Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Dream a Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher

Title: Dream a little Dream
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Penguin
Release date: 18th June 2015
Format available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book
Original language: English
Genre: Romance Fiction

All of these Waiting on Wednesdays have been Youtuber orientated lately, but there are so many brilliant Youtubers that are releasing books within the next year that I simply have to blog about them.

Plus, this is bookfangirling. It would be a bit disappointing if I didn't fangirl on this blog.

It's a complete coincidence that I would write a post about Carrie Hope Fletcher's brother's wife's new book the week after I wrote about Carrie Hope Fletcher's book. What can I say? It's a small world.

I've actually read one of her other books, You're the One that I Want and although I haven't written a review of it, I actually found it hard to put down. So after reading that one, I'm excited to see where Giovanna can take the romance genre next.

And you should know by now that if I speak relatively well about a romance novel, its the equivalent of me jumping the walls about another genre! 

I can't find a description of this book other than that it is about friendship and unrequited love. Maybe the mystery is meant to draw you in to read the book - otherwise I can't understand why they wouldn't release a proper description!

Giovanna is a wonderful vlogger as well as an author, so make sure you check her YouTube channel out. 

Has anyone read any of Giovanna's other books, and did you like them?

Will the success of her other novels be enough to sway you to read it?

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

My current favourite literary terms

Hello all!

So, I am currently spending the night preparing for a university scholarship exam which is tomorrow, and basically I have no idea what it will be about except that it will be to do with English Literature.


I have been researching a few literary terms for the benefit of this paper and so I thought I would share a few of my favourites that you may not have heard of.

Note that this is also for my benefit because I haven't done much preparation for this exam and I really need to learn a couple of new things by tomorrow morning!

1. Benedictio: The blessing or the act of a blessing

Eg: Benedict Cumberbatch, our lord our saviour

This word makes me think of Benedict Cumberbatch when I read it so this is how I will remember it!

2. Deesis: A calling to a witness

Eg: For God's sake!

Don't use Benedict's name in vain!

3. Anaphora: Repetition of a word or group of words at the beginning of successive lines.

Eg: My anaconda don't,
      My anaconda don't

My anaphora

My anaphora

My anaphora don't want none unless you got repetition hun!

4. Diaskeue: Graphic description of circumstances in order to arouse the emotions

Eg: As Benedict unwrapped the silk scarf from around his sleek neck, you could just about see the flex in incredible jaws. His cheekbones could cut the tension like a knife.

Note: doesn't have to be sexual, could be scary or funny, anything that makes you feel some sort of emotion

5. Epanorthosis: Amending a first thought to make it stronger.

Eg: I am angry - no, I am furious!

My best friend has a name similar to Epanor (but its not Epanor, obviously) and so I will remember this word because of this fact.

6. Astrothesia: A vivid description of stars

I love this word! I just thought it was pretty, and if by any chance the exam includes a vivid description of stars, I at least know what that's called now!

7. Pleonasm: the use of more words that necessary

Eg: with these eyes I saw the thing

It means to point out the obvious, really.

Hope you learnt some new words! 

I have to go and prepare some more now, see you tomorrow!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Review: The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide

Title: The Guest Cat
Author: Takashi Hiraide
Cover Artist: Tsuguhara Foujita
Publisher: Picador Press
Release Date: January 28th 2014 (first published 2001 in Japan)
Genre: Contemporary Japanese literature
Page Count: 136
Original Language: Japanese
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: N/A
Movie Adaptation: N/A

I chose to read this book for the purpose of a big school project that is worth a grade towards university, and I have to say that I'm really glad I did.

I have no notes so I'm just going on what I remember, but I finished it last week so I'm hoping that won't be as much of a problem!


A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo. They work at home as freelance writers. They no longer have very much to say to one another. 

One day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen. She is a beautiful creature. She leaves, but the next day comes back again, and then again and again. New, small joys accompany the cat; the days have more light and colour. Life suddenly seems to have more promise for the husband and wife; they go walking together, talk and share stories of the cat and its little ways, play in the nearby garden. But then something happens that will change everything again,

The Guest Cat is an exceptionally moving and beautiful novel about the nature of life and the way it feels to live it. 

The first page:

*Spoiler Alert - this review does assume you are familiar with the story's ending*

First of all, I don't agree with how this book is described in the blurb. In fact, I probably shouldn't have even written it down here, because someone has interpreted it wrong. This is a more Western interpretation of the novel, whereas I don't think it centres around the couple's troubles at all (I didn't think they had many troubles nor where they focused on) and instead it centres around the detail of both the cat and the things around the cat.

