Monday 18 May 2015

Review: The Maze Runner (2014)
I have to confess, I haven't read The Maze Runner (James Dashner's 2009 post-apocalyptic YA novel). It's been on my to-read list for a while, as I love the current trend in YA dystopias and am trying to work my way through all of them. But in this case, the film studios were ahead of me, and the film adaptation came out before I got chance to read the book!

I watched Wes Ball's film version of The Maze Runner at the weekend, and so this is a film review rather than a book review - and I promise it will be completely spoiler-free! I'd love to know how the film matches up to the book, so please leave comments!

The film begins with the protagonist Thomas waking up in a strange service lift with no memory of how he got there - or even who he is. He finds himself in the Glade, a makeshift village inhabited by other boys who have arrived in the same way. The Glade is surrounded by huge walls, and Thomas soon learns that what's on the other side of these walls is pretty terrifying...

The boys have organised themselves into a kind of society - and it's all a bit more peaceful and co-operative than Lord of the Flies! Each boy is assigned a different task and they work together to survive. The role that most interests Thomas is that of Runner (obviously!) - these are the boys who run out beyond the walls of the Glade to explore the imposing and dangerous maze that lies on the other side. The Runners are attempting to map the maze and hopefully find a way out. Thomas decides to join them, enter the maze, and discover the truth behind the Glade.

I enjoyed The Maze Runner and there were a lot of things I really liked about the film. The maze itself was fantastic. Even though there are dangerous creatures within it, it is the structure itself that seems to pose the biggest threat to the boys. The sequences where the Runners (or other boys) have to navigate the labyrinth and its various challenges were suspenseful and exciting, and I have to admit I held my breath at some points.

The acting was also good - though I know that some reviewers have disagreed with me on this one. Dylan O'Brien was great as Thomas, and I found him believable. Surprisingly, there were quite a few UK actors in the Glade. Kaya Scodelario (Effy from Skins) plays Teresa - the only girl to be sent to the Glade, and an important part of Thomas's struggle to remember his past. Thomas Brodie-Sangster plays Newt, and Will Poulter plays Gally (the closest the film really has to a human antagonist). For me, the strongest bit of the film was the interaction between the characters and the way they tried to come to terms with their situation and environment.

Unfortunately, I do have a few negatives though. The timescale of events in the film seemed a little strange. Although the boys have been at the Glade for three years, the events of the film take place over just a few days. I found it really hard to believe that there was only three days between Thomas's arrival and them figuring out the secret of the maze, especially since the other Runners had been going out day after day before he even got there. I know we like our film protagonists to be 'special' in some way, but this was pushing it! It would have been more believable if Thomas had been there for weeks, not days, before he started trying to figure out the maze.

The ending also left me a little flat. I know that this is the start of a series - and the ending (no spoilers!) certainly sets things up for the next instalment. But it felt like the ending was rather rushed, cramming in way more information than I was able to take in. And not all of it made sense, either, so I was left with quite a few questions. I assume that things will start to become a bit clearer with the second film though!

Or I wonder if the explanation is handled differently in the book? Maybe things will become clearer when I read the original novel!

Despite the rushed ending and odd timescale, I'd still recommend The Maze Runner. It's good fun, and has some edge-of-the-seat moments. If you're looking for some entertainment on Saturday night with your popcorn, it's definitely one to watch.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Ding dong! Avon calling!

Wednesday night is Avon night on our street, and my local Avon representative has just called round with my order. So I thought I'd share the goodies I bought this month. Some new treats and some old favourites this time.

In my bag tonight were:

Senses Garden of Eden Shower Gel (250ml)

Gel Finish Nail Enamel in Very Berry

Gel Finish Nail Enamel in Sheer Love

SuperShocks Mascara in Black

Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche Eau de Parfum

SuperShocks mascara and Senses shower gel are regular purchases, and I'm a big fan of the Gel Finish nail enamels. I've had Sheer Love before, but Very Berry is a new colour for me. I usually don't go for darker purples, but I thought I'd try something a bit different this month. I'll post a pic when I try it! And ooh look - it matches my shower gel! Black Dress Eau Fraiche is a new fragrance from Avon, in the same range as their other 'dress' perfumes. I like Little Black Dress, but my favourite in the range is definitely Little Pink Dress. It's citrusy and fresh, with a sweet floral note that reminds me of peonies. My local Avon lady put a free sample of Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche in the last brochure, so I got a chance to 'try before you buy' with the new scent.

My first thought was surprise that this new scent is a version of Little Black Dress, as it seems to have more in common with Little Pink Dress. It's much more citrusy and fresh that the original LBD perfume, and it doesn't have the darker woody notes of the other scent. Eau Fraiche has a lighter fragrance, again with a hint of peonies and other floral notes. I might be imagining it, but I think the new scent has more of a musky base than Little Pink Dress - sort of making it a cross between the 'Black' and 'Pink' perfumes.
Now that I've got my full size bottle, I'm looking forward to giving this new scent a proper test drive. I'll let you know how I get on...

Getting started!

Just working on some new posts for the site. I've written blog posts for other sites before, but Blue Lemon Sherbet is quite exciting for me because I get to just write about the stuff I love! I have so many things I want to write about, I'm worried I'm not going to be able to keep up.

I've been reading some great pieces about successful blogging on other sites - so I'm ready to go! But I've also started looking for more awesome blogs to follow. I love connecting with new people and social media is such a good way to do this. I've already met some really cool people on Twitter, so now I'm looking to connect on the blogosphere as well.

One of my new blog-friends suggested Bloglovin as a site to discover new blogs - and I love it! You can search for sites based on your interests, and there's always loads of recommendations based on the sites you already follow. I've already found loads of cool blogs to follow, and my feed is looking pretty good right now!

This blog is pretty new, but there's lots of shiny new content on its way. In the meantime, if you'd like to connect with me on Bloglovin - just give me a click!

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Monday 4 May 2015

Tiramisu for two!

Made a little video of my favourite tiramisu recipe!

Welcome to my new blog!

After a couple of false starts, I've finally started a blog!

Recently I've started writing blog posts and web copy for a couple of companies so I knew the time would come when I needed my own site. I kept putting it off, and I shelved THREE different sites before starting this one - I guess we're never happy with things we've created, are we?

Anyway, I was talking with two of my neighbours - hi Hannah and Rob! - and I realised that if I'm going to make a go of this writing malarkey, then I need a blog of my own. So... ta da!

I've got a few ideas about things I'm going to write about - a few books and films I want to review, and a couple of other posts I want to write - but otherwise I think I'll just write about whatever takes my fancy.

Hopefully at some point I'll also use this site to keep you updated on the progress of my creative writing and my novel. Well... if I'm brave enough that is! ;)