For all that know me, it’ll come as no surprise that I’m here reviewing a book. Books are magical and are such a brilliant way to escape real life and become a queen, an adventurer, a supernatural expert and so on. I started reading this book towards the end of February, and honestly I enjoyed it so much, I didn’t want it to end. So I tried to prolong reading the rest of it, until it got to the point where I couldn’t hold myself back any more. And DAYUM! It was so good!
I’m not going to beat around the bush here, Red Queen is most definitely the best dystopian book I have ever read. I was hooked immediately and wanted nothing more than to spend every second of every day with Mare, Cal and Maven. If you imagined it how I did, you’d see some elements of Divergent to it, but also with a historic twist. The gowns, the dances, the royal family – it was perfect. Red Queen brought together everything I adore and tied everything in nicely. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see characters you’d find in historic tales have these incredible powers and become even more terrifying and powerful than they would have been without them?! Take me to this place, immediately!
If you’ve not read this beautiful book yet, don’t worry, I won’t be posting spoilers! So for those of you that are just sat at your computer screens wondering what on earth Red Queen is about, let me tell you. Red Queen follows a young girl, Mare Barrow on an epic and terrifying journey no one thought possible. Mare is a Red, a person of red blood, just like you and I. However, in Mare’s world, there’s a dominant blood type, and that’s Silver. If you were Silver, you had everything. You were royal, you were worshiped, but most of all, you had powers. After meeting a mysterious and intriguing young lad, Mare gets whisked off to the Castle to work for the royal family made of Silvers. However, that’s just the beginning of Mare’s world as she knows it disappearing before her eyes. During her first day at the castle, it becomes clear that Mare isn’t like the rest of the Reds. Her blood bleeds red, but she has an extra spark to her. Mare possesses the ability to control and create electricity which is unheard of among Silvers, let alone Reds. In order to keep their eyes on Mare and hide her abilities from others they decide to hide her in plain sight and parade her around as one of them. A Silver. In the middle of all the excitement and terror, there are such strong senses of love, family, betrayal, hurt, anger, freedom and hope throughout the whole book and I couldn’t put it down. Not willingly anyway.
Mare’s story took so many twists and turns and honestly, the entire thing had me shocked. I had a really lovely ending planned out in my head, and then WHAM! The real ending happens and you just sit there thinking ‘WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!’ – the last chapter or so made me so mad. I literally became crazier than ever reading the last few pages of the book. Honestly, if you figure out what’s going to happen, then, you must be really great at finding out ‘who-dun-it’ in murder mysteries! I couldn’t believe it. I felt exactly like Mare felt. I felt sick, cold, doomed. Were these incredible characters that I grew to love just going to be snuffed out?! Would it be horrible?! What was going to happen to them if they escape?! Would they escape?! It drove me insane thinking about everything. I just didn’t see it coming. I felt too engrossed in what Mare was thinking, seeing, hearing, feeling to even piece together anything other than that. That’s all I’m going to say about the ending. You just have to read it to find out what happens, and believe me, you’ll be hooked.
The characters were complex, interesting and somewhat different from others in the dystopian world. Yes of course we have the stereotypical heroin/villain situation going on and the fight for a better and more equal world. However, these characters aim to achieve the same things essentially. However, the way they choose to do so may be a little bit different to one and other’s plans. If you’ve read the book, then you’ll notice I’ve kept the characters’ descriptions fairly vague as to not give anything away. So please don’t burn me alive if you see something that turns out to be wrong either later in the book or the series.
Mare – Mare was annoying and stubborn in the best ways possible! She knew what she wanted, she knew how she felt, she knew how to play the game. And I absolutely loved the fact that she wasn’t motivated by love, or a selfish need. She wanted her people, the Reds to be free of their tedious and practically slave-like lives. She wanted a change. And she was going to die for it if she had to. She joined a rebellion and worked as an ‘insider’ to give them the best possible chance of winning the everlasting war they’ve been fighting. Now Mare has these abilities, she’s capable of anything and everything…
Cal – Cal is one of those characters that you kind of want to fall in love with, kind of want to smack him over the head with a chair, but would totally marry him if he asked you. He’s got his heart in the right place, however he can be easily persuaded. He’s got such a soft spot for Mare and Maven (his younger half-brother) and is extremely loyal to his family and close friends. Cal of course wants a change in the way things are, alas he feels like he cannot be the King (when it’s his time to be king) to do that. He foresees a lot of bloodshed, a lot of tragedy and more heartache. He wants to be tactful and careful when planning a future like that. There’s another thing about him too that pulls at your heart-strings and makes you want to tell him it’s okay, he’ll be okay, he’s scared of letting his family down. Of his father somehow being dishonoured by his decisions. I loved Cal so much and I just wanted to smack him and then cuddle him for the rest of my life. Still do if I’m honest. I just can’t wait to start reading the next book so I can be with Cal again.
Maven – Okay so Maven is literally a babe! He takes Mare in, loves her, cares for her and ultimately protects her from the darkness of the Silver’s world. Especially when it comes to the royals and his mother, Queen Elara. You get the impression that Maven is a lost little boy with no purpose, until he finds his purpose and passion with Mare. He embraces Mare, admires her for trying so hard, for being so strong and wilful. He’s the type of guy that would probably be super shy if you met him in person, but then when someone starts giving you trouble and making you uncomfortable, Maven would swoop in and protect you like the Prince Charming he is. I’ve got to say, I think I’m leaning more towards being a Maven girl than a Cal girl. But who knows?! I loved them both so much I’d be chill with whoever really.
Elara – Queen Elara is the second wife of the King. His first wife committed suicide and thus came along Elara. She has this ability to read people’s minds, to control them. Torture them. She is what’s typically seen as a vindictive and evil Queen. Her entire plan for Mare is never entirely clear. Does she want her dead? Or does she want her to be around for something much, much worse? She is also a mother. Maven’s mother. And the contradiction between mother and son is crazy. She is strong, confident, her heart full of greed and want. Forever wanting more for Maven and herself. Forever leaving Cal to fend for himself. Elara was an interesting character because she was just so spiteful. She was wicked. And I loved her. I’d never, ever want to cross her. But at the same time, I’d want to smack her in the face with a shovel. The fact she’s fairly stereotypical and evil as you’d expect makes it that much better when you get to the ending. Her character has so much potential and so many paths she could do down. But alas, we will have to wait and see what happens next for our queen.
I could list all the character names in here and write a little bit about them all if I had the time and patience. But I guess there are some things you really do have to find out about when you read the book. Those would be the four main characters I’d say are key in this story. There are of course, others involved just as they are, but again, I’m not giving anything away. I honestly can’t describe how I felt reading the book. I fell in love with reading over and over and over again, with every page I felt as though I was there with them. On this journey into an unknown future. It was beautiful, hopeful and most of all, it betrayed everything I thought I knew about the book.
