Life update; I am on my way back to blogging!

Hi guys!

Wow I have been gone for quite a while, didn’t think it was that long until I logged back in! First of all sorry about just disappearing and not explaining what was going on, second of all I am coming back I promise just bear with me.

So at the start of August I decided to quit my job in the local shop, I had been working there since I was 16 and whilst it was a great place with lovely people my heart lay elsewhere. The choice was not an easy one, I agonised over the possibility of leaving paid employment without any sign of another job but within a week of making my final decision I had been offered a job as Freelance Media Officer with Ignition Film Productions! The lovely people at Ignition were promoting a movie called Patrick’s Day and needed someone to look after their social media and website, it seemed like fate had intervened and I was on my way down this new path.

If you want to check out what Patrick’s Day is all about you can visit the Facebook, Twitter or Website or check out the trailer below! Shameless plug I know but if it wasn’t I wouldn’t be doing my job very well now would I?


As the work for Patrick’s Day is only Freelance I was still on the hunt for a more permanent role and in doing so I decided that I should enhance my skills with a Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing to make myself more appealing to employers. So I started my course via distance learning so that I could still apply for every job that I liked the look of and trust me I applied to a lot of places!

One morning very shortly after I got the call to say I had an interview for a Sales and Marketing position, I interviewed on the Wednesday afternoon, they offered me the job on the Thursday and I started work on the Friday! So now I work as Freelance Media Officer for Ignition Film Productions, Sales and Marketing for Fundraising Ireland  and I am studying for my Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing all at once. Funny how life works out sometimes, all I needed was the confidence to leave where I was and a whole new world of opportunities has opened up to me.

Apologies for the length of this post but I felt I owed it to my followers to explain and to let you know I will be back, because in spite of having an overloaded plate at the moment I still love to read and write about those experiences. I will try work out a new schedule for Between the Lines over the next week and hopefully start posting over the Christmas holidays when I have some time off.

Thank you for still following and I hope to post for you all again very soon! 🙂

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Review: The Fault in Our Stars

51JXXb2vpDL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Fault in Our Stars

Author: John Green

Cover Copy: “Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group. Hazel’s stoy is about to be completely rewritten.”

My Thoughts: The fault in our stars by John green shot to fame when the adaptation was released in cinemas this year. The question is does this novel deserve the cult like following that it has received as a result? Before reading this story, of two cancer stricken teenagers and how they deal with the increased possibility of death, I was sceptical that this would be nothing other than a washy feel good approach to a serious topic. Now having actually taken the time to read it properly I can admit I was surprised at how profound it can be, the issues surrounding morality and mortality combine to form a well written, credit deserving piece of fiction.

The main characters Hazel and Augustus have come under attack for speaking too profoundly and discussing life at a higher emotional and intellectual level than some believe teenagers would, however they are not normal teenagers, they are teenagers who have had to face up to their own mortality so who is to say that they would not have deep and meaningful conversations with each other.

I found the characters lovable and despite knowing that there may not be a happy ending I was rooting for the pair to miraculously recover and live out their lives together. Hazel in particular is a very heart-warming character, it is made abundantly clear that while she battles her disease her main thoughts are for her family and how they are coping and how they would cope should the worst happen. This likeability factor that the characters possess adds to the overall heartbreak of the story, the reader becomes so invested in their happiness that by the ending you cannot help but be incredibly moved and question what is really important in your own life.

Favourite Quotes:

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”

“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”

“Maybe okay will be our always”

Final Thoughts:

This novel is aimed at young adults but I honestly think there is a lesson in it for any reader, it is so cleverly written that the story captures the audience from the beginning and presents so many important life lessons as well playing out an endearing love story.

Movie Magic – Water for Elephants

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Director:

Francis Lawrence

Screenplay:

Richard LaGravenese

Starring:

Robert Pattinson as Jacob

Reese Witherspoon as Marlena

Christoph Waltz as August

Hal Holbrook as Old Jacob

 

As a stand alone film Francis Lawrence’s Water for Elephants is an enjoyable romantic drama that showcases some quality acting however having read the novel first I could not help but feel the ending was rushed and some of the quality storyline glossed over.

The omission of some of the friendship storyline with Jacob, Walter and Camel and also the portrayal of Jacobs life at the retirement home was probably necessary from a film sense but it gave the story such depth in the novel that it was difficult to build a relationship with the film version of the characters.

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Adaptation issues aside Water for Elephants is an admirable drama with quality acting from the star studded cast especially from Christoph Waltz who plays August the paranoid schizophrenic circus owner with impressive ease. Reese Witherspoon shines as Marlena the tortured wife of August but really comes into her own when her character falls in love with the young stowaway vet Jacob played by Robert Pattinson.

Pattinson breaks away from his moody Twilight fame with his portrayal of Jacob, proving his worth as an actor as he shows an array of emotions and a believable chemistry with Witherspoon that heightens the enjoyment of this film.

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So with some clever costumes, set design and quality acting Water for Elephants ticks all the boxes for its genre just try to view it as a separate entity as opposed to an adaptation of the Sara Gruen hit or you may be a little disappointed.

Friday Finds: Book haul from Chapters!

