Friday, 17 February 2017

Ship It Or Rip It Part 3

Welcome to the third part of Ship It Or Rip It! Who shall get paired up today?

Kai (The Lunar Chronicles) and Caine (Gone)

100% nope. The Prince Charming of The Lunar Chronicles and the main enemy in the Gone series? That would never happen in a million years! 

Verdict: Rip it.

Tina (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and Annabeth (Percy Jackson)

Ignoring the fact that Newt and Tina are OTP, I could actually see her and Annabeth getting along really well. They're both intellectual, brave, always saving the day. I don't think there's anything to dislike!

Verdict: Ship it.

Simon (The Mortal Instruments) and Iko (The Lunar Chronicles)

Okay, first I laughed. But now, I totally see it. With Simon being a super sci-fi geek and Iko being an actual robot... That would so work! And their sense of humour combined would be fantastic!

Verdict: Ship it.

Lana (Gone) and Quinn (Gone)

Oh my god yes! I shipped these two so hard for the entire series okay. They're complete OTP and there is no way you can disagree with that!

Verdict: Ship it.

Rhysand (A Court of Thorns and Roses) and Feyre (A Court of Thorns and Roses)

Hahaha. Random number generator is clearly having some fun here. OF COURSE I SHIP THEM. Have you read my review for A Court of Mist and Fury?? How can anyone not ship them, they're literally made for each other!

Verdict: Ship it.

Read part 1 & 2

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to comment your views on these ships, and list any characters you would like to see included below!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Book Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screnplay by J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay – J.K. Rowling

*Warning – may contain spoilers*

Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Little, Brown
First published: 2016
Edition: Beautiful hardback, and when you take the dust cover off there’s a cute little niffler on the front!

Pages: 293
Blurb:    J.K. Rowling invites you to explore a new era of the Wizarding World…
Explorer and Magizoologist Newt Scamander has just completed a round-the-globe trip in search of the most rare and unusual magical creatures. Arriving in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when Newt’s case is misplaced and some of his fantastic beasts escape into the city, it spells trouble for everyone…

History of my copy: I picked this up on release day at Waterstones, having previously pre-ordered it. It came with a little bag of goodies, including some Fantastic Beasts bookmarks, a mini poster and a cute little ‘accio’ badge.

As I’m sure you’re well aware, this is the screenplay to the fantastic (no pun intended) film of the same name, which was adapted from the Hogwarts book by Newt Scamander. I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the film 3 days early in 3D at my local cinema as one of the premieres. And it was amazing. The story was fantastic, the acting (especially Redmayne’s flawless performance of the flawed (/perfect to me) Newt) and it was everything I wanted from a return to the magical world.
I then got the book on release day and read that, using the non-fiction book of Scamander’s as a little reference guide to some of the creatures encountered. Rowling has since announced a re-release of Scamander’s book which will include the new creatures from the film that aren’t featured in the original and I look forward to reading it.

Setting: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes us across the pond to New York where we encounter the same wizarding world seen in Harry Potter, with a large number of pivotal differences. America is a world in which witches and no-maj (muggles) are completely segregated. Alongside this, there is a clear fear of magic which underlies the whole story.
               As a screenplay, the book itself is, of course, lacking in description of the setting beyond basic scene setting but when accompanied with the film, the whole thing is breathtakingly beautiful. 1920s America definitely had a stunning feel.
               We also begin to discover a little about Ilvermorny, America’s wizarding school, through a great little scene in which the Goldstein’s and Newt argue over which is best, leaving Jacob both awed and a little confused.
               But perhaps the most magical setting of all is the inside of Newt’s suitcase, which is home to a vast variety of habitats in which all his creatures can comfortably live and I think it’s clear that Newt too regards his suitcase world as home, as he appears only ever entirely at ease when surrounded by animals.

Plot: We follow Newt as he arrives in America with a suitcase full of his ‘fantastic beasts’ which just so happen to get accidently set free by our lovable no-maj Jacob. Tangled up with the Goldstein sisters, the majority of the story focuses on Newt rescuing his creatures from the Erumpent to the cute Niffler and the invisible Demiguise, leading to some hilarious moments.
Underlying this, we have the threat of Grindelwald looming over the magical world, which our favourite four unintentionally get involved in, setting the scene for the next two planned films. Whilst the plot twist regarding Grindelwald was rather predictable, it was executed wonderfully both in the script and on-screen.

