Friday, 31 January 2014

Kendal's Column: The New Books On The Shelf (January 2014)

This month I have read books and also bought more books...a lot more books...*cough*
and because it's the end of the first month of a new year it seems like an appropriate time to document the recently purchased and/or read in brief (this is more haul than review)

This Is What Happy Looks LikeThis Is What Happy Looks Like- Jennifer E Smith
Status: To Read 
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?
When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds. 
Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?
After reading 'The statistical probability of love at first sight' last summer and finding it to be the PERFECT summer read I really wanted to read more of Jennifer E Smith's work but ,at the time, she didn't have any other books out ut then a few weeks ago, I saw this on the shelf and just had to have it- and what better way to start feeling like summer than a good contemporary romance?

Vampire academy- Richelle Mead 
Status: Finished Reading
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.
With the film out in 2 weeks I just had to read the book before I saw the film- full review next week!

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)5th Wave- Rick Yancey
Status: Finished Reading
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
I did a review on this book (click here to view) in mid january and if you haven't picked it up yet- what are you waiting for?! Go. Right now. Go. Get it- you won't regret it.


The Maze RunnerMaze Runner- James Dashner
Status: To Read
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade-a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they've closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up-the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. 
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.
I am seriously looking forward to reading this. I purchased this book after my friend recommended it to me I'd also heard many, many great things about the quartet and, with the film out later this year
why not read the book before you see the film? 

Legend (Legend, #1)Legend- Marie Lu
Status: Reading
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. 
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. 
I also purchased this book because it was a strong recommendation from a friend (she borderline bullied me into buying it) but there is a hype around this book and I actually didn't know much about this book when i picked it up so i'm intrigued to if it stands up to it's 4.15 rating on goodreads.

Happy Friday!
Kendal
@Team_Haymitch

Monday, 27 January 2014

Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


"This is the tale of the book thief, as narrated by Death. And when Death tells a story, you really have to listen."

The first fictional book that I read in 2014 was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and what a choice I made! I don't own this particular cover (I have an alternative one, thankfully not promoting the movie) but I think this was the original cover when it was published in 2006. 

Set in Molching during the Second World War under Hitler's reign, the proverbial 'book thief' is a nine year old girl called Liesel Meminger who is first seen by Death in 1939, travelling on a train to Munich. Her six year old brother, Werner, dies before her very eyes, and Death takes his soul in his arms. She first claims the name from Death when she attends her brother's funeral by the railway, and she sees a gravedigger's handbook buried in the snow. Taking it as a reminder of her brother, she develops a taste for words over time, and even more of a taste for stealing them.

Leisel's mother took them on the train because she was handing them over to foster parents in Molching - Rosa and Hans Hubermann. When she is transported to Himmel Street (translation: Heaven Street) she struggles to get to grips with her new life without her family, as well as coping with the effects of her brother's death, which comes back to haunt her in nightmares. She soon settles in her new home though, when she sees Hans' silver eyes and kind smile. He has an accordian and isn't very good with words, but vows to teach Liesel because she struggles with her German at first. And let's not forget Rudy Steiner, who becomes Liesel's best friend and partner in crime. 

What can I say about this book? I fell in love with every word, as did Liesel. 

I had no idea what this book was about, and I only own it because it was a spur of the moment add-on to my Christmas list. I had heard things about it and read really good reviews, so I thought I would give it a try. I thought I was going to be confused throughout the story, so I even started writing things on sticky notes in case I needed to rewind before I carried on, but I was being way too cautious because as soon as I opened the book I understood what was going on. Markus paints such an unusual picture of Germany - particularly focusing on the beauty of the sky - and I think it really worked for this book. The words were profound and true to the core... I found the narrative very philosophic. I was happy about this, because I have been looking for a book to suggest to my philosophy teacher, and this seems like the perfect one.

Some people might say that the 584 page novel is a bit heavy for this kind of book. With such a sensitive subject (the War and death in general) some people might think that it should have been shorter, but I disagree entirely. It was a perfect length for the content that you get out of it, and about halfway through there are about 13 pages of purely drawings made by Max (you will come to know him later in the book but he is a big spoiler) so you get a bit of a rest halfway through it. I especially liked how raw it was to the reality of the war, and Liesel was a very strong character who was clearly effected by past events (unlike some... *cough cough* HARRY POTTER *cough cough*) which was a realistic representation of a girl who would have gone through that type of trauma at an early age. I think the book would have made a huge mistake if Liesel wasn't as flawed as she was.

