Monday, 25 February 2013

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I couldn't find an image of the copy I read so this will have to do :)
Title: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
262 Pages

Rating: 4/5

This is the first classic book that I've read outside a classroom situation and entirely because I wanted to read it and I have to say, once I got used to the older language in it I found it very enjoyable! It was as difficult to understand as I expected it to be and I found that by around halfway through I was just enjoying it and I was used to the writing style along with everything else.

I'm sure the majority of you are aware of the story of Pride and Prejudice, but it follows Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters. It sees them deal with difficult situations and follows their quest to find husbands.

Personally, I feel that this is the kind of book that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. It's such an iconic book and I can definitely see why. I would recommend it to anyone who loves reading and wants to read a classic book, even if they haven't read one yet.

One of the things that inspired me to read this book is the web series adaptation that I'm currently following called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The web series (created by Hank Green) is based around a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Lizzie tells the story entirely through video diaries. It's definitely worth the time it takes to watch it. It can be found here:

(Book 6/50)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A Visit to London

Seeing as though last week was our half term break, my best friend and I decided to take a short trip up to London. Living in Wales, very close to Cardiff, it's not too far to go just overnight. Despite the fact we've never been to London without a 'responsible adult' to keep us in check, we decided to just go for it. We talked to friends of her parents and they said we were more than welcome to stay with them in their house near the center so we booked our train tickets and that was that!

We set off on Wednesday morning, getting a train from Cardiff Central to London Paddington so that we arrived around 11am. We went straight to drop our things off then headed out in search of a bookshop that we'd seen on Google that looked like something from Harry Potter. It was called Daunt Books and I can honestly say that it was worth having to use the Google maps app on my phone to find it. Although neither or us ended up buying anything there, it was a great place to have been.
After going to Daunt Books we had a bit of lunch in "Eat" and then got the tube into the more central area of London. We walked through Soho with all it's cute little shops and walked all the way down to Trafalgar Square. By this time it was absolutely freezing so we went in the National Gallery for a bit of warmth and wandered around looking at the paintings for a bit as both of us are currently doing GCSE Art so it made us feel like our visit had been somewhat educational. We then headed over to Waterstones where I picked up a beautiful copy of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen as a souvenir. After a bit more wandering round which lead us to in Covent Garden and a quick drink in Costa, we headed towards The Strand for Pizza Hut for tea and then home for the night.
The following morning we were up and out of the house by about 9.30am, which for someone who is not a morning person, like myself, is pretty good. We headed straight for the area that everyone thinks of when they think of London, the Thames by the London eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. We walked from the tube station right along side the Thames all the way up to Westminster Bridge, then back down and to the Tate Modern art Gallery. After a little wander around the Tate, we had a quick look at the Globe theater from the outside, had lunch a bit of lunch and then headed home.

Even though our trip was only overnight, it was an amazing experience and one that I definitely plan to repeat. It was such an easy thing to do, the only thing preventing us from being able to go up and stay in London regularly is the price of the train tickets. My friend and I have already decided the trip will be repeated in the summer and I can't wait. 

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson

Title: Kiss Me Kill Me
Author: Lauren Henderson
260 Pages

Rating 3/5

I got this book for Christmas and wasn't really sure about it at first. I wasn't sure if it was my kind of thing and a lot of reviews I'd come across mentioned not to be deceived by the cover and described it as not being a light bit of 'chick-lit' but I think I disagree to a certain extent. Although the story line isn't that of a stereotypical girly book, I did think it was still a quick and light read.

Kiss Me Kill Me is the first in the Scarlett Wakefield series. When Scarlett gets invited to a party thrown by one of the 'cool' girls in the school, she jumps at the chance. The party takes a turn for the worse and she kisses a boy called Dan who dies in her arms. No one knows how Dan died but they all blame Scarlett and this forces Scarlett to transfer schools. The book shows how Scarlett begins to uncover the truth about that night and follows her on her quest to discover how Dan really died.

The reason I didn't give this book a higher rating is because I felt it didn't really have much content in it. I found the writing style nice and easy to read however the plot seemed a little slow at times. I still enjoyed it though and will be buying the next one in the series.

(Book 5/50)

Friday, 1 February 2013

Lord Of The Flies by William Golding

Title: Lord Of The Flies
Author: William Golding
248 Pages

Rating 4/5

This is the book I'm currently studying (in Year 11) for my English Literature GCSE. I wasn't expecting much from this book after reading last year's book To Kill A Mockingbird and not enjoying it because I assumed it was just that I didn't enjoy books I had to read rather than had chosen to. This book proved that wasn't the case.

Because we are studying this in school, a lot of it was read during lesson time by classmates and my teachers. I found that because we were encouraged to talk about the events of the chapter immediately after reading it, the novel became even more interesting. There were many examples of symbolism that were pointed out by my classmates and my teacher that I may not have picked up on if I'd read it myself.

The story follows a group of boys who are stranded on a desert island after a plane crash. All of these boys are under 12 years old. As the novel progresses we learn how they chose to deal with their situation and the community they develop.

I would definitely recommend this book as I personally found it a really enjoyable read!

(Book 4/50)

Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart

Title: Is It Just Me?
Author: Miranda Hart
323 Pages

Rating 4/5

As a massive fan of the TV program 'Miranda', when one of my best friends gave me this as a birthday present at the end of December I was very excited. It definitely didn't disappoint either.

This is book isn't what I expected it to be. It's not the typical book written by someone famous that's an autobiography they release seemingly for the sake of being able to say they've written a book. In Is It Just Me? Miranda tells many different funny stories that have happened over the years or just her opinions on certain topics and often talks to her 18-year-old self giving her helpful little hints and tips.

I found this book really unique due to the style of it and I don't think anyone who enjoys both reading and Miranda's TV show will be disappointed with this read. It's definitely worth it for me.

(Book 3/50)