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Firstly, Happy February Eve! I have no idea whether that is even a real 'thing', but if not, it definitely should be. Reading is one of my biggest passions and since I constantly have my nose in a book, I thought it'd be interesting to share a few of the titles I've completed this month! I'm not really keen on influencing others with my opinion, as literature is such a subjective thing that I'd always suggest anyone to read something for themselves in order to form their own view, so I'm going to try and keep it as short and sweet as possible, with hopefully no spoilers! I've also watched a couple of interesting films this January so I thought I'd throw them into the mix too and I'm actually going to talk about them first (because we're clearly leaving the best 'til last, soz.)
Angelina Jolie is a total babe and she fits the lead role so perfectly that it's almost impossible to imagine the film being made without her. I found the costume and makeup to be particularly incredible and I feel like the story was on such a higher level of emotion compared to other fairytales that they were able to delve a lot deeper with the moral message - definitely my new favourite Disney film and I'd recommend it to everyone!
I'm not gonna lie, I only watched this film because of my undying love for maths and new-found fascination with cryptology. And in all honesty, I was very disappointed. So disappointed that I even wrote an angry rant on Facebook, just so ya know it's real. My problem is that it's a fairly concealed fact that out of 12,000 code-breakers at Bletchley Park, 8,000 of them were women. (That's a whopping 75%, if you want to do the maths.) Yet if you asked anyone who they think contributed towards the breaking of the enigma code, they'd most likely reel of a long list of male names such as Turing, Welchman, Denniston, Travis, Alexander - just to name a few. This film is no different and essentially shines a spotlight on all those men mentioned. Out of 8,000 Bletchleyettes, the ONLY female featured is the character Joan Clarke, who may I point out, is played by the young and pretty Keira Knightley and is a completely inaccurate representation of the real woman in every way. And that's what irritated me the most about the film - the historical inaccuracy and the complete dismissal of all the female mathematicians that worked so hard during World War II with absolutely zero recognition. Women have been airbrushed out of history for so long that you would have hoped that $14 million budget films like this would at least attempt to stop perpetuating the centuries of ignorance that form the foundation of our history. Thankfully, books are now being written, such as Kerry Howard's 'Women Codebreakers', which aim to give Bletchleyettes the platform they deserve and are a small step towards a world where female mathematicians can be viewed on the same level as their male counterparts. It's rare that I voice my opinions on issues in the media (as I dislike making them believe they have power) but as a woman who loves mathematics and just happens to be the only female in my Further Maths class, this is something that's really important to me and I simply can't talk about this film without shedding light on the issue.
Into The Woods
I can promise that you'll be absent-mindedly humming tunes from this film for weeks after you watch it! The music is absolutely seamless and flows so easily that I'm actually considering downloading the soundtrack - that's how great it is. Plus, the songs are so uplifting that it's pretty hard to be annoyed with how catchy they are. (Unlike that other Disney movie and you ALL know which one I'm talking about.) The plot is a perfect blend of all our favourite Grimm Brothers' fairytales and the all-star cast is pretty damn impressive too.
Survival Songs - Meggie C. Royer
Meggie is my absolute favourite modern poet and I've followed her on Tumblr for so long that it feels amazing to finally hold one of her published books in my hands. Survival Songs is a collection of clear and concise poetry that's grounded from experience and Meggie has such a beautiful way with words that I feel none of mine would be able to do her book any justice. The rawness of her poetry speaks for itself and the only way I could begin to describe it to you would be by suggesting you to experience it for yourself. You definitely won't regret it.
Unbreakable - Rebecca Shea
I was certainly surprised by how heart-wrenchingly emotional this book turned out to be! I picked it quite randomly from the iBooks charts and I have to admit that I wasn't expecting much from it at first. It seemed like a light-hearted teen romance novel but as I got further and further into it, it turned out to be so much more than what I originally thought and it nearly ripped my heart out. Moral of the story? Never judge a book by its cover. Or it's first couple of chapters. Although, I have to note that it contains mature subject matter and some of the scenes may be triggering, so please be careful if you do decide to read it.
Paper Towns - John Green
Anyone who knows me will be aware that I really do not like John Green books. It isn't so much his writing itself, but rather the way all his characters are irritatingly similar and the unnecessary hype that surrounds his books. When I read The Fault In Our Stars, I thought it was average. When the book and movie became the hype of 2014, it made me realise how many flaws there were in the story and message it was giving out and I ended up detesting it simply because of all that hype and glorification. When I read Paper Towns, I thought it was average just like TFIOS, but because there isn't so much hype around it, it's not so bad. I just feel like his books are made for angsty teenagers that want to feel like they're unique and 'one-up' on everyone else so they go around regurgitating all these 'deep' insights on the world when really they have no clue what they're talking about. Basically the kind of thing 12-year-old me would've loved. I'm excited to see how my fave Cara D will pull off the lead role in the film adaptation though...
Reconstructing Amelia - Kimberly McCreight
I finished this book at 1:30am last night as I simply couldn't put it down! I was recommended it by someone in a blogger chat and I can't remember who, but I feel like I need to thank them for it. I'm not usually into mysteries, but the narrative is structured in such a way that you fall into the chaos of trying to piece back together the lead character's life and figuring out the truth of the situation. There are so many twists and turns along the way that it's such a satisfying ending when all is revealed and it kinda feels like you have your own life back on track.
Or maybe I just get way too involved with books...
What books/films have you been loving lately?
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