Death narrates the book, and this is what I found the most interesting of all. Zusak doesn't describe the features of Death, nor the gender (although I internally read it as being a male) and it turns out that Death has a heart. You never think of Death as being sentient or having any compassion for human beings, but Markus literally beings Death to life. There are some cracking quotes to be acknowledged:

"No-one's urine smells as good as your own." - page 228
"Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day. That was the business of hiding a Jew." - page 229
"I can promise you that the world is a factory. The sun stirs it, the humans rule it. And I remain. I carry them away." - page 577

And the one that made me think of the internet meme Doge:

"There is much story." - page 263

Death needs a spoiler alert sign, because he/she gives away the whole book at random intervals! Some people would question the point in carrying on reading, because Death tells you what happens chapters before it even happens, but I didn't mind. That was the way the book was supposed to be. Death was trying to make the point that everyone dies eventually, so it doesn't matter when it happens. This was a controversial element to the book but it is easy to look past because of the content being so damn good.

I especially loved the educational vibe to it. I learnt some German along the way, as all German words were given the translation (and you didn't even have to look at any footnotes because they each character just said the same word twice, but once in German and once with the English translation) and it reminded me of my GCSE history days. It mentioned the events such as "The night of the long knives" and "Stalingrad" and I was glad of my history education. Although it did explain each event in detail as it went along, it was far more satisfying knowing what the heck was going on before Death had to explain. 

Overall, it was an absolutely incredible start to my 2014 reading list, and I gave it 5/5 cups of British tea. This book had everything you could have wanted in a story, and the metaphors just blew me away. Fantastic imagery too! I could imagine walking down Himmel Street as if I was actually there.



Saturday, 25 January 2014

Saturday: birthday book haul!

Hello! It was my birthday at the beginning of January and I got a few books, so I thought I would share them with you! Two of these were on my booklist but the other two were happy surprises. In order of the photo below, here they are:
  1. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  2. The Republic by Plato
  3. A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume
  4. The Official Adventure Time Encyclopaedia by Martin Olson


Beautiful!





I happen to know a lot about this book before I begin to read it. This book was written around the 60's, where many sub-cultures of people began to grow. Whereas on one side you would have the "Mods" who would wear Dr Martins, ride scooters and take drugs, this book originated from the "Beatniks" who were middle/upper class, educated people, mainly studying philosophy and literature. Jack Kerouac was a Beatnik, and wrote about what he was interested in. The hippie movement was actually partly inspired by Beatniks, but of course they are very different. 







Plato wrote many plays as well as being one of the most well-known philosophers in existence, and he explores philosophic and ethical concepts within these plays. The Republic is an ongoing conversation between Plato and Socrates, and asks what is goodness; what is reality; what is knowledge? Desmond Lee has translated this play into simple English... well, as simple as philosophy can be. It shows the progression from philosophy then into western philosophy - and I can't wait to read it! I told my philosophy teacher about this present and she found it quite funny that I would choose to study philosophy on my own time. The Republic isn't exactly an easy read, but it will be fine for me.




I recently found out that my philosophy teacher hates David Hume, which is strange considering we have pretty much the same views and the same opinions on everything. We're like two peas in a pod! So, you can tell that I'm a bit apprehensive to read this book now, but I flicked through it to get a quote for a recent essay and from what I saw he has solid philosophic views. A Treatise of Human Nature was published in the 18th century and takes empirical principles to look at the world. This copy is slightly bigger than a standard A5 book, but it adds to the interesting feel. Let's hope I can get my philosophy teacher to like David Hume! 










The last book I acquired was the Adventure Time Encyclopaedia, which is a must have for all AT nerds. My friends know that I love Adventure Time and my best friend gave me this book along with a 3D Doctor Who much, which is also pretty cool. This book takes you through every character, every setting, every backstory, every land, and is so colourful and beautiful. I might do an Adventure Time haul one day so you can see how much I have! 







Overall, it was a really good birthday and I loved the books I got. Most of them are of historical context or pure philosophy, so I apologise for the lack of fiction! A lot of you may not be interested in philosophy, but maybe I can change your mind.

Next week is a graphic novel haul!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Kendal's Column: Spontaneous Disney Outburst

I, like anyone and everyone, have bad days. Days that you regret even opening your eyes for but, the one and only thing that never fails to give me a pick-me-up is Disney and it's the same for many many many people around the world.
Disney is of course a multi-billion dollar corporation with millions of employees and thousands of sectors and departments with theme parks that would make a 5 year old squeal and squee until the earth runs out of oxygen.
But, disney doesn't just attract 5 year olds...it somehow manages to attract almost every variety of person.
I haven't never met a single person who doesn't like Disney (and that's 16 years of people meeting).
so, how did they do it?

variety.

