Spring Favourites!

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Yes! We are reaching the start of summer which means TIME FOR A SPRING ROUND-UP. Today it has been very warm and I am generally feeling happy, which…well, makes a change. You may notice that I’m missing my usual picture with all my favourites; this is due to a combination of a) I don’t have loads of time now because reVISION *flails arms* and b) I don’t have any physical objects to arrange this time so it would just, be like, photoshopped images. And I’m not good enough to do make all of that work.

1. Twelfth Night I saw this play at the National and WOAH it was so good! The production was honestly stunning — as in, like, the set was beautiful and the live music was beautiful. It was just so pleasing to the senses. Malvolia was…really different to what I was expecting, and two years since reading the play I am still mad at the ending, but overall I loved it a lot.

2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas I couldn’t stop thinking about this book, even once I had put it down. Beautiful, writing, a powerful story — it definitely lived up to the hype, and it’s one of my best reads I can remember.

3. Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg To be honest, I initially downloaded it because it was cheap on Kindle, but I ended up enjoying it a lot! I NEED TO GET THE SEQUEL NOW, GODAMMIT.

4. Dodie Soooo, in March I was lucky enough to be able to see Dodie on her UK tour with my friends, and it was SO FUN. I’d actually never been to a concert before, and it was so lovely to see Dodie just generally being wonderful and great and music. The band, including the warm-up act Rusty Clanton, were also great, and now I’ve been introduced to some new music!

5.The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla I’ve wanted to read this for a while, so I was really excited to see it the school library! Each essay was different, but each one brought something different, and made me think hard.

6. Las Chicas del Cable Both me & my mum are learning Spanish, so we decided to watch this show on Netflix about women in 1920s Madrid. (It is dubbed, but I’m watching in Spanish with English subtitles.) The production is just gorgeous, and although at times it feels a bit melodramatic there is feminism and queer women and so much to love!!

7. Hidden Figures Aaah! This was awesome! It was great to see the stories of these super smart & inspiring black women told, and I also feel like a learnt History Stuff. *nods*

around the internet:

in the diary:

  • Well, I had a music exam… It didn’t go quite to plan, but I think I still passed, so fingers crossed! I might even get my results by the time this post is actually published. *winces a little at the thought*
  • We had a big family gathering for my aunt’s 60th birthday over the bank holiday, which was super nice because we rarely ever get together — my mum is one of 7 — and I got to see my super cute little cousins!
  • Exams are coming up so, erm, I have some fun revision to look forward to. -_-
  • I managed to survive my overnight walk for cadets at school, which I’m pretty pleased about! I’m rather ache-y now, but we did walk 35k, and our team only got super lost once which I think is impressive haha.
  • I went to a Witch, Please meetup! *screams a bit* Although I had to leave early, it was SO COOL AND WONDERFUL.
  • ALSO IT WAS EUROVISION. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND EXCELLENT and basically just a nice thing in the not-great world. Plus, I managed to convince my friends to be Eurovision fans, hehe 😉
  • Probably some other stuff happened, but quite frankly I can’t remember it at this point. I’m off to see the new Studio Ghibli movie The Red Turtle tomorrow, which I’m rather excited for.

how have you been? seen any good movies recently? are you taking any exams?

Winter Favourites!

YES, I AM ALIVE. HI. Yes. Onto favourites it is. Just as I am getting tired of winter, it feels like spring is about to arrive… I can’t wait to have a few less grey and cold days haha. December feels like SO LONG AGO. But here we are, and I must press forwards!

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1. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour I feel like I’ve read a lot of great books recently, but I loved this one a lot!! It was so aesthetic and lovely and yay for happy queer girls! I thought Emi’s movie production thing was super cool and in general this was just a very happy read for me.

2. Rent I’ve been a fan of Rent for a while, and I was so overjoyed to hear that it was going on a UK tour! (Because it hasn’t been showing anywhere for a good while.) I went to see it at the end of December and aaah it was so excellent! The cast absolutely KILLED it — I was going to list the actors I thought stood out here, but then I kind of started to list them all? — the set was awesome, and overall it just really added to my experience of the cast recording and movie. I’m still flailing.

