July roundup

July began with that huge change that we talked about in June, I started my new job! This month has mostly been learning about robots, amongst other things! This month saw the fourth anniversary of my book’s release, you can check out Harley’s Angels on the sidebar if you know… You like! It was great for movies, Spider Man, Baby Driver and Dunkirk are all amazing, it was the month we got a new Doctor and DEAR GOD THEY’RE FINALLY A GIRL! I also headed into London at the end of July to attend YALC and try and fail to stop myself buying ALL THE THINGS. I made a little thing about my YALC swag, check it here!

What I read this month:

When it happens to you – Molly Ringwald
So, Molly Ringwald can act, she’s fabulous and she can write! I’m not sure how to explain this book, the story is presented in a really interesting way – so we have a collection of what is essentially a series of short stories, but all the characters over lap into each other’s stories and are some how related and complement each other’s lives. It is engaging and addictive reading and how I hope Molly Ringwald has another book in her because I really loved this!

The Power – Naomi Alderman
If you’re looking for something to follow the Handmaid’s Tale, this is kinda perfect.  I think that, this and Only Ever Yours are the feminist novels we have longed for this whole time. What we have is a novel set out almost like a research paper of a phenomenon where women all over the world suddenly develop the power to harness and use electricity and how they use it to overturn the patriarchy. Utterly genius and made me think a lot about how different life would be if women were the dominant gender.

The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
I picked this up because long ago I was given a list of things to read and on it were many retellings of the Iliad (which I’ve never read) so when I saw this in the library I thought I’d give it a go… While the story was interesting, I didn’t like the way it was written, it had a lot of short sentences which made the pace a bit juttery and kept taking me out of the action. Think I’d like to give more books like this a go though!

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor
Dear God, this is my favourite book of the year. I’m not even adding a ‘so far’ on the end of that because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to find anything else that quite matches up to this. I did tell myself that I wouldn’t buy any more books until I’d read everything on my shelf and gotten rid of what I don’t want any more, but honestly, I am breaking that because I need this in my life especially so I have it to re read for when the sequel comes out!

Optimists Die First – Susan Nielsen
I’ve read Susin Nielsen before and this was very similar in tone, it was a sweet, flippant tale of a young girl with anxiety dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event and the odd characters she comes across during her therapy sessions. While this was a fun, easy read, I did think that the whole anxiety thing was dealt with a bit too easily. If only my own mental health problems could be solved by a tall boy with a bionic arm. Once the story’s big reveal came about it was all wrapped up very quickly and nicely, I’d have rather spent a bit more time on it, but it was a fun read nonetheless.

The One We Fell in Love with – Paige Toon
I was really looking forward to reading this because everyone tells me they love Paige Toon, but honestly, wtf did I just read? This is the story of three identical triplets who fall in love with their childhood next door neighbour… who is also in love with all three of them and at one point in the novel kisses two of them 24 hours apart. Like… I’m supposed to think this is romantic? He’s a douchebag. Anyone who dates you and when not dating you is going after your sister is a douchebag. These girls deserve better. No one should read this and think of it as romance and aspirational. Don’t fall for emotional fuckwits who don’t respect you enough not to bang your family members! I know there is a big reveal that some how makes it ok but no. Really no. Its a shame because I liked her writing style but the story didn’t sit right with me.

The Jane Austen Book Club – Karen Joy Fowler
As Jane Austen got herself on the ten pound note this month and was listed as Andrea Leadsom’s favourite living author. Yes, seriously. This is a woman who tried to become prime minister and she thought Jane Austen was still alive and writing. Anyway. This was a nice quick read, but I’m not really sure what exactly Jane Austen had to do with it?

Easy Way Out – Steven Amsterdam
I was sent a copy of this by the lovely people over at Bookbridgr and while I had a vague idea what the book was about, I really wasn’t prepared for this at all. I have a review coming for this if you’re interested, but for now here are a few trigger warnings for you because you know I can’t be recommending people things without letting you all know if there is content that might hurt you. This is a book about assisted suicide, there is also some explicit sex in there and lots of mentions of terminal illness and hospitals. Just so you know.

