Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them Review (no spoilers)

70 years before Harry Potter was born, there was a new hero. Newt Scamander collects magical creatures, which he keeps in his enchanted suitcase. But when he arrives in New York, he meets Tina, an ex-auror determined to catch him and hand him in to get her position back. Yet when Newt accidentally swaps suitcases with a No-Maj who accidentally allows some creatures to escape, everything suddenly takes on a whole new level of complicated.

Especially when Newt’s beasts aren’t the only creatures causing havoc.

JK Rowling strikes again with this gripping film. From the effects to the set to the actors, Warner Bros has mastered it all. The beasts are all incredible realistic and the methods of capturing them are ingenious. Despite the plot being admittedly weaker than the original Harry Potter’s, it’s still gripping and includes some brilliant plot twists, keeping you on tenterhooks from the hilarious beginning all the way up to the tear-jerking ending. The basic plot-line, that Newt’s creatures escape into the city, creating havoc, and have to be recaptured, is supplemented with a dark subplot involving a dark, explosive force that wrecks havoc on the city and provides the film’s special-effects laden finale. As the film weaves the two plot lines, the visuals switch between a lighthearted, classic Bugsy Malone 1930’s New York and the darker, whichcraft-laden Amish-like community of a troubled boy, portrayed as if straight out of a Stephen King novel. The interweaving of these two narratives effectively switches the mood back and forth between light comedy and dark tension and keeps the viewer engaged. The ending provided closure to the two plot lines, but left the door open for Newt’s inevitable return.

Eddie Redmayne does a superb performance of the slightly geeky British Newt, rather unexpectedly playing him in a style that is extremely reminiscent of his portrayal of the young Stephen Hawking, while Dan Fogler’s comedy Non-Maj sidekick Jacob Kowalski was simply hilarious and, indeed, hilariously simple. The women Tina and Queenie (Katherine Waterston and Fine Frenzy) were brilliant as well, and Jonny Depp’s cameo was definitely appreciated, though the best actor was definitely the niffler who’s jewellery-stealing skills and cuteness completely stole the show.

Speaking of the niffler, all the beasts were fantastic and incredibly realistic, from the tiny bowtruckle with separation issues, right through to the huge thunderbird. Not only were they all true to the original Harry Potter books and well thought-out, some of the methods of capturing them were hugely entertaining. Whoever thought of using a teapot deserves a pat on the back.

Despite one slightly predictable plot twist and a slightly less clever and well thought out plot than we were expecting from JK Rowling, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them was brilliant, and I recommend it to everyone, whether you’re an adult who’s “too grown up” or a massive teenage fan. Can’t wait for the next one!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Definitely a five star film

 

-M

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Thursday Tracks- 27/10/16

Wow. I feel like it’s been so long since we’ve posted anything. That’s probably because it has.

I’m really sorry about that. We’ve been busy and now we’ve kinda fallen out so realistically I don’t know whether this blog will survive our fall out. But I hope it does, because there’s something nice about having it, and something relaxing about updating.

So, today, for Thursday tracks, I’m gonna do some songs to listen to when you’re feeling mad at someone.

I’ve used these songs a lot and they always make me feel a lot better, so I thought I’d share them.

Be prepared for A LOT of Taylor Swift.

Let’s go.

 

First of all is Mean (by Taylor Swift).

Mean is an anti-bullying song with the rousing chorus “some day, I’ll be, living in a big old city, and all you’re, ever gonna be is mean.” It’s one of Taylor’s more country songs with the banjos, tambourines, and goat.

 

Next on this whirlwind tour of Taylor Swift songs to make you feel better about bullies is Picture to Burn.

