Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Resolutions 2016

Another year has gone so I have decided to set myself some new resolutions that I probably won't actually keep. But hey, time to give it a go, right?

1. Read more books.
Although I did beat my reading goal all the way back in June, I feel that I have lost a fair amount of momentum with my reading so I am going to read at least 50 books in 2016. And I'm going to be showing this on goodreads too.

2. Update more
I plan on uploading so much more in the new year with tags and reviews and hauls and all of that. I think it's going to be a rather exciting year.

3. To be healthier
I am going to drama school in nine months so I sort of need to lose some weight and increase my stamina. I'm actually starting all of that from tomorrow morning so that should be wonderful. Time to be healthy.

4. To be more musical
Whether this be by singing, playing piano or playing my ukulele I just want to be even more musical in myself.

5. Put myself out there a little
I'm an introverted person so trying to put myself out there will really help me boast my self esteem and just increase my confidence.

6. Be happy
This year has been one of the best years of my life so I just want to stay in this happy place and not go back to who was a few years ago

And I think that's about it.

What are your resolutions? Please feel free to let me low down bellow.

Have a wonderful 2016 everyone!

Book Total of 2015 - 67

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Peter and Wendy

This year on Boxing Day (which is 26th December for those of you who live outside of Britain) I film was aired on ITV called 'Peter and Wendy'. If you hadn't guessed it is a retelling of the wonderful story that is Peter Pan under its original title.

I want to add a little disclaimer here before I continue. In no way is this sponsored by ITV. This is just something that I wanted to write about because it truly connected with me.

For people who don't know. Peter Pan was created by Scottish novelist J.M Barrie. The play first appeared in 1904 under the three following names Peter Pan; The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up; Peter and Wendy. This play was then developed into a book in 1911. In both version, under whatever title, the story follows a young boy called Peter Pan who can fly and has many adventures on Neverland with Wendy Darling, her brothers, the fairy Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys and the Villainous Captain Hook. Not matter in what setting the story was a natural success.

What many people do not realise is that J.M. Barrie gave the rights to The Great Ormond Street Hospital upon his death so that they could continue to do their fantastic work for children with the royalties made from the book sales. This meant that anything that used Peter Pan (such as the various films, plays and books) too had to share their profits with the charity. That is something that I think is so wonderful as the Doctors and Nurses at Great Ormond Street have very difficult jobs and hundreds of children to look after; all with a smile on their faces. As well as this, Peter Pan basically being the mascot for the Hospital is so amazing for gives children hope that Peter Pan is watching over them when they are sick.

Now onto what I really came to talk to you about ..... Peter and Wendy.

As a child, Peter Pan was one of my favourite books to read. I think it is one of the stories that helped to mold me into the book enthusiast that I am today. So when I saw that another remake was on over the Christmas Holidays I knew that I had to watch it. And I am so glad that I did.

Peter and Wendy is a modern retelling of Peter Pan .... well sort of. Now before you scream at this idea, let me explain.

Lucy is our main character and she was born with a very rare, and dangerous, form of heart disease. This young girl starts her tale by entering the Great Ormond Street Hospital with her mother. Like many teenagers who battle with deadly diseases, Lucy feels that she is too old to be in the hospital. In fact when talking to her Doctor she knows a great deal about her disease and seems like a very mature girl. Though having a heart condition would probably do that to a girl.

Lucy is about to have a life changing operation which hopefully will save her life but, like all operations, there are risks. And although she doesn't seem fazed it is clear that the idea of dying is worrying her. So, to comfort herself (and it later seems some of the other children in the hospital) Lucy begins to read a copy of Peter and Wendy, by J.M Barrie aloud. Which throws her and the other children in the hospital into the magical world of Neverland.

Whilst she reads aloud, a different world is shown to us. The story of Peter Pan with some of the original themes but somehow unshackled from the Victorian Era at the same time creating a perfectly magical blend between the two worlds.
The story continues once Lucy stops reading as the children fall asleep and everything that is happening inside her head have a real reaction upon this sick girl. She goes into cardiac arrest more than once because of it.

I won't release any spoilers into the world but the way the story was told is so breathtaking. The pirates are portrayed by the Doctor as Captain Hook (who was performed by the magnificent Stanley Tucci) and the students that following him around daily. Paloma Faith is seen early on as herself in a music video that Lucy was watching and then reappears as the mischievous Tinkerbell who is slightly more verbal than we remembered. On the note about Tinkerbell I think she was portrayed wonderfully especially through her vocals. Bells acted as her voice for that is the language of the fairies. But subtitles were shown onscreen and Paloma Faith mouthed her lines as well so it was clear to one and all exactly what she was saying.

All the Lostboys and Tigerlily were characters that were listening to the story. However no Peter was seen. But in a short scene back at Lucy's home a photo is briefly shown of Lucy and the young boy who plays Peter. So, although it was not actually said, it is likely that he was another boy at Great Ormond Street who died.

A little side note of this, this film explores a recent theory that has cropped up on the internet that Peter Pan is an angel who guides children to heaven so that they aren't shared. If this is so then the fact that Peter looks like a boy who is dead in reality is even more saddening for he really will never grow up. Also, the fact that Lucy is Wendy in her version of this timeless classic could be a way of suggesting that the relationship between this boy and Lucy was more than just friendly (if you know what I mean). Even though it is never said it is clear that the two love each other quite a lot.

I think the thing that I loved the most about this was the fact that this traditionally Victorian tale was ripped from its shackles and shown in modern settings. Yes Wendy still wore her nightgown but some of the places had modern things in them. For example, at Mermaid Lagoon the set of land was made up of hospital beds that were towered together to make a landscape. Peter and Hook fought here and to see the traditional clothing against this modern setting was so beautiful and reminded me that this was a young girl's way of coping with her operation. (I may have started to cry at this point)
Peter wore a hoodie.
The Jolly Roger was set in the main hospital room with a darker theme and new pirate decor but in the place that the children knew all too well. In my opinion, I believe this was a way of showing the fears that all the children have about being in hospital. Yes it can be like Neverland, a place full of fun and adventures, but has a dark and rather scary undertone, just like Hook.

'I DO BELIEVE IN FAIRIES, I DO, I DO!' was still in the piece as well with a modern twist featuring a globe and loads of little kids from all around the world.
We must save Tinkerbell!!!!!!!! Little note, I did cry at this point of the film too
But the most beautiful thing about this whole film was the ending. We know it well in the original story right? Wendy, Michael and John and all the Lost Boys going back to London and being adopted by Mr and Mrs Darling (the Lost Boys I mean, Wendy and her brothers are already apart of the Darling family).
In a lot of versions, Peter isn't seen at this point. But here he is at the window watching it all happen. As Mr and Mrs Darling welcome their new children, Wendy goes to talk to him and I turned into a weeping mess at this!
Wendy asks Peter to stay one final time and he says that he must return to Neverland.
"But won't you be lonely?" Wendy asks.
"Not if you come with me" Peter replied.
"I would love to but I can't."

To me that was the moment that I truly understood this retelling. Lucy was a young girl who was all but dying. Any day could be her last. She would become like Peter; a child who never grew up. Once again hinting that Peter Pan is an angel or dead child who looks after the souls of children. And these lines are only written from memory but they went something like that. In that moment, Lucy was saying in her own story that she would grow up; that she would survive.
And now I am weeping again because it was a truly beautiful moment and I salute Hazel Doupe who is the young girl who plays Lucy/Wendy. She is very talented for a twelve year old girl and I know that she will become a very big actress one day.

In conclusion, this beautiful retelling of Peter Pan completely unshackled the story from its traditional roots whilst keeping the lovable tale in our hearts. It showed the bravery that a young child has to deal with such terrible things. Yet this unique telling told the story in a new, far more imaginative way and did show Neverland as being a place of eternal rest rather than eternal youth. For that alone I do think this film should be praised and I think it shows the saddening thoughts of all children who are stuck in similar situations.

