Happy Death Day: Review by Holly Bareham

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Happy Halloween guys! However you’re choosing to celebrate I hope you have a great day. I personally am stuck at work and by the time I thought about having the day off I realised there wouldn’t be enough cover in the office so… I’ll probably watch a horror film later tonight though just to say I’ve done something.

So for those of you who never saw this trailer you’ve done a pretty good job of avoiding it because for a while it was all over Facebook and people were freaking out about it. To be honest I thought it looked interesting but I also thought it looked like one of those films that would just annoy the Hell out of me. I assumed right from the start it would be dreadful but I was still intrigued so I decided to give it a go.

‘Happy Death Day’ is about a college student who is murdered on her birthday but wakes up the next morning on her birthday. She is forced to relive the same day over and over again until she can figure out who her killer is and stop her own death.

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I actually really enjoyed it. I was intrigued the entire time and I found the whole thing really entertaining. It didn’t take itself too seriously which is just as well because it simply wouldn’t have worked if it had. Although at first most of the characters were unlikeable this was deliberate for the overall message of the film which was essentially ‘don’t be an asshole’. I ended up really liking Tree, the main character, by the end and I liked Carter right from the start.

Maybe I’m an idiot but I didn’t guess who the killer was at all. My friend told me she’d guessed before we even went in and was really bemused that I hadn’t figured it out. Listen, it’s good to be an idiot when watching films – I’m always shocked when the plot twist is revealed. I really liked this one. It was kind of ridiculous but in a good way.

As long as you don’t take it too seriously it’s a really good film. It’s entertaining and I’d really like to see it again before it leaves cinemas but I’m not sure I’ll have the time. I definitely wanna get it on DVD when it’s released though. I just really liked it and I’m quite surprised to say how many positive reviews it has on iMDB. Maybe we all low-key expected it to be trash but because it wasn’t that bad we can’t help by like it.

Compared to other horror films this year it just feels really refreshing. This is what ‘The Bye Bye Man’ should’ve been like because that was dreadful and took itself way too seriously. ‘Happy Death Day’ mocked itself and it worked really well!

Time for my piece of horror film trivia. There was quite a bit on iMDB and it was all pretty interesting but I’ve chosen this one: The scene where Tree walks across campus completely naked had to be done quickly as it was being filmed on an active campus thus presenting the risk of students witnessing the scene being filmed and taking photos. In the end they managed to do it in just 2-3 takes.

I recommend this if you haven’t already seen it and are looking for something interesting to watch this Halloween. I was genuinely really pleasantly surprised by this film so go into it with an open mind and just view it for it is: a bit of fun.

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Tulley’s Farm ‘The Howl’ Experience

The Howl

Over the weekend me and two of my friends visited Tulley’s Farm for their ‘The Howl’ event in Leighton Buzzard. We’d been on about it for a while so this year we finally booked it and travelled three hours to get there. We ended up staying in a hotel in the middle of nowhere (we had to walk along a road with no path for half-an-hour to find it) and had to fork out extra money for taxis to get to the event but it was definitely worth it!

Now although I enjoy horror movies I am honestly the biggest wimp ever so when we got there I was thinking ‘oh my god why did I sign up for this I’m an idiot, I’m gonna have to sit out of all the haunts’. We joined a queue for the first one we saw and I was convinced I’d come out the other side and think ‘nope can’t handle that’ and would’ve wasted all my money. So I’m writing this for people like me who are nervous but want to give it a go!

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House of Hounds

We were given a ticket for the person at the front of the queue to sign off before we went in and I believe they were in order of how scary each attraction is so the order was: Topper’s Twister, Hotel de Basquervilles, House of Hounds, Squealers Yard and The Shed. That’s not necessarily the case but that was how we interpreted it. We didn’t think too much about this though so we just joined the queue for the first one we saw which was ‘House of Hounds’.

This one was good because although the farm had been open for half-an-hour the haunts had literally only just opened so the queues were short. As the queues were short we were allowed to go in by ourselves with the group we were with. So for example if you were with three other people the four of you would go in alone instead of teaming up with other groups to make it larger thus speeding the queue up.

Now I’ve literally never done anything like this before, I went to a zombie event at Blists Hill once but it wasn’t scary it was just confusing. So I was stood outside with my friends Becca and Jess absolutely peeing myself because I didn’t know what to expect. The three of us walked inside for the short briefing you get before each haunt and I held onto both their hands and I was shaking so bad! Then it started.

