Friday, 16 November 2018

Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Publication date: March 6th 2018
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Pages: 531

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

I'll admit to putting off picking this one up because it was so adored when it first hit shelves that I was terrified it wouldn't live up to the hype. Not so. When I finally did start it I found myself immersed in an incredible, vivid, fantasy world.

The world building and character development is staggering, and really grounds the action and provides a solid base to build on. Quite often I become frustrated with fantasy books that have a base of prophecy to spring board the action from, but in this instance it worked incredibly well.

Adeyemi creates a truly complex world with deft strokes, drawing the reader into the story, flinging them headlong into a masterful narrative, and then keeping the pacing balanced on a knife edge. I flew through the novel. At no point does it become bogged down in exposition, instead the construction of the world is so vividly done that the story practically sings as it comes to life around you.

It's an astonishing debut. A staggeringly exciting story. It hums with life, with magic, and sweeps the reader up in the incredible story. I adored this book, and was on the edge of my seat for the climax. Now if it only it can be 2019 so I can get lost in the second book...

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Review: A Thousand Perfect Notes by C G Drews

Publication date: June 7th 2018
Publisher: Orchard Books
Pages: 282

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music - because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.
When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

Discovering one of your favourite social media bookstagrammer people is releasing their debut novel, is a bit like Christmas. But with more cake. I've followed Cait on her blog, twitter and instagram (go find her @paperfury) for some time, and her humour has always been absolutely glorious. So going into this novel I was expecting a lot. NO PRESSURE OR ANYTHING!

Luckily though, Cait's debut novel not only lived up to all my many expectations, it exceeded them thoroughly.

This is a stunningly beautiful debut novel. It's dark and beautiful, with moments of sharp humour and gut wrenching emotional punches. Her writing has a lyrical quality that weaves its spellbinding web around you, and then tightens throughout the story until at the climax I was feverishly ripping through the pages to find out how it would all end.

The characters are complex and fascinating to unravel. Beck's mother is a particular delight (read: dark and horrible but also incredibly nuanced and complex so you end up feeling super conflicted!) and I adored Joey and the relationship between her and Beck. A* for glorious sibling relationships.

This is an incredible debut, that shows a truly formidable talent at the start of what is sure to be an incredible journey. If this is the quality we get on Cait's first published work, I cannot wait to see what she gifts us with next. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Merch I'd Love to Own

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by the fabulous Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl. You can join in with future topics here!

With the explosion of Bookstagram, bookish merch has become a whole new beast as people seek more items related to their favourite books. There are so many gorgeous items out there, but I've managed to narrow down ten that I would love to get my hands on.

This fabulous A Court of Mist and Fury Feyre mug was in one of the Illumicrate boxes, and I am gutted that I missed out on it. Maybe one day they'll release them again and I can get my mitts on one! Picture by the brilliant Kath Reads, original artwork on the mug by Merwild.

These are official merchandise, but DEAR LORD THEY ARE EXPENSIVE. That doesn't stop me wanting one. Or four. Basically these official Harry Potter house jumpers are everything to me, and even though I'm a Ravenclaw I want ALL OF THEM.
You can buy the jumpers here.

One day I will save up for this gorgeous "Throne of Glass" t-shirt. I adore these, so much, and the idea of having the book to wear is pretty awesome. I'm also pretty taken with the Outlander one as well Also Dragonfly in Amber. Also The Princess Bride. TAKE ALL MY MONEY.
You can buy the t-shirt here.

Keeping with the t-shirts for a moment, I absolutely adore this one for "The Raven Cycle" by Maggie Stiefvater. I've always been a fan of this style, and the boys and Blue seem to fit it perfectly.
The t-shirt is designed and sold by Blissfully Bookish on Etsy.
You can buy the t-shirt here.

I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with mugs, and frequently have to have a clear out to make room for all the gorgeous new ones I want to get. This is one I've got my eye on and will eventually make room for. Designed and sold on Etsy by Verge of Wisteria.
You can buy the mug here.

I already have a few of Stella Bookish Art's designs - both in mug and print form - but there are still several I'd really like, because I adore her designs.

First up, this beautiful quote from Emily Bronte, in print format. I love this quote, and the design is so beautiful I want to have it on my walls to admire forevermore. 
You can buy the print here.

