Tuesday, 25 February 2014

What's in My Fab Bag! (February 2014)

Well, this month's Fab Bag is here. And just like last month, I'm disappointed. 

The bag is red with checkered black prints. Nothing too special. This time I received three products + one V-day bonus + one free sample.

Here's what I got.

1) Tommy G Dual Lipstick (Fuchsia, #12): 
This product claims to be the deepest pigmented, longest lasting product I've ever tried. And it's true. I can't get it off my lips!!
That would be a good thing, except for the fact that the colour is repugnant. In my questionnaire I clearly stated my preference for natural pink lip colours. As for this colour.... well, at least Joker approves.

A dual lipstick, the shade is too much but the gloss is too little. It's also extremely drying.
Maybe I can use it as a nail polish. The only question is if I'll ever be able to get it off.....
The lipstick applicator is bent and the tube leaks a little. So it's not just about the colour; the product is faulty as well!

This product, I dislike. 

2) Vivel Cell Renew Fortify + Repair Kit:

Firstly, it's Vivel. I can buy this from the street. Secondly, I already have free samples from magazines lying around my house, unused. And thirdly, all three products expire in the next 2-4 months!
The kit consists of a moisturiser, a body lotion and a hand cream. I doubt I'll make any use of this product. It's not worth messing up my beauty/skincare regime just to use the kit before its expiration.

This product, meh. 

(Now let's move on to the smallest products in the world!)

3) Thalgo Smoothing Brightening Fluid (2 ml):

I know Thalgo is a very reputed brand, and I'm sure its products are more than satisfactory. But a sample this small just isn't enough to judge the effects!
Although I'm sure this fluid could dramatically enhance the radiance of my skin, sadly there won't be enough for a second application!

This product... too tiny to judge. 

4) Nails Inc. Nail Lacquer (4 ml):

I've never heard of this company. It definitely isn't a luxury brand! I can't find the name of this shade anywhere on the bottle. It's a metallic gold colour that looks good on metal, yes, but not on my nails. That being said, the application is quite easy even with my shaky fingers.
However, I don't see myself using this product at all.

This product, meh. 

I'm not going to say anything about the V-Day bonus, a Cookie Man cookie, because I haven't even opened the packet yet. I'm not a fan of Cookie Man.
Other subscribers got full-size products or medium sized samples. I wish I'd received the Organic Surge shampoo for dry hair, but instead I get four products out of which I will only use one. And even that product will be used up with one application.

My subscription ends in April. Unless the next two months prove to be different, I won't be renewing my subscription.
So Vellvette, thanks for not reading my questionnaire at all.

Are the rest of you satisfied with this month's bag? Sound off in the comments below. See you later, beauty Geeks! :)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

'UnWholly' (Unwind Dystology, #2) by Neal Shusterman: A Book Review

That is possibly the creepiest book cover of all time. Just look at it. Brrrr. 

Well, I'll be honest. I wasn't really in the mood to read the sequel to Unwind, because the first book had sort of... disappointed me. But I still wanted to know what happens next in the revolution with Connor, Lev, Risa and the rest of the Unwinds. 
Surprisingly, this book was not a disappointment. At all.

Here's the plot summary, courtesy of www.goodreads.com:

"Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simltaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.
Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.
Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live."

Fear not if you haven't read Unwind, for this will be a spoiler-free review.

Connor and his band of Unwinds, or the self-proclaimed 'Whollies', are now learning to survive after the events of the Harvest camp revolt. Connor, now the leader of the Whollies, finds himself trapped in this life of responsibilities and revolution. 
Risa isn't in a very happy place, either. Connor no longer has time for her, and she feels helpless in her new 'situation'. 
As for Lev... ah, Lev! Hands down, my favourite character. He was interesting in the first book, but in this sequel he's a real delight! Made famous by the revolt, Lev is now a leader in his own ways - and he doesn't like it at all. 
In the first book, there was no justification for unwinding, but here we are given a (somewhat) valid reason for the procedure that paves the way for future sequels.  

One thing I loved - between chapters, as a form of 'break', we are shown advertisements and news reports for and against unwinding. Social media is a key component here, and I love that! Sometimes, after the report, a link is provided to access more information. And the links are actually valid. There's so much thought put into this story.

