Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Zuz's Best & Worst of 2013

The first month of 2014 is coming to the end and it's time for me to share with you my impression of last year. I will be honest, it has been challenging twelve months, but thanks to wonderful friends and family, and of course you lovely readers, I have survived and got stronger. I have lost friends, but I have also gained new ones. I hated and still hate my everyday job... but I am actively working on making it better. And of course there were things I have tried for the first time, but also said goodbye to. I have laughed and I have cried. I have run away from things and I have faced things.... As they say: "What doesn't kill you, will make you stronger..." 

I am not going to bore with things which went wrong with my life last year, instead I am going to tell you about the amazing things I got see, feel and enjoy.. And of course everywhere with me were my favourite companions - books... What else do you expect from a book worm...:)

Looking back at 2013 I can see my first ever music festival in my town which I got to spend with my sister. We had the opportunity to see so many amazing artists such as Kaiser Chiefs, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Django Django, Smashing Pumpkins, Atoms for Peace and many more. This festival is held every year at an abandoned airport in my town - BAZANT POHODA TRENCIN. This is where I had the most expensive antipasti in my life - 20 euros for some artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes & olives.. But I tasted the best homemade crisps. I got to have a fantastic time with my sister. It has been such a great and bonding experience that this year I am taking the guys from the blog. Yes, the whole blog is going to enjoy the time in Eastern Europe. 

Me and my bestie Claire went on a girlie holiday to sunny Corfu in Greece. And we explored this island, tried its food and amazing apple mojitos. I even managed to get some amazing brown tan, which Andy didn't appreciate as he lost a bet. He didn't believe me that I can tan.. silly fool!!! I bought some fake Ray Bans, sunbathed topless and enjoyed countless sunsets. 

This year has been amazing for my music experience as well. I got to see bands and artists like Kings of Leon, Bastille, Imagine Dragons, Rudimental, Tom Odell, Good Natured, Atlas Genius, Kaiser Chiefs and many more.. I had watched some good movies: Thor 2, Rush, Man of Steel, Star Trek, About Time, Filth, Mortal Instruments, We're The Millers, Catching Fire, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Hobbit 2, Philomena, Ender's Game, How I live Now... just to name a few. Mr Justin Timberlake brought his sexy back with 20/20 Experience. Beyonce surprised us with her video album. Miley Cyrus decided to flip a switch and gone bad. Lorde brought us some great sound from the Kiwiland. And Tom Odell showed us why he won Critics' choice Award at Brits. Pharrell grazed us with his never tiring talent with Happy. Yes, and most importantly, The MINIONS ARE BACK with Despicable me 2!!

And of course I read.. read & read... loads... I think on my last count I have read 68 books last year... so I challenged myself to read 75 on goodreads... ;-) My personal library grew month by month... I have so many books that I am running out of space where to put them. They are pushing the shoes aside and that is a major thing for me!

So after long thinking and weighing pros and cons I came up with my list of 



Worst: The Host vs. After Earth
The worst film of 2013 is THE HOST.
Now, the reason why I have picked this film for my worst is because it was such an awful adaptation of a wonderful book. I Have tried. I really tried to watch it as a movie on its own, but it failed to impress me. The important parts and dialogues which are making this book such a great and unique story are missing. The conversations which are so important to the story and it's influence on lives are not there. The film came out quite boring and they got a completely wrong actress to play Wanda. I am sorry but Emily Browning was the worst choice possible. 

Best: Rush vs. Star Trek
The best film of 2013 for me is RUSH. 
Amazing true story? Check. Great acting performance by every member of the cast? Check. Chris Hemsworth bring his sex-appeal to the big screen? Check. Fantastic Visual Effects? Check. This film was one of the most emotional films I have ever seen. The story itself is so unique, dangerous and entertaining. I am so surprised that there are no Oscar nominations for this film . 


Worst: Starcrossed vs Tomorrow's People

The worst TV series is actually both. I hate their concepts. I don't like the settings, neither the protagonists. No fit guys. The people don't look their age and the whole story is boring. I am yawning just watching the trailers. 

Best: Reign vs. How I met Your Mother
Best TV series of 2013 is the newcomer Reign.

Set in the Tudor times in France. This series captures young Mary, The Queen of Scots and her future husband Francis. I love the intrigues, mysterious killings, love triangle and costumes. Everything about this series is just pure perfection. Not to mention the incredible soundtrack and settings. I love, love, love this TV show and cannot wait for it to be shown in UK. 