Films I watched this month:
You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television/cinema screen this month!

  • The Circle
  • Baby Driver
    This is my new favourite film, please see it!
  • Spiderman: Homecoming
  • Escape from Planet Earth
  • While we’re Young
  • To the bone
  • Captain America Civil War
  • The Amazing Spider Man
  • Dunkirk
    mate what a film!
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Before I fall

TV I watched his month:

  • Doctor Who
  • Handmaid’s Tale
  • Rick and Morty
  • House of Cards
  • Ripper Street
  • Game of Thrones
  • Shadow hunters

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

baby driver more like bae-by driver

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four years has passed since harley's angels came out – head to leahsmith.webs.com/my-books to get a copy!

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playing frome festival tonight

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thanks for the awesome book post @bookbridgr

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So. Many. Books

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:
Firstly, Dan Howell and Anthony Padilla’s collab was hilarious! Here’s more D Hizzle because he is bae, ok? Also because I literally only joined Tinder so I could find him and charm him with my awkwardness and then I left because I couldn’t find him and then this. Damnit Daniel. Why not fill this whole section with his face to hide my disappointment, here’s Anthony, Dan or a Rat for your pleasure and a PSA on former emos.  Not had enough yet? Here’s TomSka’s latest sketch! I also want to mention Lucy Moon’s latest 168 Hours and James Cordon’s protest song because yes.

February round up

For being the shortest month, I packed a lot into February! I ended up hanging out in London with my buddy Charlotte for a few days which involved visiting all my favourite spots in the city and getting into Matilda for £5! Yaaaas! This month I also saw me saying goodbye to my little Fiat and getting a new… well… Little Fiat and eating all the vegan treats, Tesco now stocks vegan fish fingers, so naturally, fish finger sandwiches had to happen and if that wasn’t exciting enough, the Foo Fighters played in my tiny Somerset town! I didn’t get a ticket because I’m not on their mailing list, but as I’ve played the same venue, I’m going to go ahead and tell people that I’ve opened for the Foo Fighters.

What I read this month:

18867162Just one damn thing after another – Jodi Taylor
I saw this series in a book haul on the internet and then thought of it again when I started watching Timeless (which is great btw, check out my video below for how much I love Timeless!). For the first book in a series, it is very slow to start and takes a while for the story to kick in, but when it does, God! What fun! Being a history nerd and a lover of science, I did enjoy this and I’ll be checking out the rest of the series, there is time travel and dinosaurs and conspiracy and relationship drama, what more could you ask for?!

8247122Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher
I really wish I’d come across this book sooner, Carrie Fisher is such an engaging and hilarious writer, there are very few people who can make you sympathise, relate and howl with laughter all at the same time, but she manages it. Reading this made me not only appreciate her genius all the more, but also made me so sad at the loss of such potential, my new aim is to track down all the rest of her writings!

13262783Everyday – David Levithan
I read these in the wrong order, I read Another Day, which is the same story from Rhiannon’s point of view back last year and although I enjoyed the concept, I found the whole thing a little bit invasive and I’ll be honest, reading A’s account creeped me out on a whole new level, it’s so… rapey… I guess, I can’t think of a better way to explain it. I still think the idea of being a genderless being who experiences different identities every day is an interesting concept, but the contents of the story are still problematic for me.

