(not so) Recently Watched.

Alien Covenant (2017)
'Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, members of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think to be an uncharted paradise. While there, they meet David, the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. The mysterious world soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.'
I feel like this was a pointless addition to the Alien franchise- it just threw up a load more questions and kind of messed up the timeline. It looked great but there was no substance. 2/5

Ghost in the Shell (2017)
'In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: a human who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world's most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people's minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that her life was stolen instead of saved. Now, she will stop at nothing to recover her past while punishing those who did this to her.'
I have never read the manga so am totally ignorant to the source material but I really enjoyed this. To be honest I do like most ScarJo films and this was such a visually beautiful film. I also enjoy anything set in the future and anything featuring androids so this kind of ticked all the boxes for me. 4/5

The Girl on the Train (2016)
'Commuter Rachel Watson catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of her train. One day, Watson witnesses something shocking unfold in the backyard of the strangers' home. Rachel tells the authorities what she thinks she saw after learning that Megan is now missing and feared dead. Unable to trust her own memory, the troubled woman begins her own investigation, while police suspect that Rachel may have crossed a dangerous line.'
I was underwhelmed by the book but was interested to see how it was adapted to film. It turns out I preferred the book! For some reason it was moved from London to New York and I felt like Emily Blunt was a strange choice considering how the character was described in the book (more fat actresses please). 1/5

Guardians of the Glaxy Vol.2 (2017)
'Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries from invaders. When it is discovered that Rocket has stolen the items they were sent to guard, the Sovereign dispatch their armada to search for vengeance. As the Guardians try to escape, the mystery of Peter's parentage is revealed.'
Although not at the height of the first one this was plenty of fun. I like that we got to see more of Nebula and Yondu but I think Drax is my favourite and loved his scenes with Mantis. 3/5

Wonder Woman (2017)
'Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot who tells her about the massive conflict that's raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.'
How long have we waited for this?! One of the greatest and most iconic superheroes of all time finally gets the film she deserves and it was brilliant. A perfect mix of story, effects, humour and action, I loved it! It was very special to finally see Diana get her origin story and it was also great to have it directed by a woman. I am already pumped for the sequel. 5/5

The Mummy (2017)
'Nick Morton is a soldier of fortune who plunders ancient sites for timeless artifacts and sells them to the highest bidder. When Nick and his partner come under attack in the Middle East, the ensuing battle accidentally unearths Ahmanet, a betrayed Egyptian princess who was entombed under the desert for thousands of years. With her powers constantly evolving, Morton must now stop the resurrected monster as she embarks on a furious rampage through the streets of London.'
I took my Dad to see this as a Fathers Day present and oh dear god it was terrible. The trailer made it look like it could be a decent entertaining film (despite having Tom Cruise in who I hate...) but seriously the trailer had the best part in it- the plane scene. Other than that it was a cheesy mess of Cruise running inter sliced with a few one liners and PG violence. As my Dad put it perfectly: "It was a Nicolas Cage film without Nicolas Cage". At least I have a winner for worst film of 2017! 0/5

Book review: Evening Primrose by Kopano Matlwa

'When Masechaba finally achieves her childhood dream of becoming a doctor, her ambition is tested as she faces the stark reality of South Africa's public healthcare system.

As she leaves her deeply religious mother and makes friends with the politically-minded Nyasha, Masechaba's eyes are opened to the rising xenophobic tension that carries echoes of apartheid.

Battling her inner demons, she must decide if she should take a stand to help her best friend, even it comes at a high personal cost.'

Written in the style of a journal this is a powerful read that follows Masechaba as she trains and qualifies as a doctor in South Africa.

We get insight into the health system as Masechaba struggles to do a good job with limited resources and also of the race and xenophobic tensions that she finds herself the centre of, after befriending a fellow doctor from Zimbabwe who opens her eyes to the politics and gives her motivation to try and do something about it- with devastating consequences.   

The book was a short quick read, but quite an intense one. I really felt for Masechaba and what she was going through and often it was hearth breaking to read. The book was beautifully written- I felt like the journal/ diary style added a certain intimacy to it- I was reading the innermost thoughts of this woman as she spoke frankly about her life. 

