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Katherine "Kate" (United Kingdom)

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Northanger Abbey
Northanger Abbey
Price: 6.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Austen for the facebook generation, 28 April 2014
This review is from: Northanger Abbey (Kindle Edition)
Val McDermid’s Northanger Abbey is the second in the series of Jane Austen retellings that are being written as part of The Austen Project. In this version Cat Morland is invited by her Dorset neighbours The Allens to attend the Edinburgh Festival with them. Whilst there she meets and befriends Isabella Thorpe, whose brother John is determined to pursue her. However, Cat has no interest in him, having already fallen for the dashing Henry Tilney and also comes to befriend his sister Ellie. She then finds herself torn between her loyalties towards the Thorpes and the Tilneys and through a series of misunderstandings and scandals comes to discover that perhaps neither family is quite what they seem.

Let me preface this review with the confession that I am not a huge fan of Jane Austen. I did relatively enjoy Northanger Abbey when I first read it though and the issues I had with this retelling were mostly the issues I had with the original and therefore not to do with McDermid’s retelling, which I think was very well done.

I enjoyed the modern twists that were put in. The use of the Edinburgh festival as a setting for the action before Northanger Abbey was clever and the modernisation of Catherine’s obsession with gothic horrors in the original into Cat’s obsession with vampire novels was seemless. Although we’re probably a little past the vampire phase now in YA it would be easy to imagine the book taking place a couple of years ago in the height of the Twilight-era.

Overall I thought this was an enjoyable read and McDermid has done a good job. The main problems with it stem from the fact that some themes in Austen’s novels just don’t translate to modern living and because McDermid chose to stick so rigidly to the original plot they end up seeming a little out of place. Even so this would be a good introduction to Austen for anyone who felt they couldn’t get along with the language of the original or maybe as an introduction to Austen for a younger reader.

Australia [DVD] [2008]
Australia [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Nicole Kidman
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 2.99

56 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful old-hollywood epic, 15 Feb 2009
This review is from: Australia [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
The reason this film got bad reviews was simple... people took it the wrong way. Some reviewers were saying that people were laughing in the cinema at the beginning, well so was I. Infact I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes, because it's funny. It's INTENTIONALLY funny. Baz Luhrmann himself stated that he tried to put a bit of everything in this film including "high comedy" as well as high drama. If you've seen Baz's films before and loved them then you'll love this. Like Moulin Rouge, it begins humourously before taking you through a rollercoaster of emotions to moments of extreme sadness and tension. It looks beautiful and it's played beautifully by all of the actors. Basically this is Baz Luhrmann's nod to the old classics, it's reminiscant of "The African Queen" and "Gone With The Wind" and has obvious nods to "The Wizard of Oz". If you think they don't make films like they used to, this is highly recommended. Don't take it as fact, just let yourself enjoy it and you'll soon be swept along with the story.

Beautiful Awkward Pictures [Australian Import]
Beautiful Awkward Pictures [Australian Import]
Price: 54.39

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just beautiful..., 16 July 2007
Who ever knew Toni Collette could sing like this? I checked this out after seeing her do a cracking rendition of Children of the Revolution on Live Earth and being quite shocked at what a good singer she was. Even more shocked to find out that she fronts a band and writes all her own songs. I've always liked Toni as an actress, Little Miss Sunshine especially made me a fan, but wow she has such a beautiful voice. The songs on this album are great. When I heard 'Look Up' for the first time I couldn't stop playing it or get it out of my head. 'Beautiful Awkward Pictures' and 'Vitamin Pills' another two of my favourites, just sent shivers up my spine the first time I heard them. I'm so glad I discovered this!

The Butterfly Tattoo
The Butterfly Tattoo
by Philip Pullman
Edition: Paperback

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant!, 19 Dec 2003
This review is from: The Butterfly Tattoo (Paperback)
When I read this book I thought it was brilliant. Philip Pullman is a spectacular storyteller and in my opinion this is one of his best. Did you know that this was one of his first books published? Whenever I mention it to my friends they say they have never heard of it and many people haven't as it is no way near as famous at 'His Dark Materials Trilogy, but just as good. Yes, the ending may be slightly predictable but that should not put you off reading it, it is compelling and beautiful. One of my favourite books of all time.

Private Peaceful
Private Peaceful
by Michael Morpurgo
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Private Peaceful- A book of genius, 15 Dec 2003
This review is from: Private Peaceful (Hardcover)
When I first read Private Peaceful earlier this year I was blown away by it's powerful structure and surprising ending. This book is one of the best I have read in a very long time and will keep you hooked all of the way through. It is the type of book that you just cannot put down, so much so I finished it in the same night I started it. The language is simple but effective and the writing will bowl you over, whatever your age. This book really makes you feel, feel for the young boy, Tommo, and exactly what it was like for him and his brother in those trenches fearing for their lives every day. You feel that by the end of the book you know these characters and that you've been through it all with them and that is what makes you feel affected by what happens to them. Only a truly good book does that and I recommend this one to anybody of any age with any reading ability. A compelling read...

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