Top 5 May Releases

I am super, duper excited for this month (even though I have a shedload of school exams and am freaking out big time) because one of my most anticipated releases of this year is being released and I can’t wait!

1) A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
Release Date: May 2nd

I was excited about this book at the start of the year anyway but since re-reading the first two books in this trilogy very recently, I am beyond excited for it. The second book left on a massive cliffhanger with lots of unanswered questions and question marks hanging over characters heads. I really want all of the characters to have happy endings (particularly my baby Mor) and for the evil douchey guys (cough Tamlin cough) to get what’s coming to them. I’M SO EXCITED FOR THIS!

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2) The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Release Date: May 16th

You guys know how much I adore romance and the romance genre as a whole and this book is taking some of the main features of the romance genre and is taking them and shifting them into a totally new kind of story. This book is an action, thriller and almost dystopian novel where a secret organization takes teenagers and gives them the skills to retrieve information. This book just sounds fascinating and I’m really interested in reading it.

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3) One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus
Release Date: May 30th

I adore suspense and mystery novels – anything akin to How To Get Away With Murder is right up my alley – and this book is literally dripping with suspense. 5 complete strangers meet and then one of them dies suddenly. If that doesn’t sound intense, then I don’t want to know what you’ve been reading! I don’t want to know anything else about this book and go into it completely blind because that way I feel I’ll have the most exciting reading experience.

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4) Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Release Date: May 2nd

For some reason I keep forgetting that this book is coming out but I’m so excited to read this book. I love this series because it’s so cute and uplifting and happy and seeing as I haven’t read any Jenny Han for quite a while, I’m really excited to get back into this world again and say goodbye to these characters that I love!

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My Reading Wrap Up | April 2017

This month was the month of re-reads for me as I was feeling particularly nostalgic (and I had to re-read some things for school).

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I really fancied re-reading some Sarah J Maas this month and since it had been a pretty long time since I’d read this series – and because the final book in the trilogy comes out in May – I decided to give this one a re-read. It isn’t my favourite book that Sarah J Maas has ever written but I know why that is now – because Tamlin is a tool but he’s supposed to be a tool so that’s okay. Aside from that, I really enjoyed this book which I completely expected because I love Sarah J Maas.

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An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley

I then had to give this one a re-read for school, which I didn’t really mind because it’s pretty short and like most of the books I have to read for school I actually really like this book. I really love the character development and the themes that are explored in this play as well as all of the historical and social context behind the story.

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

I’m really glad that I decided to re-read this book recently because it definitely reminded me of how much I love this series and how highly I’m anticipating the third book in the trilogy which is being released in a matter of days now! The characters are all so engaging and complex and while this series is definitely more adult than the Throne of Glass series (despite the last few books definitely heading in that direction) I still absolutely love it and am super, duper excited to read the final book and catch up with Mor and Nesta (who are my favourites) and see them all get their happy endings – hopefully!

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

This was another school re-read and while it did feel quite strange reading this book in the middle of Spring and I definitely think this is more of a wintery read, I still enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time. This is the only Dickens book that I’ve read but I definitey want to remedy that in the future by reading more of his works and checking out some more of his famous characters.

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My TV Listings | April 2017

Over Easter break, I actually ended up getting quite a lot of TV watching done, which made me very, very happy.

Daredevil

I managed to finish series 2 of this show this month and I really, really enjoyed it. I definitely preferred it to the first series and while there were still some things I didn’t completely get on board with, I think this show is fantastic. It’s gritty and realistic and moving and compelling with some fabulous characters and I can’t wait for the next series.

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Only Connect

The current series of this show ended this month and that makes me sad. Not only will I not have my weekly dose of the fantastic Victoria Coren-Mitchell, I won’t be able to grasp onto that sense of pride I get when I manage to answer one question right. Because, let’s face it, the questions are border-line impossible.