This is typical of Japanese literature in itself, which is poetic, with long and detailed descriptions of the surroundings rather than the characters. Especially in post-war literature, where they focused on the idea of loss and coping with it, which is evident in this book.

Basically, the blurb doesn't do it justice. With many books from other cultures, I found it refreshing to read. It is also a book where the only love that was talked about was the couple's love for the cat. Not each other. And on that realisation, I am going to read more Japanese novels as this is the first book I've read in my young adult life that doesn't include a love story.

It was a work of poetry and you can see that from the beginning. It wasn't like you were reading a book - it was like you were reading a long poem written in free style that made you think.

I'm guessing all the negativity I've seen on Goodreads surrounding this book is due to the point that it is so different from Western literature, and sometimes it is hard to adjust. Also, it didn't help that, in my opinion, the translator didn't do a very good job. I know how hard it must be to switch between such different languages, but I felt that the lyrics were there and there needed to be a bit more melody. None of this is Takashi's fault of course, I'm just nitpicking at this point.

I am a cat person for sure, and I felt ALL THE FEELS when tragedy strikes regarding the life of this cat. The hardest thing about writing a story about animals is that other people may be dog-people (you know the ones...) and they won't understand the pain of losing a smaller animal. So the main event might not affect dog-people as much, but it sure as hell will hurt for the cat-people out there. Chibi is such a sweet cat and the characters are so attached to her, but especially the wife of the narrator.

Overall, this novella is beautiful with philosophical messages about the love for an animal and coping with the grief when its no longer there. I found this book refreshing and welcomed it with open arms, but the translator could have done a better job. Four British cups of tea for the Japanese masterpiece!

About the author:

Takashi Hiraide was born in Moji, Kitakyushu in 1950. He has published numerous books of poetry as well as several genre-bending essays, including one on poetics and baseball. 

His novel, A Guest Cat; is a bestseller in Britain, making the top 10 in the Waterstones list in 2014 and the beginning of 2015. 

Hiraide is a professor of Art Science and Poetics as well as a core member of the new Institute for Art Anthropology at Tama Art University. 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Saturday: Birthday Book Haul and what you've missed

photo from my instagram

It was my birthday around the beginning of January and it was a big one.

Yep, the only birthday I've actually been excited for in a long while; I'm now 18!

This was important to me, not only because it means I finish school this year, but because it means I have a lot more flexibility with this blog. I can now begin to make the blog better, by signing up for affiliate programmes, buying themes, requesting ARCs and going on fun book-themed trips around the country. This includes events and indie book shop hunts, yay!

As I was saying, it was a pretty rad birthday, because I had a big party where all my friends and family could come together. We had food (lots and lots of cake included) and danced to Taylor Swift and we all looked awesome. I usually hate parties as well, but this one was special.

I received some lovely gifts as well, and I wanted to show you a couple of my book themed treats.

1. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

photo from my instagram

2014 was the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, and Britain made a hearty effort to remember all of the people who gave their lives for us. One of my friends got me this tiny version of All Quiet and it is just gorgeous - the picture doesn't do it justice! The edges of the pages are golden and lovely and I will really cherish this book.

2. The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett

photo from my instagram
This is a childhood classic and I don't know whether I've told you this, but my nan has a lovely old version (it might be first edition but I would have to double check). My friend's boyfriend (another friend of mine) got me this tiny version with the same gold edges to compliment my other friend's gift, and I thought that was really sweet!     

3. A Waterstones voucher                       

photo from my instagram

photo from my instagram

There's nothing much to say about this other than I can't wait to spend it!

Also, this isn't a complete list of bookish gifts because my friends all chipped in to get me stuff as a group and one of my things hasn't arrived yet. I therefore haven't got their gifts, but rumour has it there's another Waterstones voucher involved!

The only thing you've missed this week is that I took part in the #UKYA chat on Friday night and made some new blogger friends, as well as having had a wonderful discussion about YA books and the genre itself. 

My next book haul will be next week, as usual!

Friday, 23 January 2015

Kendal's Column: The TMI Tag

It recently dawned on me that even though i have had this column for 2 years now, i've never done a tag or really talked about myself too personally so, even though i'm so late to the party, i've done the TMI tag.