Next, this beautiful mug for The Night Circus. There are so few merchandise items out there for The Night Circus, so that alone was enough to get me excited that I'd finally found something for this book. However the design is beautiful and captures so much of the essence of the book - I adore it.
You can buy the mug here.

I think this might be my favourite of all her designs. It's so beautiful. The colours, the light, I love it, and I need it.
Possibly in multiple formats.
But for now you can buy the print here.

Now these last two are a little bit cheaty, but I REGRET NOTHING...
For my wedding my husband and I cut, folded, and dyed 3,300 paper cranes made from favourite book pages... Which has given me a bit of a taste for origami book pages! So my final two pieces of bookish merch are these.

A rainbow paper crane mobile, made with pages from "A Court of Mist and Fury" by Sarah J Maas.
I absolutely adore this, and whilst I've made a few for other people I've yet to make one for myself. I can't wait to start though!
You can buy one here!

And finally, with Christmas coming up, these gorgeous "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" origami crane baubles! The perfect way for any bookish fan to decorate their Christmas tree this year!
You can buy them here!

So there you have ten bookish merchandise items that I really need to save up for. Have any of these caught your eye?

Monday, 12 November 2018

Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Publication Date: May 5th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 346

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.
The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.
Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Am I heartless? Did I read this on an off day? Possibly, but the fact remains that after a couple of years of wanting to read this book I finally did, and now I'd like a refund.

I love a good teen romance, there's nothing quite like the butterflies you get along with the protagonist whilst they discover their love. Yet this one never quite got off the ground for me, thanks to poor writing and a terrible cast of characters.

If there's one thing that is guaranteed to frustrate me to the point of mute rage with a book, it's finding grammatical errors like using the wrong your because by the time the book is with the reader, that stuff should have been picked up. So that didn't exactly pre-dispose me to liking it, but the flat writing, stilted dialogue, and unlikeable characters sealed its fate.

I just didn't care about Gia. I think we're meant to feel for her, but she's so shallow and vapid and unlikeable that it becomes incredibly hard to feel anything other than frustration and annoyance with her.

I wanted to put aside my frustrations and just enjoy it for what it's meant to be - a cute, light, romance. But I just couldn't. The dialogue was stilted, the writing really awkward, and I was left feeling like I'd just wasted my time when I finished.
As a first foray into West's writing, this has definitely put me off. So help a girl out - if you really like West's books, what would you recommend I try next to get me on board?

Friday, 9 November 2018

Review: Gmorning, Gnight by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Publication Date: October 16th 2018
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 224 pages

"Good morning. Do NOT get stuck in the comments section of life today. Make, do, create the things. Let others tussle it out. Vamos!" Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection illustrated by acclaimed artist (and fellow Twitter favorite) Jonny Sun. Full of comfort and motivation, Gmorning, Gnight! is a touchstone for anyone who needs a quick lift.

A little burst of positivity and comfort for the dark winter nights and even darker days filled with the world imploding. "Gmorning, Gnight" is a really wonderful snapshot of niceness, when that feels like a rarity these days.

Sometimes you just need someone to give you a bit of a pep talk each day. An affirmation of your worth, your awesomeness. Titbits of wisdom, of courage, of empathy. It's a lovely easy book that I think a lot of people need at the moment.

Whilst I did binge the entire thing in one go, I think that this is best explored one page at a time. Put it by your bed, give yourself a random piece of wisdom each morning, and its correlating piece at night before bed, and see how it changes your outlook on each day.

This is a very recommended piece of love and sunshine, that everyone can find something they really needed to hear in the pages.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Review: I'll be There for You by Kelsey Miller