3. Podcasts I CAN’T FIT EVERYTHING INTO MY POST, noo! I feel like I am basically the only person ever who didn’t enjoy Welcome to Night Vale — I mean, it was cool, but I found it too creepy to listen to alone in the house or at night, which is basically when I listen to podcasts. (They’re great for cleaning.) But I have found others, and I am slowly but surely making my way through Witch, Please, The Adventure Zone, and Penumbra Podcast — all of which are wildly different but each excellent in their own way. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them! (Although bear in mind it takes me forever to listen to things haha.)

4. Your Name Oh man, THIS MOVIE. THIS MOVIE. It’s the best movie I’ve seen in absolutely ages. It’s an anime movie, but as with many Ghibli movies the animation is the medium for a really excellent piece of art. (Although the animation was also part of that art.) It starts off kind of like Freaky Friday, with a girl in the country and a boy in Tokyo switching lives but then MORE STUFF HAPPENS. It did exactly something that I look for — seeking out one of those weird indescribable feelings, the ones that give you an ache in your chest. I can’t recommend this highly enough, to be honest. (The soundtrack is also absolutely excellent.)

5. A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab Yeah, no, just excuse me whilst I GO DIE A LITTLE BIT. It’s so, so weird to think that this series is done with — although perhaps I do not flail about it as much as other things, I love it a lot! It’s just so…GOOD. Aah I don’t want to let the characters nooooo. *cries* But if the series had to end, then I think it was in the best way possible.

6. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency I KNOW. I watched a whole TV show in under a month?? Crazy, right?! I’m really terrible at finishing TV shows, but for some reason I found this really easy to watch, and I loved it a lot! Dirk Gently is a smol cinnamon roll. He and Todd are definitely detective boyfriends. Farah and Amanda are definitely detective/awesome person girlfriends. I fully expect this from the next series, okay?

7. Skam I feel kinda bad putting this on here because I haven’t watched all of it — I am just bad at finding TV shows, but yeah. I will watch the other series! Because Noora is beautiful and wonderful and I definitely need to see more of her! I did enjoy the episodes that I’ve watched, though. (I’m also midway through watching Yuri on Ice, which is wonderful. I shall update when I am finished!)

8. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore I know that I’ve already put this in my various wrap-ups, but MAN IT WAS SO GOOD. I got it for Christmas and it was everything I’d hoped for: magical prose, engaging and complex characters, and again something that really made me feel, deeply. I feel like this is getting really highbrow for a favourites post, but NEVER MIND.

stuff from around the internet:

in the diary:

  • A lot of stuff happened! There was Christmas, when I saw all my family which was really nice. My friends & I also had a stall at our school Christmas fair which was fun, and we managed to raise some money for charity. 🙂
  • I did some technical stuff for my school play which was really exciting… I mean, My job was basically to press the buttons for the cues at the right time, but it’s actually SUPER DIFFICULT and I now have a lot of respect for people who do technical stuff. Although it was quite stressful I’m very glad I did it, especially since a bunch of my friends were there too! (Hopefully I will next year too?)
  • I attended the Women’s March on London, which made me motivated to do stuff. *nods* I also wrote about it if you wish to read!
  • Probably also some other stuff. But I am rather sleep-deprived right now and haven’t written a post in what feels like a very long time, AAH.

how have your last few months been? have you read/seen/listened to anything I mentioned here? how are you doing?

Autumn Favourites!

I know it’s December now, but it’s time for my autumn favourites! Time to rewind back to when I wasn’t playing carols and eating mince pies the whole time haha. These last three months have been a bit of a rollercoaster — lots of bad things, but also lots of good. LET’S GO.

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1. YA Shot This was my first time at the one-day bookish festival YA Shot and I loved it! I wrote a longer recap here which you can check out, but overall SO MANY COOL AUTHORS and SO MANY COOL BOOKISH PEOPLE and I would definitely repeat the experience. 😀

2. As I Descended This is another book that I was super hyped for because HELLO, queer Macbeth modern retelling?!? I mean, I basically know nothing about Macbeth so I have no idea of its quality in retellings, but it was still a SUPER COOL and VERY CREEPY book. I actually had to stop reading it in the evenings because I got too scared… But since I, too, am also writing an (extremely) loose queer futuristic Shakespeare retelling, I thought I could see what the opposition was up to. 🙂

3. Carol I read the book that the movie was based on at the start of this year, and I was so excited to actually find the DVD in the library… I mean, it took a bit of maneuvring to wait until the house was empty to watch it ahaha. But SO WORTH IT. It was just such a beautiful and good film, mm.

