Book and Film Review: Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom

Molly's Game by Molly Bloom review

Again, a slightly different review. My first review was of a trilogy and now I’m combing a book and movie of the same name. Confusing?  I hope not, either way I hope you understand why…!

Title:
Molly’s Game

Author:
Molly Bloom

Date Published:
June 24th 2014

Summary

Molly Bloom was the 26 year old woman behind the most exclusive, high stakes underground poker game in America, if not the world.

Review Summary

A well written and engaging true story of Molly Bloom’s rise and fall within the poker scene. If I didn’t know that this was a true story, I’d think it was rather fantastical and if not a cliche, but as true life, its an incredibly compelling story of the 1% of society, where money is nothing but a means to power and who you know can be more influential than how good your poker face is.

Review of Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom

I saw the movie, Molly’s Game with a friend. She had just moved back home from London, and I wanted to prove that we still had exciting things to do, such as going to the cinema… not exactly proof our town is up and coming, but still.

Neither of us knew much about the movie, before we bought our tickets. It was the best time to grab dinner beforehand, and I had already seen The Greatest Showman, the only other suitable movie at 9pm. Within in the first few minutes, we were both gripped. Jessica Chastain, the actress who conveys Molly Bloom on the big screen, began spieling off a monologue about placing 3rd place, giving what seems like an awful lot of information, but told in a very comprehensive and engaging way. The rest of the movie follows suit. What seems like an a ridiculous amount of information, is actually easy to follow and understand, in keeping with the fast paced theme of poker games, whilst remaining comprehendible to non poker players.

While the movie dramatises some moments and creates new scenes for the movie, most of the conversations and plot line stays true to the book, a feat rare to see in move adaptions.

The movie I highly recommend.

The book of the same name, was ordered via Click n’ Collect the moment I got home after leaving the cinema. I devoured the book within a week, primarily due to the ease of reading and following the plot as I had already seen the movie. Whilst the novel tells the same story, I still believe it offers a different view into the life of LA’s Poker Princess. I felt angry when those wronged Molly, sneered at the attitude of some of the players, and felt down right affronted when…

***Spoilers***

…the FBI ‘confiscated’ her money. Although as both the book and film open with this, I’m not sure of how much of a spoiler that is.

***Spoilers***

I don’t often read non-fiction, but I found Molly’s Game to be an easy and engaging read. I learnt some poker terms, but I wouldn’t have any more of a clue what was going on in the game after finishing the book. And that’s the point of this story I think. Molly doesn’t play IN the game, but she does play the game. As well as any man on the scene if not better.

It’s not very often that I would say this, but I believe that both the movie and novel deserve your attention.

My rating for the Molly’s Game the novel, and Molly’s Game the movie is the same. Four stars for both.

The challenge. 60 books. 1 year. 1 blog post per book. 1 review per book. Click here to see my Goodreads profile.

Previous book read: Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom

Current book read: The Cruel Prince by Molly Black

Advertisements

Book Review: A Wicked Trilogy by Jennifer L. Armentrout

A Wicked Trilogy by Jennifer L Armentrout Review

So my first review is a cheat. I read a trilogy, and have written one review instead of 3, but as I consumed these novels quickly, and all of the books are published, I felt one review would do. Cheating? Already? Me?!…

Title:
The Wicked Trilogy

Author:
Jennifer L. Armentrout

Books in series:
Wicked (Wicked trilogy #1) December 8th 2014
Torn (Wicked trilogy #2) July 19th 2016
Brave (Wicked trilogy #3) December 11th 2017

Summary

Ivy isn’t your regular teenager, she works for The Order, a secret group of humans set on ridding dark creatures from feeding on the people of New Orleans. When a new member joins The Order, Ren, Ivys life changes as she learns that there are old secrets soon to come to life.

Review Summary

An enjoyable easy read, taking you into the heat of New Orleans as Ivy and Ren seek to discover the evil that lies at the centre of the order. Romance, comedy and drama filled.

Review of A Wicked Trilogy by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I’m torn by this series, no pun intended. When I first started reading Wicked in early 2015, I really enjoyed the novel, I felt like it was an engaging tale which didn’t throw too many details at you at once. I could keep up easily without having to learn about this newly constructed world. Being set within the world as we know it, but with magical elements, it’s an easy to read YA fantasy (crosses into NA, not that I’m ever sure where the boundaries lie…)

Wicked by Jennifer L Armentrout Review
Wicked the first novel in A Wicked Trilogy by Jennifer L Armentrout

Torn, was interesting, covering more psychological elements, the relationship between Ivy and Ren was more interesting as drama was brought in, however their relationship in Wicked, became rather annoying. This wasn’t so much the way it was written, or even the content of these scenes, but they were sometimes included to demonstrate a break in two events, and I wished we could imply there was a break instead of including it. I hate skipping over pages, but I did skim these scenes sometimes, as they didn’t always add to the story.