I’ll leave things here for now, because I really could go on and on about this book for such a long time, and I feel like you’ll hate me if I continue to ramble. If you’ve not read Red Queen then please, please, please pick yourself up a copy and enjoy an incredible read with twists, turns and back stabbing. You can take my word for it, but in the words of a very important character ‘anyone can betray anyone.’ Until next time, have an awfully big adventure!
We all love a bit of Lush, and I’m sure we all have our favourite products! Since working there I’ve had the upmost pleasure in learning even more about my favourite Lush products. So I thought, why not tell you guys what my favourite products are (in no particular order) and why! You never know, you might just be reading about your new favourite thing.
Rub, Rub, Rub – Shower Scrub.
Rub, Rub, Rub is a beautiful shower scrub that contains rich mineral sea salt that not only is a beautiful exfoliant, but it’s also an antiseptic. So it’s perfect for soothing and rejuvenating your skin. With added lemon oil you can use this beauty in your hair to give it extra volume, texture and a beautiful, healthy shine that it deserves. I first tried this about a year and a half ago, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I adore the soft velvety feeling Rub, Rub, Rub leaves on the skin and can never get enough of it. The smell is incredible and almost ocean-like. It’s an extremely luxurious shower scrub that will make you feel amazing!
Retailed at £8.95 – 330g Tub.
Sunnyside Bubble Bar.
Do you ever feel like you’re bathing in pure melted down gold? Do you ever feel like a mermaid when you have a bath? If not, then you need Sunnyside reusable bubble bar in your life. Sunnyside has beautiful lemon oil, tangerine oil and sweet wild orange oil to lift up your mood and enrich your day. But if that’s not good enough, it even has plastic free gold lustre which makes it look like Neverland’s magic lagoon has relocated to your bathtub. I remember the first time I saw this bubble bar in action – it’s safe to say that my mind was well and truly blown. It’s one of my favourite Lush products because of how surprising and unique it is. It makes me very happy whenever I use it.
Retailed at £4.95.
American Cream Conditioner.
My hair has been through hair hell over the past few years. From constantly cutting, dying, styling, drying, curling, straightening and penultimately not brushing it. So it obviously needs some TLC just to ensure I don’t go bald within the next five years or so. American Cream is a delicious smelling conditioner that contains fresh strawberries that are rich with vitamin C that help cleanse the hair. Honey water for the antiseptic and soothing aspect for the hair. And of course, lavender and clary sage that will sooth and calm the scalp. So if you think your hair needs a little bit of TLC with a rich and nourishing conditioner, why not give American Cream a go?
Retailed at £4.95 – 100g bottle.
Mask of Magnaminty – Face and Body Mask.
This is my ultimate favourite product that Lush has ever made! Mask of Mag is full of peppermint oil which stimulates the skin and blood flow, perfect for breakout prone skin. It also contains honey water, primrose and aduki seeds to cleanse and gently exfoliate the skin. All these ingredients combined leaves you feeling uplifted and your skin feeling flawless. All you have to do is leave it on for about 5-10 minutes, gently rinse it off with a warm wash cloth and Bob’s your uncle! You can also pop it on the rest of your body if you’re like me and get random and annoying spots and breakouts elsewhere on the body. I’ve recommended this to all my friends and so far everyone has loved it. If you fancy giving this beautiful face and body mask a try then definitely pop into your local Lush store or look online and grab yourself a beautiful pot!
Retailed at £6.25 -125g tub.
Sultana of Soap.
This soap is one of my ultimate favourite things from Lush! It smells like clean washing thanks to a mixture of dried currents, dried cranberries, dried apricots and olibanum oil. This not only makes for a gorgeous smelling product but it also leaves you feeling moisturises and beautiful after every use! Sensitive skin? Dry skin? Young or old skin? This soap is perfect for everyone! And one of the many reasons why I love it so much. If you’ve ever tried Blackberry Bath Bomb or Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask and loved the smell of them, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with this beauty of a soap. It shares the same sweet and fresh smell as both Blackberry and Catastrophe Cosmetic. So why not give it a try, and see what you think of this stunning gem? I promise, you won’t be let down!
Retailed at £3.50 – 100g.
The Comforter (Shower Cream).
Who doesn’t want to smell like a they’ve been dipped in fresh and beautiful black forest berries every time they jump in the shower?! My favourite shower gel/ cream Lush do is The Comforter. It’s absolutely stunning with cassis absolute (the source of that blackcurrant aroma), uplifting and cleansing bergamot oil and moisturising almond oil for the skin AND HAIR! This really does smell incredible and really stimulates your senses. I feel warm and comforted (forgive the pun) every time I use this shower cream and honestly, I can’t get enough of it. It’s such a popular smell, we actually turned it from just a bubble bar into this luxurious shower cream so it could be there for all of its fans. If you’ve tried the bubble bar but not the shower cream, why not pop into your local Lush and experience The Comforter first hand with all of it’s berrylicious scent.
Retailed at £4.95 – 100g bottle.
Twilight Bath Bomb.
Anyone that knows me really well will know that I suffer incredibly badly with insomnia, and I’m constantly on the look out for something that will help me drift off to sleep quickly, easily and without messing up my body clock. Thanks to a combination of things, I’ve been able to target my insomniac hell by using lavender scented products. One of the most successful products that has helped me is Twilight Bath Bomb. Twilight is a beautiful bath bomb that is inspired by the change from evening into night – the colours change from being fairly bright to a lovely dark ‘twilight’ colour. It’s jam packed full of beautiful French lavender which is renowned for it’s part in aromatherapy to treat insomnia. It’s calming and helps clear the mind of any stress or worry from the day and makes sure you’re ready for your nice and snug bed at the end of the evening. The benzoin and tonka absolute are there to stimulate thoughts of warm creamy/ milky drinks that further help you sink into that much needed rest. If I could have Twilight scented everything, I would. But for now, just the bath bomb will do.
Retailed at £3.75
Coalface – Facial Soap.
My skin can be terrible at times! Especially in those awkward months were it’s just transitioning from warm to cold. My skin tends to break out and get super oily at times. I was trying so much but hardly anything was helping, then my best friend, Cerys, recommended using Coalface – a soap she used to keep her skin glowing. So I had nothing to lose and I decided to try it. Cerys, as usual was right! I really fell in love with this product and have been using it ever since! You can probably guess by the name alone that it contains absorbing and cleansing charcoal so that any oil on the skill will be sucked up straight away. It also has natural antiseptic rosewood oil to combat those nasty break outs, and of course sandalwood oil to give it that beautiful natural earthy smell. Not only will this soap help with any break outs on the face, but you can even use it all over! If you’re feeling like you’re at a brick wall when it comes to your skin, you should pop into your local Lush and see if Coalface is the one for you. You never know if you don’t try.
Retailed at £5.95 – 100g.