Peter and Wendy did just in this contemporary twist of a beloved classic and was a beautiful ode to J.M Barrie and Great Ormond Street. It was something wonderful for all the family and I do recommend everyone watching this before the end of the holidays.

I would definitely give it five stars!

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

Book Total of 2015 - 65

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Struggling To Read

Am I the only person at the moment who is finding it really hard to read? At the moment I feel like I have so much work to do that I barely have anytime to read. I mean this month I've only read one ... and a bit books this month. December is usually the month which I read the most but I feel like I have so much work to do that when I'm not doing work I just want to either sleep or watch telly.

Watching telly is a real struggle for me at the minute. I have so many shows that I really want to watch and I'm only  at home for about two hours, sometimes a bit more, each night so I want to do work and catch up on telly. Ugh! I have the telly on at the minute whilst I'm writing this.

I literally have no time to do anything at the minute. But I know next year I'm going to allocate a section of time in which I will merely read. Well I hope to do that but who knows.

I am a very busy bee. Maybe drama school will change that. I will have the stress of exams because A-Levels will be upon me in a few months so there will be very little time to read then. However, hopefully I will be able to read even more than I did this year.
I have no idea how many I want to read yet, that will be in my resolutions post that will be uploaded on the 31st.

Is anyone else struggling with reading at the minute? Please tell me that I'm not the only one struggling to read!

Book Total of 2015 - 65

Friday, 18 December 2015

I have a question ....

Before I started this blog I had a youtube channel. I started it on the summer holidays of 2014 and I had a plan that I would upload a cover of a song and maybe more as I got used to being on it. In the end I uploaded a little intro video and three covers which I have to admit were not the greatest things I've ever produced. 

But I have a question. 
If I were to delete those videos and start uploading new ones would anyone be interesting in watching? I'd really appreciate it if people commented below to let me know. The videos may be covers and stuff like that. 

That's all that I really have to ask. 

Book Total of 2015 - 65 

Monday, 14 December 2015

Landing a Role

Recently I had an audition for my FMP (Final Major Performance) and it was announced that I am playing featured ensemble role. Now I am absolutely fine with this. Yes it would have been amazing to land one of the main roles, but I am fine with being in the ensemble. In my experience, being in the ensemble can be a lot more enjoyable because you may not be on stage for as long as the leads (depending on the cast size) meaning that you get more time backstage which is always fun. Not to mention that I wasn't able to make the actual recall date. But more on that later.

However, a lot of people in my company were really bitter about the casting. People, who I will admit are not the greatest all rounded performer, were saying how it was an unfair casting and how they deserve to given the main rules. Now I would like to say one thing about this ..... GROW UP PEOPLE!
So the majority of people in my company want to actually go into performance. The main thing about my school is that all of us are guaranteed a part in the production. In real life that is not going to happen. When you are auditioning the likely hood is (unless you are one of the most spectacular leading men or women out there that everybody in the universe desires) that you will get one part out of ten auditions. And that's if they are lucky. Yes, you can feel disappointed but there is no need to be bitter.

I'm going to use myself as an example so that no one can say that I am being a bitch (please excuse my French there).
I was given two recalls. One for one of the three principles and one for the anti-hero in the show. I was amazed to be I was even considered for those roles. However I was not in on the day of the recalls because I had a Drama School audition else where. So why should I have felt bitter. I wasn't there so I really can't feel bitter. Yes, I'm disappointed that I could have been given a main role. But I wasn't there so I can't openly complain.
To be honest more people should feel like that because it's going to be a lot worse in the future. Thousands of people could be going up for less than 30 parts. The likelihood is that people won't get a role in a show and things will be a lot worse if people in the industry find out. Meaning that then the likelihood is that they will eventually be out of work as no one would want to work with a bitter person like that.
People simply need to grin and bare it. If they feel bitter then they just need to internally scream and then get on with their lives.

That is all!
Book Total of 2015 - 65

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Top 5 Book I Want To Read Before The End of 2015

This is something that I've seen on loads of blogs and blogs so I'd jump on the bandwagon.
I will admit that some of these books I don't actually own yet (but I've asked for them for Christmas) and since I planned this a while ago I have read two of these books now. Woo!!

Winter, by Marissa Meyer
Winter is the final book in the Lunar Chronicles. It follows the story of Winter (Queen Levana's stepdaughter) who is working with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies to launch a revolution and win a war that;s been raging for far too long. 
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever after. 

This is one of the books that I don't own yet but I really want to read it since this year I read all the other books in the series this year and I want to finish the series off before the new year. 

Library of Lost Souls, by Ransom Riggs
This is the third and final book in the 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' trilogy. 
As the story opens, sixteen year old Jacob discovers a new ability, and soon as he's diving through history to reduce his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. 

I've asked for this book for Christmas and I plan to finish it before the new year since I've read the other books in this trilogy this year and I'd like to finish it in one year.

Legend, by Marie Lu
June and Day are from two very different worlds. June is from an elite family whist Day is the Republic most wanted criminal. 
Whilst caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse they discover the truth of what has really bought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. 

This I have now read. So that is one crossed off of the list. 

The Heir, by Keira Cass
Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon - and they lived happily ever after. 
Their daughter, Eadlyn, had always admired their romance but didn't want it for herself. But being a princess has its responsibilities and the selection is part of her duty. Yet just like her father, love may not be completely out of the equation. 

A second book that I have now read! YES!

The Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien 
In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. A Hobbit called Bilbo Baggins who is thrown into Middle Earth as a rather reluctant hero to help thirteen Dwarves reclaim their homeland of Erebor from the Magnificent dragon, Smaug. 

Four of the five books are things that I've never read before. However, each Christmas period I will always read The Hobbit. It has been a tradition for as long as I can remember so hopefully I will do it again this year!

I don't know if I'll read all of these this year. But I will give it a go!

Book Total of 2015 - 65

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

BIG NEWS!!!!!!!!!

Excuse the capital letters in the title but I had to get all of your attention. I have some amazing news to give you all.

If you will kindly think back to August I uploaded a post called 'Something Just Dawned On Me'. In this I expressed the small panic attack that I had had about university and/or drama school. I was terrified that I wouldn't get in anywhere.

Yet on thursday the 3rd December, I found out some blooming amazing news. I found out that I had been offered a place at my top drama schools; the London College of Music. They offered me a place on there three year musical theatre course.


That is all, you may go back to what ever else you were doing.

Book Total of 2015 - 65

Monday, 7 December 2015


For the past month and a bit I have basically been living in auditions. Not only am I in my final year of compulsory education (so I'm auditioning for drama school) but I am also auditioning for some shows. Basically auditions are my life. Even though I am basically living a constant audition at the moment that doesn't mean that I don't get nervous. Hell last thursday I had my GSA (Guildford School of Acting) last thursday and because it was one of my top places I was so nervous. I all but started hyperventilating before. However as soon as I was calm and collected.
But there was one girl who throughout one of my auditions was constantly shaking and at one point she could hardly breathe. I never get that nervous during an audition because I always look at is as a chance to perform. Yet before an audition is a completely different story.
So I thought I'd give some advice for all of you who get so bloody nervous before, during and after auditions.

  • It is just a chance to perform. The more you dwell on the fact that it is an audition, instead of a chance to show off your talent to people, the more nervous you will become. So smile and enjoy and you really won't be as nervous. Trust me. 
  • Breathe. Before you go into the audition room take deep, calming breaths. Count down from twenty to one and breathe in and out. Take the time to calm your mind. The more cluttered your mind is, the harder you will find it to concentrate. 
  • Just rehearse. The more rehearsed you are, the calmer your mind will be because it'll know exactly what it supposed to be doing. But before you go in don't start to panic that you don't know something.  Because when you go in you really won't know something. 
  • If you go into an audition and you don't know something. Make it up! You know the storyline of your monologue or how the words are supposed to sound in the song. Don't just stop and say 'sorry I forgot my lines'. Just ad-lib! If professionals do it on stage occasionally then it is okay to do it in an audition. If the song or monologue is quite obscure then the panel won't know it. As long as it isn't a song from Wicked or one of the other big musicals. Trust me it is fine to ad-lib occasionally. 
  • If you love what you do then nerves should't matter. Just smile through it and enjoy what you do!
Now I have an announcement to make in the next post. Something that I am so excited to tell you all. But you'll have to wait to hear it. Trust me when I say that the suspense will kill you *insert evil laugh here*

Until next time!