1: What are you wearing?
Captain america top, my black grey jeans and the fluffiest socks in the universe which i felt really brought the look together.

2: Ever been in love?
If it was then...well i don't know.

3: Ever had a terrible breakup?

4: How tall are you?
5″4 Fine. I'm 5"3 but a girl can dream

5: How much do you weigh?
9 stone

6: Any tattoos?

7: Any piercings?
nope but it's on the list.

8: OTP?
I don't really have one of all time. I ship things in for a short amount of time and then move on. At the moment it's Eleanor and Park but it could change tomorrow if I see a cute gif.

9: Favourite Show?
Probably Sherlock but Bobs Burger's is up there.

10: Favorite bands?
seriously, I have a problem. In this past year, around 93% of my money has gone towards tickets/merch/music. I need an intervention.

11: Something you miss?
having free time (A Level sucks- save yourself)

12: Favourite song?
All time HAS to be Mr Brightside(The Killers) but recently Stutter (Marianas Trench) or Rebel Beat (The Goo Goo Dolls)

13: How old are you?
17. ahahahahahahahahaha *crying* 43 weeks of childhood left.

14: Zodiac sign?
Scorpio. Yeah- go scorpians....

15: Quality you look for in a partner?
They've gotta be funny.

16: Favourite Quote? this isn't a quote but it's my favourite sentence of 2014

17: Favourite actor/actress?
Emma Stone

18: Favorite color?

19: Loud music or soft?
depends on the music. I'm all for blasting disney at 2am but we need to take it down several notches when MCR comes on.

20: Where do you go when you’re sad?
My bed. Duvet Burrito. Laptop. .You're welcome. That is all.

21: How long does it take you to shower?
10-20 minutes depends how late i was getting out of bed.

22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
40 minutes

23: Ever been in a physical fight?
nope (as you can tell i'm really boring)

24: Turn on?
aforementioned, humour.

25: Turn off?
Jokes that centre round homophobia/racism/sexism/prejudice. seriously, you sound like an asshat. Leave.

26: The reason I joined the blog?
the column was a birthday gift from @bookfangirling

27: Fears?
People getting the wrong idea at something i say. causing people inconvenience. failing.

28: Last thing that made you cry?
 the last time a cried was the night i got my GCSE results, NOT because i was disappointed in myself but when i'd gone to enrolment at my first sixth form it felt wrong and i din't even know why i'd enrolled there and it was all a huge mess so i stayed up until 3:30am unable to stop crying. i really shouldn't have ever gone there. Just goes to show you kids- don't listen to your parents (Y)

29: Last time you said you loved someone?
about 10 minutes ago to my friend.

30: Meaning behind your Twitter Name?
i am a Kendal and i have a face and i have no creativity.

31: Last book you read?
not counting revision guides, the taming of the shrew.

32: The book you’re currently reading?
The Infinite sea by Rick Yancey.

33: Last show you watched?
Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2014

34: Last person you talked to?
The Father who came into my room to tell me goodnight, get better soon (illness sucks) and not stay up too late (its 2:02 am as i am writing this response but i can't sleep)

35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted?
Friend, she was asking me if i wanted to go to a concert.

36: Favourite food?
 jelly beans.

37: Place you want to visit?
'MERICA- my brother went there for 6 months and infinite jealousy.

38: Last place you were?
school, ahhh the full time student life.

39: Do you have a bae (crush/boyfriend)?
no bae

40: Last time you kissed someone?
i kissed my 3 year old niece on the head so that counts, right?

41: Last time you were insulted?
probably when i walked into the quad at break and my friend opened the conversation with 'You are a b**********g b****h' and then i had a mini breakdown before she started laughing

42: Favourite flavour of sweet?
green or yellow crazy sour skittles

43: What instruments do you play?
oh god.. i'm so untalented

44: Favourite piece of jewellery?
for christmas my friend gave me an infinity bracelet and its damn cute.

45: Last sport you played?
Twister. yes that is a sport and no one can convince me otherwise.

46: Last song you sang?
The Rebel beat- Goo Goo dolls.

47: Favourite chat up line?
Are you from Tennesse- You're the only Ten I see

48: Have you ever used it?
me and my friends often exchange awful pick up lines paired with winking and side looks so yes, at least 5 times.

49: Last time you hung out with anyone?
Yesterday, my friend came round as he just passed his driving test.