Characters: Fantastic Beasts has a whole world of characters that are all so unique yet so interesting. From the magical Newt to Jacob the no-maj, the mysterious Graves to the vulnerable Credence and, of course, everyone’s favourite sisters Tina and Queenie who are both so similar yet so strikingly different, there is definitely a character for everyone. We even have a mention of the infamous Albus Dumbledore, whom Newt knows from his Hogwarts days.
Newt himself is an adorable character and definitely an all-time favourite and no, not just because he’s a Hufflepuff. He’s shy, but intelligent and his true character comes out when surrounded by his precious animals. Honestly, he’s so relatable. Plus you can see him open up to Tina and it’s such a beautiful budding romance!
That leads me on to the Goldstein sisters who I just can’t wait to find out more about! What’s the real story behind their parents? How come Queenie can read minds? How do they meet Newt again? What about Queenie and Jacob – that has to happen!
A character I haven’t mentioned yet is Credence who is the focal point of the story. How did he get tangled up with Graves in the first place? Why is his magic secret and oppressed? DID HE SURVIVE?

To read or not to read: Go read immediately. This is another Rowling masterpiece that everyone needs in their life. Whilst I recommend watching the film first, honestly the screenplay just adds to it all and Rowling has created such a fantastically woven plot as per usual.
I think the fact that this review is all over the place just emphasises how much I loved Fantastic Beasts. As I was writing it, all these small details came flooding back that helped link the whole story together and honestly, I’m really struggling to get my adoration for Fantastic Beasts and Newt Scamander down on paper. Just go read it right now and you’ll understand what I’m on about.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

2016 Reading Challenge

Now that we're well into the new year, I think it's about time I did a brief overview of all the wonderful books I read in 2016.

My Goodreads challenge was to read 25 books. Not only did I reach that, I nearly doubled it at a total of 48 books. I'm rather impressed by myself! This year I have upped my challenge a little to 35. I'm reading a lot less now due to medical school, but I hope to be able to reach my target.

All the books mentioned have reviews on this blog. The easiest way to find them is to follow the links on this page.


1. Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia; Christopher Paolini; 4*

2. The Lost Kodas; Myra King; 4*
3. Reasons to Stay Alive; Matt Haig; 5*
4. The Selection; Kiera Cass; 4*
5. Scarlet; Marissa Meyer; 5*


6. Red Queen; Victoria Aveyard; 4*

7. Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer; Rick Riordan; 5*
8. The Elite; Kiera Cass; 4*


9. Cress; Marissa Meyer; 5*

10. Me Before You; Jojo Moyes; 2*
11. Lady Midnight; Cassandra Clare; 5*
12. The One; Kiera Cass; 2*
13. Our Endless Numbered Days; Claire Fuller; 5*


14. Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth; Rick Riordan; 3*

15. The Poisoned Chalice; Simon Forward; 3*
16. The Paladin; J.M. Storin; 5*
17. Princess Adele's Dragon; Shirley McLain; 3* 


18. Crimes and Retributions; Shirley McLain; 4*

19. Winter; Marissa Meyer; 5*
20. Happily Ever After; Kiera Cass; 3*
21. These Shallow Graves; Jennifer Donnelly; 5*


22. A Court of Thorns and Roses; Sarah J. Maas; 4*

23. Stars Above: Marissa Meyer; 5*


24. Her Highland Rogue; Violetta Rand; 3*

25. Aftermath; Joe Reyes; 4*
26. Anomalies; Sadie Turner and Colette Freedman; 1*
27. Touched by the Moon; Lisa M. Airey; 4*
28. The Neverland Wars; Audrey Greathouse; 4*
29. Songs of Sovereign; J. D. Wright; 4*


30. Song of Sparrows; J. D. Wright; 4*

31. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; J.K. Rowling; 5*
32. The Duchess Quest; C.K. Brooke; 5*
33. Shadow; Michael Morpurgo; 4*
34. Rebel of the Sand; Alwyn Hamilton; 4*
35. Dispocalypse; Michael A. Rothman; 1*
36. Okehampton Castle; Alan Endacott; 3*
37. A Clearing in the Forest; Kim Love Stump; 3*
38. Glastonbury Abbey; John McIlwain; 2*


39. The Last Gatekeeper; Katy Haye; 3*

40. Red: The Untold Story; Angela M. Hudson; 5*
41. Rhodi's Light; Megan Linski; 3*
42. The Girl on the Train; Paula Hawkins; 4*
43. Rhodi Rising; Megan Linski; 3*


44. A Court of Mist and Fury; Sarah J. Maas; 5*

45. The Forgotten Fairytales; Angela Parkhurst; 2*


46. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; J.K. Rowling; 5*


47. The One Memory of Flora Banks Excerpt; Emily Barr; 3*

48. Legendary; L.H. Nicole; 1*

The overall ratings of the books I read came to 3 1*reads, 4 2* reads, 11 3* reads, 15 4* reads and 15 5* reads which is pretty good I think! It means I averaged out at 3.7*, which in hindsight does seem a little low, but I read some pretty good books over the year. 

What about you? How good were your 2016 books and did you meet your challenge?