Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Good-natured Mole makes friends with a rat named Ratty and they live happily by a river. Ratty’s mischevious friend Toad causes lots of trouble and together with their serious friend badger they have to get him out of scrapes. Toad escapes them however and ahs some adventures on his own before returning- and since this is a classic children’s book I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say they all lived happily ever after!

My thoughts
At the end of the day this is a book aimed at young children so all the criticisms I have aren’t really fair and are only because I’m reading it as a teenager! But I’ll share my thoughts anyway... I was fine with the animals talking and being intelligent, that’s all well and good... and even animals dressing in human clothes, eating human food including tinned sardines and furnishing their houses...  I can even cope with that- but an animal interacting with humans who don’t bat an eyelid at talking animals and can even be fooled into thinking a toad is actually an old lady- that’s just too far! :P  And since mole being called mole since he is one and toad being  called toad because he is one is just ridiculous- does every other toad and mole have the same name? How confusing! But anyway, my only non jokey criticism is I found that not enough actually happened in this book, there was a lot of dialogue and some chapters exploring emotions which I liked but it just felt like too much of it was very slow paced- although there were some faster moving sections involving toad.

However on the positive side, I loved the characters and they’re really memorable and loveable... mole is so adorable and I even have a soft spot for toad, as conceited as he is- he reminds me a little of someone I know and love actually! I also love how emotions are explored in some of the chapters and prefer these chapters more than those focusing on toad’s adventures.

In a nutshell...
This is wonderful classic children’s book, I would 100% recommend it to anybody 12 or under. If you’re over that age I’d still recommend it, it’s a quick, funny read that could take you back to your childhood J It’s obviously not aimed at you and you’ll have to get past the talking animals but you may find you enjoy it- I did!
Heathere xx

Monday, 17 October 2011

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest: My thoughts

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

This novel is set in a mental institution in America in the 60’s. The narrator ‘Chief’ Bromden is a Native American confined the ward, who pretends to be deaf and mute. The ward is run by Nurse Ratched who the Chief views as ruthless and mechanical and represents order and control. The patients on the ward are split into ‘Acutes’ who are there to be treated and eventually return to normal society, and ‘chronics’ who will be in hospital forever.
A new patient, McMurphy, who represents anarchy and freedom, is introduced early on in the book: he claims to be a psychopath but his behaviour shows he is in fact perfectly sane. He is faking insanity in order to serve a prison sentence in more comfortable surroundings. Through the Chief’s eyes we see McMurphy quickly become the leader of the group and see the battle of wills begin between Nurse Ratched and McMurphy. There is conflict between the two characters throughout the novel as McMurphy attempts to weaken Nurse Ratched’s fierce control of the word and this escalates to a shocking ending.

My Thoughts
I found this a hard book to get into, I didn’t ever fully relate to the Chief- which at first is because I didn’t understand what was going on. I completely missed the point that when things get scary for him his subconscious imagines fog everywhere and he stops being able to see and hear, it’s his way of hiding from the world, the fog is also a metaphor for his mental clarity... but I thought originally that the nurses were literally pumping the ward full of fog -and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why! :P  I also failed to realise that he had hallucinations so when an air raid took place in the ward I was most confused :P But  presuming that you’ve got more brains than me and don’t make the same mistake you may well find it easier to understand what’s actually happening!
However once I’d got past my misunderstandings, I still didn’t quite empathise with any characters or care much about their fate, something was missing to me.The story was interesting and I kept reading but I wasn’t hooked, I could quite easily put it down and go to bed, it’s not a book that would keep me up reading into the early hours at all. I didn’t really relate or empathise with any of the characters, I don’t know why... perhaps because it’s all from the chief’s rather strange point of view, even once I had a grasp of how his mind worked I was always struggling to work out what was the reality, and what was his projections. I think that the chief is supposed to be unreliable as a narrator and as the reader you should look to McMurphy who is the only sane patient but for me it was just too much effort to read a book narrated by somebody who struggles to hold on to reality for the majority of the story.
However it is a book with deeper meaning, if you give a little time and have the desire to think thought it all, it raises big questions and explores important themes and issues. I think it has the potential to be a book I’ll come back to and get more from the second time round.