50: Who should answer these questions next?
I’m going to leave this as an open tag :) If you read this you are tagged. Yes, you.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Modern Feminism and Books

photo sourced from @NoMorePage3

This post is in honour of the lovely ladies at @NoMorePage3 who were cruelly taunted by The Sun 'newspaper' yesterday when they announced that after one whole day of not publishing nude women on page three, they would be doing so again. 

For those who have been reading my blog for a while, I interviewed them back in 2012 and I support them in their cause.

In light of this situation, and being the passionate feminist I am, I'm going to suggest five pieces of modern feminist literature that will help you become empowered to help out this campaign yourself, as well as to be a more active feminist in your community.  

If you want to sign the petition to get rid of page three, click here.

1. Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

cover photo from Google Images
Laura Bates is the founder of Everyday Sexism in which people contribute their experiences where they have been treated with a sexist attitude. This book is a collection of real life incidents that will shock and anger you, and make you realise that the problem of sexism is far worse than you think.

Get this book on Amazon, Waterstones, or The Book Depository.

2. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

cover photo from Google Images

This is a short book in the form of an essay based on Chimamanda's TEDx talk on the subject matter. It explains what feminism means today, the blatant discrimination in society, and shares a few of her own experiences in both the US and Nigeria. This is a powerful essay about what it means to be a powerful woman.

Get this book on Amazon, Waterstones, or The Book Depository.

3. Men Explain Things to Me: And Other Essays by Rebecca Solnit

cover photo from Google Images
This is another collection of essays in the form of a book that has established Rebecca Solnit as one of the leading feminists of the modern era. The essays are sassy and fiery, and remind us all that we are strong and powerful women.

Get this book on Amazon, Waterstones or The Book Depository.

4. Pretty Honest: The Straight-Talking Beauty Companion by Sali Hughes

cover photo from Google Images
Pretty Honest is a make up companion that every woman needs in her life. Sali Hughes covers all types of makeup from teen skin care to bridal makeup, it is a love letter to lipstick but a reminder that just because you're a feminist, it doesn't mean you can't be feminine. 

Get this book on Amazon, Waterstones, or The Book Depository.

5. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

cover photo from Google Images
Bad Feminist is an honest view of today's culture and how it influences gender constructs. What we consume becomes who we are, and so looking back at the media and the past's dabble with feminism, coming to the conclusion that society is sexist and it needs to change.

Get this book on Amazon, Waterstones, or The Book Depository.

I hope you feel like you have access to some feminist literature now, as I understand how hard it is to find authors who deal with these issues in such an honest and informative way.

Also, I hope you decide to sign the petition for No More Page Three as this post is dedicated to the lovely ladies in this campaign who have worked so hard. Keep it up, girls!

I know it feels like one step forward and two steps back, but it's not long now until we have victory!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher

photo from Amazon books

Title: All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully
Author: Carrie Hope Fletcher
Page count: 352
Publisher: Sphere/Little Brown 
Release date: 23rd April 2015
Format available: Hardcover and Kindle
Original Language: English
Genre: Non-fictional/Guidance 

All I Know Now is the debut book from Youtuber and west end star Carrie Hope Fletcher. It is a coming-of-age-type novel and will be centred around the topic of growing up and doing it well. Covering topics from bullying to body image to relationships, I would describe it as a guidance book for teenagers and young adults that actually motivates you to do something with your life, as well as getting to know the author a little bit better along the way.

"We all know that growing up is hard to do, and sometimes the only thing that makes it better are the reassuring words of someone who has walked that bumpy road just a few steps ahead of you and somehow ended up as a fully-functioning adult. Carrie Hope Fletcher is that person.* Thanks to her phenomenally popular YouTube videos, Carrie has become an 'honorary big sister' to hundreds of thousands of young people who turn to her for advice, friendship and, most of all, the knowledge that things will get better.

*Although she did recently post a video about how to pee in a onesie. So the definition of 'adult' is a bit flexible here . . ."

photo from google images

I have been watching Carrie on Youtube for a couple of years now and she has been one of my favourite British vloggers. I even wrote a letter to her at one point, telling her a little bit about myself and expressing my similar love for books. I also enclosed a small notebook containing a couple of book quotes, and said she could write a couple herself if she wanted to, and we could keep sending the notebook back and forth. 

Little did I know she would actually be so kind as to do it, and I received an envelope back containing a signed photo and, low and behold, the notebook! She had written a couple of book quotes that she enjoyed inside it, and it made me very happy to know that she had taken the time to do that.

