Character Aesthetics

Recently, I have started making image collages, also known as ‘Aesthetics’ on Tumblr, or sometimes ‘Moodboards‘, for some of my favourite book characters and my groups D&D characters.

Essentially, making an aesthetic is simple enough; you take multiple images of scenes or items or words that relate to the chosen character – such as main features, where they live, their physical features, their jobs, their fears – and make a nice neat photo collage of these images. It also often includes adding in your ‘dream casting‘; as in: if you could cast the movie of this book/character, who would you put in the lead role. This can include known actors, the actual actors if it has been made into a TV show or film, or just random models or stock photos found online. I prefer the later, this gives the collages an individuality, and doesn’t just seem to be a carry-over from any other visual version that is already available.

It doesn’t have to be a specific character either, or a character at all really. It could be an entire book, a series, a mash-up of two or several of these, a unique character pairing, a place or setting or even a particular event – anything you want really.

I can’t really explain why, perhaps it’s the latent graphic designer in me, but I really enjoy the motion of scrolling through image searches endlessly; pinterest, tumblr, google. Scraping to find the perfect images to sum up these characters, arranging them so that everything fit together just right. There’s something to very satisfying about it.

I’m open to suggestions, but plan to make quite a few more of these in my spare time in the coming months. You can see my collections so far below:

The Raven Cycle:

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The Raven Cycle Hogwarts Houses:

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D&D Characters:

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You can see a larger collection of my aesthetics/moodboards HERE.

For more information, visit my contact page.

Disclaimer: None of these images are owned by me, nor do I take credit for the images themselves, merely the compilation and placement of said images. Images found on pinterest, tumblr, google.

Ready Player One, Book Review

Author:Ernest Cline
Published: 2011

A perfect feat of nostalgic charm, fangirl satisfaction and completely engrossing storyline.

This book has stolen my heart. It’s so wonderfully written, and so absolutely, insanely clever. It’s been a really long time since I read a book that struck so many chords in me, brought out so many emotions, and brought out a large amount of huge, no-holds-barred, fangirl grins.

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

The book follows our not-so-heroic hero, Wade. After billionaire game-creator James Halliday dies, leaving his fortune up for grabs in a virtual scavenger hunt, the world goes crazy. But when no one has found anything after five years, the competition, while not forgotten, has lost it’s momentum. That is, until Wade, or rather his avatar Parzival, finds something. And that’s where the book takes off.

RP1-aestheticI was born in the 80’s and a lot of the references are things that I grew up watching, reading or loving. To have all of these things that I’ve loved in some capacity or another, as a child and an adult, feature so seamlessly in a story that was so contemporary was utterly joyous. But even so, all these great tugs at my heart strings aside, the story was completely engrossing. It started off a little slow, but once it got going, it swallowed me up and I was hooked, dying to know how our heroes would defeat the guys that you can tell were just written to be hated.

Without digging too deeply, and getting all philosophical, this book is just good old fashioned fun to read. I related to more than one of the characters and I cared enough about them to be concerned by what was happening to them – I was dragged into their world and for me that makes a good book.

In a classic battle of Good vs. Evil, and a Star Wars like charm of a rag-tag band of misfits joining in their pursuit to save the world, this book really has everything a fangirl could want and more. recommended to anyone who loves a great science fiction story with a little bit of a love story, loads of texture and a brilliant and gripping ending sequence!

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Imges via: here, here

Five Reasons Why It Doesn’t Matter Who Rey’s Parents Are In The Force Awakens

Rey is the main protagonist in the new Star Wars film, Episode VII: The Force Awakensand she is fantastic. But too many of us are fixated on where she came from instead of how amazing she is, and how well she represents women-kind the galaxy over.

Google ‘Rey, Force Awakens’ or even just ‘Rey’, and you get a truckload of results about who Rey’s parent’s are, where she came from, who else she might be related to, why she is a Jedi, and a few stories about Hasbro leaving her character out of the new Force Awakens Monopoly game (bad move, Hasbro). But what we should really be focusing on is why, as a female lead in a huge, wildly anticipated, multi-million dollar sci-fi film, she is an absolute inspiration.

I’m sure all of the Star Wars fans out there have seen The Force Awakens by now, but of course, for the sake of those who haven’t, this article contains spoilers and should be avoided at all costs if you want to keep your Force Awakens virginity intact. 