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Mr. Selfridge

I’ve been rattling through this show this month (I managed to watch the first two series in the space of a week) after I had a random moment of inspiration and wanted to watch the whole thing. I’m now completely swept up in the world of this show and I love all of the characters and their backstories – I have a particular soft spot for Agnes, Henri and Miss Mardle. I know that this show has only 4 series so I’m thinking that I’ll be able to fly through the whole thing quite quickly.

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The Graham Norton Show

I’m so happy that my favourite chat show has returned this month because it makes me feel so happy and is such an entertaining show. You’ve heard me babble on about this show for long enough but all you need to know is that I love it!

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I’m so, so happy that this show returned this month because it made me realize just how much I love it. The characters are all so diverse and interesting with their own distinct personalities and quirks. This show is also absolutely hilarious but doesn’t make any jokes at anyone else’s expense – it is funny without being rude or offensive and I really do love it and I’m super excited to see the new episodes!

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Mid-April Favourites

This month was a pretty productive month for me and particularly because I managed to consume a lot of different stories and discovered some new ones that I am wholly and completely obsessed with.

Film:
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Director: Bill Condon

Was it ever going to be any other film? This film was basically made for me: it includes all of my favourite actors, it is a musical, it’s set in France and it is based of my joint favourite Disney film of all time. So there was no question that this was my most anticipated film of the year and I absolutely adored every single second of it. It’s now my favourite film of all time (was there any question about it?) and I can’t stop thinking about it. I know that I am rather biased seeing as I have such a strong childhood connection to this story but I think that if you see one film in the cinema this year, make it this one.

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Song:
Mama, I’m A Big Girl Now (2016)
Artist: Original Television Cast of Hairspray! Live

If you guys know me at all, then you know that I am full-on obsessed with musicals and am also full-on obsessed with Hairspray. So, naturally, I am in love with Hairspray! Live. And this month, this song has been constantly stuck in my head and I’ve been playing on repeat. This isn’t even one of my favourite songs in the musical of Hairspray! but for some reason I was just obsessed with it this month.

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Book:
A Court of Mist and Fury (2016)
Author: Sarah J Maas

I fancied reading some Sarah J Maas this month so I decided to re-read the first two books of her A Court of Thorns and Roses series. And while I like the first book a lot more now I can see Sarah J Maas’s true intentions (those who have read both books will not what I mean), I like the characters from the second book a lot more and I loved having the chance to re-read it again.

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TV Show:
Mr. Selfridge (2013)
Creator: Andrew Davies

This is a show that I started a very long time ago but then for reasons that I don’t wholly know stopped watching it. But I decided to remedy that this month, having a random spark to start it again, and I’ve been absolutely loving it. I’ve been flying through episodes and I’ve become completely swept up in the story and I love all of the characters, particularly Agnes, Henri and Miss Mardle.

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Album:
Beauty and the Beast Official Soundtrack (2017)

As I said, I’ve been having something of an obsession this month so it should come at no surprise that this is my most listened to soundtrack of the month. All of the actors can sing amazingly well and the modern adaptations really add another layer to the classic songs that everybody loves so much.

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Quote Me #8

It’s time again for me to share some of my favourite quotes from films, books and TV shows! But this time, it’s a film special with my two biggest film obsessions over the last two weeks – Legally Blonde and Love Actually!

1) Warner Huntington III: You got into Harvard Law?
Elle Woods:
What? Like, it’s hard?
– Legally Blonde (2001)

2) Karen: So what’s this big news, then?
Daisy: [excited] We’ve been given our parts in the nativity play. And I’m the lobster.
Karen: The lobster?
Daisy: Yeah!
Karen: In the nativity play?
Daisy: [beaming] Yeah, *first* lobster.
Karen: There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?
Daisy: Duh.

3) Prime Minister: Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.