Book Total of 2015 - 65

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Review | Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

What You Need To Know:
Title: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Number of Pages: 599
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance, Adventure, Thriller
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Publisher: Knopf books for young readers
Publication Date: 20th October, 2015

The Plot:
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she'd have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was destroyed.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorportations are at war over a planet that's little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody though to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra - who are barely even talking to each other - are forced to goth their way onto a evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutation, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what's really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

My Thoughts:
I have never, never read a book that is like this. It was so un-bloody-believable! I was blown away with the whole style of the book.

The book follows the typical plot line: girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl loses planet, everything goes to hell. Okay, maybe not a typical plot line but the girl loses boy is something that happens in several books. But I can make one promise, it is nothing like any of you have ever read.
Firstly it is written in a way I've never seen before. It was made up of transcripts of conversations and emails. That's something I've never seen before! I created this completely unique sci-fi feel; kind of reminding me of classic sci-fi films like Alien, Star Wars and Star Trek.

Now I don't usually enjoy books that constantly switch the narrative. It gets confusing and is hardly ever executed well. However, it worked here because it was written in the 3rd person. Personally, I feel it added to the book.

Now onto the content. I was afraid that this unique plot would be poorly executed. But i was wrong. Although the chapters were short, there were addictive and intense so in places it really worked. And that twist! Blooming hell that twist! I didn't see it coming. But the even bigger twist (in a way) was the one that happened like two pages before the ending. How the hell am I supposed to deal with these emotions? I was at the hospital waiting to get an x-ray when I read the first one (plot twist I mean) and I will admit that I was a tiny bit vocal. By this I mean that I exclaimed 'what!', forgetting that I was in a public place, and then went bright red whilst I tried to understand what I'd just read.

Not many books can do that to me so I think that shows how bloody amazing Illuminae actually was.

I have a feeling that it may be the best thing I've read all year!

Book Total of 2015 - 65

Inside Out Book Tag

Inside flap / Back of book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough? 
I think that this really depends on the book. I've read a few books when there has been literally no summary what so ever but that just pulled me into the plot. I wanted to know everything that was going on. However some books have a long plot summery which is is also intriguing because you get a feel for the character. But then some plot summaries are so long that I literally screaming at the author to shut up or they give basically nothing and it is so annoying! There needs to be some sort of happy medium.

New book: what form do you want it in? Be honest: audiobook, e-book, paperback, or hardbook?
Usually it'll be paperbacks. They fit on the same shelf easily and although they don't look as pretty as hardbacks sometimes they can be a lot easier to read. Besides, hardbacks are really really heavily. Try holding a 700 hardback without having to switch hands every ten minutes.

Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean?
CLEAN!!!!!!!!! The only time I write in a book is if it is something for school. I hate writing in them else. They need to stay as clean as possible or else they won't look neat! Something that I can't stand! I don't make notes either. Not while I'm reading. Maybe when the book is done I will but it isn't my cup of tea.

In your best voice, read for us your favourite first sentence from a book. 
This one was obvious. although endings can be more memorable. But there is one book that I can remember the first sentence for perfectly. In fact I think it may be my favourite paragraph in a book! And because I love it I am going to cheat a little and give you the whole of the paragraph.

Ahem *clears throat*
In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a Hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. 
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you're deciding on a book? What if you're unsure of the author's gender?
Personally I don't really care. I pick up the book based on the blurb not the author. Even if it is my favourite author in the world I will only pick up the book if I love the blurb!

Ever read ahead? Or have you ever read the last page before you got there?
I don't like to admit that I read ahead. Not all the time but occasionally I do find myself skimming words or sentences. Like I'll be really into it and then my eyes will flicker to the next page and obviously it'll be a really big spoiler section. That's the only time I really ever read ahead. And I never read the last page. No! That is not happening!


Organised bookshelves, or outrageous bookshelves?
Usually they are organised but at the moment it is a completely different story. They sort of are but there is a section that isn't. I can't stand having a messy bookshelf.

Under oath: have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?
Sad to say that I am guilty of this, sometimes anyway. Occasionally I will look at a book cover and think how gorgeous (or hideous) it looks. And that will sometimes be the judgment of whether or not I will actually buy a book.

Take it outside to read, or stay in?
I prefer to read inside and read. Especially when i get to read in my room. Though I do read a lot on the train or on the bus too.   

Book Total of 2015 - 64

Friday, 27 November 2015

I have failed | NaNoWriMo

So today is the 27th November, 2015 and I thought that I would do a little NaNoWriMo update. I have completely and utterly failed NaNoWriMo. There are three days left and I have only written 23809. There is no way that I am going to reach the goal of 50,000 words by monday. So I have made a decision. I just want to finish the book. I have seven more chapters to write before the end of the book. So I am merely going to attempt to finish the book. By the start of the Christmas holidays (18th December) I want to have finished writing the book. I think it'll be about 30,000 words by then. Following that I shall start to edit the book by doing a second draft. I have a feeling that I am going to   change the point of view (again) from third to first.

I'm actually quite proud of the amount that I wrote considering that it was my first time taking part and it usually takes me to years to write 10,000. So I'm actually really proud of me.

No I was wondering if I could have a little writing buddy someone who would read through my draft and give me some pointers. If you are interested then please comment below or go onto the review policy page. There you will find my email.

Book Total of 2015 - 63

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Reading Habits Tag

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
Usually I read on my bed as I have a lovely little read nook with a lamp and some fairy lights, place to put my book and drink, and a bookmark pot thing. Also my bedroom is relaxing because I can surround myself with my books and wrap up in my quilt. It's cozy!

Bookmark or a random piece of paper?
Most of the time it's a normal bookmark. But I do have a habit of using old train tickets as bookmarks ... receipts too sometimes.

Can you stop reading anytime you want or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, part, etc?
I have to stop at the end of a paragraph or I'll lose my flow and that's just frustrating!

Do you eat or drink while reading?
It depends. Sometimes I have a cup of tea and some biscuits. Sometimes I have juice or a glass of water. But I might not be reading for very long so I don't mind not have anything to eat or drink.

Can you read while listening to music/watching tv?
I do listen to music when I read. Not all the time though. If I do then I'll probably be listening to classical music or movie soundtracks. Something with a lot of instrumental. It helps me focus. But the telly can be a bit distracting. Unless I'm reading whilst the family are watching telly. But if I'm really into a book then nothing can distract me.

One book at a time, or several at once?
I'm guilty of reading several at time. Always have done and probably always will.

Reading at home or everywhere?
Everywhere; I travel to get to school so where else do I read?

Reading out loud or silently in your head?
Silently in my head is usually the only way for me to read. Unless I'm reading aloud to someone else.

Do you read ahead or skip pages?
If the book is a bit dull then yes. But I do sometimes accidentally read ahead. Because I'm an idiot!

Breaking the spine or keeping it new?
I hate breaking the spine of one of my books. I like them to loook new and pretty on my shelf. However some of my older books are ratted to show how much I've read them. Which I think is also kind of nice. It shows how much I love them.

Do you write in books?
No! Only if they are books for school. But even then I can't stand it! I mean, I don't mind but it isn't fun. I would rather not do it.

Book Total of 2015 - 62

Review | The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown

What You Need To Know:
Title: The Lost Symbol
Author: Dan Brown
Number of Pages: 509
Genres: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Action, Drama, Fiction
Series/Standalone: Standalone but revolved around the same male character as previous works
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: 15th September, 2009

The Plot:
Famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon answers an unexpected summons to appear at the U.S. Capitol Building. His planned lecture is interrupted when a disturbing object - artfully encoded with five symbols - is discovered in the building. Langdon recognises in the find an ancient invitation into a lost world esoteric, potentially dangerous wisdom.

