The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

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Based on the Emmy Award–winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
Twenty‑four‑year‑old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled with student loan debt and still living at home along with her two sisters—beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she records her reflections on life for her thesis project and posts them on YouTube, she has no idea The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will soon take on a life of their own, turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities seemingly overnight.
When rich and handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck‑up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets—and for Lizzie’s viewers. But not everything happens on‑screen. Lucky for us, Lizzie has a secret diary.
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Rating: 4 stars

First things first, last year I was absolutely obsessed with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a web-series on YouTube. (If you haven’t heard of it get right on over to YouTube and watch it. NOW. To help you along here’s the first episode):

I absolutely loved it. It was literally my life during my second year of university, and I probably spent more time following the huge amounts of interactive media that went along with the series (e.g. Twitter) than I did writing assignments. Anyway, I think any Jane Austen fan would enjoy this series, unless you’re one of those people who gets offended by any slight alteration to the master piece that is Pride and Prejudice, in which case I’d advise to stop reading.

This book is basically a written form of the series, with a lot more detail and extra scenes that we obviously don’t see in the videos. The book is written in the form of a diary although after reading this book, and having attempted to write a diary myself, it is not a very realistic diary. But who can say the web-series is considered realistic?! So I feel this point is invalid when talking about how good or how bad the book was.

Evidently, from my rating, I enjoyed the book. How could I not after devoting so much of my time to the series?! What I loved most about the book was Lizzie’s voice. It was extremely entertaining and I felt it captured Elizabeth Bennet in modern form perfectly. It was intelligent and witty and highly enjoyable. The adaptation from page to screen and back to page again was very well done, considering the time in which they wrote the book. I particularly enjoyed reading more about Lizzie’s relationships with her parents and sisters.

However, there were aspects that left me still wanting more. I feel they published this book out of fan demand and yet they barely embellished at all on the most important aspects (in a fangirl’s eyes) of the story: Darcy’s first “proposal”, and Darcy’s second “proposal”. The parts I really wanted to know more about and there wasn’t anything new. Even the ending was incredibly rushed compared to the rest of the book and it was a little underwhelming. The book would have got the full five stars if the ending was better constructed. There was a week after Darcy’s second “proposal” that the viewers didn’t really know anything about and I thought this would have been a great thing to embellish on in the book but nope. We get a small amount of clarification. BUT NOT ENOUGH!

But overall, I do think this is a book worth reading if you love Pride and Prejudice adaptations. I did enjoy it despite its set backs and I probably will read it again at some point.

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Book Haul [#6]

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I went to Liverpool yesterday to see the comedian Sarah Millican (it was hilarious) and during the day I did a spot of shopping and ended up spending over an hour in Waterstones. Despite being skint. 

Autumn Rose (The Dark Heroine #2) by Abigail Gibbs

The highly anticipated sequel to Dinner with a Vampire
Autumn Rose has the chance to save the world she loves. But how much will she have to sacrifice to achieve it?
In Autumn Rose, book two of her breathtaking series, Abigail Gibbs draws us even further into the dangerous and romantic world of the Dark Heroines.

I wasn’t that impressed with Dinner with a Vampire when I read it last summer, but the ending made me want to pick up the next book in the series. Hopefully this book will be so much better. 

Blood Song (Raven’s Shadow #1) by Anthony Ryan

We have fought battles that left more than a hundred corpses on the ground and not a word of it has ever been set down. The Order fights, but often it fights in shadow, without glory or reward. We have no banners.
Vaelin Al Sorna’s life changes forever the day his father abandons him at the gates of the Sixth Order, a secretive military arm of the Faith. Together with his fellow initiates, Vaelin undertakes a brutal training regime – where the price of failure is often death. Under the tutelage of the Order’s masters, he learns how to forge a blade, survive the wilds and kill a man quickly and quietly.
Now his new skills will be put to the test. War is coming. Vaelin is the Sixth Order’s deadliest weapon and the Realm’s only hope. He must draw upon the very essence of his strength and cunning if he is to survive the coming conflict. Yet as the world teeters on the edge of chaos, Vaelin will learn that the truth can cut deeper than any sword.

Ugh. I’ve been eyeing this book up since it came out. So when it was one a ‘buy one get one half price’ stand I grabbed it. I want to read more from the high fantasy genre and I think this will be one of the next ones I’ll read. 

The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass 0.1 – 0.5) by Sarah. J. Maas

Contains all five novellas.
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

I was hoping these novellas would come out in paper copy! Hooray! One of my favourite series at the moment and so glad to have these in my hand. I have them on my kindle as well but I have been putting off reading them for some reason. I like to think they’ll be near the top of my reading list now I’ve got the paper copy. 