Charity Pot – Hand and Body Lotion.
This is one of the products Lush sell that I absolutely adore not just because of what it does, but because of what it helps provide for other people. It’s not just perfect for any type of skin, but we give 100% of the profit, minus the VAT to small grassroots organisations that would benefit from a little something extra. Not only does it have fair trade Shea butter and fair trade olive oil, but it also have a balancing, uplifting and antiseptic rosewood oil to sooth and nourish the skin.
I used this to help heal my last tattoo and honestly, it reduced the pain and discomfort greatly! This is definitely a perfect idea for a gift or a treat for yourself or your loved ones.
Retailed at £3.50 – 45g tub.
Eau Roma Water – Toner Water.
I cannot recommend this product enough! It’s a very gentle, soothing product that contains lavender water and rose water that will reduce redness, calm and soften the skin, as well as give balancing features to the skin. You can use this at the end of your night time routine and clear up any traces of makeup, cleanser or dirt on the skin, or you can use it to freshen up every now and then with a quick spritz. Since using this on my skin, I’ve felt so much calmer and my spots have reduced so much!
Retailed at £4.50 – 100g bottle.
Big Blue Bath Bomb.
To further experience being a mermaid in the bath, then you HAVE to try Big Blue! The sea weed inside is absolutely perfect for cleansing the skin and helping you drift off into the seas of Neverland. The fine sea salts soften the skin and act as a natural antiseptic so you will feel like Ariel herself when you embark on this Big Blue journey. Containing lavender oil to clear your mind from worries and lemon oil to uplift and cleanse the skin, you can’t really beat this beauty of a bath bomb. There are things you can’t beat, and Big Blue is one of them. We even make this beautiful bath bomb in our parties that we hold in Lush stores. If this sounds like something you’d fall in love with, pop into your local Lush and grab yourself a Big Blue, and why not ask about the parties we offer too! They’re super fun and so enjoyable for everyone no matter the age.
Retailed at £3.50.
Buffy Body Butter.
Have you ever wondered if there was such a thing that helped with random outbreaks on the body? Or to reduce redness and the aggressive looking stretch marks? Well Buffy is here to slay those pesky concerns! I adore Buffy as it has both Shea and Coco butter in it which not only moisturises the skin but it also softens and conditions the skin like the badass Buffy is. It also provides that well deserved gentle exfoliant with ground rice and almonds which leaves you feeling utterly brand new. The lavender inside of Buffy is a great addition as it’s antiseptic and calming for your skin. Perfect to slay demonic skin when you’re feeling a bit fed up! It’s great for all types of skin seeing as it’s gentle, calming and soothing with very gentle and soft ingredients jam packed inside. I honestly love this product and couldn’t live without it.
Retailed at £6.75 – 90g.
It was super hard trying to narrow down my favourite Lush products as the list can and probably will, go on forever. But for now these are the things I absolutely adore that aren’t seasonal! I’ve popped the lowest price/ size of the products below the descriptions just in case any of you fancied trying some of these beautiful products! You can of course get them in larger sizes in store and online if you wish. If you have tried any of the things listed above let me know! And let me know what your favourite Lush products are in the comments below! Until next time, have an awfully big adventure!
Just a week ago one of my closest friends, Mia who’s like a little sister to me, decided to tell me she had a belated Christmas present for me; You Me At Six’s new album Night People. This alone made me so happy and thankful as I’ve been listening to this incredible British rock band from Surrey for years. At the peak of my emo days, YMAS were one of the only bands I’d listen to. Since then, I feel I’ve grown up as they’ve grown musically. It’s a comforting feeling whenever I listen to them and I was just pleased that Mia knew I loved them as much as she does. So when she sprung it on me that not only was I going to get their new album, I was also going to be meeting them with her, I was a little bit taken aback. Inside I was freaking out, but I played it cool and thanked her a billion times.
So tonight at roughly 6pm (I know, the irony of the time) we were at the end of the queue for the signing, and suddenly, they were in front of us. By this time, I wasn’t freaked out, I wasn’t crying, shaking or even nervous. Mia was shaking and just overall a big ball of adrenaline and excitement. Mia’s friend Maisy was also with us, but she was a lot calmer than Mia and more on my level. We made Mia go first so she didn’t have time to over think what she’d say to them and so she’d be able to get a group photo with all of us in. There was also one other girl who was alone and the last person in the queue all together. So when we asked for a group photo, Josh Franceschi, the bands front man, suggested that we all have a proper photo with them. So he went about to sort out a plan of action. I looked at Mia to see her eyes were a thousand times bigger than before and her hand was slightly shaking. Maisy and I were just saying ‘yeah, whatever’s good for you is good for us’ – you know, because we were the normal ones out of the three of us.
Josh had the girl behind us go first seeing as she was alone and they could have a little bit of a chat then. Which we didn’t mind. She came all that way to meet her favourite band by herself so we wanted her to have her moment and be happy more than we wanted a picture with the band. While the girl was getting ready for her photo to be taken with YMAS, Mia states rather loudly that the phone in one of the security guards hand is hers and not the girl who was about to have her photo taken. Josh looks at Mia and slightly laughs saying ‘I know, don’t worry, I know what I’m doing.’ I don’t think Mia ever expected to have a normal conversation with one of the bands she’s been listening to since she was 11 years old, so to have Josh be so normal and informal with her probably made her freak out even more.
When our turn came, I stood behind Josh and Chris, Mia stood behind Dan, and Maisy stood behind Matt and Max. They had so much time for us and asked us how we were, what our thoughts were on the album, what we thought about the event, if we were doing good and so on. I asked if they were enjoying Cardiff and how they were after travelling and speaking to fans all day. They were just so genuinely lovely and down to Earth. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend a Monday evening or for an even more genuine band.
You’d expect a huge band like You Me At Six to be a little bit more… distant in a way? But it’s like they’ve never changed from the lads they were years ago when no one knew their names. Not even the fame, the work, the tours, the fans, the media, the press could stop them from being genuine and humble. It felt like I was talking to a local band that were at the start of their career. I am in complete awe at their gentle and kind nature, let alone their sheer talent. To meet those guys and to feel like they enjoyed the experience as much as we did feels amazing. They made us feel welcome and like friends of theirs. It was an experience that I’ll cherish for as long as I live, and they will forever be a band that I have the utmost respect for.
I’m seeing them in concert (again) in April and honestly, I couldn’t be more pumped up for a concert. Seeing them perform is just something else completely and I have no doubt I’ll be writing another post about that night. Have you ever met one of your favourite bands? Have you met YMAS? Let me know down in the comments! And until next time, have an awfully big adventure, Night People.
