Review: The Sinner

Film & TV

Since starting at Kudos I have been told by about 5 different people to watch the series The Sinner. Now I don’t know about anyone else or if this is just me and my stubborn ways, but when someone tells me to watch something I am actually less likely to do it? Weird huh. But last weekend I finally bit the bullet and tried it out.

Unsurprisingly because of the persuasion I had to watch it, it was amazing; I watched all 8 episodes in no more than 24 hours.

What I love most about this series is that it is so niche. The basic story-line gravitates around a seemingly ordinary woman and her family, a mysterious act of violence and the past behind it all. Rather than being the classic ‘who-dunnit’ it is the journey of finding out why she did what she did.

From the first episode it is undoubtedly gripping. In the first 5 minutes you believe that Cora Tanetti is a loving mother, wife and more importantly – sane. Until a family beach trip turns sour and she murders a man. From this point onward, you know the show is going to be a roller coaster. I mean, it literally went from 0 to 100 in approximately 5 minutes.

The protagonists are Cora Tanetti and the detective looking into her case, Harry Ambrose. She instantly pleads guilty to avoid a trial which seems fitting considering we literally witnessed her kill a man in cold hard blood, but the detective won’t give up without finding an explanation for her actions. Meanwhile, Cora would rather spend the rest of her life in prison than examine what has happened to her to make her so troubled. Because she has no idea why she did it, she lies about her motivation until Harry forces her to relay her past to find the truth.

This is where another aspect of the show comes in. We see Cora’s young self whilst looking into her flashbacks as she tries to understand what she has done. We meet her perplexing parents and ill younger sister, and see her challenging childhood, battle with drug problems and a lot of sex.

Unlike a lot of other shows, the flashbacks don’t feel like void fillers. Each and every one plays a vital part in the reason for Cora’s burst of beach-side rage, adding a piece to the puzzle. And when you do finally see the whole picture, let me tell you it does not disappoint. The reveal is not only unpredictable, but genuinely jaw dropping.

The Sinner makes you feel sympathetic, disoriented and uncomfortable all at the same time. The only way it could get better is with a second season.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

4th Day of Xmas: Festive Reads

Books

One thing I am most excited for when I go home for Christmas is to sit by the fire, wrapped in a blanket whilst eating mince pies and reading a good book. I can’t wait to have absolutely no responsibilities and nothing to do – to feel like a kid again.

In the new year I plan on reading some more mature books because I feel as though now I am independent and I have a proper job, I should read some of the classics. But for now, I’m sticking to my guns.

Despite already having a stack full of unread books in my flat, I had to buy these two to add to my collection, because Christmas themed books are obviously a must.

I’ve never really thought about reading a festive novel, other than the picture-books my Mum used to read to me on Christmas eve when I was younger. I automatically think the way to feel festive is to watch a film but when I saw these on Amazon I thought maybe these could be my new tradition.

Let it Snow – John Green, Lauren Myracle, Maureen Johnson

This book is made up on 3 adorably cringey romantic stories that are sure to make you feel lonely as heck at this time of year. It begins with Johnson’s The Jubilee Express, followed by Green’s A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, and it closes with The Patron Saints of Pigs by Myracle. I’ve read books written by multiple authors in the past and not really been keen on how the story flows, but I thought I would give this one the benefit of the doubt because it is written by 3 really great authors.

The three stories all intertwine because they are all set on Christmas eve when a storm hits, causing chaos for the residents of a town. The character’s stories rely heavily on each others actions, even though they don’t know each other.

One character ventures out into the storm from a stranded train and sets off a series of events that will change quite a few lives. Another girl takes a risky shortcut with a stranger starting a budding romance and three friends compete to win a race to their local waffle house.

Each of the stories are unbelievably cringey but in light of the holiday season, they’re cute and made me smile/feel super sad about not having a boyfriend.

