Monday, December 5, 2016

🎄 Novel Of The Week [Christmas Edition]: Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley

As the book cover says: the countdown has begun... It's 4 weeks to Christmas day! Have you already bought all the presents or are just starting to decide what to buy?
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Christmas isn't exactly the best time of the year for Holly Brown: is a young widow (just like her homonym in P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern) and she just lost her grandmother, the woman who raised her. She lost everyone who was dear to her in this particular time of the year, so all she wants is to be left alone with her grief. Plus she grew up without celebrating Christmas like everyone else: there were no Christmas dinners nor presents exchanges when she was younger, so that why she’s more than happy to work during Christmas festivities as house-sitter, even if she’s an affirmed chef.
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After her Scotland job got canceled, Holly gets a last minute position for an house sitter position in Lancashire: she has to take care of an enourmous house while his owner (a renowned artist, with a very inconstant nature) along with his old dog, Merlin, a horse named Lady and...who the hell is Billy?

What should have been a two weeks of light work and resting turn in a Christmas marathon: meals to prepare, unexpected and unwanted guests and a lot of family's dramas and secrets!


What I liked
It has good detailed descriptions, characters with individual personalities and it's a fluent and easy read. Long story short: technically, it's a excellent written and structured novel.

What I did not like
It has a lot of characters and I think the novel would have worked just fine (if not better!) with half of them...I found myself confused in a lot of parts, asking myself "who is this one again?". The only positive character is the old dog! There're 8 adults and a 13 years old girl and none of them (not even the leading female and male protagonists) is kind or altruistic: they're all egocentric and selfish, wanting nothing but their own win over the others.

The Christmas atmosphere is there, you can feel it, but it gets lost under the anger and rancor that drive all the characters choices. Even so, I truly liked this novel, it's perfect for an early winter season read and it makes you appreciate the good things in your life even more, but to get to that you'll to go through a lot of hate towards some characters.

My Vote: 7/10

Photo credit: amazon.com & homesoftherich.net

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cressida Bonas vs Princess Beatrice

The girl on the left is Prince Harry's former girlfriend (they dated back in 2014) and the one on the right is Prince Harry's cousin. Beside that, the two young girls are friends and also happened to wear the same embroidered dress by Tommy Hilfiger.
The first who showed off this splendid short sleeves gowns was it girl Cressida Bonas while attending the the Serpentine Gallery Summer Party, held in Hyde Park this summer. She didn't add much else, went for a minimal make up and long wavy hirstyle. 
Princess Beatrice wore the same dress while attending a charity ball in aid of the Gabrielle's Angel Foundation, with her mother in New York , late this November. She opted for the ankle leight version and added a brown belt to it. She finished the look with sparkling black heels and a curled hairstyle.


Who do you think wore it better?  
Cressida Bonas or Princess Beatrice?


Photo credits: gotceleb.com & zimbio.com

Monday, November 28, 2016

🎄 Novel of the Week [Christmas Edition]: Christmas Story by Marko Leino

Yesterday was First Sunday of Advent, which means we are only 4 weeks away from Christmas day! Yep, it's that time of the year AGAIN and to celebrate it I want to try with the Novel Of the Week - Christmas Edition I started last year (but failed!) to get you in the right mood for the 25th!
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So here's the first novel, Christmas Story by Marko Leino, on the origin of the myth of Santa Claus! 
Enjoy!

Likewise the Advent calendar, the story is divided into 25 chapters, one for every day of Advent (so it would be a great idea to read one chapther per day 'til Christmas day!) and it's about a young boy, Nikolas
Orphan of both his parents at a young age, Nikolas is hosted by a family in a small village for an entire year and the next one gets hosted by another family.

Nikolas is a good and willing boy and all the people at the village love him. Every anniversary of his sister's birthday (who died with his parents) Nikolas goes out at night and leaves to the village's children wooden toys he makes himself. But on a particulary rigid and cold winter, nobody is able to host him, due to food difficulties.

So Nikolas decides to leave, but he'll end up living with a solitary man who came to the village just once a year. He'll help Nikolas to improve his skills with the wooden toy and will also lend him his sleigh and reindeer to distribute them in one particular night of the year...


What I liked
This book is the perfect bedtime story! It has suspance, Nikolas is caring and good-hearted. He's also a positive role model given the fact that, even if in difficulties, he doesn't lose hope. The novel is drenched in magic, something that never gets old.

What I did not like
Simply nothing. There is absolutely nothing I didn't like while reading this story.

My Vote: 9/10

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Jessica Alba vs Alessandra Ambrosio

This time an actress and a model didn't wore the same evening gown, but an everyday green varsity bomber jacket by Lovers+Friends.
Actress Jessica Alba wore it first, earlier last week, at the "DL 1961 x Jessica Alba" collection event. She went casual with a black top and matched high waist jeans and ankle boots. She also kept the make up and hairstyle very simple and cute. Later that same week, Brazilian model Alessandra Ambrosio showed up for a little shopping with the same bomber jacket, but opted for a more sporty look with blue jeans and Gucci sneakers!

Who do you think wore it better?  
Jessica Alba or Alessandra Ambrosio?


Photo credits: zimbio.com & justjared.com

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Movie Review: In Guerra per Amore (In War For Love)

I'm pretty sure this is my first review of an Italian movie...well, better later than never right?

New York, 1943.

A young emigrant from Sicily, Arturo Giammaresi, loves and is loved by a beautiful Italian girl, Flora. The only obstacle to their romance is Flora's uncle, who decided to give her in marriage to Carmelo, son of a powerful mob boss.
Anyway, Flora is sure that if Arturo will ask her father for her hand, she won't have to marry Carmelo and they'll be together. The catch is that Flora's family is still in Sicily...where Worl War II is bursting more than ever, after the USA joined it.
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Because of (or thanks to?) a funny casuality, Arturo finds a way to get to Sicily: joining the American liberation army. While on duty, he meets lieutenant Philip Chiamparino, an honorable and honest man, who got in the army to serve his beloved country and to help for an higher purpose.

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Meanwhile he's looking for Flora's father, Arturo gets to know better the people from the village they're staying in: there's a young boy, and his mom, hopeful that his dad will be back soon. 
The duplicitous and ambiguous most powerful man in town whom, thanks an agreement with the US government, will able to release some of his men from prison and put them in charge of important political offices.


And then he meets the strangest and most tragicomic duo ever: Mimmo and Saro, one is blind and the other cripple, but these two are the ones who'll help Arturo to find Flora's family. 
Arturo is so focused in reaching them that he doesn't notice that despicable and dishonest men are gaining more and more power...

My Opinion
I got off the movie theatre completely shocked: for 3/4 the film has light tones, is a typical Italian bittersweet comedy, but then, the lasts 10 minutes, BAM! it changes, becoming way more profound and dealing with serious themed like the rise of Mafia in Sicily.
The director pictured life at the time just the way it was, he didn't semplified it or made it more appealing and that's the big "pro" of this movie.

Raking: 3/5


Photo credits: comingsoon.it

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

10 movies you probably never watched, but should!

I already a similar list on Niume, but it has only 8 movies (click → 📋 if you want to see it anyway) and I was re thinking about it and kept saying myself "I should have added this movie or this other one.." so I decided to make a newer list with partially new movies. 

Since tons of movies come out every year, it is likely that will miss some of them, whether they be Academy-worthy or not...Blame it on the fact that it hasn't been publicized that much or it was an indipendent movie or, simply, it hasn't been aired in your country. So here's a list of nearly unknown movies I've watched in the last decade or so...and you should watch too!

- Dear Frankie (2004) is a bitter sweet story about a single mom, who replies to her son's letters pretending she's his father, working on a ship. But when the ship is scheduled to dock in the town they're living in, she comes up with a controversial solution rather than revealing the truth to her son.

If you'd like to know more, my review is here → 🎬
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- The Painted Veil (2006) set in London during the "Roaring Twenties", a young girl marries a man she's not fully in love with, but as she follows him in a travel in the poorest regions of China, every belief she had will change.
The Painted Veil Movie Poster
The Air I Breath (2007) a mixed stories movie, where a group of people's lives (who don't know one another) intersect. Stunning Brendan Fraser in a tragic role!
The Air I Breathe Movie Poster
- Charlie Bartlett (2007) a troubled boy, seeking for acceptance and trying to be someone worthy of people's time, move from a private to a public school. What he'll be able to do there is astonishing!
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Taking Chance (2009) it is a TV movie with Kevin Bacon, escorting the body of a fallen soldier back to his hometown. It's heart melting how many lives the soldier touches, even if no longer alive.
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Cracks (2009) a story of female education and growing with Eva Green, portraying a strong and charismatic teacher, tested by the arrival of a new student, apparently immune to her methods.
Cracks Movie Poster
 Paris Manhattan (2012) it follows the life and love misadventures of a parisian pharmacist with the passion for Woody Allen's movies.
If you'd like to know more, my review is here →🎬
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Serial (Bad) Weddings (2014) a funny French commedy about a father of 4 daughters, all married to non French and non catholic men...except the youngest, who reveals she was proposed from a Catholic guy...when the parents go to meet him, they'll have a huge surprise!
If you'd like to know more, my review is here → 🎬
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A Perfect Day (2015) a tragicomic day in the lives of a group of aid workers in former Yugoslavia, by the end of the war. It has hilarious moments and really cruent ones, but I belive this is a must see!
PERFECT DAY
The Fundamentals of Caring (2016) a wordless author start a paraller career as caregiver: his first patient is Trevor, quadriplegic young boy...Surprisingly they'll help each other with their own weaknesses during a road trip!
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This is my list of not so famous movies that everyone (in my opinion) should read. Did you see some of these? What's on your list? Let me know in the comments!

photo credits: impawards.com

Monday, November 14, 2016

Olivia Palermo vs Chriselle Lim

Socialite Olivia Palermo was the first who wore this Valentino black gown at the Black Tie gala, in honor of Italian designer Valentino, back in December, last year. She completed the look with pulled back hairstyle and a polished black hairband. 
Digital influencer Chriselle Lim attended the 5th annual Baby2Baby gala, on November 12th, wearing the same dress as Olivia, but giving it a more oriental vibe with wide gold rounded earring and a high chignon.


Who do you think wore it better?  
Olivia Palermo or Chriselle Lim?


Photo credits: zimbio.com