My favourite line is “So watch me strike a match, on all my wasted time, as far as I’m concerned, you’re, just another picture to burn.” This line always makes me feel loads better. And the music video for this one has some great revenge ideas so long as you’re okay with breaking and entering…

 

Next is one that I try to avoid when I’m feeling mad or sad as it’s a pretty sad song (I adore it though as it’s amazing). However, sometimes a bit of wallowing in self-pity and some crying can be good, and make you feel better, so here’s White Horse:

All the lyrics in this one are perfect, along with the gorgeous melody and heart-breaking video. Honestly, I adore this song, from the opening with “Say you’re sorry, that face, of an angel, comes out, just when you need it to,” through the chorus of “I’m not your princess, this ain’t a fairy tale, I’m not the one you sweep of her feet, lead her up the stairwell, this ain’t, Hollywood, this is a small, town, I was a dreamer, before you went and let me down, now it’s too, late, for you, and your white horse, to come around,” all the way to the ending of “oh it’s too late, to catch me now.” AND Taylor manages to cry for the entire music video, which (though it sounds stupid and lame) is very hard to do and a  great achievement.

And finally, another brilliant, fiery, Taylor Swift song, comes Better Than Revenge.

With the uber-satisfying-to-sing-along-to chorus (it actually is- try it) of “she’s not a saint, she’s not what you think, she’s an actress, whoa whoa, she’s better known for the things that she does, on the mattress, whoa whoa.… she should keep in mind, there is nothing I do better than revenge *laugh* “. It’s wayyyy too satisfying to pretend to sing to the person you’re mad at.

When my friend was younger she listened to the song, and assumed this lady that Taylor hated was a gymnast, coz what else would she be doing on a mattress?!? My sister asked what Tay meant, and I said the lady slept all the time when she should be working. Ah, the naivity of children.

I think that’s all for now, so I hoped you enjoyed this and hopefully see you tomorrow for another post!

-M xxx

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Popular Books I Haven’t Read Yet

It’s Tuesday! Which means it’s time for another top ten Tuesday. We haven’t done of these in a long time…in fact we haven’t really done ANY posting in a long time…sorry! We’ve just been quite busy with school and stuff, but as the summer holidays are nearing we can hopefully get back to our normal posting routine.

Today’s TTT is a freebie one, which means we can write about a topic of our own choice. Last week’s topic, which we missed, was ‘Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year’. I think that was quite an important post to write about, so I might catch up and do that another time, as it’s always exciting to see which books we have in store for the next few months!

For my freebie topic, I decided to choose ‘Top Ten Popular Books I Haven’t Read Yet’…there’s lots I need to read, and most of the ones in the list below are part of my Summer TBR so let’s hope that by the end of summer I’ll have read these!

Anyways on to the TTT!


  1. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis

It’s kinda sad because I’m pretty sure everyone read this book when they were 8 and I still haven’t read it. Everyone tells me to read it seeing as I’m obsessed with Harry Potter and this is a fantasy classic just like HP, but if I’m honest it actually doesn’t look that interesting….I think I might read it SOMETIME just to see why it’s so popular, but you know…

2. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien

This is another one that’s always recommended to me because of Harry Potter…I’ve tried reading it twice but the first chapter is soooo boring, I just can’t seem to get into it! It’s like, a 50 page description of Middle Earth or whatever and I just feel it’s kinda confusing.

3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

This is such a popular book but I’ve just never been able to get round to it! It’s been sitting on my shelf for quite a long time, and three months ago I vowed I would read it ‘next week’ but here I am, it’s June, no progress has been made…hopefully I will get round to it in Summer.

4. The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection is such a popular book, I swear EVERYBODY has read it but me…I will get round to it though, hopefully by the end of this month (I just realised it was 28th June but let’s assume it’s July). It does look quite interesting although there has been reviews that it sorta makes women seem weak, but I’ll have to see.

5. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

This is another book which so many people have read, and when it came out there was so much buzz, almost every blog was talking about this. I’ve got the book so I will read it over my summer holidays, and I’m excited to see what all the hype was about. It’ll also be my first Alexandra Bracken book and she’s apparently a very good author, so maybe this will give me a good taste on her books.

6. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

I’ve been wanting to read this book for sooo long, you don’t even know. I love fairy tale retellings and I feel like I haven’t read enough of them, so I really want to read this book but I just cannot seem to get hold of it!