So any interaction I have had with Carrie, albeit a minor interaction, has been positive. And that's the vibe you get from her videos anyway. 

I especially love the cover of this book, because as she explained in this video she wanted it to still represent her without her whole face having to be on the cover. I'm sure it would have been just as pretty with her full face on, but I love the yellow colour that she has chosen nonetheless. It's a very Carrie-ish book, I think, coming from a viewer's perspective, and it will stand out in the shop windows. 

Of course I'm writing this Waiting on in true Hopeful style, with a British cuppa in hand, and getting quite excited at the prospect of this book being a real thing that is going to be available to buy. Carrie seems to be a very grounded individual and her book will reflect this. 

Overall, I am super excited for this release, and you can pre-order it now from Amazon or Waterstones. Just like her voice, this book is predicted to be clear, precise, and will most probably have you longing for an encore. 

Is anyone else excited for this release? Let's talk about it in the comments!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

What to do on your Mental Health Day

Hey guys, so I posted a while back about World Mental Health Day and I have been thinking about mental health days some more.

For those who didn't know, a mental health day is an independent day whereby someone chooses to take a single day off from school or work because they feel as though they are not coping. In fact, studies show that one third of workers fake a physical illness just to get the day off work because they feel as though they cannot cope and require a day to recharge. 

And those figures were from 2011, so they may even have gone up.

Its no secret that if you don't take a break sometimes, you burn yourself out. But what does that mean? Countless people have said it to me over the years and they have never explained what it was until I actually went through it.

In my experience, 'burning out' is completely shutting down. When you put all of your physical and mental energy into work or school, and don't have breaks, one day it can all become too much and you shut down, which results in you physically not being able to do anything. This includes the simplest of tasks. 

I think you never get that same motivation back to work when you burn yourself out. It took a long time for me to learn that sometimes a break is okay, and if you don't get all of your homework done in time, that's okay too.

So, to stop yourself from burning out, it may be imperative to take a mental health day a couple of times throughout the year. If you're scared of missing out on too much, you could even just take a half day off. 

The way I see it, taking a mental health day is just like reclaiming a day of rest that school or work took away from you in the first place. You shouldn't feel guilty for taking a day off, because the world owes you a day. Just think of it like that.

So what can you do on your mental health day? Well, anything you want. But here are a few suggestions that if I was to take a mental health day, I would certainly do:
  1. Sleep in. Seriously, take as much time as you need to rest up and feel able to get out of bed. All of those days when you didn't want to get up at 6am but had to anyway? Give your body a break and sleep in as long as you want. Even if its just an extra hour, I can guarantee your body will thank you for it, and you will be less tired the day afterwards as well. Treat this as a day of hibernation - stock up on sleep!
  2. Get up, put the kettle on and make yourself a cup of tea, get something healthy to eat (I recommend a banana!) and have a nice long bubble bath. Allow yourself to feel warm and cosy inside and out. Breathe out the stress and breathe in whatever you put in that bath to make it smell so good. 
  3. Put some body lotion on and your favourite perfume. Smelling good is half of the battle.
  4. Do something that you wouldn't usually have the time for on a school or work day. Read a book, catch up on a television show, or watch a movie in a blanket fort. Make some popcorn or get some chocolate to munch on, and put on your warmest, fluffiest socks. You've got this.
  5. If you need to, take a nap. You can never have too much sleep, especially on a rest day.
  6. Remember to eat and drink plenty of liquids. I recommend another cup of tea.
  7. If you are behind on homework or school work, perhaps you can catch up on some. Switch off your mobile phone and get focused... the quicker you do it, the more time you have to relax. Studies also show that holding a warm cup can make you feel more focused, so maybe put the kettle on again?
  8. Take some time to reflect. Look through old photo albums, meditate a little, or just sit and breathe for a while. Don't worry about tomorrow, just focus on how calm you are feeling today.
  9. Send out good messages to people on Tumblr, Twitter, or whatever social media platform you want. Maybe even send out a few nice comments on blogs! Just one message will brighten up someone's day and knowing this will make you feel as though you have achieved something, even if you have spent half of the day sleeping.
  10. Get ready for tomorrow. Pack your school bag, or the bag you're taking to work, have everything to hand so you don't have to rush, perhaps tidy your room a bit, and get an early night. You'll wake up refreshed and you won't have to rush in the morning, which is another thing not to stress about.
I hope you liked some of these suggestions, and if you have any more questions or want any more suggestions for what to do on a mental health day, drop me a comment below or message me on Twitter

Have a lovely day wherever you are, stay safe and I hope you're all coping well today.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Guest Post: It's Like Making Friends by Ginger Scott

Much like many of the things I post on this blog, this is something I planned to post a long time ago, and never got around to. So, even though its a year late, here is Ginger Scott's guest post! Ginger Scott is the author of Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, How we deal with Gravity, Blindness, and This is Falling. The following guest post is about writing her own strong side characters, and mentioning a few of her favourites that she's read over the years.