In a Nutshell...
This is a book that I’m glad I’ve read now that I’ve finished it but I didn’t particularly enjoy reading and to be honest I doubt I’d ever recommend it to a friend. But at the same time I do strongly  feel it could just be me, it seemed to have the ingredients of a really good book with many layers to it, so it is most likely a much better book than I’m giving it credit for.
Heather xx

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Just a photo of some snails!

Just something I saw recently that made me smile because I agree and it perfectly depicts the situation in my life at the moment.. so I thought I'd share :)

Heather x

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray... My thoughts

I wan't  impressed by this book I have to say...I really enjoyed the first in the series, looked forward to the second, was a bit dissapointed, semi looked forward to the third... and was simply unimpressed with it. I felt the first book in the trilogy, A Great and Terrible Beauty was a fantastic read and built up the potential for such a good trilogy but it just didn't happen.

It had been a long time since I'd read the first or second book, but I presumed I didn't need to re-read them-to understand the third- big mistake. The 'magic' and the 'realms' in this book simply weren't explained at any point, I couldn't remember how it all worked and was hoping in the first few chapters that it would be re-explained but it never was, in fact there was barely any summary of the first two book at all which I feel massively let the book down. I would need to have the prequels fresh in my mind to understand 3/4 of what happened, it seemed to flow straight on from the previous book but gave zero mention to any events that has already happened, so I was struggling to remember what had happened and who all the characters were. I was just confused and subsequently irritated throughout the magority of the book.

Not only this, but anything new wasn't made at all clear either. There was a very confusing storyline based around 'The tree of all souls' which frankly I just didn't understand, it simply wasn't explained. I also felt the story dragged on far too much and just wasn't interesing enough. The only few things I was interested in weren't explored in enough depth, in my opinion. Namely, the relationship between Gemma and Kartick and the revealed relationship between Pippa and Felicity- this could have been such an interesting area to explore, sexuality in the very constrained setting of the victorian finishing school where 'young ladies' had to conform to the expectations of society- but oh no, it was just glossed over and Gemma hardly seemed affected. If I discovered two of my friends been having a secret relationship I know I'd have more to say!

Overall, I didn't enjoy this at all, between the prequels not being summarised, nothing new being explained and the story dragging on and on and on, I was just put in a bit of a bad mood every time I picked the book up. I kept on hoping it would get better but it never did. When I got to the end- which in tune with the rest of the book, made no sense to me- I was just extremely glad to banish it to the back of my mind, return it to the library and never pick it up again.

Sorry not to have reviewed this very well, I realise it's more of a rant than a review, in my defense, I couldn't summarise the story even if I wanted to, I couldn't for the life of me, give you any indication of what on earth was going on. I'd be interested to hear anyone else's opinion though as I'm wondering if it's just me, I very rarely dislike books so much and don't think I've ever told anyone not to bother with a book (with the exception of Just in Case!) but that's what I'm saying here, it didn't feel worth the effort of reading.

Heather xx

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

No 7 Exceptional Definition Mascara Review

Hiya folks :) So this post is a little different, I thought I'd try my hand at a beauty post, I probably won't do another soon as I have several book rewviews coming up but I may well do some more in the future- let me know what you think :)

Recently, my favourite mascara: The Body Shop Divide & Multiply Mascara ran ran out completely, the only other one I could find after digging through all of my make up bags was Rimel London Volume Max Bold Curves, which I cannot stand, I got it for christmas and loved the green tube, but the content was so dissapointing, it just clumps up my eyelashes and is awful, I certainly didn't get Lily Cole's perfect lash look from the adverts! Of course I could have just bought another Divide & Multiply but I like to try new products...

So I was on a mission to find myself a new mascara. Step one: research... or put plainly, spend half an hour hunting round the internet ;P Pricewise I wasn't too fussed, I don't mind paying a lot for a really decent mascara but then the highest price doesn't mean highest quality so I wanted to read some reviews from beauty bloggers to get real opinions on what would be best to buy.