4. Amadeus  OH MY GOD THIS WAS AMAZING. I also saw another great play this autumn — The Red Barn — but I think Amadeus trumped that. Well, no, yeah, it did because WOW IT WAS SO BLOODY AMAZING. Tha acting?!?? The staging?!? The live orchestra?! The entire story??? I AM JUST SO DEAD. I was almost crying by the end, to be honest. Genuinely just…wow. If you’re able to see it at the theatre or even in a live cinema broadcast thing then I would so so urge you to do so.

5. BBC Class, not pictured  obvs wasn’t pictured on purpose definitely not because I forgot to leave space for it in the photo ahahaha Ha. If you haven’t already noticed my copious flailings… I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS TV SHOW. I’ve literally just come from watching the finale and I think I’m a little bit dead. (I’m going to be so angry if there isn’t a second series. PEEPS IN THE USA, PLEASE WATCH IT WHEN IT COMES OUT IN SPRING.) Once again I direct you to my longer flailing post about why I love it which resides just here. 😛

6. Witch, Please This podcast analysing Harry Potter is basically everything I want in life. (I really love Harry Potter academia, for some reason? Just, like, don’t ask.) It’s actually made me look forward to my train journeys which is good! I’m not that many episodes in but I’m genuinely just enjoying them so much. Much beautiful ear noise.

7. Crooked Kingdom I know that this book is probably old news by now, or whatever. But I AM STILL HELLA EXCITED BY IT. Although it started off a little slow, it didn’t let me down at all and was such a strong counterpart to Six of Crows! I always need more angsty heist people. It was so wonderful to see all the characters and relationships develop, although I am still a little heartbroken by the way it all turned out ahaha. (Plus I met Leigh, eep still flailing! See below for more flails.)

stuff from around the internet:

  • *cries* ONCE AGAIN I DIDN’T MAKE A LIST OF ALL THE EXCELLENT POSTS I READ I FEEL SUPER SAD. I know I say this basically every time, but…yeah. I’m jsut going to link to a couple of interesting things I’ve been reading recently.
  • On the blog I recommended you all lots of webcomics, talked about ace representation for ace awareness week, and in October my blog turned three! Plus, I started off my podcast One Page More! which you can find here.
  • This post on The Gay YA discussed the ‘hero’s journey’ in trans YA and the firs steps we can take to see new narratives. (Putting into very eloquent words some things which I have felt reading books in the past.)
  • A thing about female characters in Harry Potter canon vs fic. THIS IS WHAT I LIVE FOR. Man, it was really interesting to see some actual stats for female characters in fic. Because, like, I love fic but it does have a lot of things that could be better. Cue my I’m-so-bitter-there-isn’t-enough-femslash-mdespite-majority-female-fans speech. (Also, A BLOG WITH LOTS OF FANFIC STATS. My heart sings.)
  • Elly’s blog A Hufflepuff’s Thoughts turned two, WHOO!
  • Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff also, like me, flailed about BBC Class and wrote a post about WHY YOU SHOULD ALL DEFINITELY WATCH IT.

in the diary:

  • Well…a bunch of stuff happened this autumn that was kind of crappy, both in my own personal life and otherwise. Probably most notably to the wider audience is the US election. Donald Trump won. I know that I and many others were/still are very upset by this, and I don’t think I can really say something more eloquently than others have already said it, but I’m sending out love to you guys.
  • Despite this bad political development — along with others — I did go to a cool thing which gives e hope in the world. I was lucky enough to get onto the Action For Change programme which is a year-long thing to help start social change! The inspiration weekend was AWESOME and hopefully I’m going to be talking about my project at some point in the future on this blog. 😀
  • And I’m actually really enjoying school right now, which makes a really nice change! I mean, it’s still school but I’m so pleased with the subjects I’m doing and just in general LEARNING YAS.
  • I DID COOL MUSICAL THINGS. I saw both In the Heights and Les Miserables for my second time which was just asdhjgjslel. I’M STILL MUSICAL TRASH, GUYS. (Also: The Hamilton Mixtape, amirite?)
  • I MET RAINBOW ROWELL AND LEIGH BARDUGO ON THEIR WORLDS COLLIDE TOUR OH MY GOOODNESSSSSSS *dies* I was basically just a flailing mess for the whole thing but AAH IT WAS SO COOL AND GOOD AND RAINBOW SIGNED ALL MY BOOKS AND I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE IT EVER HAPPENED. Here’s my cool poster:
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  • Although I didn’t put it in my faves, I went to MCM London again in October and I cosplayed as Baron von Gikkingen! It was super cool to go to the Ghibli meet up again — photos here! — and I also went to a Class panel. (In addition to, as per usual, spending too much money. :P)
  • I did NaNoWriMo and I COMPLETED MY GOAL YAY. To be fair, it was only 15k but I’m still proud of myself. I do feel like my quality of writing is improving with each time I do NaNo. I basically don’t work on my WIP otherwise, so. Hopefully this’ll change in the future and I’ll actually manage to finish a whole draft haha.