You can find Ginger on Twitter or on her Blog

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Saturday: Christmas book and film adaptation haul

photo from my instagram

I thought I would show you the books I got for Christmas (yep, I must be the last one in the book blogging community to be doing this) but also the book to film adaptation dvds that I received too!

1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

photo from my instagram

I put this on my Christmas list because, as those who have been reading my blog for a while will already know, I am a huge philosophy geek. This is a fictional book, however, not about the actual Aristotle and Dante, but about two boys who change each other's lives through meeting. I saw this book on Amazon and instantly fell in love. I'm so happy to own it! This is going on my priority read list.

2. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

photo from my instagram (hi me)

I have read two of Rainbow Rowell's books and I saw that she had released this new one later on in 2014. I adore her writing, and so I had to put this one on my Christmas list. And this one came in a pretty hardback cover.

3. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

photo from my instagram

As you know, I have been eagerly awaiting this book and although I didn't put it on my Christmas list, my parents were kind enough to buy it for me along with some more Zoella goodies. I own it in the beautiful hardback version and it looks so pretty on my second bookshelf. I'm going to save it for when I have some spare time, though, perhaps after my school exams in the summer.

4. Perks of Being a Wallflower

I have read this book twice and have been constantly amazed by the depth of this book. Whenever you feel lost in the world, you turn to this book, and I have been so desperate to watch the film adaptation for a long time now.

5. The Fault in our Stars

Who hasn't read this book? I went to see the special fan screening back in 2014 and I just adored the movie, as well as the soundtrack, which I also have on my phone. My mum is also keen to watch this as she wants to know what all the fuss is about!

6. Intouchables

I watched this movie when I was in AS level French and it was the only part of any of those French lessons that I actually enjoyed. It is such a beautiful story, and the movie is stunning. I'm cheating a bit here, because although it is in a book, the book is just a companion to the movie. Intouchables is about a paralysed man who takes on a man who has a troubled past to look after him, and the story is all about their growing friendship and special bond. Very emotional and a gripping tale, and the book related to it is A Second Wind: The true story that inspired the motion picture the Intouchables.

That's my Christmas haul! I got everything that I put on my Christmas list this year (I wasn't too demanding!) and I'm really happy with the books and movie adaptations. 

What books or book-film adaptations did you get?

Friday, 16 January 2015

Kendal's Column: A Fall Out Boy Listening Party

To start the new year off with a bang, Fall Out Boy are releasing their new album, American Beauty/American Psycho, on the 19th January (at least thats what the UK iTunes says) and in the build up to the official release they have streamed the full album on their website and on YouTube.

AB/AP is Fall Out Boy's 6th studio album which succeeds their 2013 hiatus-ending Save Rock and Roll which featured Elton John and Courtney Love with fall out boy's new sound which was i really don't want to say more pop rock because it's not pop rock but it's not what Infinity On High or From Under The Cork Tree sounded like so i'm just going to say refreshing and hope you get my drift.The album received widely positive reviews and, for comparison, got 3/5 stars from the guardian  whilst AB/AP received a 4/5 . They toured with the album for 2 years, joining with paramore on the MONUMENTOUR in early 2014 as well as worldwide touring. They began work on AB/AP in the summer of 2014 (according to Wikipedia so take of that what you will) and announced the album on the 24th November 2014 AND IT'S ALMOST HERE.

I have so far only listened to Centuries and immortals as they were singles that kind of 'opened' the era of AB/AP but i haven't listened to any of the pre-order 'early downloads' as of yet because (little back track here) when Taylor Swift's 1989 came out, i listened to each song on the album for the first time (bar Shake It Off) on the album release day, in the track listed order, and it made the whole release so much better because MUSIC FEELS EXPLOSION. But now i have a full album to immerse myself in IT IS TIME FOR AB/AP.
So, i have my headphones and a blanket and some tea and the playlist is up so, without further ado....