When his mentor Peter Soloman - a longstanding Mason and beloved philanthropist - is kidnapped, Langdon realises that the only way to save Solomon is to accept the mystical invitation and plunge headlong into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and one inconceivable truth.

My Thoughts:
Out of all of Dan Brown's books that I've read I think this is my least favourite. The Lost Symbol follows the familiar Dan Brown formula that follows conspiracy theories, a threat to humanity and a rather large (and fairly unpredictable) twist. Once again, he doesn't disappoint. However, it also felt different. His writing style seemed different almost ... bad in places. Which infuriated me because the plot was actually really good.

Yet even though the writing style is ... inadequate in places it was strangely addictive. It took quite along time for me to get into the book (I actually started the book in November 2014) but once the action began I could hardly put it down.

If there is one thing that Dan Brown is good at, it is his plot twists.
Angels and Demons haunted me for weeks with the multiple twists it holds and I remember reacting rather loudly on a public train when I reached the climatic twist in The Da Vinci Code. All of them I did not predict yet when I thought about it I saw it coming from the tiny hints throughout.
But this twist blew me away. It took me a good half an hour to understand what happened. It was so far fetched that even now I can't comprehend it fully. There are tiny hints but really, I feel, that it's one big plot hole. Which really is annoying because it's brilliant.

I think the poor quality (yet addictive quantity) is to do with the large gap between writing the Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol. Yes he wrote another book between them but not following Robert Langdon so he lost his style slightly ... his writing flow. It makes sense really.

I may have adored the plot line but the writing itself was so poor that sadly I can only give the book ***

Book Total of 2015 - 62

Review | The Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard

What You Need To Know:
Title: The Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Number of Pages: 383
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance
Series/Standalone: 1st book in the Red Queen Series
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 10th February, 2015

The Plot:
This is a world divided by blood - red or silver. The reds are the commoners, ruled by a silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen year old Red girl from the Poverty stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates, Mare discovers that, despite her Red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver Princess, now engaged to a Silver Prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers; Prince against Prince; and Mare against her own heart.

My Thoughts:
I had only heard good things about this, yet I knew nothing about the book itself. Something that I adore. I think it is a beautiful moment when barely anything is known about a book. You can dive headfirst into a whole new world.

Personally I found the first chapter and a half a little bit boring. Okay, maybe not boring but it took me a long time to read it. Mainly it was a tad bit slow.
However, the rest of the book made up for this. It was so well executed. The characters were so believable and that twist!

There really isn't a lot I can say about this book without spoiling it for the masses. It's the type of book which you don't need to know a lot about it to enjoy. The blurb is all that you need. So I shall simply say this ..... go and read it!

This book was all but perfect and if it hadn't have been for the slow opening then it probably would have been perfect. Sadly it took me a while to get into the book so I'm going to have to give this book ****

Book Total of  - 62

Review | All My Friends Are Superheroes, by Andrew Kaufman

What You Need To Know:
Title: All My Friends Are Superheroes
Author: Andrew Kaufman
Number of Pages: 120
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary, Science Fiction, Romance, Humour. 
Series/standalone: Standalone 
Publisher: Coach House Books
Publication Date: 19th October, 1999

The Plot:
All Tom's friends are Superheroes. No really. There's the Ear, the Spooner, the Impossible Man. Tom even married a Superhero, the Perfectionist. But at their wedding, the Perfectionist was hypnotised (by her ex-boyfriend Hypno, of course) to believe that Tom is invisible. Nothing that he does can make her see him. Six months later, she's sure that Tim has abandoned her.

So she's moving to Vancouver: she'll use her superpowers to make Vancouver perfect and leave all the heartbreak in Toronto. With no idea Tom's beside her, she boards an airplane in Toronto. Tom has until the the wheels touch the ground in Vancouver to convince her he's visible, or he loses her forever.

My Thoughts:
This book was described to me as being a bedtime story; that it would make me nostalgic and that it was pure unadulterated pleasure to read. In short, I would love it. I thought that too when I read the blurb. It sounded like it was going to be an amazing read. A story that was simple yet taught life lessons.

And although I read it in one sitting, sadly I did not love it.

I didn't know whether it was the lack of description or the lack of believable characters. I couldn't connect with Tom so I felt no sympathy towards anything that went on.
Yes, at times the book did make me laugh but that was it. I probably would have put it down if the book hadn't have been so short.

It just wasn't that appealing at all. Strange how so many other people adored this book yet I could hardly stand it. It wasn't the best thing I read but it wasn't the worst either.

I hate to say it but I'm going to give this book ***

Book Total of 2015 - 62

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Review | Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins

What You Need To Know:
Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Number of Pages: 372
Genres: Young adult, Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: 2nd December, 2010

The Plot:
Anna Oliphant is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, an crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Sweet, charming, beautiful, Etienne has it all ... including a serious girlfriend.

But in the city of light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near misses end with their long-awaited French Kiss? 

My Thoughts: 
Before I read 'Anna and the French Kiss' I didn't really read contemporary novels. Now I'm obsessed with contemporary fiction. 

There was something about the narrative style of this book. From page one I was captivated and I read this in one sitting. Which is something that I never do anymore because I have no time what so ever to read. 
All of the characters were so believeable. Oddly enough it felt as if I was reading one of their diaries or something like that. 

'Anna and the French Kiss' has everything that makes a young adult needs; loveable characters, humor, drama and attractive gentlemen. 
Stephanie Perkins is certainly amazing at writing young adult and I can't wait to get my hands on her other books. 

That's why I'm giving this book **** 

Book Total of 2015 - 62 

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Review | Fairest, by Marissa Meyer

What You Need To Know:
Title: Fairest 
Author: Marissa Meyer
Number of Pages: 256
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fairy Tales, Retellings, Romance, Novella
Series/Standalone: Prequel/Bridge book to the Lunar Chronicles
Publisher: Fiewell and Friends
Publication Date: 1st March 2015

The Plot:
Queen Levana's story is finally told in this bridge book/prequel between 'Cress' and 'Winter'. People know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her 'glamour' to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived in a very different story.
An unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death.

My Thoughts:
There's only one thing that disappointed me about this book. It wasn't long enough. It was so short (and addictive) that I basically read it in one sitting. Something that I never get chance to do anymore. Oh the joy of being a student. But I binge read this book.

I don't really know if I would class this as a prequel. It holds some minor spoilers for some of the earlier books so you should probably read them in the publication order: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest and Winter.

This book instantly hooked me. From the confusing opening to the dramatic ending and all the things in between. It had such an amazing narrative and it had all the writing genius of the rest the books.

Initially I began to feel sorry for her (her being Levana) but as the book continued I realised how twisted she actually was. Seeing it through her point of view was a truly magnificent way to show how she became the evil queen. It is true what they say; evil isn't born, it's made.

Although I don't feel sorry for Levana, per say, but I do understand her more. Which I think is why Marissa Meyer wrote Fairest. It makes you see the madness because there is always a new perspective that you can have on a villain. Think of Wicked or Maleficent; the list goes on.

So I am going to give this book *****

Book Total of 2015 - 62

Review | All I Know Now, by Carrie Hope Fletcher

What You Need To Know:
Title: All I Know Now
Author: Carrie Hope Fletcher
Number of Pages: 352
Genre: non-fiction, advice, guidance
Standalone/Series: standalone
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Publication Date: 23rd April, 2015

The Plot:
All I Know Now is the guide on how to survive the stressful world that is the 'teen age'.Growing up can be hard to do so this book helps to combat some of the harder topics for adolescents such as bullying and body image.
Thus helping any young adults to grow up gracefully ... most of the time.

My Thoughts:
I rarely ever read non-fiction. It's something that I really don't connect well with. I only really read non-fiction when I read text books. But I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't have the best high school experience and I think that this book would have been really really helpful for me back then.