A variety of new characters are introduced in this book. Cam, the boy who technically doesn't live; Miracolina, a tithe who willingly wants to be unwound; Starkey, a 'Wholly' with a thirst for power; and Nelson, an ex-Juvie cop who is now an illegal parts pirate. At least half of the story is spent introducing us to these characters and setting up the premises for the ending. I didn't mind reading about them because I was intrigued by Cam, a medical monster, and Nelson, the very cop who had been ridiculed by Connor in the first book. Starkey seems like a repeat of Roland, the bad boy from the first book. But Miracolina (what kind of name is that? It sounds like a disease!) ... I liked and disliked her at the same time. I loved the fact that she wants to be free and independent, and I hated the fact that 'freedom' to her means unwinding. Her interactions with Lev are funny! It's been a while since I've read about 'love-hate' friendship in dystopian fiction, so this was very refreshing. 

Speaking of interactions, let's talk about my favourite quotes from UnWholly.

“So," says Lev, as casually as he can, "you wanna dance?" 
"Do you believe in the end of the world?" she responds. 
Lev shrugs. "I don't know. Why?" 
"Because the day after that is when I'll dance with you.” 

He only wishes there were something that would heal the scars in his mind, which he can still feel. He sees his mind now as an archipelago of islands that he labours to build bridges between - and while he's had great success engineering the most spectacular of bridges, he suspects there are some islands that he'll never reach.

“Milestone! This is a momentous occasion," Cam tells her cheerily. "It should be witnessed by a friend."
She throws him an icy gaze, and he does a verbal back pedal.
"Aaaand since no friends are present, I'll have to do.” 

Neal Shusterman's writing is breathtaking when it comes to action, adventure and suspense... however it does fall short when there's romance involved. I know this book isn't a love story, but I'd still like to know how - and when - a character falls for someone else. We are simply told that he or she likes the other person, but there's no real evidence of it in the book. 

There is one scene towards the end of the book which I found very revolting. Somewhat graphic, the gore was a little cringe-worthy, at least to me. So if you plan to read this book, be prepared. 
Like the first one, there's no real cliffhanger-ending in this sequel. Obviously, not all issues have been dealt with; the war is yet to be won, but there is no sudden revelation on the last page of the story. 

But since UnWholly turned out to be so much better than Unwind, you can bet I'm going to read Unsouled. I'm still recovering from the events of UnWholly, so I might take a break and read some contemporary fiction for a while.

I'm going to go with 4 stars out of 5 for UnWholly.
I definitely recommend this series to all fans of dystopia or science fiction. So go ahead, read it, and tell me what you think in the comments below!

PS: Remember, kids - be good, and you won't be unwound. :)

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

'Unwind' (Unwind Dystology, #1) by Neal Shusterman: A Book Review

Say the word 'abortion' and a much-heated debate is guaranteed.
But author Neal Shusterman has found a solution to quell the pro-life and pro-choice arguments, once and for all.

Today I'm going to be reviewing the first book in the Unwind series. This is another young adult dystopian novel, although the focus is on horror, gore and war and there's practically no romance. This book is not for the faint of heart, mind you.
Here's the plot summary, courtesy of my favourite www.goodreads.com:

"Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.
The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive."

Alright, alright, I know what you're thinking: even in an eerie, dystopian world, a future like that just isn't plausible. Why would any parent want to unwind their child as 'punishment'?
Sadly, we are not given an answer to this question unless we assume that all parents turn into evil monsters in the future.

Let's hope our parents don't unwind us. Brrrr. 

At one point in the story, Shusterman talks about the population control measures in China, and I can't help but think that he could have used this theory to validate his dystopian world! Maybe abortion is illegal, but there's a strict one-child only rule, so parents must unwind one of their children before they turn 18. That makes sense, and also shows the helplessness of the parents in such a situation.
But no, Unwinding is common practice now because of the need for organ donors. Instead of curing patients, doctors choose to replace their body parts, and all those parts need to come from someone, right?

So yes, the premise of this story is rather unbelievable.

