I’m not usually one for watching movies over and over. But since it was released at the start of the year, I’ve watched Spotlight at least five times. That is definitely a record for me. This film, this story, is incredible. In all my re-watching, it’s never failed to leave me feeling completely inspired.
Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.
Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?
Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?
Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.
I love a good, sweet contemporary and The Book of Broken Hearts was in many ways the perfect fit. What I wasn’t expecting was its depth. Along with a cute romance, Ockler delves into difficult family issues with a heartbreaking exploration of a loved one’s slow descent into dementia.
There’s a brilliantly dark and harsh quality to many of the British crime dramas I’ve come to love. The somewhat softer Heartbeat and New Tricks will always be favourites, there’s something undeniably gripping about those shows which aren’t afraid to go deeper, no matter how unsettling it may be for the audience.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
Despite my love for Harry Potter, I doubted whether I would read Cursed Child. I hesitated to pre-order it and didn’t buy it until a month or so after its release. By then, I’d read a couple of non-spoiler reviews and hear my friends’ thoughts on whether it was worth it. I was still torn. What if this book ruined the magic of the series for me? What if I hated it like others had? I don’t know if it was my low expectations, but if anything Cursed Child made me fall in love with Harry Potter all over again.
‘I don’t want that nurse touching my baby.’ Those are the instructions from the newborn child’s parents. However, when the baby goes into cardiac arrest, Ruth, a nurse of twenty years’ experience, sees no option but to assist. But the baby dies. And Ruth is charged with negligent homicide.
Ruth is shattered and bewildered as she tries to come to terms with her situation. She finds different kinds of support from her sister, a fiery radical, and her teenage son, but it is to Kennedy McQuarrie, a white middle-class lawyer, to whom she entrusts her case, and her future.
As the two come to develop a truer understanding of each other’s lives, they begin to doubt the beliefs they each hold most dear. In order for the privileged to prosper, they come to realise, others have to suffer. Racism takes many forms, and is reinforced and underpinned by the structures of our society.
Jodi Picoult never fails to take me on an emotional roller coaster. Each of her novels, famous for their complex moral dilemmas, has forced me to question my beliefs and Small Great Things is no exception. I was immediately drawn into the story and completely absorbed by the characters.
Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart. It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.
They’d been partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on: Ben is married. Rachel is not. Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.
This was the perfect sweet contemporary read I needed after some fairly emotional books. McFarlane’s work is so easy to sink into, with such enjoyable characters and storylines. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read more of her work after I fell in love with It’s Not Me, It’s You at the start of 2015. I am sure I won’t be waiting this long again.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr promote Eight Days a Week. Photo: MPL Communications/Charlie Gray
There are few cinematic releases I have been quite so excited for, such is the extent of my enduring love for the Fab Four. I spent months counting down to this documentary’s release, bought my tickets a week out and dragged my two best friends along with me. Judging by their reactions, this isn’t just a movie for Beatlemaniacs (although they both don’t see the need to watch any other docos on the group again).
Emer O’Toole once caused a media sensation by growing her body hair and singing ‘Get Your Pits Out For The Lads’ on national TV. You might think she’s crazy – but she has lessons for us all. Protesting against the ‘makey-uppy-bulls**t’ of gender conditioning, Emer takes us on a hilarious, honest and probing journey through her life – from cross-dressing and head shaving, to pube growing and full-body waxing – exploring the performance of femininity to which we are confined.
Funny, provocative and underpinned with rigorous academic intelligence, this book shows us why and how we should all begin gently to break out of gender stereotypes. Read this book, open up your mind and, hopefully, free your body. Girls Will Be Girls is a must-read wake-up call for all young women (and men).
I’ve always been ultra-feminine. I refused to wear anything but dresses or skirts until I was about eight because trousers were for boys. I hated my short, curly hair because I was terrified people would mistake me for a boy. I once threw a massive tantrum because my poor dad tried to (sensibly) make me wear track pants on a cold winter day. Looking back, it’s absolutely laughable. It’s also frightening how ingrained these ideas were in three-year-old me.
How many times can you lose the person you love? Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.
Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?
Maybe the next together will be different…
A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about time-travel, fate and the timelessness of first love. The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports and internet articles.
I don’t even know where to start with The Next Together. It’s just one big punch of awesome. That’s probably the best way to sum up this incredibly unique and totally addictive mix of sci-fi, time travel and historical fiction. Sweeping through four time periods, The Next Together is one hell of a journey which kept me guessing from the very first page.
Ruby Jane Galbraith is empty. Her family has been torn apart and it’s all her fault. The only thing that makes sense to her is Fox – a gentle new friend who is wise, soulful and clever, yet oddly naive about the ways of the world. He understands what she’s going through and he offers her a chance to feel peace. Fox belongs to a group called the Institute of the Sublime – and Ruby can’t stay away from him. So she is also drawn in to what she too late discovers is a terrifying secretive community that is far from the ideal world she expected.
Can Ruby find the courage to escape? Is there any way she can save Fox too? And is there ever really an escape from the far-reaching influence of the Institute of the Sublime?
Cults conjure up images of secrecy, brainwashing and abuse. It’s this strange world The Boundless Sublime dives into with gusto, complete with an enigmatic and chilling leader in ‘Daddy’. Swift and engaging, this was a story I found it hard to drag myself away from.