Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff - Lauren Mayhew AuthorBeautiful boy – david sheff – 4 stars

Blurb: What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted every moment of David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic Sheff became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. 

David Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs: the denial, the 3 A.M. phone calls (is it Nic? The police? The hospital?), the rehabs. His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself, and the obsessive worry and stress took a tremendous toll, but as a journalist, he instinctively researched every avenue of treatment that might save his son and refused to give up on him. Beautiful Boy is a fiercely candid memoir that brings immediacy to the emotional roller coaster of loving a child who seems beyond help.

It took me quite a long time to read Beautiful Boy, but not because I didn’t like it. I either couldn’t find the time to pick the book up, or the story was getting too harrowing that I couldn’t bear to read on for that day. I must thank my boyfriend for chucking this book at me, (almost literally), and telling me to read it. I never would have found it if he hadn’t read it previously.  Continue reading


The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2 - Film Review - Lauren Mayhew AuthorThe Incredibles 2 – 5 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: Everyone’s favourite family of superheroes is back in Incredibles 2 but this time Helen is in the spotlight, leaving Bob at home with Violet and Dash to navigate the day-to-day heroics of normal life. It’s a tough transition for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone must find a way to work together again which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible.

As a member of Cineworld Unlimited, I occasionally get to see a film before its release date. It’s called Secret Cinema, so we book our seats, but don’t get to find out which film we’re watching until it begins. There was a lot of speculation about what the film might be, The Incredibles 2 being high up on the list due to its epilepsy warning. There were many cheers through the cinema when the title of the film came up on the screen. Though not everyone was excited. The couple in front of us definitely walked out within the first thirty seconds of the film! But anyway, back to the review. Continue reading

Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 Film Review - Lauren Mayhew AuthorDeadpool 2 – 3 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy with supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling cyborg, Cable.

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfil his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the Yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world.

There were two synopsis’ (synopsi?), so I had to put both of them in. As you can see, the second one bears no relevance to the actual plot of the film. It’s just the sort of thing that the Deadpool marketing team do. They do it well. Continue reading

Sophie’s Different by Patrick Hodges

Sophie's Different by Patrick Hodges - Lauren Mayhew AuthorSophie’s Different – Patrick Hodges – 4 Stars

Blurb: Middle school is all about fitting in. It’s about not standing out. After all, kids can be cruel.

Sophie Devereaux doesn’t fit in. She and her two best friends, Marissa and Michelle, are seen as misfits. Things only get worse when Sophie runs afoul of Alexis, the most popular girl in school.

Ayden Saunders doesn’t fit in. Tragedies in his life have caused him to retreat into the shadows, where he watches his classmates from afar and fantasizes about being a superhero.

When Ayden overhears a plot to ruin Sophie’s life, he knows he can no longer sit on the sidelines. The two of them soon discover, to their amazement, that life is not about fitting in, it’s about being true to who you are.

What I like: Sophie’s Different was such a fantastic end to the trilogy. It tied up all the storylines for the majority of characters that we met in Joshua’s Island with a few heart-breaking twists along the way. Continue reading

Ethan’s Secret by Patrick Hodges

Ethan's Secret by Patrick Hodges - Lauren Mayhew AuthorEthan’s Secret – Patrick Hodges – 5 Stars

Blurb: Kelsey Callahan is smart, tough and fiercely loyal to her friends. She wants nothing more than to follow in her father’s footsteps, and be a detective just like her hero, Sherlock Holmes.

A lover of mysteries, she finally gets the chance to solve something on her own when Ethan, a cute but mysterious loner appears in her class. Both fascinated and infatuated with him, Kelsey soon learns there are events at play in Ethan’s life that are both tragic and dangerous.

Events that, the deeper she digs, may end up threatening not only their relationship but their very lives.

What I like: I loved the first book in the James Madison trilogy, so I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to reading Ethan’s Secret. I’ll be reading Sophie’s Different, the final book in the series next. I really want to know what happens next, even though the characters may be slightly different. Continue reading

Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War Film Review - Lauren Mayhew AuthorAvengers: Infinity War – 5 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos. On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artefacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment.

There really isn’t a lot I can say about Avengers: Infinity War without giving away too much of the plot, so this could be the shortest review I’ve ever written. All I can really say is that this is one film you don’t want to miss. Continue reading

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place - Film Review - Lauren Mayhew AuthorA Quiet Place – 5 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: A family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival. If they hear you, they hunt you.

That is probably one of the shortest film descriptions that I have ever read, but it’s simplicity completely matches the film. A Quiet Place lived up to the hype that is currently surrounding it. I’m not much of a horror movie watcher, but there was something about this one that drew me in. I’m so glad I didn’t chicken out.

First of all, if you don’t like reading subtitles when watching films, this definitely isn’t the one for you. The film is almost completely silent, there’s not even a lot of backing music. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before and it’s definitely the best film I’ve seen this year, and that’s including The Greatest Showman which I saw three times! Continue reading

Tomb Raider

TTomb Raider - Film Review - Lauren Mayhew Authoromb Raider – 4 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished years earlier. Hoping to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance, Croft embarks on a perilous journey to his last-known destination – a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. The stakes couldn’t be higher as Lara must rely on her sharp mind, blind faith and stubborn spirit to venture into the unknown.

The first thing I’ll say is that, if you wanted this Tomb Raider to be anything like the previous films starring Angelina Jolie, you’re going to be disappointed. This is more of the story about the making of Lara Croft, rather than the gun toting, big breasted millionaire than Jolie portrayed. This is the story of a young woman struggling with the loss of her father, refusing to accept his death. Continue reading

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory - Lauren Mayhew AuthorThe Lady of the Rivers – Philippa Gregory – 5 Stars

The fact that it took me a few months to finish this book doesn’t reflect on the quality. When I pick up a book and read it for the first time, it often takes me a few weeks, not months like this one, but I’m busy and have many late nights, so reading anything goes out of the window. I really wanted to love this book, and I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed.

Blurb: Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her household for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou’s close friend and a Lancaster supporter – until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV.

Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines. Continue reading

Black Panther

Black Panther Film Review - Lauren Mayhew Author

Image: Marvel Studios

Black Panther – 4 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king – and as Black Panther – gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.

Black Panther is another film from the Marvel universe, and there’s not many Marvel films that I haven’t watched. I’m always excited to see what Marvel have up their sleeve next, and off the back of Thor: Ragnarok, I was expecting big things. Continue reading