Let's move on to the writing, the storyline and the characters. The novel is written in present tense, with a third person narrative mode from the point of view of various characters. I've never seen a book written in this way before, but it's a change that I don't mind.
There is some romance, given that it's a young adult novel, but... it felt forced. I wasn't given any insight into the character's emotions, so it felt very sudden when the romance just bubbled out of nowhere in the story!

From the moment the book started, it had me at the edge of my seat. Though unrealistic, I really wanted to know more about this world, and the book really pulled me in. To quote my dear friend Augustus Waters, while reading this book, I felt like I was on a rollercoaster that only goes up!

The middle is fast-paced, but the ending is comparatively slower... the real action only happens in the last twenty-or-so pages, but there is no cliffhanger. You all know how much I love cliffhangers, right? They give me a desperate desire to read the next one in the series. This one didn't really do that.

As for the characters... I really liked Risa and Roland. Connor was a little typical... (good-looking bad boy who's actually very sweet) and I just couldn't connect with Lev. The Admiral's character intrigued me, and I spent quite a lot of time wondering who he really is and whether he's the hero of the story or the villain. The answer isn't given to us until the very end.

The quotes and dialogues aren't out of this world or something very special, but for tradition's sake, here are some of my favourite lines:

“In a perfect world everything would be either black or white, right or wrong, and everyone would know the difference. But this isn't a perfect world. The problem is people who think it is.” 

“You see, a conflict always begins with an issue--a difference of opinion, an argument. But by the time it turns into a war, the issue doesn't matter anymore, because now it's about one thing and one thing only: how much each side hates the other.”

“Most people have two emergency modes. Fight and Flight. But Connor always knew he had three. Fight, Flight, and Screw Up Royally.” 

I read most of this book at night, in the darkness, so I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared. This is a dark story, and some details are quite gruesome, so be prepared for that.

Unwind isn't the greatest dystopian book of all time - but it's also not the worst. The story and characters, with some development, can definitely win me over next time. Let's hope that's what the next book in the series, UnWholly, has to offer!

I'm going to go with 3.5 stars out of 5 for this one.
Not recommended for those with a weak stomach or those looking for a story with morals and/or love stories.

If you've read the Unwind Dystology, then go ahead and leave me a comment telling me what you thought of this series. No spoilers, mind you! :)

Until next time!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green: A Book Review

Welcome to yet another book review!

Let me be honest: this is my second time reading this book. It didn't make much of an impression on me the first time, but the movie is coming out this summer, so I thought I might as well read it again.
This time, I definitely liked it better.

The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS) is a cancer book. But more than that, it's a story about love. If you took away the cancer part of the story, there'd still be enough going on to fill up the pages.
Without further ado, here is the plot summary, courtesy of www.goodreads.com:

"Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten."

(Wow. That was possibly the shortest summary I've ever seen.)

 Hazel Grace Lancaster is your average teenage nerd girl. She's not the best-looking girl out there, but she's very smart; she doesn't have a lot of friends, just some people that she loves with all her heart; and she's very close to her family. 
Oh, and did I mention that she has cancer?

I liked the way Hazel thinks, but her thoughts definitely don't seem very teenage-like. Enter Augustus Waters, the soon-to-be love of her life (with a wooden leg), who also doesn't talk like a teenager. Now, I wasn't expecting them to say, "like, whatever!" after every word, but I doubt two people that young can be so philosophical - whether they're dying or not.

That being said, I loved reading their conversations, because they're so witty and thought-provoking. The characters are great. I could definitely relate to Hazel (minus the cancer part), and Gus is nice, but he's too... 'perfect' to be real. Good-looking, intelligent, muscular, funny, and sweet, all in one? I doubt that.
He is shown to be immensely arrogant, though, but I still don't find him realistic enough.

Then there's Isaac, who has to undergo surgery to remove his cancer, and ends up blind. Overly sensitive and sometimes a little annoying, he is nevertheless a true friend who almost made me cry at one point towards the end of the book. 

Peter Van Houten... he's the author of An Imperial Affliction, the cancer book that Hazel feels is her Bible. I didn't like his character one bit, mostly because of what he says about fictional characters - that they cannot exist beyond the scope of the novel. Once the story ends, they cease to exist (if they ever did). 