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So, a teensy bit of background info: Rey is one of the first Jedi, or at least Force sensitive characters, to come about since Kylo Ren turned on Luke Skywalker and destroyed the new Jedi Order Luke was trying to build. She was left on the desert planet of Jakku as a small child, and is desperately waiting for her family to return and find her. She is a scavenger, and scours the desert plains of the desolate planet in search of scraps to sell in exchange for food rations. She keeps to herself, in her makeshift home inside an abandoned AT-AT, and doesn’t make a fuss about it.

At least until BB-8 rolls into her life and changes all of that. And thus, Rey starts her incredible journey to find the last Jedi. And here are my five reasons why it doesn’t matter whether or not she is Luke’s, or anybody else’s, daughter, but still kicks ass all the same.

1. She looks out for herself, but still cares about others

Rey is deTeedo_Luggabeastpendant upon herself for survival. She scavenges in the dry wastelands of Jakku for scrap from the remains of abandoned Star Destroyers and Imperial Walkers, left from the Battle of Jakku, where she essentially risks her butt climbing about like a pro to find parts and trinkets for trade. Rey looks after herself, and defends herself when necessary, but she also doesn’t turn her back when others are in need, even little droids. When BB-8 gets captured by Teedo, who plans to scrap him for parts, Rey doesn’t walk away, she argues with the scavanger and frees BB-8, and then allows him to follow her and stay the night with her for safety. But her trust in the good of others, as well as her kindness, doesn’t end there, Rey also agrees to help get BB-8 back to the Resistance, in order to complete his master, Poe Dameron‘s, mission. She does this, as well as helping get Finn off Jakku, doesn’t hesistate in saving Finn when the Rathtar gets him, and helps bring down Starkiller Base as well.

2. She kicks butt, all on her own, and doesn’t whine about it

Rey is very capable of looking after herself. She even tells us this, after she and Finn meet Han Solo, and he offers her a blaster, Rey instinctively tells Han that she ‘can take care of’ herself.

And she can. She is strong, brave, and defiant, as can be seen when Unkar Plutt‘s goons try and capture BB-8 from her at the marketplace in Niima Outpost; Rey fights them off almost effortlessly, with her epic staff skills. She also masterfully convinces Stormtrooper JB-007 (Yep, a quiet nod to actor Daniel Craig, who plays this character) to release her, as she taps into her Force powers with ease. Not to mention: she totally whoops Kylo Ren’s butt in their lightsaber dual at the end of the film.

kylo renThough she doesn’t say it, Rey is, as Kylo Ren informs us, very lonely; yet she doesn’t whine about it constantly, or cry because her friends have all gone off to the academy without her (but did you really wanna attend the Imperial Academy, Luke, really?). Rey just takes it all in her stride and makes the best of the situation she’s been put in. Sure, she obviously has dreams: a family she is waiting for, a rebel pilot doll in her hideaway; but she doesn’t feel the need to vocalise it, in fact, we don’t even know about most of these issues until she is facing Ren and he is reading her innermost thoughts. She is strong, and doesn’t wear her weaknesses around like a cloak, no emotions on this girl’s sleeve, no needy damsel in distress here. She just gets on with life.

Finally, little girls the world over, who hate Barbie dolls, have a real, action role-model to look up to.

3. She can fly the Millenium Falcon

Need I really say more on this point? One of the few downfalls of Leia, as kickass as she was, was that she had to rely on the men around her to get her anywhere, and in a fantastic turn of events here, Finn needs Rey to help him get off Jakku, and she does so on the iconic ship we have all come to love so much. Rey seems to be a natural pilot, and while we’ve known a couple of Star Wars heroes to have that trait before her (*cough*AnakinandLuke*cough*), I think the lack of explanation as to why Rey is able to pilot the Falcon only adds to her complexity and pulls us in to her characters further, leaving us wanting to know more. Regardless, though, of wanting to know about her past, the scene itself leaves you immersed in the action, the suspense and the downright epic flying that Rey pulls off in this scene.

It’s definitely one of my favourite scenes from the movie, I sit and smile like a 10 year old every time I watch it. But I love that Rey isn’t perfect, she doesn’t take off without a hitch, and she doesn’t act like she knows exactly what she’s doing; she’s a little unsure of herself, but brave enough to do what needs to be done.