Now, more than ever before, disney has a wide variety of films.
They have princesses, cars (we're counting PIXAR as Disney), mermaids, pirates, toys, BUGS and FISH and heck, they even brought monsters into the mix.
(sidenote: imagine that story pitch in a disney boardroom 'Hey, i'm here to pitch an idea for a movie about monsters walking out of random closet doors their job being to scare small children.'...sorry it makes me giggle)

they have animal oriented films such as brother bear and real human people films, all with really catchy songs that can miraculously stay in your head for months.

I also feel that the disney computer animation department deserves ALL THE AWARDS because
a) Merida's hair
 
b) rapunzels dress movement

c) Elsa and her ice


Disney has also started being kind of sarcastic in some of there films and they've even started including some 'jokes' for adults ('foot size doesn't matter' my friend pointed that out to me) and i'm personally loving the sass.

(i'm so sorry, this post was (evidently) very spontaneous without any pan of any kind and it is a mess of gifs and fangirling, i'm just going to leave this here and i'll edit it at some point during the week *pinkie promise*)

Happy Friday!
@Team_Haymitch
Kendal
xx

Monday, 20 January 2014

Review: Supernaturally by Kiersten White


"It's been six months since Evie fled the International Paranormal Containment Agency with her shapeshifter boyfriend, Lend, and she finally has the normal life she's always dreamed of. But when her faerie ex-boyfriend shows up hinting of a battle brewing between the faerie courts over Evie herself, she realises that she hasn't left her not-so-normal past far enough behind..."

Supernatually is the sequal of Paranormalcy, when Evie has finally escaped from the IPCA. She thinks that her life will be different, but her past comes to haunt her. 

If you have read the first book then you will know that Vivian becomes a very important character. In the last book, Evie ended up in hospital after almost dying trying to defeat her, but since they are 'sisters' (of the same paranormal status) they bond through dreams, since Vivian is now dead. She becomes a much more bearable character in the second novel, whilst Evie remains the same hilarious character. Lend, Evie's boyfriend whom she lives with after escaping the grasp of the IPCA, is a pleasant fellow, and he was paired nicely with Evie, since she needs someone to calm her down every once in a while.

Apart from it being narrated brilliantly again, I really wish I could sing its praises. The first book was so darn good that this one just didn't match up to it in terms of action and... well... general plot direction. And I so wanted it to be good.

Jack, the moderately human character, was just... eh. That's all I've got in my notes for him. He wasn't interesting or particularly relevant, though he was good at annoying every single character in the book. I wasn't impressed with him.

I found it understandable yet completely predictable that Evie got out of the IPCA only to want to go back in halfway through the second novel. She literally spent the whole of the first book complaining about it and the whole second book craving it again. I could totally see it coming and you could have fitted that whole plot into the first book. I kind of wish that had happened in the first place.

We do find out much more about the mysterious Evie, which I liked. For the book as a whole, however, I have to give it 3/5 cups of tea. I so wish I could give it more! I was rooting for these books to become my new favourite series. Ah well. You win some you lose some. I would still recommend it though, if you have the patience! 


Friday, 17 January 2014

Kendal's Column: The 5th Wave-Rick Yancey (+updates to Kendal's Column)

Before I start with the review I'd just like to give you some updates for the new year about Kendal's Column

1) Kendal's Column should be more 'on schedule' this year as ,last year, I used to attend a drama club on Friday nights which stopped me writing posts until really late (if at all (sorry)) and commitments on other weeknights meant I couldn't schedule posts but, I am now too old to attend the drama club so my Fridays have freed up ie. I have time to post!
2) Goodreads- after failing to achieve my target of reading 52 books last year, I have set my year target a lot lower considering school and such. However, if possible I would always like to have a book on my 'currently reading' pile because last year, to my shame, this was not the case. Also, in 2012, I read a RIDICULOUS amount of books and it makes me really upset that i'm probably not reading half as much now as I did then.
Also, considering this blog is a book blog, i haven't done that many reviews but i'm determined that's going to change.
3) Lifescout badges- I wrote 7 posts on my life scout badges. one on the last friday of every month however Lifescouts stopped releasing new badges so I had nothing more to write about (I know the whole idea is to go out and do more but lets not be nit-picky here- I can do more fun things after exams and such). However,  Lifescouts may release new badges in the new year and at that point i will recommence my Lifescout badge posts

To summaries this 'short' update, the column's are going to be on schedule, i want to read more and Lifescouts may return...maybe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)The 5th Wave- Rick Yancey

The 5th wave is here.
Cassie has survived 4, will she survive the 5th?

Rating: Friday
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.


Okay let me be clear here- YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK. 
THIS BOOK is AMAZING.
Imagine if books were rollercoasters- THIS WOULD BE DISNEY'S SPACE MOUNTAIN. 

Basically, aliens descend on earth but they don't actually communicate with us, or set foot on the ground...or even do anything for 10 days (whilst, naturally, the human race into chaos). 
On the tenth day, the 'Others' go lights out on the human race.
Anything with battery or a power source of any kind is gone- it doesn't work and there's no way of getting it to work.
The first wave takes out half a million people due to planes cutting out and the fact that a) no one can call the emergency services because no phones and b) help can't get there fast enough as people can only travel on foot or by bicycle..
The second, third and fourth wave kill even more (I don't really wanna say what these are because of minor spoilers but you get the idea that humanity is on the brink of extinction).

Told from multiple points of view, the book leaves you guessing and doubles guessing, with plot twists left right and centre.

Even though the book is narrated from 'unannounced' changes in POVs, the plot follows Cassie (for Cassiopeia) who is 16 and how she is desperately trying to stay alive.
I loved Cassie's narration. She IS a teenage girl in an apocalypse. She's scared and lonely but also witty and kind of relatable (i like to think i would think like Cassie in this situation).
All she has is a stuffed bear and a gun that her father gave her with the warning 'trust no one'.

The book, admittedly, does have some gruesome parts and those can be quite distressing but you need to keep in mind that this IS an apocalypse and the book has to be realistic about that, otherwise the book wouldn't be believable and, therefore, wouldn't be as good.

I can't really say much more because I don't want to give any more away than the blurb does but, for people who have read the book, I have two things (whilst still trying to be vague enough for not to be a spoiler)

1) I KNEW THAT ABOUT THAT CHARACTER (x2)
2) I KNEW IT WAS HIM.

The book is in talks to be made into a film and I feel like crying because i think it's all going to be to much.
The sequel: Infinite Sea is out 7th May 2014 (*internal screaming*)



Happy Friday!
@Team_Haymitch
Kendal
xx



Wednesday, 15 January 2014

POETRY WEDNESDAY: Imaginary Butterflies [original]
















There is a girl I know
That is always looking at the sky
And every so often her eyes stick like glue
As if she’s seen a butterfly

She never fails to make me laugh
Because on a normal day
She will act the crazy extrovert
But the next minute she’s away

I wish that she had wings as well
Since being on the ground
Can make a person feel quite small
Than the smaller things I’ve found

She has the beauty of the bug
And a smile to make you cry
But her eyes still tell the good old tale
Of the girl who sees butterflies

Important notice: The picture isn't mine but the poem is my own work and I would really appreciate it if you didn't steal it or use it to form a piece of similar poetry. I work really hard on all of my poems and I will stop sharing them if I see any copying of my original work. Thank you!


Monday, 13 January 2014

Review: Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav



Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav is a poetry book about... well... love and misadventure. I was given this book for Christmas by my parents as I had been raving about it to them beforehand, since I have seen many a review on Tumblr and I follow the author herself on there. There are three parts to the book: Misadventure, A Circus of Sorrows, and Love. 

The first thing I noticed about this book was the front cover. It is absolutely gorgeous. Lang is an artist as well as an author, so the cover has some of her artwork on it, but what I really loved the most about it was the almost rubber feel. Don't ask me what the real name for the material is - I'm not good at that sort of thing.

   
Not to mention the girl on the front totally looked like me when I had a bob-cut.

Then you get into the book, and it's 150% better than the front cover. My personal favourites were the poems in prose, but the whole book is full of small poems that don't take long to read but stay forever in your heart. For a poetry book, it is of substantial size, with 75 poems in total. And for all of that, it's not a bad price at all.

I read it right through to the end in no time at all, and I picked out my favourites. They are as follows:

  • Just Friends - page 9
  • Heart on the Line - page 13
  • Sea of Strangers - page 15
  • A Thank you Note - page 21
  • A Stranger - page 29
  • The Wanderer - page 41
  • A Timeline - page 47
  • Rogue Planets - page 53
  • First Love - page 111
  • Soul Mates - 119
  • A Fairy Tale - page 121
  • Always - page 123
  • Souls - page 135
  • Codependency - page 151

Most of the poems are quite short, but I didn't mind that. Sometimes it's nice to just relax and read short poems that don't require much analysing - this was a massive perk to this book. The poems don't try to have hidden meanings. They are about pure and hard love, as well as pain, which is touched upon in The Circus of Sorrows.

I personally loved this book, and everyone that I have seen posting reviews think exactly the same. This is definitely one to go on your recommended reading list!



A Christmas Day selfie, when I started and finished the book.


Saturday, 11 January 2014

Saturday: What you've missed and Christmas book haul!


I got four books for Christmas, and I thought I would share them with you!

