and her dad Tom. It gave a great insight into the minds of these two characters and how differently they react to Hannah’s situation.

When I read the synopsis, I hoped the whole book wouldn’t be filled with doom and gloom – but I knew that in A Boy Made of Blocks, Stuart did a great job of making the optimism shine through in any situation, no matter how rough. Days of Wonder, luckily, was the same.

The book really teaches you to be thankful for everything you have, no matter what is thrown your way. Hannah knows that one day she might die, whether it’s next week, next year, or in 5 years’ time. And meanwhile, Tom knows that he’ll lose his daughter long before her time should be up – which I can imagine would be any parent’s nightmare.

Even though this seems pretty bleak, especially being combined with the possible closure of the theatre that Tom has managed for 10 years, there were so many moments that made me laugh out loud. A book really has to be special to make me do that. (I’m usually an emotionless robot.)

Oh, and to top it all off, this book also has great mental health and LGBT representation. How could it be more perfect?!

I have absolutely nothing negative to say about Days of Wonder. If you want a book that makes you laugh, cry, tugs on your heartstrings, and makes you learn to see the positives even when everything seems bleak, read this book. I know you’ll love it.

Thank you to Little, Brown Book Group and Clara Diaz for sending me a review copy of Days of Wonder. The book comes out on June 7th in hardback, so don’t miss it! Click here to read about the book on Goodreads, or click here* to buy it on Amazon.

See some of the other bloggers taking part in the tour today, and for more of the action, follow the #DaysofWonder hashtag on Twitter!

*Note: Affiliate link used – click here for details. 🙂

I’m Charlotte: media graduate, virtual assistant and avid reader. I’m a Hufflepuff, a space fanatic, and I love to write about books. More about me…

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