4. She doesn’t need a man to guide her (or even hold her hand)

And being able to fly herself around, leads817104a68b82fc166ab93ea72fb5c255.jpg to another of Rey’s great traits, as previously mentioned, she doesn’t rely on the male characters for much at all. In fact, she tells Finn more than once to let go of her hand because she is more than capable of looking after herself. She can fight, she can fly, she can escape capture – all without the help of her male counterparts, the traditional ‘heroes’ of the universe. Even when Finn, Han and Chewie do show up to rescue her from Starkiller Base, she has already managed to get herself out of their clutches using her new-found mind-control powers, and they bump into her rounding a corner in a corridor, not even really needing their help. Even when faced with Kylo Ren in the final battle, as he tells her she needs a teacher and he can train her in the ways of the force, Rey still looks inside herself for the answers, for the strength to defeat him.

There really isn’t any strong point in the film, where Rey shows a need to be helped, saved, protected or guided by one of her male counterparts. I’m not saying that she’s an uber-feminist who looks down on men, or anything of the sort, but rather that The Force Awakens puts forward three new protagonists and holds them all in equal stead. And this is fantastic; while Leia was an amazing step forward, for female characters in sci-fi and fantasy, and for women in Hollywood at the time, it’s high-time a female lead could hold her own in a huge sci-fi blockbuster.

5. She can fill Han Solo’s boots, or Luke’s perhaps, whether or not she is related to either of them

Chewie isn’t always the easiest of characters to get along with, beat him at chess and he may very well rip your arms out of their sockets, but for reasons we aren’t necessarily aware of, he likes Rey. And at the end of the film we see them become co-pilots as they head off into uncharted space to find Luke. And she does. This is where we leave our protagonist, atop a cliff, in the wind, surrounded by ocean, facing the only known surviving Jedi Master, and not saying a word. Here, again, her defiance shows, and Luke can see it in her, he sees the good in her, the fight, much like he once saw in Han. She knows the Force, even if she does have a lot of training ahead of her, and she knows the good in the universe and is willing to fight for it. She IS the Heroine of our generation, and I’m certainly glad that Disney went with a strong female lead for this film.

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As far as main characters go, Rey is definitely one of my new favourites, and as heartbroken as I am over losing Han; I feel comfortable knowing we have such strong new characters to carry us forward. While I know that Finn is a more likely stand-in for a Han type character moving forward, Rey is now the captain of the Millenium Falcon, and that must mean something! If nothing else, it just means she is pretty damn awesome.


FORCE-AWAKENS-POSTER-final-low-resSo yes, Rey’s past is a mystery, for now. We know that we wont be getting any of these answers until at least December 2017 when Episode VIII is released, and that Disney and the films creators wanted it this way, as even Rey herself refers to her past as a ‘big secret’. But these are just a few of the reasons I think that Rey is still a complete, intriguing, kickass character, who is a brilliant role model for young girls, and a pleasure to watch on screen. Regardless of where she came from, I’m am super excited to see where Rey goes next.

Images via: here, here, here, here, herehere, here

 

Disney Infinity 3.0 – Rise Against the Empire playset Review

DISNEY INFINITY 3.0 on XBOX ONE

© DISNEY. © DISNEY/PIXAR. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 
STAR WARS © & ™ LUCASFILM LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USED UNDER AUTHORIZATION

So I recently purchased a copy of Disney Infinity 3.0 – if you haven’t played this game before, Disney describe it as:

Heroes and villains. Sorcerers and superheroes. Princesses and pirates. For generations, Disney storytelling and Marvel adventures have sparked our imaginations with characters and worlds of magic, action and adventure. Now, Disney Infinity invites you and your family to enter those worlds in game experiences only Disney, Marvel – and your imagination – can bring to life. Click the video below for a glimpse of the excitement you’ll share.


So essentially, you can play in the toybox as any of the characters available to purchase, but you can also play the playsets which hold specific worlds, such as Avengers or Star Wars, which have their own specific characters that can play in them.

And so of course, what with the new release having a huge focus on Star Wars, I decided to go ahead and buy the new starter pack, featuring the Star Wars™: Twilight of the Republic Play Set. This set came with Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. While this was a nice, sturdy beginning, I still wanted to expand my horizons a little more, so I went ahead and purchased Master Yoda, and Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels as well. When I found out that there was also a play set with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, I couldn’t help myself, and sourced an early copy from eBay.

Be warned, that the following review does contain some spoiler information for this play set. 