Publication Date: 25th October 2018
Publisher: HQ
Pages: 304

This definitive retrospective of Friends incorporates interviews, history and behind-the-scenes anecdotes to offer a critical analysis of how a sitcom about six twentysomethings changed television forever. 
When Friends debuted in 1994, no one expected it to become a mainstay of NBC's "Must See TV" lineup, let alone a global phenomenon. In the years since, Friends has gone through many phases of cultural relevancy, from prime-time hit to 90s novelty item to certified classic. Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe have entered the pantheon of great television characters, and millions of people around the globe continue to tune in or stream their stories every day.
I'll Be There for You is the definitive retrospective of Friends, exploring all aspects of the show from its unlikely origins to the elusive reasons why we still watch it. Journalist and pop culture expert Kelsey Miller relives the show's most iconic moments, analyzes the ways in which Friends is occasionally problematic and examines the many trends it inspired, from the rise of coffee-shop culture to "Friendsgivings" to the ultimate 90s haircut, The Rachel.
Weaving incisive commentary, revelatory interviews and behind-the-scenes anecdotes involving high-profile guest stars, I'll Be There for You is the most comprehensive take on Friends, and the ultimate book for fans everywhere.

For myself, and for a lot of people around the world, "Friends" was a lynchpin of growing up. A show that you watched every week without fail. Whose characters felt like your own friends. And who you'd return to again and again on re-watches. Feeling under the weather? World going to hell? Need some nostalgia or tlc? Friends were literally there for you (in some cases three episodes three times a day) whenever you needed them.
It was a show you could enjoy as a child, because it was clean and nice and people weren't mean to each other. And as the viewers grew up, the show took on new layers and meanings. There's a lot that resonates for me now on re-watches, that I didn't really touch on at all when I was first watching it.

Basically, it's a cultural phenomenon, and this book explores all of that.

It's a deep dive into the creators, the cast, how the show came to be, the issues they faced with filming, and the entire smorgasbord of elements that came together to form this entity that no-one ever saw coming.

It's well written and engaging, and I found myself immersed in this show again, wanting to go back and re-watching certain episodes. To revisit these characters and that nostalgia once more. It's stuffed with titbits of information, anecdotes and retrospection that are really interesting, and quite frequently things that I had no idea about, despite having done a lot of reading around the show.

It likely won't appeal in the same way to those who are just very casual viewers, but anyone who loved the show at the time, or has found it since it came off the air, will enjoy this insightful foray into a phenomenon that no one saw coming when the pilot was first written.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: My Backlist Pile

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by the fabulous Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl. You can join in with future topics here!

Everyone has a crazy to read pile, and mine always ends up being an odd mix of random books I've picked up and thought they looked good, and ones that I was super excited about in the lead up to release, but they've just got shunted down the pile repeatedly and I've yet to get to them. So here are ten of the books that I want to read, but they've ended up on my backlist taking far too long to get to the top of the stack.

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard

Paris has survived the Great Houses War – just. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens continue to live, love, fight and survive in their war-torn city, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over the once grand capital.
House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, a alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation. They may be the architects of its last, irreversible fall… 

I've been so excited about this since before it came out, and I keep gazing longingly at it on my bookcase. I even have the sequel, looking reproachingly down at me... And yet I've not managed to pick this one up yet...

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

I adored the Netflix film of this book, and I totally meant to read the book before I watched the film. But did it happen? Nope. So now I have the added weight of knowing I loved the film pushing me to get on and pick this one up.

Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children's young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

This book has just screamed YOU'RE GONNA LOVE ME at me since before it was published. But it came out whilst I was in France and was really difficult to get hold of. By the time I final did get a copy I was in the process of moving, and the poor book never stood a chance of getting read. I know, I know, too many excuses, I need to just read it...

The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

A battle has been won. But the war has only just begun.
Everything in Echo’s life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace.
The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart.
Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she’s already overcome.
She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight.
Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature—or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what’s left of her world to the ground?

Welcome to the shadow hour.

I loved the first book in this trilogy - lots of Laini Taylor vibes in the best possible way - but had gotten sucked into other books when this one finally came out. Add in that I now can't remember what happened in the first book properly and I should just go back and start again. The bonus of that though is that I already know I'm going to love it.

Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano

Danger descends in the second book of The Internment Chronicles, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy.
After escaping Internment, Morgan and her fellow fugitives land on the ground to finally learn about the world beneath their floating island home.
The ground is a strange place where water falls from the sky as snow, and people watch moving pictures and visit speakeasies. A place where families can have as many children as they want, their dead are buried in vast gardens of bodies, and Internment is the feature of an amusement park.
It is also a land at war.
Everyone who fled Internment had their own reasons to escape their corrupt haven, but now they’re caught under the watchful eye of another king who wants to dominate his world. They may have made it to the ground, but have they dragged Internment with them?