Beauty and the Beast | Movie Review

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Release date: 23 February 2017 (London)
Director: Bill Condon
Featured song: Beauty and the Beast
Costume design: Jacqueline Durran
Music composed by: Alan Menken

You may not know but Beauty and the Beast is my joint favourite Disney movie of all time ever (it shares this accolade with the highly underrated The Princess and the Frog) so it’s safe to say that I was absolutely shaking with excitement to this film. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a trip to the cinema and was probably more excited than all the six year olds who dressed up in Belle costumes for the occasion. And, guess what? I now have a new favourite film of all time. And I’m not even joking. I absolutely adored it. I haven’t stopped listening to the soundtrack since and I keep reliving the film in my mind. I loved everything about it – the characters, the music, the visual effects, the humour, the plot, the costumes and everything else. It was absolutely gorgeous and romantic and quite moving at times and definitely reminded me of why I love this story but was by no means the same as the cartoon. I loved it.

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Belle – played by Emma Watson – a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast – played by Dan Stevens – in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.

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The first thing that I’m going to say is not to be intimidated by all the hype surrounding this film because it’s unlikely that you’re going to adore this film as much as I did. This story means an awful lot to me – which is probably why I kept squealing during the opening number – but that certainly doesn’t mean that you won’t absolutely love it either. I firstly want to talk about the characters but it’s impossible for me to fully explain all of my feelings in less than 10,000 words because I loved every character in this film so much. But I adored Belle. I absolutely adored her. She is so feisty and strong-willed but still kind and intelligent and still has a sense of humour. She’s one of favourite movie heroines of all time. I also adored the Beast and as well as the huge character development that he goes through throughout the film, I loved his humour and his kindness and selfless that even is terrible upbringing couldn’t destroy. My darling Plumette was amazing – and I loved her and Lumiere’s relationship – as were all the other objects. Gaston was such an arrogant prick that you hate him with a scary ferociousity but I was certainly sidetracked by the good looks of Luke Evans (like it’s not fair how hot he looks in this film). But I thought that all the performances were brilliant and I can’t imagine anyone else playing any of the roles.

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The main thing that I really enjoyed about the plot of this film, and the thing that I appreciated the most, was the way that it filled in some of the plot holes that existed in the original cartoon and gave all of the characters much more backstory and reason for being the way they were. But they did it in such a clever way that it made everything seem much more realistic and entertaining and also made sense in the context of the story; it wasn’t just shoved in to fill up a plot hole. The Beast’s backstory for example perfectly explained how he turned out to be the rude and arrogant person that he is at the beginning of the film. Something else that particularly appealed to my inner Francophile was how the entire film looked. Everything looked absolutely beautiful; all of the colours were vivid and rich and I loved everything about the castle and its blues and golds. The costumes were also absolutely stunning and wholly transported you into the world of the film. I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned the music yet because I really have had the soundtrack playing on repeat since the moment I left the cinema. I love every single song and I just – I can’t cope with how much I love it.

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So yeah. This film might as well have been made for me – from the adaptation of my joint all time favourite Disney movie to Emma Watson, Luke Evans and Gugu Mbatha-Raw to France and the sarcasm and the fact that it’s a musical. I mean, it’s 5 billion stars from me and I honestly urge you – on a wholly personal level – that if you only watch one film make it this.

The Playlist Shuffle Tag #14

It’s Playlist Shuffle time!

1) Bastille – Blame
2) Charlie Puth – Left Right Left
3) Company of Carabet, National Symphony Orchestra – Tomorrow Belongs To Me
4) Paul Haslinger – To France, Of Course (from The Three Musketeers)
5) Sara Bareilles – Door Number Three
6) Norman Greenbaum – Spirit in the Sky
7) Bruno Mars – Natalie
8) Wiz Kalifa ft. Charlie Puth – See You Again
9) Gabrielle Aplin – Heavy Heart
10) Aaron Tveit, Kerry Butler – Seven Wonders
11) Drone Strike – Jamie T
12) Andrea Burns – Carnival Del Barrio
13) Felix Jaehn, Jasmine Thompson – Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)
14) Danny Elfman – The Dungeon (from Alice in Wonderland)
15) Klaus Badelt – To The Pirates’ Cave!