On my hunt for the perfect mascara there were three things on my check list. Firstly I expect a lot, I want volume AND length, I don't like settling for one or the other. Curling mascara's I've never been inclined to try as I have naturally curly lashes and curl them manually before mascara anyway so I usually go for definition mascara's. Secondly absolutely no clumps, I was so dissapointed with the Rimmel mascara and dertainly didn't want another like it. The last thing I was looking for was a standard shaped brush. Anything like this

 or this

I've always thought is not for me, for some reason I've always preffered a straightforward  basic brush. However after seaching for reviews of loads of mascara's I kept coming across really good reviews about the No 7 Exceptional Definition Mascara. And so I decided maybe it was high time to stop discriminating against differently shaped brushes, since it sounded like a really good mascara that would give me length, volume, definition- and no clumps :)

The brush may well look pretty standard to you, but it's more unusual for me than anything I've tried before, I've always stuck to completely standard brushes!

Using my friends staff discount card at boots ( very bad of me I know) I bought this for cheaper than the normal £12.50 but I feel even that price is fairly reasonable. The tube is a dark green colour which I really love, and a nice shape, it looks rather sleek and classy I think. It doesn't stand out in my make up box but I personally like the design. As for the mascara itself... I've fallen in love with it and am very glad I chose it. The brush is almost perfectly designed and tons better than a standard brush, I'm glad I overcame my prejudice :P

One side is used to apply the mascara, which gives plenty of volume and length, the other has very fine little bristles and is used to comb through the lashes preventing any clumps and seperating the lashes to provide- yep you've got it... exceptional definition. This side is also fantastic for bottom lashes if like me you want to apply mascara to them but in a much subtler way than the top lashes. It allows you to apply a small amount and you can build on this... a normal brush just makes the bottom lashes stand out too much in my opinion. The end of the brush is rounded with tiny little bristles and is ideal for reaching the smallest lashes in the corner of your eye without getting black marks on your nose- or is it just me who does that?

Have I found the perfect mascara?... maybe not but I do love this mascara, it ticks all the boxes for me, and is suitable for any occasion, one coat gives a lovely daytime look while two or three is perfect for evening. Oh and it's also a nutrient enriched mascara which earns it even more brownie points.

Has any-one else tried this mascara or have another favourite mascara?

Heather xx

Monday, 19 September 2011

Follow Friday #4- let's pretend it's not Monday!

Q. It's that pesky magic book fairy again! She has another wish: What imaginary book world would you like to make a reality?

A: Okay so I'm just going to go with the first answer that comes to mind, even though I'm sure loads of other people will have chosen it and I'll look really unimaginitive I honestly can't think if a book world I'd rather live in-  yep it's the world of Harry Potter, I would absolutely love to go to hogwarts and study magic, I'm not the only one who secretly hoped they'd get a hogwarts through the post at age 11 right?

Happy Friday Folks :P

Heather xx

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows!



and Rainbows

This song has been going round and round in my head lately and I'm constantly huming it. And I have to say I love it- well I love the few lines that I actually know :P

Anyone else have a song they can't get out of their heads?

Heather x

Monday, 12 September 2011

Some Holiday Pics and my Upcoming Book Review List

Howdi :D  long time no see- entirely my own fault of course, keeping up to date with a blog turned out to be harder than anticipated, time managed to fly by this summer with very few posts. I did actually write some posts and set them to publish in the future- but that turned out to be a complete fail, probably due to my shockingly bad IT skills. Anyhow I've neglected this blog for too long, so I'm back and hoping to post more regularly from now!

So onto some pictures from my lovely holiday to a caravan park in Wales- I should point out I am interested in photography but have no talent so these aren't at all impressive, I just felt like sharing :)

Our Caravan for the Week

 A lovely garden onsite :)

 Pretty Local Shops

 Beautiful Beaches

 The Lovely Village of Portmerrion

 Pick and Mix :P

The difference between the tan my brother got and the tan I didn't get!

This pic sums up the holiday, lots of visiting the beaches in mega windy conditions- this is Britain after all :P

Anyhow... as for book reviews, I've recently read the following and will be posting reviews very soon
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
  • The Wind In The Willows ( yes I know it's aimed at children 10 years younger than me!)
  • The Hunger Games
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Kite Runner
Has anybody read these and/or have an opinion?