7. A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab

I started reading a chapter of this a little while back but I stopped to read Illuminae, as I was in a huge slump and Illuminae seemed like a quick read. The little that I read of ADSOM seemed great, so I can’t wait to restart it!

8. Landline and Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing and Carry On, Fangirl and Eleanor and Park are definitely some of my favourite books. I’m hoping Landline and Attachments will provide the same funny writing style as her other books did!

9. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

This is another one that has received a lot of hype, and even has a movie adaptation that seems quite action packed and thrilling. I haven’t read a dystopia in a while, and I’m hoping I will be able to read The 5th Wave over summer (gosh, I’ll have a lot of reading) too.

10. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Again, so much hype. It also looks super interesting, and has been recommended to me quite a few times, so I’d really like to read it!

Hope you enjoyed this post!

-V

Ilvermorny Houses In Pottermore

THERE’S A NEW WRITTEN BY J.K ROWLING UPDATE ON POTTERMORE, IN PREPARATION FOR FANTASTIC BEASTS! And it’s all about Ilvermorny! There’s loads about the History of the school (America’s version of Hogwarts basically) but the thing I’m super excited about is the houses! You can be sorted into Ilvermorny houses!!

• Horned Serpent – a ‘great horned river serpent with a jewel set into its forehead’

• Pukwudgie – ‘a short, grey-faced, large-eared creature’

• Thunderbird – a creature that ‘can create storms as it flies’

• Wampus – ‘a magical, panther-like creature that is fast, strong and almost impossible to kill’

So those are the houses, and they’re all named after different fantastic beasts.

I’m a Slytherin AND I REFUSE TO BE CATEGORISED AS ANY OTHER HOUSE (except maybe Ravenclaw but Slytherin is still bestest) NOT BECAUSE THEY’RE BAD OR ANYTHING BUT SLYTHERIN IS JUST AWESOME.

I took the test and got Thunderbird as my house.

Not sure about the significance BUT THE HOUSE COLOURS WERE RED AND GOLD SO….WHAT IF IT IS THE GRYFFINDOR EQUIVALENT!?

Comment and tell me what house you got and if you know which house had green and silver house colours because I am genuinely curious *cough* willing to switch houses *cough*.

Thursday Tracks 9/6/16

Hey guys! Time for another Thursday Tracks! This week has flown by- it feels like I’ve only just posted my last one!

Again, this week, I’m struggling to think of a song, so I’ll do what I did last week (with a little more detail). I also have a while to write this so I think I’ll do… 7 songs!

Today, I’m going to dive into my 5sos playlist, in celebration of my new poster!!!

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My new 5 seconds of summer poster!!!!! I got it for £3.99 in HMV when on a shopping trip with my friends and I absolutely L O V E it!!!!!!! As Lynette would say, squeeee!!!!

So, shuffle play here I come.

Song 1: Permanent Vacation:

(The actual song begins at about 3 mins if you don’t want to listen to everything beforehand)

This is my sister and her friend’s fave 5sos song which they didn’t stop singing once on our holiday. They’ve made dance routines and all sorts. Despite not really knowing the lyrics. We had some very odd lyrics, though their best one comes from She Looks So Perfect, where they kept singing about “Aronaut Apollo Underwear” (it’s American apparel underwear by the way). That was very amusing, especially when we went into a shop where by some amazing coincidence it was playing and they started singing along. I think the shopkeepers were judging them very badly. However, for me, this song isn’t my favourite (though I still love it) as it’s a bit shouty. I know your probably thinking “what did you expect?” but I love it for being shouty, as it’s so catchy, but I also find it’s not the most musically interesting piece. Though if you want musical interest your better of looking at some classical music rather than pop/rock!

Song 2: Voodoo Doll

I LOVE THIS SONG!!!!!! It is A M A Z I N G!!!!!!! The lyrics “I don’t know…… how I got this tattoo” just get me jumping up and down every time. It’s such a good song. (And Calum looks so sassy in that photo. And Luke looks sooooooo cute! And Ash looks cute too. And Michale looks Michael-y. Yep- he has his own look. And it’s a good one). I listen to this song over and over and I have actually started a dance routine to it!