The layout was brilliant. For those of you who don't know, Carrie Hope Fletcher is a musical theatre actress so it's set out like a programme! It has different acts for the different topics and an interval and a props list. I loved those ideas because it let me take pauses between the different acts. The interval was a nice divide between the two sections. Whilst the prop list has a detailed list that people can go to for help such as child line and other sites like that. That little detail truly touched me.

It's also filled with these little doodle illustration things that were drawn and put in by Carrie herself. They're lovely and fit in so well. One example being that for the interval page there is an image of Carrie in her Eponine costume as she is currently playing Eponine in Les Mis on the West End.

I have to admit something. I wasn't sure how I would feel about Carrie's writing style. I have followed her on Youtube since basically the beginning and she is very chatty and I wasn't sure how she was going to incorporate that. But I was pleasantly surprised. Her writing style is so informal that it felt like I was reading a letter or a transcript from one of her videos; she had perfectly captured her own thought process. It was both personal and informative which you have to admit is a bizarre combination. Yet it somehow worked.

I just felt like I had to give it *****. I think that maybe I would have given it four and a half stars it that were an option but it wasn't because it wasn't completely perfect yet it is wasn't merely a good. So I thought that the five stars was the best option.

Book Total of 2015 - 62

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Review | Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige

What You Need To Know:
Title: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Number of Pages: 464
Genre: Fantasy, fairy tale, magic, young adult
Series/Standalone: First book in the 'Dorothy Must Die' series
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 1st April, 2014

The Plot:
Amy Gumm didn't ask for any of this. She was just another normal girl from Kansas; but it seems that is exactly what the Revoluntary order of the Wicked wanted.
But Oz isn't the the Merry Old Land Amy knew from the old stories. The Munchkins are slaves; Glinda the Good drains the land of magic; Dorothy rules with an iron fist.
Wicked needs amy to do one thing, to save Oz. So one thing must happen; Dorothy Must Die.

My Thoughts:
I've had real mixed feelings around this book. The synopsis sounded amazing but I had heard mixed reviews so I was unsure about the whole thing.
And I have to admit that I really wasn't that impressed. The concept was beautiful and at the start I had real hope for it.

Personally I think that too much time was spent setting up the novel on Earth; it depleted the flow which is rather annoying. Some of the characters were not believable which meant that I didn't fully absorb the story.

However, I have to say that the majority of the storyline can't actually be faulted. I loved the idea but it wasn't executed that well.
One key example of this is that on the blurb it says:
'Remove the Woodman's heart,
Steal the Scarecrow's Brain,
Take the Lion's courage
And then - 
Dorothy Must Die'
From the start of the book we know what has to happen by the end of the book, but we don't know why or how it has to happen.
I expected that by the end of the book that Dorothy would be the only one left. But I was sadly disappointed. Normally I have to complain about the author rushing but for the first time I can say that Danielle Paige spent too long setting up the novel. Thus making it rather boring even though the idea should have been amazing!

I was so disappointed with this book so I have to say that I'm only going to have to give this book

Book Total of 2015 - 61

The Disney Book Tag

I'm a huge Disney nerd. I think I'm as avid a Disney fan as I am a reader so upon discovering that there is a Disney Book tag. Well let's just say that I squealed quite a lot! So it's time to get started with ......... The Disney Book Tag. 

The Little Mermaid: a character who is out their element, a "fish out of water"
Arthur Braxton from the Drowning of Arthur Braxton. He is thrown into this bizarre world in the Oracle and he most definitely a fish out of water. 

Cinderella: a character who undergoes major transformation
This might be classed as a bit of a cheat but I think Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer. 

Snow White: a book with an eclectic cast of characters
The Book Thief, by Marcus Zuzack. I mean death tells the tale, it is pretty brilliant. 

Sleeping Beauty: a book that put you to sleep
Her, by Harriet Lane

The Lion King: a character who had a traumatic experience in their childhood
Riley Blackthorne from the Demon Trapper's Series, by Jana Oliver

Beauty and the Beast: a beast of a book that you were intimated by, but found the story to be beautiful
A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin

Aladdin: a character who gets their wish granted, for better or worse.
Tally Youngblood in Uglies, by Scott Westerfield ... sort of ....

Mulan: a character who pretends to be something or someone they are not
Caeleana Sardothien from Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas.

Toy Story: a book with character you wish would come to life.
Either Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien; Harry Potter, by J.K Rowling; or Skullduggery Pleasant, by Derek Landy

Disney Descendants: your favourite villain or morally ambiguous character
Voldemort or Bellatrix from Harry Potter. 

I'm sorry that these answers aren't very detailed but they were the answers that came to my head straight away and a can't really explain why if that makes any sense.

Book Total of 2015 - 61

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Review | Cress, by Marissa Meyer

What You Need To Know:
Title: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Number of Pages: 550
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Series/standalone: Third Book in the Lunar Chronicles
Publisher: Macmillan Publishers
Publication Date: 4th February, 2014

The Plot:
Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. But none of them care as they plot together to overthrow the lunar Queen Levana and her killer army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned in a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her net screens for company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai.
Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

My Thoughts:
Just like 'Cinder' and 'Scarlet', 'Cress' is a loose retelling of the fairy tale Rapunzel. I've spent the last year adoring this series and I was worried that this book would be a disappointment because it is so much bigger than its predecessors.
But thankfully it wasn't.

The plot was fast paced (although I have to admit that there were some dull moments; mainly at the beginning) and the characters were as loveable as ever. I had a fear that Marissa Meyer would loose the distinctive voices of each of the characters as it's written in 3rd person. But I could so clearly distinguish each unique voice and every chapter was so refreshing.

Now to mention Cress herself. Even though she's only young, her character truly reflected someone in her position and I thought she so effortlessly showed the dreamer inside of us all.

Onto the plot! I really didn't know where Marissa Meyer was going to take the book; especially after the massive cliff hanger at the end of the last book. Yet she topped it. The book was filled with all sorts of adventures and such amazing bombshells.

Even though she is a mega bitch, I'm loving Levana's character. There's something about her desire for power through all these evil, manipulative ways that I find scarily intriguing. I cannot wait to get me hands on Fairest so that I can learn more about her dark backstory before I read Winter.

Because of all of the points above and the killer ending. Then I think that I'm going to have to give it *****

Book Total of 2015 - 61

Monday, 9 November 2015

October Haul

Last month I was an idiot and spent a hell of a lot of money on books. Don't get me wrong, I love my books but I'm a student and I can't really afford all the books that I keep buying since I'm supposed to be saving up for Christmas and stuff that will happen next year. But I keep buying them anyway.

So this month I bought 18 books for £63. I say 'I bought' but some were actually  of the books were bought for me but still £63 for 18 books; that's a bargain. I don't know if I'm the only one but I adore bargain book shops. It might sound strange but there are some charity shops that are just for books which I think is awesome! Not to mention that there are just some book shops that are amazing for buying bargain books in!I spent £28 on 11 books; three of which were a hardbacks and one was a boxset so I got a lot for an amazing price.

The books that I got from these bargain book shops are as follows:

  • Rogues, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardener Dozois 
  • The Legend Trilogy, by Marie Lu
  • Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith 
  • The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey
  • The Power of Six, by Pittacus Lore
  • Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan 
  • Eldest, by Christopher Paolini 
  • Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer 
  • Eclipse, by Stephanie Meyer
  • The Amulet of Samarkand, by Jonathon Stroud.
The last six books were bought for me but I don't mind. I don't own copies of any of them and I don't mind about actually owning the twilight books. Though they won't get a prime spot on my shelves. I want to get the whole collection of the Percy Jackson and the Lorien Legacies series so I was delighted to find them in my little book bundle. A few of these books I actually already own in paper back but they were there for cheap as a hardback copy so I leapt at the opportunity!