Much love and a happy monday to all

Heather xx

Friday, 29 July 2011

Follow Friday #3

Follow my book blog Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkie and is a fun way of book bloggers getting more followers and getting to know each other.

This weeks question: Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you?

Maybe Book Lover or Book Worm since that's what I am, Library Chick as I always feel right at home in a library, Books not Bombs...there are lots of book options...But I think this sums me up the most:

Aiming happy and looking for reasons to be happy is something I do on a daily basis, life is too short to let trivial things make you unhappy. Although sometimes terrible things happen that do stop you feeling happy and rightly so but I do believe a lot of the time happiness really is a choice so I try to always choose it. Of course I have my days when I'm a bad mood like we all do, but curling up with a good book can nearly always make me feel happy again!

Happy Friday Everyone

Heather xx

Thursday, 28 July 2011

My Tips for Camping with ME

Last weekend I went  camping for the weekend with some of my family and so thought I’d share some tips based on what I did that helped me conserve energy and all the mistakes I made that didn’t!

  • Pack well in advance, do a bit each day, so it’s not one big energy draining task. Write a list first and then pack a certain number of items each day. Also if you don’t have anything, this way you’ll find out earlier and have time to get it.
  • Pack LOTS of warm clothes, several times what you think you’d need- I thought I had plenty but ended up having to send someone back to fetch more! Wearing a few pairs of long socks- I had colourful stripes ones- is a good idea as the last thing you want if you get lots of muscle pain in your legs is for them to get cold and tighten up. For your clothes, layers are the best idea because heat is trapped between them but then if it does get hot you can take some off.
  • If you have the room pack a warm sleeping bag, a duvet and several thick blankets, that way you know you’ll definitely be warm enough. It might not be sticking to the tradition of camping but you could bring an air bed, it will give you better quality sleep. The mechanical pumps take a lot of oomph to use and aren’t ME friendly, so you might like to ask someone else to do that for you. Or you could take an electric pump that connects to the car if you can get your hands on one.
  • You could also take some low energy things to do, in case you’re not feeling well enough to go out during the day, maybe some crafts, a pack of cards and a board game, or a book to read?
  • If the people you’re camping with  don’t mind, arrive a few hours after everyone else, when all the tents are already set up- this is what I did :P If you do arrive with everyone else, I wouldn’t recommend helping set up the tents if you’re anything other than mildly effected, it’s pretty tiring. Hopefully the people you’re with won’t mind doing it for you.
  • Think about where you pitch your tent, how far is it from the toilet facilities? It depends how far you can walk but if it’s not far then you should try to be as close as possible, you’ll end up having to make the trip several times, and it will seem further in the dark! Also try to remember what direction the toilets are from your tent; getting lost in the middle of the night isn’t fun!
  • Again, this isn’t the traditional way of camping, but if you think cooking a meal would be too tiring, you could do what my family did and go to a pub for your evening meal instead- which will still be tiring but you get to sit in the warm, with decent food and don’t have any washing up to do in a stream :P
  • Remember to have pleanty of rest, i know just how easy it is to get carried away having fun and then pay for it later, a few five minute rests here and there can make all the difference :)
  • My Top Tip: Take sun cream, even if the forecast is bad, British weather is unpredictable as we all know, so you could end up getting burnt if you get a beautiful sunny day instead of the cloudy gloomy weather you were expecting!
  • Or an even better tip for camping with ME is don’t!  Stay at home in the warm!  My camping trip was fun and I did enjoy myself but it was freezing and extremely tiring, cue payback, so I don’t think I’ll be going again until I’ve improved a lot!
I have lots of book reviews coming up soon, as i've read several books lately and after a recent trip to the library a big bag full of books to be read. I also have some make up posts pre written and some posts about some of the crafty stuff I've been up to as well as some other ideas in my mind, what would anybody like to read more of?
Heather xx

Friday, 15 July 2011

Follow Friday #2 and Torchwood Returns! :D

Happy Friday Everyone :) This is in fact a very happy friday for me- despite the fact I feel like death warmed up today- one of the day to day joys of living with ME- because I'm going to see the final Harry Potter tonight and am insanely excited :D Harry Potter has been such a big presence throughout my childhood, I remember looking forward to several of the books coming out, persuading my mum to let me go to buy them at midnight, being told off at school for reading them under the table, going to see each movie, hoping when I was 11 that I'd get a Hogwarts letter through the post... it feels honestly like an end of an era, so sad in a way but still exciting :D

But on to Follow Friday... a book blog hop hosted by parajunkee @           .