From left to right the books are:

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - I have already read this one and a review will be up on the blog soon. Set in Nazi Germany at a time when blonde hair was safe and stealing books was not, this is a book well worth adding to your collection.
  2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - before reading his newest release 'and the mountains echoed' I thought I would read possibly his most well-known novel. That, and I needed to buy it for school anyway. Unfortunately I'm going to have to scribble all over this one.
  3. Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav - a poetry book full of quick and witty poems that will make your heart soar. I have also read this one and a review is going up on Monday. The front cover is just delicious.
  4. 1984 by George Orwell - I have wanted to read this for a long time but we aren't studying it in school so I would have had to invest in it myself. I'm so glad I got it for Christmas because I need to start reading more classic literature.


A christmas selfie with my favourite front cover... ever. Spot the cat!

I sort of did a big music haul as well, since I got a couple of Itunes vouchers for Chrismas and I spent them all on the first day. The artists I bought from were Tom Odell, Passion Pit, Bastille, and I got an album by The Smiths so I uploaded that onto my phone. Here's some of my favourite songs from those albums!






What you've missed

I got over 40,000 notes on a Tumblr post I made! Sherlock is back and not for long, so I decided to make a post about it. I admit, I tried to be funny... and apparently it worked! Here is the post in case you missed it:


There isn't much to report on concerning my social networking sites lately, so this is all for one week. 

Have a good weekend!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Kendal's Column: Ned Vizzini

Ned Vizzini in 2012 (photo by Sabra Embury).jpg
Recently , news broke that author Ned Vizzini took his own life aged 32.

Ned Vizzini wrote openly about teenage struggles with depression and anxiety and underwent treatment in a psychiatric ward in Brooklyn in 2004.
He later wrote about his own experiences in his novel 'It's a funny kind of story' which is based on the 5 days he spent on the ward.

Vizzini started his writing career at a young age, writing for the New york Press at age 15 and having his first article in The Times at 17 (an essay titled 'Teen Angst? Nah!' which aimed to advise teens about drugs, sex and other adolescent troubles. Two years later, whilst at college, he published his first book, a collection of works( 'Teen Angst?naaaah?')
He continued to write numerous TV episodes or shows such as 'Teen Wolf', 'last resort' among others. He also proceeded to write for The New Yorker and The LA Times along with other publications.

I have read Vizzini's books and, to me, they will always be some of the most relatable books i have ever read. He was a truly talented writer- I would recommend his work to anyone.

Rest In Peace.

@Team_Haymitch
Kendal
xx

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

SHORT STORY WEDNESDAY: The Wedding Day [original]



Today was my wedding day. Our chapel was on a hill just behind the coast, and there was still an hour to go before I had to walk down the aisle. I was ready.

My dress was sleeveless but tightly fitted around by body. The skirt went down to my feet and cut just above, so that I could walk in my flats. I never liked heels - I am tall enough. I went down to the beach with my spare hour in my hands and I walked across the large rocks that were lining the shore. Stepping over each one, feeling like I was floating on air.

I thought about the day we met. The click. It wasn't exactly love at first sight - I don't believe that's possible - but I swore I could hear the click.

Time passed as slowly as it arrived and at first we were just acquaintances. I thought that was all we were going to be, and I thought I could live with that. I was coping pretty well until I would look up from what I was doing and you would be staring, and we would both realise that we were holding our gaze for too long and look down in embarrassment. Still you said hardly anything to me each week. 

Then things started to change. You would remember some of the things that I'd talk about, even if they weren't important. You would look at me more and more, admiring me like a kid does the first time they see the moon through a telescope. It wasn't embarrassing any more. You would actually come and talk to me about my life, and actually listen. I had never had that before. I always used to stay out of your way in case I was annoying you, and I didn't want to keep trying for something that might not ever happen.

One day, we were alone, and you kissed me, and I realised that I probably should have tried a bit harder because the kiss would have come sooner, and we probably would have had the wedding over a month ago. You were my first and my last first kiss. We started sneaking out, planning trips and making it home for tea. I started to realise that the feeling of pure elation wasn't fading and we were just creating more amazing moments, and it wasn't becoming boring. 

I gave you an eternity ring first. I know its not traditional, but I wanted you to know that even if it never lasted you would be with me forever. You cried a bit and stared at the ring, as if you were looking into eternity. And you smiled because you liked it.

It was two years exactly since we got together and you got down on one knee. The box contained not only the most beautiful ring but a tiny chain to keep it around my neck, because we still couldn't tell anyone. I agreed and got you a ring on the same day so that we both had one. 

The ring stayed on the chain for a week until my friend saw it, and the secret was out. We proudly wore the rings on our fingers and used those same fingers to write wedding invitations for everyone we know and love.

