Posted in book reviews, books, reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Another book review, good progress right on this TBR list?

So this is the second time I am reviewing this book. That’s how much I love it, that I wanted to put it on this blog as well as for the university magazine. howl and sophoe

I found this book very nostalgic and a lovely break from the ever-so-hardcore university reading that I am subjected too. It certainly gave me flash-backs to summer holiday reading as a child and I loved the feel of the book!

Sophie Hatter is living her normal, boring life as the unlucky oldest child in Market Chipping. She doesn’t feel exceptional in any way whatsoever and her luck gets even worst when she happens to catch the eye of the Witch of the Waste. And then she gets turned into an old lady.

Yep, ladies and gents- but please don’t worry so much because as abnormal as she is she actually doesn’t mind being an old lady! In fact she uses it as a way of getting away from  her old life and thus starts the beginning of her journey with Howl.

So if you likold lady sophiee talking fire demons chilling in fireplaces, egotistical wizards with dating problems and life lessons in the means of self-discovery then this is the book for you.
Oh yeah, and you may have noticed that Ghibli adapted the book into a movie, which is actually how I first found out about it despite the original novel having been published since 1986.

I know this is a story that I’ll be revisiting and hopefully passing down throughout the years- that’s how good a book it is.

Also, you will totally fall in love with Howl’s character ( I know I said he was egotistical but he’s actually a good guy).

Five stars rating *****

Speak soon and stay awesome ;P

-E xxx

Posted in book reviews, books, reviews, TBR

Book Review: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

This is something that I’ve been meaning to do properly on this blog for  very very long time. And so here it is, finally!  *Warning slight spoilers*

I’m going to start my book review segment with a classic, Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. This was an especially interesting read because it aptly shows Woolf playing around with writing styles and form.

In her diaries she mentions literally basing the entire novel around a shape similar to that of the letter “H” and even argues that in the most literal sense it is incorrect to call the book a novel seeing as it contradicts everything we associate with one.

I had to read this book for my university course here at UON and honestly found that other people had very mixed reactions to it.

Personally, I loved it. Yes, it was difficult at times but that was part of its charm- the fact that you sometimes did get lost with who was narrating the story, what exactly had happened and the fact that Woolf chooses to emphasise stream of consciousness over other seemingly big plot points.

I especially liked the character of Lilly Briscoe and the entire psychology of her character. She is someone who in other novels would probably be more in the background, not entirely someone key to the progress of the novel- because it is after all focused around her development in particular and the finished piece of art and her analysis of the characters around her. Lilly is obsessed with her painting and the ideas that others put in her head of her never being an artist, because women aren’t good at art. At the end of the novel, she appears to battle through her own insecurities and finishes the painting stating, as she does, “I have had my vision.”

Other than that, as you read the book there are recurring references to the lighthouse in everyday objects, this is apparent as at times the description mimics it – “abstract arabesques” are described centring around pillars as well as other curves and shapes.

This obsession with a final destination, the idea that everything will be better once they reach it and the disappointment that James feels when his dad continuously dashes his hopes of going. In my eyes I saw it as a representation of the things we want but never get the chance to pursue. The focus on characters going to the window, the stability and reliability of it always being there even through the war and storms when some of the characters do not. It comments on mortality and how the characters view themselves and their roles within society.

I feel as though no two people get the same thing from the story and that it’s ambiguity leaves it open to interpretation. For these reasons some people don’t like Woolf’s writing but for someone like me who very much enjoys long musing ramblings from someone else’s internal thoughts- I found this book amazing.

I have Orlando on my shelf at the moment as well as some of her essays that I hope to get round to reading at some point.

Overall, if you’re interested in something a little different and unique to read then I highly recommend this novel. If you’ve read modernist work before then this is a great addition to make, and if not this is a very good example of the form.

5 stars *****

Chat soon!

E xxx

Posted in books, reviews, TBR

TBR List – March

Hi guys,

This is just a cheeky post before I head off to uni for a lecture. I thought I would just update you on what I have been reading and what I have read this month. So here goes nothing!

  • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf- Status: Read.

This was a really interesting read and apart of my university course, the style was  very unique and it was the first Woolf novel I had ever read. I think I plan to do a full review on it soon so stay tuned.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones- Status: Read.