28686840Holding up the universe – Jennifer Niven
I’d seen so many mixed reviews, though mostly positive for Niven’s other book, All the Bright Places, which I’ve yet to find at the library, but when I happened across this, I thought I’d give it a go, plus the cover looks pretty. The thing is, I’m not really sure how I feel about it, the romance felt a little contrived and the fact that Libby spends the whole book complaining that all she is known for is being the fattest person in the country and yet can’t stop reminding the reader every other second did irritate me no end! Not sure if I’ll be searching so hard for All the Bright Places now I’ve read this…

26200563Hamilton: The Revolution – Lin Manuel Miranda et al
OMG I WISH YOU COULD ACTUALLY SEE THIS IT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK I OWN. It is a fact commonly acknowledged that I love Hamilton (I have tickets for next June) so when I saw this in Waterstones, I had to grab a copy for myself, if you love Hamilton, or just shows in general, it is a wonderful art book full of anecdotes of putting together a stage show, from conception, to curtain up, as well as photographs showing the staging, costume design and additions from several contributors of the show. Photographs do not do it justice and I don’t think my words did either, but if you are interested, I reviewed it here.

70947Northern Lights – Philip Pullman
This month news broke that Philip Pullman was releasing another series of books based around his Dark Materials trilogy, this excites me! So, I figured I better re read them before the new book comes out! I’ve not picked this trilogy up since the first time I read them when I was a kid, so I had a wonderful sense of nostalgia reading this and it made me so sad that the film was awful! The first time I picked these up, I always wanted to be Lyra and have my own daemon, guess I’ll just have to play pokemon go more often so I pretend my vaporeon buddy is a daemon! These books are great by the way, so… like read them!

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Hurricane Bianca
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  • The Lego Batman Movie
  • Divergent

Considering the cinema in town has reopened, I didn’t get to catch as many new releases as I’d have liked this month! Prepare for that to be rectified.

TV I watched his month:

  • Taboo
  • Shadowhunters
  • Teen Wolf
  • Timeless
  • Sneaky Pete
  • Supernatural
  • Riverdale
    My new obsession! I might start wearing dungarees, Jughead is my new icon.
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine

 

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

the fourth plinth is now very excited about something

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They say you should spend valentine's with those you love so T Hardz and I are having a lovely evening

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Kinda love walking down here when there's no one else around

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The carnege left by Storm Doris

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

I can’t not mention this from danisnotonfire, like for serious, were all music teachers evil because I related so hard when I think back to not only my piano teacher (she even said the same thing to me about Fur Elise and my fingers!) but my drum teacher too! (It genuinely was like Whiplash if you were wondering.) While we’re on the subject of danisnotonfire, this golf video with Phil was hilarious and I’m not entirely sure how this wasn’t flagged… I want to recommend a whole channel because with all the fake news and alternate facts flying around, if you need a good source for news, Philly D is your boy. Also twenty one pilots are documenting their final few nights on tour with a series of mini documentaries, here’s the first one.

January round up

Did you think this was all over? Mwah ha ha. Ok, so the most important thing we should all remember from January is the stress of getting Hamilton tickets. I AM GOING TO HAMILTON YA’LL. Yes, it is next summer, but still… Anyway, the year began with me taking advantage of the bank holiday and spending all day at the cinema catching up on some new releases I missed (A Monster Calls was beautiful and made me cry and Rogue One was just so much fun!), my nephew turned three, there was much talk about thundersnow which then never happened and I got to play a musical instrument in an actual music venue. This month I’ve decided to take on Sammy Paul’s PMS project (more on that next month though) I just really want to document the world, though I’m not sure how much I want to remember considering what has been going on in the world this month. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are safe and if enough sensible people stand up, we can stop these things happening.

What I read this month:

30095461-1Ultimatum – K M Walton
Bit of an emotional one to start the year! This was kindly sent to me by NetGalley and was reviewed here. The actual book will be out in March and so if you’re into character driven, family dramas, I thoroughly recommend. It isn’t the most fun of subject matters, but I am a sucker for a broken family trying to mend itself!

26138370-1Seven Days of You – Cecelia Vinesse
A cute, easy to read YA novel about an American ex-pat who has seven days left in Tokyo, the place she recognises as home and the struggles she faces as she prepares to say goodbye not just to her home and school, but also the friends she has made there. Cue the arrival of an ex friend returning to Tokyo who she happens to have a very complicated relationship with that makes the whole leaving in seven days thing seem even more dire. Though it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read, it was fun, check out the review here.

