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