How To Be Single

how-to-be-single-posterHow To Be Single
The blurb: New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.
My rating: 2.5/5
Tagged: comedy, romance
Date I watched this movie 19/02/2016

What did I think?At first I thought I was going to really hate this movie. It starts out force feeding us these opinions on what it means to be single and the dialog that the actors spit out is just so dry and formulated that I just wanted to shoot myself.

Luckily, I didn’t because the film took the turn for the OK, as we get to know the characters a little bit better. Give it up for some good acting and decent character development that causes you to feel something for everyone in the movie. Even the smallest character had a story to tell, some were interesting and others were touching and well done.

It’s a strange movie about letting relationships take their course without showing all that stuff, because the main story is about the relationship you have with yourself.

It wasn’t a brilliant movie, it wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be but overall it was just a good film to sit through

You’re Never Weird On The Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

Felicia Day – You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
The blurb: From online entertainment mogul, actress, and “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, a funny, quirky, and inspiring memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to Internet-stardom, and embracing her individuality to find success in Hollywood.

The Internet isn’t all cat videos. There’s also Felicia Day—violinist, filmmaker, Internet entrepreneur, compulsive gamer, hoagie specialist, and former lonely homeschooled girl who overcame her isolated childhood to become the ruler of a new world… or at least semi-influential in the world of Internet Geeks and Goodreads book clubs.

After growing up in the south where she was “home-schooled for hippie reasons”, Felicia moved to Hollywood to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and was immediately typecast as a crazy cat-lady secretary. But Felicia’s misadventures in Hollywood led her to produce her own web series, own her own production company, and become an Internet star.

Felicia’s short-ish life and her rags-to-riches rise to Internet fame launched her career as one of the most influential creators in new media. Now, Felicia’s strange world is filled with thoughts on creativity, video games, and a dash of mild feminist activism—just like her memoir.

Hilarious and inspirational, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should embrace what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: humour, iggleworms, memoir, non-fiction
Date I started this book: 16/02/2016
Date I finished this book 18/02/2016

What did I think? This isn’t the type of book I would normally read but I read it for International Geek Girls Penpals Club Bookworms February 2016 Book Of The Month. And I’m really glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I first found out about Felicia Day when I she started guest-starring on Supernatural and didn’t really know much else about her other than that she’s a really big geek.

Her memoir is an honest insight into all the wacky and wonderful that has made her the person she is today. From her unconventional upbringing that allowed her to be as weird as she wanted to be, as she was homeschooled and didn’t face the same social pressure kids and teenagers generally do to fit in, to her struggles as an aspiring actress in Hollywood with a seemingly useless double degree in math and music. And from developing a serious World of Warcraft addiction, right down to using the knowledge she gained spending all those hours lost in a fantasy world to create something that startkicked her career in the geekverse. She wrote The Guild, which focuses on a group of people playing a similar game to WoW and was too niche at the time to be picked up by an established television network, but it was perfect for the Internet; the web series was born.

It is not an easy road though and Felicia doesn’t gloss over the more difficult parts of her life, which makes this not only an incredibly relatable read for those of us who have grown up with the internet, but also genuinely inspiring and insightful for both existing fans of and those who picked up the memoir because they’re interested in one of the TV-shows Felicia has been a part of or the change the Internet has brought to the world; it has fundamentally changed the way we communicate with each other. Forming relationships with someone on the other side of a screen can be both a blessing and a curse at times. Yes, it has become easier to find like-minded people anywhere in the world that we feel that connection with, but it has also become so much easier for the human race to let their worst side flourish, hiding behind the safety of fake personas and made-up screen names – and Felicia has faced some of the worst examples of this herself.

Many of Felicia’s stories resonated with me. I may not have grown up becoming as invested in video games as her but I had similar experiences online. I vividly remember the feeling of wonder at having the world at my fingertips and losing hours – sometimes days – when completely engrossed in something on the Internet, usually Youtube or Tumblr. It was interesting to read about how ‘back in the day’ it was the rare excitement of connecting with someone who was as much into a barely known fandom as you were and using existing characters in role-playing games or fan fiction that made those hours disappear.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is an insightful and honest memoir about one woman’s journey of growing up and finding her place in the world, both online and offline. Felicia’s witty and self-aware humour shines through on every page, even the ones detailing low points in her life. She does so unashamed of being different, instead highlighting that she is proud of the quirks that make her unique and, well, her. We could all do with some reassurance every now and again that it is okay to completely be yourself, whatever shape or form this may take (as long as you don’t hurt someone by doing so), and this book provides just that, while at the same time being an incredibly funny and fascinating read that was just addictive as the Internet itself can be.