Because I’m such a wimp I held both their hands the entire way with Becca at the front and Jess at the back and although it was scary it was also so funny. I don’t wanna give away too much to anyone else who’s thinking of going but ‘House of Hounds’ is obviously hound related so there were people in cages who screamed and jumped out at you. There were little nooks so they could leave their cages and they’d come right up to you and scare the hell out of you.

I think I would’ve been a lot more scared had Becca not been there. My friends are like two opposite ends of fear, we had Jess at the back who was having fun but wasn’t the least bit scared and Becca at the front who was screaming and jumping at every little thing. My favourite bits were when we rounded a corner and I heard Becca yell “No! Hollie no, look, I can’t!” So I looked around the corner and found someone crawling on the floor, and when we were near the end and someone ran right at us and screamed at us. The amount of times me and Becca cowered into the wall was hilarious while Jess was so chill the entire time.

Also I don’t know how but two minutes in my shoe almost fell off and I was walking around desperately trying to put it back on properly because I didn’t want to lose it. The back of it went under my heel and luckily after a while I managed to kick it back on, it wasn’t like I could stop and pull it back on!

We came out and we were all crying with laughter but my throat hurt so badly from all the screaming I’d done but luckily we exited right by a drinks stand so I grabbed a tap water before we headed into the next haunt.

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Topper’s Twister

So this one is supposedly the least scary of the five but it’s also the clown haunt so I was not looking forward to it. Yes I’d had fun in ‘House of Hounds’ and at least I hadn’t lost it yet but I do not like clowns so I was worried this would be the one where I started to freak out. As the haunts had been open a bit longer the queues had gotten longer which meant we went through as a group which we kind of preferred.

We went in with the same formation, Becca at the front, me in the middle and Jess at the back but this time we had a couple in front of us and a few people behind us. This meant the entire way round Becca kept screaming “Guys we’ve gotta keep up with the people in front!”

Although I hate clowns this one was really fun with inflatable walls that made me feel extremely claustrophobic and a bridge that made you feel like you were going upside down when you weren’t. And also clowns at every turn making you jump.

As I said, I really hate clowns. So at the end there’s a triangle shaped door and a clown standing just in front of it so Becca ducked through the door and as I went to the clown came right next to my head and started creeping me out so I moved to the left, rushed forward – and banged my head on the bloody doorway! I pulled back and of course Becca didn’t know why so she dragged me forwards again and luckily I made it through the door this time but my head hurt so bad! Five minutes later I asked my friends if they could see anything and it turned out there was a lump on my forehead! So yeah it was a fun attraction but make sure you watch where you’re going guys!

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The queues were really starting to get quite long at this point because it was mid-event so my advice is to show up as soon as the haunts open because that’s what we did and we were there until nearly closing time and you definitely don’t want to miss any of the haunts! Also I went to the bathroom before we headed into this one and found one lady sat on the floor on the edge of a panic attack because she’d found the haunt too scary. Only do what you’re comfortable with guys, it’s not worth risking your mental health for!

We had to queue quite a while to get into this one but we didn’t really mind because long queues meant having a quick emotional break and for us it meant discussing the last haunt in great detail. The only trouble was that it started raining and although the queues are under some cover the rain still found a way in so bring a rain coat!

This one was brilliant too, it’s set in a hotel that’s haunted and you walk through and the actors pull open doors, windows, paintings etc. to jump scare you and it works really well. We went through in the same formation again and this one was making me laugh because Becca started yelling angrily at the people scaring her “No! Stop it! It’s not funny!” There was also one point where a girl was stood on a table screaming “You’re not welcome here, you’re not welcome here!” to which Becca started saying “That’s fine, okay, that’s fine!”

I’m making fun of Becca yet I was just as scared.

I was not a fan of the girl in the exorcism position on that bed and was even less of a fan when she turned around and screamed at us.

It’s not as scary when you go through with bigger groups which was fine by me and Becca because we kept letting people go in front of us. Also the couple in front seemed really chill and kept looking back and laughing at me and Becca screaming every couple of seconds. I’m pretty sure I screamed my throat raw at this event.

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Squealers Yard

I don’t think I was prepared for this haunt at all.

The first three had scared me but they were manageable. This one hit us like a ton of breaks and even Jess said she was slightly scared at this one!

It all starts when you go in and they start splitting people up, mostly sending in men by themselves and splitting them up from their girlfriends etc. Me and Becca stood there praying to God he wouldn’t ask us to split up while Jess genuinely didn’t mind because she’s bloody mad. When there was maybe six or seven of us left he let us go through together. However, throughout the haunt the actors still manage to split us all up but as we were all holding hands we managed to stay together we just lost the rest of the group.

