Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Kendal's Column: On the seventh day of Christmas


Hello all! I wish you a happy and prosperous new year.

As the new year rolls in it often provokes a mental review of the previous year and an analysis of all that you've learnt.

This year I learnt that not everything is always going to be okay. If it was always 'okay' then I doubt that anyone would actually have any appreciation for life because it would all be 'okay'. Also if no one was ever sad or if no one ever had a bad day, then no one would truly know what it meant to have a good day because they wouldn't have had the darkest days to compare it too. 

I think I've also learnt to be stronger as some people are going to decide that they hate you and there is nothing you can do about that apart from be nice to them and let them think what they want to think.
Everyone has opinions and you have to live with it. 
If someone doesn't want to witness your awesomeness then it's THEIR LOSS. 
Moreover, if someone gives you the silent treatment just carry on interacting with them as you would because, honestly and truly, it will do so much more for you than ignoring them back could.

Happy Christmas!

Kendal's Column: On the sixth day of christmas

Resolution (noun)
1) a firm decision to do or not to do something

It's New Years Eve Eve and at this time of the year a lot of people around the world will be making New Year's Resolutions.

I feel like people under estimate the term 'resolution' (which is a FIRM DECISION)  and make over ambitious promises to themselves (I'm not going to name examples of these because some people do achieve what may seem like the impossible at the start, and major kudos to them). Some people barely spend 5 seconds on their resolution each year; sometimes coming up with blatantly unrealistic goals to achieve in a ridiculously short timeframe that they've set themselves.
Doing this has the potential to make you feel bad about yourself for not achieving your target-which is the complete opposite of what the result of a resolution should be.
Spend time on making a resolution and make it realistic and make it actually mean something instead of some spiel that you'll just rattle out during an awkward elevator encounter with an acquaintance.

New Year also comes with numerous people spewing out 'New year, new me' with few being truly dedicated to it and I ask myself 'why new year?' as in,
"I understand that a New Year is a good benchmark to change aspects of your life but, with this statement, you're indicating that you have been unhappy with said aspects  for some time, hence my question 'why new year?'. I understand that it may be confusing to make such a statement in ,say , September, when you originally began to feel unhappy but, if aspects of your life are bad then why not immediately change them. 
It's like a waiter bringing you cold soup and you saying 'No, I must wait an hour before I have the waiter take it back, even though I am fully able to have fresh, hot soup now. I'm just going to sit here being disgusted at the fact I have cold soup that is getting colder'. 
If there is something in your life that makes you feel bad then change it.

On the other hand, I do fully understand that some people use the new years resolution for it's purpose which is to make a definite choice to make a change for the better within your life such as smoking and healthier eating.

However, personally, I think i will always think of making a New Years Resolutions as strange because, in my honest opinion, if you wanted to really change something then you wouldn't need the incentive of  being your 'resolution' to do it.
If a 'New Years' Resolution is needed to make a change in life then there probably isn't full investment in making the change.
Besides, as long as you are happy and healthy then the world is your oyster.

Happy Christmas!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Kendal's Column: On the fifth day of Christmas...

Book Review- Jess Jordan:Flirting for England by Sue Limb
Flirting for England is the opening book to a saga of embarrassment, laughter and tales of adolescent romance. The series follows Jess Jordan a 'barely 15' year old girl as she stumbles (sometimes literally through high school.

Rating: Friday
Jess Jordan is barely 15. Fred is her often-aggravating best guy friend; her father is a lonely bachelor; Flora is her gorgeous best friend, a constant liability; and Ben Jones is barely a twinkle in her eye. Into this innocent scene are dropped 30 or so helpless French exchange students. Jess and her mother are assigned to house Eduoard, a shy, awkward, and painfully English-deprived boy Jess’s age. To counter what Jess fears is Eduoard’s growing crush on her, Jess convinces her friend Fred to pose as her boyfriend, but he refuses to take their fake relationship seriously. Add a gorgeous, womanizing French student, an ill-fated camping trip in a student’s backyard, and Flora just being, well, Flora, and you have all the makings of an international incident. Will Jess be able to keep the peace, or even translate the whole debacle to the confused French students? The future of England is on the line. . . .

I first came to discover this series when I was around 13 and have loved every word on the page. This series is lighthearted and fun and it is a book that enables you to sit back and laugh at life and the silly things that just...happen. 
The writing itself is as if it was actually made by a 15 year old- as in, it is taken from the exact viewpoint of a 15 year old girl- and ,the best part is, it isn't a book that's trying to hard to be 15 by abusing 'LOL' and 'OMG'.
Moreover, the book isn't unrealistic.  I can actually imagine most of the things in this book happening at my school.
Overall, I have to say this book is a great pick-me-up and i'd recommend it too anyone who's looking for a lighthearted, easy read.

Happy Christmas!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Kendal's Column: On the fourth day of christmas...

At this time of year especially, there are many films being played on TV around the clock and they often clash with each other so the question is, what to choose?

Here are my top 5 films that, in my opinion, are a requirement to watch at least once over christmas.

1) Love Actually- The star studded christmas classic gets funnier everytime you watch it. It's both hard hitting and light hearted blending together in a perfect mix. The stories of a handful of people converge over christmas in an intracete web of storylines
2 )Olive The Other Reindeer- this film has been a tradition in my family since i can remember. It's the story of a dog called Olive who hears that one of santa's reindeer is unable to pull the sleigh and so sets off to help pull the sleigh. this is a lesser known film produced by Matt Groening. Here is a playlist on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5D1B69DC7CA19D54 (it's 45 minutes long in total) 
3) Harry Potter- come on, who even needs an excuse to whack out some Harry Potter?
4) The Snowman/The Snowman and the Snowdog- both of these 20 minutes films follow the story of a boy who makes a snowman who, at midnight, becomes fully animated. both heartwarming and heartbreaking, these are christmas necessities 
5) Home Alone- who could forget the little boy who gets left behind at christmas? Kevin's family fly to france for christmas but accidently leave him behind. Unfortunately for kevin, whilst his family are away Kevin has to defend the house from 2 burglars.

Happy Christmas!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Kendal's Column: on the third day of Christmas...

Sorry this is so late but I did not anticipate the theatre to finish so late.(War horse: 11/10 would recommend)

Today's post is going to look at books to read in the new year and my own personal recommendations. 

At the start of the year I set myself a goodreads challenge to read 52 in 2013. Unfortunately, to my shame, I failed miserably. I read half of that and with my gcse's coming up in 2014, things don't look to great in the reading front for the near future. This means my reading challenge for next year is probably going to be a lot less than a book a week. 

--Note: All hope is not lost as, after June 25th (at the latest) I will have until September to myself and my books.-- 

Nevertheless I have read some truly fantastic books this year and have some that i desperately want to read next year. 

1) The Gallagher Girls series- Ally Carter
I have been following this series since the beginning and after finishing the last book in the series in September I have been searching the shelves for more spy fiction. There's plot twists,secrets with gooddies and baddies. Admittedly the first book seems to be kind of irrelevant towards the rest of the series, however in thefinal installment it all becomes clear.

2) Teen Angst? naaaaah...-Ned Vissini
Ned Vissini tells the story of his teens in the most charming way possible. the stories in the book are so relatable and will make you feel warm and happy.

3)Incarnate-Jodie Meadows (want to read)
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.
Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?
Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.
4)The 5th Wave-Rick Yancy (want to read)
The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

5)Every Day- David Levithan (want to read)
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Happy Christmas!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Kendal's column: On the second day of christmas....

Hello! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas day and have had a thoroughly relaxing boxing day.

Today, we are going to look back on the events of last night. specifically those that occured last night on bbc one at 7:30pm, that's right- doctor who.

