Reviewed by Jade Cranwell

Meet Pat Peoples, short for Patrick, but that’s his Dad’s name so he’s called Pat to us… Let’s not confuse ourselves unnecessarily. I’ll start again…

Meet Pat. A determined, middle-aged man who has decided that, after his time spent in a psychiatric hospital, it is time to get his life back on track. This involves the love of his life, who also happens to be his wife, Nikki. Sounds simple enough, right? Perhaps not. There are a few obstacles standing in his way; what did he do to get himself in the hospital? Why hasn’t his wife visited him?

But he decides to leave all of his issues at the hospital and leaves with a new outlook on life; he will be a changed man. More precisely, he will change himself to become the man Nikki always wanted. Pat work hard to get fit, be nice and ‘always look for the silver lining’. It is when he crosses paths with Tiffany, a mysteriously straight-talking young woman, that his secrets resurface and his determination is shaken. Is he fighting for the affection of the wrong woman?

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick deals with a serious issue that many other books shy away from; Pat is a bipolar sufferer. I think such a subject needs to be dealt with carefully, in a certain way. Make no mistake; this is no harrowingly depressing novel about an unstable, depressed man. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is full of humor, and humorous situations (amplified to perfection in the film adaption) and shows Pat coming to terms – slowly – with the fact that his marriage has ended and he needs to move on. The Silver Linings Playbook is the part that comes after a marriage break up; the moment you realise you have to move on and learn to live without the other person.

The film adaption came in 2012. The all-star cast was always going to make this film a hit, but it became more than that; it is now a ‘major critical success’ winning the hearts of the audience, critics and fans of the book alike. The plot is slightly different but it makes the story all that much better. Tiffany will pass on letters from Pat to his wife, Nikki, if in return he partners with her for a dance competition, leading to some hilarious scenes when Tiffany has to teach Pat to dance.

Bradley Cooper possibly the best choice to play Pat People’s; he nailed the role without going over the top or spoiling the thing that makes Pat such an amazing character, his openness and honesty.

Jennifer Lawrence won me over against all the odd as Tiffany. I, like many other people who have read a book before seeing the film version, had an idea of the characters ready in my mind. The pleasant surprise was that Lawrence embraced the brutal honesty and sharp tongue easily. This is the role I now think of whenever I regard her as an actress – over The Hunger Games.

The relationship between the two main characters, Pat and Tiffany, establishes them as one of fictions best-suited couples. It is honest and real. They have their demons to fight, but who doesn’t?

It is rare to find a film adaption of a popular book that is an amazing blockbuster in its own right. The stars of the film have done an excellent job of making the characters their own. There is a hilarious scene early on in the film where Pat, reading the novels Nikki (a teacher) is studying in her class, gets angry after finished an Earnest Hemmingway novel because he doesn’t like the ending. I think it’s a scene all book-lovers will appreciate! The highlight of both the book and the film for me was Dr. Patel A.K.A Cliff, Pat’s therapist. It makes me wonder, why can’t all therapists be like him?

The ending of the film and book also differ, and whilst both are good, I much prefer the film ending. I have asked a few of my friends who have read the book and seen the film and they agree. The film is just excellent.

The Silver Linings Playbook is a refreshing read that deals with real life problems without feeling to heavy or serious. The characters are pitched to perfection and there is enough humor and emotion to make this one of the best books of the decade. A must-read if I’ve ever seen one.

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Jade Cranwell

After falling in love with the world that writers such as Enid Blyton and Joseph Delaney can create in the mind of a child, Jade became obsessed with reading from an early age. As she got older, writing became her new fascination; diaries, notes, letters and stories. She developed her love of writing at college, and is currently studying English with Creative Writing at university. Her desire to read everything and anything can often be quenched with an enticing fiction novel, or a gritty non-fiction book. Although she has widened her reading horizons to include sci-fi, historical fiction and non-fiction, fantasy and mystery, she will always have a soft-spot for romance, her favourite genre to read and write. Her last uncluttered bookshelf is reserved for her favourite reads, including Persuasion by Jane Austen and the Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin.

She divides her time between family, university, reading, writing and pampering her many cats. Her life goals include wanting to publish a fiction novel (probably romance), opening a cat sanctuary and slowly collecting enough books to fill a library. If anyone wishes to give her a house with room for a library and hundreds of cats in it, she would be eternally grateful!

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Picador publishes outstanding international writing, fiction and non-fiction, in both hardback and paperback, and has numerous prize winners on its list. Picador has established a reputation for literary fiction with a broad commercial appeal, groundbreaking non-fiction, (particularly, reportage, literary biography and memoir) and a formidable poetry list, which has consistently won many of the major prizes.

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