And now the day was here, and I was still on the rocks, surprised that I hadn't slipped yet and happy because I didn't want my dress to get ruined. The silence was welcome, because my friends are loud and the silence reminds me of you. I waded in the rock pools, and walked along the sand, which is weird because I hate beaches, but this one was my favourite place in the world because it was my wedding day and you were in the chapel waiting for me and I had sandy feet and a ring to prove that somebody loves me.

Important notice: This is my own work and I would really appreciate it if you didn't steal it or use it to form a piece of similar writing. I work really hard on all of my stories and I will stop sharing them if I see any copying of my original work. Thank you!

Disclaimer: The gif/artwork is not mine! I take credit only for my story.


Monday, 6 January 2014

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White


"Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faeire, she's falling for a shapeshifter and she's the only person who can see through paranomal's glamours, but still. Normal."

Evie thinks she is a normal girl in a not-so-normal world. She works for the IPCA, the International Paranormal Containment Agreement, and she thinks she is the only human working for the agency. But as paranormals all over the world start dying, she finds out that she isn't as normal as she thinks. As she tries to figure out what, or who, is causing these deaths, she also discovers that she is the foundations for a dark prophecy that predicts death to every single paranormal the world contains.

What can I say about this book? It is fast paced and flirty to say the least! I read this over the summer and I couldn't find a book that beat it in pure excitement and action. 

Evie is a strong-willed female protagonist, and that's why she was the perfect main character. She is also freaking hilarious. I noticed that the book makes a sneaky dig at Twilight on page 2 - it mentions vampires sparkling - which caused me to giggle like a small child. The book definitely wouldn't have been as entertaining if Evie didn't narrate it, and I thank Kiersten SO MUCH for that. She really did lift my mood. 

Paranormalcy caught my attention all the way through. There was not one moment that I wished wasn't included in the book. Reth, Evie's faerie ex-boyfriend, didn't actually repulse me to the point where I couldn't read the book anymore, as I originally thought he would. He is supposed to be the slimy boy that just won't let go, and although this was portrayed well it didn't come off as too creepy.

Well, apart from his killer line "Let me fill you". But he was talking about his magic filling her body to the point where she would become numb to the pain of the world. Not that the context made a difference... I still snorted with laughter. Thank goodness I wasn't drinking anything at the time of reading that, or otherwise I would have 100% spat it out. Possibly through my nose. 

There were many very interesting paranormals that made it into the chapters. This book literally had everything. It was a paranormal treat!

Overall, I gave it 5/5 cups of tea:




Sunday, 5 January 2014

Kendal's Column: On the twelfth day of christmas...

So this is it: the end of Blogmas 2013
the tree went down today and it's school tomorrow...yay...

I don't know about anyone else out there but I usually get through life by having things to look forward to so if you need something to help you soldier on through another day (whether it be a fanbase hiatus or another school day)

Films
Maze Runner
How To Train Your Dragon 2
The Philosophers (look up the trailer, seriously. (I would get the link but i'm on my phone right now)
The Fault in Our Stars
Divergent
Mockingjay Part 1
Finding Dory (I know this is 2015 BUT ,COME ON, WHO ISN'T ALREADY EXCITED FOR THIS)
Vampire Acadmey
Tarzan: 3D Re-release
The book Thief
The Lego Movie (ok, the first 30 seconds of the trailer isn't so great but power through and you may have a need for it- ironic or otherwise)
Captain America- The winter soldier
The Amazing Spider man 2
X-men: Days of future past
Maleficient
The Hobbit: there and back again
Night at The museum 3
St. Trinians 3
*cough* there's also a planes sequel...were not gonna talk about that...

Books
this groodreads lists will give you all the most anticipated releases of 2014 and some of the best from 2013
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/22725.Upcoming_YA_novels_for_2013_2014

*sidenote: Sims 4 comes out in autumn.*

*AGGRESSIVELY HYPERVENTILATES*

I can't-too much...feels
there are going to be posts on some of these releases by me and the book critic soon and you'll be pleased to know that i'm actually planning what my first official friday Kendal's Column of 2014 a whole 6 days before it's supposed to be up (this level of organization is unheard of when it comes to me and the column)
I've really enjoyed doing Blogmas this year and did actually get 12 posts up.
blogmas has given me an insight as to what it was like for The Book Critic last year when she did a post a day and I still don't know how she did it.
I hope you all had a wonderful 2013 and christmas was all it should've been and more for you all and I'll see you on friday.

Happy Christmas!
@Team_Haymitch
Kendal
xx




Kendal's Column: On the eleventh day of christmas...

On my to read shelf for 2014.

