The Beach by Alex Garland – Smaxx Review

Dear reader,

I have a confession to make. And I’m quite ashamed to tell you all. But it’s something that I really have to get off of my chest.
Okay, here goes nothing.

I did not read the book.

So, that’s that. Now please let me explain. Thanks.
I started reading it and on August 22nd I was still only on page 57. I tried reading it, I just couldn’t do it. And it wasn’t the story, cause that was actually not that bad. It was just that it didn’t really tickle me. Is that the right way to put this?

But to be fair, I did download the movie. I watched it, so I could write this review and really tell you all what I thought of it. Now, I know it’s not the same, that became clear to me right at the beginning. But still, I guess the plot is the same and everything.

It’s about a guy named Richard and he’s traveling all by himself. He stays at some sort of hostel where he meets this guy Daffy. Daffy is a bit weird, starts talking about this beach which is really some sort of paradise and then they go to sleep. Alone, that is. Sorry if that sounded different.
The next day, Richard finds a note on his door. Only, it’s not a letter, it’s a map. Richard and his French hotel-neighbors go on a trip to find this island and then it gets weird.

Now, I don’t know if it gets weird too in the book. But I really don’t know what to think of this all. So I think it is safe to say that this is my least favorite entry of our Smaxx adventure. Sorry, Maxx. I really tried, but it just didn’t work for me. I promise that I don’t do this very often. I normally finish books, but there are just a few that I can’t get into.

Sorry that this ‘review’ wasn’t really a review. But when I say it gets weird, it really did. If you get curious, just go watch the movie and see it for yourself. Richard is played by Leonardo Dicaprio, so you might want to check it out anyway. He’s really good!

So, let’s hope other books will be more suited for me. See you next month!

Much love,

Sam

Smaxxpoints:
Hele Smaxx

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Love letters to the dead

Dear reader,

I picked this book for June (and July as it seems) because I saw so much about it on Tumblr. I didn’t really know what to think about it so I wanted to give it a go.

Now, I really don’t know what Maxx thought of this one, cause last time we talked about Smaxx she hadn’t finished it, and unlike last time, I really don’t know.
But I do know that I didn’t think it was going to head this way.

This story is about a girl who gets an English assignment, the entire class has to write a letter to a dead person. She writes the letters, but they aren’t really letters. They’re more like diary entrees, but with a different name at the top every time.

The way it was written, with the letters and stuff, it made me think of Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Anyways.. I actually really liked this book. I think it shows that even though people don’t act like it, there might be more behind their smile.

See you next month with a new book.

Much love,

Sam

Smaxx Confession & Update

Dear reader,

Maxx and I have a confession to make..

The last few weeks we’ve both been very busy with school, internships and I’ve been ill as well. And on top of that we are both also very busy in July. I don’t know what Maxx will do, I hope she’s going to rest for a bit. But I’m doing Kermis FM again, so I won’t have any time to read for about three weeks. This is why we both still haven’t finished reading our book for June. Bad girls, I know. Sorry!

So we’ve decided to read our current book (Love letters to the dead) in June and July. I know, I know, we made a deal to read one new book every month, but we’re just not going to make it.

This means that Love letters to the dead is our Smaxx book for both June and July and in August we’ll read a new one, chosen by Maxx.

So that’s all on this Confession & Update and I will speak to you soon.

Much love,

Sam

Billy and Me

Dear reader,

This book has been on my ‘to read’-list for quite some time. I was so happy when Maxx handed me this book, and may I add, without confetti! I think she learned her lesson.

Billy and Me is about Sophie May, an ordinary girl from an ordinary town who finds herself a not so ordinary boyfriend. And that boyfriend has an even less ordinary lifestyle.

Now, some may say that this book is just a well written fan-fiction that’s been made into a book. But as Giovanna herself is maried to McFly’s Tom Fletcher, I wondered if some of this is based on her own life. At the end of the book she tells us in a Q&A that the idea of it all is indeed based om her own life. But she also says that the celebrity girlfriends are seen in a certain way by the media. She wanted people to read about the different sides of heaving a famous boyfriend.

I think Giovanna did a good job. Yes, it looks just like fan-fiction, but I did like it. An easy read with a lovely plot. But I wonder what Maxx thought about it. I have a feeling that this book was not really her cup of tea, but I could be completely wrong. Although, I don’t think I am.