how are you? are you doing okay? how have the last few months been for you?

Summer Favourites!

You may have noticed that my monthly favourites just sort of…disappeared from the blog. I know it didn’t have much of an explanation. BUT! Although it might sound hard to believe (I mean, this is me) I actually did have a master plan. 😛 From now on I’m going to be doing round-ups every three months — that is, quarterly. Except it’s going to run from December – February, March – May etc. because seasons and cohesion. Yeah. DON’T ASK. Doing a round-up every month was just becoming a bit of a chore for me, but I still wanted to be able to check in and share the great posts I’ve been reading. Hopefully I’ll start being more organised with keeping track of posts haha!

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1. Nothing’s Real by Shura YAY, I have listening to a bunch of great queer music lately! I first came across Shura when I found her video What’s It Gonna Be? on Tumblr, which to be honest STILL makes me sigh in happiness. It is so wonderful and cute and excellently aesthetic and you all need to click on that link right now…(No, seriously: KEEP WATCHING TO THE END. It’s fab.) Anyway, I bought her full album and it’s awesome and now I might have a tiny crush…? Erm. Anyway.

2. Japanese Woah, guys. I ACTUALLY LEARNT SOME JAPANESE. (I’m attempting to learn some for my trip next year.) I feel so proud of myself. I’ve only done the first few lessons in my textbook (an old edition of Japanese For Busy People) and a bit of a Memrise but I feel very productive. I’ve also signed up to an online course on Minato, so let’s see how that goes.

3. This Savage Song by VE Schwab Let’s be real: it’s a Schwab book. It was always going to end up in my favourites. The writing was beautiful as I per usual and I adored all of the characters! It was also completely awesome to be able to go to one of her events, asdfjkl. (In a subtle bit of self-promotion: here! check out the post where I wrote about it! :P)

4. Isn’t It Strange? by Lauren Aquilina *shrieks* A NEW LOZZA AQ FULL LENGTH ALBUM, WHAT IS LIIIFE. I’ve listened to it in full about 3 times already and…honestly. I think my life is complete. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. Expect more flailing in the future. 😉

5. Mr Robot Another programme I finally got round to watching. I find it a bit intense and occasionally a bit of a downer, but it’s a seriously awesome programme. I have 2 episodes left of the first series to watch. (Yes. I know. I watch TV programmes pretty rarely and if I do it’s with the pace of a snail. This is impressive for me.)

6. Serial I downloaded this podcast to my ancient iPod some time ago, but I only recently got round to listening to it. And woah, it’s so gripping! I’d definitely recommend it.

7. Alexander Hamilton  by Ron Chernow I am very proud of myself for finishing this brick of a book. It evens rivals The Brick (aka Les Mis) for historical density. Despite its length, though, I actually found it super readable! And…well. My Hamilton obsession is only increasing, to be honest. I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in the American Revolution! (Because history actually is as crazy as the musical.)

8. Slovenia and Croatia So, my big trip this summer was travelling with Guides around Slovenia and Croatia! I’d been fundraising and working together with 13 other girls from my area for just under a year and the trip was absolutely AMAZING. I mean…Girlguides is a little weird for me, because obviously everyone assumes you’re a girl. But it was so nice and asadfjkl I AM FILLED WITH JOY FOR GUIDING & SCOUTING. If you guys ever get the chance to go on an international trip with a scouting organisation I’d definitely recommend it! ❤

stuff from around the internet:

  • I wrote about the Unforgivable Curses for #PotterheadJuly and I am still quite proud of that post. I just…enjoy fun Harry Potter things ahaha.
  • Well, er, Brexit happened. I talked about it just beforehand and just after. You’ll probably see some difference… -_-
  • I talked about all the languages I really want to learn! For some reason this post was super popular…? I have no idea hy, but YAY. It’s been wonderful flailing about languages with everyone! ❤
  • The Finding Our Feet project is finally live! I’ve been working this in collaboration with Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen and Victoria @ Addlepates and Book Nerds. I do hope you enjoy it. 🙂
  • Chiara @ Delicate Eternity wrote a guest post on The Daily Prophecy about the importance of LGBTQ+ retellings, along with many recommendations.
  • Both alwaysopinionatedgirl and Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense wrote about the wonderfulness of Ginny Weasley and why she is more than just a love interest. *coughs* like the movies made her out to be *coughs*
  • Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff created the Amsterdam Book Tag, which is SERIOUSLY cool. And I definitely need to do it. Everyone: PLEASE REMIND ME TO DO THIS.
  • The world has been blessed with new Hayley Kiyoko music and a video! Mmm, the song is called Gravel to Tempo seriously wonderful.
  • Look! The cast of Class! Only the new Doctor Who spin off written by Patrick Ness. I am…actually really excited for this ahaha. *nods* It’s due to air around October, which will hopefully keep me surviving through school.
  • Ayy, the BBC is making a Les Mis miniseries. I AM SO HYPED. I was so hyped that I even wrote about all the things I want to see in it. I will doubtless be nattering to you all about this in the future, because HELLO I am still very much a Les Mis nerd haha.

in the diary:

  • Well. June was a little dominated by a) internal exams over the first half and b) Brexit over the second. I mean…I don’t want to write a massive thing about Brexit now because that’s a whole post in itself. I think it’s fair to say that whilst I am feeling a lot better about it, it’s always a jolt in my mind when I remember. :/ I just finished reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton and he’s all like tryign to create a system with a balance of government and people. And I do feel like this is an example of something popular but not good… Like, WHY ARE WE MAKING THINGS SO DIFFICULT ON PURPOSE. But yeah. Anyways. British politics is crazy right now ahaha.
  • However, June was also Pride month! This was my first time actually reading & participating slightly more in stuff so that rocked. I am still sad that I couldn’t make it to London Pride, but I swear to you: NEXT YEAR.
  • I went to Wimbledon and saw Serena & Venus Williams, which I am STILL VERY IN AWE ABOUT. Asdfjkl it was a pretty insane day.
  • I was so excited to do a swap box with the lovely Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen! I mean, the internet is great and all but sometimes it’s awesome to get something real in the post. There were loads of wonderful things in it besides the ones pictured as well! (But THAT BOOKMARK THO.) You can check out Em’s post with my swap box here.

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  • I learnt how to make lemon curd and subsequently made it several times. IT’S SO FREAKING TASTY. And it’s really easy to make! (Which is good for me considering I’m not the best cook ever.)
  • I’ve just generally be hanging out and doing fun things over the summer: meeting friends, making ice cream, going into town. Writing. Reading. It’s wonderful to have some time on my hands. 🙂
  • I head back to school today — well, I’m writing this a little earlier, but on the first — and although school and work and stress…I’m also pretty excited to be starting another year. 🙂 I’ve dropped a bunch of subjects this year and we’re getting entirely new classes so it should be good! And I am weirdly excited for the History syllabus, to be honest haha.

I hope you all had a good summer! And if any of you guys got your exam results back then congrats, and I hope you’re pleased.

how was your summer? are you back at school (or not)? listened to any good music lately?

May Favourites!

AAH MAY IS DONE. Which means…EXAMS! *freaks out* But it’s okay, they’re not actual big scary exams for me. I am constantly amazed by all of you who are doing those, and I wish you all the best of luck.

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1. Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz I was lucky enough to win this from Chiara Sullivan and AAAH IT WAS SO GOOD. I’ve been wanting to read one of Hannah Moskowitz’s books for ages and this was such a good first impression. I’m definitely going to be picking up more of her books soon. YES WEIRD MERMAID FAIRYTALES. Although my heart is kind of broken, but whatever.

2. Billy Elliot Also a film I have been meaning to watch for way too long. IT WAS SO GOOD?!? Now I feel like so motivated about dancing, even though I have never been a dancer in my life and I’m not going to be. Like, I don’t really know what to say other than insert a lot of superlatives here.