Accepted

I am so excited! I found out that I’ve been accepted into university! My first choice university and the course that I really really really REALLY wanted to do!

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a sociocultural anthropologist. I know, probably a really strange thing to want to be and I don’t even remember what started it. And, in case you’re wondering, because a lot of people do, sociocultural anthropology is studying what it means to be human, how we calculate who we are related to, how we make a living, how we organize the world, and all of the beliefs that are part of religion, science, and the arts.

I’m in college right now, doing my A2s in English, History, Psychology and Sociology. I’ve got my exams in a couple of months and I mentioned the other day how I’m all stressed. Well, it’s all going to be worth it.

As long as I pass my exams with a BBBB or higher, I am going to The University Of Aberdeen in September to study Anthropology and Sociology.
I’m predicted AABB so hopefully hopefully I should get it.

I’m SO EXCITED

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong – The Awakening
The blurb: You don’t have to be alive to be awakened.

Chloe Saunders is a living science experiment—not only can she see ghosts, but she was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. She’s a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control, which means she can raise the dead without even trying. Now Chloe’s running for her life with three of her supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and they have to find someone who can help them before the Edison Group catches them.

Or die trying

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, paranormal, urban fantasy, supernatural
Date I started this book: 10/02/2016
Date I finished this book 16/02/2016

What did I think? The Summoning was so exciting and I was really looking forward to reading The Awakening. I’ve now read it, and I’m feeling a little disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, the book itself wasn’t bad; the characters are just as awesome as they were before, the writing as just as good, there’s no fault there. I think my problem is with the plot. I haven’t read the third book in the series, The Reckoning, yet, obviously, but it felt to me like Kelley knew how the series was going to end, but couldn’t just start The Reckoning after The Summoning, so needed The Awakening as filler to bridge the gap. Not an awful lot happens for a book of its length. Before I knew it, I was over half way through, and still waiting for something important to the actual plot line from The Summoning.

I love the way Kelley writes; Chloe’s voice, thoughts and fears are just so fascinating, you don’t want to put the book down. I want to get to know Chloe, and the others, better because their lives and what they’re going through is just so clever. Chloe learns a little more about her necromancy ability in this book, and it’s kind of freaky just how far she can go. Tori has to face some harsh truths, and I can’t help but feel sorry for her, even when she is being a cow. Derek is so awesome, I swear; he’s strong, he’s brave, he’s self-sacrificing, he’s just brilliant! Simon is lovely, but he annoys me sometimes with just how nice he is. I know he likes Chloe, but he shouldn’t be so happy-cheery all the time, it’s grating. Liz is still one of my favourite characters, she’s just on the right side of quirky, and I love her! I am liking the hint of a love triangle that weaves its way throughout the book, though I know who I would choose.

They find out something huge about themselves in this book, and it puts them all on edge a little, though I can’t really go into why without spoiling a major plot point (which I would like to point out we find out at the beginning of the book). There is a fair amount of action, of the creepy ghost/zombie kind, dodging baddies kind, and fighting kind, and it’s all suspenseful and will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. Quite a bit of a thrill roller-coaster.

I’m really looking forward to reading The Reckoning

Carrie (2013)

carrie2013Carrie (2013)
The blurb: A reimagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White, a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother, who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.
My rating: 3/5
Tagged: drama, horror
Date I watched this movie 14/02/2016

What did I think?Carrie White is regarded as a loser, a loner, a social outcast. She is the daughter of an obsessively religious & overbearing mother. She also possesses the ability of telekinesis, and when Carrie gets upset or angry things around her tend to break, smash or get damaged, so when some vicious school bullies cross the line with their “fun”, Carrie can’t help but get a little angry. This causes Carrie to unleash her full fury at anyone who gets in her way.

Filmmakers can obviously achieve a certain level of effects now that they couldn’t way back in 1976, and there are some pretty impressive effects here. It’s not an effects-laden extravaganza and quite rightly it shouldn’t be as Carrie is story-pushed and not effects-pushed, but some of the effects in the movie are well done and pretty cool to watch.

Chloë Grace Moretz does a really good job of playing Carrie bringing her own believability to the character, and Julianne Moore performs equally as good as Margaret White, Carrie’s mother. The members who played the bullies – especially Portia Doubleday as Chris Hargensen – were also believable in their parts, and when it came to their time I had absolutely no sympathy. I cheered inside when they really got what they deserved.

Deadpool

deadpoolDeadpool
The blurb: A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopting the alter ego Deadpool.
My rating: 4/5
Tagged: action, adventure, fantasy
Date I watched this movie 13/02/2016

What did I think?I thought this was an 18 and I was going to have to try to sneak in but it was a 15 so I was all good and legal in attendance!

This movie is completely mad. Thanks to the brilliantly funny, no-holds-barred brand of comedy that is absolutely everywhere from start to finish, Deadpool is a consistently hilarious comedy, made even better by a very well-written plot, excellent performances, and amazingly directed action.

Deadpool is a movie made for the fans. In comic book lore, he’s the ultimate foul-mouthed, wise-cracking rogue superhero, and the movie takes that character and places him on-screen in exactly the same form. Therefore, rather than the more family friendly, action-oriented superhero movies that dominate the box office nowadays, prepare for something completely different.

Although the story and action are great, it’s the humour that’s the real stand-out of this movie. There’s so much bad language, and so much adult humour, but in this movie, it works like magic.

I didn’t think Deadpool was the funniest movie ever, but I was laughing on a consistent basis right the way through this movie. The shock value of the swearing, extreme violence, self-referential humour and countless fourth wall breaks didn’t wear off at all, which is testament to just how brilliant a script this film has. Even if you’re not into the world of superheroes, Deadpool can still be a fantastically enjoyable movie just because it’s so funny.

But don’t think that this is just a comedy, because it does shine on the story and action front too. Whilst tying into the X-Men Universe, Deadpool is a very unique superhero movie. It’s not all about saving the world, it’s just a story of a guy who wants to get revenge on a man who completely ruined his life. And because of that, you can actually relate to this guy more so than any other big blockbuster superhero because his determination is so simple and real.

As well as revenge story, Deadpool is also a bit of a love story. It’s the revenge that drives the film, but the relationship between Wade Wilson and his old girlfriend is a genuinely believable one (helped by the fact that Reynolds and Morena Baccarin work so well together), and is yet another brilliantly-written plot point that allows you to get more invested in what is a hugely entertaining film.

While you and I are running out of time

Sometimes I really wish I had a time-turner so I could get more stuff done. More hours in the day would be great. Of course, I bet that if I did have more hours I still wouldn’t get the chance to do the things I want to do in them.

I miss doing all the extra-curricular stuff I could do before. I miss having the time to ride, to swim, to do gymnastics, to practice karate, to see Chelsea play. Even just the time to play with Caden Bryce or read with him.

I get up. I get on the tube to college (and read). I go to college. I get on the tube home (and read). I do homework. I do extra reading. Sometimes I get time to come online – although often it gets done on a few minutes between classes, or on a free period. And then it feels like it’s time for bed before it all starts again.

It’s not even a lack of time management. It’s just the time of year. I’m only a couple of months away from my A-Level exams. Coursework is all due. All of my teachers want all of my time, all of my effort and I have a couple of really heavy workload courses.

I always make time on a Friday night though to go to the cinema. Sometimes with friends, sometimes with Jade Rachel and Erin and Dad and Jimmy (and sometimes Caden Bryce) It all depends on what’s coming out. Tomorrow my BFF Georgia & I are going to see either Deadpool or Pride & Prejudice & Zombies.

Weekends seem to be filled with sleep and coursework. And then I have to be very particular about what I do because there’s only so many hours in the day. Usually I go swimming because that’s a lot easier to fit into a spare moment than having to schedule around the gymnastics or karate classes. I always try and have Sunday afternoons free so I can just chill, watch a DVD, do some colouring… just properly relax before everything starts again on Monday morning.

I possibly didn’t schedule the start of the 101 Things In 1001 Days at the best time, because there’s also fitting in the things I want to do there.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or like a whiney little bitch, I really don’t. I love everything that I’m doing, I love being in college, having the opportunity to study etc etc. I guess I might be a little stressed and I know I’m tired. I just miss doing some of the things I love, some of the things that I feel define part of who I am.

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong – The Summoning
The blurb: My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don’t even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost – and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won’t leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a “special home” for troubled teens. Yet the home isn’t what it seems. Don’t tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It’s up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House… before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, paranormal, urban fantasy, supernatural
Date I started this book: 03/02/2016
Date I finished this book 06/02/2016

What did I think? I thought The Summoning was a really thoroughly enjoyable read and am very much looking forward to reading the next two in the series.