Q. What do you do when you're not reading?

This is a difficult question for me and makes me feel quite sad as there is so so much I would like to be doing with my time but can't because I'm so limited as to what I can do on a day to a basis because of  ME. But I don't want to be negative- I'm not a negative person, honestly I'm not, I'm usually uber positive. So if I can rephrase the question to ' what do I do when I get a window of time 'feeling well' -and I'm not reading'... I spend far too much time on facebook and on ayme- a forum for young people with ME, I love reading blogs, journelling, listening to music, writing to pen friends, texting, watching tv shows... my favourites are gossip girl, vampire diaries,  the apprentice, waterloo road, glee- yep I'm a gleek :P- doctor who, torchwood and Eastenders, going to see theatre, I'll watch anything but I especially enjoy musicals, doing crafty things...knitting, sewing, cross stitching, jewellery making, card making, scrapbooking the list goes on... taking lots of random photographs, people watching in cafe's, going to the library, spending time with my friends and family and lots of  talking, I talk far too much, I'm always told I could talk for England and I love controversial ethical/philosophical discussions a little too much!


I am absolutely in love with Doctor Who, but when it's not around, the next best thing is of course Torchwood. I've been looking forward to it coming back for a long time, although admittedly I've been a little skeptical about whether it can possibly be as good after the death of certain characters and the tragic death of one character in particular, I'm sure every torchwood fan knows who I mean- I can't mention him by name or I'll probably start crying, it was my all time saddest tv death (sob).

However I am pleased to say I loved last nights episode, Miracle Day, the show certainly came back with a bang and I really enjoyed it. There was plenty of action, it was very fast paced- which did fry my brain a little but I kept up with the help of my brother explaining things- there were some great new characters which I'm looking forward to seeing lots more of in the future and I think could come to love. I thought Gwen was fab, yes she's got her -adorable- baby now, but she's the same old Gwen at heart, I loved her shooting with one hand, holding the baby in the other. I was kind of surprised Captain Jack, got over the children of earth events so quickly.. unless he didn't of course, we shall see in future episodes. I liked the concept of the episode, at first i thought no more death would be pretty good until I realised how quickly there would be a crisis with millions of extra mouths to feed in a matter of days. It provides of scope for ethcial questions in future episodes which is always a good thing in my opinion but I'm sure there will still be plenty of action for people who prefer that. Overall I'm already hooked and can't wait to watch the rest of the series :D

Sorry to any book bloggers who just want to read about books- this blog is becoming quite a melting pot of all sorts, I even have some beauty posts planned :P But there are also plenty of book posts coming up so don't worry- they will always be my number one passion.

Heather xxxx

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Cross Stitch Gifts

Cross stitch is something I quite enjoy doing, I can do it without paying much attention, so I can be chatting to someone or watching television at the same time as I'm stitching. I find it quite calming and therapeutic if I have a lot on my mind and it’s also a low energy activity- when living with ME it’s very important not to do too much high energy activity each day and so I’m always looking out for low energy activities I enjoy. Therefore cross stitching little gifts for friends and family is ideal for me; I enjoy making them and get satisfaction out of every gift I make. They’re sweet and it’s obvious that time and effort has been put into them so I think they make perfect little gifts.

These two teddy bear keyrings took three hours each to make. The design is simple so I found them very easy and think they’d be fine for a beginner. I’m a fairly slow stitcher so other people may be able to make something similar in even less time than I did. They don’t weigh much and obviously are small so they’re great for sending in the post, they can go straight in the envelope with no extra packaging/bubble wrap as they’re not at risk of breaking. They also don’t cost much to make which is good if you want to send a friend a little something but don’t have a lot of money to spare. Lots of designs can be found free online or you can create your own if you’re feeling creative.

