May & June Wrap Up: Cambridge, Blogging Silence & Roadtrips!

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Good afternoon bloggers! I hope you’re well! It’s been pretty silent over here the last couple of months, hasn’t it?

That wasn’t really intentional, but the last two months have been a bit of a rollercoaster. It’s been super busy at work and at home, and so even when I have had the downtime to blog, I either haven’t had the want to write or have felt so burnt out that the words don’t flow! I’ve found myself reaching towards Bookstagram more because LESS WORDS. My mental health also took a bit of a dip and I felt like I was taking on a lot of other people’s problems, so I’ve been doing some extra self-care!

Pretty Little Liars self care gif.gif

But, but, BUTTTTTT, by the time you read this, I will have already hopped over the pond, off on a France roadtrip adventure, and I am PUMPED. I’m going to be going from Calais, all the way down to the south coast, stopping at lots of pretty towns, and I will make sure to share my travels with you when I get back!

James Corden Will Smith gif.gifActual footage of our roadtrips when the good tunes come on.

WHAT I GOT UP TO IN MAY AND JUNE:

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April Wrap Up: Grishaverse, Silly Socks & the Battle of Winterfell!

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Hello everyone!

Another month gone, another wrap-up post. These sure do come around quickly sometimes! (I’d also just like to preface this by saying that despite the title there will be NO Game of Thrones spoilers in this post!)

I’ve been sitting here trying to rack my brain for something interesting enough to share with you guys from April. I did think about trying to convince you that I’d learnt to talk to animals, built a spaceship, or found a fossilized dragon egg in amber that had hatched and I’d become a dragon rider (still ever hopefully after my childhood of watching Jurrasic Park), but somehow, I didn’t think you guys would take me at my word?

Game of Thrones dragon gif.gif(A girl can dream, right?)

April can basically be summed up in Dory’s famous words ‘just keep swimming…’ or the better know phrase, ‘keep on keeping on’.

Of course, there was that brief moment in the UK where we got July-worthy sun over the bank holiday weekend and we all had a freak-out and dug out the BBQ equipment, but it wasn’t long before the status quo returned.

By far the best thing about April for me was seeing all the amazing love you guys have given my Pancake Book Tag. SO many of you have participated in this now and I kind of feel really emotional about it??! I really didn’t think this many people would do it and the whole thing has far exceeded my expectations. You guys are absolutely incredible, THANK YOU! :’D

So, let’s get on with the wrapping up!

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March Wrap Up // Harry Potter Vibes & Birthday Treats!

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Good afternoon, readers!

I have a question for you: DID YOU MAKE IT OUT OF MARCH IN ONE PIECE? I, my friends, did not. I feel like a walking, talking zombie and I am absolutely cream-crackered! March felt more like 2 months!

THE CHAOTIC THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN MARCH:

This can basically be summed up by crazy work shenanigans: first, one of our main members of staff dropped to 1 day a week unexpectedly (and we were understaffed before), secondly, we took on another member of staff who quit 3 days in. So THEN we had to interview for ANOTHER new member of staff, (it’s a really weird feeling interviewing people, btw). We eventually found one (yay!) but now most days are spent training them, which, lemmie tell ya, is REALLY EXHAUSTING.

barny at work gifActual footage of me at my desk.

NOW, FOR THE REALLY AWESOME THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN MARCH:

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February Wrap Up // Is This the ‘Good Place?’ Because I’d Like to Stay Here!

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Greetings, booklings! 

I hope ye are fairing well and that February was a positive month for you! It took until about halfway through February for me to stop thinking it was January, and then it feels like I blinked and now somehow there are no days left?!? Like, whoa!

what-just-happened new girl gif

February was a very good month for me, I feel like I managed to squeeze a lot into a very small amount of time, including binge-watching a whole 3 seasons of a TV show, reading a LOT of books compared to my monthly average, and having some great personal experiences!

COOL THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN FEBRUARY

  • I visited the Sky Garden in London, which is a building with a 360 view. The viewing space is also full of beautiful and bold plants and landscaped garden areas. I’d definitely recommend this if your heading to London, because it’s completely free – it’s not quite as high as the Shard, but it has a very good view of it!
  • I attended the London launch for Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree which was absolutely AMAZING (blog post to come)! It was also chaired by Alwyn Hamilton. SUCH GOOD BOOKISH VIBES. 😀
  • I did my first buddy read in 5 years with my interwebs friend and fellow blogger, Tony, and it was so much fun swapping plot theories and character insights! I definitely want to do more of these again in the future because you really think about what you’re reading in so much more detail!
  • I had my first ever Wagamama’s, and I liked it! YUM.
  • I started looking into the possibility of being a volunteer mental health listener for those who are struggling or are lonely, which I think could potentially be a very rewarding experience if it develops further!

What were your personal highlights this month?

