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I watched the trailer for this so many times on the title roll on Netflix before actually deciding to watch it, I have to be in the right mood for a true story. The film is beautifully written and portrayed by all of its actors and I think they did the storyline proud. 


Penguin Bloom is based on the book of the same name, it tells the true story of Cameron Bloom and his wife Sam and their three boys. After a near fatal accident whilst holidaying in Italy leaves Sam paralysed from the waist down, she falls into depression, struggling to cope with the new life she has been dealt. Confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, sam finds it difficult to do previously simple tasks. Naomi Watts gives the audience an awe inspiring look at how the life you once had and took for granted can be taken away from you. 


When all seems to have gone dark for Sam, and her relationship with her family teeters on the edge, an unusual ally comes into their lives in the shape of a baby magpie. With her wings unable to fly but her spirit ever high, the little magpie named Penguin, teaches Sam that even though she can't do something she once could, she still has a life to live. 


The story then follows of Sam becoming more and more interested and concerned for Penguin, her husband and mother make every attempt to get her out of the house. Naomi Watts does a great job of portraying the emotional impact of paralysis on someones life and when she finally decides to try and make something of her life, Rachel House who plays the character Gaye, really brings its to the film. Gaye encourages Sam to try a different sport that even with paralysis she can still enjoy. 


Whilst the film centres around Sam's accident and her recovery, the film brings to light the feelings of one of Sam's children who is riddled with guilt. Throughout the film he is certain that had he not led his mother to the roof of the building that day, and had she not lent on the railing, the accident would never have happened. The storyline is picked up and dropped throughout however makes a good finale in the end and is acted out well by all. 


I enjoyed the movie and was touched throughout, if you want an inspirational and heartwarming watch, this ones for you. 






Okay, I will openly admit that I didn't realise this was actually a book before Netflix got its hands all over it. A book I'm still going to have to read even though I have now watched the film.


The film focuses on Vivian, a high school girl who has had enough of the inequality within her school. Her mother, played by Amy Poehler tells her of her own high school days and how they used to revolt against injustices about anything and everything. Vivian decides enough is enough and produces an anonymous zine and distributes it to the school via the bathroom stalls. The zine soon goes viral with girls agreeing with her every word.


The headmistress is apparently blinded and is true to form all about keeping the peace and even goes out of her way to tell Lucy that using certain words creates her 'more work' when she informs her she is being harassed by the high school jock. 


After watching the film I had to google what Moxie actually meant.. and for anyone else currently wondering like I was let me save you the googling. Moxie means "A person full of energy, pep, courage or determination".


The film is well put together with a very clear statement being made, maybe a little too over the top for my liking. Im all for a feminist speech but there are a few to many double standards being acted out in this one for me to fully love it. For instance the film makes a clear play on the fact women are judged on the clothing they choose to wear and how they look, however in the next scene there is a slow-mo shot of a guy wearing no shirt?.. 


My favourite character in Moxie isn't the lead its actually Lucy, played by Alycia Pascual-Pena. Her character portrayal was good to watch and her ideals and quotes really stuck out. She questions why she should put up with the bad boy in school trying to bring her down when all she's doing is every day things. 


"If you keep your head down, he’ll move on and bother somebody else". -Vivian
"Thanks for the advice, but I’m gonna keep my head up…high". -Lucy

I enjoyed the film and the idea of empowering young girls to have a say in the way they feel they are treated. However if your going to make a film, especially one aimed at feminism in this day aand age, its pretty important to make sure your on point throughout the whole thing. 






DESIGNATED.UGLY.FAT.FRIEND

Okay by the time this film had finished I spent the next hour scrolling through facebook weighing up who was a duff in our friendship groups. Cruel? you might think so, but I think after watching the film its not done intentionally, its the way of the world as we know it. 

Bianca Piper has one thing that no one else in her high school has, two incredibly hot best friends.. enter Jess and Casey. The three girls otherwise known as Bianca, Jess and Casey have been friends forever, but little does Bianca know what the whole school really calls her. She's the designated ugly fat friend, The Duff. After a night at a party when her neighbour, Wesley Rush played by the super hot Robbie Amell, clues her in on her title she decides enough is enough. Bianca sets out on a mission, with the help of her academically failing neighbour who she strikes a deal with, to turn things around.

Wesley takes her on a journey of learning how to love herself, how to talk to boys including the boy she's crushing on, how to dress by taking her too a department store where things take a turn for the worst and how to enjoy her first date, all while falling in love himself. 

Two Ivy Review:

I was pleasantly surprised, The Duff is my type of movie, teenage, chick flick, comedy, RomCom. The film is really funny but has that woman power about it that I really like. Where a female lead takes control and says screw you to society, I'm going to be what I am and I don't care what anyone thinks. I think deep down every girl wishes to be like that but society holds us all back, to afraid of what people might think about how we look, what we wear or how we act. The main leads are well played, Whitman remains edgy and smart throughout and the acting is really enjoyable and natural, a true high school scenario. The comedy value for this film is also right up there and anyone who says they didn't try and do the monster voice is a liar. 