Going to the pantomime for many families across Britain is a tradition at Christmas time. Since being a young girl, I’ve seen countless shows with my family. Some better than others. So when a few months ago I found out that David Hasselhoff was playing Captain ‘Hoff’ The Hook in PETER PAN!! I of course grabbed tickets as fast as my little hands would type. I decided, considering I’m now 20 years old, I should maybe treat my mum to a night out of pure family fun. And that’s exactly what happened.
However, you’re probably wondering why this post, and a few others, haven’t been posted when I originally planned to post them. My grandfather fell ill the night of the 16th and honestly, I’ve been worried and stressed since then. He’s a fighter and I know things will be okay, but he’s just someone that’s been a huge part of my life, and I hate seeing him being so sick and vulnerable. That’s why this and some other posts will be late being posted.
So when we got to the theatre, I was feeling every single emotion you could think of. I was about to see one of my favourite ever shows, but I was also deeply worried and concerned for my grandfather’s health. My mum was doing her best to try and take my mind off of things, so we made our way through the crowd, picked up a program and headed to the merchandise stand. My eyes instantly locked on Peter’s hat, and suddenly, all the worries, the stress, the responsibilities I had as a 20 year old, faded away. I became 3 years old and that hat was all I wanted in life. So my mum bought the had for me, and told the lady at the stand what Peter Pan meant to me. She was so touched by what we said, the look on her face just said it all. Shortly after that, we headed towards our seats.
I knew exactly where we were sat, after all, I’d bought those tickets. But my mum, she was clueless. So when we walked through door A and asked where about row D would be, she almost fell to the floor. We were in fact 4 rows from the front. We could practically see David Hasselhoff sweat if we looked close enough. My mum’s excitement radiated off her and I ended letting go of any remaining stress or worries and just let my inner child come out for a few hours.
Starting off with the show, I was a bit taken aback. It’s been years since I actually went to a pantomime, and even then, I was still young enough to partake in the usual ‘oh no he’s not’ and ‘he’s behind you!’ and not be judged too harshly. So when the audience was asked to shout and sing, it felt a bit odd. Though, that didn’t last long. I would like to think towards the end of the show, I was the one that was screaming, clapping, laughing and even singing the loudest out of everyone.
The play itself was completely different to what Peter Pan’s real story is. I was a slightly saddened about that, but still, I enjoyed every single second of Peter Pan. The story followed close to the original tale by having Wendy, John and Michael going on an awfully big adventure to Neverland alongside Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and friends. Even if Peter Pan is my favourite thing in the entire world, I enjoyed other characters that weren’t meant to be the main focus. Mrs Smee played by Mike Doyle was phenomenal! He picked up on current affairs in politics for the grown ups to laugh at, he honed in on the audience and read the crowd so well, I truly believe that each audience had a brilliant yet unique time watching this incredible actor and comedian perform live on stage. He was kind and gentle when they brought on two really sweet kids on stage to do the traditional sing-along. Mrs Smee/ Mike Doyle was most definitely one of the best parts of the entire show. I was howling with laughter at everything he said and did. I felt like a child and an adult all at once. For someone who wants to go into the entertainment industry Doyle’s performance was impressive, honest and showed me everything that I wanted to see as an audience member, a creator and as a fan.
The moment that everything went from being pure child’s entertainment was the moment Captain Hoff The Hook came on stage. David Hasselhoff is the type of actor you’d never expect to see willingly taking the mick out of himself, however there he was in all his glory. Paying tributes to his previous roles in things like Baywatch, and playing to his well-known characteristics. The Hoff was truly remarkable and we could see that he had a special spark inside of him from the second he graced the stage. We sat four rows from the front so we could see him so clearly. The part where the and his pirates took water guns out and squirted the audience was the moment that David Hasselhoff noticed me. I was squealing with pure delight and childish glee that I forgot I was 20. My arms wrapped around my face and my leg (bizarrely enough) flung straight up into the air as if to ninja kick the water away from me. Hasselhoff noticed this, so he squirted me again, and again, and again.
His acting was phenomenal. I know it was a show aimed for children, but a pantomime is more than just a show for kids. It’s for the parents, the younger brothers and sisters, the older siblings, the aunts and uncles, the grandparents, friends, families, teenagers, adults, people with disabilities, people without disabilities. Pantomime is for everyone. I truly believe, after experiencing a beautifully crafted show that Peter Pan managed to capture the interest of every single person in the audience. Not one person could feel left out because of how special the actors made the show. The Hoff also contributed to the show by singing – which is something I never thought I’d see him do. He isn’t just this quirky gimmick that the director chose to have in the show, he can really sing. He blew me away with the power of his voice. The strength and courage he has to sing not just in front of an audience every night for about a month, but to do it whilst being hoisted into the air with countless distractions going on around him – that’s something I truly admire and I’m so thankful I got to see someone so talented perform.
The comedy between The Hoff and his fellow cast mates (especially Mike Doyle) absolutely made that show incredible. I probably appreciated it a lot more knowing how much effort went into making such a beautiful stage production with such an incredibly talented cast. Not one joke was lost on me this time round and I’m so thankful for that. It was one of the funniest nights of my life!
I was disappointed with certain parts of the show, but let’s be real here – will I ever be happy with anything that claims to be ‘Peter Pan’ unless it follows the exact narrative as the original? Probably not. There could have been a lot of changes to make it even better, but then I’m thinking as a director and a creative person, not as a member of the audience here. Looking back on it, a lot of the things that didn’t make sense to me were probably so that the children of the audience could have something to sing along to, dance to, or even relate to. The little girl sat next to us seemed to enjoy it all regardless of what I thought, so that’s the main thing. That everyone enjoyed the show and entered a world where everyone is a child and no one has to grow up.
If you still have the chance to go see Peter Pan or even see Mike Doyle or David Hasselhoff in any other production or solo tour, then please take that opportunity and see them! Mike Doyle and David Hasselhoff made for a charming duo that had the audience in stitches no matter their age. It was truly one of the best shows I’ve seen purely based on the sheer talent and hard work the incredible cast put into making each show special and unlike the last.
Once again, I’m so sorry this is extremely late going up. Things with Grandpa threw me off-balance, and just when I got back into the positive swing of things, I came down with the flu. Just my luck. I promise things will be a lot less spaced out again soon! Until next time, have an awfully big adventure!
Hello you beautiful people! I’m so sorry this is so late in going up! I’ve been busy with work and uni work recently. But I’ve also been really quite sick (again!) so haven’t had much of a chance to finish this piece in time. Anyway, this is my review and story from what happened at the 727 show in Cardiff.
I think we’ve all established that I’m well into my music, and attending concerts is not something I’m a stranger to. So you can probably guess what my reaction was when I got invited along to see Fifth Harmony’s 727 show in Cardiff, on the 8th of October. For those of you who are unaware of Fifth Harmony, they are an all girl group who were formed in the second season of the American X Factor in 2012. Over the past four years, the girls have toured world wide, released countless number ones and hit singles, won many awards for their fabulously sassy music videos, all while looking as beautiful as ever. Many would compare them to Little Mix, the all female group from right here in Britain. But, rest assured their genres may all reside in one main Pop genre, but they do branch out into several different sub-genres. The five gorgeous members of Fifth Harmony come together to make a unique and modern twist in the R&B/Pop genre. It is both refreshing to see more of a female dominance in the R&B area of the music industry, and to see a development in the genre thanks to the girls.