Lizzy Bennet’s Diary by Marcia Williams
When Lizzy Bennet’s father gives her a diary, she fancies she will use it to write a novel, as her real life is exceedingly dull. Then the handsome Mr. Bingley moves to nearby Netherfield Park, and suddenly life is every bit as thrilling as a novel would be. Who will he dance with at the Meryton ball? Who is his haughty friend? Will Lizzy ever receive a marriage proposal? Readers will have to read her diary to find out! Marcia Williams offers a lively introduction to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in a highly illustrated scrapbook-diary format, featuring such novelties as foldout notes from sisters and suitors, an elegant bill of fare, and an invitation to the ball.

This is amazing. I love it. So much. Usually I’ll buy anything that relates to Pride and Prejudice. I have an entire shelf in my bookcase of books relating to it (bit excessive, I know!) So I had to have this, of course. The fold out bits are awesome too. 

Top 10 Favourite Literary Couples

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Sorry for not posting any reviews over the last few weeks. I’m in quite a big reading slump, not to mention the ton of work I have to do for university. Hopefully I have one up soon.
Now to make up for a lack of posts I thought I would grace you with my favourite literary couples (or ships in some cases). Hope you enjoy!

10. Bianca Piper and Wesley Rush – The D.U.F.F by Kody Keplinger

At number 10 is these two. I love them. How can you not love them. They aren’t anywhere near perfect but that’s what makes them so great. They are wonderful together, like any couple should, they make each other better people. They argue, they fight, they make each other laugh, they have kinky times, they understand one another. For a Young Adult contemporary romance couple these two top the bill.

9. Eowyn and Faramir – The Lord of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. 

It was hard to choose between these two and Aragorn and Arwen to include in this list. Then I remembered that Aragorn and Arwen aren’t in the books. This couple were basically thrown together at the end of the trilogy, but that doesn’t make their relationship any less awesome. Its cute. Its a nice end to their story after everything horrible they have endured.

8. Juliet and Dawsey – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer.

To love this book as much as I do you can’t not Loooooove this couple. Although throughout the book you’re more or less shouting at Juliet to open her eyes, this romance is wonderful and realistic. You can’t help but squeal at the end.

7. Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth – Persuasion by Jane Austen

Why not. Two lovers who have been torn apart by Anne’s family come back together 8 years later. How can you not root for them. Jane Austen is the best at creating fantastic characters with even better stories. This couple gives me all the feels.

6. Margaret Hale and John Thornton – North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Two brilliant characters. One awesome love story. If you haven’t read this book, read it. Its is so worth it. This couple is just jhfekjrhflirjfelrijfldk. No words to describe…
Also, watch the BBC mini-series. Richard Armitage. Holy crap.

5. Penryn and Raffe – Penryn and The End of Days series by Susan Ee.

This is a ship. Only the first 2 books in this series is out therefore their relationship isn’t set in stone. Although it basically is. However, I find it hard to believe that there is any way for this couple to be together. I just KNOW that this is going to be one heartbreaking story, and I love it. These two characters are just bloody brilliant together. I can’t contain my joy at their conversations, their touches, just them in general.

4. Celeana Sardothian and Captain Chaol Westfall – Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Yet another ship. And yet again, another series where only the first 2 books are out. This couple has already been hit with a wall and honestly? I’m scared for them. But I refuse to believe that there could be any other endgame. Dorian? NO. Celeana and Chaol complete each other. Cheesy I know, but its true. Chaol is stoic and serious, Celeana is fun and outrageous, they cancel each other out and become something beautiful when they are together. It just lovely. So lovely that it brings me to tears when ever they are in the same room.

3. Rose Hathaway and Dimitri Belikov – Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

A forbidden love story (sort of), how can you not love it. These two are just perfect. spectacular characterisation, which is what makes this series so good. In a way, this couple would is probably only so high up on my list because I myself am in love with Dimitri. I find it hard to believe that any person in this world would say no to such a man. God, I love this story.

2. Beatrice and Benedick – Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Funny. So so so so funny. A delightful romance. I know a lot of people are all about the Hero/Claudio love story, but how can you dislike Benedick and Beatrice! Their banter is hilarious. I don’t think I will ever not laugh at them.
The film adaptation of this play with Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh as said couple is fantastic aswell. Well worth a watch.

1. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

My one true pairing. This is the love story to top all love stories. There’s a reason why the book is so famous. This couple is just everything. Elizabeth, the woman every girl wants to be and Darcy, the man every woman wants for their own. I suppose the best thing about this couple is that they realise their mistakes and act on them. They better themselves to make them worthy of each other. Its’s beautiful. It’s enchanting.

Book Haul [#4]

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I know… another book haul… I have a problem this month. 