I highly recommend this book, it gave me an insight into a country I don't know a great deal about and also brought an important female voice to fiction- a marginalised woman facing her demons and rising above them.

Evening Primrose is out in hardback on the 27 July, you can buy a copy here

*Thanks to Veronique at Hoddar for providing me with a copy of this book for a honest review.

June reading round up.

Nina is not OK by Shappi Khorsandi
'Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn’t?
Nina’s mum isn’t so sure. But she’s busy with her new husband and five year old Katie. And Nina’s almost an adult after all. And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before, then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. Nina’s drunken exploits are the stuff of college legend.
But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can’t help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her…'
I don't know why but I feel like this book should have been set in the nineties! I kind of enjoyed it but at times found the over conversational writing style a little annoying. I feel like it covered the subjects of addiction, growing up and sexual assault well though and the characters were interesting and likeable. 3/5

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
'On a cool June morning, Isa Wilde, a resident of the seemingly idyllic coastal village of Salten, is walking her dog along a tidal estuary. Before she can stop him, Isa s dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick and to her horror, she discovers it s not a stick at all but a human bone. As her three best friends from childhood converge in Salten to comfort a seriously shaken-up Isa, terrifying discoveries are made, and their collective history slowly unravels. Tackling the slipperiness of your memories, the relativity of truth, and the danger of obsessive friendships, The Lying Game is a page-turning mystery with compelling characters and electric prose, resulting in an unputdownable thriller.'
I am a huge fan of Ruth Ware's first two books (they're amazing) and as soon as my pre order arrived dived straight into this book. Unfortunately I was really sad to find this a bit of a let down. The writing was great but the suspense and and twists of her first two books just weren't there and I felt like there was too much filler about the protagonists baby- when it was crying, when it was hungry, when she fed it blah blah blah. We get it she had a baby! The characters were no way near as interesting or fleshed out as they were in her other novels. I will still look forward to her next offering and hope this is a blip! 3/5

Who Runs the World? by Virginia Bergin
'Sixty years after a virus has wiped out almost all the men on the planet, things are pretty much just as you would imagine a world run by women might be: war has ended; greed is not tolerated; the ecological needs of the planet are always put first. In two generations, the female population has grieved, pulled together and moved on, and life really is pretty good - if you're a girl. It's not so great if you're a boy, but fourteen-year-old River wouldn't know that. Until she met Mason, she thought they were extinct.'
The blurb to this sounded amazing and I was expecting an exciting dystopian read with feminist overtones. Dear oh dear Bergin really failed with this. Apart from the writing which was filled with constant question marks? and exclamations, which drove me mad!!!! She really didn't do feminists any favours with this. The book made out without men the world was some kind of medieval utopia where everyone just hugged it out and there was no wars of violence or crime. Also for some reason they ate insects and rode around on horses. The book was filled with man hate and she could have tried to make so many interesting points with this book but just didn't. (and FYI I do consider myself a feminist). Also the main character was just plain annoying! 2/5

Hopefully I will have a better reading month in July! 
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Fable and Black haul.

I recently discovered an indie brand through Instagram who design and sell all sorts of bookish treats and couldn't resist putting an order in. To be honest it was near impossible to choose what to buy as I wanted pretty much everything but here is what I chose...

I can never resist lucky dips and this literary lucky dip box was jam packed with goodies. It was also only £9.95. Inside I got a beautiful Bookworm coaster, a Books patch (that I wanted to buy yay!) a sticker,  Alice in Wonderland bookmark pack (which are already being put to good use), some bookish badges, cards and a lovely notebook. 

I'm very very happy with what was inside and think it is amazing value too. The design of everything is just perfect.

This patch was probably my favourite item and I can't decide whether to attach it to my jacket or bag...

I also purchased this pastel print. It comes on thick card and will look brilliant framed :)

I will almost certainly be making another order from them soon (I already have my eye on the sticker pack, pins and prints) and highly recommend checking them out!

Fable and Black website