Seeing as I’d never really heard of the group until their UK number one ‘Sledgehammer’ hit radio stations nationwide, I was beyond excited to actually experience the girls perform first hand. And let me tell you, they absolutely smashed it! Their entire set was fierce, stylish, edgy and most of all it was one of the best arena concerts I’ve been to in a very long time.
The Day Before The Show
So the day before the show, I wasn’t expecting to do much with my Saturday evening. I was going to be in work all day from 9-5, I guess I was planning on having a nice relaxing bath and finish the book I was reading. Just like all the other university students out there, I was going to have a wild night with my chamomile tea. However, my plans suddenly got changed when one of my best friends Jazz messaged me rather excitedly telling me that we were to go to the 727 show together, along with fellow squad member Alysha, courtesy of one of the kindest bands / management teams I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
We knew that one of our favourite bands would be the support band for Fifth Harmony. If you saw One Direction in 2013 you may have even seen the badass lead singer Camryn, with her former band on the Take Me Home tour. To say that I was looking forward to seeing her again after three years would be the understatement of the century. I’ve been following and supporting Camryn’s music since the day I saw her perform live in 2013. She’s not only matured with her talent and expanded to a more pop punk genre, she’s also bloomed into a loving, kind, caring young woman who is probably a lot of little girls’ new idol after seeing her perform on the 727 tour. Her music hints towards feminism and all round girl power, but also encourages people to be free and happy with themselves. And I believe that message is one of the most important things for young people to hear these days.
Needless to say after coming home rather excitedly from university, I got myself prepared for the day ahead. If you think girls don’t plan, re-plan, re-re-plan and again re-plan their outfits before they go out, then you are so wrong. I had work the next day for eight hours so I decided to go for something black and white, yet funky and fun. Little did I know my dress would actually rip and I’d feel self-conscious when meeting everyone, but heck, that’s another story entirely. The girls were planning their day with Camryn and deciding what games to play for Jazz’s article for her job, and perfecting the questions for their interview with the lovely Cam. I can’t remember what time we all said goodnight, but it was probably just before my alarm was meant to go off.
The Day Of The Show
Work was really fun and super busy with everyone planning on buying their new favourite bath bombs, and learning about a new, more natural skin care routine. I told everyone the night before about the concert and the fact we were on the GUEST LISTS! And were going to meet everyone afterwards. Everyone was pretty impressed that little old me would be on a real life guest list, to see a real life band that I would meet in real life after the concert. My manager gave me a few things to give to the band so they could pamper themselves and remember for the next time they’re in Cardiff, we’d be there to give them a LUSH pre-show pamper (please tell me you saw what I did there?).
On my lunch break, I met the Guest List Squad and handed over a few extra pieces from Lush that I over bought (oops) for them to give to Camryn and her band as a thanks for them making time for us and making us feel so special and wanted. The hours seemed to fly by, everyone was in such a good mood and positive vibes were flying across Cardiff. Towards the end of my shift, lots of young girls came into the shop and wanted to get some bath bombs for a post concert bath the next day. I think I ended up getting those girls a little bit too hyped up for the concert. Their parents probably didn’t appreciate the hyper children, but the bands totally would, so I’m just considering myself as their personal hype girl now.
By the time my shift came to an end, I desperately needed to have a sit down and a large glass of water. I guess you could say I was starting to feel the lack of sleep I had the night before. But, let’s be real, nothing was ever going to cause me to not enjoy the concert. Not my tired arse, or my sore feet, or even the thought of missing a nice home cooked dinner with my family. I was ready for some live music, and a night that was going to be one of the most memorable ones yet.
Jazz, Lysha and I went to a nearby cafe just to sit and wait out the queue. Seeing as we were on the guest list, there was no point in getting all wet and cold outside just to be told where our seats were. We planned the evening in detail, we had a catch up on how Jazz and Alysha’s interview went with Camryn, spoke about our blogs and vlogs that were underway, but most of all, I was slowly getting feeling back in my feet after standing for so long. I was to record some footage of Camryn and Fifth Harmony on Jazz’s camera (which I found out was a lot nicer than mine and, I’m highly jealous), and I was going to take as many pictures / videos as possible for my very own blog and vlog. The girls were preparing to be Camryn’s very own hype squad, all they needed was a banner and some pom-pom’s and they were set!
By the time we got to the arena, we asked the lady at the box office to point us in the right direction/ give us the tickets we’d need to get into the show. This is where we all kind of panicked for a split second. The woman behind the glass screen couldn’t find anything on the guest lists. So we waited around for about ten minutes, maybe a tiny bit longer, or maybe not even that, who knows, I suck at timing things! But eventually the woman called us over and apologised for the delay…. and off we went, into the arena. I was practically bouncing up and down by this point. Things like this don’t happen to girls like me, yet there I was, on a guest list, for a major concert, with two amazing people.
Before we found our seats, Jazz and Lysha went off to find the merchandise stand while I asked for someone to guide me to where I could give the Lush Cardiff gift to the girls. After being passed around by a few people who worked at the arena, a kind security guard finally came to my help. I explained to her the situation and she immediately took out a pen and paper and took my name, where I worked, my managers names and we set off… But that’s an entirely different story. Long story short though, the girls and their managers LOVED the gifts! They were thrilled with the random act of kindness and even more thrilled that members of our team took the time to mention how beautiful they are.
When Jazz grabbed the merchandise that she wanted, the three of us set out to find our seats. I think we just liked saying the words ‘we’re on the guest list’ – we didn’t really expect to have a fantastic view, or even great seats. We were just thankful to be there. So, imagine the look of shock and surprise when we ended up about 4/5 rows from the stage! We were smack bang in the middle and honestly, it was crazy. I’ve been that close to bands before in standing concerts, sitting concerts are always a hit or miss with seating I find, but this was a practical miracle we were given. I have never felt so much gratitude as I did for the incredible people who got us on the guest list and got us into that show. They could have plonked us anywhere, but they seated us front and centre. I could not believe it.
In no time the first support act was mounting the stage. The lights went down and all the young children were practically wetting themselves with excitement. Aleem wasn’t what I expected. His style was a nice mix between drum and bass, and acoustic. Although he didn’t exactly get the entire crowd on their feet dancing, he did manage to get everyone read for the upcoming performances. Everyone was full of chatter before he came on stage, and as soon as he left, the arena was happier, calmer, yet buzzing with an incredible energy, eagerly awaiting the next act.