Song 3: She’s kinda hot

(Excuse the swear word in the first line and Calum’s “accidental” backwards two with his fingers). This song rocks. It’s awesome!!! It’s one of the more popular and well known 5sos songs, and the music video rules. This song is a great one!

Song 4: Broken Home

This is a more serious and sad song but I absolutely love it! (Luke in this one 😱❤️💛💚💙💜 (and on the topic of 5sos and hearts, they’re releasing a BLACK HEART EMOJI!!!! I LITERALLY CANNOT EVEN …………  I CAN FINALLY HAVE A JET BLACK HEART *double caps on* IN EMOJIS!!!!!!! *double caps off*) ). There a such deep and meaningful lyrics in there, set to such a good tune. It’s just 👌.

Song 5: Beside You

I just discovered this video right now, while looking for a video for Beside You and oh my god, please excuse me a moment while I drown in my feels. I literally- oh my god. This is just 👌👌👌👌! Perfection times 1,000!!!! I’m dying. When Luke started singing it was all over. In case you haven’t realised I have a huge crush on Luke and (what Vibha and Lynette didn’t know until they read this (if they’re reading this) ) crushes on all the others! Calum’s voice is just 👌 (the emoji means perfection for anyone who doesn’t get my frequent use of it), Ashton’s so sweet and Michael- he’s Michael! But this song is just amazing, and with this video now too, NEW FAVE SONG!!

Song 6: Safety Pin

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X2zoC7Wn7VQ

It took me A G E S to find a video for this song, and for some reason it won’t do the thing it usually does……. Oh well. You’ll just have to copy the link into a new browser or something, I’m sure you guys can figure out how to play it. Anyway, this song is really good and super catchy. “TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT!” It’s a great song, though be warned, it will be in your head for the next few days! It’s impossible to get rid of it!

Song 7: Heartbreak Girl

Ash in glasses alert. SO ADORABLE!!!!!! SQUEEEEEE! And Calum and Luke’s voices!!!!! And Michael (I feel like Michael is always left out at the end but he’s Michael Clifford. You don’t need to say anything else. Though he looks pretty amazing bowling, even if it’s just a couple of seconds clip of his back). This song is amazing. I daydream about any one of the 4 boys singing it to me. *sighs dreamily staring into the distance*. And it’s a great song with great lyrics, and a great music video!!!!!

Ok, now I have to choose a fave. Can I say all of them? ALL THESE SONGS ARE SO GOOD HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A FAVOURITE???? Lets see, it would have to be either Heartbreak Girl, Voodoo Doll or Beside You. I’m gonna say….… Beside You, not just because of the video but it’s such a beautiful song.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! Please like and follow! Also, please comment as I’d love to talk to you guys!

-M

Liebster Award

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We’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by Demi @ Books Traveller. You should check out her blog! It’s great! She does some really nice bookish posts, and her memes and tags are great too!

This is the first award that we’ve ever been nominated for, so this is quite a big thing for us, and we’re really excited! 🙂

There’s a lot of Liebster Award posts out there, all with different sets of rules and formats, so we’re just going to do what Demi did in her post.


The Rules:

– Thank the one(s) who nominated you
– Answer 11 questions the blogger gives you
– Give 11 12 random facts about yourself
– Nominate 11 bloggers that you think deserve this award too
– Give them 11 questions to answer
– Let the bloggers know you nominated them


Demi’s Questions

1. What is your favourite animal and why?

V: I don’t have one particular favourite, just many likes. I love elephants, especially the cute baby ones! I also think zebras and giraffes are pretty cute. Recently I discovered the existence of pangolins, and I just think they are the most adorable little animals! I don’t have a pet, but if I did, I’d probably like a ferret, or a snake, or some sort of lizard.

M: ooh, this is already so hard! I love all animals! I have two dogs who are adorable, and I really want a pet pig. But penguins are also so cute! I think overall I’d say pigs though……

L: I love all animals too, but I would have to say cats and red pandas just because they are adorable. I also love tigers too because they’re also really cute. 