I stayed up till 1 am last night trying to finish this book and OMG it is amazing. If you are a fan of the Ghibli movie then I recommend you read where it originated from. I plan again to do another review on this one both on this blog and for the uni magazine.

  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes- Status: 180 pages into.

I started this one a while ago when my friend Holly got it for my birthday because I am such a huge fan of the movie with Emilia Clarke. It was just that with uni reading and everything it kind of got put aside. But I am glad to say that I am picking it back up to finish because I have been asked to review it’s sequel Me After You.

  • Me After You by Jojo Moyes- Status: Unread.

Well this one is kinda self explanatory after what I just said above, and yes I am doing a review on this for the university magazine. I actually think my deadline was this week but there’s no way I am going to get that done in time. Whoops, I hope they don’t mind too much!

  • Crossing the River by Caryl Phillips- Status: Unread.

I have ordered this off of World of Books and am desperately waiting for it to get here in time because it’s the novel I am meant to read for my literature seminar this week. I have heard good things about this book and apparently it’s a quick read which is nice.

Anyway, that’s everything I have planned to read this month and I shall keep you updated. I realise that I haven’t really touched upon many book reviews on this blog despite meaning too. Hopefully that’ll change, starting this month!

See you tomorrow,

E xxx

Posted in Student Story Time, Uncategorized

Student Story Time: Clubs- The Good, The Bad and The Drunk

This is a special sort of Student Story Time as this is going to be a mish mash of stories I’ve heard as well as what I have witnessed at clubs. I’ve been going out quite a bit lately and so okaythese stories have been accumulating for a while and some are being used in my latest short story.

First things first I went to an event called Crisis a couple of weeks and goddamn was it an interesting night. My friend N (That’s what I will call her because a lot of these stories include her) got very pissed at prinks and proceeded to shoot around like a helium balloon that’s been let go of.

That is an accurate description of her energy I think.

On the bus into the city she drunk messaged her mum – whose in Malaysia by the way- and me being a good friend did damage control to reduce the amount of worrying on her mothers part. I responded pretending to be N and lied, saying that a drunk friend had gotten her phone. I am a good friend *pats own back*

After that, I had to convince N that getting into the club was actually a drama assessment and that she had to pass it, I even told her that one of our old drama teachers was going to be on the door as one of the bouncers! She was so drunk that this was the only way of getting her in, otherwise she was going to get kicked out for being too drunk.

The night then proceeded of her dashing around the place, me losing her, me doing one too many tequila shots getting bumped by someone at the bar and spitting the shot out all over the bartender.

I also fell down the stairs that night and still have bruised knees as well as I got asked if I wanted to go home with a random guy. I told him nope and that I was going to continue with my terrible dancing – to which he then responded saying that I wasn’t bad and that he had been watching me all night.

Creep alert.

drunkAlso this is how you know how drunk I am- when the slut dropping comes out to play. Don’t worry guys and gals it was only with my close friend Holly and was funny as heck.

When I got back (N got kicked out so I went back with her flat mates- I was staying at hers) she was crawling on the floor with nothing but her top and underwear on and asking us all if we could see her underwear.

I told you she was pissed.

And then there’s the run down on her snap chat – N with her head bleeding from hitting it on the side of her bedside table, N in the shower – fully clothed, N racing C on campus when drunk… and it goes on and on…

But yes that’s that story. Then there’s the weekend that just passed and the funnest prinks that I think I’ve ever had. There is photographic evidence of me picking up Freya and swinging her around and Ian doing the same but with Alex. Yes, ladies and gents my anti-social club hating boyf actually came out for a night on the town!

There was a lot of falling over involved on that night and a lot of 90s/ 2000s music going around. But me and Alex came back early and therefore missed the messy end of the night which seems to always occur (nothing too bad just drunkenness).drunkwinegame-of-thrones

The final prominent memory from drunk nights out would be that which occurred on Friday night when I went out with Molly and all of her Science pals.

It was a memorable night for lots of reasons, Molly’s poor attempt to queue skip, being rained on lots, people getting kicked out of Spoons…

But the starring moment was that when one of the guys randomly got his balls out in our kitchen and our good ol’ friend Liv walked in and saw them when everyone else had looked away.