I then spent the remaining £35 on the following five books:
  • Assassin's Blade, by Sarah J. Maas
  • Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas
  • Crown of Midnight, by Sarah J. Maas
  • Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J. Maas
  • Infinite Sea, by Rick Yancey. 
I'm still really annoyed that Heir of Fire wasn't in stock. But I guess I'm going to have to spend some more money on this month and buy it. Not to mention a few other books that came out last month or the ones that are coming out this month. I'm never going to be able to save money, am I? 

Also, my dad bought me some bookish related as a treat after 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' last month. I'm obsessed with a little stationary shop called Paperchase, something that my dad knows, so he bought me a beautiful, handsticked notebook (that I really don't want to write in because it is so beautiful!) and a little magnet/ whiteboard thing that came with these adorable sticky botes that have cute little organising messages on them. 

Overall I think that it's been an amazing bookish haul month. 

Book Total of 2015 - 61

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

I'm writing a book | NaNoWriMo 2015

I'm an avid reader, which you really should know since you are reading this little blog. But what some people may not know is that I also adore writing. I write fanfiction and I've been meaning to write an original novel for the past millennium so I thought why not go for NaNoWriMo this year.

November is National Novel Writing Month, just like October is national reading month. And I have wanted to be apart of NaNoWriMo for years but I have always been too busy. The original plan was that I would take part from next year when I'll be in uni and will be able to spend time doing this. But no I decided, to hell with that. I am going to start writing it this year. So like an idiot I decided that in the most painstakingly difficult year when I not only have exams but also auditions that will determine my future that I would attempt to write a 50,000 word book.

Since I have uploaded this three days into November I thought I'd let you know that I have already written 6711 words which I think is very good. Hopefully I will be able to actually win this. If I did it would be completely amazing.

I'm writing this post because I would love for people to read my works. My four year anniversary of being on Wattpad occurs at the end of this month. Therefore I am going to upload my novel on Wattpad as an early birthday/anniversary present for all my readers. So from 18:30 today on the 3rd of November, 2015 I shall upload the first part of my novel.

Now onto the little details. My original novel is called ............................. 270.

The world is harsh for the survivors living inside of the Dome; life isn't going to be easy when the world was all by destroyed by nuclear war heads. But life is especially hard for the children. At birth a lottery is rolled which releases a number between 7 and 22. The age that that child will be forced to leave their home and live out in the hazardous planet that they once called home for 270 days.

Bree Kampf seems to be no different than the rest of the 270 who will go out to die on the 31st December, 4052. But she knows how to survive. She has to since she's lived on the streets for most of her life. She knows how to survive. Or at least she hopes she does. The wild could be more dangerous than the savage world that she's already used to. Especially when Bree doesn't know who she can trust when the people around her seem to be just as bad as those outside of the Dome that they call home.

But the question is, what will she have to do in order to survive?

The cold air that surrounded her sunk deeply into her bones, but it did not disturb her. It was something that anyone could get used to. The shivers that racked her body were not from the freezing temperatures, instead they were from the horrifying memory that flooded her head. His head turned to face her, blood splattered all around, and his lifeless eyes looking deeply into her own. A scream had rippled through the air that night; the scream of a child. It took her along time to discover that this scream actually belonged to her. She didn’t even realise until one of the guards ran forward and retched her from her hiding place. She still bore the price on her right cheek; the price for being the daughter of a traitor. 
The world was cold, as usual, and the blackened sky was filled with their infamous snow and mist. The world was silent. None dared move, not even those who lived in the shadows on the streets. Like the girl who had woken only moments ago who dared not yell out or even gasp, for none really knew when the patrols would gather near. The florescent lights flickered on and off over head, bathing the street in a yellowing light. The sharp wind curled around the corners as fast as death, it flickered up the scraps of the street and smashed them into any in its way. It flicked the girl’s jet black hair in all directions and smashed her limp limbs about. The wind was the master puppeteer.

Book Total of 2015 - 61

Friday, 30 October 2015

Review | Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas

What You Need To Know:
Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Number of Pages: 404
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Mystery
Series/Standalone: First book in the Throne of Glass Series
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 7th August 2012

The Plot:
Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen year old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made one fatal mistake; she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return to act as Prince Dorian's champion in a competition to become the King's Assassin.
But things are not as easy as they should believe, especially when some of Celaena's opponents begin to turn up dead.

As the young assassin investigation leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined. 

My Thoughts:
I've finally done it. I've finally jumped on the bandwagon and started to read this series. I'm like fifty million years behind everyone else. But I do have an excuse for not reading this series (other than the fact that I didn't own a copy of any of the books until the other week). I don't usually enjoy overly hyped books. My brain sort of decides to dislike really popular books. One huge example being the Divergent trilogy.

However, I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Celaena Sardothien is a wonderful character who is so well written. Not only is she a complete and utter bad ass but she is very girly in places what with her love of clothes and stuff like that. I have a real respect for Sarah J. Maas since she had been writing this book for years and she didn't give up on it.

Personally I think her writing style really shows this. It feels so effortless and floats off the page. She has the perfect balance of dialogue and description whilst including Celaena's thoughts as well. Something that is so refreshing as many author's no longer have this elegant writing style.

However, it was not perfect. Something that really annoyed me was the love triangle. Ugh, love triangles! Why did you have to put a love triangle in. Without it I have no doubt that the book would have been perfect. It housed such an amazing plot that twisted in brilliant ways. Yes, there was a slow section near the end of the book (I think we all know what I'm talking about) but I can forgive that.

But the love triangle spoils it. Truth be told, I didn't notice said love triangle until about a third of the way through the book but once I did see it; I couldn't unsee it. Which is rather annoying really. 

Because of all of this, I am going to have to give this book ****. It was amazing but, sadly, it wasn't completely spectacular. 

Book Total of 2015 - 61


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Booktober Wrap Up 2015

Firstly I want to apologise for the fact that I have not uploaded during the majority of booktober. But life has gotten in the way of things and the past few weeks have been so busy meaning that I had to put reading and school work over this little blog. So I'm sorry about that. As some of you may know I have been in a production this term of 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' and I'm so devastated that it is all over and done with. But I've also had to catch up with the work that I have missed out on because of being in this show (some of which I am still behind on) so I haven't been able to write as much as I'd like.

But, back onto what I wanted to talk to you all about. Booktober. I know we still have a few days left in October but I doubt I will be able to read any more books (other than the two that I wish to finish) before the month is through. Surprisingly I am on my ninth book!!!!! What!!! I've actually acceded the minimum amount of books I need to read. What the hell! How did that happen?

So I am proud to say that the following books are the ones that I have read during Booktober.

  • Gods and Warriors, by Michelle Paver (which I do still have to finish but it will be complete by the end of the week
  • Take my Heart, by Marie Higgins 
  • Falling in Love Again, by Marie Higgins 
  • Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas (a review for this will be up shortly)
  • Antony and Cleopatra, by William Shakespeare
  • Boys, by Ella Hickson 
  • Crown of Midnight, by Sarah J. Maas (which I may still have to finish)
  • Heiress without a cause, by Sara Ramsey
  • Saving me, by Alannah Lynne
The reason that I was able to read so many books this month (because for me, during the busy school year, this is a lot) is because I have been reading Ebooks a lot this month. Take my Heart and Falling in Love Again, by Marie Higgins; Heiress without a cause, by Sara Ramsey and Saving me, by Alannah Lynne are all ebooks that are avaliable to read on amazon or ibooks. I have read them on Wattpad which I have been a proud member of for almost four years now. They are all published so I thought that from now on, as long as I know a book is published, then I will add it onto my read list for the year. 

I'm actually quite proud of myself for the amount of books that I was able to read and I can happily say that I thoroughly participated in this years Booktober! ..... although I didn't stick with the books I planned to read which I kind of annoying but it is me we're talking about so what more can you expect? 

Book Total of 2015 - 61

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Booktober | 2015

Today is the 1st October and that means one thing; Booktober.
I was introduced to Booktober last year by Carrie Hope Fletcher (well not personally, I just saw her youtube videos and I sort of fell in love with the idea) and I instantly decided that I needed to take part next year.

