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?

One Page More! EO3: Fantastic Things About Fantastic Beasts

I PROMISE YOU, I’M STILL MAKING THESE. Even though I slightly broke my schedule. But I’ll hopefully be back for real next month! Life and NaNo have just both been really getting to me and I haven’t had much time to blog or comment as much as I’d like to which makes me sad.

But today I have something which is making me happy! As I’m sure many of you know, the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released this month and I ACTUALLY REMEMBERED TO BUY TICKETS FOR IT WHOOP. Today I’m delighted to be chatting about it to the wonderful Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen! ❤ The episode begins with some expectations we did at the start of the month — haha, mostly me talking at length because nervous — and then we talked about our actual feelings post-film.

Sorry for the patchy quality of my own audio at times in this one; believe me, I too am pained by it. Next month I'll remember to find my dictaphone beforehand. 😛 But I did compose a new jingle for you guys so look out for that. 🙂

Just a warning: the second part does contain some spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie haha, so please do beware! And as ever, I really hope you enjoy.

Although sometimes doing this whole podcast thing makes me a little anxious, I think it’s been really great for me and I’ve had a lot of fun doing the episodes so far. I really appreciate anyone who’s actually listening to them! And of course if you fancy guesting them please let me know. 😀

7 Things I Love About Studio Ghibli

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Studio Ghibli’s last movie comes out Friday 10th, so I’ve been feeling pretty emotional about it recently. I flail about Ghibli a lot, as many people know — and I have a suspicious amount of Totoro merchandise stored up in my bedroom! I’ve been watching them ever since I lived in Japan when I was younger, and I’m actually pretty proud of how many I’ve watched…I’ve only got When Marnie Was There left to watch before I complete them. 🙂

But it’s the last movie before their hiatus, and I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I’M GOING TO COPE. By crying in the cinema, probably. In order to sort of commemorate that, I decided to tell you all why I love Ghibli movies!

1. Beautiful animation

Literally, it’s like Hayao Miyazaki just TRIES to make animation difficult for himself. There’s so much beautiful scenery and art. There aren’t many animated movies as beautiful as Ghibli ones. A lot of studios have moved into computer graphics, so it’s awesome to go back to a more traditional style that we all recognise from Ghibli.

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2. Strong female characters!

I was just going to put ‘strong characters’ here, but to be honest lots of movies suck at having any female characters, so. (I don’t want to generalise too much about movies altogether, and it’s getting better, but yeah.) But I love that Ghibli movies have well-rounded female characters — not just the ‘strong’ femme fatale. Which is a totally fine character trait, but I don’t want all girls to be that because NOT ALL GIRLS ARE. There’s headstrong girls! Shy girls! Writerly girls! Selfish girls! Villainous girls! YAY. (Although Ghibli isn’t the pinnacle of all diversity ever and stuff. Before I get into an argument.)

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3. Awesome soundtracks

Mostly these are composed by the legend that is Joe Hisaishi — the more classical ones, like Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited — but there’s also gems like From Up ON Poppy Hill. WHICH HAS JAZZY CLARINET and to be honest is just a really nostalgic film altogether. I just…really, really like Ghibli soundtracks.

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4. There’s so much variety

I mean, I think a lot of people do think of Spirited Away as embodying Ghibli films, but Ghibli films cover so many different genres: epic fantasy, high school love story, cute children’s movie… There are meaningful movies and silly movies and nostalgic movies. Every mood can be satisfied. In my opinion, there’s one for everyone. 😛

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5. Hurrah for non-patronising childrens’ movies

You can watch Totoro with your 8 year old cousin and both enjoy it and not have to worry that it’s too inappropriate or whatever. I STILL LOVE TOTORO. And The Cat Returns. (Baron is me.) And… yeah. You get the idea.

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6. Hurrah for movies without romance

Sometimes I just don’t want to watch a movie with romance, guys. IT ISN’T THAT DIFFICULT. Although it actually is quite difficult. So it’s great to just be able to pull out a movie and know I’m getting an awesome adventure! (There are romantic movies. Whisper of the Heart is one of my favourites. But anyway.)

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7. Hayao Miyazaki is a Very Cool Guy

I’ve just been watching a documentary about Ghibli called Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, and IT’S SUPER COOL. I mean, I realise that Hayao Miyazaki hasn’t directed all Ghibli films, but he’s probably the face of the studio and he does seem to be the driving force. He’s also talked about anime culture and how directors aren’t observing human behaviour. I think there’s a lot of meaning in his films and Ghibli films in general. I cried at the end of The Wind Rises. IT’S JUST. Ack. So beautiful and sad. (I almost put the Anime is Trash gif here, but I looked it up and that’s just a mistranslation. MIYAZAKI NEVER SAID IT.)

I’m currently in exam week, so if I’m not replying as usual that’s the reason! I hope you’re all having a good day, and I’ll probably return Friday flailing about When Marnie Was There. 😛

do you like studio ghibli? which are your favourite movies? do you know of any similar films?

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! ❤

The Book to Movie Wishlist Tag

A horrifyingly long time ago (I AM SORRY), Evi @ Where Books Never End tagged me for the Book to Movie Wishlist tag. Now, you’ve got to understand that I’m quite picky about movie adaptation. I don’t usually think they’re as good as the book. So, I don’t just, like, want my favourite books to be made into movies. They have to have specific criteria.

Coincidentally, I just watched Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which is based on the book by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. I feel bad for not reading the book, but it was actually pretty good from my non-reader point of view. Although, like, how is Norah not pretty? DO YOU EVEN HAVE EYES?? (Plus, she was just sassy and grumpy and FREAKING AWESOME. Norah and Caroline pretty much made that movie, okay?)