3. MCM London YAY CONS. I always put them here, but they’re always awesome. So. I cosplayed as Jehan from Les Mis for this — you can check out my costume here — and I now have NO MONEY. Mwahaha. I bought an absolute ton of Japanese sweets, arty things, and also several pairs of cute socks. (They were Totoro and cats.) Plus, I finally got round to buying Lucy Saxon’s Take Back the Skies which I’m enjoying so far!

4.Inception Okay, so I finally watched this movie. I mean, I wish it had more female characters but I did love the premise. ( I’M SORRY. I’ve read Inception AUs already. I think they gave me a lot better idea of what was actually happening.) But YAY heists and weird mind bending stuff! Also, Arthur is the shy dude Cameron from 10 Things I Hate About You and I spent the whole movie trying to figure out where I recognised him from.

5. Witchy Yay webcomics! I’ve been reading a lot of excellent ones lately, but I’m loving this in particular. It has such beautiful art and colouring, as well as an awesome fantasy world and adorable characters. (The longer your hair, the more powerful your magic.) (I would fail in this world. BUT IT’S COOL ANYWAY.)

6. Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 I started listening to this musical adaptation of a (very small) part of War & Peace purely because Philippa Soo is Natasha. But IT’S FABULOUS. I really love the mix of operatic and electronic styles! Now I’m kind of thinking I might have to read War & Peace. (Why do heavy classical books make such good musicals? Is that a rule? *shrugs*)

7. Half Mystic I DIDN’T HAVE A PICTURE. But anyway. I’ve been spending some wonderful evenings appreciating this journal. I FEEL SO INSPIRED. There’s an absolute ton of amazing creators in there aah. I really recommend you go get yourself a copy! ❤

Stuff from around the internet:

  • An Overthinking Teenager and I wrote a collab review of Lauren Aquilina’s new music! You can read my review here and AOT’s here. 🙂
  • VE Schwab’s A Conjuring of Light got a cover, and it is SUPER beautiful.
  • AAAH my first ever publication (!!) was this month. (Sorry. I’m kind of excited.) I’m honoured that my poem transit features was in the new issue of Werkloos, in limbo.
  • Aentee @ Read at Midnight and Victoria both discussed shipping!
  • In the latest episode of Eve Tries To Analyse Fandom™, here is an article about fan entitlement. I mean, I don’t agree 100% with everything the author says but it’s definitely a worthwhile read.
  • Also, there was a surprisingly good programme on Radio 4 about non-binary identities. (I KNOW. Radio exists online?!? I don’t know if people from all countries can listen, but there’s definitely going to be some stuff I’m checking out.)

In the diary:

  • I did my clarinet exam and I got a distinction! 😀 YAY I’M SO HAPPY. I thought I’d really worked hard for this grade, so I’m super glad it payed off.
  • CARNEGIE BOOK CLUB IS FINISHED. *falls to floor* This year was so good! I was really impressed with the standard, and I found a lot more that I liked compared to other years. My personal favourite is probably still Lies We Tell Ourselves, but One and The Lie Tree are both in second.
  • I saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe, which was insane but also fun. THE MUSIC WAS GREAT. Especially the Puck music. I’m also off to see Romeo and Juliet, which I think should be fun. I’ve studied it in quite a lot of detail so I think it’d be cool to see acted…?
  • We are singing Carmina Burana in choir and it is Very Very Fun and also Very Very Difficult. *laughs manically*
  • Boris Johnson is no longer Mayor of London. We can celebrate. No, I’m actually pretty pleased with Sadiq Khan. He isn’t perfect but he’d probably have been my choice if I could vote. And I definitely appreciate how somebody has finally managed to get their act together and join across parties in support of the Remain campaign.

how has your month been? have you been taking exams? or are you still? if so, good luck from me! ❤

April Favourites!

From the number of favourites this month it looks like my April has been a bit dismal. BUT IT REALLY HASN’T BEEN. The things that have happened are just more interesting, and also I wrote more about them. Although I’ve been rather stressed out with the combination of Camp NaNo, music exam, and revision, so. Maybe my ability to be excited was eaten away by stress…? Wow, that also sounds dismal. LET’S MOVE ON.

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1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Well, duh. This was one of my most anticipated books of this year. And I adore The Raven Cycle. I thought that maybe in terms of story it was a little messy? Like, there were a lot of new things that seemed to appear out of nowhere. But overall I’m SO HAPPY with how the series has ended and ASDFJKL AMAZINGNESS. *flails* I’m really not ready to leave these characters. I need something to help my emotions here.