Well, being a lover of fanfiction and a writer myself, I have to disagree with him. Fictional characters are alive not because of the words in the book, but because of the lesson they teach us. They will impact our lives and we can go on learning from them even after the book ends.

John Green is a terrific writer. He can use words as a weapon to make you laugh or cry at the drop of a hat. Let's read some of my favourite lines from the book, shall we?

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” 
(This is how I feel about Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Divergent, Matthew Quick... but not TFIOS.)

"May I see you again?" he asked. There was an endearing nervousness in his voice.
I smiled. "Sure."
"Tomorrow?" he asked.
"Patience, grasshopper," I counseled. "You don't want to seem overeager.
"Right, that's why I said tomorrow," he said. "I want to see you again tonight. But I'm willing to wait all night and much of tomorrow." I rolled my eyes. "I'm serious," he said.
"You don't even know me," I said. I grabbed the book from the center console. "How about I call you when I finish this?"
"But you don't even have my phone number," he said.
"I strongly suspect you wrote it in this book."
He broke out into that goofy smile. "And you say we don't know each other.”

"You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” 

“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.” 

Hazel and Augustus talk again and again about the way cancer victims are perceived. They hate the sympathy and pity they receive, and they hate the assumptions that other people make about them. But then again, these two characters go on accepting Cancer Perks and contradicting themselves again and again.
Their love story, though sweet and beautiful, is perhaps meant only to blackmail us into crying about the sorrows of their lives.

I didn't cry at any point in the book - I almost did, but I didn't, in the end - but that's only because these characters were too perfect for me to really care about. I usually cry about everything (mention Mockingjay or The Deathly Hallows and I'll probably burst into tears) but this book didn't get that reaction from me, even though it desperately tried to pull me in.

I'm going to go with 3.5 stars out of 5 for this one. 
The writing is excellent, the characters are witty, but they are also unreal and there's too much emotional blackmail for me to handle.
But I still think this book is worth one read, at least, because the movie is coming out soon and it looks simply fantastic. Click here to see the trailer!

I haven't read any other John Green books, but I've heard that almost every story that he writes has the same, intelligent protagonists and the usual plotline. I've added his books to my To-Read list and I'll let you know what I think of his other works.

Are you a die-hard TFIOS fan? Let me know what you did and didn't like about this book in the comments below.
See you later, Geeks! 

Friday, 7 February 2014

'Attachments' by Rainbow Rowell: A Book Review

 Hello, dear Geeks!

You might remember me fangirling over 'Fangirl' in this review. So naturally, I wanted to pick up more books written by Rainbow Rowell so I could fall in love with some more fictional characters.

'Attachments' is Rowell's first novel. Unlike 'Fangirl', which is a New Adult (college) story, this one is strictly about adults and their lives.

Here's the summary, courtesy of www.goodreads.com:

""Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers - not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained - and captivated - by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?"

The moment I finished reading said summary online, I just had to add it to my To-Read list. I know most people will find the whole idea of the hero reading the girl's emails creepy, but... it really pulled me in. I really wanted to see how things would turn out for them when they actually came face-to-face with each other (if they did).  

Now, onto the review. 

Set in 1999, this story is told mainly through Lincoln's point of view, although here and there we are also given access to Beth and Jennifer's email conversations. 
I loved reading their emails so much that I really can't blame Lincoln for doing it! Their emails are raw, thought-provoking and extremely funny, so much that I started to hope for a chapter from their points of view, too. 

But the Lincoln-chapters are great as well. I'll admit that the beginning is quite slow. It didn't attract me as much as 'Fangirl' did, but once I got involved in the girls' lives, and Lincoln's too, I really started to enjoy this book!
As usual, Rowell's writing is crisp and witty. There are no actual jokes being cracked, but you'll still laugh out loud every now and then.

Truthfully, I didn't find Lincoln's character that believable. He's said to be a 'cute guy' and has got multiple graduate degrees because he loves school, yet he has been single for many years, spends his weekends playing Dungeons & Dragons and still lives with his mother! I'm sure such characters do exist somewhere in the real world, too, but... why does it take him so long to get over his first love and move on? For a man that mature, it doesn't make any sense. 