This bookmark took a longer and cost a bit more than the key rings, but would make a great birthday or Christmas present. It took me 15 hours to make but then as I’ve said I’m fairly slow and I did about half an hour a night for a few weeks normally watching television, so others could definitely make it in less time. You’d probably have to be used to cross stitching to make something like this, and have done several smaller projects, I wouldn’t recommend this as your first, but it depends how quickly you pick things up, there’s nothing too complicated in this design.
I’ve made a few bookmarks in the past but I’ve never kept one and used it, so I have to admit I don’t know how practical they are and whether they’re durable or not but I know friends have really liked them. I’m currently working on some more cross stitch gifts which I may post when I’ve finished if anyone is interested in seeing more?

On a side note, I'm really enjoying blogging so far :) A cheery hello to my first few followers :) I've finishedd two more books which I'll be reviewing soon, I'm off to see Harry Potter tomorrow- SO excited!- which I will probably be sharing my excitement about and I have lots of ideas for future blog posts forming :) I don't know where on earth my header has decided to wander off to but hopefully I'll sort it out soon- in the meantime if my photo's show up then I'll be more than happy.

Heather xxx

Monday, 11 July 2011

Bridesmaids: My Thoughts

Last week I went to see Bridesmaids- on a wednesday because yes I like a bargain and i'd rather pay £3 than £6,but then the other £3 went on buying myself a fanta frozen- the best drink ever after shloer which I'm in  love with- so I didn't end up saving after all :P
I wasn't expecting a lot from it, it just looked like the best thing on when I looked at the list of films currently showing and thought it would be your average chick flick romantic comedy.

The Story

Annie, ( Kristen Wiig) is a thirty something women whose life is frankly in a bit of a mess, she's lost her cake making business along with all her money, lives with two very strange siblings, has a job got for her by her mother which she hates, and is in a casual relationship with a guy who throws her out of bed in the morning at the beginning of the film. Her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) then tells her she's enagaged and Annie becomes chief bridesmaid. She takes an instant dislike to Lillians new friend and another of the bridesmaids Helen (Rose Byrne)- pretty legitimatelty as she's an upper class snob who makes no effort with Annie and seems to enjoy showing her up. The whole crew of bridesmaids prove to be an odd mix of people who provide some good entertainment.
Annie's life continues to fall apart around her, she loses her job and her flat, it appears to Lillian that Annie is sabatoging the wedding plans and so she is fired from her role as chief bridesmaid and uninvited from the wedding. On top of this Annie ruins her budding relationship with irish police man Rhodes (Chris O'Dowd) who is obviously the perfect man for her. On the day of the wedding Lillian goes missing... can Annie find her and make ammends? Will the wedding run smoothly? Will Rhodes forgive her? Watch the film to find out! :P

Any Negatives?

I liked the mostly women cast and the different characters of all the bridesmaids, however I felt there wasn't enough development of two of them in particular and I would like to have seen more of them. They just felt a little two dimensional.

Although there were lots of funny moments I felt too many of them moved from funny to completely cringey and my friend and I were both watching through the gaps in our hands which were across our faces. One scene in particular, where the bridesmiads go to try on expensive dresses in a posh shop after having lunch in a didgy restaurant and then suffer from poisoning bringing on vommiting and diahorea- i can never spell that!-which gets everwhere, was just awful, personally I didn't enjoy it at all, it was just too much and really gross! I also felt this film was a bit too long, and didn't always flow fast enough, some scenes were just too drawn out.

Parts that Stood Out

Annie's antics after getting drunk on an aeroplane- helped by Helen- is very laugh out loud funny! As was a scene twoards the end where Annie and Helen were trying to get Rhode's attention  (who was ignoring Annie after she ruined their relationship) by driving past committing all manner of driving offenses. I think the scene I laughed at the most however is at the engagement party where Annie and Helen fight over the microphone both gushing about how much they adore Lillian and competing to profess the most love for her, this had me in stitches!

In a Nut Shell...

It's refreshing to see thirty somethings looking their age, not air brushed and perfect looking like in some hollywood films, there isn't as much vanity in this film, which I saw as a good thing. This film is very funny and has the audience laughing all the way through it. Yes it goes on a bit too long and has some awkward cringey scenes and okay it's far from being an unmissable film but I think Annie is character easy to relate to and there are lots of laughs provided. If you want to watch something fairly lighthearted that will give you a ton of laughs then this film could be worth seeing.

Heather xx

Friday, 8 July 2011

Follow Friday: My First :D

Feature and Follow Friday is a blog hop hosted by - a fantastic blog! I'm really excited to be joining in :) However, I've not figured out how it works yet myself so can't explain how to join in-this post may not work in fact :P You'll have to visit to find out more!

This Week's Question: Let's step away from besties...What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?

I love this question! Without a question of a doubt my answer is Just In Case by Meg Rosoff. I read this book several years ago as a year nine student taking part in my school's Carnegie Shadowing Club.... and I absolutely couldn't stand it... at all... not one single page. I finished it as I have a big thing about finishing books and never giving up on them however rubbish they seem- of course also wanted to earn the six house points available for finishing all six books on the carnegie shortlist :P

 I can't honestly say I remember why I hated it I just thought it was awful, as did the majority of the shadowing club. I was gutted when it won :( This is pretty much the only book I've ever hated as I tend to get some enjoyment out of any book I read even when it's not quite cup of tea- as is the case with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest which I've nearly finished and will be reviewing soon :)

Heather xx

Monday, 4 July 2011

Captain Corelli: My Thoughts

Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
This book was nothing like I expected it would be, I have to say. My preconception was that it was a straightforward love story which isn't the case at all. Love is certainly a theme but there is a much bigger theme of war throughout the book and in many ways Captain Correlli and Pelagia are but minor characters. This isn't a bad thing however, it is much more than a love story and I was glad it was, although I felt the love story itself was beautiful. Overall this book was actually much better than I had anticiapted it to be!

The Story
There is a mix of true political history and then the ficticious story of characters lving through this period of history.Throughout the book there is commenty on the nature of war and of facism and communism which are portrayed as bad as each other. We are taken through the decision process in some of the leaders heads, these decisions have huge effects on the lives and deaths of the ordinary people in the novel which they failed to fully consider.

Captain Corelli is an Italian soldier posted to occupy the greek Island of Cephallonia, where a beautiful young girl Pelagia- which I have no idea how to pronounce :P- lives with her father Dr Iannis. She had been engaged to Mandras, a handsome young fisherman in her village but he goes away to fight in the war, not replying to her love letters and she falls out of love very quickly once he has left.
She and Corelli slowly fall in love, a much stronger beautiful love, but they cannot openly be together as they are on different sides of the war. Does their love survive the war and do they live happily ever after- you'll have to read the book to find out :P

There is another smaller story within this book- the story that captured my heart, which is about a character named Carlo. He experiences much inner turmoil and never felt he fitted in anywhere because of his secret- that he is gay. He joins the army and falls in love with a young soldier named Francis, only to tragically have hime die in his arms. He is then posted to Cephallonia with Correlli, falling in love with him and eventually choosing to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Any Negatives?
If I were to be really picky there were a few things I could mention that I personally didn't like about ths book. As a rule I really enjoy books where each chapter is from the viewpoint of a different character or follows a different character, I really love it when severa of the charcters have real depth, not just a few. But somehow in this case I didn't like how this it done. I felt it followed too many characters, some very briefly with only a chapter or two based on them where I would have preffered many more about them or none at all. I would have liked more chapters following Carlo but really that's just becasue he was my favourite character!

I also didn't like how obviously Pelagia and Mandris's love was purely lust based. I realise that it was meant to contrast with the much genuine ever lasting love between Pelagia and her father and Pelagia and Corelli but I thought it was far too obvious from the start that there's was a not a love that would make it and was clearly shallow, I would have liked it to perhaps appear more real.

The only part of this book I didn't enjoy was the laast few chapters. After the war had ended, Pelagias life over the next several decades is played out very quicklywith characters rapidly introduced such as her grandson or son in law, who I really don't feel are gicen the chance to develop in any way and didn't feel to me like fully fleshed out characters if that makes sense? I just felt like I was struggling to keep up with the pace which was fairly slow throughout the book and suddenly sped up to a crazy speed where years and years were going by with each turn of the page!