Track 1- Irresitible
The album starts with trumpets in a way that i could only describe as a fanfare to the album. the beat kicks in and i am already loving this and i'm barely 15 seconds in. 
oh. my. god. This chorus might be the anthem of my life. there's a drop and then Stump just I ALREADY HAVE TOO MANY FEELS FOR THIS SONG. This gets like a 6 out of 5. 
okay...let us calm.

Track 2 - American Beauty/American Psycho
So this track has a video that i am to artistically inept to interpret (i'm sorry) but it looks cool and i will look up the meaning of this  in the future (update: it MIGHT be a Youngblood chronicles type deal). I honestly feel like i should be smashing things whilst listening to this track. It's a song i could see on the divergent series soundtrack, it feels kind of like 'Lets go smash it up and start a revolution bc hell yeh, we're fall out boy'. Again, its got a good track behind it- damn this is good.

Track 3- Centuries
The first song of the era takes third place on the track list. Again, because it was the single, there is a video which seems to be David and Goliath styled. The favourite part of this song is the 'do do do do' right at the very start. It's and erie touch to an otherwise 'Let's paint the town red' song.

Track 4- The Kids Aren't Alright
This track feels oddly pop-y. It kind of reminds me of Young volcanoes but instead of being a happier song about youth, its more down beat. but one thing is for ce

Track 5- Uma Therman
Am i in a club? rockconcert? i don't really know or care because this is a damn good song. I wanna dance like Uma Therman. Party jam of 2015 though. The hooks on this album are ridiculous. i am unable to comprehend. I AM LOSING THE CHILL.

Track 6- Jet Pack Blues
okay, we're slowing it down a bit? 
or not?
i was not expecting this chorus and i didn't know i needed until i heard it. it's slightly more balland-y than anything else so far and its a refresher from the others. i can imagine having this at a show and lighters in the air with everyone belting out the chorus and yes yes thank you.

Track 7- Novocaine
I admit the first 2 seconds sound very much like the start of The Phoenix and i got a wave of nostalgia and i was not prepared. And i swear there was just a mention of a bird. 
however, whilst i am reminded of the phoenix there is no doubt in my mind that this stands as its own song. this is no 'Part II'. i feel like i am lining up for a bass ass drag race to be entirely honest.

Track 8- Fourth Of July
flutes and flutes and beat and stump and DROP. 
It's like they've smashed the album sound with woodwind instruments and the outcome has been pretty damn good. This album is certainly more beat centred and has more drops and such. killer hooks continue

Track 9- Favorite Record
this is pop.
this is taylor swift narrative with the fall out boy take on 'pop' 
no one can convince me otherwise.
this is catchy as hell and i love it. 

Track 10-Immortals 
Featuring in the Big Hero 6 movie credits (i'm still laughing, a uncharacteristic choice from disney, just saying), this track has a similar feel to centuries in that they both feature the idea of leaving a mark on the world before your time is up and being it being a great mark-or at least that's the interpretation i gather, apologies if i am unbelievably wrong.

Track 11- Twin Skeletons (Hotel in NYC)
I'm really loving the whole drum thing they've got going on. Stumps vocals are layered and lovely and SERIOUSLY THIS BEAT THING THE GO GOIN ON. i can't actually think of anything else apart from these hooks and beats. Although, i will say that this is a gloomier song which concludes the album as with save rock and roll which also featured last on the track list of save rock and roll as a slower song.

And so ends the first of thousands listening session. 
i don't know what i expected from this album but whatever those expectations may or may not have been, the album surpassed them. i'm in love with the adoption of a heavier sounding beat. This album actually has a few songs that i wouldn't be surprised to hear in a club *cough* Uma Therman *cough* 
As with most artists recently, i don't know if FOB really fit a genre anymore. This certainly isn't like any of their previous work and i honestly wouldn't know where to 'genre' it if you made me. But these days i think we're moving further and further away from set categories and moving towards a general 'alternative' but i am NO music expert so who am i to be saying anything about this album let alone the music industry as a whole. At any rate, i believe this is a strong album that will go far. 

Overall Rating: Friday

SAT 03 - Leeds First Direct Arena
SUN 04 - Aberdeen AECC GE Oil & Gas Arena 
TUES 06 - Birmingham Barclaycard Arena 
WED 07 - Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
FRI 09 - Manchester Arena 
SAT 10 - Bournemouth International Centre 
SUN 11 - London The SSE Arena Wembley (SOLD OUT)
MON 12 - London The SSE Arena Wembley 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

New Instagram!