2. Kicks by Lauren Aquilina First of all: NEW AQUILINA MUSIC!! Second of all: AWESOME UPBEAT CATCHY NEW AQUILINA MUSIC!! Kicks is just a really fabulous song. Lauren’s sort of moving into more pop-electronic kind of things, but I’m loving it if it’s like Kicks. (I’ve also been writing an excellent co-review of New Aquilina songs, so be watching out for that.)

3. My Neighbours the Yamadas Another Studio Ghibli movie night in the quest to watch them all. Me & my friends have a super fun group where we all watch Ghibli movies together, and we were kinda expecting this one to not be so good…? It has a very different experimental art style, and it’s a series of short stories about a family instead of some crazy whimsical film. But it was HILARIOUS. I highly recommend!

4. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt I haven’t read many books this month because I spent absolutely forever on this. It’s a complete brick of a book. And I actually enjoyed it so much! It was cool to read it right after my New York trip. It dragged in places, but the writing was beautiful. And also it was slightly awful to watch the train wreck happening, but beautifully awful.

5. Camp NaNoWriMo I HAVE LITERALLY JUST COME FROM FINISHING THIS. 10 words over my goal yess. I mean, I was only doing 15k this time — I started out pretty strong, but very soon realised that maybe it wasn’t a great idea to do Camp NaNo right before exam season? *laughs manically* Normally it would be more aligned with my school holidays, but Easter was really early and it sort of messed my plans up. ANYWAYS. I’m a bit frazzled now, but I’m pretty proud of my WIP so far & I’m looking forward to talking more about it in the near future! (Meanwhile you can check out my Camp playlist here.)

 

Stuff from around the internet:

  • I flailed about my trip to New York, and also I talked about the relationship between school sport and gender.
  • Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen looked at the arguments on each side for the upcoming EU referendum, and educated me on some more points! Although I can’t vote, this was super informative and now I’m definitely supporting in.
  • Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout talked about different design shops and monetising your book blog. (And I had a little feature in this, which was fun!)
  • This Guardian article talked about why YA books with politics are important.
  • Pearl Mackie is playing the new companion on Doctor Who, Bill! I’m excited to see what’s she’s going to be like, although I’m still super sad to see Clara go. 😦
  • Alice Oseman (author of Solitaire and Radio Silence) started a video series about her book-writing process.
  • Robin Talley announced the cover + title of her new book, Our Own Private Universe! Which she blurbed as Judy Blume’s Forever with queer girls. OBVIOUSLY I’M EXCITED. (Also, can we appreciate that she’s also releasing As I Descending, a modern F/F Macbeth retelling?!) (LITERALLY MY PERFECT BOOK I’M SO PYSCHHEEEED RIGHT NOW.)
  • Um, I’ve been a little bit terrible at reading blogs, which is probably going to continue until my exams finish mid-June. But I’d love to see what you’ve been doing over the last month!

In the diary:

  • I…went back to school? And then promptly started freaking out about exams, so yeah.
  • Back to school did mean the start of Carnegie Medal Shadowing! This year seems particularly strong so far — I’d read a couple before we started, but One by Sarah Crossan was a fabulous new find for me. And Robin Talley’s Lies We Tell Ourselves is currently the favourite, which I’m VERY pleased about. 😀
  • If anyone has tips for music exam aurals: PLEASE. Let me know. *flails with stress* I’ve got my clarinet exam in two weeks and, like, I hadn’t processed it was so soon until now haha.
  • I’VE BASICALLY FINISHED MY JEHAN COSPLAY. I just have to sew one bit along the waistcoat shoulder to make that a bit tighter, and then DONE! It’s by no means perfect, but I’m basically a complete beginner sewer (as in person who sews, not the drain) so I’m thrilled. MCM London, here I come! I’ve been thinking of putting up a tutorial, too… Do let me know if you’d enjoy that. 🙂

It really pains me to say this, because I’ve been a bit missing in action over the last month as well, but: I’m not going to be as active on my blog until mid-June, which is when my exams finished. I’ll still be posting and chatting to you all, but I don’t want to put more stress on myself! So, yeah.

how’s your april been? got any upcoming cons? (not the heist kind, the other one.) have you been having crazy weather like me?!

March Favourites!