About fifteen minutes later, the lights dimmed and Jazz, Alysha and myself all stood screaming like maniacs. This meant one thing, and one thing only. Camryn was about to come on stage with her band. I was excited, nervous, proud. I guess you could say I was feeling everything at once. Before I knew it, I had Jazz’s camera in my hand and my media production brain was switched on. I was going to spend the entire first song recording and getting great shots of Camryn (which turned out to be just as I’d expected them to be).
Camryn came on and took the crowd by storm! She opened with one of her recent songs from her latest EP New Dynasty ‘Legends’. It was a powerful first song and a great way to warm the crowd up after a fairly chilled out set from Aleem. Her band, Austin, Justin and Ronnie, were absolutely phenomenal. They worked together on stage as if it was the last show they’d ever play. Their passion, energy and happiness was clearly displayed throughout their set. This was the first time I’d seen Camryn perform with her new band, so I was utterly impressed with how well they worked together. Camryn performed flawlessly. She spoke to the crowd as if they were her friends, and to think she’s only 17 makes me envy her confidence, talent and how humble she really is. She encouraged kindness throughout the crowd, and even waved at Jazz, which I proudly caught on camera.
When the time came to speak to the crowd, she was so thoughtful, she introduced her songs beautifully and even hinted towards feminism in what she was saying to the Cardiff crowd. Which was incredible, especially since there were a lot of younger girls in the audience, and even though Fifth Harmony’s Lauren does promote feminism and equality, Camryn could relay the message in a more ‘down with the kids’ kind of way. Which is so, so, so important. Especially these days with constant hate crimes taking place across the world.
The band worked together and became the songs, the lyrics, the music on stage. I know that sounds bizarre, but their movement represented every single aspect of the songs they were performing. It’s like they were everything they were performing. And to me, I’ve only ever seen that with a few bands, and that was amazing to see. Overall, Camryn and her band had one of the most enjoyable sets. Their kindness flooded through the room, and their passion for what they were doing was evident. It was a proud moment for me, to see Camryn, this amazing young woman and think of how far she’s grown, developed, and honed into her talent even more. I’m so convinced we will all be seeing more of Camryn in the near future.
Her style very much fits in with the pop punk genre, and I can most definitely see her touring with the likes of 5 Seconds of Summer, Hey Violet, The Tide, The Vamps and so many others. Her music is fun and quirky, but has a great underlining message of strength and feminism for her younger audience. I really do hope Hi Or Hey records will sign her up and help her create a full album that will blow my mind.
It was a sad feeling we all had when our girl Camryn left the stage, but before she left she announced that she would be meeting fans in the foyer during the short interval before Fifth Harmony hit the stage. So that was our cue, Jazz, Alysha and I grabbed our things and headed towards the foyer. The girls wanted me to meet Camryn and have my own time with her, just like they had. They told her that they’d bring me with them to see her during that interval, and that was that. So off we went, to finally meet Camryn! I was very much excited.
We originally joined the queue with the rest of Camryn’s fans when we got to the foyer. We were so thrilled to be around people who had just fallen in love with Camryn just as we had many years ago. We even heard a father ask his daughter ‘so you want to dye your hair blue to be like her??’ and the little girl who couldn’t have been older than 7 replied with ‘YES! CAN I DAD?’ the father chuckled and said that they shall see when she’s a bit older. That was one of the cutest things we’ve ever seen.
Finally Camryn came out with her manager Leslie, and the queue’s vibe suddenly became charged up with an electric buzz. Fans of all ages were queueing to meet this incredible young lady. Leslie noticed us and beckoned us over to wait with her. I finally got to meet her and she thanked me for the Lush goodies I’d given the girls to give to Camryn earlier that day. She embraced me in a warm hug as if we were long-lost friends. It was incredible. We were introduced to other members of Team Camryn and they also embraced us in a warm hug. I loved the fact that they were so big on hugs. It was absolutely lovely to have that kind of friendship already with them. As we watched fans come and go in the meet and greet with Camryn, we saw lots of younger girls skipping away with their mums and dads, completely content after meeting their new hero. It was the cutest thing to ever be seen. It actually got me slightly emotional, to think that we were all one day those girls that has just found someone they could look up to. I was proud that these girls had Camryn to look up to as she’s grown and matured into this incredible young woman. I couldn’t have been prouder.
One moment during the meet and greet that will forever stay with me, and that really captures who Camryn is as a person was when a blind man met her. He and Camryn were talking and not once did she break eye contact with him. She treated him just as everyone else she’d seen that night. They spoke and spoke and it was humbling to see. She asked if he wanted an autographed picture, no worries if not, but the offer was there. He eagerly asked if that would be okay, and she made sure he had it. They spoke about music, and how good it feels. And that’s what I’ll always remember from that night. This 17 year old girl having so much compassion and respect for other human beings, it was one of the kindest and most genuine conversations I’ve ever witnessed. And I honestly can’t tell you how important that moment was for everyone.
Finally after everyone had their chance meeting Camryn, the fans had all said their goodbyes and rushed off back to the main hall to await Fifth Harmony’s arrival. Camryn came over to us with a huge smile and warm hugs (again with the hugs, my life was complete) and utter kindness. She thanked me for the small things I’d given her and embraced me in a beautiful hug. We got talking about the show, how she found it, how we found it and so on. We were talking with her for such a long time and she had all the time in the world for us. We showed her a few pictures we’d taken and she loved them. Jazz asked how the band were and how they found the show in Cardiff. I believe it was the bands first time playing in Wales, so we were eager to find out what they thought of our beautiful city. Then it got suggested that we meet them all after the show and find out for ourselves. Now at this point, my heart stopped and I thought actual pee was going to start coming from my body. I can’t really speak for the girls, but I think they were probably in the same state of mind as I was. In unison we nodded our heads and said ‘yes please!’ which sealed the deal. We were going to meet everyone after the show.
All too suddenly it felt like we had to go back to the main hall as Fifth Harmony were about to take to the stage. But not before Alysha quickly asked Camryn if I could have a picture with her as I missed out on meeting her earlier that day. Camryn didn’t even hesitate, she walked next to me and we had our moment. She hugged me again and thanked me once more for her goodies. It was one of the most genuine moments I’ve ever experienced. Before we knew it, we were all saying ‘see you later’s’ and heading back to the main hall. From the next room, the crowd was beginning to go crazy, which only meant one thing… 727 had finally arrived in Cardiff.
Fifth Harmony’s Show.
The girls came on in their fierce outfits and the crowd went utterly mental. The screams, the thunderous applause, the energy the room was filled with, it was incredible. We rushed back to our seats and suddenly everything seemed real.
Fifth Harmony came on and they looked utterly stunning. Their confidence came through straight away as they began their set. The presence the girls had on stage was mesmerising, I honestly couldn’t take my eyes off of them. I believe they opened with ‘That’s My Girl’. From the very beginning, this concert was going to be different from many others. The energy was more electrifying and empowering. And it was only just beginning.