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December & January Wrap Up // In Which Awesome Things Happen but I am Defeated by Illness.

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If you’re reading this, it means you’ve officially made it through the most depressing month of the year, GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK (and maybe a cookie…or 5???)

cookie gif.gifActual image of me being a cookie monster.

There’s something about January that feels a little like limping over a finish line, am I right? It bleak, it’s rainy, it gets dark so early and it feels like you shouldn’t have to go out into the world and DO THINGS.

I’m summarising both December and January in this post because in December I did my end of year wrap up instead.

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November Wrap Up: Burn Out, Glorious Bookishness & Confusing TV

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 Hi, guys! So, November was a pretty awful month and I’m glad to see it go!

Work has been horrendous and we have been scrabbling around, totally behind the game spending most of our time putting out fires. I have been feeling utterly burnt out. BUT WHO WANTS TO TALK ABOUT THAT??? I don’t, I’ve already lived it!

Here are some of the highlights from this month – there are actually more positives than I thought!

  • I came across some Beatrix Potter 50p coins after buying some food and had a total nerd out. I love Beatrix Potter and used to read all the books when I was younger, so I was surprised to look down at my change and find both Tom Kitten and Jeremy Fisher staring back at me! They’re now in pride of place on my bookshelf! (You can view the collection here.)
  • I went to a new Turkish restaurant which essentially specialises in meat platters. It was fantastic and they had the biggest portions I’ve ever seen!
  • I treated myself to a book haul and all the covers are so beautiful I COULD CRY.
  • I received my first ever book subscription box from illumicrate. I’ve been so tempted to get one of these for a while, but with most being £30 a pop it’s not exactly an impulse buy. But this month I decided to treat myself, damn it! It was so fun having a mystery box full of goodies to open, and it had a book enclosed that I’ve been desperately coveting for the last couple of months! If you’re interested to see what was in it, you can view my instagram story (it’s on my highlights)!

What were your personal highlights this month?

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Insurgent Film Review: A Case of Action over Substance

Insurgent Poster

The Insurgent film release really snuck up on me, with life keeping me busy and university work in full swing, I probably would have completely missed out on seeing it in the cinema if it weren’t for a good friend of mine who reminded me! In a way, I kind of liked going without having been sucked into any of the hype, it meant that I could sit back, relax and enjoy without any preconceived ideas of how good it would be or how it would compare with the novel. I’m just a tad late with this review, but better late than never, eh?! Continue reading

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Film Review

The Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies Poster

It’s the end of an era. *Sniff, sniff.*
I can’t believe that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be the last new Middle Earth film I’ll ever see. Sure, I’ll rewatch them (probably numerous times) on DVD, but I’ll never feel that same rush of awe as I did seeing them the first time, nor the nervous anticipation. I felt collected when I first entered the cinema and found my seat, but half an hour in I felt a sudden, overwhelming panic about how NOT READY I was for shizz to go down, and for this to be the final part… and for all the feels about to descend…!
As the film ended and the credits began to roll to the beautiful melancholy song The Last Goodbye by Billy Boyd (mirroring his previous haunting song Edge of Night from Return of the King) my friend and I, as well as the other people in the cinema, all sat in complete silence for a good 3 minutes as if suspended in the moment, awed, with our hearts just a tad broken, not quite ready to let go of the hobbits dwarves and elves that had been our companions and friends for so many years. Continue reading

The Maze Runner Film Review

Having recently read and enjoyed the fast paced dystopian adventure that was The Maze Runner, I was looking forward to the release of it’s film adaptation with impatient enthusiasm (and secretly scowling jealously at the American bloggers who were able to see it earlier than the UK). So a couple of weeks ago I snoozed through my early lectures, met my friend and we raced for the train, just managing to catch it in time to allow us to make the midday showing with an overflowing bucket of popcorn. So, did The Maze Runner live up to my expectations? Hmm….well… *puffs out cheeks with air* yes, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
Side Note: I’ve tried to write this so it will make sense to people who both have and haven’t read the book but I will, inevitably be making a few comparisons. 🙂

The Maze Runner Movie
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Mini Film Reviews: Divergent, Catching Fire and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Hello peeps. 🙂 This blog post is wayyyyy overdue, you have no idea how long I’ve wanted to write it! Divergent, Catching Fire and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug were all films I was insanely excited to see when they first came out. I counted down the months, weeks and then days until their release and ran into the cinema flailing my arms with the enthusiasm only a true fangirl could muster. Afterwards, I had so many thoughts that I wanted to write about but it never happened because the films were all released during semesters when I was struggling to find blogging time. However, I don’t want to let the films pass by completely without acknowledging their existence because I was SO excited to see them, yet I don’t really feel they warrant individual blogs. So instead (taking inspiration from Emma’s lovely posts) I thought I would write some mini-reviews as a way of summarising my thoughts. 🙂

Divergent Movie Poster

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Day 4: Book Turned Into a Movie & Completely Desecrated.

