Review: How to be Bad by E Lockhart, Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski

How to be Bad by E Lockhart etc

Hey guys, I hope you all had good Christmas’ if you celebrate them! I feel like I haven’t written a review in forever but luckily I was given books for Christmas and also money to buy more books so I have a few books to set me up with new reviews for the next couple of months. I’m starting with ‘How to be Bad’ which is a book that wasn’t actually on my Christmas list and that I found by chance in WHSmith.

So E Lockhart was written a couple of books that I’ve heard of, the most famous probably being ‘We Were Liars’. I had wanted to read that but after reading a review saying the book was only ‘okay’ I didn’t bother. I always pick up at least one of her books when I go into a book store and then put it back down. Then I saw ‘How to be Bad’ and I don’t know, the blurb sounded okay and I gave the first page a read and it didn’t seem that bad. So I decided to buy it.

So the story is about Jesse, Vicks and Mel – Jesse is the uptight Christian, Vicks the confident wild-child and Mel is the new girl in the town. Each of them has their own secret and reason to be insecure. When Jesse ‘borrows’ a car the three girls soon find themselves on a road trip to Miami.

Dan excited gif

Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different girl starting with Jesse. I believe each author took a character – it does say at the end of the book which author took which character but unfortunately I don’t have my copy with me as I’ve come to live with a friend for a few months but haven’t moved my stuff over yet. But that’s not too important. So every chapter we’re being told the same story from a different character’s point of view. Normally this can be quite irritating but I actually found it more interesting to read it this way.

The story itself isn’t anything amazing I have to admit. It’s nothing overly special or original yet there was something about it that I really liked. Maybe it’s because I wanted to be on that road trip with them, in the pirate hotel, seeing Old Joe, doing all the stuff they were doing. I’m not sure I could’ve put up with Jesse and Vicks arguing all the time though. It’s stressed that they’re really close and good friends but all they ever seemed to do was argue. I know there’s a point to that but still it was hard to see them as close friends when all they did was scream at each other.

Dan Calm Down gif

There were a couple of bits that I find kind of annoying (prepare for my romance rant guys) but to be honest, when it actually got to it the romance wasn’t that bad. The point of the road trip is supposedly to go to a university in Miami to see Vicks’ boyfriend and she does talk about him, obviously, to herself as well as the others but she doesn’t go on and on about him and only him. There’s another little romance in there that I won’t spoil but this one didn’t particularly bother me either.

Ultimately I don’t think there’s a deep meaning to this book. It’s three girls on the road who all have problems of their own that learn to share their insecurities. It’s nice. It’s interesting to read about. They get hit with a lot of misfortunes that makes their road trip unforgettable. I really enjoyed it.

So overall I would recommend this book to you guys because it’s just a fun and interesting read. Some parts are quite sad and that’s okay too. Trust me when I say you’ll probably enjoy it though.

Krampus: Review by Holly Bareham

Krampus Poster

This film has been advertised a lot for the last couple of months and I guess I was kind of looking forward to it. I don’t think it’s because of the idea though, I just generally look forward to new horror films and this one didn’t look bad so yeah, I was looking forward to it coming out. So I went to see it a few days after it came out and… I don’t know what to think.

Basically Krampus is a horror Christmas film that’s about a boy named Max who loses his Christmas spirit when his Aunt and her family come to stay with them. He accidentally ends up summoning a Christmas demon to his family home.

Dan Okay gif

I don’t even know where to start to be honest. Maybe we should start with what I liked, that seems like a good place to start. It’s filmed in the style of a traditional Christmas film and although I thought that made it interesting I think it also made it less scary overall – even though there were a couple of jump scares that got me it didn’t particularly scare me at all. I also loved the humour element that was included – however I wish it had been more like ‘The Visit’ where there was an equal mix of horror and comedy. In this film I felt there was more emphasis on the comedy. I guess I also kind of liked the animation to show the Grandmother’s back story but it did feel a little out of place – although that could’ve been the intention. Maybe I also liked Conchata Ferrell’s character, she was kind of funny.

To be honest the more I think about it I don’t have many things I actually liked about the film but there are several things I disliked. The first thing is the acting – although the acting from the adults and Emjay Anthony were passable I felt the rest was appalling, especially from the girls who played the twins. I appreciate that it was their first film but still they lacked so much emotion during nearly every scene.

Chris Pine gif

Also there are a couple of things I’m confused about. This paragraph contains spoilers so if you don’t want to read them then please skip this paragraph. So this one kid accidentally summons Krampus to terrorise his family for not believing in Christmas – yet Krampus goes after everyone in the town by the looks of it. How pissed off would you be if some random kid you didn’t know accidentally summoned a Christmas demon that then killed you and your family? Especially since in the Grandma’s story it seemed like Krampus only came for her family and left everyone else alone. Why was it different with this kid? None of the characters were particularly likeable but this might’ve been the point of the film because there was clearly a moral message to be found. This was stupid though – why should this kid be grateful if his family are assholes? That’s my opinion. Also, this is something I don’t want to give away, but the ending is confusing and honestly just stupid. I obviously won’t go into details but please leave me a comment and tell me what you thought!

I also have to agree with many users on iMDB who said that the elves weren’t that scary and the masks seemed like a cheaper way to try and make them look scary. But they didn’t. They were a bit scary when they were running around on the front lawn behind those snowmen but when they burst into the house (which I didn’t think was allowed since the fire was lit but okay) they lost all their appeal. I also don’t really see the point of the snowmen – there’s a theory, that I also believed at the time, that every time someone in the town was killed by Krampus they made a snowman of them in the front garden. But there was so much more they could’ve done with the snowmen to make them scarier and give it more effect. They were never explained and they could’ve been really creepy!

I need to add a piece of film trivia to this review but I can’t find anything particularly interesting on iMDB – but I have started a new tradition so I need to include something! This film was originally set to be released on November 25th but was moved to December 4th to coincide with Krampusnacht, a traditional Austrian festival to celebrate Krampus punishing naughty children.

Overall, I guess my opinion is that this film is just plain weird and not in a good way that ‘The Visit’ was, it was just a stupid weird. My personal recommendation is don’t waste your money on this film. It’s honestly not that great, it’s just annoying.