Brave by Jennifer L Armentrout
Brave, the second novel in A Wicked Trilogy by Jennifer L Armentrout

As a trilogy, I expected a nice summary, even if it wasn’t a HEA, at least a final point. Instead there seems to be an entire story still to be told, and as someone who picked up the final book wanting answers to questions, I didn’t necessarily get them. There was a lot more to the story that I wish was solved at the end.

 ***Spoilers***

Who were Ivy’s real parents? Do they eventually defeat the Queen? How long had the Prince been under the Queens power? Could only Tink see beyond the glamour? What exactly is a Brownie?

***Spoilers***

Torn A Wicked Trilogy by Jennifer L Armentrout
Torn the third novel in A Wicked Trilogy by Jennifer L Armentrout

As a trilogy, I assumed these questions would be answered by the end, but as I reached the last 10% I realised there must be another novel. The last few scenes, to me, read as though the climax hadn’t been considered properly, and it was a quick and easy win for the novel, which would allow for another novel to be written after.

If I had to rate these books as a trilogy, I would struggle. The first two books would be 4 stars, the last would be a 3.

 

The challenge. 60 books. 1 year. 1 blog post per book. 1 review per book. Click here to see my Goodreads profile.

Previously read: Brave (A Wicked Trilogy no.3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Currently reading: Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom 

 

Film Review: The Greatest Showman

Aerial Hoop and Aerial Lyra by @a_novel_way

So my first review isn’t about a novel, a poem or even an article, it is in fact a review of a movie. And I have good reason for this.

Two years ago I fell in love with aerial hoop (also known as lyra) and aerial silk (also known as tissu) after seeing Cirque du Solei perform Amaluna. Since then I have been practicing for a minimum of three hours a week, sometimes up to 12 hours a week, and that’s not including the additional pilates I do to help my flexability and core strength. Surfice to say I am thoroughly addicted to aerial flying.

Aerial hoop as seen in Cirque du Soleil...I like to think anyway!
@a_novel_way. Practicing aerial hoop in my first year. This move is called a mermaid, although its also known by other names.

So when I saw the trailer to The Greatest Showman, I paused, rewound, and watched the brief glimpses of aerial acrobatics.

The trailer itself is exactly as the film is. A fantastic combination of cinematography, aerial and musicality. The aerial stunts aren’t Cirque du Solei complicated, but there isn’t really time of necessity for them to be. The story goes skims over the life of P.T Barnum, and paints him in an interesting light- you can’t help be question the morality and decisions behind making entertainment from people who are different. But if you leave those elements aside, and enjoy the movie for a fantastical foray into the world of entertainment and the circus.

The Musicality

The music saves this movie, not that it needs saving, but I think without the incredible soundtrack to allow for history to be quickly glanced over, the scenes would be oddly hollow and seem to ignore human experience. The soundtrack is a masterpiece to me, written by the composers from La La Land, Benf Pasek and Justin Paul.

I’d love to know what you thought of the music? Was it the right balance of musical and pop, or do you have differing opinions?

Cinematography

I will be the first to admit I know very little about camera angles, lighting or effects, but as a viewer I know what I like. And I liked it.

I’ll leave it at that.

Aerial

My poor mother. Every other second, when the aerialists were on screen I would poke her and whisper the name of the move, or insist I couldn’t do it.

I found this article, about Zendaya’s experience training for aerial, and I am so pleased to see how much emphasis there is on aerial as a full-body workout. I am constantly pulling my friends towards my aerial classes, and its fabulous to see a variety of different aerial equipment being made to look so beautiful within this movie. Whilst I’m not sure I would have gone to see the movie if I didn’t have a personal connection to the aerial, I can certainly say I would have enjoyed this movie all the same.

I give this movie 3.5/5 for creating a fun and beautifully shot movie.

“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.” The Greatest Showman.

 

The challenge. 60 books. 1 year. 1 blog post per book. 1 review per book. Click here to see my Goodreads profile.

Previously read: Torn (A Wicked Trilogy no.2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Currently reading: Brave (A Wicked Trilogy no.3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout.