7 Reasons I Love Witch Please

7 reasons i love witch please2

Hey everyone! I’ve talked a bit about the podcast Witch, Please — a fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter world, to definitely not quote its own introduction — on this blog before, but it’s just started up again after hiatus and I’m feeling a lot of love for it. Instead of yabbering on to my friends all day, I thought it would be fun to actually voice these feelings and thus convince you to flail about it along with me. (Fun fact: this idea literally came to me as I was falling asleep. I AM SO GLAD I REMEMBERED IT

1. Feminism 

I mean, do you even need any more of a reason? FEMINISM IS THE BEST. For a while I sort of, er, forgot that feminism was a thing because I was going through a bunch of personal stuff but this podcast reminded me that feminism is a cool thing that exists. *nods* I feel like I’ve learnt a lot of stuff and just in general become more engaged with feminism and how I can think about the world and what stuff I read.

2. The hosts are super cool

The hosts, Hannah and Marcelle, are extremely cool badass lady scholars! I admire them a lot! I, too, would love to be such badass scholar one day. The guests that feature in various episodes are also of course very lovely — I mean, to be honest EVERYONE IS LOVELY.

3. Excellent use of sound effects

I mostly listen to narrative fiction podcasts where, like, the audio corresponds to stuff happening in the story, but I think this makes SUCH good use of sound effects! I now imagine owl noises whenever anyone mentions Hedwig. Actually, I just imagine sound effects into my whole life.

3. I’ve learnt a lot

Every time I listen to an episode I feel like I LEARN SO MUCH. I read Harry Potter when I was in primary and although I think I have reread it at some point, I…definitely missed a lot. So it’s cool to revisit the books, sometimes even reread them as well, and then listen to the episodes. However, I not only learn about Harry Potter but also stuff like: how film works! Narrative! Print culture! Advertising! Long words that I can use to intimidate people!

5. I’ve been inspired

I admit, I haven’t been enjoying English lessons at school that much? I don’t really like our GCSE text and I was feeling like it was a bit pointless but this podcast taught me that academia & analysis actually can be fun be fun and interesting. It really inspired me to take more of an interest in reading because I, too, would like to be able to read a book and go LOOK AT THIS, THIS IS INTERESTING. Now sometimes I use things I’ve listened to in episodes in class and feel very accomplished, mwahaha.

6. It makes me laugh

You might not be expecting a lot of laughs from the summary but trust me, IT IS VERY FUNNY. Listening really puts a smile on my face. I also really adore the recurring jokes! And the segments! I spent most of the holiday special episode laugh-crying. Other highlights include character impressions and the ‘sexyy’ sound effect. Just trust me.

7. The awesome Witch, Please community

I love that there’s a really interactive listening community for this podcast! There are many lively discussions and insights from other smart people on Twitter, where @ohwitchplease are the most active. It’s great that you can have a conversations with the creators and other listeners beyond just listening to each episode. ! I actually went to some of the London fan meet-up (although I had to leave early to go to my friend’s birthday, alas) and it was VERY AWESOME.

Just AAAAALL the superlatives, if you couldn’t already tel. I wholeheartedly recommend. You can find all Witch, Please episodes, including the first episode of the new season on ohwitchplease.ca, iTunes, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

7 Less Touristy-y Things to Do in London

less touristy things london.jpg

Whenever I go away to places, I like to try and find actual advice from people who live there. I think it’s really cool to try and get more authentic idea for what the place is like, and it’s one of my favourite parts of travelling! I also think London is pretty cool, and I think it has some really underrated activities, so I thought it would be fun to share some things that I like to do up and about town. 😀

1. Do a scavenger hunt

If you’re with a group of people and have some time to kill, them scavenger hunts are a super way to get out and about! You can find a selection for different areas and themes here, and once you’ve picked one you’re good to go. As well as little tasks like finding street names or counting things on the outside of buildings, the hunts that I have done also give you some information about the area you’re in. You can check the ones that i have used here — you have to buy them, but it’s not much, especially split between a group. There are also some free ones here!

 2. Visit the Southbank Centre

In general there are just SO MANY good things to do spread all along the south bank of the river. Stuff happens in the Southbank Centre all year long, from the Festival of Love to fountains to Women of the World to the Christmas market. The National Theatre nearby has some great shows — if you haven’t booked you can queue up on Friday mornings (I think?) for tickets if there are any left, or try and get a Friday Rush one — as well as some free things to look at and somewhere warm to sit. You might also want to pay a visit to the Globe Theatre, BFI, Tate Modern, or second hand book fair thing. Just. SO MUCH STUFF NEAR THE SOUTHBANK. It’s always on my list for a day out!

3. Go to a book event

I am an ENDLESS ADVOCATE for book events! I love them! They’re normally really cheap or sometimes even free, and they really give me something to look forward to. I don’t think everyone always knows that they exist, so…? Of course it depends on which events are on and whether they coincide with your visit, but a quick browse on the Waterstones website will do you no harm. (Basically all the events I attend are run by Waterstones, since they tend to have the YA ones. But there’s other stuff out there too, including various cons!)

 4. Enjoy some art at the Tate(s)

I know I already mentioned Southbank, but there was too much squeezed into that short space and I LIKE ART THINGS. Some things are better than others at the Tate — the descriptions can tend to overanalyse a bit in my opinion post-capitalist modern critique or whatever I DON’T CAAARE @ CONCEPT ART but there’s so much choice as well as great permanent collections. The buildings are well worth a visit on their own, too! Tate Modern is home to the Turbine Hall which has different installations inside, and the new Switch House building is cool too. If you visit the Tate Britain then your #claimtofame can be standing at the site of Lauren Aquilina’s live Echoes video, ayy. 😉 At the moment Tate Modern has a really good Rauschenberg exhibition, by the way! I like going to see art just on a day out because I don’t feel any pressure to analyse it or whatever; I just like to try and enjoy it and consider how it makes me feel.

5. Visit Covent Garden

Covent Garden has a bunch of shops, from the wonderfully cute Moomin shop to the Whittard’s tea shop where I normally just go around testing EVERY SINGLE ITEM in their cute plastic glasses. (I have actually bought stuff from Whittards so I don’t feel too bad. It is fun to taste all their things.) Sometimes there’s street performers or market-y stalls, and in general it’s just a nice place to visit! There are also some cool quirky shops around the general Covent Garden/Seven Dials area such as Tofu Cute and Tatty Devine.

6. Do a fandom tour

London is the home to lots of cool fandom things! Of course it depends what you’re into, but some internet searching can prove very useful should you want to explore some fannish London locations. For Harry Potter, you can go on a self-guided tour or an actual professional walking tour, which  really sounds like a job I should be applying for haha. A Doctor Who tour is available (though I hear it’s more focused on Classic Who), and as well as visiting the Sherlock Holmes museum you can take a look at one of the Sherlock tours. (That link is really good; it has locations for a self-guided one as well as organised tours.)

7. Trawl through the bookshops of Charing Cross Road

Charing Cross Road is well known for its second hand bookshops — even if some of the prices might make your eyes water, it’s so atmospheric to look around them at all the old books. (I love old book smells.) Sometimes you can find real gems! ayyy my 19th century copy of Les Mis The really big Foyles is also there if you want a different selection to Waterstones, and Forbidden Planet is around the corner on Shaftesbury Avenue. 🙂

have you been to london? done any of these things? do you have any underrated activities for where you live?

7 #Relatable Clarinet Things

7 relatable clarinet things.jpg

I’ve played the clarinet for a couple of years now, and I love talking to other clarinet players about all the clarinet things. So HERE ARE A FEW. Also, whilst I was writing this post I I realised that this was kinda similar to An Overthinking Teenager’s #Trumpeterproblems post so do go and check that out, it’s excellent! I mean, I’m not actually a trumpeter, but I DID ENJOY IT NEVERTHELESS.

1. Wait, how many ledger lines?

As you can see here, you can get a whooole bunch of ledger lines on the clarinet. I’ve got a pretty solid hold on the lower ledger lines, but in the higher register? (The weird altissimo one.) Yeah, just no. I am that person who sits there counting them all out. TOO MANY LEDGER LINES, GUYS.

2. There are approximately 30172907 other clarinet players out there

Don’t get me wrong, I’m eternally glad so many people choose to play the clarinet, because clearly the best instrument out there. *coughs* It just means that there’s a lot of competition for the few clarinet spaces there are in orchestras. (Like, at least there are about a million violins. Compared with THREE CLARINETS, I tell you. THREE CLARINETS.) (This especially sucks when you have, like, a clarinet prodigy at your school. RIP me.)

clarinet-gif
3. Playing 3rd clarinet in the school orchestra

Even when you do manage to get a place in orchestra, if it’s a lower part then it’s often just minims or crotchets plus 40 bars rest. I’m still pretty bitter from my 3rd clarinet days, to be honest. But it means that you can be SUPER HAPPY when you move up a part.

4. Trilling over the break

Some composers obviously just…do not understand how the clarinet works. BRO, I CANNOT TRILL FROM AN A TO A C. I JUST CAN’T. For non-clarineters: that means going from leaning on one key with your index finger to having all your fingers down! Plus another key! THE HORROR. I mean, there probably is a trill key for it. (See below.) But when you have to do it in like a scale of really quick notes going over the break and it’s just asdgyjhakeflkw.

nope gif.gif

5. SO MANY DIFFERENT KEYS

I’ve played the clarinet for a good while now, and even I don’t know what all the little keys along the side do. (I think I know most of them. But I might have to experiment a bit if you actually asked me to tell you.) It also means that if you knock one of them slightly, it can send your entire instrument off kilter and then you have to improvise with cling film and blue-tack to try and get the notes out.

6. Cleaning your clarinet is just…no

There are a variety of different clarinet cleaning things out there that you can use, but I have a weird cloth with a weight on the end. It used to be white, but now it’s brown and ripped and just in general extremely disgusting. I used to barely ever clean my clarinet, so when I did it would come out with loads of brown stuff, but now I try and clean it every time I play to minimise that. It’s still pretty gross.

7. Your one good reed always chips

Reeds are just really weird and mostly out to hate you. (It always seems like they’re especially out to get you when you are a wee tiny clarinet player.) They’re dry and they chip really easily and sometimes you find a 2 year old one somewhere and it is super super manky. And then when you get out the one reed you trust to play it at the concert…IT GOES AND CHIPS. Because of course.

glares gif.gif

do you play an instrument, or would you like to? (the clarinet maybe?!?) can you relate to any of these struggles?

7 Things I Love About BBC Class

7 things i love about bbc class.jpg

This week has been long for me and for many others, I know. I was going to write a whole post about it, but to be honest I’m just a bit tired. Instead, I decided the best thing for me was to keep loving things and talking about the things I love.

So, in case you have missed my copious twitter flailings… I AM REALLY LOVING THE NEW DOCTOR SPIN OFF CLASS. It’s about some students at Coal Hill School and the aliens which appear there, in varying combinations. I believe it’s only showing on BBC Three for the UK at the moment but it appears there! Every Saturday! SUCH JOY. Because I’m enjoying it so much, and because I basically never talk about TV shows,  here is a post about all the things I think are cool in it.

(Also: before I finished drafting this, Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff also wrote about the awesomeness of Class… so shout out to her, go read her fabulous post!)

bbc class.jpeg

1. Complex and diverse characters

Characters are one of the most important things to me in media — however good the plot is, the characters are what anchors me to that world and keeps me reading/watching/etc. I am just so in love with all the characters here; they each have their flaws and strengths and hidden attributes and ASDFJKL CINNAMON ROLLS IT IS UNFAIR I ADORE THEM ALL. It’s wonderful to see diversity on the show, especially since it’s something that has frustrated me about Doctor Who in the past. The characters aren’t defined by their gender or race or sexuality.

2. Also, the cast are all super cute

Admittedly, this is not actually a part of the show itself. But ALL THE CAST ARE SO LOVELY AND COOL????? I went to their panel at MCM London and it was just SO GOOD. And then Vivian (Tanya) and Fady (Ram) did an ask thing ad they were so cute and funny just. Overall I basically have a crush on the ENTIRE CAST. They are UNFAIRLY ATTRACTIVE AND NICE PEOPLE.

bbc class sophie gif.gif
source

3. It’s very different from Doctor Who

Don’t get me wrong, I love Doctor Who! But I think it would have been a mistake to try and be exactly the same, and it’s cool that it’s not. I was also not a massive fan of the extremely confuddling plot lines which have appeared over recent Doctor Who series, to be honest, so… Yeah. Arcs and hints for teh whole series are cool! Yes! But it was just refreshing to see more of a return to the general overarching things but ALSO new monsters to fight every week.

4. The one liners tho

That’s definitely a sentence, pfft. There are just SO MANY hilarious lines and comebacks and it is amazing. Tanya is so savage. Although Miss Quill has to be the queen of awesome liens, which leads me to my next point…

bbc class tanya.gif
source

5. Miss Quill

I adore every single person in Class, to be honest, and I CANNOT CHOOSE BETWEEN THEM. (Except the evil guys.) But it’s safe to say that I’ve really fallen in love with Miss Quill… She’s definitely mean, and kind of scary, but her character just seems so complex and original to me. She DOES WHAT SHE WANTS. She has a BADASS HAIRCUT. She DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YE MORTAL PEASANTS. Yes.

bbc class miss quill.gif
source

6. Awesome friendship AND romantic relationship dynamics

Ships are cool. But you know what’s also cool? FRIENDSHIP. Romance can be great, but I hate when it’s placed above everything else in a show… I want ALL THE THINGS. Complex friendships and group dynamics are so important, and here they’re just beautiful. Plus, GIRL-BOY FRIENDSHIPS. We need more of these. Because, guess what folks? Girls and boys actually can be friends. Goodness me. But yes, I’m so looking forward to seeing how everyone develops!

7. One BADASS opening sequence

I will confess that I had slightly mixed feelings about it when I first saw the opening sequence, but now when it comes on I’m like YAS. The song (Up All Night, apparently) is such a jam and the graphics aah! I haven’t been able to find a really high quality video for it,  but here’s the best one I could get.

are you watching bbc class? what do you think of it so far? or would you now like to?!? (i hope so!)

7 Languages I’d Like to Speak // struck by linguistic love

seven languages to learn2

I HAVE SO MANY LANGUAGES APART FROM ENGLISH THAT I WANT TO LEARN. Literally all of them. There are way too many languages in the world. And let’s remember that I’m still on my way to learn English. I just…LIKE LANGUAGES A LOT. ❤ I have such a busy summer ahead of me. Even though I probably won’t end up doing all the work I want, but hey!

1. Spanish This is probably my favourite language at school! I want to be able to read the Spanish copy of Eleanor & Park I bought. Don’t ask. There’s also a lot of Spanish literature I’d love to read in its original language, but… HOPEFULLY. Someday. I’m going to make this happen.

2. Old English The language of Beowulf, Merlin, and the maybe the basis for Elvish. (Which makes an appearance later.) I have basically no knowledge of this language at all, unlike most of the others on this list, but thank Maggie Stiefvater. The Raven Cycle inspires unknown language-learning, okay?

3. Japanese Yes. I am in theory learning this, but I’ve basically only learnt the hiragana and katakana so far. So I can read some things phonetically! But I can’t tell you what they mean. The hope and the dream is to watch a Ghibli film in its original language (and without subs). Because I am a nerd, and I like Studio Ghibli.

4. Latin The textbook we have is kind of silly — yeah it’s the Cambridge one with Caecilius and everything, hi to anyone else who knows what I’m talking about — but this would be awesome to be able to know it a bit better. I could be Ronan Lynch. With a bonus of obscure words definitions.

5. British Sign Language Obviously BSL is different to the other languages here! There are no opportunities at all to learn it at school, so I think I should at least learn some basic phrases. It’s really cool. And then you can speak in all sorts of situations where you can’t vocally say stuff.

6. French I just handed in my options to give this up next year. *sighs* I have to many subjects that I want to study and it’s awful. I still hold my Les Mis/living in Paris fantasies in my heart, though, and I AM GOING TO MAKE THEM HAPPEN. Even if it means visiting with another person who, you know, actually can communicate. I will not give this up.

7. Elvish I’m not going to lie here: I went through a phase of researching constructed languages (i.e. made up languages) and it was all very nerdy and academic. But being able to speak Elvish would be awesome, no?| IT WOULD BE LIKE A SECRET CODE. I wish I could learn Morse Code as well. I know it’s not really a language, but can we just put that as the honorary eighth? I don’t want to break the seven tradition, guys.

do you speak more than one language? which ones would you like to learn? are you torn in WAY too many different directions like me? 😛

 

Starting Revolutions in Dystopian YA: a 7-Step Guide

revolutions dystopia ya

Revolutionaries, are you secretly the protagonist of a YA dystopia? Find out by checking yourself against the symptoms below!*

You have always played by the rules. You know everything you do is for the good of society. You are going to do your parents proud. Your think your life is going to be nothing special, predictable, and you will probably marry your nothing-special, predictable best friend whom everyone thinks you are in love with for no apparent reason.

But you are Different. Nothing about your actions or thoughts suggest it, but you know it deep in your bones. You go along with the others, yet you are somehow…not like them. You try to quell this individuality. Because if you try hard enough it will go away.

You are about to come of age. Soon you will be that magic special number which means you are a functioning adult in society. A little like a debutante. In fact, you might actually be a debutante. During this coming-of-age-ritual, something important will probably happen in relation to your love life. (Because the government holds a deep interest in the love lives of teenagers.)

But now something has gone disastrously wrong and ripped a hole in your nice predictable life plan. The nice plan that you didn’t really trust anyway went wrong — how is this possible?!? Well, anyway, you have now seen the light and know that you’ve been living under oppressed rulers all your life. You have vowed to get out of that dark place.

The Different and brooding love interest — possibly the same as the ‘something disastrously wrong’ — has awakened a flame inside of you. Your latent Differentness has started to show itself. You are In Love, now the most beautiful and amazing couple anyone has ever seen. You are made for each other. Your love is far more powerful and Different and world-changing than any other teenage love. You are, of course, just like every other teenager in love.

Some fighting happened, but other people did it. You didn’t get to see that much actual revolution-ing. You were probably too busy making moon eyes at The Love Interest, or maybe feeling guilty about spending too much time with The Love Interest. Anyway, one of your dearest friends who you only met like a week ago died in the fighting. You have spent the required amount of time crying and being meaningful, and currently you are angry enough that you might even do something reckless. (Like the reckless thing everyone told you not to do.)

You have done the reckless thing and freed the country in one heroic blow. Despite not actually doing anything other than the reckless thing everyone told you not to do, you have been greeted as a hero. the whole world is free and peaceful and happy. Suffering will never again happen, all thanks to you. You said you were only doing what your instinct told you, and The Love Interest congratulates your modesty but says you really should get some kind of reward.

You finish on a bittersweet note, standing over the grave of tragic friend holding hands with The Love Interest as the sun sets. Finally, you realise that you need to get over the death of tragic friend and move on in your life. To show you have done this you kiss love interest. You ride off into the (improbably still setting) sun. The End.

*This is not a medically approved list. (It also does not apply to all YA dystopian novels ever.)

7 Things I Would Do If I Met Rainbow Rowell

rainbow rowell books

Okay, so: I LOVE RAINBOW ROWELL’S BOOKS. I have probably recommended a book of hers to you all at some point or another. I mean, objectively, they do have flaws, but I also love them with all my heart. Yeah. Rainbow is, um, probably my favourite author right now.

WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY WHY I NEED TO ATTEND ONE OF HER EVENTS. I am blisteringly aware of the ocean between me and the USA, i.e. where a lot of her tours seem to be. And because I was a complete numpty, I missed her last UK tour! *congratulates self*

Some parts of the internet insist that she has a UK event during March — and, to be fair, I haven’t actually seen any more news since November, but I live in hope. Obviously, because I am going to turn into an awkward flapping chicken during like the one time I will probably ever see her: I decided it would be prudent to make a list of all the things I need to do. LET’S GO! *throws imaginary Pokeball onto grass*

1. Listen to her playlists all the way to the venue

I do this on my train journeys anyway, because I like to be attacked by feels on public transport, but it would be like my own private joke. Ha. Also: RAINBOW HAS THE BEST MUSIC TASTE. Ahem. *coughs*

2. Wear all the merch I possibly can.

I’m assuming this whole thing is going to happen at a book event, so that I will get at least a tiny bit of prep. Of course, I need to be decked out in all my merchandise… Okay, maybe not all of it. Even though I don’t own nearly as much as I’d like. But we can either go with a) Cath’s Carry On t-shirt, b) full or selective elements of my Penny Bunce cosplay as well as c) the Tatty Devine Fangirl necklace I won at YALC (!!). I could wear a flannel shirt like Eleanor? No, okay, Eve. ONE OUTFIT HERE. Calm yourself.

3. Be this gif

admire someone gif

Just. I would make so many flustered hand movements to try and articulate how much I love all the books.

4. Talk to all the other Rainbow Rowell bookworms/Snowflakes

The name for the a Carry On fan is now officially a Snowflake. Hehe. (I think it comes from a mention of Cath visiting Snowflakes forums?) Anyway: flailing is WAY more fun with friends, and I’d love to meet up with fellow enthusiasts! XD

5. Ask a lot of questions about:

a) Diversity in YA What do you think is the next step for diversity in YA? As an author of both adult and YA books, do you feel representation is different in those genres?
b) The Eleanor & Park movie Eek, what’s the current situation!? ❤
c) Carry On locations CAN WE SET UP A SIMON SNOW MERCHANDISE SHOP IN WATFORD? Genuinely. I would happily work in it.

6. Bring my wheelbarrow of books up to be signed

Not my Kindle, though… I wouldn’t actually bring all of my books, because that would take forever and also I don’t think I would actually be allowed. It took me a while to stack up the 13 for the title photo. XD (HOW DID I GET 13 FROM 5 BOOKS DAMMIT.) Hopefully I can get my pretty special editions signed, though!

7. NOT ask what the three words are

I guess it would be nice to know what they meant? But I feel like I’m way less bothered than a lot of people. When I finished the book, that wasn’t the first thing on my mind — and we saw Park’s reaction, so I don’t think it’s anything awful. Plus: Rainbow would never tell us!

Hopefully I will get to actually carry on out this list someday. I am wishing really hard that this list doesn’t seem weird. (Also: I was also talking Carry On with Michelle, An Overthinking Teenager, and Evi, so BLAME THEM.) (Not really. I love you guys. :P)

Which authors would you like to meet? Have you been to any great author events? 🙂

7 (Mostly Stupid) Nostalgic Computer Games

image

So, when I say ‘nostalgic’ games, I’m not actually referring to Pac-Man kind of games. Sorry. I AM NOT OLD ENOUGH TO CLAIM PAC MAN IS MY CHILDHOOD. And I am also still in my childhood. But luckily for me, the internet changes fast enough for this to seem Sufficiently Old. *nods*

Don’t tell me I’m the only one who knows that coolmaths.com is the site to go to if you want to fool the system into thinking you’re on an educational site. (Let’s just pretend I’m not writing this list during NaNoWriMo. I HAVEN’T BEEN PROCRASTINATING AT ALL, what are you talking about?!?)

fireboyandwatergirl

1. Fireboy and Watergirl Oh my goodness this game was my favourite. It’s…still my favourite two player game. It’s pretty much the only decent one, in my opinion. 😉 Because I’m really bad at Minecraft and ‘Actual Video Games’. The two-player element was especially useful when there was practically a bloodbath over the two computers in the library after school. (In retrospect: why is the boy the fire? But anyway, yeah.)

bloons td5

2. Bloons Tower Defense The sound of computerised balloons popping is weirdly stress-relieving. The best part is when you get, like, the robot laser eye monkey right at the end and raze through all the rainbow coloured balloons. (It was actually quite a violent game, to be honest. And who even thought of ninja and sniper moneys? Are they a metaphor for humanity? What did those weirdly sentient balloons ever do to the moneys? Is there a whole backstory to this game? *gasps*

cookieclicker3

3. Cookie Clicker SO SO POINTLESS. Probably the most ridiculous game on this entire list. I don’t know. But it’s really fun. Just. Even more pointless than all the others. I think there are copies of it with other items, too? Ah well. Someday I’ll look it up.