Beth and Jennifer's friendship is amazing. They are work-besties and they share every aspect of their lives with each other. While Beth is confused about her boyfriend's nonchalant behaviour, Jennifer is torn between her husband's want of kids and her own desire to stay, well, not-pregnant. Lincoln finds himself thinking about their lives, especially about Beth's, and is as curious about the next email as I was while reading. 

And once Beth starts talking about the 'Cute Guy' in their office, and Lincoln finds out that she's talking about him, hilarity ensues. I couldn't wait for them to have an actual face-to-face chat after that!

Oh, here are some dialogues and scenes that I loved:

"Why should every pregnant woman be expected to read the same book? Or any book? Being pregnant isn't that complicated. What to Expect When You're Expecting shouldn't be a book. It should be a Post-it: 'Take your vitamins. Don't drink vodka. Get used to empire waistlines.”

Ergo. Therefore. Thus… He technically, ethically, had no reason to keep reading their e-mail. Lincoln had told himself all along that it was okay to do this job (that it was okay to be a professional snoop and a lurker) as long as there was nothing voyeuristic about it. As long as he didn't enjoy the snooping and lurking.

That night, Lincoln got an email from Dave saying that Saturday's D&D game was off. One of their kids had rotavirus, which Lincoln had never even heard of. It sounded awful. He pictured a virus with rotating blades and an engine. 

One reason why I applaud Rainbow Rowell's commendable writing skills - she has managed to write a chicklit romance novel entirely from the perspective of a man, without coming across as lewd, perverted or weird, as such novels often do.

But somehow, I felt the ending was a little rushed. I liked the way it ended, but for two people who have never really met each other before, Lincoln and Beth were being too romantic. It just didn't seem realistic, especially not for Beth, who only has a physical crush on him. 
As I've mentioned previously, this is Rowell's first novel, and I could tell by the writing, story and characters that it was.

I'm going to go with 3.5 stars out of 5 for 'Attachments'.

Even though I definitely enjoyed reading this book, and will probably read it again soon, the slow beginning and too-romantic ending put me off a little. It was no 'Fangirl', that's for sure, but the charming Rowell has still made me proud. :)

Read this book and tell me what you thought of it in the comments.


Sunday, 2 February 2014

'The Silver Linings Playbook' by Matthew Quick: A Book/Movie Review

And the season of book reviews continues...

I finished reading yet another novel by Matthew Quick this morning. This one is actually the first book he's written!
I also watched the movie a couple of hours ago. 

Also an acclaimed, award-winning movie, here's the plot summary, courtesy of www.goodreads.com:

"Meet Pat. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending for him -- the return of his estranged wife Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent time in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat's now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he's being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he's being hunted by Kenny G!
In this enchanting novel, Matthew Quick takes us inside Pat's mind, showing us the world from his distorted yet endearing perspective."

I'd heard a lot about the movie, but I only realised it was originally a book when I read 'Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock'. As usual, I decided to read the book first and then watch the movie.

Let's start with the book. 

The book starts off very nicely. It's written from Pat's perspective, who has just returned home from 'the bad place' a.k.a the mental institution where he was sent after a certain incident took place with his wife. The only problem is that he has no memory of this incident, nor the events leading up to it. He believes that his apart time with Nikki will end once he becomes kinder, smarter and physically fit. This is why he now spends almost every waking minute working out and/or reading literature that his wife teaches in school. 

Pat is the kind of person who believes in silver linings - even though he knows that his marriage is crumbling (or has already crumbled), he refuses to believe that it's the end of the movie of his life. He is waiting for the silver lining, for the happy ending with his loving wife.

If you're planning to read American literature like 'The Great Gatsby' or 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn', you're going to have all the endings spoiled for you. Pat tells you how they all end, and he isn't too pleased. He can't understand why there's no silver lining in fiction.

Then he meets Tiffany, his friend Ronnie's wife's sister. Recently widowed, Tiffany, too, is shunned by society and branded as a 'crazy slut'.