An easy watch for a giggle on a Saturday night. 

★★★★★


Released: 31st July 2020
Publisher: Bookouture
Author: Drew Davies
Pages: 321 Pages

'How long does a coma last?' I ask. 'Days, weeks, months?' the nurse replies with a shrug, although her eyes are very kind. 'But on average?' She just smiles unable to give me an answer.

With or Without You is bought to us by Drew Davies, author of The Shape of Us and Dear Lily. Neither of which I am ashamed to say I have read, although they have been immediately added to my amazon wish list! His most recent novel is a heart warming read and grips at the strings of our own realities. Testing what we think we would do and what we might actually do given the same circumstances as Mrs Dixit. 

The first couple of chapters I found quiet full on, it was very mrs dixit did this and that and her and her husband are like this or that etc.. I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it, it felt quiet over loaded with information in third person. But I stuck with the writing style, and by the end of the first couple of chapters was completely engrossed in the story.

The book centres around Mrs Dixit and her husband, who has a car accident whilst at work as a taxi driver, what follows is a story about the struggles of inter racial marriages and the lives of their families or loved ones. When Mr Dixit ends up in a coma after his accident, his wife Mrs Dixit and his mother also Mrs Dixit have to share the same hospital room whilst visiting him, neither of which particularly like each other. 

Whilst Mrs Dixit fights for her rights as his wife and what she considers best for him, she's also struggling with her own life as she comes to realise what a small bubble they actually live in. After she befriends her neighbour upstairs, they embark on a mission to get her husband back. But the two women soon learn a lot about each other and become closer than they imagined. Mrs Dixit, learns things she didn't know about her previously quiet husband whist he is in the coma and realises she too hasn't been living the life she imagined she should have. 

The book is beautifully written and it really makes its reader consider their own lives and how they too are living it. Do we really know the people we are closest too, and what would we do to keep them safe and secure. Davies has delivered a wonderful story with so many twists and turns revolving around different parts of the couples lives. It goes places you wouldn't imagine the story going but ends all wrapped up with a satisfying ending. I like a story to end so that I am left fully understanding what happened, why and what will happen next for its characters even without a further book. Davies has accomplished this with all parts of the story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. 

I would highly recommend this book as an easy summer read with a wonderful story line. 


Released: 23rd July 2020
Publisher: Agora Books
Author: Cassondra Windwalker
Pages: 224

"You can call me Ella. You generally assign me a whole host of other preposterous monikers. I think the least imaginative name I've heard is 'the devil', but I'll answer to it if I must."

Idle Hands is the latest book from Author Cassondra Windwalker, many may not have heard of her like myself, I have only just caught on to 'Idle Hands' via a NetGalley request. The book centres around two characters, Ella, who we come to learn is no less than the devil albeit in real life form and Perdie an abused wife and mother struggling to get through each day of torture at the hands of her husband. 

The italic script paragraphs are cleverly narrated by Ella, the Devil. Whilst continuing the story, these paragraphs give insight into some of the reasons why we do things, that we wouldn't have actually thought twice about. We are taken on a story of Perdie's life and the decisions or choices she makes to best look after the health and well being of her children. I don't want to give to much of the story away in this review as I really did enjoy it, just know that not all is what it seems. If we made a choice in life and were given the opportunity to redo it, but have to live with a fate we knew wasn't right.. would we do it?

Windwalker has given us an incredible story here and I was surprised just quiet how good it really was. I couldn't put the book down and shared on twitter how annoyed I was at one point, to which I even got a response from Windwalker her self. This to me is the best thing for an author, one who interacts with her readers and engages with them and their views on their work. 

If your looking for an engaging read that will have you questioning your own choices then this book is right up your street. 9/10 for Idle Hands! The only improvement I would offer is that it were longer, I wanted to know more about the choice Perdie had made and how it turned out after she did. 

* I received an advanced reader copy from NetGalley but all views are my own *


Released: 17th September 2020
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Author: Lizzie O'Hagan
Pages: 368

'Everyone gives their friends advice when it comes to dating, but what happens when it all goes wrong?'

What Are Friends For, is a book set to be released in September written by Lizzie O'Hagan. The book centres around 2 main characters, Eve and Max. Also two sub characters, Eve's best friend Becky and Max's best friend, Tom. When Eve helps Becky try to find a different guy than her usual type on a dating app and Max also tries to help Tom find someone more serious than his usual one night stands, it is clear the two were going to come together. Eve writing for Becky and Max writing for Tom, they equally think their friends match would be better matched to themselves. 

What continues is a story of past and present turmoil for both sides, with different stories behind each character. But when Becky and Tom suggest hanging out as a foursome what could possibly go wrong, with Eve thinking Tom is the one for her from the messages Max sends online and Max secretly falling for the words written on the app to him by Eve, posing to be Becky. 

I really enjoyed this book, I was glad it didn't end up being just another love story. I liked the style in which it is written, how it separates the chapters between different characters. The story is different to books I've read before and I found myself constantly reading another paragraph even when I didn't have time to read. 