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This review is for the Rise Against the Empire play set. I have compiled a video of gameplay, locations, and the cool, fun things you can do in this play set. It has a really neat original trilogy feel, while still having the fun Clone Wars style animation. And while it is a very condensed version of our favourite trilogy, it still has all the key moments that make the game super fun to play for fans of any age.

Here is a video of gameplay, locations, activities and storyline I have put together to correspond with this review:

The game is a mix of ground based activities, missions and exploration, and a little bit of flying; you can take to space in your Millennium Falcon or X-Wing any time you like, and practice shooting down Tie Fighters, or make your way back and forth between the planets which you’ve already travelled to. This means that you can play the whole story chronologically, or jump back and forth to explore, or complete missions you didn’t finish on your first play through. This makes it particularly versatile for if you want to play with a friend, who might not have seen one, or all, of the planets you’ve already visited.

The gameplay has two main types: Flying and Ground missions, with a lot of added exploration.

The flying gameplay, as much fun as flying the Falcon is when you’re just zooming around, exploring space; isn’t necessarily as easy as it seems. I’ve never really gotten the knack for flying and aiming at the same time, but dodging and escaping enemies is still an awful lot of fun. Flying the X-Wing has a little more oomph to it, and is a bit easier to maneuver. Overall, while flying is fun, I personally found the missions a little frustrating.

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The exploration gameplay, on the other hand, is pretty awesome. It has quite a lot of free roam, and lots of ways to find secrets and hidden goodies. You can climb up buildings, slide along ropes to other buildings and run along rooftops, treetops, and ice glaciers. It has a basic, fun and fluid ‘Assassin’s Creed’ style to it, but gives you quite a lot of freedom to explore these locations that we have already become so familiar with.

The play set takes place in three main locations, all of which are covered in the video above. Tatooine, Hoth and Endor.

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Tatooine: Mos Eisley in particularly, but you can also roam around to find the likes of Jabba’s Palace and the Sarlacc Pitt. You can ride around on a Bantha which is really cute, albeit a little slow. But if fast is what you’re after, you can always jump in a land speeder and zoom your way around. This Jawa made me smile with his not so subtle Skyrim reference!

wampaHoth: There isn’t an awful lot of things to do on Hoth in regard to exploration, but you can of course, you can zip around on a TaunTaun. My favourite part was fighting the Wampas, needless to say I died a few times, those guys are tough! This location has it’s peak as you make your escape and take down the AT-ATs!

endorEndor:  Just as you would expect, Endor is kind of beautiful. It has is such a lovely lush feel after the cold barrenness of Hoth. And of course, there are Ewoks. They aren’t very detailed, more like little children’s Lego figures, but still cute none-the-less. There are some more cool places to explore here, such as the treetops and the Scout Trooper camp. Not to mention, riding a speeder at top speed!

The Storyline sticks somewhat to the original trilogy, but of course is condensed for the purposes of a short, streamlined play set within the larger game that makes up Disney Infinity. But your favourite characters are still their good, old selves, with Leia’s levelheadedness, Han’s contempt and Luke’s whining. For the most part, it’s as you would expect, you shut down tractor beams, you fly the Falcon and you face off with Vadar; but it’s still a hellova lot of good, old-fashioned fun!

The Figurines:  There are still several figures that aren’t available yet (in Australia anyway). These include Luke and Leia, who come with the Rise Against the Empire playset, Han Solo and Chewbacca, Darth Vadar and Darth Maul – these are due to be released in Australia on the 8th of October. There is also a limited edition Boba Fett figurine, currently only available as part of the Playstation 4 buddle pack.

All-in-all, I think that this addition to Disney Infinity’s already impressive spread is a very well planned, well made and all-encompassing win; it has most of the things the fans will have hoped for, and is fun and engaging for the new generations as well. I recommend any Star Wars fan to play this game!

Millennium-falcon-icon Millennium-falcon-icon Millennium-falcon-icon Millennium-falcon-icon Millennium-falcon-icon   5/5 Falcons!


You can find all the official information for this play set on the Disney Infinity website, HERE.

You can watch the announcement trailer and see more images of the game HERE .

Images: here, (the screenshots are my own, taken from my  own gameplay.)

Video: Created by me using gameplay footage taken from my own play through of the play set. The game, it’s characters, storylines, locations and everything else contained within, are property of Disney.

Teaser… Disney Infinity 3.0 Review, coming soon!

So I recently purchased the latest version of Disney Infinity, version 3.0.