2. What’s your favourite book and why?

V: The hardest question you could ask any bookworm. It’s like choosing your favourite children. Ummm I think either Carry On by Rainbow Rowell or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (by JK Rowling of course).

M: Tough one. This changes practically every week, but at the moment I’d say it’s probably Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. It’s such a good book- so funny and also so dramatic!

L: This is almost impossible. Sorry for being annoying but I honestly don’t have any favourite books. There are so many unique and wonderful books out there that I could never compare with each other, so I really don’t know. 

3. What’s your favourite movie?

V: I’m not really a movie person, but I have to say I loved the movie for Scorch Trials. I also really like Jurassic World, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. The movie for Paper Towns was amazing. I went to see it with two of my friends, and we cracked up when they suddenly burst into song, singing the Pokemon theme. Oh, and also, *spoilers for movie*, the cameo. Oh my god, when Augustus Waters came on as the petrol dude, I swear in that moment, the whole cinema was willing to scream and fangirl. Actually, there were three girls behind us, who literally started freaking out.

M: As I have a younger sister (aged 8) most of the films I watch can be quite dull- PG’s and U’s. But when I have the chance (e.g. when she’s at a friends house/fine to bed early) then I can watch a more grown up film. However, that happens quite rarely so I haven’t seen many films. I’m going to say either The Fault In Our Stars (I cried and cried) or The Scorch Trials. I also really want to see Paper Towns.

L: Okay sorry for being like this again but I also have no favourite movie. I’ve watched too many (just like I’ve read so many books) to really decide. I don’t even have a few favourite movies, I just love too many. 

4. What’s the most recent happy event in your life?

V: Well I can definitely say that exams finishing was a happy event :). Although we’ll have to wait an see if it really was a happy event, when the results come in…

M: I had a big party recently which was amazing! All my friends and relatives were there and it was the best day of my life.

L: Well if you know me, you’ll know I’m an otaku. So going to Japan in April was absolutely amazing! I had so much fun there, and experienced what Japan was really like, plus there was a lot of anime stuff as well. 

5. Pepsi or Coca Cola?

V: Am I allowed to say neither? I don’t really like any fizzy drinks, if I’m honest…also I can’t taste between the two drinks so I’ll just say both!

M: I am proud to say that I have never tried either. My parents are kinda big on avoiding fizzy drinks and juice after my cousin had to get 4 fillings at the age of 6. He lived on Ribena. So, can I answer Sprite? That’s my exception to my “stick with water and milkshakes” rule- I love Sprite.

L: Coca Cola. I don’t like pepsi or Coke much (I know, I’m weird) but I would have to say Coke tastes a bit nicer. 

6. Do you like to travel?

V: Yes! Although I hate the actual process of ~travelling~, i.e being stuck in an aeroplane for hours on end, feeling sick and bored. It’s not like I could read, or I’d probably throw up, and although there are some really good movies, I’m still too short (I know I said I was tall in the A-Z Book Tag, but I mainly have long legs, which isn’t of much use if you’re sitting…), so images look really dark and weird. Also, sometime in my life, I’d like to go on a road trip around America with my friends, on one of those Volksvagen camper vans. 🙂

M: Yes yes yes!!!!! I love airplanes, I love going to new places, I love everything about travelling. When I’m older, in my gap year, I’m going to travel the world, like my parents did. I want to go to Tokyo, the penguin A&E in South Africa (and yes, that is a real thing, it’s in Cape Town) and everywhere else! 

L: I love going to places but I hate the actual travelling (like Vibha). Planes sort of scare me, and sitting in them for too long is kind of uncomfortable. I also hate being in cars for too long because that’s also really uncomfortable. But I love going around and seeing the world, because every country is so special and interesting! 

7. How many languages can you speak?

V: Fluently, only English. However in school I’m learning  French and Spanish, which I’m pretty OK at. I also lived in India for the first 6 years of my life, so I can understand Tamil and Hindi, although I’m not the greatest speaker. 