papa louie

4. Papa Louie Evil pizza monsters, duh. And what is more important than delivering pizzas whilst being attacked by evil pizzas??

circle the cat

5. Circle the Cat This is actually a pretty clever game, even now. Stopping the cat from getting out requires actual thinking. (Some of it is luck where the starter squares are placed. But it’s more intellectual than, say, Cookie Clicker.)

celtic village

6. Celtic Village AHAHAHA. This game is the weirdest. It wasn’t ever really a popular-at-school thing like some of the others, but my cousin and I would play it at Christmas at the same time and see who could last the longest. It’s weird as hell, and it has terrible graphics, and it glitches all the time from what I can remember: random children would just turn into green aliens?? And then, like, the gods would come and age all your people up? Who even knows? *shakes head* Anyway, I just liked naming all my villagers. I had some pretty cool ones. Even if they all ended up dying at the end or something.

shopping street

7. Shopping Street OH MY GOD the competition with this. Way to introduce children to the retailing market. It was another kind of stress relieving one, though — maybe listening to money chink from all the little people pass is less good than balloons popping, but hey. (Not that balloons are particularly normal either. Oh well.)

What computer games did you used to play? Recognise any of these? I’M SO BAD AT ALL VIDEO GAMES NOW PERSONALLY. Except for Wii Sports. 😉

5 Author Duos I’d Love to Read

5 authord duos i'd love to read

I think co-writing must be horrifically difficult. I mean, I’d definitely freak out if I had to send anything unpolished off, and WHAT IF WE HAD DISAGREEMENTS? It could ruin a friendship. (Or a stranger-ship. Ugh, that would be way worse.) I can see how people like David Levithan & John Green managed it with their alternating chapters, but…The Iron Trial? I have no clue how Holly Black & Cassie Clare co-wrote a whole cohesive – actually pretty decent – novel without any huge hiccups that I could read.

This was sort of supposed to be a Top Ten Tuesday, but I fell in love with the fabulousness of all the potential books. And then naturally I had to share them.

shadow and bone the bone season

1. Leigh Bardugo & Samantha Shannon There’s something about The Bone Season and The Grisha. They just…exude the same vibe. The magic system is rather similar – in The Grisha, the names are more Russian, but otherwise it’s actually pretty similar to the clairvoyance thing in TBD. The headstrong-slightly-bland-protagonist too. I’d personally like to see both authors utilise the settings a bit more? But I think they could write such a fabulous fantasy book. With a gorgeous setting. (I love these series, I swear! I know I sound very crabby in this, but really, I do.)

the dream thieves darkest part of the forest

2. Maggie Stiefvater & Holly Black These ladies write kick-ass fantasy with kick-ass prose, so obviously if they write a book together it would kick ass even more. Both of their books include elements of dark fantasy folklore in a contemporary setting. Dark fantasy in a contemporary setting is probably one of my favourite themes ever. Holly might give some more structure to the unpredictable whimsies of The Raven Cycle – which, you know, I do love, but sometimes it’s nice to have a bit more clue as to what’s happening.

i'll give you the sun aristotle and dante
3. Jandy Nelson & Benjamin Alire Saenz So, uh, the only book by Benjamin Alire Saenz I’ve read is Ari & Dante. But you know what? IT WAS SO IN THE STYLE OF JANDY NELSON. Whose I’ll Give You the Sun made me weep. Their books just feel like whimsically magical paintings in ever so slightly brightened colours. (With the volume turned up, even. *cackles*) Their books are realistic…but also, like, utterly ridiculous. Sometimes you just need an impossibly, ridiculously beautiful book like that.

A Darker Shade of Magic red rising

4. V.E. Schwab & Pierce Brown “Sci-fi and fantasy?!?” you scream, and I know, that’s a big divider. But their styles seem similar to me — CAN YOU IMAGINE THE KILLER PROSE. Both of them write so beautifully, so can you imagine what a beautiful book they would write together??! Dark fantasy with sci-fi and vicious characters would rock. (Maybe, like, a futuristic steampunk thing? I don’t know.) Their settings to me also feel more – wide-spanning? Like there’s a world and people beyond the characters. That’s something I enjoy a lot.

since you've been gone to all the boys i've loved before

5. Morgan Matson & Jenny Han I admit, I did this for the music-themed books. I wasn’t, uh, the greatest fan of Since You’ve Been Gone – everyone else seemed to love it but whilst I did enjoy it, it didn’t stick with me. Jenny Han & Morgan Matson would write a FABULOUS CONTEMPORARY THOUGH, am I right? Cute summer vibes all around. *hands ice-cream* You’re going to need them after all the other depressing co-writes.