For people who don't know, October is the national reading month in the UK (not sure if it happens in  other countries too, but it might happen) so some decided to create Booktober. The rule for this month is to read one book each week. These books can either follow a similar theme or genre (such as sci-fi or contemporary) or they could just be random books from a bookcase or the library. It doesn't really matter, so long as they are proper books.

Each week I'm going to post about what I thought the week from the previous week was like and then I will announce the book for the next week. I plan on doing this every Thursday but it might also take place later in the week if I have no or very little time on the Thursday of that week.

Oh, if anyone else is going to do Booktober this year then please feel free to let me know what you are going to read and what you think about the books I am reading.

Now, finally we are onto the most important information. What am I going to read this month?

The first book I'm going to read this month is .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. Elizabeth is Missing, by Emma Healey.

Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn't remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. She can forget anyone, even her own daughter - Helen.

But there's one thing that Maud is completely sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.

Because somewhere in Maud's damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about.

Everyone, except Maud ..............

Book Total of 2015 - 51

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

What to do: pick 5 books at random. Each book will answer two questions. The first name seen after randomly flipping through the book will be the member of the team for that question. Sounds simply enough right? No then let's see who I'm going to kill.

The books:

  • The One, by Keira Cass
  • Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson 
  • Fire City, by Bali Rai
  • A Song of Fire and Ice: A Clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin
  • The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett. 
My Zombie fighting team is as follows:

1. The first person to die is America Singer, well it makes sense really. If she couldn't make a simply decision then I doubt she'd be able to survive. 
2. The person you trip to get away from the zombies is King Clarkson. I wouldn't feel bad about that because he is an awful human being!
3. The first person to turn into a zombie is Israel Hands. He might be a second in command but he wouldn't be able to survive a Zombie attack. 
4. The person that trips you to get away from the zombies is Doctor Livesey. That is just rude, Doctor.   I thought you were a decent human being! 
5. The idiot of the team is Mace. He does follow Jonah around so that sort of makes sense. But he's a fairly loving figure. Hopefully he won't die .... straight away. 
6. the 'brains' of the team is Jonah. He does survive a demon infested world on his own. So that makes sense, I guess. 
7. The teams medic is Bronn. We are screwed! 
8. The weapons expert is Tyrion. Why can't he be the brains of the team? 
9. The brawler is Twoflower. Yeah that man is too innocent to be able to do that.
10. The team captain is Rincewind. 

Yep. I am most definitely screwed! Sorry guys but if that was the case then I would most likely die straight away. 

Book Total of 2015 - 51

Monday, 21 September 2015

Autumn TBR | 2015

I think this is an amazing idea of mine (if I do say so myself). Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere officially starts on the 23rd September and finishes on the 21st December. But I'm only going to run until the 1st December because no one wants to admit that winter actually starts that late.

So here are my five books that I am going to read in autumn.

It, by Stephen King:
To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live.

It was the children who saw - and felt - what made Derry so horrible different. In the storm drains, 'It' lurked taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one's deepest dread. Sometimes 'It' reached up, seizing, tearing, killing ....

The adults, knowing better, knew nothing.

Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of 'It' was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront It as It stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.

West End Girls, by Jenny Colgan:
The streets of London appear to be paved with gold ... apparently. They may be twins but Lizzie and Penny Berry are complete opposites - Penny blonde, thin and outrageous; Lizzie quiet, thoughtful and definitely not thin. The one trait that they do share is a desire to DO something with their lives, and as far as they are concerned, the place to get noticed it London.

Out of the blue they discover they have a grandmother living in Chelsea - and when she has to go into hospital, they find themselves flat-sitting on the King's Road. But, as they discover, it's not as easy to become It Girls as they'd imagined, and west end boy are nothing at all like Hugh Grant.

The Walking Dead: Fall of the Governor, Part One, by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga:
Philip Blake (or the Governor as he is also known) has finally descended into madness erupting his community of Woodbury into a world of action and horror. Beloved characters from the comic book, including Rick, Michonne and Glenn, finally make their entrance onto this nightmarish stage, and fans of The Walking Dead will see these characters in a whole new light. Simmering grudges boil over into thinkable confrontations, battle lines are drawn, and unexpected twists seal the fates of the innocent and guilty alike.

Elizabeth is Missing, by Emma Healey:
An elderly woman (who is descending into dementia) embarks on a desperate quest to find the best friend she believes has disappeared, and her search for the truth will go back decades and have shattering consequences.

Rage against the dying, by Becky Masterman:
In her hey-day, ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn not only worked serial killer cases but became their prize. Small and blond, from a distance she looked vulnerable and slight .... the perfect bait to catch a killer. But as Quinn got older, she realised she needed to find a protegee, a younger field agent to take her place. So Quinn trains a twenty-two year old and lets her loose in the field. The plain works. Until the Route 66 killer not only takes the bait, but kills the bait too.

Years later, the girl's body has finally been discovered. Quinn is pulled back into the case and teh more she learns about the killer the more she comes to believe, despite the overwhelming forensic evidence to hand, that they have the wrong man.

Hopefully I'll actually be able to complete this. I do think this will be a better idea for me. Three months to read five books!

Book Total of 2015 - 51

Time for change, a TBR change

This month has confirmed my worst fears, I cannot stick to my monthly TBR. There is something really wrong with my brain as soon I say to myself 'I am going to read this this month' my head goes 'nope, you don't actually want to read these books'. Which is bloody annoying!

So I came up with an idea (well I saw it on instagram and I'm changing the idea slightly so I can say that it's mineish). I still want to do a TBR but maybe not a monthly one; how about a seasonly one?

Each season I shall pick four or five books to read. So I have three months to read a handful of books and then as many other books I want.
How perfect does that sound?

I apologise for the shortness of this post. But there is going to be another following it. I promise!

Book Total of 2015 - 51

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Some of you may know me, but others of you do not so I would like to say a quick hello. Hello, I'm Alisha and I'm in year 13 at a school in Birmingham called BOA. At BOA I do musical theatre as well as two a-levels.

It being our final year, we are completing some shows (it's usually three a year but who knows if they'll keep it that way) and I thought what better way to help us to fill the seats was to announce it on here. Yes I know that this is only a little blog but it would really mean a lot for people to consider coming to see us perform. 

Now on to the important section: 

What even is the show? 
Well I'm glad that you asked. From the 15th to the 17th of October we are going to be putting on Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham. 

This show is based on the classic film musical of the same name that came out in 1967. People may know it because it hosts the legendary performer Julie Andrews who is famous for playing Mary Poppins and Maria. In the film version, Julie Andrews plays Millie Dilmount alongside other legends of that era such as James Fox, Beatrice Lille, John Gavin and Mary Tyler Moore. 

What's the show about? 
Set in New York City in the 1922, Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of young Millie Dillmount from Kansas who moves to New York in search of a new life for herself. Her grand plan is to find a job as a secretary or stenographer for a wealthy man and then marry him. But things are never going to be that easy.

The height of the Jazz Age in New York is shown with the frisky flappers, dashing leading man and a dragon-lady of complete villainess and all the 'new moderns' like Millie are ready to jump into the heart of this explosive (tap crazy) musical and discover love, life and villainy.

Some facts about the show:
The screenplay for film version Thoroughly Modern Millie was written by Dick Scanlan and Richard Morris. When the film was turned into a musical in 2002, Dick Scanlan and Richard Morris wrote the book as well as this, Dick Scanlan wrote the new lyrics. Whilst Jeanine Tesori composed the new music for musical.

In 2002, this musical was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, which it won 6 of these: including Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (Sutton Foster), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical (Harriet Sansom Harris), Best Choreography, Best Orchestrations and Best Costume Design.

This musical started of the career for one of the biggest stars on Broadway at this current moment in time; Sutton Foster. She actually started off as a member in the Ensemble but the leading lady before the musical went onto Broadway left the production and Sutton Foster was promoted to play Millie Dilmount.