M: Just English for me. I’m learning French and Spanish at school, but I just flunked both tests so let’s not mention them. I’m also learning Latin, but I don’t think that really counts! So just English for me!

L: English and Mandarin (Chinese). At school I’m learning Spanish and German (I decided not to take French like my friends because I don’t like it) and I’m also doing Latin. I’m also secretly learning Japanese at home when I have time.

8. What is one aspect of yourself that you occasionally get complimented on?

V: I genuinely do not know…I don’t really have any hobbies other than reading and writing and I’m pretty untalented as such…I’m such a failure 😂😂

M: Um, definitely not my looks! People often mention my hair, but I don’t think that’s a compliment! Maybe my music? I like playing my instruments (oboe and piano if you didn’t read my A-Z about me) and that’s usually what people mention, if they say anything nice about me at all!

L: My appearance. No I’m joking, that doesn’t happen unless if I’m in China for some reason where everyone seems to call me a ‘pretty little girl.’ Mostly it’s my art that gets complimented though, drawing is one of my favourite hobbies!

9. What is your dream job?

V: I’d like to be an author – that sounds super fun. If not that, I don’t mind any other jobs which include professional reading or writing, such as an editor, say. Other than that I’m only 13…I don’t really know which of my school subjects which I like could lead into jobs which I’m interested in…

M: 2 years ago this would have been an easy answer. I was going to marry a farmer, run a child-minding business and write stories in my free time. I was going to be the next Jaqueline Wilson (I was a naive child). Now, it’s not so simple. My parents want me to be a musician, but as nice as that would be I think it’s not really my thing- I’ll keep music as a hobby. I’d still love to work with kids and I’d adore to be an author, but I’m starting to consider acting as a future career. I’d love to be an actress. I think my dream job would be to write plays and then act in them (and have lots of kids too!).

L: Well whenever people ask me I always just say I don’t know, but honestly I would love to be a manga artist. I love writing and drawing, and I also love anime and manga, so I think it would be a great job for me! I would love to spend my life in Japan as a successful manga artist (although the successful part may not be true) and one of my close friends said she would accompany me and help me out, which would be awesome.

10. What would you recommend me to watch or read next?

V: Hm…if you haven’t already, then I’d definitely read Cassandra Clare and Rick Riordan books. I also really enjoyed City of Halves by Lucy Inglis, All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak. Oh, and Rainbow Rowell is pretty awesome too!

M: Cassandra Clare, Rick Riordan and Rainbow Rowell are all amazing! Also, if you haven’t read John Green’s books, they’re all amazing, even the less well known ones. Filmwise, The Scorch Trials is amazing, as is The Maze Runner, though be warned- The Scorch Trials doesn’t follow the book. It’s still amazing though! I also recommend The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which I think is a book. I’ve just seen the first half of the film, but it’s brilliant and really funny.

L: Othee than the suggestions my friends made above, I would recommend The Lunar Chronicles (I have actually only read two of the books but they’re already really good and apparently get better) and I also recommend The Lie Tree (which I read recently and is really good). As of books I’ve read recently, I think I’m just going to recommend these. If you watch anime I would recommend many anime series too, but if you don’t then it may be pointless so I’m going to leave that.

11. Do you think Donald Trump should become the president of the United States?

V: God, no. And although I don’t live in America, I’m going to quote my friend – ‘If Donald Trump becomes President of America, god forbid, the whole world is doomed.’

M: No way. Never. Anyone but him. My dog would be a better president. My friend from America said that if Donald Trump becomes president she’s revoking her American citizenship because she doesn’t want to be part of a country with him as his leader, and to be honest, I agree.

L: No. Who would? I doubt the whole world is going to become a disaster, but let’s say that some bad things are bound to happen if Trump becomes President. 