During their second or third song, out of nowhere came these huge, gigantic beach balls that were launched straight into the crowd. I was laughing like a five year old by this, it brought me so much joy just to have that element of fun brought to us in the crowd. That was until they hit myself and Jazz in the face multiple times! But none the less, it was hilarious. Lauren had one thrown back to her on stage, and she kicked it back to the crowd in the most majestic way I have ever seen before. The poor people at the front must have been fearing for their lives! It was both terrifying to have giant balls fly at us, but also hugely entertaining for all of us. Even if you were a 30-40 something parent with a young child, you were probably giggling to yourself while the balls were bouncing around the hall.
When the excitement from the big balls died down, the girls proceeded to sing ‘Sledgehammer’ which was their first ever UK number one hit. Even if you didn’t know who the heck Fifth Harmony were, if you’ve ever been online, listening to the radio, watching TV and so on, you’ve most probably heard this song. Even the parents were getting involved and singing along to this catchy tune. The girls didn’t rely on costume changes at all to make the show perfect. They were there with their raw talent and charisma and that’s what their fans wanted to see. They each looked absolutely stunning and I cannot get over how even more beautiful they are in person. Camila, Lauren, Normani, Ally and Dinah didn’t need elaborate outfits or tons of backing dancers. They themselves were enough to entertain the entire crowd.
It saddened me that Lauren had received online hate a few days prior to the concert regarding her personal opinion on the current American Election. This educated young lady was just passing on a fact for her fans that may or may not be aware of other candidates surrounding the Election. Not just that, but she also encourages feminism, strength, kindness, and peace to all. I couldn’t get my head wrapped around the fact that this beautifully educated lady was getting so much hate. But in that moment, I realised that it didn’t matter. She was way above any of the online trolls. She was performing with four of her closest friends all across the globe, to billions of fans world wide. Her message will always be spread so long as we are out there, listening and willing to learn from her. And that’s what she aspires for, to keep her fans educated and to promote equality and kindness across the world. Something that is so in her power to do. And something the online trolls don’t have the power to do, sadly for them.
The friendship that was shown on stage was so pure. Lauren tickled Normani and made her chuckle on several occasions, which I absolutely adored seeing. It was beyond cute. It made them seem more human, more real to me. I imagined that they might possibly have been nervous before the show, so they took it upon themselves to make each other feel better and comforted. During their song ‘Squeeze’ Camila and Dinah both hugged each other in an adorable ‘squeeze’, which showed just how loved those girls are by each other. It warmed my heart seeing them happy together. It wasn’t just put on for show. What you saw with them was what you got. And that was something so genuine, a lot of bands and groups have lost that these days.
One of the things I loved the most about the show itself was that the girls gave their band a chance to shine. The lead guitarist playing for Fifth Harmony (whom I don’t know the name of) was slaying the stage! She had one of the most epic guitar solos I’ve ever seen. Her talent was off the scale! The crowd absolutely loved her! All that mattered in that show was the music. It wasn’t who looked the sexiest, or who sounded the best, who danced the worst etc, it was purely about the music. And that’s something I utterly loved.
When the girls spoke to the crowd, they were talking to their equals. They saw each and every one of us as a person, not just as another concert ticket. They spoke about out city, our culture, and I even found out that the Welsh flag they produced on stage, was given to them by a friend of mine! How rad is that?! They made everyone feel so special and even included members of the audience in subtle ways. My friend, Elin, said that during her meet and greet with the girls, she asked them how they found Wales/ Cardiff, and Lauren found out that Wales was a country by itself, and Cardiff was its capitol city. I thought that was hilarious, but Lauren and the girls were so eager to learn more. I hope the next time they come here they’d be able to roam around our city a bit more. A lot of people come here and say the usual things like ‘it’s a beautiful city’, ‘you guys rock’, but these girls, they complimented our culture, us, and their new found knowledge on our country.
The set on stage was minimalistic. Simple yet effective. As I mentioned earlier, they really don’t need a lot going on around them to keep a crowd entertained. They had their band and themselves and honestly, that was enough to keep every single member of the audience’s eyes glued to them. It’s something I haven’t seen in a long time. Especially with pop/ R&B groups. Those girls have such a strong bond that their friendship is inspiring.Their movements on stage were basic, yet flawless. Their attitudes, passion and love for each other, the band, their music, their fans… it was so evident. I honestly can’t express how talented those girls are. The message of empowerment and friendship they have as a group was undeniable. I’m so honoured to have gotten the chance to actually see them perform live. I’m very much looking forward to the time when I can see them again and enjoy it all over!
Overall, Fifth Harmony were not what I was expecting. They were so much better. And I had really high standards going into the concert. They blew me away with their talent and charisma. I feel like in the hours I was in the arena watching Camila, Dinah, Normani, Lauren and Ally I learnt more about them as individual people. I feel like as a fan, I’ve grown more attached to them. I’m just so excited for them and to see what the future holds for them all. I know Camila has been doing solo projects with other artists, but she keeps going back to her girls and that shows that they’re all comfortable with each other and want their friends to expand and develop their talents. I’d really love to spend a day with them and get to know them on a personal level. They seem like they’d really understand me and even though they are utterly gorgeous, I wouldn’t feel out of place next to them. Maybe one day I’ll get to have that. Until then, I can only support them from my small town in South Wales and hope that they come back in the future and slay me once more.
Meeting The Band.
While the show was ending, the girls and I slipped away from the main hall and Fifth Harmony so we could finally meet the band and round-up our incredible evening. Well, for Jazz and Alysha it would wrap up their incredible day with Camryn in Cardiff.
We got to meet the band outside the arena, next to their tour bus. This was easier for all of us as the band hadn’t long finished packing things away, and we didn’t have far to go from inside the arena. It was so lovely to actually be able to talk to them. The first band members we met were Austin and Justin McCarthy. We were greeted with more huge smiles and warm embraces (my life was most definitely complete by now) and they immediately asked if we’d enjoyed ourselves. They were so humble and so interested in what we had to say about their performance as well as Fifth Harmony’s it was just amazing. I felt like we were old friends talking about random things, having a bit of a catch up. I took some great snaps of Jazz, Alysha, Austin and Justin – it looked as if we were all mates on a night out around the town. Before anyone asks or wonders why I didn’t have pictures with them, I was honestly so tired and felt like my face had melted off in the warm arena. But that just means I have to take some next time they’re here. It’s the law.
Austin and Alysha got talking about Lysha’s musical talents and both he and Justin encouraged her to have more confidence and be proud of playing five (YES FIVE!) musical instruments. I can definitely say that they were taken aback that she was beyond talented, but Austin was most definitely impressed with her enthusiasm for making music.
