Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

Feel free to leave any suggestions or comments regarding music, books, films, TV, theatre or culture related news...

My ratings:
❤️ = Loved it
😐 = It's okay
😝 = Hated it

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Twisted (Lynda La Plante)

Where is Amy? She is with her mother, surely, or with her father, or at school, or with her best friend? She is with one of them, safe and sound... surely?
Then why has no one heard from her? It is only when Amy is reported missing from school that her mother Lena contacts the police. Fifteen-year-old Amy has not been seen for four days.
A family under constant police and press scrutiny, a father who is lying, a mother whose perfect world is crumbling, a detective under intense pressure...
Twisted... Who really knows the truth about Amy's disappearance?

Now I'm sure many of you in the room have been to some of the most horrendous and unimaginable crime scenes, and they can leave a lasting impression on your mind, especially if the victims are children. But how do you deal with it... how do you cope?

❤️ This was my first Lynda La Plante book and I was actually very impressed with the writing. It was very detailed, particularly with the numerous suspects and the various lines of enquiry that were taken by DI Reid and his team. An excellent read which raised many issues, including mental health and abuse. And let us not forget the unexpected plot twist.
I highly recommend it!

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Games (James Patterson & Mark Sullivan)

Two years before, Jack Morgan was in Rio consulting on security for the World Cup. The tournament went without a hitch... until a man died in one of the executive hospitality suites during the final, and the autopsy showed the cause to be a rare and deadly virus.
The story was kept from the media to avoid causing panic, but Jack feared that the death was no freak occurrence.
Now the eyes of the world are once again turned towards Rio for the Olympic Games, and Jack is back in Brazil's beautiful capital. It is not long before he uncovers terrifying evidence that someone has set in motion a catastrophic plan.

To anyone who'd not grown up in a favela, this was a hellish existence, devoid of culture or enriching experience. But Rayssa loved the favelas, their vibrancy, their music, their art, the close-knit fabric of life. Favelas didn't just exist. They pulsed, and Rayssa loved each throb and each cry.

😐 I really enjoyed the first Private books, but after a while they have started to become a little too repetitive and predictive.
In this case, I liked the fact that there were two situations going on at the same time, which were interesting in their own way, but I felt that Patterson could have explored them a little bit better. There were times when I lost the plot because of the way he was going back and forth.
However, the basis for the story was good - being a football lover, I enjoyed the part about the World Cup more than the Olympic Games - and the description of the Brazilian slums and way of life was right on point.
Overall, it was okay, but not his best work!

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Goldbergs (Adam F. Goldberg)

The plot revolves around the life of show creator, Adam Goldberg, who grew up in the 80's.

Starring: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Sean Giambrone, Troy Gentile, Hayley Orrantia, George Segal, Jeff Garlin, Patton Oswalt

❤️ I know this show has arrived way too late in Portugal, but it is my new favourite.
Starting with the Wonder Years connection, where Patton Oswalt takes on the role as narrator, a.k.a. adult version of Adam Goldberg. It just took me back to my childhood days. I used to love that show so much!
Afterwards, there are all the references that I remember as a kid (Family Ties, Alf, He-Man, The Goonies, the clothes, the music, and even the video camera - it was actually my dad's), but not in a nostalgic way; in a 'I had one of those too' or 'I liked that too' kind of way, but then I get to come back to the modern days.
The stories are funny and the actors are brilliant: you could not find a more over-the-top Wendi McLendon-Covey, expressive Sean Giambrone, ridiculous (in a good way) Troy Gentile, musical Hayley Orrantia, or funnier Jeff Garlin. And George Segal is the cherry on top as Pops. What a great combination!
Overall, it is very well-written and worth watching!

The Midnight Bell (Jack Higgins)

In Ulster, Northern Ireland, a petty criminal kills a woman in a drunken car crash. Her sons swear revenge.
In London, Sean Dillon and his colleagues in the Prime Minister's private army, fresh from defeating a deadly al-Qaeda operation, receive a warning: 'you may think you have weakened us, but you have only made us stronger.'
Soon, the ripples from these events will meet and overlap, creating havoc in their wake. Desperate men will act, secrets will be revealed - and the midnight bell will toll.

I believe what everyone from Lawrence of Arabia on has said: There is no other desert in the world like the Sahara. So cold, so bitterly cold at night, so incredibly lonely, and yet tribesmen and their families still travel with their camels and donkeys from one place to another in a journey that never seems to end.

😐 This is a fast paced, tension-filled thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed until the end, then it all fell apart for me because I had built up expectations, and suddenly it felt like the author had reached his limit and was told to find an ending fast. All the suspense was gone!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Private Delhi (James Patterson & Ashwin Sanghi)

Santosh Wagh quit his job as head of Private India after harrowing events in Mumbai almost got him killed. But Jack Morgan, global head of the world's finest investigation agency, needs him back. Jack is setting up a new office in Delhi, and Santosh is the only person he can trust.
Still battling his demons, Santosh accepts, and it is not long before the agency takes on a case that could make or break them. Plastic barrels containing dissolved human remains have been found in the basement of a house in an upmarket area of South Delhi. But this is not just any house; this property belongs to the state government.

Quote: "Abused, bullied, neglected, sidelined. The people wanted him at last. He smiled."

😐 I found this to be a decent, quick-read thriller. I did not particularly care for any of the Private Delhi team; they were not as interesting as some of the other Private teams.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Directed by: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg; Written by: Jeff Nathanson, Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott, Stuart Beattie, Jay Wolpert)

Deadly ghost pirates led by the terrifying Captain Salazar escape from the Devil's Triangle determined to kill every pirate at sea... especially Captain Jack Sparrow. Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Golshifteh Farahani, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley

❤️ I am a big fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean series; therefore, I was looking forward to seeing this one. I must say that I absolutely loved it!
The plot is straightforward but still has a compelling human element, the acting is amazing, particularly Javier Bardem - I was not a big fan until now, he is superb!
The story is very funny, Jack Sparrow is his usual self, and the special effects are even better.
This was probably the only film from the series that made me cry (but only at the end, the rest of the movie is packed with action, I promise).
Although I must say that I missed Mackenzie Crook and his wandering eye.
Overall, the best Pirates of the Caribbean since the first one came out.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Nice Work - If You Can Get It (Celia Imrie)

Tucked between glitzy Monte Carlo and the red carpets of Cannes, Bellevue-Sur-Mer seems like the perfect place for an enterprising band of inhabitants to open a restaurant. Happily exiled from demanding families, they have found peace and Provençal cooking in the cobbled streets and azure vistas of their new home. But all is not as rosy as it seems, for it soon becomes clear that someone is trying to sabotage their project.
Meanwhile, the Cannes Film Festival is in full swing. Celebrities are flying in and luxury yachts are arriving. As the excitement spills over into Bellevue-Sur-Mer, the residents realise that they are embroiled in something much murkier than they could have imagined - and the race is on to get the restaurant open in time.

Quote: "I must admit I've started looking at things in a slightly different way. I mean, really, Mummy, you either have to laugh or cry. And I don't like crying, it plays havoc with my mascara."

😐 Maybe I did not enjoy this as much because I had not read Celia Imrie's previous book.
My favourite character was Jackie, since she was so funny, but to tell you the truth, she was the only one who made me laugh.
The French setting was nice and the plot had everything to be fun and entertaining but I did not care for any of the other characters, they were too annoying.
In terms of story, it only became interesting as I reached the last chapter.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed.