24 Life Lessons In 24 Years

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Life is full of lessons. Some of them we learn early on in our lives whilst others take a certain amount of time, a varied amount of experiences or many mistakes to accomplish. During my twenty-four years of life I have realised that there is still so much to learn about this crazy thing we call life. However, I can also confidently say I have already starting to create a long list of lessons that I have already learned and will continue to use throughout my life.

1. Life is too short to be unhappy.
If you are unhappy with something in your life, it doesn’t matter if it is a relationship, a job or even the place you live, change it. One day, you will look back on your life and realise you wasted a lot of time doing things that you don’t enjoy. Only create space in your life for the things that matter and the things that make you happy.

2. Travel if you can
Now I haven’t even started on my long list of places I want to travel to around the world but external circumstances have prevented me from doing so. Once I am able, I will travel to India, Thailand, Spain, France, Germany, Finland, Japan, New York and all of the other amazing places on my list. Despite the lack of funds in the last few years, I still managed to visit Dublin, Edinburgh and Vienna. I can’t wait to travel the world with the one I love and one day it will, I just know it.

3. Surround yourself with the right people
This is an important one. I have had many people leave my life as quick as they entered it because I didn’t want to be surrounded by negative people. It’s hard to push away family members or friends but if they don’t support, respect and love you in the way they should, you will be better off without them. Your happiness comes first. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not tear you down.

4. Believe in the impossible
Remember when you were five and you believed that the moon was made of cheese and fairies really did live at the bottom of your garden? Who says you still can’t believe what you want to believe? When we grow up and become adults, we kill this part of our brains. We start to only believe what other people tell us to believe and we no longer have our own individual beliefs. I believe in mermaids, magic and aliens. Laugh at me all you want, say I’m acting like a child or that I need to grow up but it’s what I believe. I want to believe in a world where anything is possible, this mentality definitely helps me make decisions in my everyday life.

5. You only get one body, look after it
I sometimes reach for the doughnut instead of the apple and I really should go to more than one exercise class a week but I never give up on trying to live a healthier life. I want to be fit and healthy, not to look good but to really take care of my body. As the years pass and I get older, I’m starting to realise the importance of looking after myself physically. It may take me a while to reach my goal of eating healthy and exercising three times a week, but I’ll get there.

6. Don’t neglect your mental health
I have had many issues with my mental health in the past few years and I know how hard it is to accept the fact that you might need help. But your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical wellbeing. I’m never going to get rid of my anxiety disorder, it’s part of me. I just have to hope that in time, I learn new ways to manage it. I now know the signs to look for when it’s time to seek help from others.

7. Learn to laugh
Life can feel pretty serious when you’re an adult. Bills, work, families and money. It’s an endless stream of stress and responsibility. It’s easy to get caught up in it but don’t forget to smile. Laugh until your stomach hurts. Pull funny faces. Learn to have fun and really enjoy yourself.

8. A good cup of tea can solve most things
Bad day at work? Cup of tea. Problems with your family? Cup of tea. Feeling a little unwell? Cup of tea. Now, I know there is no magic in a cup of tea but it somehow makes you feel better. It feels comforting to hold a hot mug of tea when you are tired, stressed or sad. Look for the smaller things in life that bring you comfort.

9. Find time in your life for peace
It’s a hectic life and sometimes we forget to be still and enjoy some real alone time. Meditating has been life-changing for me. Whenever everything starts to build up, a few moments of meditation can bring me back to earth, make me calm and in control again. You don’t have to meditate to find peace in your day, read a book, have a long bubble bath or do some yoga.

10. Set yourself goals and work hard everyday to reach them
It’s important to set yourself goals in life, it gives you something to focus on and work towards. I like to set myself big dreams that will take years of hard work to achieve but I also give myself mini goals every day. It could be something simple such as: exercise twice a week, eat three portions of fruit a day or read more books. Goals and dreams are the foundations of a good life. Never lose your ambition, you are never too old to dream a new dream or learn something new. Remember that failure is a big part of success and if you do fail, pick yourself up and start again.

11. Find the beauty in life
It’s easy to race through life without noticing the small and beautiful things that happen every single day. No matter how bad my day is, I try my best to take a moment to appreciate my beautiful surroundings. Enjoy the colour of the sky, the trees, flowers, sunrises and sunsets.

12. A negative attitude will give a negative life
I have struggled with a negative mindset for most of my life. It’s hard to think positive and see the good in every situation, it’s taken me years or practice and sometimes no matter how hard I try, negativity wins. I try to surround myself with positive people, positive messages and regularly watch inspiring videos and listen to inspiring speeches to lift me up when I’m feeling down.

