Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Last night was the midnight release of the 8th Harry Potter book; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the midnight release at my local Waterstone’s. When the last Harry Potter book came out I was only 15 so wasn’t allowed to attend the midnight release, so you can’t begin to imagine how excited I was to attend this!

I may have got a bit carried away with my fancy dress;

I was lucky enough to win two prizes in pass the parcel at the midnight release as well! Got myself a Hedwig finger puppet and a travelling Harry Potter colouring kit – I love colouring!

The countdown to midnight seemed to go on forever, it felt like we had been waiting for hours and the time had just stopped! Finally though, midnight came;

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As soon as I got my book, my boyfriend met me in town and walked me home. It was a case of getting home, getting my Harry Potter Pyjamas on (obviously) and a glass of wine and time to start reading.

I finished the play at 3.30am this morning. Knackered doesn’t even begin to describe how I was, but it was worth it.  I don’t think I can even begin to describe how good it was to be in the Wizarding world again. As if it’s been 9 years since the last book! I didn’t know what to expect with this book but it definitely surpassed anything I could have imagined!

I could carry on writing about the play for hours, but there is people who still haven’t read it so I will be nice and keep quiet for the time being!

For all those people who haven’t got their copy yet, what are you waiting for? It’s been a long 9 years and it’s time to get lost in the world of Harry Potter again.

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My Week…

The last seven or so days have been quite quiet for me.

I got my belly button pierced last week and, I love it! Though now it has encouraged me to work out a bit more so that I can show it off and not be worried about my stomach. It really doesn’t hurt having it pierced either. I was a bit nervous beforehand, but it was more of an excited nervous, you know? I went to a place called Blue Banana in Sheffield and they belly buttonwere great. The woman who did it was lovely. She told me exactly what she was doing and gave me a little bag with all my aftercare stuff in for free. No where I’ve been for piercings has done that before!

Now with any piercing there is a healing process. I can’t change my belly bar for at least three months, but I’ve already been looking online to see what styles there is! I’m also considering getting my belly button pierced again…You can get the bottom or the sides of it pierced. I’m thinking of getting the bottom done.

I’ve bought a lot of new books recently as well. I read Cecelia Ahern’s How to Fall in Love. I enjoyed it but I did see the ending coming. If you’re looking for something light hearted though, I would suggest it. What I liked about it, is that it reminded me that even when things are bad, they are never as bad as you think they are.

My Mum also bought me a set of history books as an early birthday present. A set of six SAM_0249books covering England from the very early Middle Ages to England under the Stuarts, all in hardback and in a case for £20! What a bargain! And that is why I love charity shops 🙂 I cannot wait to start reading these!

I’ve just finished a history book called Letters from the Trenches. I did think this was going to be about numerous soldiers writing home, but it wasn’t. The grandson of Harry Lamin had published his grandfather’s letters from the last two years of the war on a blog and it had been turned into a blog. Imagine my surprise though when I found out that Bill Lamin, the soldier from World War One, was born in Derbyshire and his family still live in the area! It’s a great read and I would recommend it. It was interesting to see how an ordinary soldier dealt with his day to day life as a soldier fighting in World War One.

I was rummaging through my wardrobe the other day and discovered so many pairs of DSC_0340shoes that I had forgotten I had. Including these beauties. I think I bought them from New Look a few years ago, but I can’t say for definite. Considering I haven’t worn them in forever, they are so comfortable and, are slowly becoming my go to shoes again.

Speaking of shoes, I am having a bit of a clear out right now. I am slowly putting shoes, clothes, some Me To You bears, among other things, on eBay. If you could spread the word to friends and family, that would be great! You never know, my rubbish could be your hidden treasure. Honestly though, the only reason I’m selling is because all of these things are stuck in cupboards and draws, nobody can see them and, it’s not really my style anymore. I’m trying to de-clutter my life – easier said then done!

This is the link to my eBay page. Like I said, you never know what you might find. http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/c_crookes_123/m.html?item=221525550717&ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562

I was nominated for another blog award a few weeks ago. I’ve not forgotten that I need to do a blog post for it! I’m going to do it this week – I promise.

At the moment my biggest complaint is that my best friend is in Italy, where it is nice and DSC_0341warm, and I miss her. Whilst I’m stuck in lovely Derbyshire with the rain and wind and, the occasional hint of sun. It’s August and I am sat in onesie and requesting hot water bottles. Something about this isn’t right!

Our house is being re-wired tomorrow so I’m being banished to coffee shops and the library. I’m not complaining though. I’m going to use this time to write. A lot. I’ve fallen behind a bit but I’m coming back now.

Hope you all have a good week!

x

 

Game of Thrones Season Four Episode Five

So Tommen is officially made King. I did find it touching to see Cersei and Margery admit that Tommen could be a good King. And he could, let’s face it. I mean if the people around don’t manipulate him so much and let him grow, he could stabilise Westeros. But we all know that won’t happen!

I’m impressed that Cersei admitted what a bastard Joffrey was as well. She knew better than most that he was a monster, yet she’s still pretty pissed he’s dead.

Having said that, She seems pretty happy for Margery to marry Tommen two weeks after Joffrey’s death. Don’t they have mourning periods in King’s Landing?! And, the fateful question, will Cersei marry Loras?

Tywin has come clean about the debt of the crown. Clearly nobody knows just how badly in debt the crown is. A worrying issue for the Lannisters because if they don’t pay then the Iron Bank will finance the opposition – the last thing Tywin needs.

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Unfortunately for Dany, she’s not having a great time. I do feel we’re not seeing much of her this season. Obviously an issue with timing and the fact that even in the books she’s not in Westeros yet. Dany has freed slave cities just for them to be retaken. It doesn’t look good now, does it? At least she’s got a few more ships, but she’s not ready to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Jorah seems to be in the good books at the moment, but how long will that last for?

Now, Lysa. I really really dislike her. I mean I just can’t stand to look at her or anything. The truth has finally come out about Jon Arryn’s death. Poor guy. She really is besotted with Littlefinger. The things she does for him are crazy! And she’s so easily made jealous. Her treatment of Sansa worries me – It’s clear it’s going to continue and potentially get worse.  This episode makes Littlefinger’s role much more clear I think. We’re starting to see that he is behind a lot of things.

The Night’s Watch have arrived at Craster’s Keep and put right the wrongs of the deserters. In other words, they killed them. I didn’t see the newest recruit trying to kidnap Bran coming though! And poor Hodor, he looked so frightened by what Bran had him do – is that even right? Well you know what I mean.

Even though I understand that it couldn’t happen, I do wish Bran and Jon could have been reunited. Could you imagine the excitement? At least Jon got Ghost back – that did put a smile on my face.

We don’t seem to have a war right now though, you know? Obviously Robb was defeated, same for Renly and, Stannis is laying low at the moment. Seems all a bit too quiet for my liking.

Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 2

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So have we all watched the latest episode? I sincerely hope so because there is no way I am keeping quiet this week!

Finally, and I mean finally, Joffrey is no longer. How many people cheered at this? Just me, well can you blame me??

I knew this was coming because I’ve read the books, but I was looking forward to how the show would handle it. I was little surprised if I’m honest. They did miss a few things/change a few things from the books, though I don’t feel like it was lacking because of these changes.

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If I’m honest, I felt the episode was still quite calm, following on from last weeks. I liked the fact that the truth about Bran and Rickon has finally come out. Although now I am worried about the implications of that for the two Stark boys.

Obviously I have read the books, but as we’ve already established, TV shows don’t always like to keep to the original story.

I also think that they could have done a bit more on the Sansa story. We see the fool telling her to leave with him, but in the book there is more of a build up to that. It does also make me sad that she never gives Tyrion a chance. That’s also the same in the book.

I just think that if she gave him a chance, she might see that he is trying to be decent to her. But hey ho.

Hopefully next week we’ll be seeing more of the rest of the cast who were absent from this episode.

And obviously, we’ll be dealing with the consequences of the Purple Wedding.

12 Years A Slave (Book): A Review.

I saw this film back in January and it wasn’t until afterwards that I realised it was based on a book. I bought and read the book in February and, I’ve been meaning to write this ever since really.  This will be a short one, but here goes.