 Parts that stood out?
Chapter One was actually one of my favourite's, it successfully drew me in and the story of the pea stuck in the old man's ear had me laughing hysterically- this could just be my odd sense of humour but  defy you not ti chuckle at it :P

The death of Francis and the reactio of Carlo was the part of the book that tore at my heart strings the most , it was so emotional and sad, it had me crying my eyes out, i felt for Carlo so much and wanted to travel through the pages to comfort him.

The massacre of the Italian Soldiers wasn't enjoyable to read as such, but it was well written and one of the most emotional, tragic parts of the book, made worse because it was based on truth. It's certainly a scene that sticks in my mind after finishing the novel.

And of course the words of Dr Ianis to his daughter, about the nature of love, that are read at many weddings today were nothing but beautiful :)

In a Nutshell
I really enjoyed this book and how it portrayed how political history has such a profound effect on the lives of individuals.The best thing about Captain Correlli's Mandolin in my opinion is how it could swing from being laugh out funny to desperately tragic so quickly. There was so much humour in this book, often a dry sattical humour which often seamlessly led into the sad and bleak scenes. At the end of the day this book made me chuckle and laugh and made me cry- at the death of Frances and the death of Carlo, and this is the most I can ask from a book, it drew me into it's world enough to make me really believe in the characters and cry at their losses. If anyone hasn't read this book, then my advice is to drop what you're doing and head straight to your nearest library, this is a must-read!

Has anybody else read this book or want to? What are your thoughts?

Heather xxx

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Entering the Blogoshere: eeeeee my first ever post!

Console.Writeline("HelloWorld")... this is actually all I can remember from As Computing and is probably wrong...well that was evidently a waste of a years worth of lesson's! I'm hopelessly useless at anything at all tecnhical and it seems I have a lot to learn about how to make a simple blog post, posting this took long enough to figure out... and as for adding pictures I have no clue whatsoever :P

**visualise a picture here -of anything you want, let your imagination run wild! The crazier the better. See... much more fun than me choosing the picture for you :) **

Anyway hello there I'm Heather, I've wanted to start a blog for ages but assumed I wouldn't have the computery techno know how. But I was informed , wrongly it now seems, that I wouldn't need any, so here is my brand new blog :) It should have a header soonish that my brother is designing for me and fingers crossed I'll get to grips with the computer side of things very soonish :)

So a bit about me, assuming anybody is interested: I've recently finished sixth form and I'm currently on a gap year hoping to improve my health in order to go to uni next year which I'm really looking forward to. I have moderate ME which I'm planning to raise some awareness of on this blog at some point if all goes to plan. I'm waiting for the results from my A-levels in history and politics, two of my biggest interests... it's only been a week since exams finished and I'm desperate to know already-it's going to be a long wait!

My biggest passion is reading and I have a very long list of books I'd like to read over the next year, as I've had very little time for reading while I've been at sixth form. I'd like to review them all too, but I need a bit of practice at reviewing a book without giving the entire plot away- i don't mind spoilers and tend forget other people don't want to know too much of the plot before reading a book!

Love,Laugh,Read... this hopefully sums up what I want my blog to about. Enjoying life despite the ups and downs and remembering to live your life not just cruising through it, always spreading love along the way and loving the journey itself is a concept close to my heart. As is laughter-I laugh hysterically nearly every single day sometimes at the smallest things, I think it's so important to share laughter with friends and family as often as possible. And of course I love love love reading and think it's one of the biggest joys in life, to get lost within a brilliant book is magical. So I'll hopefully be blogging about these things as well as a whole host of other things as well, so it will a bit of a melting pot of all kinds :)

I've been looking up a lot about how to make a good blog online and there is a wealth of articles and advice out there but the most important tip that kept cropping up was to make it true to yourself... so in that case I'll be ignoring all other guidelines, especially about sticking to one main subject area... that's just not me :P

 If no-one ever follows or reads this, then at least I've thrown myself into the blogging world and giving it a go, despite my lack of computing skills, instead of just daydreaming about it...

'Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain'

Heather xx