I am currently working on a review for the game, which will have a lot of footage and cute in-game easter eggs and things, which are going to take a bit more game play and editing to make it as awesome as this game deserves it to be, so for now, I just wanted to tease you all with a short clip from the Mos Eisley section of the Rise Against the Empire playset. Enjoy!

So riding a Bantha is super cute, and the exploration in the game alone can bring days and days of entertainment, let alone the awesome and fun storylines and more involved gameplay. Hope to bring you my full reviews of this game soon!

I will be reviewing three separate aspects of the game, the Toybox, the Star Wars™: Twilight of the Republic Play Set, and the Star Wars™: Rise Against the Empire Play Set. And of course, the Star Wars™: The Force Awakens™ Play Set when it comes out at the end of the year!

Not to mention, this game has some of the most kick-ass female characters in several galaxies!

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Image via: here, here,

Video: recorded myself on Xbox one, username Felix Turtle

Paper Towns, Film Review

I have always sworn by the motto ‘The Book is Better than the Movie’, but in this case, I am still yet to read the book.* However, I LOVED this movie. It is the perfect balance of quirk, mystery, adventure and laughs.

*(please don’t kill me! I’m starting the book right now…)

*This review may contain spoilers*

This is one of those movies in which it was all the little things that won me over. Little references, quotes, ambiances; you get the gist. As a viewer who has yet to read the book, I had that rare experience of being able to watch the film as a stand alone entity, without judging its every move and questioning all the small changes and minor details. Yes, stories relay differently over the different mediums and most of us understand that, but sometimes some things just don’t translate well from page to screen at all, even if we want them to. I’m not going to look at any of that here though, especially seeing as I don’t have the knowledge to do so properly, hence, I will leave that comparison for the book review.

papertowns-M&QThe film, from the get go, set up the characters really well. I was particularly fond of the casting of the younger versions of Margo and Quentin, who are not only great little actors, but bear enough resemblance to their older counterparts to be believable, and good casting like that makes me happy. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t overly keen on Cara Delevingne as Margo, even though I didn’t have any particular affinity with her character, other than what I had seen in the trailer; but after a few minutes with her on screen, I was drawn to her, to Margo and to her portrayal of Margo; she made the character for me and I don’t think I would have liked her half as much had she been played by someone else. Nat Wolff as Quentin, though, was hands down, dare I say it, perfect. Mainly because I didn’t have any predisposed idea of the character in my head, but also because he just seemed to play it so easily, so naturally. While these two are a little older than their on screen counterparts, their portrayal of these teenage accomplices are totally on point.

The story itself drew me in quite quickly, and held me most of the way through. I have to admit, I was sure I had it all figured out, and I’m really, really glad it went a different way to what I was thinking. None of the classic 80’s, over-the-top, fairytale happy ending; no – this film gives us, somewhat, realism. While it was unlikely that Margo, as an 18-year-old who hadn’t yet graduated, could run away to a remote town and settle down with no money and no real idea of how to survive in the Real World, it was realistic that she only really saw Quentin as a friend, and an ally and not necessarily as a love-interest, no matter how much he had built up the idea in his own mind. It would have made more sense at the end though, they they all get grounded and not be allowed to go to prom for disappearing without any notice and driving halfway across the country, but I suppose they must just have super-cool, relaxed parents.

1962076_origThe journey to the end point itself though, was fun, and left me sorely reminiscent of days when I could just pack up, jump in my car, and drive. Just drive to see where we ended up, or plan to go somewhere we had never been before and head there without agenda. It made me miss the strong ties of friendship you form in the uncertain and dangerous years that are High School and reminded me, somewhat soberly, of the way life tends to move us apart from those we no longer need as we move on to new stages in our lives. This film felt, at points, more adult than it’s YA label, and even though I am over a decade older than these characters, it honestly reached me on so many personal levels, particularly as self-discovery doesn’t necessarily end in your late teens/early twenties. Case in point: a special mention has to go to the scene where the three male leads need to sing a song to stop the abandoned store they are led to from appearing too frightening, and when they started singing the Pokémon theme song full pelt, I inevitably found myself singing (and dancing) along with them, right there in the cinema that held mostly adults, some of whom occasionally claim me as a friend. And I felt alive.

The scavenger hunt that Quentin undertakes to try and find Margo is detailed enough to create an enjoyable and engaging storyline, but not over the top enough to make it tacky or unbelievable. There is just the right amount of clue-finding and self-exploring. the tone of the film is right for the age of the main characters, but also tastefully very now, and will hopefully hold it’s value for a long time to come without ageing. This film feels like it has the capacity to hold strong within the generations, much like its predecessor The Fault in Our Stars, and possibly become a classic in it’s own right.