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I’m using this insult from now on. Anyway, the rules for this are pretty simple: choose 5 books you would like to be turned into movies, and then tag 5 others to join in the fun. Without (much) further flailing about movies, let’s proceed.

the selectionThe Selection by Kiera Cass This series is literally based off reality TV shows, so I think it would make an awesome movie. I mean, imagine the sets! Pretty dresses! Frills! All the drama! It would probably also be quite trashy, but I’m equally watchable, I’m sure.
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Popular by Maya Van Wagenen I have a couple of issues with this book, but seriously. This girl has literally lived out a high school movie. If it isn’t made into an actual one quick, then I don’t know what the world has come to. (Side note: in fact, she does have a movie deal. I got there first, just sayin’. 😉 )
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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell CAN I HAVE THIS AS A STUDIO GHIBLI ADAPTATION PLEASE. See, I almost suggested Eleanor & Park, but a) I don’t want to jinx the actual E&P film and b) I’ve realised that Fangirl is basically basically Whisper of the Heart for the modern age. I mean, Cath is obviously a modern Shizuku. Shizuku already writes fanfiction about the Baron, right? Reagan is sassy older sister. Levi is a blonde, more tanned Seiji who works at Starbucks. It’s all there!
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The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare I don’t know if it’s just me, but I actually preferred TID to TMI. The steampunk-y setting would be awesome. Plus, it kind of has that…cinematic quality? With all the character dynamics and slightly-trashy-but-oh-so-compelling romance. I just think it would be fun.
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Gone by Michael Grant Whilst I was reading this, I kind of forgot who everyone was. So, whilst this is technically a movie wishlist, I think that it would make a great TV programme. I mean, it’s kind of like a way darker version of that CBBC show The Sparticle Mystery. (Which I totally watched whilst it was on, by way. Seriously considering checking out the third series which is showing at the moment.)

I’m tagging Lola, Lana and Lily Blogs, Dreamland Book Blog and Starry Stories, as well as anyone else who’d like to participate. 🙂

Do you agree with my choices? Are there any books that you’d like to see turned into movies?

NB guys, Short Story Long also wrote a post today about book-to-movie adaptations! Go read it!

7 Things I Will Do When I Go to See the Eleanor & Park Movie

7 Things Eleanor Park Movie

If you haven’t already heard, Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park is being turned into a movie! Now, I don’t know what this movie is going to be like. It might ruin the book. It might be okay, but not as good as the book. It probably won’t be as good as the book full stop. They don’t even start filming until next year.
But, because I am in love with this book, I’ve already planned my entire outfit, bag and probable actions. (Assuming I go to see it at the cinema.)

Fan art by Slu Does Stuff.
Fan art by Slu Does Stuff.

1. I will wear a checked shirt and jeans
As worn by Eleanor. (And maybe by Park at some points. I can’t really remember.) Unless I have a pair of Vans by then, which is pretty unlikely, I’ll go and buy some fake ones from H&M. I’ll only wear them once, because then they’ll sit on my bookshelf next to all my Rainbow Rowell books.

2. I will smudge vanilla essence behind my ears, but not too much
Because I don’t want to stink out the entire cinema. Or my parents/friends/whoever comes with me, if anyone comes.

3. I will bring my copies of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and The Catcher in the Rye
The first one is, obviously, so that I can cry over it as soon as the opening credits begin. The second one is because I also love Fangirl, and it is perfectly justificable to cry over that too. The third one is because that’s the book Eleanor gives to Park. (I have actually read it, although I wasn’t concentrating that much when I did so. It was from a very old and battered copy.)

4. I will mouth the words along with the actors
Um, hopefully the script will have quotes from the book, because my Rainbow Rowell quoting game is awesome.

5. I will bring everything in a backpack, and I will hold the straps with my hands
Am I the only one who hopes that whenever they wear their backpack like Park, someone will notice and an awesome conversation will occur? The same goes for the Carry On, Simon t-shirt. It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I reckon the chances are increased when it’s the actual Eleanor & Park movie.

Movie Crying6. I will actually listen to some of the songs mentioned
Not whilst in the cinema. But at some point between now and then, because I feel bad that I haven’t heard a lot of them. I don’t have great music knowledge when it comes to older things/’classic-y’ stuff I am supposed to know.

7. I will (hopefully) smile and laugh and cry a flood
As mentioned in number 3. I really hope they don’t mess this movie up.

With that, I end my list. What do you think of film adaptations of books? Have you read Eleanor & Park? Have you been like I am here with any other movies?

The Movies Lie About School Cliques

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You know that moment in Mean Girls where Cady goes into the cafeteria and gets a guided tour of all the cafeteria ‘tribes’ or ‘cliques’? Well, school isn’t like that.

Granted, I don’t a) live in the USA, b) go to high school or c) go to the British equivalent of high school (I think), but school is not like that. Especially in the cafeteria, where everyone pretty much sits wherever they want.

As far as I can see, school is vaguely split up into three types of people:

  • The ‘cool’ or ‘popular’ people
  • The people who aspire to be cool or popular
  • The people who hold the belief that being cool or popular is not actually that cool, and have no aspirations to become so

Obviously, it’s not all black and white and people have varying degrees of opinion, but that’s basically the three camps.

On the subject of Mean Girls, a lot of girls who consider themselves to be popular are basically the plastics,  but younger and not really going out to parties. Otherwise, they’re very similar. I hope to laugh at them someday in thirty years’ time and tell them “You were idiots when you were at school.” I probably won’t, but hey. It was worth a shot.

I’m sorry for this rant, especially if I’ve offended you by it, but I needed to put this out there. It was driving me slightly crazy.