So Maxx, finish this book and let me (and everybody else) know!

Much love,

Sam

The curious case of the dog in the night-time

Dear reader,

I think this book is a bit like Marmite. You either hate it or you like it. I can tell you that I loved reading it. It reads very simple and that’s because it’s supposedly written by an autistic boy, Christopher.

Christopher is good friends with the neighbour’s dog, but one day he finds it dead in the garden with a pitchfork in its stomach. Christopher starts an investigation and questions everybody in his street. Everything he does, he writes down in a book, this book. But about halfway through, not everything is what it seems.

Some people might say that Mark Haddon is an inexperienced writer, because this book is so simple. I can’t really judge this, as I have never read anything else by him. But I do think he just really wrote from this autistic boy’s perspective.

Apart from the ending, I really liked it. I just didn’t like the ending, because there wasn’t one. It just stopped.

So if you are looking for a new adventure and you don’t mind reading simple books, read this!

Maxx, I’m looking forward to hearing your opinion. So I’ll see you on Saturday!

Much love,

Sam

Internship, Sweet revenge & Books

Dear reader,

It’s been a while since I last ‘spoke’ to you, so let’s get started.

I got myself an internship at RTL Boulevard, the biggest showbiz television programme in Holland. I got it and I threw it away again. The work was great and the team I worked with was amazing. For years I said I wanted to work there, but sadly, it didn’t work for me. So now I’ve gotten myself a new internship at the local newspaper and in the first week I’ve already made it to the front page!

Narcissen

Maxx and I are still doing the Smaxx-Project. Today I gave her our book for March, and let’s say it was very shiny. Let’s say I got my sweet revenge as she has given me five books filled with confetti. Thanks Maxx.

stars1 stars2

I am changing my reading routine. I always picked a book at random and started reading. From now on I’m going to do that differently. From now on I’m reading my books from A to Z as I’ve got way to many books that I haven’t read yet. So, starting this week with our new Smaxx book and then it on to my shelves, starting with The Day After Tomorrow by Allan Folsom.

tccotditnt TDAT

Also, I went to see James Arthur in concert in Amsterdam, but it got cancelled last minute. Not kidding. Five minutes before opening the venue they showed up with these posters telling us that James was sick and that the concert was moved to April 14th.

JA

Oh and by the way.. This clock is now mine. How cool is it?!

clock

Much love,

Sam

It’s kind of a funny story

Dear reader,

It’s the end of February and that means that yet another Smaxx-month has passed. So let’s review another book.

In our little Smaxx world, February was all about this book; It’s kind of a funny story, written by Ned Vizzini. The cover says that this is a very important book and I can only agree. In It’s kinds of a funny story the author gives you a quick peek inside the head of a person who’s dealing with a depression. Not a chance you get very often.

I have to say it was very good, but also very confronting. I really recognized myself in some ways. His train of thoughts, the distress.. that scared me a bit sometimes. But the way Craig (the main character) dealt with this all was very inspiring. Let me explain.

When a person is depressed, they often don’t see the good sides of life anymore. And when everything in their lives turns to black, there’s no stopping them anymore. They kill themselves if they dare. But not Craig. Craig is so stressed about his school stuff and his future that he wants to throw himself of the Brooklyn Bridge. The easy way out. But he stresses even more when he doesn’t know what to do with his bike.
He takes one of his mom’s books How to survive the loss of a love and looks up what to do when feeling suicidal. He then calls the suicide hotline and they tell him to go to the hospital. And before he knows it, he’s admitted himself to Six North, adult psychiatric.

And I think this is so brave. There aren’t many people who think that clearly.

I do have to say. When I was about halfway through the book, I started to recognize this story. It turns out that there’s a movie based on this book. And guess what.. I’ve seen that movie.

So if you don’t like reading, you could always watch the movie. I’m being real here. Do it. Watch it. Read it. Live it. It ís important to know what a depression can do to a person. And I know that suffering from a depression is different for everyone, but at least it’s a start. There should be more of these books, just to get people to understand.
And this is real. Ned Vizzini wrote this a week after being released from his own Six North.

So all in all, I think this is one of the most important books on my shelve.

Maxx, I hope you feel the same way I do. I really hope you enjoyed my choice of books for February and I will see you in March!

Much love,

Sam