The first chapter (which is a prologue featuring a young Chloe) had me hooked from the first page. It sets the tone for how this book is going to be, a bit creepy with lots of ideas left for you to get your head around. I really liked how it takes a while for the reader (and Chloe for that matter) to really grasp what is going on in this book. There is so much that is teased out slowly as the book goes on and Chloe gets so many mixed messages that she starts to doubt herself which means you as the reader do too.

Another thing I loved about this book was the characterisation. Chloe was a fab leading lady and enjoyed following her story but I also loved all of the other teenagers around her, even Tori was was a complete bitch to everyone. I loved the dialogue between them as it was often witty and amusing.

Once the book kicks off the action is fast paced and exciting. I loved finding out about the supernatural potentials of the main characters and delving more into the whys and wherefores of how they all ended up at Lyle house and why the place was built in the first place.

The ending was jaw dropping. I was stunned about what happened between two of the characters and when the book ended I wanted more straight away.

All in all an excellent start to a trilogy that I can’t wait to continue.

Beastly

Beastly
The blurb: A modern-day take on the “Beauty and the Beast” tale where a New York teen is transformed into a hideous monster in order to find true love.
My rating: 3.5/5
Tagged: drama, fantasy, romance
Date I watched this movie 07/02/2016

What did I think?So this movie received mostly bad reviews, but who were these reviews written by? Adults. Who is this movie aimed at? Teens. So it’s not wonder it was so critically received, and let’s be honest, most teen movies are, but if all the reviews are written by adults, is this really fair? Yes, usually the standard of acting is not as good, and the plot lines are either cheesy or predictable (or both), but the people who it is aimed at are young people who will watch just about anything for a laugh and won’t read into the deeper meaning of things. I don’t think that these reviews are fair, and the same goes for this movie.

Beastly is a modern retelling of ‘Beauty and the Beast’, and is a film adaption of the book written by Alex Finn. Now with two pieces that are distinctly Disney playing major roles in this movie (‘BATB’ and Vanessa Hudgens), I was concerned that perhaps this movie would appear too… well.. Disney.

This movie will definitely appeal to teenage girls who like cute, romance movies, probably not so much to boys or adults. So, being as it’s a modern adaption of Beauty and the Beast, everybody should know how the story’s going to go… give or take an arrogant, loaded, bastard, and a drug-abusers daughter… So I guess the story of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ doesn’t really fit into the modern world, but who cares? It’s a movie. F-I-C-T-I-O-N. So apparently the acting wasn’t too good, but personally, I didn’t really notice this. I thought that this was a good movie, with an important moral message, that is important is this day and age: look aren’t everything. By retelling this Disney classic that everybody knows the story of in modern times could help us to relate to it and to release the message behind the story.

Across A Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

Diana Peterfreund – Across A Star-Swept Sea
The blurb: Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, dystopia, romance, science-fiction
Date I started this book: 03/02/2016
Date I finished this book 06/02/2016

What did I think? While I will always have a place in my heart for its companion novel For Darkness Shows the Stars, I must admit that Across A Star-Swept Sea really brought my love for Diana Peterfreund and her writing to new heights. Her characters are incredibly well-drawn, riddled with complexities and flaws that make them more human. But even more than that, her story is told fantastically, with twists and turns that will definitely blow readers away. The combination of these two elements set against a world that’s lovely, lush and very different from its predecessor is really what makes this novel such a phenomenal hit.

Persis is, by far, the strongest character in this novel, particularly because she leads a double life. Her unquestionable intelligence, and her ability to slip from one character into another, make her the perfect candidate to play the role of the Wild Poppy, who comes to the aid of those in need. She’s also a wonderful daughter and friend, who is loyal, kind and always willing to help those she loves. It was marvelous to see her capabilities shine in this book, even when faced with the most dire of situations. Persis Blake is most definitely kick-ass, and I absolutely adored her for it!

The story in this book is very clever, as it combines the romance, the Wild Poppy’s adventures and the political ties between the neighboring islands of Galatea and Albion. Having too many plot threads could have been potentially confusing, but Peterfreund certainly handles each one skillfully. With an equal balance of swoon-worthy moments with adorably nerdy Justen Helo, tense encounters as the Wild Poppy and revelations that caught me off guard, it’s no surprise that Across A Star-Swept Sea is one of my favorite reads this year.