13. Don’t compare yourself to others
One of the many negative ideas that social media presents us with is that other people lead perfect lives. People only share the good moments in their lives and when your newsfeed is bombarded with happy families, holiday snaps and promotions, it can make you feel bitter about the lack of stability or progression in your own life. I have experienced this many times but I am learning to focus on myself and ignore everything I see on Facebook.

14. Love is happiness
Love is the most beautiful thing in this life. When the perfect person walks into your life, cherish them and tell them you love them every single day. I met the love of my life and my best friend when I was just eight years old. Years later we started dating and we’ve been together even since. Every day we tell each other how much we love one another and I never take him for granted. There are so many forms of love in life: relationships, friendships, family. Grab every opportunity to love and to be loved.

15. Don’t live with regrets
You don’t want to reach the end of your life and look back at all of the things you wish you had done with your time. Regret nothing. Always do what you want to do. Ignore what other people think and embrace your authentic self. Life is far too short to be hesitant. Do whatever it takes to be happy and successful, your future self will thank you for it.

16. Always learn something new
Education doesn’t end when you take off your school uniform. Life is a classroom, never stop learning and always encourage yourself to try something new. Travel the world, learn new languages, learn to paint and draw, learn to play the trumpet or the guitar, buy some books and learn about Greek mythology or Astrology. You’ll never know whether you’ll like something until you try it.

17. Not everyone in life is going to like you and that’s okay
You can’t please everyone, no mater how hard you try. I have this uncontrollable need to please people and sometimes I have to remind myself that not everyone in this life is going to like me and I have to accept that. Not everyone will have the same heart as me, I’ve come across many selfish and narcissistic people in my life that don’t see the world the same way that I do. We’re not all the same, that’s what makes life interesting. Just remind yourself that if people don’t like you, that’s their problem, not yours.

18. Plans don’t always work out
Life is unpredictable. I have learned to accept that things don’t always go my way. Unexpected things happen that I have no control over, the best thing to do when this happens is to deal with it and learn from the experience. Sometimes things happen for a reason and failure leads you to another path to success. I learnt that after years of rejection, that I was chasing the wrong dream, picking the wrong career for myself. This experience lead me to discover my passion for teaching.

19. Stand up for what you believe in
When we’re young, we think that our voice doesn’t matter and what we have to say is invalid because of our lack of life experience, this isn’t true. If you have a strong opinion about something, speak loud and proud. Stand up for what you believe in and don’t let anyone make you feel inferior. Be yourself and never let anyone negatively influence your faith, your opinions or your perspective on life.

20. Learn to forgive others and yourself
A lesson I have definitely learned in the last few years is that forgiveness never comes easy. Holding onto poisonous emotions such as hate, anger and resentment can send you spiralling down a road of unhappiness. As well as learning to forgive others for the way they have mistreated us, we must also learn in this life to forgive ourselves and be at peace with our past mistakes.

21. Enjoy the journey
It’s so easy to live in the past or focus on the future but if you don’t live in the moment, you miss all the wonderful things that are happening in your life. It’s good to focus on your big dreams and goals but don’t forget to enjoy the journey. I am learning that giving myself a few moments during the day to take a deep cleansing breath and allow myself to be in the present moment really helps me to focus on the journey, rather than the destination.

22. Believe in yourself, no matter what
If you don’t believe in yourself, then nobody will. People will treat you based on what you think about yourself. If you have no confidence in your abilities to succeed, then no one will give you the opportunity to reach your full potential. If you don’t believe that you are worthy of a good and happy life, then you will never achieve one.

23. Good things take time
I’ve learned in the last few years that good things take time and that patience really is a virtue. It’s frustrating when you life isn’t going the way you planned or the goals you want to achieve are still our of reach. However, timing is everything. Sometimes things happen for a reason and we are actually where we need to be, even if it doesn’t feel like it. I have to admit, it has taken me a long time to accept that the timeline of my life isn’t going to be how I imagined it. But I have to trust myself and know that if I want something badly enough, it will happen.

24. Gratitude is the key to happiness
When you don’t have a lot in life, it’s easy to feel bitter about it and shout from the rooftops that ‘life isn’t fair.’ However, there are a lot of things to be thankful for in your life; having a home, a wardrobe full of clothes, fresh food and clean water. If you think of a three things you are grateful for every day, it will enrich your life and bring you more happiness. The more you express your gratitude, the more things you will have to be grateful for. I believe in the law of attraction, that it is up to us what we choose to focus our attention on, think of the negatives and you will life a negative life. Choose positivity!

 

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Writers Write

There is nothing more frustrating for a writer than a blank page.

For the last few months there has been a lot of blank pages. I have made no progress with any of my writing projects. I haven’t settled on an idea yet for a novel, I’m not writing poetry or short stories. I’m struggling to write articles and I have to sit down and remind myself to constantly update this blog.

It’s like I have nothing to say. I try my best to write but the words don’t come. I sat down at my typewriter a few days ago. I started to write a short story. I got about ten lines into it when I decided that it was rubbish, I threw it away and sat there with my head in my hands. I was frustrated with myself and I still am. Why can’t I write at the moment? I feel like I have lost all of my confidence and I have no ideas, nothing.

Writers write but right now, I’m not writing. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I have tried everything. I have given myself time, I have tried to read a book to try and get inspired, I have tried writing prompts. Some writers have to feel pain or sadness to write, for me, I think I need to be happy. At the moment, I’m not entirely happy. It’s hard to explain. I feel tired but it’s a tiredness that cannot be fixed by sleep. I don’t find writing enjoyable right now and this is hard for me because writing has always been an escape. I feel like life is trying to bring me down but I have to try and stay positive.

One day soon I will pick up my pen and write, for now, all I can do is wait until that happens…

 

 

The Muse Has Returned

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For a while now I have been leaving my novel alone, not intentionally of course. I’ve been avoiding writing all together. I don’t know why I do it. I love to write. I feel better when I write. I ignore my compulsion to write. Why do I depriving myself of it? I’ve figured something out about my writing process though in the last few days. I can’t focus on just the one writing project. I blame university for that. I got so used to juggling several projects at once, short stories, poems, scripts and novels that I can’t help but do the same thing now I have finished my degree (I got a 2.1 by the way, go me!!). So now I’ve started a new poetry collection from scratch, a new short story collection and I’m carrying on with my novel. I don’t understand the impulse I have to do this but it’s worked, my muse has returned.

Today I have written two poems, I have three new story ideas for my short story collection and I have started writing chapter nine of my novel I Choose Life and it’s only 1pm! Hopefully this will be the end of my writers dry spell and I can finally get something done. I love the feeling of finishing a piece of writing but I have yet to complete an entire first draft of a novel. That will change by the end of the year. If I work hard, I can get my first draft done by the end of December. Most writers claim that the editing stage is the hardest but I think I might find that easier than getting the story written. The problem is, I question myself. I think about all of the things that I am going to change once I get to the second draft stage and I really need to focus on just writing the story from beginning to end.

I need to believe in myself like I do when I write short stories or poetry. Anyone who claims that writing a book is easy, obviously isn’t putting their heart and soul into it. Anyone can write words but it takes a truly disciplined person to be a writer. Although I sometimes lack motivation and give in to the negativity that tells me that my writing isn’t good enough I know that I have the strength to eventually start writing again. There is no way that I am giving up. I will finish the first draft of my novel. I might decide in the second stage of editing that I hate my story and I no longer want to pursue it, if that happens then I will still be pleased that I reached the milestone of writing a 50,000 word draft of a novel.

I’m going to leave it there because I have to get back to my novel. Then I have to write another article for Women Make Waves. Then I might start another short story this afternoon. My mind never stops. I might need another two coffees to help me but today is definitely going to be a great writing day!

‘The Naughty Girls Book Club’ By Sophie Hart Book Review

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I have never warmed to erotic fiction and I definitely didn’t join in with the fifty shades of grey phenomenon so when I heard that The Naughty Girls Book Club was put in that category, I almost didn’t read it. However, I gave it a chance and it’s proof that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, I wouldn’t call it an erotica novel at all. It’s a fun chick lit with a cheeky dialogue and sexy scenes, definitely my kind of book.

The story begins with Estelle, who decides to set up a book group in order to bring in more customers for her struggling business Cafe Crumb. As the first book club meeting ends with Estelle suggesting to the other members that they read an erotica novel, she soon realises that it is just what the members need to spice up their lives and her own. The sizzling choice of novels that follow inspire the group of shy suburban readers to shake off their inhibitions and discover a new side to themselves.

After a couple of chapters I was hooked on the story, the plot is fairly simple but the novel is character driven, which is why I could immerse myself in their world. The book was definitely not what I expected and although Sophie Hart was inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey, her novel has reached a pinnacle that E L James could never reach. The novel was well written for a start, it was entertaining, clever and had the right amount of heated moments scattered throughout, the story had a perfect balance of naughty and nice.

I loved that this book was about modern women who want to explore their female sexuality and the main reason why I couldn’t read Fifty Shades was because it was about a man objectifying a woman and I found it difficult to agree with the rest of the world when they called it ‘great literature.’ Sophie Hart’s novel on the other hand is evidence of a true talent to keep a reader turning the page.

I can’t wait for Sophie Hart’s new novel The Beginner’s Guide to the Birds and the Bees which is to be released in September, if it’s anything like The Naughty Girls Book Club, I’m sure I will love it!

Four Stars

‘Shadowing The Sun’ By Lily Dunn Book Review

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A gripping, dark novel about betrayal, sexuality and the loss of innocence.

Shadowing The Sun has dark beautiful prose, unusual characters and a gripping storyline. Dunn is an excellent writer and I will definitely be reading more of her work.

As an avid reader, I read a lot of books and only a few books leave a lasting impression. I often finish a book, place it back on my shelf and I then read another book, without thinking about it again. Shadowing The Sun was a rare find, after I finished the book, the story and the characters still had a lasting affect. The emotional roller coaster of Sylvie’s story gripped me and I still had a lot of unanswered questions after reading the book.

Shadowing The Sun revealed the terrible consequences of neglecting your children. I was moved by the essence of the story. It was written from the perspective of 12 year old Sylvie. An inquisitive, innocent girl who craved to be loved by her father. The point of view switches from her twelve year old self to present day and it is clear that whatever happened when she was 12 was still having a lasting effect on her present life.

Dunn achieved a perfect balance of naivety and innocence in the tone of the narrator. Sylvie was visiting her father’s commune in Italy for the summer with her brother Sam and her two friends Max and Josie. Whilst she was there her father was neglectful towards her, her father’s friend Jeet abused her trust and Sylvie learnt that things are not always what they seem.

The story showcased the shocking truths of how quickly innocence can be taken and how one summer can affect not only the present but impact the future too. Dunn also captured the feelings of being a teenager perfectly, the story was gripping and sinister at times but also had some light-hearted moments too. What I loved about this book was how Sylvie wasn’t judgemental, which is real to how children actually are.

With beautiful prose, the author created a smooth transition between the flashbacks of Sylvie’s childhood and the demons that affected her in her adult life. At the age of twelve Sylvie was caught in the shadowy space between being a girl and a woman, Sylvie was fascinated by the behaviour of her father’s colourful friends. The men were like predators, circling her, touching her, and constantly commenting on her looks. Sylvie’s vulnerability and innocence shines through very clearly because she doesn’t see that it is wrong for them to treat her this way.

Towards the end of the novel, everything is revealed and we find out that that adults in Sylvie’s life failed her when she needed them the most. They were completely unaware of the terrible things that happened that summer in Italy which explained why as an adult Sylvie found it difficult to trust and love her partner Jack.

We discover that she had chosen a career as a photographer, which is her way of taking control – ‘Now it’s me who’s behind the camera, no-one has to see me. I’m the one taking the picture now.’

Dunn crafts the crescendo of the ending brilliantly – adding in subtle clues and hints throughout the novel. This book really got under my skin and I found it a compelling read, the story and the characters have stayed with me ever since. Shadowing the Sun is a perfect choice for those who love a gripping plot.

Rating – 5/5

‘The Weight Of Silence’ By Heather Gudenkauf Book Review

weightsilenceThe Weight of Silence
By Heather Gudenkauf
MIRA Books (2009)
373 pages

‘A thrilling novel filled with lyrical prose and heart wrenching plot twists.’

RATING – 4.5/5 stars

Seven-year-old Calli Clark is sweet, gentle, a dreamer who suffers from selective mutism brought on by tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler. Calli’s mother, Antonia, tried to be the best mother she could within the confines of marriage to a mostly absent, often angry husband. Now, though she denies that her husband could be involved in the possible abductions, she fears her decision to stay in her marriage has cost her more than her daughter’s voice. Petra Gregory is Calli’s best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli has been heard from since their disappearance was discovered. Desperate to find his child, Martin Gregory is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professorial demeanor. Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.

The Weight of Silence was sitting on the dusty shelf of my nearest charity shop, unloved and used I decided to give it a chance. Judging by the title, the blurb and the image on the front of the book I knew I was in for some heavy content and that’s exactly what I got. The base of the story is about two little girls that are missing, throughout the book you also feel lost, scared and slightly helpless. I think it is the author’s job to create characters that are not just likeable but well rounded. Readers are investing their time into these characters, they need to feel for these characters and I believe that the author was successful in achieving this. I really loved the narrative of this novel, I felt that the best way to tell this story was through each character and it worked perfectly. I was a little skeptical at first when I realized that the novel was built up of small, short character diaries but I don’t usually like that type of narrative but it definitely worked on this occasion. The story is told in alternating viewpoints from Antonia, Martin, Calli, Petra, Deputy Sheriff Louis, and Ben, Calli’s brother. The story has a mysterious aura from start to finish and towards the end of the novel I could feel my heart beating fast, I was right there with the characters (I was that engrossed in the narrative.) The themes of the novel are fear, confusion, guilt and forgiveness. I really liked the fact that the woods is the core of the story, even when the girls are found the author returns to the woods at the end in Calli’s epilogue – which I thought was a nice touch.

Cleverly, the author caught me off guard towards the end of the book. Usually with mystery-based stories that have a whodunit scenario, the reader usually guesses about three quarters of the way through. As a reader, I thought I had it all figured out until I was side-wiped by the real suspect, who was barely a secondary character throughout the novel – very clever indeed! Gudenkauf’s writing style is clear, crisp and concise. The prose is almost lyrical, with plenty of juicy descriptions to enlighten the experience for the reader. Something I did notice was that some of the character views were in third person and some were in first person, although this must have been difficult for the author whilst writing, trying to keep a continuity throughout the novel, it actually worked overall. If there was one minor set back it was the pace during the novel. Sometimes I felt that the story was dragging, then it would speed up and then it would drag again.  Of course I was a happier reader when I was reading the fast paced segments but I also know as a writer myself how important the slow bits are for the story to progress.

Heather Gudenkauf does an amazing job of ratcheting up the suspense in the first chapter and keeping you on the edge of your seat all the way through to the end. I would have read this book in one sitting if I’d had enough time, but unfortunately my day job got in the way of my reading. It’s really a race against time as the families and sheriff try to find the girls. I really loved the sweet relationship between Calli and Petra,  it is very sweet and they definitely have a special connection. Petra met Calli after she’d already gone mute, and still she befriended her. This shows that Gudenkauf doesn’t just scratch the surface with her characters, she creates profound characters that have multiple layers to their personalities. A nice touch to the story is the moral that Petra saved Calli from obscurity by being her voice and in return Calli found Petra just in time.

One of my favourite passages in the novel was in the Epilogue at the end, narrated in first person by the main character Calli, it’s six year later and she reflects back. She talks about ‘finding’ her voice again. I think the imagery is especially strong on this passage:

I have never thought of it as ‘finding’ my voice because it wasn’t really lost. It was more like a bottle with a cork pushed deeply into the opening. I picture it that way often, my voice like some sweet-smelling perfume, sitting in some expensive-looking bottle with a beautifully curved handle, tall and slender, made of glass as blue as the bodies of the dragonflies I see down in Willow Creek Woods. My voice was just waiting for the right moment to be let go from that bottle. No, it was never lost; I just needed permission to use it again. It took me such a long time to figure out that I was the only one who could grant that permission, no one else. I wish my mother would understand this. She still blames herself for everything, and isn’t that a heavy weight to carry around?

The Weight Of Silence has been my favourite book this year, so far. An enthralling page-turner with characters that you can’t help but sympathise with. Beautiful lyrical prose and a satisfying ending – what more could a reader want!

A Change In Direction Or Just A Distraction?

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I know I haven’t posted in a while so here we go. First of all, I’ve made some progress with my book! I’ve finished the first draft of my prologue and started the first six pages of my first chapter but I’ve realised recently, that I don’t really have the ambition, the fire in my belly so to speak to want to write it.

Maybe it’s because I know how much work writing a book is and I don’t want to burden myself with that? Especially now I have a job and have that to occupy my time. I’ve decided to start a short story collection – hoping this will be the springboard of inspiration I need.

I already have one story that will be going in the collection called ‘Hush little baby’ and last night before I went to sleep the title of the short story collection popped into my head. I know the theme of which I am focusing on and it’s exciting because I have lots of different and original ideas.