What I loved was the fact there was virtually no difference between the book and the film. It’s very rare for writers and producers to stay so close to the original book, but in this case I don’t think I could have counted more than a handful of differences, if that. And, even with those changes, I completely understood why they made them and, they didn’t take anything away from the story.

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It’s different to read it than it is to view it. In some ways I felt like I could take myself away from the book more than I could the film. With a book you can put it down, but with a film, you’ve seen it. I know that sounds weird. What I really mean is with a book it’s your imagination in play so you decide how to interpret it, whereas with a film that was the directors choice and, you can’t ignore the brutality of it.

12 Years A Slave is a book that I will keep forever and, when I have a bad day or I’m feeling particularly selfish, I will get this book and remind myself to be grateful for what I have. Because it could be a lot worse.

One thing about the book that I did appreciate was the information about some of the captors who sold Solomon into slavery. In the film we don’t know much, but the book clarifies a lot and we learn just how unjust so many things were back then.

For once, I’m going to say that if you don’t read the book then please watch the film. And watch it again. And again. Until everyone understands the horror and brutality that some people were put through.

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye is a novel written by J.D Salinger and was published in 1951. This book has been incredibly popular with adults (the author’s originally intended audience) and adolescents. The book has been voted as one of the best English written novels since 1923 and it has been named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the one hundred best English language novels of the Twentieth century? So why don’t I like it??

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For those that have not read the book, I will give you a brief overview.

The novel is written from the point of view of Holden Caulfield. He is telling us about a week in his life several months ago. At the time he was sixteen – he is now seventeen and is currently residing in a mental hospital. When we are first introduced to Holden, he informs us that he has been expelled from his all boys school. This is not the first time he’s been expelled from school. This time it is because he is failing four out of five of his subjects.

The Saturday before Winter vacation starts, Holden decides to leave campus. He knows he can’t go home until Wednesday, that being the day his parents find out he’s been expelled. So he decides to go to New York City and stay in a cheap hotel.

Holden’s time in the city is characterized largely by drunkenness and loneliness. He thinks about the Museum of Natural History, which he often visited as a child. He contrasts his evolving life with the statues of Eskimos in a diorama: while the statues have remained unchanged through the years, he and the world have not. These concerns may have stemmed largely from the death of his brother, Allie.

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He considers hitchhiking out west and building a cabin away from everyone he knows. At one point, he propositions an ex-girlfriend to join him on the trip even though he does not particularly like her. She declines his offer, suggesting
that it is impractical. This angers Holden and he then turns on Sally, telling her exactly what he thinks about her.

That night he decides to return to his family’s home to secretly meet with his beloved younger sister, Phoebe. After escaping detection by his parents, he visits an ex-teacher of his, Mr. Antolini, who imparts some advice before bidding him stay the night. Mr. Antolini tells Holden that it is the mark of the mature man to live humbly for a cause, rather than die nobly for it. This is at odds with Holden’s ideas of becoming a “catcher in the rye,” symbolically saving children from the evils of adulthood.

However Holden is awakened by Mr. Antolini patting his head, which Holden perceives as a homosexual pass at him, so he leaves and stays the night on a bench at Grand Central. A few hours later, Holden wonders if he misinterpreted his teacher’s actions. The next day he decides to leave New York and journey west, only pausing to see his sister one last time.

Phoebe brings a packed suitcase to their meeting place, insisting that she is going to leave with him. He angrily refuses,at which point she cries and refuses to speak to him. Knowing that she will follow him, Holden walks to the zoo, letting her anger dissipate. Phoebe starts talking to Holden again, and Holden promises to forget about his plan to run away and return home when they leave the zoo. He buys her a ticket for the carousel in the park and watches her ride an old horse on it. As Holden watches her ride the carousel, his own mood lifts. Soon he is nearly moved to tears with remorse, longing, and bittersweet happiness.

At the end of his narration, Holden explains that he will be going to another school in the fall again but does not know for sure if he will start applying himself.

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My issues are mainly with the character of Holden. I hate the way he comes across in the book. In my opinion, he’s very obnoxious, arrogant and takes things for granted.