33393021Relativity – Antonia Hayes
I was lucky enough to be included on the blog tour for this charming novel about three different stands of the same family, intelligent Ethan on the cusp of adolescence, his single mother, Claire, suddenly so aware of how old her son is and how much like the father he’s never met is and then we have Mark the absent father suddenly appearing in their lives again, all intertwined with science and astrology and all that good stuff. Read the review here!

33407778The Dead Inside – Cyndy Etler
This month is full of reading ARCS, which is always nice, send me more books in the post please! This was a difficult one to read, its Cyndy Etler’s memoir about her time in a rehabilitation centre of sorts, which, if nothing else is very good for me in my quest to read more non fiction. It is harrowing and not exactly bed time reading, full review coming soon!

852594A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Miserable Mill – Lemony Snickett
As I started the TV show, I thought I’d pick up where I last left off with this series. It was just as fun and dark and wonderfully narrated as I remember, maybe this year I’ll re-read all of them? Who knows. I’d forgotten how much I loved these when I was a teenager! Even now, I think of Violet whenever I see someone tie their hair up!

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • A Monster Calls
    Emotionally exhausting and really beautifully done – if you’re a fan of the books, don’t fret, they do it justice!
  • Rogue One
  • Beautiful Creatures
    Pretty sure the guy from this is the new Han Solo… Right?
  • La La Land
    Oh God. I cried. I hated it and I loved it and its beautiful.
  • The Duff

The Oscar nominations were announced this month! I’m such a charlatan I’ve only seen a few of the nominated films this year! My predictions for the main ones are as follows: Best film, La La Land (I haven’t seen the others, but I think its a given), Director, Damien Chazelle (I’m sure best film and best director are usually the same thing), Best Actress, I’d like Emma, but probs Meryl, Best Actor, I’d like Andrew, but probs Casey Affleck, Supporting Actor, Dev Patel, Supporting Actress, Viola Davis (she needs her EGOT), Best Song, I loved the two from La La Land, but I do really want the song from Moana to win so Lin-Manuel can have his PEGOT, it’ll probably be one of the La La Land songs though. That soundtrack was immense. What are your predictions? Let’s see who was right next month!

TV I watched his month:

  • The Crown
  • Sherlock
  • Brooklyn 99
    NINE NINE!!!
  • Timeless
  • Supernatural
  • Shadowhunters
  • Taboo
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Teen Wolf

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

❄️ icy af

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i just played on the same stage dick and dom are going to appear on. so there's that.

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la la land inspired shoes today

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What I did on YouTube this month:

So, I decided I wanted to make more stuff, so I am documenting my life this year (I know, self indulgent, narcissistic and boring af, but…) I want to get better and generally make things, so as you’ll see at the bottom, I’m doing Sammy’s PMS project this year. Enjoy.

What I loved on YouTube this month:

Starting at the beginning of the month (a fab place to start) Emma Blackery uploaded this that sums up exactly how I feel about New Year. Jack and Dean came back with another Good, Bad and just plain shit parts of 2016, Erika uploaded her final instalment of CRAMPS for 2016 and my God, I wish I were able to make things that looked that good! This video from Amelia Ace about her bisexual headcanons, purely for her Han Solo explanation alone and I feel that as creepy as this is, I’m going to link to the danisnotonfire live shows, which now get uploaded to danisnotinteresting purely because they actually are very interesting… so I’m just gonna leave a link here. Casey Neistat uploaded a couple of great videos this month, firstly this one from the time he went bowling in the white house and this one, from when he visited JFK after the ban on visitors from certain countries. Finally, let’s leave this round up on a happier note, Hazel and Jack did a cover of a song from La La Land way better than I did, Lucy Sutcliffe made this wonderful short film and Tom Fletcher uploaded this very cute video about his wife.

