21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Category: Fiction novels or biographies

Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

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Billy and Me is a sweet bestselling novel by the author Giovanna Fletcher, and it follows the story of a everyday woman called Sophie May who is thrust into the spotlight after she meets and falls in love with an actor called Billy Buskin who has ambitions to make it to the top of the acting world.

I have read nearly every Giovanna Fletcher book. This book was part of Zoella’s book club. I don’t really watch Zoella’s videos but I wanted to give this book a read. Giovanna Fletcher’s books are good if you just want to unwind pretty much anywhere. I am forever grateful for her type of books, where there are no confusing plot lines and she doesn’t have a dodgy narrative structure. She brings life to every character, even the secondary ones in her books. You could be anywhere and you could be absorbed in her quirky stories. She isn’t just a popstar’s wife, she genuinely lives off another career away from her husband’s life.

I can’t imagine having to date someone who is in the spotlight, although I know a few young local male actors where I live who are nothing more than friends to me. It makes you realize how judgemental the media/ press are towards an actor’s private life, something that they should know nothing about, and how tough the acting world is if you want to break free from the clean cut teenybopper movies. An example of a real life Billy Buskin would be either Robert Pattinson- who had to prove himself as a serious actor post Twilight by appearing in mature movies such as Map To the Stars and small indie movies such as The Rover. The characters in Billy and Me felt real, not like cardboard cutouts, and I thought that the ending was so emotional. I also thought that Billy Buskin was a real person because Giovanna Fletcher makes him seem real. I think there are a few spin offs and sequels to this book, but I haven’t read them yet. I intend to in the future.

Overall, a poignant bestseller with fantastic characters. I personally liked the character of Sophie because she’s constantly trodden on and bullied and overlooked by the press just because she’s not a supermodel or famous, she’s a down to earth woman who just happens to date a high profile actor. The love story that wasn’t formulaic,even though there have probably been many books about ‘ordinary girl meets a superstar man’. Considering that it looks as if it was her first book, it was a brilliant debut, even though there’s quite a lot of pressure for authors to write a great debut novel.

4.5/5

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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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The Road is a novel set in a dystopian and post-apocalyptic world where a father and his young son walk through a deserted America after civilization had been destroyed with nothing but a pistol, each other and little food to defend themselves and survive. It has been made into a film starring Viggo Morteson and Kodi Smit-McPhee but I haven’t actually seen the movie so I cannot compare the novel to any other material.

I actually liked this book. I liked the way that it was laid out- I think it was laid out as a indirect speech structure, although it took some time to get use to it. The scary thing is, all of this could happen tomorrow so a father and son would have to fight for survival. Not much is explained, so it is up to the readers interpretation to where they are and why they fighting for their lives in a bleak post apocolyptic world.

I wanted to read this book because I am a big fan of dystopian stories and I am actually writing dystopian at the moment so I needed more source material than Orwell’s 1984, The Matrix and the movie V For Vendetta so The Road would give me some idea of my own post-apocalyptic world. Most of the Road is taken up with simple sentences revolving around food and caring for the boy, because children and food are probably the most important thing, and what else is there to do when you’re trying to fight to live with little resources?.

Good layout and structure, bleak and simply written without the distraction of too many charecters.

4/5

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

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Still Alice is a novel (and film adaptation starring Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart) about a university lecturer and mother of three Alice who is diagnosed with Alziemers at fifty years old.

I haven’t seen the film yet, but I hope that they are as faithful to the book as possible. Genova writes a powerful story as Alice’s world starts to crumble when she starts off as being rather forgetful like the next person until it spirals into worse circumstances, to the point where she can’t remember the names of her children. It might not be the sort of book to appeal to everyone, but it makes you realize that Alziemers is serious and considerably more than just ‘forgetting’ stuff. It’s probably more serious on a younger person because an older person has more long term memories. It took me about four days to read this book, and I found it sadder that a middle aged woman with a good and long lasting career as a linguistics professor and mother of three has to go through Alziemers disease or dementia rather than an elderly person who has fond memories of the distant past. Either way, it has to be taken very seriously.

Still, it was a thought provoking read and completely different from what I normally read, more mature as well. I haven’t read any of Genova’s other books, but she writes well and puts the message across without patronizing the readers.

4.5/5

All I know now: Wonders and Reflections of growing up gracefully by Carrie Hope Fletcher

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In case you don’t know, Carrie Hope Fletcher is a West End actress, currently starring in ‘Les Miserables’ and Youtuber who comes across as being a big sister or agony aunt to her million or so followers. Her older brother is Tom from McFly, but she doesn’t let that opportunity get to her head as she is an independent person. I already have two older sisters that I would never replace with anyone else but Carrie Fletcher has that ability to reach through the computer screens of dozens of teenage girls and not exactly sympathize with them, but be their friend.

Anyway, her non fiction book is a guidebook for all teenagers everywhere who need help, or need some support, or who want to relate to her without taking advantage of her because of who her brother is. As a teenager myself, there have been far too many instances where some young adults or wannabe authors assume that because they are older than a majority of their readers, it means that they can patronize them. We honestly don’t need that, and Carrie’s overall message is to tell them that it is ok to be different, not everyone is going to like you, and giving an overall message that she can give overall moral support that we are scared to go to teachers or parents for. That is one of the main beauties of the internet in the age of supposed reliable technology- getting support from a Youtuber that I will probably never meet, and connecting with bloggers like you over our bond with a good movie or book.

Whether you are thirteen, fifteen, twenty, thirty or even a man or boy, this book is defiantly worth a read. It is reasonably easy for anyone to write a book, but Carrie does not draw attention to herself, and with all these resources such as Tumblr and Twitter, we could have our own make believe land where Carrie is our friend with the emotional bond that most Youtubers have with their followers.

Although most of the people reading would either be my friends or bloggers who would much rather read a review of the latest small indie film or large blockbuster, but thank you Carrie Hope Fletcher, you are an inspiration to both myself and my older sister and to your fans.

5/5