Now onto our production:
As I mentioned earlier, our production is running from the 15th to the 17th of October at the Old Rep in Birmingham. We have two casts who are going to be performing two out of the four show run. Both of our casts are absolutely brilliant and I have to say that I have some insanely talented young men and women in my year.
Two beautiful ladies, Ellie Moloney and Tallulah Wheatley, are are leading ladies. Both of whom are insanely talent and hold the show so well. It truly doesn't matter which cast you see because you will not be disappointed with seeing either of these ladies. Their love interests are played but Tom Jones and Billie Downes who are both gifted with gorgeous voices and rugged good looks that make them into the perfect leading man. The best friend to Millie is played by Shona Eaton and Heather Foster who may play the roles very differently but both will one day go places. And the second leading man, Trevor Graydon, is played by Aidan Cutler and Dylan Hartnell. Trust me when I say that none of these actors should be missed.

Oh and there are three more characters that we should mention. The comedic duo and their evil boss, Mrs Meers. The two ladies playing Mrs Meers have this unusual talent to incorporate comedy into their villainous ways and have a marvelous way of grasping accents easily. I have a lot of respect for Katherine Ellis and Casey-joe Dowling. And then the light side to the musical, the henchmen Ching Ho and Bun Foo are played by Harry Jones and Gianni Cantone for Cast A and Harry Sheasby and Lewis Warren for Cast B.

It would take so long to mention every single person in the cast but I am telling you this. This show is not one that people want to miss. You need to come and see this show.

Cast B is performing on Thursday the 15th of October at 7:30pm and on Saturday the 17th of October at 2:30pm. Whilst Cast A is performing on Friday the 16th of October at 7:30pm and on Saturday the 17th of October at 7:30pm.
Here is a link to buy some tickets because it would really be nice to have some more support:

Please come and see the performance, it really would mean a lot to myself and the rest of the company.

Book Total of 2015 - 51

Friday, 18 September 2015

Living the Single Life

Why is it that literally all of my friends are suddenly being thrown into relationships and I am still single? Literally all of my friends are in a relationship and I am sat here in the corner of the room whilst they are being all coupley (is that a word? I don't think it is but it best describes how I feel) eating some sort of chocolate treat.

So a few years ago I was fat. Not like I had a bit of puppy fat on the stomach and thighs. I mean full blown, baby elephant fat. I was huge! Also I had a lot of spots but they weren't spots, it was full blown acne and it was horrid. Oh and I was (and still am) a full blown Geek. But not the cute type of Geek that people are in love with because they are so adorable. I become a fairly angry fangirl when I'm talking about something that I obsess over. So yeah it makes sense that from the ages 11 - 15 I was spending my friday nights devouring ice cream whilst obsessing over Doctor Who.

But in the past year and a bit I dropped a load of my weight almost overnight (mainly because I was so stressed about exams that it fell off, grew legs and ran away (a bit like an adipose). Yes I'm not a stick thin twig person (I still has some fat on me but really it is only a bit of puppy fat in comparison to before) but I'm nothing in comparison to before. I take these tablets that have really controlled my acne (almost getting rid of most of it) and I know that my weight will always look like I'm huge in comparison to some of my taller friends because I'm only 5f2! But you know I can live with that. My geeky side is as huge as ever but it's starting to become a sort of 'aww that's cute that she's obsessed with that' sort of side to other people.

Yet, I'm still alone. I'm 17 and completely and utterly alone. How depressing is that!

I know that I am going to be that person who meets someone in Uni and learns that they are a completely amazing person who I'd maybe end up marrying. But if that doesn't happen then I probably will turn into a crazy cat lady. But I don't have any cats and I already have 10 ferrets so that would probably make me a crazy ferret lady.

But whilst I might be saying that, I rather like being the only single. They are always complaining about their partners and stuff like that so in a way I am glad that I'm alone. And I'm able to obsess over celebs and fictional characters without my other being slightly worried about my sanity.

Now that I'm thinking about it. Although I complain about being single and stuff and probably being the only almost 18 year old in the universe who hasn't actually been kissed or anything. At least I don't have to attempt to impress anyone or anything. Which actually really fantastic, slightly delusional way. Who knows what is actually going on in my mind but I'll survive.

So, basically, I am living (and sort of loving but also sort of hating) the single life!

Book Total of 2015 - 51

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Line Learning

So rehearsals are underway for the first of our shows. It's Thoroughly Modern Millie and we're performing it at the Old Rep from the 13th of October. So if anybody would like to come and see it, then your are welcome. Sorry I had to do a tiny plug for you all.

Anyway because of this, I have the obvious dilemma of line learning. I don't know how many people understand the pain that is line learning. For me I can pick up lyrics as easy as I can pick up a book. Harmonies are the same. Usually line learning is the same but this time, nope. I only have like four lines to learn but for some reason I can't get them in my head. The girl's who are the main cast have almost all their lines completely down but me. Nope.


I'm picking up the choreography quicker than my lines which is odd for me. Maybe it means that I'm progressing as a performer and my dance is improving but I've never struggled with lines this much before. Maybe it's just pressure settling in because of A-Levels and everything being in a few months. Perhaps my head is just a little bit dead. Maybe. Who knows if I'm honest.

But I work good when I'm on a timetable so I think I'm going to have to incorporate some of the Millie line learning and song stuff into that timetable. Maybe at the end of the day. Who knows what I'm going to do.

Ugh! Life!

Book Total of 2015 - 51

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Your Bookish Identity Tag

I am a tiny bit of a geek, something that I do believe most of you already know. If you don't well ... how have you not guessed this already?

This tag is something that I came across whilst I was spending an age crawling around the internet. And I thought that this would be yet another way for people to get to know me. So here is my bookish identity .....

What dystopian/fantasy world would you live in?
Two places instantly come to mind and although I would love to attend Hogwarts I know that I belong in Middle Earth. I am an Elleth at heart so I know that I must live in Middle Earth. Sorry Hogwarts.

Who would your partner be?
People who know me, know that I am completely in love with Legolas and since I am going to be living in Middle Earth (as my OC which I created and you should all go and check out my fan fiction on Wattpad). So my partner shall be Legolas!

Who would your godly mother/father be? (Percy Jackson Series)
I've thought about this for some time. And I have a feeling that I wouldn't be a half blood. I'd like to think that I was a God. Is that really obnoxious of me? I think I would be the daughter of Poseidon and Amphitrite. And I think I would be something to do with the nature. Maybe the Goddess of all the animals in the sea. I dunno. But I think I would be a minor Goddess.

Would you rather be a Downworlder or a Nephilim? (The Mortal Instruments Series)
I'm sure that everyone would quite like to be a Nephilim. But I'd quite like to be a werewolf or something. Basically I would like to be Luke because Aidan Turner! But I also don't think I'd want to be a Werewolf because the transformation is probably very painful. So can I just be a Nephilim please?

What House would you be in? (Harry Potter Series)
I already know this because I am an avid Potterhead so I was sorted into my House a long time ago. I am in Gryffindor.

What faction would you be in? (Divergent)
I'd love to say that I am in Dauntless but I doubt I'd be brave enough. I'm not a peaceful person so I definitely couldn't be in Amity. I'm sort of selfish so I would not be in Abnegation. And I am not that honest, I'm not honest but not so honest that I could be honest ally he time, so Candor is a no for me. So I think that I would have to be Erudite because I'm intelligent. But I hope that I wouldn't go along with Jocelyn's plan. I'd hope that I was divergent too. But I doubt

What would your daemon be? (Northern Lights Trilogy)
I think I know what this would be for me. My daemon (and my patronus) would be a ferret. I am a mad ferret lady so having a ferret as a daemon really makes sense.

So this is my bookish identity. Personally I think that this sort of shows a lot about me as a geeking ginger. Ha, see what I did there? If anyone else feels like doing this tag then feel free to do so but please let me know.

Book Total of 2015 - 49