Yes that happened.

So there you go ladies and gents. A student story time special! You’re either laughing right now or sitting there tutting and vowing that you will never drink again for fear that similar fates await you.

Ta ta for now!

-E xxx

Posted in Diary Entry, life update

Life Update: Men Kicking Pigeons and Sneaking Into Chemistry Lectures

I am writing this in the past, so technically this in regards to yesterday. This is a rather impromptu post and as I type I am listening to Kelly Clarkson and my drunk flatmates partying in the kitchen.chem

So here’s the rundown…

In the morning I had a lecture and then nothing till 4pm after that. Me and Freya met up with the Science Guys (Ian, Molly and Ralph) for a little chit chat. Everyone was going to leave for there lectures/ seminars and I had nothing to do.

So I ended up tagging along to a Chemistry lecture and writing a billion and one notes on things that honestly make no sense.

Spectroscopy.

A word that despite being able to spell I am still unable to say out loud much to the amusement of my friends.

I have to say it was a very interesting and boring experience. But I was still an eager beaver about the entire thing. I bumped into another guy from our halls, Ben, in the lecture who looked bewildered to see me and then asked me why I had willingly chosen to go when he didn’t even want to turn up – and this was his course.

I think I drew attention to myself in the fact that as an English student I am used to taking a lot of notes. Barely anyone else in the lecture theatre touched their pens.

And at one point I was terrified because the lecturer woman started throwing out loads of mathematical/ scientific questions and walked right up the row beside me. I wanted to sink into the ground and kept my head down for fear of being called upon.

I don’t really know what I would have done. Probably panic and tell her random facts about Chaucer’s life. And then run away in true Esther fashion hehe.

Ralph and Ian kept looking at me to check that I was okay,  but for the most part I was having a wale of a time!

After that, we discovered that our seminar had been cancelled and therefore I had nothing to do for the rest of the day. I walked home with a spring in my step and went into the post office to grab some cards with the uni and Wollaton Hall on to send to my friends and family and then got some stamps.

fab pidgPlease don’t judge because it’s honestly a problem at this point…. I bought more books too. One on tarot readings, one on all the kings and queens of England and a Bowie biography. My beautiful Thin White Duke!

I popped home for some lunch and tidied my room (no silver fish today phewwww) and then me and Mols went and grabbed some flowers from town. It was on this outing that a very bizarre event occurred. A random man decided to boot a pigeon AT Molly. Yes, talk about animal abuse and just plain rudeness. He literally kicked the poor thing at her.

Why is my life so weird?

Bye for now,

E xxx

Posted in reviews

Top 5 Romance Animes (Weeb Out With Me!)

This is a very different kind of post that I hope you can try and appreciate. Yes I am a Literature nerd but that doesn’t mean I can’t love a bit of anime in my spare time too. Especially the romantic ones, here’s my top list! Grab some popcorn and prepare to get weeby 😉

1. Yona of the Dawn

If you like comedy, romance and action then this is for you. I really loved this anime andyona.jpg my only query would be the fact that they LEFT IT ON A CLIFFHANGER AND HAVEN’T SEEMED TO HAVE PICKED UP THE SERIES. This is a very big problem with a lot of good animes which honestly makes annoys me, leaving a story unfinished is not a joke. Still, despite this I can honestly say that this anime is still worth watching. To summarise theirs a princess Yona who is betrayed by her love interest and forced to leave the castle with another hottie, she then become badass and seeks to find these dragon guardian guys to help her out. It’s brilliant and I’ll have to pick up the manga to find out how it ends you know because HOPEFULLY THAT’S FINISHED AHEM.

2. Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

maid no samaHahaha this is one that my friend Liv recommended to me after I told her about the one below. It’s about a gal who is the super serious school council president at school but has to work in a maid cafe in her spare time to keep up with tuition fees. It’s a laugh and a half especially when a guy finds out she works there. She doesn’t realise that guys are attracted to her and doesn’t want them to be because she thinks this will compromise the respect they give her in her academic career. It’s light hearted, funny as hell with lots of awwww moments. Go on, you know you want too!