March round up

I don’t know about anyone else, but it felt like February went on forever! Finally we’ve hit Spring! This March was significantly better than last March because my mother didn’t spend Mother’s Day in hospital this time around, even if it wasn’t a particularly great month for me mentally… Anyway! In March I got to do my usual coverage of World Book Day which was just as incredible as always (there was a Princess Leia this year and so many Mary Poppins’ as well as a Jake the dog, a Finn the human and a Scooby Doo!), I judged a talent show for the second year running, finally got all my instruments moved into my house (I learned how to play the Jaws theme and see it as being my greatest achievement of the month), I bought a coffee table (adult level unlocked), finished college and you know this post I made two years ago about whether or not to get a tattoo? Well, I’ve spoken to three tattoo parlours this month….!

What I read this month:

tumblr_o39c0rauQI1ugamu7o1_1280Escape – Leah Smith
I know, I’m a douchebag featuring my own book, but one of my goals for the year was to finally finish and upload this to my proper grown up website with all the other silly little stories I’ve written over the years, so I started the month by actually getting that last full stop on the page and copy editing. Its not the best thing I’ve ever written, but it isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. You can download a copy for yourself free from here if you like!

25337019Hot Feminist – Polly Vernon
Eurgh. So, I wanted to read more non fiction books on gender politics etc because that stuff is super interesting, so I was really excited to see this listed at Bookbridgr and requested it asap. It’s a shame then that the author of this book doesn’t really seem to understand the fundamentals of feminism and decided to really patronisingly explain how she is ‘hot’ and also a feminist. Like, yeah. and. Anyway, for a full review, you can head to this post here, even though I really hate giving bad reviews.

4584Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
I wanted to like this so much more than I did. I just found that it was very style over substance and not in a grand Fitzgerald kind of way, but more of a look how linguistically clever I am with all these intermingling narrations and all these fancy bits and pieces I’m putting in here. It just felt a little… like it was trying too hard. Either that or I’m just  not clever enough to understand it properly…

25152479The Dolls – Kiki Sullivan
It feels like forever since I read a straight up YA fantasy. I was also drawn to this because it had very pretty pink edging on the pages and when the book was closed it just looked super awesome. I really need to stop with the being suckered in with a pretty cover, if I look for personality in people, I should do it in books too (this is why I don’t get on with Tinder very well) anyway, I was, from the blurb, hoping for a whimsical True Blood style story about witch craft and voodoo set in Louisiana where its all warm and hazy and all that… but honestly, it was just a bit… Meh.

20800223Oranges are not the only fruit – Jeanette Winterson
My friend Sophie recommended this to me ages ago, she also mentions it a lot on her YouTube channel, so I grabbed a copy when I was at the library because seriously, Sophie does have a great taste in books. I’d heard a lot about this book, mostly that it’s a great book for the LGBTQA+ community, but actually I think its just a great book for anyone who is growing up and realising who they are and who their parents think they are doesn’t have to be the same thing. Review here.

The night that everything changed PB.inddThe Night that Changed Everything  – Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice
I was sent this from the lovely people at Penguin Random House, I love it when people send me things! If anyone else would like to send me things, I would be more than grateful! This is a wonderfully entertaining story about two well matched people who’s entire lives are turned upside down by one throw away comment on one night. Check out my review and grab yourself a copy!

6473592Gone – Michael Grant
Can you believe this has been sat on my bookshelf for over two years? I know this because when I thought, I’ll read that and opened it, I found a voucher that entitled me to the sequel half price that expired in 2013. Ooops. Sorry I was so late reading this book whoever gifted it to me! Anyway, I was excited about this because its cited as being a modern day Lord of the Flies, but honestly I was kind of disappointed. I know its a series so there are four more books in which the various details of how it all came to be, but this one just didn’t answer enough questions for me. Also it just wasn’t dynamic enough considering all the stuff that was going on. So, I’m not entirely sure the half price voucher would have been used anyway!

23363874 (1)Reasons to stay alive – Matt Haig
I feel like maybe my review of this was a bit of an over share, so lets not go into it again. Just know that this is a great book regardless of whether you actually need a reason to stay alive or not. Its an honest, candid read that is sympathetic without being patronising and was exactly what I needed.

