Tag: 5 stars

As You Wish by Cary Elwes

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

Author: Cary Elwes
Published: October 14, 2014

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 8-13, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.

Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets and backstage stories.

With a foreword by Rob Reiner, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.

Jessica’s Review:

As You Wish is Cary Elwes’ memoir of the making of the movie The Princess Bride. If you are a fan of the film in even the smallest way, you must read this memoir! I listened to the audio version which is narrated by Elwes himself.  As an added bonus, all of the actors that are still with us also give insight and their voices to the narration.  It was wonderful to hear them talking about a film they enjoyed making and that so many love. We even hear from the author/ screenplay writer William Goldman who thought The Princess Bride would never be brought to the big screen. He also ruined some of the first takes of the film with his praying being picked up by the sound crew! 

There was so much I did not know about the making of the film and I really enjoyed this audiobook. Listening to it put me in the mood to watch the film and I did even before I finished listening to it!  It is such a great film that so many people love and it covers so many genres of film! It did not fit in anywhere, which was part of the problem with getting the film made and promoted.

Hearing the fond remembrances everyone had of Andre the Giant, who is genuinely missed by all was lovely. Everyone adored Robin Wright as Buttercup and only Elwes could have played Westley. There are so many behind the scene stories I could share, but I won’t: Just be on the lookout for Elwes sharing his on-set and off-set injuries, which you can see when watching the film if you know where to look. And there is quite the story dealing with a ROUS being late to filming….

The Princess Bride is a film that has touched several generations and as it continues to age,it will be timeless (except for that opening scene with the video game)  and it will always speak to its audience.

I can’t recommend this audiobook high enough for any fan of The Princess Bride. Please listen to it or read it! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

Author: Kate Quinn
Published: February 26, 2019
560 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…

Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive.

British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear.

Kim’s Review:

I loved this book so much!! It has everything historical fiction should. The timeline was clear and flowed easily. There wasn’t a single character that I disliked.They all had chemistry that worked well. And what was so nice was that I already knew who the Huntress was. It was obvious from the very beginning and the story was far more about the journey, the backgrounds of the characters, the research, the legal details. There were certain mysteries that unraveled the further into the book I got. It was interesting learning how Anneliese got from Germany to the US. I thought Ian’s journalism throughout the war was an interesting twist. I absolutely fell in love with Tony! Everything about him was perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. Nina was a frickin badass and I think there should be more female characters like her! She and Jordan, the young photographer who was never taken seriously but had great dreams, should be the role models put out for girls today!

To be honest, the technicalities of photography never interested me much, but Jordan’s passion was contagious. The emotions were so thick and I felt the tension build more and more. I got so invested in the outcome that I couldn’t put the book down! I definitely recommend this book and I know consider it to be one of my favorite historical fiction books!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Blog Tour: Jay-Jay and His Island Adventure

Today I am part of the Blog Tour for Sue Wickstead’s children’s picture book Jay-Jay and His Island Adventure! I am sharing my 5 star review. For those of you in the UK there is also a giveaway going on!

Book Description:

Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey. He is a Playbus. Find out what happens when he is invited to an island where the children have never seen a double-decker bus – and certainly not one full of toys!

Author: Sue Wickstead
Published: March 20, 2017
44 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: May 19, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

Like Wickstead’s first Jay-Jay children’s picture book, Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus I also enjoyed Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure.  Jay-Jay’s story continues as he goes on an island adventure to see even more children who have never seen a double decker bus! You can feel Jay-Jay’s many emotions as he prepares for his adventure.

Jay-Jay definitely has an adventure before he even gets to meet the children: he has an injury which needs to be repaired. Everything is worth it as the kids love Jay-Jay and he stays there a whole week!

Again the story flows well and the pictures are enjoyable. The pictures  seem like ‘watercolor type’ pictures, which is unique. If you have kids and they enjoyed the first Jay-Jay book, they will definitely enjoy them all!

There is also a page dedicated to the real Jay-Jay which includes some pictures of the bus.

Behind the Story:

Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure, was originally written for a Scottish book bus. ‘Play,Talk, Read’ was the project which visited remote areas if Scotland to encourage reading in the very young. It was a great success and the bus even visited the Shetland Islands travelling on a very small ferry. The children had never seen a double-decker on their island before and certainly not one to play on. However, the Scottish project was too busy with referendums and with the book ready and edited I changed the name of the bus from Benji, sending Jay-Jay instead.

The island on the cover of the book was based on a piece of mainland Spain which I have visited many times.

Cap D’Or is the promentory near to a little village of Moraira. The villagers in Moraira invited me to read this book in their library and local schools. The people in this little village were surprised to find that Jay-Jay was a real bus.

(Jay-Jay may not have got to Spain in reality but in my imagination he did and now all of the books are in the local library in both Teulada and Moraira.)

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
WH Smiths
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository

About the Author:

I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.

For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.

I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.

This story has now been followed by five more picture books.

I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.

The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.

Contact Sue:
Twitter @JayJayBus

**UK Only Giveaway**

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*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.