12 Random Facts About Us

(We did 12 instead of 11 facts so it’s an even 3 way split – we each get 4 facts. You’d probably get a little bored reading 33 facts :). )

Vibha’s facts:

  1. My entire family’s names mean ‘light’. My mum’s, my dad’s and my name just coincidentally happened to mean ‘light’, but we chose my little sister’s name on purpose.
  2. I have lived in 5 different houses, gone to around 6 different schools and lived in 2 countries.
  3. When I was younger I (stupidly) decided that it would be cool to have a nose piercing. I had a few beads in my pocket, so I stuffed one up my nostril, thinking that’s how nose piercings worked. As you can imagine, that didn’t end too well….
  4. Another story from when I was younger – I wanted to drink ink, so I drank down at least half the ink in a biro cartridge. It stained my tongue blue for a couple of days…my mum found me in front of the bathroom sink desperately rubbing at my tongue with some soap, and she burst out laughing 🙂

Mia’s facts

  1. I have ridden on an elephant when I went to South Africa! I also saw giraffes, penguins (yep- really), wilderbeast, grape vines (we went to the wine tasting region) and beaded animals. It was a great holiday! On the downside I threw up from eating too much red meat, but you can’t have everything!
  2. I’m allergic to cats, but I’ve decided that when I’m older I’m going to be a batty cat lady. I’ll go shopping in my dressing gown and slippers and buy nothing but cat food, and I’ll have one of those really slow electric wheelchair things (I can’t think what they’re called) and drive along in the middle of the road so no one can get passed me! It’s gonna be a lot of fun!
  3. When I was younger, my best friend was called Mia as well, though to be honest that was the only reason we were friends!
  4. I had a boyfriend when I was in nursery. It was serious. We kissed and everything! My childminder has thousands of embarrassing pics of the two of us!

Lynette’s facts:

  1. I spent a year in China studying, and I lived with my aunts and uncles instead of my parents, as they needed to stay at home to work and carry on taking my brothers to school. It was a great experience, but I did miss home quite a lot.
  2. My dream job as a child was to spend my life climbing trees. I didn’t realise how stupid this was until I was 8, but even then I thought of becoming an animal rescuer so I could incorporate the climbing trees part. 
  3. My Chinese name in Japanese is Ayako, which was coincidentally one of my favourite names before I ever knew that it was my Chinese name as Japanese. I even used to write stories about characters called Ayako, and I had never even known it was my name.
  4. This fact isn’t that interesting but I’ve never broken any bones before. I’m super clumsy (as my friends know) and I tend to trip a lot and stumble, and I often walk into walls or random other things like that, so it’s a wonder how I’ve never managed to break a single bone before, but thank goodness for that.

Our Questions For You Are…

  1. What would be your favourite fictional world to live in?
  2. What fictional character would you want as your best friend?
  3. If you didn’t blog about what you currently do, what do you think your blog would be based on?
  4. If you could own any pet in the world (including mythical creatures) what would it be and why?
  5. In which country is it your dream to live in?
  6. What is your favourite celebration (eg. Christmas, New Year, Birthday etc) and why?
  7. What’s the most precious/sentimental book on your shelf?
  8. Who was your first fictional crush?
  9. What’s your favourite genre of music and why?
  10. Harry Potter or Twilight?
  11. What song describes you/your life?

Our Nominees Are…

  1. Kitkatdallibooks
  2. Hannah @ The Book Llama
  3. Michelle @ A Halfblood Fangirl
  4. Captain’s Quarters
  5. Katie @ City of Fiction
  6. Lisa @ Lisa’s Home for Books and More
  7. Shayney @ Shayney’s Review
  8. Teen Book Reviews
  9. Eleanor @ Real Tasty Pages
  10. Darla Mae @ The Bookish Warrior
  11. Jas @ Pageturning

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed that post! 🙂

Reading Blind – Discussion

Since this blog started, I’ve only done two discussion posts. Since then, the majority of my posts have been memes, tags, and reviews, so I’m really going to try and do some more discussions. It may be over ambitious, but let’s say at least one a week, if not one every other week.

For me, there’s two types of reading/picking the book you read. One is when you know what you’re in for, when you’ve read some reviews, Goodreads synopsis, etc. and the other is reading blind (note: I’m not sure if reading blind is the ‘official’ term for this, but oh well 🙂 ).