Admittedly this post is a bit late, but it means I can finally say it’s Spring. And that is a very wonderful feeling. This month has been a bit rocky, but lots of good things have happened too — it’s also the one year anniversary of my Les Mis obsession! Which sort of led to a plethora of musical theatre discoveries. That’s pretty nice. *nods* I’m considering writing a little related post, but WE SHALL SEE. as you knowI always do like talking about musicals ahem

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1. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh I bought this after I went to a Winner’s Kiss launch in New York! Both Marie Rutkoski and Renée Ahdieh were there, so I couldn’t resist buying this. It’s been crazy difficult to find in the UK, although I’ve been searching for ages. Anyway, the writing was breathtaking and I adore A Thousand and One Nights so much. (It was our school play in my first year. I was a guard in the story of the little beggar. Good times.)

2. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys I’ll freely admit that I don’t read much historical fiction, but I adore Ruta Sepetys. She has such a wonderful writing style. I was thrilled to see she had a new book out, and even more so when I spotted it in my library!

3. How To Get Away With Murder This is the first show I’ve really got into since I started watching Sherlock and Doctor Who. (Which is to say, in about two years.) I just…don’t really watch much TV? And I find it very difficult to complete the whole show. Anyway, I’ve almost finished the first season on Netflix and IT’S SO GREAT. Law! Nice filming! Interesting and diverse characters! (Laurel Castillo, oh my goodness..) Overall I’m loving it a lot. *coughs*

4. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare The Mortal Instruments (& co) are somewhat my guilty pleasure. Cassandra Clare is not my favourite person. But still…I HONESTLY ENJOYED THIS SO IMMENSELY. Emma Carstairs is beautiful. I need Helen and Aline, because I would like more queer characters who aren’t queer guys. Also, I reject that parabatai has no translation because…queerplatonic relationship… Yeah, okay, I did have some problems. But somehow this was still VERY gripping and asdfjkl I’m overtaken by feels for the Shadowhunter universe.

5. Illuminae by Aimee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff I had heard so much about this one. I didn’t quite know what to expect. But I thought it was a beautiful book, and I loved the style of documents — and of course SPACE YAY. It was great research for my current Camp NaNo project. 😛

6. Fun Home Soo… THIS HOLIDAY I WENT TO NEW YORK. I’m going to write a whole post on it later. Fun Home was one of my highlights, though: I think seeing it on Broadway (!!!!) in real life allows another monthly favourite. So, a moment of flailing: AAAAAAaaAAAH!!1!! Okay, deep breath. I have to try and not smile/cry every time I think of it. I’m so glad I saw it on stage because the cast recording does miss some of the dialogue, and the staging is sooo great. (It’s in the round.) The cast was awesome and despite my parents being kind of…eh when they say what it was about, I think they did enjoy it. I WAS DETERMINED TO LOVE IT WHATEVER. *flails* It’s just….asdfjkl so sad and happy and Medium Alison is so awkward and I just empathised with her  lot.

7. MoCCA Fest Also a New York thing, yeah. #sorrynotsorry I went here specifically to see Noelle Stevenson of my beloved Nimona and Lumberjanes — AND I DID AND SHE WAS AMAZING AND ASDFJKL I’M SO SORRY FOR BEING AN AWKWARD PERSON IF YOU EVER READ THIS. (I walked past the stall, like, 4 times before I worked up the nerve to say anything.) But there were so many other wonderful artists and illustrators there. I wanted to buy all the things. I WISH I COULD HAVE. *flails* I wasn’t expecting it to be so fun and awesome.

Stuff from around the internet:

In the diary

  • So, obviously I went to New York! AND IT WAS AMAZING.
  • I learnt my cat has an uncurable illness, and he’s going to die in the next few days. So. Yeah… I’m really sad about that. I’m sort of trying to not talk about it too much, though.
  • I took the train up to the Big Bang Science Fair along with the Guide unit, and we just had a fabulously sciencey day. *flails with excitement* SO. MANY. COOL. THINGS. And can I talk to someone about slime mould? Because it is super cool. Also, virtual reality is starting to be a thing which is pretty awesome. Overall I’m filled with STEM excitement.
  • MY JEHAN COSPLAY IS ALMOST FINISHED, GUYS. I just have to tidy up some threads at the top and sew on the buttons. (I say ‘just’. It’s to cover up my increasing panic and lack of sewing skills.) I’m super excited for MCM in May!

how was your month? are you doing camp nano like me? if so, how’s it going?