At one point he discusses how since his brother died, his mother is not as strong as she use to be and he knows that his being expelled will have quite a big effect on her. If he knows this, then why doesn’t he try harder? It’s just plain selfishness, the only person he’s thinking about is himself.

I appreciate the fact that losing a loved one is a difficult thing to go through, but Holden is only really thinking about how it affects him and not the rest of his family.

Holden makes it clear that his family have a fair bit of money and he seems to abuse this. Again this is my opinion, but from my interpretation of the book, he is basically acting up, doing whatever he wants. He doesn’t care that he’s been kicked out of school, again. He knows that his parents can get him in somewhere else, after all they’ve got money. It feels like he’s taking advantage of the fact that he can do whatever he wants.

Holden doesn’t have to work for it, he doesn’t have to struggle like others do. This greatly annoys me. For someone who has always had to work for what they want, reading about a sixteen year old that doesn’t care about anything and can get anything he wants, well it really pisses me off.

I don’t think I will ever understand why this book is so popular. Whenever I read it (I’ve read it twice now, once when I was fifteen and again aged twenty, so I did give it another chance!) I just get angry and annoyed at Holden. For those that enjoy it, that’s great, but for me it will never be a classic.

Ebooks VS Books

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Since E-Books first came out, I was against them. I’ve always preferred to actually hold a book, to be able to enjoy the smell of a new or very old book. So, when everyone was telling me to get a Kindle and my Dad was offering to buy me one, I kept refusing it. That was until this year, when two people I knew got a Kindle and a Kobo and I found myself starting to waiver in my opinion of E-Books. Two months later, I had a Kindle and I can’t deny the fact that it has been pretty useful.

However, owning a Kindle takes out some of the fun having buying and owning books. I like the fact that when people come around to mine, they will see all the books I own. They will see three bookcases full of every genre of books you could possibly think of. And, I’m sure I’m not the only one who does that. Whenever I’m in someone else’s house/bedroom I’m looking at the books they owned and seeing if they have any that I’ve read. This is a great conversation starter, especially with people you don’t know that well. You see you have something in common and you can start a conversation. But with a Kindle you can’t do that. No one knows what books you have on your Kindle, your friends might not have a Kindle, so it’s not really a social thing to do.

What I mean by this is that it’s harder to engage in conversations about books when a person won’t know what books you own. I like the fact that when people see my books, they will see that I have every Jane Austen book, that I have bookcase dedicated to History books, I like them to see my collection of Churchill Books. It’s taken me years to get the collection of books that I have today. I’m only twenty years old and I know my collection will keep growing.

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Saying that, I am starting to appreciate having a Kindle. Mainly because Some Classics have quite small font in written form, so having it on a Kindle where you can change the size of the font which valuable for a person with poor eyesight and who struggles to read small print books for a long time. I did this when I was reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. If I hadn’t got the book on Kindle, it would have definitely taken me more than a week to read it.

What worries me about the Kindle is that people will buy books electronically rather than from a bookshop. For me, half the fun of getting it book is going to the shop and browsing through the shelves, looking at the books that have just come in, trying to decide if I should buy the book that I’ve been wanting to read for months or wait a little longer and get it as a present.

As Kindles become more and more popular, we won’t be able to do this anymore, which makes me sad. When I think that future generations are going to pick up an electronic device first and miss out on going to libraries and bookshops and spending hours looking for the perfect book. Whereas younger people will just go straight to the internet and download what they want. It’s not the same and that’s a shame.

As much as I support the Kindle and E-Books – At the end of the day, reading is reading and if Kindles are getting more people reading, that’s a good thing. But if you tell your friend about an amazing book you read, you can’t lend it them because it’s on a Kindle and not in paper form. Which is kind of sad, I think.

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For me, being able to tell people that a book is amazing and being able to lend it to them and then talk to them about it, is half the fun of reading it and not being able to lend someone a book that I thought they love, is disappointing. Books are meant to be shared and enjoyed by everyone.

As long as I can afford to, I will always buy paperbacks over E-Books. I like seeing the books on my bookcase and being able to show people that I have that book, makes me quite happy.