As we are scarily coming to the end of the year already I thought now would be a good time to round-up my favourites. Over the course of the month I will be talking favourite bloggers, websites and of course beauty products! But today I thought I'd start off with books, TV and films. Hope this gives you a few new things to discover...
*Just to point out the below are my favourites of 2014 and not necessarily released/new to this year*
My Top Films of 2014
Ruby Sparks - A wonderful and quirky romantic comedy drama! Ruby Sparks tells the story of a novelist with writers block who decides to write about the girl of this dreams... then she comes true! Yes, it sounds silly but trust me it's not, it's actually quite dark in places...though don't let that put you off either. I'm still totally in love with this film! Watch on Now TV or buy for £5.00 - Amazon here.
The Place Beyond The Pines - With a star studded cast (Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes and Ray Liotta) this is one hell of a film that I was more than impressed with. The film tells the story of a motorcycle stunt driver turned bank robber and is set over 15 years and told in 3 segments. This kept me hooked through-out and is one of the most detailed films I've watched in a long time. Will be making sure to watch this again as there was so much to take in. Watch on Netflix or buy for £4.50 - Amazon here.
Her - Another quirky film here about a lonely writer, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who forms a relationship with his computer's operating system (the voice of Scarlett Johansson). I wasn't sure what to expect from this film but it literally sweeps you up and just works. An amazing alternative romance film. Watch on Now TV or buy for £9.98 - Play here.
Gravity - Gravity is a Sci-Fi thriller and not something I would go for normally. But after seeing the amazing graphics of the trailer... and that both Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star as the lead and only character in the film I gave it a go. This has to be the most on the edge of my seat watch of 2014 for me with constant grasp moments as both characters find themselves alone in orbit. This totally deserved all the awards it won and more! Watch on Now TV or buy for £6.00 - Amazon here.
Saving Mr Banks - Another surprisingly detailed film here and one that blew me away. Saving Mr Banks tells the entwined story of P.L Travers' childhood (the author behind Mary Poppins) and of Walt Disney's struggle to convince the author to make a film of Mary Poppins. The casting of this with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L Travers couldn't be more perfect. A truly sentimental film that will have you both crying and laughing. Watch on Now TV and Netflix or buy for £6.30 - Amazon here.
My Top Books of 2014
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - Ahhh how I loved this book. Actually I'd say it was my favourite read of the year! Eleanor & Park on the outset is a quirky first love kind of story but trust me, this has more layers than an onion! From the unique setting of the 80's, to awkward teenage years and an unexpected twist of broken home lives. With strong believable characters this is such an enjoyable read that pulls you straight back to first relationships and how electric and awkward both physical and mental contact can be. One to read if you love emotional YA fiction or just want to fall in love with two characters. Buy for £5.59 - Amazon here.
The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey - This was my first ever dystopian novel and one I was pleasantly surprised with. Telling the story of 10-year old Melanie who is treated like a dangerous animal as she's strapped to a chair each day with a gun pointed to her head, then taken to class along with others like her - you soon realise she's different. I won't give much away as neither does the cover or synopsis and it really is all about gradually understanding through surprises and revelations. If you are looking for a different kind of read then make it this one. Buy for £3.85 - Amazon here
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters - A book from my favourite author here. Paying Guests is a book about love, history and crime. Set in the 1920's the book tells the story of a once upper-class mother and daughter forced into taking in lodgers or 'paying guests' to keep their once filled and happy home afloat. But little is as it seems as the daughter life takes some thrilling twists and turns that even herself couldn't envisage! Expect to be submerged into 1920s London with this brilliant sapphic novel. Buy for £9.00 - Amazon here.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - This was a book that I read back in Summer that stayed with me for some time after finishing it. Without a doubt a summer read as most of the book is set on an island over the summer months of several years. A book that's centred around friendship, family and lies. A book I'd recommend to most people. Buy for £3.85 - Amazon here.
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott - Lastly for my first 5 favourites an immensely tense and frankly grim book. I was unsure whether to include this book due to it's dark nature and my own debate with myself whether you can really call a book that makes you feel uncomfortable, a favourite. I'm still not sure! But I know it gripped me hard and it was like nothing else I'd read all year. The book is told through the eyes of "Alice" a now 15-year old girl that was kidnapped during a school trip when she was 10. As you can image life is bleak for "Alice" and this book certainly doesn't gloss over this fact, in fact it almost embraces it, making you feel her numbness, pain and hunger. This is certainly an intense read. Buy for £6.38 - Amazon here.
My Top TV Programmes of 2014
Breaking Bad - I actually don't know where to start in explaining this series and just how good it is! Forget looking up the synopsis or trailer of the first series... just start it and get hooked! I'm tempted to start re-watching it in the new year, something I've never done with a series before, but it's seriously that good. Watch all season via Netflix or buy season 1-3 for £17.00 - Amazon here or complete series for £40.00 - Amazon here.
Blackfish - A harrowing and enlightening documentary surrounding the killer whales of various sea parks. Centring mainly around, Tilikum, a killer whale that had taken the lives of several trainers yet continues to be used in shows and even for breeding purposed. This lifts the lid on cover-ups at Sea World through interviews with past trainers and actual footage that is pretty shocking. A real eye opening documentary that may actually leave you frustrated you can't do anything about the current situation of whales in captivity. Watch on Netflix or here for free.
Orange Is The New Black - This was a series I decided to give a go because I was looking for a new series to watch that wasn't political! I was more than sure I wouldn't get hooked on it as I'm not keen on dramas with a comedy aspect but I did, in fact I may have watched both series in under a week! As you will have probably seen from various Netflix trailers this is a series set in a U.S women's prison and centres around the not so typical inmate - Piper Chapman, along with the stories and lives of the other inmates. A surprisingly upbeat show that will soon have you hooked. Watch season 1 & 2 via Netflix or buy series 1 for ££21.99 - Amazon here.
The Fall - On to a British crime drama now with The Fall and one I'm still actually watching (series 2 finale is next week!). Set in Northern Island this BBC 2 series tells the story of detective Stella Gibson as she hunts down a beyond disturbed but outwardly normal serial killer, Paul Spector (played by the swoon worthy Jamie Dornan). Seriously creepy and scary in parts yet very gripping through-out. A series worth watching if you love anything to do with crime. Buy series 1 for £9.00 - Amazon here and watch series 2 for free on BBC iPlayer here.
David Attenborough Life Story - I'm generally not one for nature programmes but as it was David Attenbourough I gave it a go and I'm so glad I did. This is truly an outstanding nature series that will have you amazed, shocked, amused and even with a lump in your throat at times. If you missed this when it was on TV and love nature/wildlife then seriously treat yourself... or ask for it this Christmas! Buy DVD series for £14.00 - Amazon here.
Hope this list gave you some recommendations to seek out! Part 2 will be up next week.