Hey everyone, just a quick post to say what I've been up to in terms of social media. As you may remember, for those who have been reading my blog for a while, I used to have an Instagram account but deleted it because I felt as though I was taking too much on at one time. 

However, I am spending my time more wisely thanks to my bullet journal  and I feel as though I can now expand the blog further, and Instagram is a great way to connect with people who feel the same way about books. 

My new account is called BOOKFANGIRLINGBLOGGER and if you click on the name my account will appear. If you like it, follow me and we can interact a bit more with each other! I will also be informing my followers there when I post on my blog, so that's another way to stay in the know.

Just thought I'd let you know, obviously there is no obligation to follow me but I would love to speak to readers more and get to know you! I know you're out there, you're just a bit quiet.

If you don't have Instagram, you can still follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Love, Tanya by Tanya Burr

Title: Love, Tanya
Author: Tanya Burr
Page count: 304
Publisher: Penguin 
Release date: 29th January 2015
Format available: Hardcover and Kindle
Original Language: English
Genre: Lifestyle

Tanya Burr is a beauty guru and has a beauty/lifestyle channel on Youtube. Her debut book Love, Tanya is much anticipated for all of her viewers and readers of her blog

profile image also taken from her blog

The book will be a semi-autobiographical journey through her life, covering everything from her childhood to her makeup tips, and her Youtube career. She says this about her own book on her blog:

"I wanted to write a book that told a bit of my story, things I have never shared before, without it ending up being an autobiography. I also wanted to talk about my journey to becoming confident and happy about who I am, in the hope that it might help people reading it feel more confident and happy. I feel I've learnt a lot over the last few years, through working with industry experts and from trying things out at home in my videos. I wanted to share my tips on beauty, fashion, baking, love, friendship, the world of YouTube and just life in general."

I honestly really like Tanya and although I've only been watching her channel for about a year, I'm really excited for this release. She has a clear and clever writing style on her blog and I think it will suit this genre of book brilliantly.

It is also obvious from the cover that there will be a lot of gorgeous pictures inside to compliment the writing. I'm guessing some will be the size of the whole page, and they will all be in beautiful colour. Some will be professionally shot, but some will be taken by Tanya herself. 

I'm also very keen to buy this book because I think the best way for me to learn about make up will be by reading about it, and hopefully it will be a guide for my fashion and beauty needs. 

You can pre-order the physical copy on Amazon and Waterstones now!

Anyone else excited for this release?

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Bullet Journalling: your way to being creative and organised

Those who are following me on Twitter may have seen my recent tweets about how much I'm loving this thing called Bullet Journalling. This is a method of organisation for when you want everything in one place in an easy to read, manageable format, which is basically a journal or notebook. You also get to customise your own as you start directly from scratch in a crisp, new notebook, and so if nothing else this should make you want to do it!

This is the original video in which the creator takes you through his intended way of making a successful bullet journal:

I have also put together a little list of Tumblr posts you can look at to gain inspiration:

There are also things called Chronodexes and Spiraldexes which are visual aids that resemble a clock and you can plan your time this way... however I don't do this because I'm not an artist! They are very beautiful though and I would do them if I could:
Also I have found two posts that I actually think are really good examples of bullet journals:
I made mine yesterday, and I'm absolutely loving it. I'm quite an obsessive person at heart and so when it comes to doing all of my daily tasks I do them just for the sake of filling in the little square bullet, that tells me I have completed it. These are the two pictures I used to create my legend, which is basically the key for all of the time saving symbols in your journal:

I knew I had to make my journal practical and effective, because I faced the fact that my art skills aren't the best, and also the whole point of the journal is to keep organised and to get stuff done which is what I aimed for. This is what mine looks like so far (pictures from my instagram):

I decided to go for a simple bow

Of course my only motivation is Taylor Swift

This is my daily January page

My 'for when you're...' pages!

More 'for when you're...' pages

I hope you like the start that I've made on my journal and I hope its given you some inspiration to make your own! I created the 'for when you're...' pages myself, and they consist of little envelopes with suggestions of what I can do when I'm bored, stressed, sad, need a break, and so on.

I would personally recommend using a bullet journal as its your own space to create and organise your life. Are you going to do it? And if you have a little motivation envelope at the start of your journal, what would you put in it?