5th wave- Rick Yancey. 
i swear i've mentioned this book before in another post but all i know is that it's been on my bookshelf for what seems like forever and i haven't read it yet. I have heard so many fabulous things about this book.
From the blurb, the book seems to be about some kind of post-apocalyptic world after some kind of alien invasion. I feel this could be the start of a sci-fi phase...once i actually read it.

Entangled- Cat clarke
This book is about Grace, a seventeen year old girl, who wakes up in a room with a table a pen and some paper. she doesn't know how she got there so she just starts writing. she 'pours her tangled life out onto the page' in an attempt to remember or figure out why she's in this mysterious room.

Alliegiant- Veronica Roth
I was gifted this book for my birthday and wanted to read it as soon as i got it but, unfortunately, I had my mock exams. 'but,kendal , Mock exams ended in November, why havent you read it yet?' i hear you cry. Well, because some idiot on twitter posted the BIGGEST SPOILER EVER ON TWITTER *eye twitches in anger* (in her defense she did say 'spoiler alert' but she posted the spoiler as a screenshot and it was just after the twitter update where you get a preview box of the picture within the tweet) and since then i haven't been able to face the book BUT I WILL NOT BE BEATEN, this is to good a trilogy to skimp out on and this is the final book. in which tris faces 'her final choice' *dramatic chords*.

Incarnate-Jodie meadows 
I don't own this book (yet) and it's questionnable when i will be able to purchase it so i have no idea if i will even get to read it.
This book is about a world where souls are reincarnated, keeping old memories and experiences but Ana comes along and she's new.  she doesn't have any past memories or experiences- she's taken the place of another soul.

Happy Christmas!
@Team_Haymitch
Kendal
xx

Kendal's Column: On the tenth day of christmas...

MUSIC POST TIME!


Happy Christmas!
@Team_Haymitch
Kendal
xx

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Saturday: 2013 Amazon book haul

There was a crazy day in 2013 when I decided to do an Amazon book haul and never told you about it. So here I am, looking backwards to 2013, and showing you what I bought!

Most of these were, admittedly, for educational purposes. In the picture below there is:
    [Left] Russia Through Women's Eyes - For the very first time in English, the words of 11 nineteenth century women from Russia have been printed. Eleven women share their stories about family, education, careers, and their country at the time. These are first hand accounts of the time of the Tsar, and it shows the side of the women, which is a rare occurrence. The book itself is a strange size - somewhere between A5 and A4 - but it is lovely to hold in your hands. 
[Middle] The Puzzle of God by Peter Vardy: Peter Vardy is an incredible modern philosopher, and from an unbiased point of view he ponders about the existence of God, or whether there really is one. I have read about half of it already, but it's not one that you need to read in order of each chapter. I use it for my philosophy studies after my philosophy teacher gave an older copy to me, and the pages were literally falling out, so I thought I had better buy my own!

[Right] Personhood Revisited by Howard W Jones: this is a medical ethics book that talks quite religiously about when the start of personhood begins and what various Popes have to say about it, and the IVF debate. The pages have the 'American feel' to them, and it is an interesting yet educational read so far.

I know I'm late on this one, but my philosophy teacher also mentioned that Life of Pi is very philosophical in the way that it is written, so she thought I should probably give it a go. I have read the first couple of chapters and it's mostly just narrative about Pi's early life, which leads up to the real story. I was rather slow reading those chapters because I am impatient and really wanted to story to begin. It still is an interesting read, though. Unfortunately I couldn't find the cover that isn't based on the movie!

Below Life of Pi are three more books that I bought on this massive Amazon haul. The first one resting near my violin is 'Never had it so good' by Dominic Sandbrook, and this is a 900 page MONSTER of a book that covers the historic British years of 1956-1963. I bought this, and 'White Heat' by the same author for history, and White Heat covers 1964-1970. 

The last book I bought was possibly my favourite of the haul. Think by Simon Blackburn is another philosophy book that is meant to be for degree level students, but I picked it up finding that it really helped me with my beginner's level philosophy. It tells you how to think instead of what to think, which is my favourite bit of all. For anyone with a high reading age that is studying philosophy, I encourage you to pick up this book!







That was my 2013 book haul, with a bit of my terrible photography thrown in! You can find some of these pictures on my Instagram - @BOOKFANGIRLINGBLOG.

I hope you have a good Saturday! I'm back in school on Monday, so for anyone who is in the same position as me... good luck!


Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Return of Sherlock: SPOILER FREE

If you don't live in the UK, or didn't manage to find a livestream in time, then you will have missed the premier episode of Sherlock on BBC. Just for you, while you're waiting, I'm going to make a non-spoilery post for you about the episode that was called "The Empty Hearse". 