Again, loved the first book, was too sidetracked when the second one came out, need to re-read the first one to remind myself what actually happened before launching into this one.

A Gathering of Shadows by V E Schwab

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift--back into Black London.
Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games--an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries--a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.
And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

The first book was enjoyable but not so good that I had to pick up the second book straight away. And now the gap between reading them is getting longer and longer... Tempt me, should I be picking this one up immediately?

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.
Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.
But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.
Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

See the above paltry excuses about not remembering enough of the first book, other than that I loved it, and needing to re-read it as a refresher before reading book two...

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.
BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

I've heard so many people loving this book, but it's never quiet grabbed me enough to actually start it, probably because I've never been a huge sci-fi fan when there's fantasy up for grabs. I think I'm probably just being cussed though and actually once I start it I'm going to adore it.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.
The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.

Another one that I'm a) excited to read and b) heard really amazing things about. Just give me time, I'll get to it...

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.
She also has a secret.
Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.
When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

I really enjoyed Carson's "The Girl of Fire and Thorns" and this blurb just makes me internally squee, so I think I'm pretty much guaranteed to love it, I just haven't pulled it off the shelves yet. One day... The bonus is that the whole trilogy is out already so no pesky waiting times!

So are these on any of your backlist piles? And if you've read them, make the case for why I should bump them to the top of my to read pile immediately in the comments!

Monday, 5 November 2018

Film Review: The Hate U Give

Even now, several days later, I'm still reeling and thinking about this movie.
Based on the incredible bestseller by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give has had a huge amount of buzz around it for some time. And when it first reached cinemas reviews backed that up in spades. So with only a few short days to actually go and see this (seriously Odeon stop giving insane numbers of showings to terrible films whilst taking this one off after only a week and a half) it was the kind of film I was determined to make the time for, and I am so glad that I did.

The film follows Starr, a black girl caught between two worlds. Her home life of Garden Heights - a largely black and underprivileged area, and school life at out of town school Williamson - a predominantly white and privileged school. She struggles to reconcile these two halves of herself, feeling like she cannot be truly her in either setting, and finding she loses sight of herself in the process.

The film opens with Starr and her two siblings being given The Talk. Not the one about the birds and the bees, no, this is what to do when they are (there is no if) pulled over by a cop. What to do when they see their father (again, when, not if) stopped and searched. This is a talk that will save their lives, and sets the tone of the film.

It then takes its time setting up the characters and Starr's life, showing you the two versions of her and how deeply uncomfortable she is within that - the moments where she bites her tongue, stays quiet for the sake of keeping the two halves of her separate and tamps down on her initial reactions to things. Starr does her best to blend in, until the pivotal point of the film, where she witnesses her best friend shot dead.

The rest of the film explores the fall out from this. How Starr deals with the grief and trauma that follows. How she tries to come to terms with all that she's feeling, and how these events crack open all that makes her her and follows her journey - developing her identity, her political views, her confidence. As she begins to stand up and roar over the injustice of what is happening.
The view points of the characters around Starr, that are eye opening in so many different ways, showcase a variety of responses to the events, and hold up a mirror to the viewer. We have all either expressed the views depicted, or seen others expressing them. It is hard to watch, uncomfortable in places, but so vitally important.

There are bright sunbursts of humour, and a lot of really gut wrenching emotional moments where you could hear the crying in the cinema. It's at times incredibly difficult to watch, because the story you're witnessing unfold has happened, continues to happen, will keep happening. This isn't some dystopian future where you can disconnect and enjoy, this is the world we're living in now, and it's hard to look at, no matter how beautiful the cinematography.

You will come away from this film heavy with emotion. Hopeful for the future, where people stop the cycle of hate, where hopefully we move forward into a better world. But also saturated with grief at the injustice and horror of this world. The Hate U Give is not an easy film to watch, but it is an important one, a vital one.

After a glut of young adult adaptations, we're moving away from the dystopian fantasy side and looking at real life. With "Love, Simon" and "The Hate U Give" this year has proven that not only can adaptations be done well, but that they are still vitally important and necessary to ground and show pieces of the world, when we're saturated with escapism and fantasy.