Bottom line is, this is a great movie, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys movies about self-discovery, contemporary films, and feel-good films you can relate back to real-life. An up-to-date Perks of Being a Wallflower, but with cooler pop-culture references (Pokémon FTW!!)

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                                                                gold stargold stargold stargold stargold star

Side Note: The cameo by Ansel Elgort was completely awesome, well placed, and insanely cute. I even found myself fangirling a little, even though I’m not that much of a TFIOS fan, just the connection to a previous John Green film was enough to make me smile like a geek. 

Images via: Here, here, here, here,

Five Books I’m Really Looking Forward to Reading

I have a book addiction. Seriously, I can’t go into a bookstore without buying books, and I go into bookstores a lot. Ergo, I have a lot of books sitting on my shelves at the moment that are still waiting to be read. But they look so pretty, sitting there, waiting.

There are well over two dozen books sitting on my To Be Read (TBR) list at the moment, but here are the top five on that list that I can’t wait to read:

(Hover over the titles/authors for links to more information)

1. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

matthewquick-forgivemeleonardpeacockI know very little about this book, and that’s partially why I’m so excited to read it. I suppose, I tend to love any book that tackles the taboo. Such as I loved Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, or even Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, this book also tackles those ever taboo issues in high school. I haven’t read any other of Matthew Quick’s books, but I saw the film of Silver Linings Playbook and that book is also on my TBR list, and hopefully this book lives up to the awesome reviews I’ve seen so far, none of which, thankfully, have given away any of the plot.

2. Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

kc-packshotI originally picked this book up based on the gorgeous bird prints on the outer page edges, they are simply stunning. Then I read the blurb – Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a stranger on death row. I mean, doesn’t that just seem to hook you in right away? Also – I love books that are written, or stories that are told, in non-traditional prose, so letter writing is right up my alley. A novel centred around a 15 year-old and her complicated grasp of live and emotion, this novel is certainly one that I am likely going to devour in a matter of hours.

3. Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy

22456952Now, to be one hundred percent honest with you, this was predminately a ‘cover buy’, although I had technically decided that I wanted to read it before I actually purchased it. I saw it on @blueyedbiblo‘s instagram feed and the cover was just gorgeous and the title equally as intriguing.  On top of that, this book is written entirely in lists. Yes, lists. Something I adore, use a lot in my day to day life and tend to be drawn to, particularly when scouring social media (think, ’20 things all girls who wear glasses know to be true’ etc.). So another non-traditional prose based novel full of teen angst I simply can’t wait to dive head first into.

4. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

book-coverAnother book written in letters. It seems I can’t help myself when it comes to these types of books. This book sees our protagonist writing a letter, first off, as a school project, to someone who has died, and Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain. This is admittedly one of the main reasons I want to read this book, because I am old enough to have been into Nirvana just after Kurt took his own life, so I remember actually hearing about it and coming to terms with that as a pre-teen. Death is always a hard subject to write about, and grief is even harder because we all experience it so differently. This book was going to be my first to read in May, but my copy got really badly damaged in a rainstorm not long ago, and my new copy came today, can’t wait.

5. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

The-Shock-Of-The-Fall-coverIt was the blurb of this book that made me carry it away from the shelf and up to the counter to part with my hard earned cash. The blurb consists of a simple quote in a childlike voice: “I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.” And that was it, that’s what grabbed me. But another book about mental illness is something that I know will grab my attention, because it hits so close to home. This book has had a lot of great reviews, and seems like it’s gonna be another brilliant read.

Keep your eyes peeled for reviews of these books on my review page as I read them. You an also keep up to date on what I’m currently reading, if you feel so inclined, by following more of my book adventures on Instagram (@felixturtle_reads) and on Goodreads (felixturtle).

Images via: here, here, here, here, here, here,

Happy Star Wars Day!

Since I was a little girl, I’ve been in love with Star Wars. My dad and I would watch them together, and I used to love the loud sounds and fast flying. Heck, I was even young enough when the prequels came out to think I liked them, at least until Episode III when I realised I was wrong and the original trilogy was the only one that really mattered.

