Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis: Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.

Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible . . .

Pages: 445

Rating: 9/10

Overall: If you're a fangirl like me, it is hugely relatable. It made me nostalgic for the days when we were desperately waiting for the next Harry Potter book. A very relevant book right now.

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Hi there!

I know I've been missing in action on the blogging front. Kind of lost my groove with it, and had started to feel like I wasn't enjoying writing my little reviews, which in turn spoiled my enjoyment of the books themselves.

But I'm starting to feel the itch to write about the books I'm reading again so I'm vaguely back.

If you are still around, thanks for sticking around :)

Onwards and upwards!

Book Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Synopsis: When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. 

A war veteran, wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike's life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . . 

A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London - from the hushed streets of Mayfair, to the backstreet pubs of the East End, to the bustle of Soho - The Cuckoo's Calling is a remarkable debut. Introducing Cormoran Strike, it is a classic crime novel unlike any other book you will read this year.

Pages: 449

Rating: 8/10

Overall: The Cuckoo's Calling has fascinating characters and a plot that keeps you guessing until the end. I really enjoyed it and can't wait for the sequel.
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)

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Award Season Results: The 86th Academy Awards

So that was very entertaining. I vote that Ellen Degeneres always hosts these things from now on. Or Neil Patrick Harris.

Let's recap my predictions and see how they match up with what actually happened on the night.

Best Film
Prediction: 12 Years a Slave
Result: 12 Years a Slave
Nailed it!

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Prediction: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Result: Matthew McConaughey

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Prediction: Cate Blanchett
Result: Cate Blanchett
Nailed it!

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Prediction: Jared Leto
Result: Jared Leto
Nailed it!

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Prediction: Lupita Nyong'o
Result: Lupita Nyong'o
Nailed it!

Best Animated Feature
Prediction: Frozen
Result: Frozen
Nailed it!

Best Original Song
Prediction: Let It Go
Result: Let It Go
Nailed it!

Yeah! Think that has easily been my best set of predictions! Thank you Oscars for being so predictable ;). I hope you've enjoyed this little game. Back to normal after this. Should finish a book to be reviewed soon.

I think for next year's Award Season, I will try to watch all the Oscar contenders... might make it a smidge easier to make the predictions.

Well, here's to another year of film!

Award Season Prophecies: The 86th Academy Awards

It's here! The big one! The most anticipated awards of the them all. The 86th Academy Awards. Or the Oscars to you and me.

Let's be honest. This is the one everybody cares about the most. Winning an oscar can be the pinnacle for the winner's career or even skyrocket them into superstardom.

So for the last time time for me to guess who might win.

I'll be using a key to indicate my choices:
  • Green for Most Likeliest Winner
  • Purple for My Personal Choice
  • Orange for Both

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)

Best Animated Feature
The Croods (Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco, Kristine Belson)
Despicable Me 2 (Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Chris Meledandri)
Ernest & Celestine (Benjamin Renner, Didier Brunner)
Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho)
The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki)

Best Original Song
Happy (Despicable Me 2)
Let It Go (Frozen)
The Moon Song (Her)
Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

Well, that's my two cents. Can't wait to watch some of the red carpet! Due to the time zone issue I won't be able to watch to actual ceremony. Happy Oscars Day!

Award Season Results: The SAG Awards and BAFTAs

Combining two award show results... because I forgot want to. And squeezing this in yet again, as it is the Oscars on Sunday and I kinda need to get the predictions one for that done and out. Oops...


So let's go back in time to the SAG awards!

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Prediction: 12 Years a Slave – Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong'o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Kenneth Williams and Alfre Woodard
Result: American Hustle – Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Louis C.K., Bradley Cooper, Jack Huston, Jennifer Lawrence, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Peña, Jeremy Renner, Elisabeth Röhm and Shea Whigham

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Prediction: Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Result: Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Prediction: Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Result: Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Nailed it!

Outstanding Performace by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Prediction: Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Result: Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Nailed it!

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Result: Lupita Nyong'o – 12 Years a Slave

Well... didn't do so well with the SAG awards did I. However I'm actually quite glad I got the Best Supporting Actress wrong.

On with the show! Now for the BAFTAs.

Best Picture
Prediction: 12 Years a Slave
Result: 12 Years a Slave
Nailed it!

Best British film
Prediction: Gravity
Result: Gravity
Nailed it!

Best Director
Prediction: Alfonso Cuarón - Gravity
Result: Alfonso Cuarón - Gravity
Nailed it!

Best Actor
Prediction: Leonardo Dicaprio - The Wolf of Wall Street
Result: Chiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years a Slave

Best Actress
Prediction: Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
Result: Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
Nailed it!

Best Supporting Actor
Prediction: Michael Fassbender - 12 Years a Slave
Result: Barkhad Abdi - Captain Phillips

Best Supporting Actress
Prediction: Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years a Slave
Result: Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle

Best Animation
Prediction: Frozen
Result: Frozen
Nailed it!

The EE Rising Star award (voted for by public)
Prediction: Will Poulter
Result: Will Poulter
Nailed it!

Ah, that's a bit of a better result for my predicting abilities! Maybe it's because it's a British affair that I was a smidge more able to guess the winners... ;)

As I mentioned above, the Oscars are on Sunday! The big one! Also the last major one. Can't wait to see the dresses! See you then!

Mini Review Type Thingy: Becoming YouTube

The last episode of this series by ninebrassmonkeys came out last night delving into what makes YouTube, well, Youtube. Here's the trailer.

I have loved this series, partly because it helped me discover so many YouTubers but also because it is like proper telly. As in half hour episodes that you can really get into. In the past, TV has looked at the internet and tried to understand it. When BY looks into YouTube, and even the internet as a whole, it’s great because it gets the internet. It’s irreverent but thought provoking, and nerdy to the extreme.

Also Ben Cook (/ninebrassmonkeys) is really funny and so insightful. I met him at SitC ‘13 and he is the nicest guy, despite all video evidence to the contrary. I asked him a question and gave me a proper in depth answer even though there was a massive queue of people waiting to meet him. Huge respect for him.

The last episode really cracked me up at several moments. There was a huge reference to Harry Potter, which included Jack and Finn (/jacksgap) in it. Loved it. Nerd heaven… literally. It mainly talked about change. As always, very interesting. Especially as the interviews are all from a few years ago, and lots of the most controversial changes (G+, I'm looking at you) hadn't happened.

There was a hint at a second series of BY coming in the summer and I am so excited for it! So glad it’s coming back. If only to see how YouTubers' opinions have changed since S1.

Anyway, if you're at all interested in YouTube or internet community, you should definitely watch it.