 

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month.

  • Tomorrow Land: A World Beyond
    So many Disney feels, I want to go back! Though I have no idea what the hell happened. I can just assume that the Brit is a bad guy as per and that George Clooney, a robot and a teenage girl who likes baseball caps saved the day? Yes? Someone correct me below if it is in fact something completely different.
  • This is where I leave you
    Dysfunctional family story where not a single sibling looked anything alike. I find that a bit odd about films, like at least pick people with the same colour hair or similar shaped noses or whatever. Also, as great as Jason Bateman is in Arrested Development, he doesn’t make great choices when it comes to films really, does he? The best bit about the whole film was the fact that Yellow jacket from Ant Man played Kylo Ren’s big brother. (See what I mean about family members looking nothing alike?)  Adam Driver was the thing that kept me going until the end, he is a little (well.. 6’3) cutie and should be everyone’s baby brother.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
    I haven’t seen this since the cinema! Oxfords not brogues every time. I’m looking forward to the sequel!
  • Tangled
  • Cinderella
    Fun fact, I saw this in the cinema and thought it was alright, I watched it on Now TV and cried like a baby every time someone said “Have Courage, Be Kind.”
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Licence to Drive
    I bloody loved this movie when I was a kid! I found it on Now TV and honestly, if you have Now TV, watch it! Its one of the worst things you will ever see in your entire life, hard core eighties cheese with the two Corey’s and a very young Heather Graham.
  • Zootropolis
    Great film, made up for the disappointment that was the Good Dinosaur! I really love the direction Pixar is going in at the moment! Also, finally Jason Bateman! You made a movie I liked!
  • Morning Glory
    Harrison Ford was the best thing about this film. Sorry. 
  • The Great Mouse Detective
    The best Disney movie. Like for real. You can fight me on that.
  • Hop

TV I watched this month:

  • The Night Manager
    Man, this just got better and better, more T Hiddles please! How great was the final episode!?!
  • The Aliens
    I bloody love Michael Socha! Confused the hell out of me that they swapped Tattoo Fixers around to put this on on a Tuesday instead! I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the concept, but I will watch pretty much anything with Michael Socha in, so…
  • Pretty Little Liars
    HANNA!
  • The People vs OJ Simpson
  • Once Upon A Time
    ITS BACK. ITS BACK. I GET TO SEE HOOK AGAIN AND HOPE THAT CAPTAIN SWAN RESURFACES.
  • Shadowhunters
    I came crawling back. Simon got hot. So….. Are Magnus and Alex ever going to get it on?
  • How to get away with murder
    I forgot it was back! If you’ve not seen this before, its basically a how to guide to excude sexual tension with everyone around you. Also how to get away with murder.
  • DareDevil
    Series two hit Netflix and I am so pleased to have Matt and Foggy back in my life again! Is it weird that I’m starting to ship Frank and Karen? #Kastle

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

As its world book day, my phone is repping the HP love

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Covering WBD is a highlight of being a journalist tbh.

Snow joke

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We had snow!

Close up!

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I found a tree full of wagtails in the middle of Bath, here’s a close up!

💙

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My niece took this picture of me and my nephew! I think she’s a better photographer than me!

On my last night of college I finally managed to take a picture I like.

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College is over, but I finally took a picture I like.

My brother is amazing!

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I bought a coffee table. Because I am an adult now. And my brother dropped by and built it for me. Because he’s awesome.

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:
I’m so glad I started this feature because HOTDAYUM if I hadn’t I’d have needed to make an entire post just dedicated to this slam poem from Leena, I wish I were that articulate and creative. I also need to mention Tom Fletcher and his family being adorable, the new Civil War trailer 9OH GOD HAVE YOU SEEN ANT MAN AND SPIDER MAN ARE IN IT?) ((is it me or does the new spider man sound EXACTLY like Tyler Joseph?)). I also enjoyed PJ‘s interactive story and Tomska‘s latest sketch! I feel like I can’t break tradition, so I’ll also mention Casey Neistat, he celebrated his 365th daily vlog this month, so you can watch that here!