 
I loved the animated series’ that came along too; and played a lot of the games, especially Pod Racing on the N64. Star Wars was, and is, a huge part of what makes me Me. Not to mention the amazing lego sets! I love how inter-generational Star Wars is, how it has engaged kids and adults alike since the late 70s and still continues to grab new fans to this day.

And I am hella excited for the new episodes coming over the next few years starting this December. J J Abrams looks to be doing a mighty fine job, so fingers crossed we get a whole new batch of awesome flicks, and can invite yet another generation into the folds of the awesome Star Wars fan community.

So Happy Star Wars day everyone! May the Fourth be with you!

 

Images via: here, here, here

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

jamieoliverYesterday, I was lucky enough to see Jamie Oliver give a live talk at the Sydney Opera House. He was charming and funny and cooked some amazing food (sadly we didn’t get to eat any), but we did get a live performance from the Wiggles! But cooking aside, Jamie was here for a reason – to promote the notion he refers to as ‘Food Revolution‘.

The idea is that kids should be taught about food as early as possible, to cook it and to work with it – to recognise what is good for us, and bad; to learn tastes, flavours, combinations, even how to grow it. This idea can lead to amazing change within our nation, and the world, and will lead to a healthier, more sustainable future, for everyone. Jamie believes that we each have the power to promote change, and that we can all band together to help make our governments see that this is a good move forward for the future generations, and will benefit our society as a whole.

“My wish is to create a strong sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”
Read more at Food Revolution day.

Jamie knows food, we all know that’s fact – he’s been a celerity chef for over 15 years and he has had numerous successful TV shows and cook books, dating right back to hid Naked Chef days. And Jamie is fighting for food education, for children’s rights to know food too, and to utilise it to make a better future. You can help Jamie make a difference at change.org, by signing the petition, and sharing it with your friends. Let’s make the new generation the best one yet.

 

And for fun, Jamie Oliver Wiggle’s Food Revolution dance:

Join Jamie in telling our government that our kids need food education. You can click on any of the links above, or visit Jamie on any of the following social media outlets:

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Images: herehere, here, here

Videos: youtube, and my own personal recordings

Ed Sheeran, Live in Concert

Ed Sheeran is Hands Down the Best Performer I Have Ever Seen Live.

I love his music, and I  love his image and his whole attitude. Ed is just a stand-up guy, a great person with the power to do good (and he does!), and the man delivers when it comes to a live performance. There is a huge difference between being a ‘singer’ and being a ‘performer’, and Ed is definitely the latter.

With a mix of current music, older music, mash-ups and covers, Ed definitely knows how to entertain a crowd. Honestly, I have never been to a concert (and I’ve been to my fair share) that is so much an interactive experience, rather than just some famous person standing up and singing at you. He knows how to get you excited, how to have you singing along, tapping along, bobbing along and even rapping along if you can keep up! At one point, Ed had the audience singing back-up, in unison, and in harmony! You feel that you are as much a part of the concert as Ed is, and that, for me, is a rare occurrence.

It amazed me (more than Ed himself and his musical talent) that Ed was the only person on the stage during the entire performance (okay, there were a few roadies here and there, but you know what I mean). Ed, his guitar, a couple of peddles at his feet and Ed has the whole band at his disposal: backing tracks, the chorus, riffs and beats and it’s all so natural, but also ALL LIVE. He is adding backing tracks as he needs them, playing guitar like a total fucking boss and singing – all at once. He performs covers, and makes them his own, including Blackstreet’s No Diggity, Stevie Wonder’s Superstition, and even Iggy Azalea’s Fancy. He even mashed these songs into medleys with his own songs, and he made it look really easy.  The man is brilliant. Period.

ed sheeran
Ed in 247. Magazine UK, 2012

He sang all the new songs, and some of the best old ones, opening with Lego House and closing with a huge rendition of Sing – complete with harmonised audience back-up – and an amazing light display. The screens behind him on stage show live video of Ed as he’s singing, but also show images, light displays, and tell stories through animated and pre-filmed footage – the final result: a completely seamless, stunning display and a thoroughly enjoyable concert.

Not to mention Ed is just such an awesome guy – check out what he did this week in Sydney for a couple’s wedding over at popsugar. He is truly a nice guy, the kind of dude I’d love to just hang out with. That, and he’s besties with my favourite – Taylor Swift. Couple the whole thing with Ed telling us that Australia is his favourite place to visit, and I can honestly say that this was the most enjoyable and exhilarating concert I have ever been to.

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5 out of 5

 

Images: here, herehere,