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As you can see from the title, this week’s discussion post is going to be on reading blind. Okay, this isn’t Braille or anything – although I did learn a few words in Braille when I was younger, but I doubt I can remember them. Reading blind is basically starting a book without knowing what it’s going to be about. Sometimes, I like to just read the blurb of the book – sometimes not even that. Reading blind is when you keep your knowledge of the book as little as possible, because then even the smallest little detail surprises you. It makes the plot much more exciting, the character’s that little bit more ~enhanced~ because almost everything is told through the book, with nothing being given away from a blurb/review. Of course, you will know small details, such as the genre, but that’s about it.

Reading blind is often fine if the book is super popular. Take, for example, Renée Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn. I haven’t read this book yet, although I would like to get to it asap, however I know a considerable amount of detail on the book, taking into account that I haven’t actually read its synopsis, and only skimmed through a couple of reviews.

With over-hyped books, reading blind is fine – because you feel slightly more ‘safe’ in the sense that you know that it’s much more likely that the book will actually be a good book, with an interesting plot and well developed characters. I mean, they must be recieving all this hype for a reason!

However, when you take a look at under hyped books, reading blind isn’t always the best option. These are books that not many people have read, not many people talk about, so of course, you really won’t know what you’re in for, and whether what you’re going to read will be good or not. I often use my local library, and in the physical ‘library’ library (as we have an online version as well), the majority of the books in the YA section are usually super under-hyped books written by authors I have never heard of, and titles which I don’t know about. This is why I usually use the website, so I can get the books I want, but sometimes when I feel like trying something new and different, I like to pick a random under-hyped book.

One of the books that sticks out the most to me, in my memory, is the book The New Girl, which I read without looking at the blurb. I tried to search for the book on Goodreads but couldn’t find the author as there were many books named The New Girl, but from my memory I think it was something like S.L Grey? I really enjoyed that book. I remember it so well, and I remember recommending it to my friend, a friend who is kinds a YA hater, and she actually seemed interested. Only later, say, 4-5 months later, did I realise that The New Girl was actually the third and final book in a trilogy. And it was strange to think that although this was the final book, it still made sense.

The New Girl is a perfect example of both an upside and a downside of reading blind. I found a good book and a new author, I enjoyed it, I was surprised and the most minor details in the blurb didn’t spoil the most minor details in the book. But, however, it was the third in the series. And naturally you’d want to read the first two books as well, but then such an under hyped book means A) it’s hard to find and B) I didn’t know who wrote it.

So that wasn’t really a very major downside, so away from The New Girl, here’s some other downsides on reading blind, quickly summarised. Sometimes, going straight into the book without knowing what to expect can make your reading experience LESS enjoyable. You want to know what is coming, you want to look forward to it, and sometimes that motivates you to read more and read quicker. I knew Carry On would be about Snowbaz, as although the blurb didn’t give away much, I’d read Fangirl. And that’s why, despite Baz’s arrival being pretty far into the book, and the actual canon-ness happening 61 chapters in, I still sped through the book in like 1 hour. BECAUSE MY SOUL LIVES ON SNOWBAZ. SNOWBAZ EQUALS OTP GOALS. Sorry. Off topic.

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Another reason why reading blind isn’t great is that maybe the vague idea you had of the book was wrong. You may have assumed, based on your skim through the blurb, that the book was going to be say, a fantasy dystopia. However on reading, it may have in fact turned out to be a sci-fi, a genre that you aren’t particularly interested in.

One con for NOT reading blind is, of course, that you may get spoiled. This isn’t likely, as most of the time reviews often have warnings on them, but everyone has different opinions on what counts as a spoiler and what doesn’t. Someone may think a small detail, which isn’t really the ‘ending’ of the book, isn’t a spoiler, whereas another person may think that it’s better for the surprise to be told during the story, even if it’s not technically part of the plot (I’m talking about *cough* mini-spoiler *cough* Solangelo here….).

So what do you think on reading blind? Do you do it often, or do you prefer to have a good idea of the book beforehand? Tell me what you think in the comments!