What authors would you like to see co-write a book?

Top Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity

It’s that time again! I’ve noticed that I seem to be participating in TTT (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) round every month, so from now on I shall try very hard to do this meme monthly. (Permission is granted to bug me about if it I forget.) This week’s topic is my top ten books that celebrate diversity of all kinds. I’d like to read more diverse books, but these are the favourites from the ones I’ve read.

adaptation
1. Adaptation by Malinda Lo What I love about this book is that it has exciting extraterrestrial-goings-on without erasing the diversity of the characters. I mean, all of Malinda Lo’s books that I’ve read so far are great, but this one is my most recent!

i'll give you the sun
2. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson I flail over this book a lot. There’s a lot of purple prose, but it’s an amazing book about family, love and not fitting in. It also has the most beautiful design ever so NO EXCUSES! (Just kidding, of course it’s totally your choice. But I did enjoy it a lot.)

love hurts
3. Tumbling by Susie Day Tumbling isn’t even a book. It’s an original short story published in the Love Hurts anthology – which in itself includes some great diversity such as in Humming Through My Fingers and Gentlewoman – but this one is my absolute favourite. It’s about two girls who meet through Tumblr (through Sherlock, at Speedy’s Café). There’s musings on popular culture and worrying about internet relationships and what happens when the freedom the internet allows is taken away. (“Tumblr is where I am the best me, ordinary, pain-free.”) I AM THE ONE-MAN FANDOM FOR THIS ALJIDFNA;DIkihfaedoi. It is SO BLOODY CUTE BUT ALSO SERIOUS AND if you don’t want to spend 8 quid on it then I wouldn’t blame you, but for sure flick to this story in the bookshop and give it a try.

merida gif

miseducation of cameron post
4. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth I’ve just read this one after hearing a lot of good things, and it was awesome. It’s about queer teenagers growing up in rural America (? I AM SORRY MY GEOGRAPHY) in the 90s and it was so great. I also wasn’t very educated about the issues it covers so it was really good to read about those whilst it still being a good book, you know?

shadows on the moon
5. Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott Another Cinderella retelling, yes. But this one is a Japanese-fantasy-fusion with a kind of fierce and not-so-nice Cinderella. Who is bitter and wants revenge. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a fun read and it does include diversity in many different respects.

every day
6. Every Day by David Levithan (Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve read this so I’m not 100% sure how much I’d enjoy it now.) Every Day is narrated by a character who changed bodies every day. There are so many different stories from the bodies A inhabits, and it’s a really interesting dynamic to explore – the person inside doesn’t change, per se, but everyone else has to see a different body.

eleanor and park us
7. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell God, you guys are probably sick and tired of me banging on and on about this book! I’m not entirely sure if it belongs on this list, since a lot of the issues like the racism Park experiences aren’t resolved (and also there’s to be a whole debate about Park’s eyeliner and is he gay?) but, yes. I feel like I haven’t included much on here in terms of social diversity, and Eleanor & Park addresses issues like poverty, abuse and body image alongside racism.

aristotle and dante
8. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz This one’s another recent read; I actually, um, read it all in one go, so I’m still slightly gathering my thought. I did enjoy it, though – it was cute and it includes some great diversity.

wonder
9. Wonder by RJ Palacio Wonder’s been thrown around a lot in bookish circles so, yes, it’s probably nothing new. I don’t know if it’s an accurate representation but it’s message is so uplifting, and all the viewpoints make it feel so honest.

the rest of us just live here
10. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness Yep. Here it is again. SORRYYY. I just seem to have a serious soft spot for this. Again, it isn’t perfect, but it covers a lot of different issues without it taking over the whole thing.

What do you think of participating monthly? What would you put on your list? Got any good book recs? 🙂