First of all, we aren't shown an empty hearse. I have seen a picture of one floating around Tumblr though, so I'm guessing that was just one of the fake scenes they shot for the fans. If so, they went to elaborate detail just for a prank.

Sherlock returns, and he says to John:

"Not dead!"

Yeah, we joked about it so many times and it became a real thing! Not to mention he steals someone's bowtie, draws a moustache on himself and speaks to John in a strong French accent.

The episode probably should have been called "everyone hates John's moustache" because that is a basic summary of the whole thing. 



Sherlock, being the crapbag he is, returns to Baker Street two years and tells John to shave the moustache off. John, being John, shaved the moustache for Sherlock when he wouldn't even shave it for Mary.




People have even started making these t-shirts, and here is a favourite of mine:



John, being John, had a few things to say and a few punches to throw.



WOAH JOHN! We all want to know how he did it. Go shave your moustache.


So we are given three versions of 'how he did it' during the entire episode. Two were by Anderson's club, and one by Sherlock himself. I won't bother telling you the plot, because that would ruin the whole thing for you. But my personal favourite bit was when Molly accompanied Sherlock on a case and:

Molly: Should I be making notes?
Sherlock: If it makes you feel better.
Molly: But it's just that John says that's what he does. So if I'm being John...
Sherlock: You're not being John, you're being yourself.

And her face went:


Because she realised that, for once in her life, Sherlock actually wanted to be with her. In fact, all of the Molly parts were my favourite. But I won't say anymore because of the huge spoilers.

By the end of the episode, many people - including myself - were literally Anderson:





So that's a quick summary of "The Empty Hearse". I didn't want to include too much, even though I could talk about it forever. Have a nice day!



Kendal's Column: On the nineth day of christmas...

Disney's Frozen

In the kingdom of Arendelle, there are two sisters, Ana and Elsa. Elsa has been born with strange powers that give her the ability to manipulate and manifest ice. Elsa lives in fear of her powers and hides from her sister, whom she was once close with, and from the world by locking herself away in her room.
Then one day everything goes wrong.

Rating: Thursday
When I went in to see this film i admit i was skeptical as the trailers didn't make it that appealing to me as they focus on character introduction more than a plot setup which meant you're completely blind of what the film is about unless you've done some research online which i didn't because my viewing experience was fairly last minute.
However, the film turned out to be really good-great in fact- and ,as it always is with disney films, I still have the songs wedged into my brain. The trailer definitely isn't something to go off when seeing this film.
The film generally has a Tangled-esque feel to it with witty jokes, a perfect couple (I SHIP IT SO HARD) and with and additional unexpected villain.
The only thing that i would say could be improved with this film (apart from the unhelpful trailers) when Elsa was singing it didn't actually feel like it was her singing (I KNOW that it's not 'elsa's' voice...i know it's a voice actor but when Elsa was singing it didn't sound like a 21 year old- I'm not an expert on singing so don't ask me why it didn't but it just didn't seem to fit right) and there was one song that just set me and my friend off laughing...it was either the most disney-est disney song ever or someone at disney is getting sarcastic (I'd favor the latter).
Never the less, the animation quality was breath taking, the characters showed development and there is a moment where you think 'wait, there is 10 minutes left and that just happened and it's too late to fix it so what now'.

Happy Christmas!
@Team_Haymitch
Kendal
xx

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Kendal's Column: On The eighth day of Christmas

SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. SHERLOCK. 

*Cough*
So, yeah, not much happened today-fairly average really- quite boring really...

Apart from

You know...THE END TO A 2 YEAR HAITUS.

Currently, twitter is going into overdrive and, I swear to god, you can hear Tumblr crying from Facebook.
I was planning on doing a review of the episode but it doesn't seem fair to do one so close to the premier of it so the review will be up tomorrow for 'The Empty Hearse'.
I will therefore leave you with the mini episode preceding the series.


Happy New Year! 
@Team_Haymitch
Kendal

POETRY WEDNESDAY: A work of art [original]
















I was always looking for my soul mate,
Envisioning the perfect mould,
A human being with no flaws,
But lots of stories to be told

I knew I had found my soul mate,
When I realised that you were not
A completed painting or a blank canvas,
But something I appreciate a lot

If you were perfect then you would have no stories
And if you were flawless then there would be nothing to love,
But a clone of a figure I have seen in my dreams
And the wings of a broken dove

It is time to put my rose tinted glasses back in their case
And bandage up my heart
Because even with your flaws and imperfections
You are still a work of art

Important notice: This isn't my picture but my poem is my own work and I would really appreciate it if you didn't steal it or use it to form a piece of similar poetry. I work really hard on all of my poems and I will stop sharing them if I see any copying of my original work. Thank you!