I’ve decided to name the short story collection ‘Unloved.’ That’s all the information I have for now but I can’t wait to get started. I guess it’s okay to put the book on hold and focus on some smaller projects. I will keep you all posted with more details at a later date but for now I better stop writing this blog and go to work. Ciao 🙂

‘Norwegian Wood’ Book Review

When I first looked at this book, I assumed that the book was going to be dark and depressive by looking at the front cover. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I didn’t expect the romance, the humor and the different turns of events that occured in the plot. The story focuses on loss and sexuality, first loves and letting go.

The story follows the protagonist Toru Watanabe, who looks back on his days as a college student living in Tokyo. Through Toru’s reminiscences we see the development of his relationships. The two very different women in his life are Naoko and Midori. I noticed that the relationships he had with them were very unusual.

Also, I noticed that Murakami isn’t afraid to express the emotions and feelings through these characters that other authors wouldn’t necessarily approach. His language and use of narration is simply outstanding. I was thoroughly engaged in this story all the way through and I couldn’t wait to turn over the page and see what happened next.

I have to say this is one of my favourite reads of the year so far! It’s challenging to read at times but the narrator always had you in the palm of their hand. I also researched this author and found out that there is a Japanese film adaptation of this book but lacks the same empathy and structure. If you want to read a brilliantly written novel with lots of surprises then this is the book for you. I fully enjoyed reading this book and would definitely read it again!

I give it 5 stars!

‘The Hunger Games’ Film Review

I went to the cinema today to watch ‘The Hunger Games.’ I saw the trailer  about a month ago and I had already heard a few of the songs on the soundtrack. I don’t really know what my expectations of this film were but they were definatley exceeded. I loved the film because the storyline was strong and it keeps you on the edge of your seat.

The main protagonist Katniss Everdeen is a brave character who volunteers to fight in the hunger games for district twelve instead of her sister Primrose. The other main character Peeta Mellark is also part of the same district and without spoiling too much for you they also have a strong bond throughout the film. I loved the mix of elements displayed in the film, there were some parts that almost made you laugh but the sadness overshadows most of the film.

The ending is a surprise too and you know that the story doesn’t end there, I knew there was two other parts to the hunger games trilogy so I knew the film makers would end the story on a nice cliffhanger. The film is amazing and if you have a chance to go to the cinema I would go and see it. I usually read the book and then go and watch the film because the books are usually better.

In this case I watched the film first, I am going to go and buy all three books from Waterstones and hope to not be disappointed with the comparison to the film. The Hunger Games is the next big phenomenon and I know that fans will be praying that Catching Fire and Mockingjay are also made into films.

Rating – 5 stars

‘The Lucky One’ Nicholas Sparks Book Review

The second I finished The Lucky One I knew that Nicholas Sparks had created the perfect romantic story again. I have to admit I have a big addiction to romance novels like these… Stories that can pluck at your heart strings and bring tears to your eyes.  The Lucky one wasn’t the saddest of the Sparks collection of books, the ending did create the illusion of a bad ending at first though (If you read the book you will know what I mean by that).

I’ve read a lot of books by Nicholas Sparks and while it was not his best book I did enjoy it, as I always do. Once you get into the plot it is hard to put the book down. Sparks has the ability to keep the reader intrigued and emotionally attached to the diverse characters. We all want to see these character happy and together. However, The Lucky One was very predicable from the beginning.

I don’t know if it’s because I read a lot of romance novels and the couple always gets together at the end but I knew what was going to happen from the beginning. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, can you really have a love story without the typical cliche ending? The basic love story, boy meets girl and they fall in love with some twists and complications. I have yet to get sick of these romance novels because I enjoy reading them.

I really liked the character Keith Clayton in this novel, he wasn’t the typical antagonist. He was the main character Elizabeth’s ex husband and one of the narrators to the story. The novel was separated into different narrators, this portrayed the different points of views of the characters and I really liked this about this particular novel. Clayton is a very complicated character that the reader starts to hate as the story progresses. Sparks always has a balance of good and bad characters but in The Lucky one I feel he created a bigger contrast with the character Clayton.

I asked for a Nicholas Sparks book for Christmas and gave my family a big list and they chose at random. Weird how they chose The Lucky one. I saw the trailer for the film adaptation a few days after I reached the middle of the book. I will go and see the film but the expectation is always low because the book is always better in my opinion. The Lucky One is coming out on April 20th.

However, I would recommend reading the book first to avoid disappointment. Nicholas Sparks never fails to make you smile, cry and gasp with surprise. Sometimes you just need a feel good novel, if you enjoy reading romantic novels then Sparks if for you. I do think that some of his other novels are better, The Notebook, The Last Song and A Walk to remember are my personal favourites but I would still recommend The Lucky one.