*THIS POST WILL CONTAIN MINOR SPOILERS (srsly i'm trying not to spoil things for people whilst still actually reviewing)*

Rating: Thursday

The Christmas special marked the end of an era for the 11th doctor and paved the way for the regeneration from Matt Smith to Peter Capaldi. Some fans regarded this regeneration as puzzling as the doctor has mentioned that the time lord species may only regenerate 12 times (11 faces+war doctor+10's 'same-face' regeneration=12) yet the regeneration still occurred, remarkably without breaking the timelord's previous statement (i can't/won't say anymore bc spoilers)

I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, it had everything doctor who stands for-daleks, explosions, questions answered and even more complex questions asked and i love that about doctor who.
so why only a thursday?

a small part of me feels that the 11th's hour should have ended with more emotion and more developement of the plot as it seemed to jump from even to event without a pause on the 'oh my god...so that's that and thats why that happened before, and OH that who they are' and there is one scene that i really really wish that moffat had gone to town with- full heartbreaking meltdown for the audience- but he didn't and there was potential for a major 'hold-your-breath-moment' but it didn't happen

Nevertheless, the christmas special was amazing and the regeneration was.....fast, like really fast. and it resulted in two lines from our new doctor and fro  those two lines, I can say that I have strong hope that this doctor is going to be good (I dare not say more/less of him as of yet)

Happy Christmas!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Kendal's Column: On the first day of christmas....

Many happy returns to you all and i hope you have the best day ever!

The day is now in full swing and the turkey (or in my case, goose) is cooking nicely. so with this in mind i'm going to make the first post of  blogmas a music post. enjoy! i hope you have a very wonderful christmas and i'll see you tomorrow, overfed and under slept.

Merry christmas!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Kendal's Column:*nervous laugh* err hello

Hi! lovely to see you again...finally.

First, let me sincerely apologise for being a failure of a 'weekly' blogger BUT let me explain.
Before christmas my weeks consisted of one evening off a fortnight and that wasn't even including mock exams and art coursework deadlines and learning spanish essays and...STUFF but, whilst most of this 'STUFF' isn't gone for a while, some activities have gone from my week and now a i have 3 nights free a fortnight- two of which are fridays. So....guess what that means?


Also, to say sorry for my absence get back into the blogging spirit, I'm going to have a 12 days of Blogmas.
There's going to be music posts, reviews, columns and more! So put on a tinsel scarf and grab a mince pie because it's going to get festive.

Merry Christmas!

Have a merry Christmas!

Hello! This is going to be my last post for the year (possibly) so I am going to tell you what's happening on the blog in 2014.

First of all though, I hope you have a merry Christmas! I also hope you get all the books you want - I usually get quite a bit of money from my family, so my first shopping trip after Christmas will consist solely of books. I have a few in mind and I can't wait to share my purchases with you.

I am sitting here, writing this post, so that must mean I've finished everything I needed to do in preparation for good old St Nick. Today I've wrapped all my presents, made and written my cards, cleaned out my fish tank, changed the sheets on my bed, and of course... I made some festive cakes!

This is my first batch of cakes. They are a simple fairy cake with Nutella on top, with various Christmassy decorations on top too:

My second batch have a buttercream top and little wafer decorations. I call this batch my 'cumberbatch':

I also wanted to tell you about the many things going on in 2014 on the blog. I know I haven't uploaded as much as I would like to this year, but next year is going to be different. Here are just a few things I have coming up:

  • More frequent book reviews
  • Author interviews
  • Guest posts from bloggers, writers, authors, and enthusiasts
  • Original poetry
  • Original short stories
  • Fangirl/fanboy posts
I have already scheduled and prepared loads of posts for the new year, just in case you didn't believe me! 

And I have a new, exiting rating system for my book reviews! They are British cups of tea. This is what 5/5 stars would look like:

I would also like to announce that I'm not going to sign my posts with The Book Critic anymore, even though this will still be my pen-name for the time being. I want to make this blog more personal.

Have a good Christmas!