3. Kiss Him Not Me!

Possibly one of my FAVOURITES OF ALL TIME. I really could just watch this one over and kiss-him-not-meover and over and… you get my drift. It’s about a gal called Kae who is a fujoshi – basically someone that fangirls over animes or TV dramas featuring guy/guy romances. At the start of the show she is a happy-go-lucky chica whose super nerdy and chubby, friends with all the guys and completely ignorant to any jokes about her. She just doesn’t give a shit about the guys around her. Long story short (tiny spoiler alert) she loses loads of weight by accident and suddenly has loads of guys lining up to get with her. Funny thing is, she doesn’t care and instead wants them all to get with each other. It sounds weird but gawd is this anime brilliantly done! I like the girls confidence before and after her transformation and how she doesn’t try to change.

 

4. Ouran High School Host Club

ouran.jpgAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH I LOVE IT. I am currently reading the manga series and keep re-watching this. Everyone must have heard about this series. It’s a favourite of most peoples, including me! Haruhi is mistaken as a guy and forced to be in the club as a member after she breaks something expensive, the guys become really attached to her as they are the only ones who know her true gender. It’s over the top and insanely addictive -I commend Bisco Hatori !

5. Golden Time

My favourite. This was an accidental find but a great one. You find yourself growing very very attached to the characters. I wasn’t actually all that concerned with the main golden.jpgcharacter Tada Banri but instead found the other characters such as Koko and Chinami much more interesting. It’s sad, heartfelt and gripping. I cannot sing the praises of this anime enough. Tada Banri is a university student who was comatose after an accident and when he wakes up realises that he’s lost all his memories and personality. Linda is the girl the previous Tada liked and there’s an intense love triangle between Tada, Linda and Koko. Personally, I prefer Koko to Linda and found her more of a relatable.

Well there we have it! I hope someone enjoyed this post and please let me know what you thought about these animes if you watch them!

Sincerely,

E

xxx

Posted in Diary Entry, life update

Life Update: Cats, Clubbing and Hubba Bubba Bubbles.

Hey everyone,

lateeeeJust a little post before I finish some others in the line up. I have been super busy with uni work, work work and magazine writing. Yes, it sure has been chaotic at the moment but I have a spare moment and thought I would give you lot a little update on my life.

The title for this one is a tad weird and most of it is in regards today so lets get cracking!

I accidentally overslept today and ended up missing my 9am and I was particularly annoyed because it was on Chaucer- my favourite!

I will admit I have been feeling a little low of late, I have had a lot on my mind (personal stuffs) but I managed to pick myself up again today.

At around half twelve I strolled into uni, dodging open day crowds and being forced to wait in the longest SPAR line known to mankind- and all for a packet of crisps, a bottle of Dr Pepper and some bubble gum! Then I walked into the door trying to get into the Impact meeting (the uni magazine) and was immediately sated with fudge from Amy the head of the Arts department.

I say offered, she was pretty much shoving it at us because apparently her gran got her 50 hubba bubbaboxes of the stuff and she’s not the fondest of fudge. Not that I’m complaining, I have the sweetest tooth to mankind after all!

We then discussed Print ideas and I now have a long list of things I need to get done varying from a week- a months time. I have 2 book reviews, another short story and an interview with two booktubers to get done.

To be fair I am actually pretty excited and as we speak I am cracking on with my latest modern Shakespeare creative writing piece. After that we looked at the new layout for the mag (editor roles etc) got depressed and then realised that me and Dan were both late for Academic Community. Whoops!

Other than that I kept blowing hubba bubba bubbles on my walk home and made a fool out of myself (seriously when do I not?) when it backfired and got stuck all over my face. I also walked to uni with lipstick all over my teeth this morning- so that’s great too!

I got bacat.jpgck a while ago and have been chatting to people in the kitchen and mainly to Naveedh.
I also went into super ninja mode and snuck Albi the cat into my room for a fuss. Before Naveedh then insisted on shooing him out. Gawd I miss my Tango. Never mind hopefully I’ll see him over Easter.

I guess the only other thing worth mentioning would be that I went out a lot last week – this seems to be becoming a habit now which isn’t good! I considered fitting that into this post but I just realised my clubbing stories are something else and will probably need a post on their own.

Look out for that tomorrow then!

See you soon,

E xxx