At first, Pat doesn't like her one bit. Their first meeting isn't exactly fun. After that, she follows him around during his daily runs and doesn't speak a word to him.
But then it becomes a daily ritual that even he starts to look forward to. That's what I really loved about Pat and Tiffany's friendship. They're both so broken, but they don't need words to comfort each other. The mere presence of the other person is enough!

Pat also has to meet with his therapist, Dr. Patel, once a week. Dr. Patel makes me proud to be an Indian. I found myself enjoying his interactions with Pat and even looking forward to them after a few chapters.
Dr. Patel shares Pat's love for football and is also a fellow Eagles fan. Instead of just the typical therapist-patient relationship, they actually come together as friends.

As for Pat's relationship with his father... well, I sometimes didn't find it believable that his father could go from incredibly angry to ecstatic in just a few seconds, with each outcome depending on the victory or loss of the Eagles. Maybe he's just a football fanatic or maybe he's super moody. I don't know.

The book does get a little boring around the middle, partly because there is a lot centered around the Eagles and the football matches, and I don't really like reading about sports.
But once the third part of the book began... my goodness! I was practically glued to the book. I think the last third of the story is so much better than the first two. I saw some real character development, some much-needed comedic relief and a few emotional scenes (especially the ending!). There were twists I hadn't anticipated, too.

Here are some of the dialogues that I loved:

“Life is not a PG feel-good movie. Real life often ends badly. Literature tries to document this reality, while showing us it is still possible for us to endure nobly.” 

“In my arms is a woman who has given me a Skywatcher's Cloud Chart, a woman who knows all my secrets, a woman who knows just how messed up my mind is, how many pills I'm on, and yet she allows me to hold her anyway. There's something honest about all this, and I cannot imagine any other woman lying in the middle of a frozen soccer field with me - in the middle of a snowstorm even - impossibly hoping to see a single cloud break free of a nimbostratus.” 

“Looking into another person's eyes for an extended period of time proved to be a powerful thing. And if you don't believe me, try it yourself.” 

One part I really enjoyed was when Pat talks about the 'montage' of his life. Simply amazing to read those bits and to imagine the sequences in my head!
The ending, I loved. It was somewhat bittersweet, but it did have the silver lining that Pat always wanted the movie of his life to have. 

Sadly, the actual movie did not please me in any way. It was a complete disappointment.

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradly Cooper were amazing and played their roles very well, yes, but the script is so different from the book - and not in a good way - that I couldn't understand why anyone would want to ruin the characters and change a perfectly good story.

The dynamics of Pat and Tiffany's relationship are completely different here. In the book, they're both introverts, finding solace in each other's silence (at one point in the book, Pat even calls her his 'best friend'!). In the movie, they argue and curse and shout at each other so much that instead of seeming wounded and depressed, they just seem short-tempered and angry.
Pat's dad is an obsessive, superstitious man whom I still didn't care for. Dr. Cliff Patel is shown for not more than ten minutes. Ronnie and Veronica's marriage is dysfunctional, though in the book they are happily in love, which makes much more sense and also shows the stark contrast between their perfect marriage and the mess that is Pat's life.
I didn't like any of the characters in the movie. Not Pat, not Tiffany, not even Dr. Patel!

The dance competition and the football tournaments are given more importance than the real story of Pat finally understanding what love is all about, and coming to terms with his marriage ending.

No, this movie is not about silver linings. It is a romantic comedy with cheesy lines, colourful rainbows and pink unicorns. It was not as dark, deep or thoughtful as the book, and as the minutes went by, I found myself saying, "What the hell? What the hell?!" too often in my head.

I'm going to go with 4 stars out of 5 for the book, and 2.5 stars out of 5 for the movie. 

Both the movie and the book have excessive swearing and mild sexual themes, so I'd only recommend them for ages 15 and up. 

If you want a 'cute' love story that makes no sense considering how Pat is shown to be crazily in love with his wife Nikki, then watch the movie. Otherwise, read the book to know the real story of life - that you don't always get the perfect, happy ending that you wanted. But there's always a silver lining to every cloud. :)

Click here for more book reviews, and let me know in the comments below what you thought of the book and/or the movie.