30 Day Book Challenge Banner

When I saw this on the challenge I didn’t even have to think about the answer. One book to film adaption specifically popped straight into the forefront of my mind. When I think back on all the adaptations I’ve nervously committed to seeing over the years, this is the one I was most disappointed by; a book they totally wrecked. I remembered bobbing up and down at the young age of 12 along with several of my relatives also of a similar age. We had all read and loved the book and were so excited to see it transferred to the big screen.

So, does anyone remember this atrocity?

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Sick-Lit The New Trend? YA Books That May Harm Your Kids ‘Apparently’

Before I dieThe Fault in Our StarsThirteen Reasons WhyThe Lovely Bones

Do you recognize any of the popular titles above?
I personally haven’t read all of them, but I have it on good authority that they are excellent books.
Well watch out, because this genre is now being labeled ‘sick-lit’.
This post is a reaction to this article which you many want to check out.

Sick-lit is being defined as novels that deal with complex issues relating to death and disease, so cancer, depression, eating disorders and many other important issues relevant to modern society that have formed some great contemporary books. Yet I can’t help but feel the term ‘sick-lit’ is trying to sound derogatory somehow, giving the genre a negative slant. I mean, it’s not exactly a tasteful sounding label is it?

Like every book that becomes uber popular, moral panic will ensue. Cue the release of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars capturing the hearts of teenagers everywhere and you’re bound to find a crowd of concerned onlookers close behind. Continue reading

Breaking Dawn Part 2 Film Review

Ohhh my freaking god. What did I just witness? *cue crazy eyeSDC13795d look*
As a person with a love hate relationship with The Twilight Saga, I was pleasantly surprised by how good Breaking Dawn Part 1 was. Unfortunately this time I was pleasantly horrified, and well….a little bored to be honest.
Still, it’s weird to think that this was REALLY the last film in the series. As one of my friends put it ‘Wow, when we walk out of this cinema Twilight is over, our teenage fangirling years are over’.
There are a lot of great memories I have in relation to Twilight. Friendships formed, endless laughs and inside jokes, and a lot of traditions, but I am definitely ready to move on from it.

Plot
So we left the last film with Bella (Kristen Stewart) giving birth and being turned in to a vampire. Shock! Horror! What a cliffhanger! (Actually sarcasm aside I have to give it to them, it was good.)
We begin part 2 with Bella reveling in her pale immortal awesomeness and fake eyelashes. Edward (Robert Pattinson) gets super excited that they’re the same temperature now, and they head out for Bella’s first hunt.  Continue reading

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Film Review

SDC13786Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!! It’s here! It’s here! EVERYBODY CELEBRATE. The Hobbit is finally out in cinemas!!
Ahem. I’m calm, I’m calm.
BUT SERIOUSLY!!! 😀
Sorry.

I have been waiting impatiently for this film… well, pretty much since I first watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy and fell hopelessly in love with it, but I thought it would never happen. Then, when I heard the news that The Hobbit was going to be made I could barely contain my excitement. After, as if fate was somehow in my favour, my dream film suddenly turned into three films! Curse or blessing? I wasn’t sure, but since seeing the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey I am almost certain that Peter Jackson made the right decision.

I’m utterly horrified by the idea that some people out there might not know the plot, but just in case…

The Plot
‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit…’
Bilbo (Martin Freeman) is a Baggins, and Baggins’ are respectable Hobbits; they never do anything unexpected or go on any adventures. That is, until one fine day Gandalf the wizard (Ian McKellen) shows up with an unusual proposal. To Bilbo’s dismay a party of 13 dwarves ransack his home, getting mud on the carpet, eating everything in his parlour and drinking all his mead. They talk of dragons, stolen treasure and a kingdom lost; Lonely Mountain.
It just so happens that they need a burglar, one agile and small enough to sneak past the dragon Smaug to reclaim their home.
Three guesses who.
Bilbo, Gandalf and the thirteen dwarves must embark on the journey of a lifetime across Middle-earth, but will they ever return?

The Hobbit Bilbo
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The Hobbit News: Film to be Split into Three not Two!!!

This is just a quick post, but an important one nonetheless. I have been keeping a close eye on all things Hobbit for some time. So I got extremely excited a couple of days ago when I received a Tweet through my phone.

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I held my breath. No! Could it really be?! I followed the link (which you can read here if you wish) but to summarize it in short; Peter Jackson and several others got the chance to watch back a lot of the footage and realized that they potentially had enough material to extend it into three films instead of the expected two fans have been looking forward to. By doing this they might also be able to include extra’s from the Lord of the Rings appendixes padding out our favourite world into even more rich detail. However, they still needed the go ahead from actors, studio’s etc.

Well, today I got this through my phone:
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And this statement was released on the film’s Facebook page:

Peter Jackson:
“It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made.

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