We have The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. 
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The tales of The Silmarillion were the underlying inspiration & source of Tolkien’s imaginative writing. He worked on the book throughout his life but never brought it to final form. Long preceding in its origins The Lord of the Rings, it’s the story of the 1st Age of Tolkien’s world, the ancient drama to which characters in The Lord of the Rings look back & in which some of them, such as Elrond & Galadriel, took part.
The title Silmarillion is shortened from Quenta Silmarillion, The History of the Silmarils, the three great jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves, in which he imprisoned the light of the Two Trees that illumined Valinor, the land of the gods. When Morgoth, 1st Dark Lord, destroyed the Trees, that light lived on only in the Silmarils; Morgoth seized them & set them in his crown, guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. The Silmarillion is the history of the rebellion of Feanor & his people against the gods, their exile in Middle-earth, & their war, hopeless despite all the heroisim of Elves & Men, against the great Enemy.
The book includes several other, shorter works beside The Silmarillion proper. Preceding it are Ainulindale, the myth of Creation, & Valaquenta, in which the nature & powers of each of the gods is set forth. After The Silmarillion is Akallabeth, the story of the downfall of the great island kingdom of Numenor at the end of the 2nd Age; completing the volume is “Of the Rings of Power & the 3rd Age,” in which the events of The Lord of the Rings are treated in the manner of The Silmarillion.

I love The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings. So it’s only fitting that I read this right? I love the elves too, so even more of a reason to read it. I’m just ashamed that it has taken me this long to buy it!

Then we have The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.
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The second book in The Kingkiller Chronicle.

In The Wise Man’s Fear, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, forced to reclaim the honor of his family, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived…until Kvothe.
Now, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

I’m currently reading The Name of The Wind, the first book in the trilogy, and I love it. It’s brilliant so I had to buy the next one. I would definitely recommend these books. If you’re looking to read more Epic Fantasy then I would start with this trilogy. 

The 3rd book is The Last of the Mohicans by J. Fenimore Cooper.
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Cooper’s famous adventure brings the wilds of the American frontier and the drama of the French-Indian war to vivid life. Featuring the classic character Natty Bumppo, it is a moving, memorable depiction of courage, passion, and forbearance, and a precursor to the Western genre.

This was bought on a whim. I’ve never read anything like this before, so I thought its about time I tried. It sounds good. 

The last book is Longbourn by Jo Baker.
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If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them.
In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice,the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. 
Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own. 

This sounds rather awesome. Downton Abbey meets Pride and Prejudice?! Yes please. 

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I decided you guys don’t really know all that much about me, so I thought I would do a few “Top 10 favourite…” posts to make up for it. These are in as much of an order as I could put them into. I have left out films that are a part of a series, and musicals. I may make another post for these. Anyways, here we go:

10. Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
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I
 think this is one of the most beautiful films I have ever watched. I loved it. The cinematography, the costumes, the scenery was breath taking and the story is fantastic. I actually watched this film before reading the book, which I don’t recommend, read the book first!

9) Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
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A great film despite Kevin Costner playing an Medieval Englishman with an american accent. I have watched this hundreds of times. I love the action, the romance, the humour, it really is a great film. Not to mention, Alan Rickman stars in it and I absolutely adore him!

8) Titanic (1997)
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An obvious choice. Do I really need to explain myself.

7) A Knight’s Tale (2001)
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I remember watching this with my mum when it first came out. I was quite young at the time, but I still LOVED it. When I got it on video, and later DVD I watched it repeatedly for weeks. Its hilarious and somewhat swoon worthy.

6) Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
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Ughhhh, what an incredible cast. I watched this in English class when I was about 12 years old, and its a film repeatedly return to. Much Ado is my favourite Shakespeare play, therefore I’m bound to enjoy this. Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh are absolutely fantastic and I laugh everytime they’re on screen together no matter how many times I watch it.

5) Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
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God, I love this film. The art work is mind blowing. I think its the best film Studio Ghibli have produced, certainly the best animated film I’ve ever seen. The story is wonderful, and beautiful, and enchanting, and funny, and everything a brilliant film should be.

4) You’ve Got Mail (1998)
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Who doesn’t love Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan together. I love this film so so so so much. Definitely one of my all time favourite chick flicks. It seems strange but this above films like Titanic but if I had to choose between one of the other I would choose this hands down. I actually cry at the ending and I have seen this film more times than I can even fathom.

3) Calamity Jane (1953)
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Okay, Okay, I said I wouldn’t include musicals… but this I just could. not. leave. out.
I remember my mum watching this on TV a few times when I was young and I used to turn my nose up at it. But I changed my mind very quickly when I was about 17 and I watched it for the first time from start to finish. Just wow. wow. wow. A classic. A wonderful story. Yeah, unrealistic, bit cheesy, predictable… but I don’t care. What 50s film isn’t. Anyway watch this. You won’t be let down.

2) 10 Things I hate About You (1999)
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There are no words to describe the epicness of this film. I quote it daily. I worship the soundtrack. I LOVE the feminism. Kat, is my spiritual animal.

and FINALLY…

1) Pride and Prejudice (2005)
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This film changed my life. I don’t think I would be where I am or the person I am today without this film. It has literally shaped me into the person I am today and I am just as obsessed with it as I was when I first watched it 7 years ago. I can quote entire scenes. I have even gone to the locations where it was filmed, I even have the movie poster on my wall. There are no words in the english vocabulary to describe how much this film means to me. The script, the cinematography, the soundtrack, the cast, the locations… Everything is just exquisite.