February round up

Well, February, you were fun! Highlights from this month included getting to add some more touches to my new home, having time off to really enjoy that Now TV pass, taking a trip to the home town, spending time with some of my favourite people, perfecting my vegan pancake recipe and seeing Twenty One Pilots live!

What I read this month:

9303985Room – Emma Donoghue
Its been on my kindle forever and now the film is out and getting all these awards, so I thought I’d get on with it! While I loved the premise and I liked that a lot of the story was inferred due to our narrator only being five, I can’t say that I enjoyed it in the sense that the subject matter was very difficult. Also, Jack was one of the more annoying children I’ve had contact with. Even so, it was a great read and I am going to try and catch the film if I can!

28425994Flawed – Cecelia Ahern
I adore Cecelia Ahern’s books, I’ve read the majority of her novels, its a shame that no one seems to be able to do the film adaptations justice, Where Rainbows End and PS I Love You are amazing and the film versions… Meh. Anyway, this is her first YA story, so I kind of had to get my hands on it! I’m also told this is the beginnings of a series, though I don’t know if I’ll be as excited about reading the rest of them. Check my review here.

982149Murder in the Mews – Agatha Christie
I’ve only read one other Agatha Christie novel and I didn’t get on with it very well, but I always enjoy the television retellings, so I thought I would give her another go. I’d love to find a full length Poirot or Marple mystery, but all my local library seems to have are anthologies, so grabbed this one!

25478293Another Day – David Levithan
I always list David Levithan as one of my favourite authors, but honestly, the last two books I’ve read of his have just been a bit… Meh. This kept me company on a train journey and I wanted to like it so much. I just… Justin and Rhiannon was such an unhealthy pairing, they were so not good for each other and then the A thing… That was equally as unhealthy and good God. I just wanted to slap everyone!

21937519Moriarty – Anthony Horrowitz
I downloaded the ebook of this a couple of months ago and was super excited to read it, but the last two chapters were missing! I found a copy in the library and decided to get it so I could finally finish it! The Sherlock Holmes story written by Anthony Horrowitz is incredible, unfortunately, this is not.

20525628How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran
I do love Caitlin Moran and I’ve wanted to read this for such a long time that I sacrificed picking up a copy of the Nightvale book in my local library to grab this instead. Though it was a very entertaining and enjoyable read, it didn’t have the same spark that her other books have. It did have a lot of genius quotes that I’ve had to take note of!

28674747 Jakob’s Colours – Lindsay Hawdon
I wish I’d had this in January to read around Holocaust Memorial Day because I always feel like I should make a point of remembering the day online, but I don’t feel like I can even comprehend the atrocities and I don’t want to make it all about me. But anyway, this is a story about an often forgotten group of people affected by the Holocaust. I gratefully received a copy from Bookbridgr, see my review here.

 

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Frozen Fever
    This counts right? It is only seven minutes long, but hey, I’ve made film shorter than that!
  • If I stay
    Dear God, I don’t remember the last time I cried so much at a movie! The last film I watched that got me super emotional to the point of shedding a tear was probably the Imitation Game, but not to this extent! I was a weepy, weepy mess come the credits to this film! Perfect ending as well. God its a brilliant adaptation, I don’t think I got that emotional about the book even!
  • Bad Neighbours
    Terrible movie, but so many cameos. Well, I say terrible it was one of those movies that is great for background music!
  • Whiplash
    I can’t believe it took me so long to watch this! But, finally, I got around to it. It reminded me a little too much of my traumatic drum lessons. Great movie though!
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Beasts of No Nation
  • The Giver
    The book is one of my favourites so when I saw the adaptation on Now TV (yes, I need to binge watch ALL the movies before my pass runs out!) Although not as good as the book (that book is a masterpiece, you need to read it) I really liked the way it was shot and it was very true to the book. Also, Tay Swift is in it!
  • Interstellar
    OH DEAR GOD WHY HAVE I NOT WATCHED THIS BEFORE? BLOODY NOLAN BEING AWESOME. AGAIN.
  • The Theory of Everything
    Man, that was an emotional Tuesday! I can’t believe it took me so long to watch this. Did shed a tear or two!
  • Ex-Machina
  • The Judge
  • Deadpool
    Oh my God, perfection. More please.
  • Transcendence 
    So many science fiction films this month.
  • Northern Soul
    Don’t recommend.