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Every book lover has their favourite bookshop, that one store that you get excited even thinking about going to and for me that bookshop is Chapters Bookshop in Dublin. I have been shopping here for as long as I can remember and the experience is always the same, you are greeted by a sea of beautiful books in a relaxed atmosphere that makes browsing for your next great love extremely enjoyable. The staff are always really helpful and genuinely seem interested in talking to you and helping you find what you are looking for without being pushy or overpowering like some sales people can be.

My favourite part of Chapters however is when you walk upstairs to a vast array of second hand books all in excellent condition. I am one of those people who likes to own the books they read so second hand is often the way to go or else my book habit would render me completely bankrupt. Chapters only takes in good condition second hand books so you know you are getting quality reads at low prices, which is exactly what I did today!

Below are some pictures of my haul which includes nine books of my list and one that I have heard great things about about so I just couldn’t pass by. If you want to check out Chapters bookshop you can on their Facebook and Twitter.

 

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And my non list buy:

 

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Review: Water for Elephants

imagesTitle: Water for Elephants

Author: Sara Gruen

Cover copy: “In Depression-era America, everyone’s running away from something. Some people join the circus to escape. Jacob Jankowski hitches a ride on a freight train and in that instant his life changes. By morning, he’s landed a job with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. By nightfall, he’s in love.”

My thoughts: I had heard a lot about Water for Elephants before I picked it up, some people loved it while others were less enthusiastic so I was intrigued from the beginning. After finishing the book I can understand both sides of the argument, the story has a hint of drama for dramas sake and the animal cruelty can be disturbing to read but behind that there is a endearing love story filled with excitement.

Set in Depression-era America our hero Jacob Jankowski has his life turned upside down. Jacobs response to his emotional turmoil is to run away with the circus where he meets Marlena and thus the fairytale begins. Jacob is a very likeable character from the beginning, his willingness to help out those around him and his obvious concern for the animals endears him to the reader so we are left hoping for a happy ending to his story. Marlena is cast as the classic heroine, the damsel in distress some might say, and her relationship with Jacob provides her with a happy release from her turbulent marriage.

Gruen brings vivid detail to life as part of a travelling circus, her descriptions of the characters, living arrangements and atmosphere heighten the enjoyment of the reader. Overall Water for Elephants is an enjoyable well written novel that doesn’t demand too much thinking from the reader.

Favourite Quotes:

“Dear God. Not only am I unemployed and homeless, but I also have a pregnant woman, bereaved dog, elephant, and eleven horses to take care of.”

“Although there are times I’d give anything to have her back, I’m glad she went first. Losing her was like being cleft down the middle. It was the moment it all ended for me, and I wouldn’t have wanted her to go through that.”

“So what if I’m ninety-three? So what if I’m ancient and cranky and my body’s a wreck? If they’re willing to accept me and my guilty conscience, why the hell shouldn’t I run away with the circus?”

Final Thoughts:

A well written story about love overcoming obstacles. Gruen has created a non taxing novel that has the ability to appeal to a wide audience with its colourful characters and well thought out love story.

Friday Finds – Bookcase DIY

Last week in Friday Finds I posted about some dream bookcases that any bibliophile would love to have in their home so this week I decided that I should post some more affordable or realistic options. Below you will find some examples of how to spruce up your old bookcases and some more adventurous DIY projects for the crafty readers. Enjoy!

 

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Add a pop of colour to an old dresser for a unique bookcase

 

Adding a pop of colour to an old dresser can create a fun unique bookcase. This is a relatively easy DIY project that will update your old furniture just choose a colour to match your existing colour scheme and get painting.

 

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Another easy DIY project to add a little bit of character to an old bookcase.

 

This project is another easy way to update your bookcase, just use fabric or wallpaper in a design that catches your fancy to cover the back of the case and you have a one of a kind bookcase for your literary loves.

 

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If you prefer a more rustic feel for your bookcase this idea is a must, all you need are some wooden crates to stack and you have rough and ready storage. For a more polished look you can paint the crates, as seen in the second picture, to fit in with your room.

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For the more adventurous book lover this is a great way to combine your crafty talents and love of books. For this one you are going to need to get your hands on a wooden spool but it’s worth it for this crafty little addition.

Movie Magic – Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte's_Web_2006Director:

Gary Winick

Screenplay:

Susannah Grant

Karey Kirkpatrick

Starring:

Julia Roberts as Charlotte the Spider

Steve Buscemi as Templeton the Rat

Dominic Scott Kay as Wilbur

Dakota Fanning as Fern

 

 

Charlotte’s Web is a very successful novel written by E.B White aimed at children but beloved by adults alike so it is no surprise that the film adaptation was also a complete success. The screenplay is as charming and inspiring as the original novel and is largely kept true to the story, there is no sense that this has been modernised to capture the interest of the masses. It simply lets the integrity of the message and some quality storytelling take centre stage.

 

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This adaptation blends the live action with cgi elements seamlessly to create a genuinely enjoyable movie for both children and adults. The characters are very well cast, Julia Robert’s Charlotte is a forever calming influence to the excitable Dominic Scott Kay’s Wilbur and Dakota Fanning gives an admirable performance as the caring Fern. The loving message of friendship, trust, loyalty and adventure that is so clear in the novel translates so well on screen that this is quite simply a lovely feel good movie that everybody can enjoy with the odd tear jerking moment thrown in for good measure.