 

Almost Midnight – Rainbow Rowell

I’m sure many of you have heard of Rainbow Rowell before, the writer of Fangirl and Eleanor & Park. Considering her track record of amazing books, I thought Almost Midnight would live up to the quirky, mature and unique standard of her writing. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise it was going to be an illustrated book, which as nice as it is, makes me feel a little bit like a toddler. It’s also actually two short stories – which is fine – but they’re really short, like toddler short. Anyway, after I had gotten over the fact that I had paid £9 for a picture book with a few words, I got into it.

The first short story is about 16-year-old Noel and Mags who meet every year at the same New Years Eve party, and every time fall a little more in love with each other. The second short story is about Elena, who begins to queue for the new Star Wars film (very relevant right now) and meets Gabe, a fellow Star Wars fan.

Although both of the stories are kind of high school, they are sweet and I enjoyed them; they were really easy to pick up and put down in my lunch breaks and weren’t too taxing to read when I was tired.

As much as I did enjoy these books, nothing will ever compete with the story my Mum read me on the 24th all those years ago.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

If you’re interested in the other things I’m getting up to follow me on Instagram.

Or take a look at my previous Blogmas posts.

 

Books for Bad Days

Books

Hello! I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite feel good books for when I’m not feeling so fabulous. These books sure aren’t miracle workers but they always manage to make me feel some kind of way even on the darkest of days! There’s so many cool books out there that help with positivity and mindfulness so if you have any please share them with me!

10,000 Things to be Happy About

So I have to admit, I did only buy this book because it was all over tumblr, it’s extremely aesthetically pleasing and I thought it would look cute in my bedroom; I didn’t really intend on reading it. I guess there is kind of a story behind how it did start helping me on bad days. A couple of years ago my family was going through a really hard time, in order to piece ourselves back together we decided we needed to spend more time as a family. One day, we decided to go to the zoo – a ridiculous idea considering it was mid February, the majority of animals were kept indoors and it was absolutely freezing. But anyway, we had a lovely day and it really helped us to realise what’s important. A few days later, I decided to open the book and the first thing I read from a page full of words was ‘going to the zoo in winter’. I don’t really believe in fate but this was way too much of a coincidence so I have loved the book ever since. It’s not really something you can read as such, but it’s really nice when you feel a bit low to open the book to a random page and read the simple things we take for granted. It’s similar to the technique of saying what you’re grateful for but everything is written for you which I find a lot easier.

Tony Robbins: A Note from a Friend

I was given this book by family friends after they took me to my first ever Tony Robbins seminar in London. At first I had no idea who this guy was. I expected the seminar to be formal and boring. But if you know anything about Tony Robbins you’ll know I was completely wrong. That seminar turned out to be a real turning point in my life. This book reinforces everything he said on that day. It’s really about how Tony became the successful man he is but the book is written in such a concise and easy-to-understand guided style that teaches you about life changing tools and principles. A lot of people may not understand how one person and a book can genuinely help you to live a better life; I was once one of those people. I urge you to try it though! Because this book has really inspired me and it puts everything into perspective. After reading his story about the obstacles he’s had to face before being as successful as he is, it always makes me feel better – these dark days won’t last forever.

The Little Book of Mindfulness 

This book was actually a gift from my therapist, she bought it for me because I had never really looked into mindfulness so she thought it could help with my anxiety. This makes the book special in itself because I know a lot of thought has gone into it and it shows that people do care! I find it’s good to put in my bag so if I start to feel a little rough I can just flick through it to calm myself down. I don’t even need to do the mindfulness tasks usually, it just puts my mind at ease knowing there are things to make me feel better! It’s also a nice book to read in the morning to get me prepared for the day. At the moment, my favourite passage is from the Accept and Respond section which states simple mindfulness practices engage the mind and the body, helping you let go and slowly bringing you back to a sense of equanimity and peace. Unlike the majority of the book, it is a poem called ‘The Guest House’ written by Jalal Al-Din Rumi (picture of poem below). I love it because of the metaphorical implication; it’s a really warming comparison which makes your feelings seem simple and easy to cope with.

the guest house

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie

XO