We spoke about Jazz and her writing, and how her interview with Camryn went. They were so encouraging and asked more about her work. It was honestly so nice to have that time with them. Jazz informed them on her change of work place, her reason for leaving and just chatting in general about life and what was happening with her. Jazz then dragged my modest arse into the conversation saying about how I recorded some footage for her vlog and captured some decent pictures of the band. Austin almost instantly was at my side looking through the photographs I took on my iPod. He asked for us to send them over so they could retweet them, I mean, no big deal (I was in fact freaking out at this point). He asked if I liked photography and videography and I told him about my studies at the university which was literally opposite us, and about how I make YouTube videos in my spare time. He and Justin were very enthusiastic and encouraging and said that if that’s what I really want to do, then I’ll get there in the end. It meant a lot to have them say that. It made me feel validated and that I wasn’t just aspiring for an impossible dream.
About five/ten minutes later, Ronnie came out and again, we were greeted with a warm smile and a huge friendly hug. He and Lysha got talking about the bass instantly and they entered their own world of bass guitars, leaving me and Jazz standing there wondering what the heck they were on about.
After a while Ronnie headed back to the tour bus to put his things away. Lysha had to leave to get the train home, so we all said our final goodbyes to her and the guys left her with huge loving hugs and well wishes, and reminders to stay in touch. By this time we’d found out that Camryn was in the arena taking a test for her college work. So we told the reminding lads to tell her we wished her well and to see her again very, very soon. Before they left to shower and freshen up and have a nice relaxing chill after a show, Austin and Justin hugged us goodbye and told us to stay in touch. And of course to send them the pictures we’d captured during the show! When they said ‘see ya soon Lily’ I honestly couldn’t believe it. It was really real. That night had happened. I was friends with these people now. I couldn’t get my head wrapped around it.
Shortly after our goodbyes to the boys Jazz and I left to go sit down and reflect on the events that day/ night. Jazz and I closed her vlog with some last minute opinion giving and well wishes to everyone we’d met that day. It was lovely to spend that time with Jazz and to really take in what had happened that night. Things like this don’t usually happen to girls like me. But they really did, because it was happening to me. And I realised that with friends like Lysha and Jazz by my side, life was so much better and opportunities were around every single corner.
The show hadn’t just made me appreciate live music even more, or the bands themselves. It made me appreciate my friendships, my strength, the fact that my life was going well and I was happy. My future was in my hands, and if I had anything to do with it, I wanted more nights like this one.
Would I say Fifth Harmony are ‘Worth It’? I most definitely would! If you’ve never given them a chance, I encourage you to head to YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Google Music etc, and listen to them. They really did blow my mind and my expectations for the concert.
Camryn and her band are so incredibly special and humble. It was such an honour to meet such kind and caring people, and to consider them now as friends. I loved every second I spent with those guys and honestly, I would never have changed my experiences that nice for anything.
So sadly, that’s the end of anything interesting that happened that day/night. If anyone wondered what happened when I got home – I ate and went to sleep like the hardcore twenty year old that I am. But even two weeks after, I’m still in complete awe of Fifth Harmony, Camryn and her band. Even though I’m sick and have been for a few weeks now, I’m still reliving that night in my head and it’s honestly one of the things that’s making me smile the most. I am so proud of them all and I’m so excited for what the future will bring each and every one of them.
I guess that’s where I will leave things off for today. If any of you have seen Fifth Harmony or Camryn live before, let me know in the comments below! Or if you were at the Cardiff gig, let me know!
Who would have thought that a 62 page novella about hardcore ‘Star Wars’ fans would be one of the best books/ short stories I have ever read? I for one, did not expect that to happen.
Kindred Spirits – (Rainbow Rowell) is a short novella that follows Elena, an introverted 18 year old girl, obsessed with Star Wars, as she embarks on the biggest journey of her life…. To queue for four days outside her local cinema to see ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (2015). Now, I won’t give out the entire plot, but here’s the basics;
Elena’s life is Star Wars. Star Wars is Elena’s life. She was far too young to camp out and go see the prequels when they came out. She regretted every day that she hadn’t been apart of the Star Wars celebration back then. So she was determined to be apart of it now. (If you’re not familiar with Star Wars, the prequels came out after the original three films were released. They are the films that are considered the very worst of the series. Some die hard fans won’t even watch them or acknowledge that they were even made). Elena arrives at The Line, only to find a middle aged, stereotypical nerd (I imagined him a bit like Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons) named Toby. And a very young, shy, timid guy her age named Gabe. Toby makes her feel welcome and explains that she is now apart of The Line and that she will most definitely be the third person to enter the theatre to see the latest (and they hope greatest) Star Wars movie. The next four nights Elena begins to befriend both characters and seizes the opportunity to make The Line a celebration of true Star Wars love.
Although I would have loved to have seen what happens to the characters after the novella ends, none the less it was utterly brilliant. Rainbow Rowell is one of my favourite authors and every single book she has ever written has captured my heart and my imagination. This short novella is no different.
Everyone has a geeky side to them, and if it’s not Star Wars, then it’s something else. It summed up perfectly that, just because something has become popular or more people are interested in something you originally loved, it doesn’t mean that the new fans don’t share that same love and enthusiasm you have for it. Gabe and Elena talk often about ‘true fans’, ‘fake nerdy girls/boys’ and the like. Eventually, they have to accept that some people will like certain things when it’s the current tend, but, they will always have their ‘tribe’ aka, the hardcore fans to make them feel at home. I believe everyone at some point in their lives can identify with the frustration of liking a band, a TV show, a film franchise, a book series etc, and suddenly it becoming so popular, and out of nowhere you’ve got sudden experts on the band, etc, that you’ve loved years/months before! The point Rainbow Rowell makes is, that it’s okay to like something for a lifetime, or for a short period of your life. It’s the experience and the friendships that come from those things that are the most important part of it all. That and of course respecting each and every person no matter what!
If you’re not as in love with Star Wars as these characters then have no fear! This novella is a very quirky, unique read and surprisingly enough, it’s not full to the brim with Star Wars. Kindred Spirits is about the fans of Star Wars more than anything else. To get to know three very different, very loveable characters that share a love of a film franchise that took the world by storm. I read this in about an hour or so, so it’s honestly not that time consuming. But it will keep you thinking about it and longing for a similar experience for days to come. I am so pleased that I finally got round to reading this gem. It’s definitely going straight onto my favourites list!
I will give this book….. 5/5 Stars!
If you guys enjoyed my review of Kindred Spirits and find yourself engrossed in this fabulous novella, let me know in the comments below! And if you’ve already read this impressive short story, definitley tell me what you thought about it all in the comment section below, I’d love to hear what you all thought of the novella.
I hope you guys are all have a wonderful day and, that you’re enjoying a good book with some good tea, and a warm blanket! I’ll speak to you all next time!