Worst: Wrecking Ball (Miley Cyrus) vs. Bound 2 (Kanye West)
The worst song of 2013 is a clear winner. BOUND 2 by Kanye West. 
Just NO!! Plain NO NO NO NO NO.. I hate this song, if you can call it a song. I hate where his music has taken its direction. And no thank you for the cheap looking video with Kim Kardashian. Pass me the bucket. 

Best: Happy (Pharrell Williams) vs. Royals (Lorde)
The best song of 2013 is HAPPY by Pharrell Williams. 
Yes, Royals is one unique tune, but Pharrell is proving us yet again why he is a musical genius. I have loved and respected Pharrell for years and finally it seems that the world is really appreciating his talents not only as a producer but singer as well. This song has me on my feet immediately I hear the first couple of notes. I never get tired of it. And I don't think it disappears from my playlist for quite some time. 


Worst: Unfortunately I don't buy music I don't like, so I have nothing on my list for worst album of the year. But I will mention couple of names who's album I have listened to once and will never do again! Kanye West - Yeezus. Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines. Miley Cyrus - Bangerz. 

Best: Long Way Down (Tom Odell) vs  Days Are Gone (HAIM)

This has been hard. I have listened to both album numerous times. I have seen one of these artists live  last year. I am seeing the second one this year. I have sung along the words. I moved to the rhythm of each tune. But I have decided to to award the Best Album of 2013 to HAIM and their DAYS ARE GONE. Finally a girl band I can listen to without embarrassing moves, tunes and outfits. Finally a great bunch of girls who actually can not only sing but play instruments as well. I have been impressed and turned into a massive fan. And I am really looking forward to seeing them live in Manchester this year. 


Worst: Pulled Apart by Horses vs. Smashing Pumpkins
Worst band I have seen live in 2013 is SMASHING PUMPKINS. 

I have seen this well-known band in summer at a festival in my town, but I must say I have been disappointed. All the time (6 whole songs I lasted, then I just gave up and went to a different stage) they looked like they do not want to be there. No hello to the audience. No contact with the audience. Just faces which clearly said get me outta here!! They even didn't bother to create some kind of an atmosphere. Most people just left like me after first couple of song. For such a great band with fantastic music history they did a shitty job. 

Best: Tom Odell vs Imagine Dragons

Clear winner for me, although I have seen Imagine Dragons twice this year, is TOM ODELL. Oh my, that man is just incredible. He brought the house down with his fantastic show. He played the piano and sung live. He was cheeky. He was sexy. He was amazing. I went through so many emotion through this gig, that I was amazed of his greatness. Next time he is in town, I am there. Wonderful setting. Marvellous atmosphere. Once in lifetime music experience. 

My favourite category of all: BOOKS:

Worst: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton vs. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Worst book I read in 2013 is GONE GIRL by GILLIAN FLYNN. 
I am sorry Ms Flynn. But there has been such a buzz around your book that I was expected the greatest book I have read. Instead I have been left with two crappy narrators. Boring - non exciting story. Yes, she turn out be a psycho but it was too late to save the story. Critics branded your book as thriller of the year, but for me it was the biggest disappointment of the year. 

Best: Soulmates by Holly Bourne vs. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
The best book of 2013 for me was ELEANOR & PARK by RAINBOW ROWELL. 
I have fallen in love with this story instantly. From the first moments I held the hardback in my hands I knew this story is special. It made me question the things I know about love and if I knew love at all. This book has everything and more. I have cried, I have laughed. I wasn't able to put this baby down and since then I have purchased every book written by this author. Rainbow Rowell has become my favourite author. And Eleanor & Park has a special place in my heart. 



DEADLOCKED by Charlaine Harris. 
WTF!! Seriously.... This book couldn't be a bigger disappointment. The worst way to end a wonderful entertaining series like Southern Vampire Mysteries. It seemed to me like Ms Harris just gave up on all the characters and their lives. This last part has contradicted everything which has been written in previous 12 books and I just hated it. I still hate it. Especially the fact that Ms Harris was building Sookie & Eric's relationship in 12 books and then just decided to end it with an horrible boring end. Worst book EVER!!!!!

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern
There are times when you come across one unique beautiful story which gets under your skin and will never ever let go. It will settle into your heart, mind and soul and you will want to share the joy of the story with everyone you know. And THE NIGHT CIRCUS is the book. It allows you to play with the borders and barriers of your imagination. It tells you incredible magical story. It will change you and it will show you a world from a different side. You will never ever forget this book, that is how special this book is. Remember it. And get yourself a copy immediately. 

So here is my summary of 2013. Do you agree? Please leave in the comment section below your choices for Best & Worst of 2013!  I am looking forward to read it and discover what you like and dislike my lovely readers. 

Have a great 2014 :) 

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