The story is very addictive, a little obvious in places, but it still makes you want to read on to find out if what you think is going to happen, actually does. The author has created a story in which two characters who don't think their in love actually are, in a way that I haven't seen written that way before, its a very 'will they / won't they storyline'. 

I really like Eve, one of the main characters, I could really relate to her. Wants to date, but doesn't really know how or if she has the time. Has past dad issues but doesn't let her world revolve around it and supports her best friend no matter what the outcome, even if its not in her own interests.

The author has given the characters plenty of background to keep the reader engaged too, not to much that it is centred around that but enough that you understand their point of view on different topics. 

A great story and a quick read, mainly because you cant put it down once you've started it!

* I received an advanced reader copy from NetGalley but all views are my own *


Released: 06th August 2020
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Author: Valeria Tong Cuong
Pages: 160

A split second decision, A terrible price to pay, Your life can change in a heartbeat!

For me a good book has to have a striking front cover, I'm very much one of those people that if the cover doesn't draw me in on the shelf I won't pick it up. Then once its done that, the blurb has to sell it to me to make me want to actually read it. Its even harder to choose a book to read when its not physically touchable, I'm also very much one of those people that likes to smell new pages.. not a weird person just a book person. 

So when I saw the front cover for this on NetGalley whilst I was scrolling through available requests, I did stop, I did read the blurb and I did end up requesting it. Obviously or we wouldn't be here about to review it!

While only a short story with 160 pages it gets straight into the action, I really enjoyed it from the first page to the last. The way the book is written fits really well with the fast paced story and the characters and their feelings are really well portrayed. 

The story makes you question yourself and your priorities and weather you would do the same in the situation Pax was put in. The book isn't a light read as it is full of choices, decisions, turmoil and regret. It covers an assault that makes you think about your own surroundings and safety, but it does enlighten with hope and love. 

'With his head thrown back and his eyes closed, the young man gives in to the joy thats taken hold of him. Im alive, alive, alive, he whispers.'

I struggled to put the book down once id started to read it, it had me wanting to know what would happen to Alex, would Pax tell them his secret? Would Emi discover his role in the reason her world is so screwed up? Would he be able to make his way back from something so traumatic? It even made me question how I would react if something so bad had happened to me or someone I loved.  

Unfortunately the ending is rather sudden and I expected more from it. There is definitely plenty of story left to tell from all three of the main characters, Alex, Emi and Pax. I'm hopeful for a second instalment from a wonderful writer, if only to clear up all my 'But what happens next?' issues.

Very cleverly written, brilliant short story and definitely worth a read.

* I received an advanced reader copy from NetGalley but all views are my own *

Thanks again to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advanced copy. 


Released: 11th April 2019
 Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
 Author: Candice Carly-Williams
 Pages: 400

Meet Queenie. Journalist. Catastrophist. Expressive. Aggressive. Loved. Lonely. Enough?

I didn't know anything about this book before I was given it to borrow from a friend, I had seen on her Goodreads she'd finished it but didn't put up a review. We usually have the same taste in books and things so I figured why not give it a go. The synopsis for the book isn't very forthcoming, it tells nothing of the story or what the book is about. 

Intriguing or lacking invitation?

Well I can only say I struggled really hard with this one, I usually like to read pretty much anything but this was just one of the rarities that didn't stick. I couldn't attach myself to the characters or the writing style. At points I was confused where in time I was reading as the chapters change mid way through, noted by a * but unhelpful in knowing weather your in the present or the past. 

I understood the story and what was happening but I just didn't feel engaged with it, whilst reading it I could feel myself becoming more and more uninterested. I felt sorry for Queenie at points but at other times felt she was just lazy and mardy and a bit poor me 'ish. I feel like there was more of a background to her which could have been told or explored and maybe its whats missing from the story I don't know?. 

Unfortunately this isn't a book I would recommend, its a shame as I think there was more of a story that could have been told. In the current climate with the #blacklivesmatter campaign going on, I wanted this book to really support the women, while it does with some things, its more about a girl who gets dumped by her boyfriend and then sleeps with every guy going rather than championing her inner girl power. 


With more than 500 movies, 350 series and 26 exclusive originals, there's more than enough to keep the whole family entertained.

Im sure along with the rest of the world you have heard the latest news, that Disney's release of their platform to rival Netflix has gone LIVE! They were holding a promotional deal of £49.99 for the year so of course I was going to pre order in anticipation of being able to watch every Disney movie in one place!

I expected release day to come with a lot of technical difficulties or a complete melt down of their servers due to the sheer volume of people trying to use it. I underestimated Disney of course as it all went amazingly!! I cannot believe the content available, the new Lion King, Jungle Book and Mary Poppins are all on there as well as some classics I didn't even realise were Disney, like The Mighty Ducks.

I have since watched TOGO which had me in absolute tears, as well as Captain Marvel and Iron Man. Along side all the Disney films, they have included Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic programs, there is so much content available you'll be watching for months.