Saturday, 29 December 2012

Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I got this book for Christmas along with the other three John Green solo books. This one looked the most interesting and people always seem to rave about it the most so I thought I would read it first.

I am so glad I chose this one first.

People are always telling me that John Green books change your life. I knew of John before reading the book obviously because of him and Hank at Vlogbrothers, and I could tell before even reading it that it would be good.

But oh my goodness, I did not expect that.

I don't even know how to explain how it was so good. It's not like the plot was magnificent, because although it was original there was nothing that stood out in the way of storyline.

And I am in no way bashing his book. Just wait for it.

The thing that struck me the most, that really captured my heart about his writing, was that he made the teenage characters SMART.

Not only did he throw a few facts about philosophy and science in there, but he made it come from the main characters who happened to be teens. He wasn't afraid to use his own very adult intelligence in children, knowing that his characters were able to handle it.

You might not be seeing where I'm going here, but let me explain further. His books are for young adults, who are perhaps from the age of 13 through to adulthood. A normal author would not dare to include all of that information knowing that they were catering to a 13 year old, but John did. He didn't underestimate his reader's intelligence and this is what I adored.

A lot of young adult authors spoon-feed their book to us, and over explain the points that they think might go over our heads. This often dumbs down a book and people who want more of a challenge do not come away from the book satisfied.

But without doing any of that, John effortlessly writes what he wants and does it so brilliantly. It didn't take me long to finish the book but I felt completely satisfied with the short time I did have with this book.

What it's about (without giving too much away):

Hazel Lancaster first meets Augustus Waters in a support group for cancer sufferers that her mother makes her go to. From there, nothing much changes apart from the fact that she has found somebody that she can be 'okay' with. Augustus has a packet of cigarettes that he never lights and a crooked smile, but most of all he has Hazel and that's why he is okay.

(There are no spoilers in that.)

The Fault In Our Stars is a book that I would recommend to literally EVERYONE, as it is full of ups, downs, and everything else in-between.

Augustus Waters said in this book "It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you."

And it has been, dear book. It really has.

The Book Critic x

Friday, 28 December 2012

Kendal's Column: Music Post

i'm sorry, i'm ill and i'm done with life RN. please accept my gift of amazing music. i will *pinkie promise* make it up to you next week. 

Happy Friday!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Kendal's Column: A Mini Series Of Festivities- So What Have You Done?

Over the past few weeks I have given you 3 posts full of festivities to get you in the mood for Christmas but please don't forget to do something for other, less fortunate people than yourself.

I am going to talk about a few organisations that I feel passionately about. 

Harmless is a charity that provides help and support to those effected by self harming. I support this because I hear and see people talking about their struggles with self harm far to often on the internet and in my own life. It's a terrible, dark place to be in your life and people need help to get through it. It's a scary and lonely time in many people's lives and for someone to stop and say 'you're going to be OK now' coukld change a live. It could stop a suicide.

Project For Awesome
YouTube  is often very mysterious as we (the viewer) probably only subscribe to about 5-10 YouTube vlogers so we only see a very small percent of YouTube therefore most of us probably don't know that YouTubers are constantly talking to each other and have formed a wibbly wobbly (world-wide)web called the  YouTube community. They'll  meet at youtube conferences and discuss STUFF and they come up with amazing ideas like Project For Awesome. The idea actually come from our very own VlogBrothers who came up with a charity that would decrease WorldSuck and replace it with awesome. 
The idea grew and now every year in December since 2007, YouTubers everywhere (who participate) upload a video supporting a chosen charity which then gets uploaded to the P4A site THEN WE MAJESTICALLY ENTER and leave comments on those videos which donates a penny to the cause and we can donate extra money from our own piggy banks to (Yes. I still have a piggy bank).
The money raised is then spread out among the causes in videos like clean water, endangered/mistreated animals, people who suffer from cancer Alzheimers etc . Together YouTube decreases WorldSuck. 
It's so beautiful *wipes tear* 

Help For Heroes
i think this charity is beautiful beacuase i believe that the danger our soliders are in and the injuries that can occur are underrated by most people. These people go out to war-zones and some don't come back with what they left with. Some don't come back at all.
Help for heroes helps those soldiers who's lives have been affected by their time serving by offering financial care for soldiers who may have returned disabled, offering rehabilitation programes as well as help for mental illnesses that can develope whilst serving e.g combat stress. 
These people have served for their country and have helped so many people. Supporting a charity like H4H will do so much more for people than liking a picture on facebook that's captioned '1LYKE= 1 RESPEKT'.

I'm not saying that other charities aren't equally important but these are just a few of the charities I support. I am not forcing you to donate to any of the charities listed or any other for that matter as i do know that times are tough and Christmas is an expensive time but it doesn't matter if it's a penny or a pound- it all goes to the greater good and helps many people.

Happy Friday!
P.S. Have a wonderful christmas.

Its so precious i'm overflowing with pure Christmas feels 

Friday, 14 December 2012

Kendal's Column: A Mini Series Of Festivities- Home Sweet Home

Christmas is happening people! 
The advent calenders are over midway through, the presents have been bought (if your organised- unlike me) and you can't get away from all the Christmas ads (John Lewis is toying with my emotions like a cat with wool- WHY?! *sobs*)

You may have already thoroughly decked out you house in  store bought  Christmas decor but what makes it special is the warm feeling of  'I did that' so why not add a home made touch to your tree by adding some handmade ornaments or adding some paper snow flakes to your windows? It's easy on you and your money, and if you're having trouble coming up with your creations, here are some wonderful ideas for you- because I'm nice like that.

AND, if you run out of wrapping paper or Christmas cards then why not make them? The possibilities are endless! It doesn't matter if the card isn't the most elaborate (less IS more after all) as the handmade touch wont go unnoticed.  

So get your coloured card and glitter at the ready- get creative!  

Happy Friday!

p.s I'm really sorry this post isn't as long as I would like it to be but this week has been MANIC. SCHOOL- Y U SO CRUEL TO MY FREE TIME?!
I'm sorry and i will make up for it soon ;)

Friday, 7 December 2012

Kendal's Column: A Mini Series Of Festivities- Recipes for amazingness

Its 18 days until chistmas!
(Brony for life)
So, today is the second installment of my mini series of festivities! 
Today is about cooking some festive treats! (and if your not that keen on cooking-don't worry, these two recipes are fairly simple)
These are my absolute favorite things to make in winter.
So prepare your tummies people- its going to get seriously yummy!

1) Mug Cake
It's a cake in a mug- no oven required! It takes just 5 minutes to make and all you need is 
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder or hot chocolate powder
  • 1 medium egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (i think this is optional but i haven't tried it without yet)
To Make:
Place all the ingredients (apart from the chocolate chips) into a LARGE mug and mix.
Add the chocolate chips and stir gently, making sure of an even distribution
Microwave mixture (still in the mug) for either 4 minutes at 650-750 watts, 3 minutes at 750-1000 watts or 2 minutes for 1000+ watts
WAIT A MOMENT BEFORE EATING-It will be tres hot (like my french?)
One you think it has cooled enough, (whilst you wait you could make those around you jealous by wafting the smell of cake around your home.)
Once a reasonable temperature for eating-eat.

Note: you can read variations of this recipe (eg- nutella, strawberry and marshmellow etc) here

2) Ginger Bread! 
OK, whats else says Christmas in a biscuit more that ginger bread?!
To make your fabulous food you're gonna need
  • 350g/12 oz of pain flour ( NOT SELF RAISING-found that one out the hard way...)
  • 175g/6oz of brown sugar
  • 100g/4oz of butter (get it out of the fridge an hour before baking to soften)
  • 1 medium egg
  • 4 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 and a half teaspoons of ground ginger
  • A biscuit cutter of desired shape
To Make
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit or gas mark 4
Place the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and mix with fingertips until crumbly.
Add your sugar,syrup and egg to your 'crumble' and mix until it forms a pastry mix.
Roll your pastry out (with a rolling pin) (NOTE: if your pastry is sticking to your work surface, dust it with flour) making sure the thickness is quite even 
Cut out your gingerbread shapes with your cutter and place cut pastry shapes on a non stick or greased baking tray.
Cook for 15 minutes- make sure you check them after 10 minutes though!
Flaunt masterpiece(s) to everyone you see.
Flaunt masterpiece to the internet.

Happy Friday!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Coming to the end of NaNoWriMo 2012

With only a few hours to go, I have to say that National Novel Writing Month has been a lot harder than I first thought it was going to be.

But, I have loved trying to write as much as I can and I guess that I didn't help myself as much as I should have done during the month. For example, I went in with the idea that I could write 50,000 of purely relevant material for my book. Instead, I came out of this years' NaNo with 24,752 words of relevant material and no regrets.

You are supposed to write even when you have no ideas, and I think that is where I went wrong. When I got an idea, I wrote like the wind. When I didn't have an idea, I wouldn't have one for a few days. This meant that I had to start saving words until the next day so I didn't have to leave out recording a word count for the next day.

As a result, my daily word count started to SHRINK.

I don't regret doing NaNo though - it has helped me so much in writing my novel and letting me progress as a writer.

Bring on 2013 - where I can hopefully go from participant to winner!

The Book Critic x

Kendal's Column: A Mini Series Of Festivities- Gifts For Book Lovers

It's (almost) Christmas!

So, I have decided that the next four posts (not including this post) that I'm going to do are going to be 'A Mini Series Of Festivities'.  This mini series of 4 posts will include things like recipes, book reviews and maybe music all themed around Christmas. 
In this first post, I'm going to give you some books I think would either make good gifts for book loving friends. This post is first because the other day I realized that since I have had this column I haven't actually done a book review on a blog that aims to encourage teen reading.

Note: I've decided to rate my books in a kind of Monday-Friday way, so Monday is the not so great end and the Friday is the absolutely amazing end (all ratings are my own opinion and all books included in the series are aimed at YA reading).

Let It Snow-John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

Rating: Friday
Cheapest Price found: £5.29 (
'Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses'  
I have have so much love for this book, not only is it beautiful and funny, it's written by some of my favorite authors.
In 3 short stories ( The Jubilee Express-Maureen Johnson, The Cheertastic Christmas Miracle-John Green and The Patron Saint Of Pigs-Lauren Myracle) these three wonderful, talented authors have brought Christmas back to me in 352 wonderful pages of soppy romance and lighthearted jokes. It's a book that on a cold winters night you can just snuggle up with a hot chocolate and Oreos and just read for hours.
I loved how the stories intertwined and i am positive i will be reading this book multiple times before Christmas
I loved this book and would recommend to anyone who is a Romantic/Comedy/Teen Drama lover.

Jessie Hearts NYC- Keris Stainton

Rating: Friday
Cheapest Price found: £4.89 (
'Jessie's just arrived in New York, hoping to forget about her awful ex. 
New Yorker Finn is in love with his best friend's girlfriend. They might be perfect together, but in a city of eight million people, will they ever find each other?'
I know this novel isn't defined as a holiday read- in fact the book happens during summer BUT I still think it would be the perfect winter read as it has all the ingredients for the perfect soppy, old fashioned, New York  romance. Here is a review that appeared on tumblr by me: 

'This is the story of two people. Two people who you will scream at, two people that you will laugh at and two people you will gasp at.
Jessie is a small town girl (compared to New York) from Manchester, UK. She’s on her way to what she plans to be a perfect summer living with her Broadway musical writer mother who left her with her dad to pursue her dream. With her bestie ,Emma, by her side is Jessie ready for New York?…and is New York ready for Jessie?
Finn is guy whose work life has been planned out to the last detail by his parents:-Go to school, go to college, get a job in insurance and work in an office in the Empire State Building for the rest of his days. But, is that really what Finn wants? Never mind the fact that Finn is in love with Sam, his best friend’s gorgeous girlfriend. Will he remember mates before dates?
Also you can view a short video for this book here —> 
And You can follow the author, Keris Stainton (she’s lovely), here —>'
I think Jessie hearts NYC is beautifully written in how we switch between perspectives and how we given mini-heart attacks when the see each other and to be honest I was screaming at them 'LOVE EACH OTHER.' during these parts of the book...I'm so normal *facepalm*
That's all my book reviews for today but I may update this post during the week or further along in the series (i'll tweet if i do).
Happy Friday!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Not everything changes, but sometimes they just slow down

I love blogging more than anything in the World.

I love talking to people and having e-mail conversations with authors. I love writing and allowing people in to my life. I love it when people tell me that they like my writing, and I love reading other people's writing.

But as much as I love my double life, my primary life keeps getting in the way and I have to go back to reality. The one where my friends think I'm just another teenager and my mum thinks I spend all of this time on the computer because I have a Twitter addiction. 

Until now I thought I could keep this up every day. Interact with everyone and have something new to write about each night. It's not that I can't do it, but it's the small matter of needing to live my normal life to my full potential. 

I will keep up with the posting until the end of this month, even though I haven't been much good at it lately. Then, I will sort out a proper schedule, start posting every few days and finally sort out my e-mails which I have been neglecting for a while now. 

Who knows, I might even give the blog a new lick of paint and get myself a fancy button.

Apparently it's normal for people to slow down. I don't have much experience with it myself because I am forever on the move. I feel a bit like Charlie Mcdonnell right now, because I am going through the same thing as him at exactly the same time.

I'm scared.

I want to do my best for you and for myself, and sometimes in the rush of it all I forget what the blog is supposed to be really about and so the random posts that don't really belong anywhere wander in. Reading and being confident are really important for teens and that's why my blog is here. 

Think about it this way. Youtubers can't upload every single day because they would soon run out of things to talk about and people wouldn't be able to keep up. And their videos wouldn't be as good because they wouldn't have had as much time to edit them.

So think of me like that. I am not leaving you, but I am going to improve my posts for you. That way you can keep up and I can appreciate what my blog is really about.

The tears behind my eyes and my aching heart do not agree with my head, but for once I don't want to get burned before I light the fire.

Never judge a book by it's movie - NaNoWriMo Tip

If there is ony thing I want people to remember when doing NaNo, it is to never base their book on what they would expect it to be like in movie form.

Let me explain.

Ok, so this may seem weird, and you might even have never heard of this happening. But sometimes when people write novels, they write it in the way that they would expect the movie to be like. And yes, they haven't even had the go-ahead to be published yet!

Imagining the actors that play you MC's, picturing each camera swing in a fight scene... This can dramatically slow down your progress on your novel, because if you haven't already realised, scripts are nowhere near as long as manuscripts.

I am guilty of thinking about this sometimes, but I never let it get in the way of my writing. People should know by now that you should never judge a book by it's movie, because they are different and that is what sets the book apart from Hollywood. 

I know... its so good to imagine your books as treasured films! But slow down. NaNo is only just coming to a close and if you are anything like me then you would kill for an extra few words.

The Book Critic x 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Kendal's Column: The End Is Ny Today...Or Tomorrow...Or Next Tuesday.

There are now approximately 29 days until the end of the world and were all gonna die and 'omg we should all partyyyy coz YOLO!!!!!1!!1!!'
That GIF (JIF) was pretty much my reaction to the whole conspiracy theory. If you ,however, are having sleepless nights over the idea then here's some points they may put you mind at rest.

  • If your thinking, like many others, that the Mayans predicated the end of everything then i should probably mention that the Mayans didn't know of leap years so the world kinda ended 13 months ago...whooops.
  • Also, the Mayan calender ending doesn't actually mean the end of the earth- they THEMSELVES have said that the new time cycle with only bring changes on personal and family levels, not geological or scientific
  • Planet X isn't real. it's purely an internet hoax, Sorry! (GCSE in astronomy, BOOM.) 
  • There isn't any evidence to suggest solar storms will occur or meteor strikes will occur. 
  • NASA have a whole page dedicated to eradicating these rumors (click here) and its NASA. THEY CAN'T LIE.
I'm not trying to be a kill-joy or ruin anyone's fun (from end of everthing parties etc) because I have to agree-you only have once chance to live the way you want and do everything you want to* (Not saying YOLO, NOT SAYING YOLO). So here's my final point:

  • Life is scary and uncertain. Nothing is concrete.

So GO have a crazy party* or sing at the top of your lungs in public or...just have fun* because (this is the really scary part): The world could end TOMORROW...yep, that's right. The truth is, there is an equal chance of your world crashing down on the 21st December as there was today and  as there is tomorrow. 

So even though the world may not be more likely to end on the 21st, it doesn't give you the excuse to sit there as a vegetable on tumblr (like me). So I challenge you, I challenge you to live, live the best life you can because everything could change tomorrow.

Happy Friday!
*Note: Whatever fun you plan to have, please make sure you're being legal and responsible, check age restrictions and always drink responsibly.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Inspirational Pictures for setting ideas (NaNoWriMo)

I found and collected these pictures after coming across them on Tumblr. If you are writing a fantasy or dystopia novel for NaNoWriMo then they may help you come up with setting ideas. I found a few really useful and I will post them PLUS a lot more. 

Keep going! Ten days to go!

(None of these are actually my photography or pictures. They are from Tumblr tags haha!)

Three things you can do to help you along with NaNoWriMo

NOTE: This is not cheating. In fact, NaNo organisers actually encourage you to do things like this so that you reach your 50,000 words quicker.

1. Chapter Breakdown

This sounds likes your chapter is having an emotional trauma. Well, it is, because you are the one that has to write it and make it as long as you can. After every chapter, try writing a breakdown of your chapter to fully explain what is going on and why some elements of the book are present. This obviously won't be included in the real publication but it will make you see things more clearly before you begin the rest of the book. Plus, it really eats up your word target. I have done this and it has made me think more deeply about where I want the book to lead to and why the tiny details are there. 

2. Song lyrics

I thought about doing this today and it is the best idea I have possibly ever had (besides deciding to give writing a novel a go). I have taken a song that relates PERFECTLY to each chapter and pasted the lyrics before the chapter begins. I have put the chapter title, then pasted the lyrics, and have even included which character I would think the song would be sung by and more importantly... who to. Luckily, many of the earlier Ellie Goulding songs just fit in perfectly with my story and I am very happy with how the lyrics are linking to each chapter.

3. Alternative lines

This is one of the funnier things I have turned to in a desperate need for more words. I will think of what a character is going to say, and I write the serious response. Then, I write alternative responses the the same question and try to make them funny. For example:

Question - "Oh my God. Where are we?"
Serious response - "Why would God know any more than you? We have no sense of deities."
A-not-so-serious response - "You are Edward Cullen and you died from food poisoning after eating Bella's placenta. You're welcome."

Happy NaNo-ing!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Kendal's Column: The Twilight Saga and Fandom Hate

(side note- this is my second time trying to publish this post as, for some reason, my first attempt has disappeared. I'm really sorry it's up late)

As we probably all know, The Twilight Saga is ending and I ,for one, am really excited to see the last installment because the trailer looks AMAZING.

I really have a lot of respect for the twilight fandom -Twihards- because through all the hate they get (which I really don't think they deserve) they have stuck together.

Fandoms often argue between each other saying things like 'Twilight didn't make as much as this movie franchise' 'the storyline is week' 'Bella is such a wimp and isn't a strong enough character'
I agree with most of  this BUT (STAY WITH ME HERE) has it ever occurred to anyone that twilight may have have made less than SOME other movie franchises because there weren't as many films/books in the series? and that Bella may be portrayed as a more of a wimp in the films than she was in the books to accentuate the fact that Bella is weaker than the supernatural beings that surround her everyday,  also highlighting the key fact that she is always in danger. 
As for the 'weak storyline' comments,I admit that in the books when Bella is a human she doesn't really show much kick to her BUT , in the books at least, she changes to be fun, happy and kinda kick-ass when she completes her transformation. For those of you that say Bella has no inspiring qualities to her, in the end, Bella does go to extremes to protect those she loves without getting violent (IN THE BOOKS-I understand in the film they have included a fight scene to make it more visually dynamic).

 I'm not saying that everyone has to bow down and worship Twilight and it's creators, I'm just saying 'if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all'. 

Time after time I have seen people ,from celebrities to fans, get hate who don't deserve it e.g Demi Lovato -who has saved people's lives by campaigning against eating disorders and bullying- has been called 'fat', Selena Gomez received death threats for simply dating Bieber.

I honestly don't get it. 
People send small anonymous comments saying that the receiver is 'ugly' and 'should just go and die in a hole'...
What if they took that advice? 
What if that comment was just one in a long stream? 
What if that particular comment was the one that pushed them over the edge? 
Did it leave the sender smarter? no.
Prettier? No.
More popular? No. 
Wealthier? No. 
With a lifetime of guilt on their shoulders in the knowledge that they ended a life? Yes.
Could you live with that guilt?
basically, if you hate on someone and I see it...basically- RUN.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

My experience with NaNoWriMo (so far)

My life has been a bit crazy lately.


And a bit sad, if I'm honest with you. But one thing that I have been looking forward to is finishing the 50,000 words at the end of November. 


I have been really slacking on the novel, because of homework and exams and 

These two. 

Oh sweet baby Jesus, these two are distracting me too much.

But I am going to have a giant sprint tonight and hopefully I can get a couple of thousand words further in.

My experience with it so far has been tough, but I have loved it. Just knowing I am that bit closer to getting where I want to be in life is awesome. And I live for those moments where I pass a thousand mark. 

I don't really have that much to write today, so I will leave you with a video or two. 

*Off to write for NaNo and stop being distracted by these perfect beings*

Monday, 12 November 2012

Reading Music - Walt Disney Song Collection

I'm sorry I have been neglecting the blog slacking on the posts for the past couple of days, but I am really excited about this reading music.

You don't even have to read to these songs. I have just spent four hours doing a history essay with these on the whole time and it actually improved my work speed. They are, of course, the legendary songs that are DISNEY.

This video, although I don't know who made it, is perfect. You can listen to the whole four hours without stopping or there are tags to each individual song that you can pick from and can always go back to. 

The have all of the classics and work the way up to the most recent. You have Mulan, The hunchback of Notre Dame, Toy Story... these songs are just asdfghjkl.

I am going to leave you with them, because I have nothing else to say on the matter. The best things about Disney songs are that they never distract you from what you are doing, yet you can somehow listen to the words and sing along. This playlist made me so happy and got my essay done in good time.

Go and have a listen!
The Book Critic x

Friday, 9 November 2012

Kendal's Column- Happy First Post Friday!

So, hi there! 
For those of you who are looking at the title and thinking 'WHAT IS THIS?!' then you probably aren't aware that , from now on wards,  I will be posting every Friday! I will posting similar stuff to @Bookfangirling /The Book Critic (whom I love dearly) but first, I thought you might want to know a bit about moi:

  1. My post is called 'Kendal's Column' because Kendal is PART of my full name, it could be my first name, it could be my surname, it could be my middle name, who knows?...oh wait-I do!
  2. I am part of MANY fandoms -Tribute, Lovatic, Swiftie, Hutcher, Lawsbian, TVD, Whovians, Sherlock, TBBT, Danosaur, Phandom etc... (in no particular order).
  3. I have been through (probably more) than my fair share of rough patches...REALLY ROUGH PATCHES- like puncture in your tyre rough- so if any readers ever need someone I'm open to talk to and offer my help (and I'm sure @bookfangirling/The Book Critic would be to!)
  4. I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to books...that and Oreos (double creme FTW)
  5. If you want to follow me on twitter then click here 
  6. My OTP? Timone and Pumba (not romantically)- Hakuna Matata right? but inner fangirl craves Johhnlock 
  7. I'm 15, British and female (just to clarify)
I am lucky enough to have this spot as gift from @bookfangirling/The Book Critic so massive kudos to her :D love you Little Unicorn!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Reading Music - Adele

We all know who Adele is.

And we actually learnt a couple of things about the song for the newest Bond movie, Skyfall, in our music lesson the other week.


  1. There is only one musician who has played on every single James Bond movie. His is a lead trumpeter, and his name is Derek Watkins.
  2. It cost $150 million to make. (the movie, not the song)
  3. It took 133 days to film (again, the movie)
  4. The word 'Skyfall' was mentioned in the song 15 times.
  5. It still sounds like a Bond song, because it had samples of the original soundtrack in.
  6. It took a 77 piece orchestra to play
My music teacher also said that if you are asked to sing a song for the Bond movies, you are pretty high up in the music business. Which, we all know, Adele is.

This is Derek Watkins:

My music teacher has met him, and she has even played in the brass section with him a few times. I think that's pretty cool.

But anyway, I love this song. Addicted is a better word!

It's a slow song and you don't have to try hard to hear the lyrics, so it would be great to chill out to with a good climatic book.

Monday, 5 November 2012

I'm not so alone anymore

Do you know my really good friend on Twitter, called @Team_Haymitch?

It's her 15th birthday today!

And since I don't know her in real life, I couldn't give her a materialized birthday present.

So I had a brilliant idea.

This girl (and yes, I do know her real name) has supported me with the blog from day one. I don't know why, but she had complete faith in it. And for some reason, she still does.

What do you get someone who you can't actually see?

I decided to go down the very unconventional route of giving her a piece of my blog. A day, really. Each Friday, you will get to read a post from her, named 'Kendal's Column'. Or at least that's what we think it's going to be called. We are in the planning process of the details!

*Le happy dancing*

She's fabulous. Honestly, she is clued in on all of the Fandoms and more. I can't wait for her to start writing with me!

A little update for you,
The Book Critic x

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Choosing a job

My school often says this:

"We are preparing some of you for jobs that haven't even been invented yet."

Which to me, is the stupidest thing you can say to teens. Like seriously, you have just put my hopes up for a job as a Doctor Who tribute act!

I look at it this way: if it doesn't exist yet, don't worry about it. There is enough stress of picking out a job you like the look of that is already out there, without thinking about getting to them in your chauffeur-driven flying car.

My mum told me a pretty decent piece of advice on Thursday:

"You have the internet. Use it to look at what some jobs require."

So do this. Mothers are nearly always right.

The internet is actually a great way of getting to know what each job/course requires. Because I'm unsure too, I am looking at degrees I could possibly do at the university I really want to go to when I'm older. There are lots of choices out there and you just have to look.

Because you will have to do this job for pretty much the rest of your life, you want to choose one that you won't get bored of. Don't worry about what your best friend is going to do - mine wants to be the Prime Minister and I have absolutely no interest in running the country.

Remember: its not a contest so don't treat it like one. You can't compete against your friends because one of you will LOSE. Especially if you both want to be Prime Minister. Then you will most probably lose.

A good job is hard to find. An easy one is impossible. A fun one is easy to find, if you look properly.

Maybe be a Doctor. There are lots of different types to choose from:

Or be a Doctor's assistant. I hear they are always looking for one:

And think carefully about being an MP. Seriously. 

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Figuring out what you want to do in life

So you're revising for an important exam and you are thinking... I wonder when I am going to need all of this stuff?

Then you get thinking about the jobs that you can do with it, and you think... but I don't want to do any of those things!

Ooh. It seems you have reached a point of which there is difficulty getting out.

I still don't know what I want to do when I 'grow up' as the phrase is so unscientifically put. 

I know what you are thinking now... are you crazy? You're writing a book and you're telling me you don't want to be an author?

Good question. I would very much like to be an author - but it is much harder than you think to go down this root without having a back-up plan. A lot of people try all of their lives to get published, and never do. Some write a manuscript and get it in paperback first time around. People lead different lives than they primarily think, and you can never plan too far ahead.

For instance, I have never loved maths. Never been good at it, either. But, I have this urge to, well, CONQUER IT. 

That sounds so strange. But it is what I want to do. Hopefully if I do well in GCSE then I will do it for A-Level, because even though it can be really difficult I like the challenge. Plus, when I finally understand it, I feel like I have achieved something.

See? I didn't think at age ten I would like maths, but now I do. Things change over a short amount of time and that can make the World of difference to your life.

I thought I would write about this because my school is really pushing this whole careers thing now. And it's ok if you have no idea what to be. You're only just finding yourself, and that is hard enough without the extra pressure.

*Le commencing a mini-series on this stuff from now*

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tips for NaNoWriMo - Having fun with it

I admit it. I may have heard that during the course of the month you don't feel all that great. 

Late nights, harsh deadlines, lack of sleep... what could be worse?

But you need to remember that it is all for a good cause. Is it your dream to be a writer? Good. Get used to it. Even with the blog I have trouble keeping up with things. And NaNo on top of all of that? 

I don't mind. It has pretty much been my dream to have a book published before I was even ten years old. I just didn't realise it until a few months ago. 

You always have me to help you along the way. My NaNo username is BookFangirling, so you can add me as a buddy if you want. But you need to remember to have fun with NaNo, because if you don't then I guarantee your story will not come easily.

Take a walk. Eat some chocolate. See as much of your outside friends as possible. Don't confine yourself to your room for the whole month, because that will just make things harder. You want the inspiration? Go out and get it. 

Your novel will not just be handed to you on a plate by your brain. Take breaks after a long spurt of writing, and perhaps do things you don't do on a daily basis. 

Since I have never done NaNo, I am very new to this too. But these are all the tips I can give to you for being so inexperienced, and I hope it helps a bit.

There's only one more thing to do... WRITE!

Have a great start tomorrow, and see you on the other side (hopefully with a completed novel.)

The Book Critic x

Tips for NaNoWriMo - Getting the privacy you need

This is a post aimed more at young adults, because sometimes we can never get the privacy we need to complete a task.

Seriously. I love my parents so much, but because I spend a lot of time on my laptop they check up on me every half an hour. I know they only do it because they care, but what do they think is going to happen? Am I suddenly just not going to be there one time they look in?

And sometimes I am in the middle of writing a really important post or sending an email to an author, and they walk straight in. 


For NaNo, it is extra important that you get the maximum amount of writing time you can, in peace. If it is going to be disturbing to have people walk in on you, tell them NO. 

Just explain that you are writing your novel and you need a little bit of time alone with your characters. Really, I'm sure your characters find it just as disturbing as you do. 

It's not bad to tell your parents that. Have you ever  walked in on your parents working and they got annoyed? This is the same thing.

So basically, don't feel bad about it. You are a writer and you need time away from people to work to the best of your ability. 

There will be one more NaNo post coming up. Keep reading!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Tips for NaNoWriMo - Keep calm and carry on writing

I know I am going to have this exact problem halfway through the month, and apparently it is normal for any person doing NaNo. So, I thought I would write this post now and it will give future me a chance to carry on writing... even when I get to the point in which I physically feel like I can't write any more.

Don't feel like you have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for your ideas. Seriously; I know what NaNo says about literary abandon and everything, but you need to have something to work on in December. 

I actually know of people who do what this woman (or her cat?) has done in the picture. She has written the same sentence over and over and over and over and over again.

See? It's annoying.

And just think. You would be making life harder for yourself when you get to December. Write something worthwhile.

I have also heard of these 'wonderful' times when you just look at your manuscript and think:

Ahh, self-doubt. I am going to say this once and only once.

STEP UP. You thought it was a great idea to begin with, so you are seeing this through to the end or you will have me to answer to. If you have no faith in yourself, neither will the publisher. Not happy with it? Make it better. You have the controls and NaNo is about finding your inner dragon-tamer. 


One more thing.

Whenever you have those short spurts of inspiration, ohmygod use them. Always carry a notepad around and scribble them in. It will come in so handy when you are running low on ideas. It is pretty simple to forget ideas shortly after you have had them, so store them safely for when you get home.

This is the face I pull when I have those moments:

More tips coming soon, my little dragon-tamers. 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Tips for NaNoWriMo - Hitting the word target (Continued)

I understand that a lot of the novels you are writing for NaNo are not all serious. 

So, you have the potential for a bit of fun, yes?

In my last post I talked to you a bit about dares. Here are some more:

1. I lost the game!

Ugh. I hate that game and love it at the same time. Pretend your characters are having a normal conversation, and then one shouts 'DAMN IT - I LOST THE GAME!'. The other characters can then get into an argument with the first one about making them lose the game. You word count will shoot up! 

2. Don't think about penguins.

This method is kind of like the first one. All you can probably think about now is penguins, and the object of the game is to not think about penguins. This, in effect, makes you think about penguins more. Make your characters go through this annoying time, they will thank you for it in the end. 

3. Oops! The wrong abandoned building...

Picture the scene. Your characters have just spent ages searching for the address of an abandoned building and they have to go in it - facing probable death. But then, disaster strikes! It is the wrong abandoned building and they have to start all over again. Your words will multiply with this idea!

4. Social Network Addiction.

We have all been there. Let's face it... we are all THERE. So why not one of your characters? This  could be a main storyline or a little extra; this is also a good topic for an argument!

5. Get down Mr President!

This is basically what this dare is - a great idea for a scene!

6. Parodying your English teacher!

There are two types of teachers - really cool (like my English teacher) or really uncool (like most of my other teachers). And since this is a book, which relies on the English language... why not include your English teacher? This is perhaps one of the trickiest dares to do - you already have your inspiration but if your English teacher happens to read it in the future it could be disastrous!