TV I watched this month:

  • Come Dine with me Champion of Champions
    It’s like Come Dine with me crossed with Bake Off – Utter genius! Narrator Dave Lamb does not look how I thought he would!
  • Supergamers
    I had no idea you could be a professional game player! I think I’ve said before that I will sign up for anything that involves Dan Howell’s face, which this did! Really interesting documentary and I think for a first time TV presenter, Dan did well!
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Supernatural
  • Shadowhunters
    When I started watching this last month, I was unsure as to whether I liked it or not, once Magnus Bane showed up, it started to get a bit more interesting, it’s still bloody terrible with far too much actoring for my liking, but its at least fun now!
  • Grease Live
  • Crashing
    The series ended this month. Come the end I shipped Fred and Sam so hard! Though I don’t think I’ll be seeing a series two!
  • Vera
    I forgot what time it was on one week and my mum got one of the writers to tweet me to tell me off. My mum’s twitter game is strong.
  • Sinatra: All or Nothing.
    He’s one of my problematic faves. But this documentary series was great. You can catch it on Netflix!
  • The BAFTAS
    Bloody love movie award shows, the minute the opening montage began I was instantly reminded of how much I love movies. My thoughts if anyone is interested: I’m super glad that Mad Max and Star Wars were recognised for the work that went on behind the scenes, I wanted either Taron or John to win the rising star so I was happy one of them did, Rebel Wilson did the best speech of the night, I love Idris Elba too and was a bit miffed he didn’t get the award for Beasts of No Nation because that is an incredible film and even though I’ve not seen the Revenant, I’m glad it got so many awards considering the amount of work that went into it!
  • The People vs OJ Simpson
  • Snervous
    The Tyler Oakley doc is on Netflix and as I’ve always enjoyed Tyler’s YouTube videos, I thought I’d check it out and now I’m unsure as to whether or not Tyler is the person I thought he was… Like there are moments with his family that reinforced the idea that he’s really sweet and kind and then there were moments when he was being the big ‘internet star’ and it was like he was a completely different person.
  • The Night Manager
    T Hiddles kicking ass, what more could you ask for?!

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

 

I can't go outside until my delivery arrives so I'm compromising on the reading in the sun

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

Waiting for bookcases to arrive means you can’t go out into the sun to do a spot of reading!

Rocketman

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

Visited the home town and checked out the Cosmonauts exhibit at the science museum, I bloody love space and it was genuinely fascinating, go if you can!

I may have gotten hideously lost trying to find the venue, but I saw Twenty One Pilots and they might have just put on the best show I have seen in a long time! Blurry face has gotten me through some very tough times since its release and it was wonderful to see Tyler and Josh perform it (and a few others) live!

What I did on YouTube this month:


The video I made at work for the B&NES Mayor referendum!

What I loved on YouTube this month:
I might just go ahead and mention Casey Neistat in every single one of these, it’s kind of hard not to seeing as he’s a daily vlogger and all, but this video of him attempting a drone rescue mission was all kinds of incredible, my friend Sophie spent the month uploading reviews of her favourite LGBTQA+ books for LGBT history month, obviously I had to rewatch Rebel Wilson’s BAFTA presentation,  then there the ultimate Turing Test, Dan and Phil talking to chimpbot and having a supernaturally good time. I also need to give a mention to Daniel J Layton’s first instalment of PMS