For the first few minutes I was scared but I was also having a great time because Becca was making me laugh so hard – until we encountered a lady who told Becca to stand against the wall and then pinned her against it. I didn’t wanna be next so I let go of her hand and me and Jess carried on walking but I think because Becca looked so panicked by this the lady let her go. I feel a bit bad because I’d have killed her if she’d left me so Becca, I am truly sorry! I won’t ditch you again!

Because of that the formation changed with Jess, the brave one, going first with Becca holding her hand and me holding onto Becca’s shoulders. We went into a room which was so foggy that we couldn’t see a thing until some man was right in front of Jess’ face telling her to squeal like a pig. I was honestly terrified, my head was in Becca’s back and we shuffled out of the room. We ended up outside but none of us could say anything, I genuinely thought we were in a pitch black room until my eyes adjusted.

The last room was another one where you can’t see a thing, there’s strobe lights going off and all I could hear was this really loud chain saw so I was screaming at Jess to get a move on and when I came out I needed a minute to get my chill together. Definitely the scariest haunt there and it was so much fun, Jess gave it a 10/10 and I have to agree. Probably the longest haunt as well it was just really well done and the actors in there were the best of the lot – just make sure you don’t get split up from your friends!

However my only complaint would be that I wasn’t a fan of the fat-shaming like I understand it’s a meat haunt and it’s all meant in good humour but I don’t know, it made me feel pretty uncomfortable. I think had someone said something to me I would’ve just felt like crap so I’m glad no one did.

The Shed

I was not looking forward to this one, I’d overheard one man telling one of the members of staff that the haunts weren’t too scary but ‘The Shed’ had creeped him out a bit. After the trauma of ‘Squealers Yard’ I really wasn’t sure I was ready for this one. I’m not really 100% sure what the backstory for this haunt was because it was hard to hear the safety instructions and I was pretty scared as it was.

Although it was scary it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Squealers Yard. This time Jess went first with me in the middle and Becca at the back, all of us holding hands again because I was honestly bricking it. Becca at the back did not work just for the record, the girl stood on the back of both my shoes so they nearly fell off, nearly dislocated my thumb and ripped my hair out when she got scared. She is funny though.

The walkways were really narrow on this one like the actors couldn’t stand on the ground because there’d be no room for us to walk at all. We were at the back and Becca was screaming at us to keep up with the people in front of us which was great until we got to the end and they dropped something and they calmly tried to find it while we were screaming and trying to get away from the man with the giant leaf blower.

Although it was scary it didn’t have a lasting impression on me like Squealers Yard did.

Overall, my favourite haunts were ‘House of Hounds’ because that was our first and it was fun going through by ourselves, and ‘Squealers Yard’ because it was just so terrifying. We’ve decided that Tulley’s Farm is going to become a regular tradition but next year we want to go to the one with eight haunts because we had so much fun!

Rules and Tips for The Howl
– Each safety briefing is generally the same: no going on your phone, no hats/masks and no touching the actors. Also you’re not allowed to go through if you’re pregnant or have asthma, a heart condition or just generally if you’re anywhere near the end of your life
– I cannot stress the whole no touching the actors rule enough. You see it on the internet all the time about people who are like “sorry my reaction to getting scared is to hit out”… Well then don’t come? Although it’s scary it’s not hard to remember that they are just actors at the end of the day so even when people were crawling on the floor or right in our faces, there is no need to touch or lash out at them. It works both ways, they will not touch you either so just stick to the damn rule. If your reaction is to lash out then do what I did and hold hands with someone for crying out loud to stop yourself!
– If you’re nervous go with a group of friends. People went in couples but I think three or more works well if you’re scared. It was nice to have a really brave friend and a friend who was peeing themselves. I’d have been 100x more scared if I hadn’t been laughing at Becca the entire time so yeah, if you’re nervous go with a group!
– Start from the least scary and work your way up. Although I don’t regret jumping straight into the third scariest I probably would’ve felt differently if I’d entered Squealers Yard right off the bat!

But yeah, I survived the night and that’s the important thing! Definitely give it a go if you’re thinking about it, it’s so much fun.

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24K in London Fan Meet Experience

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Okay so this post is going to be an absolute mess because I’m a mess so I’ll try and make sure everything makes sense but no promises! I added the screenshots ‘cos this was quite lengthy so I thought it’d break it up a bit.

So a while back 24K announced they were coming back to Europe but instead of doing concerts they were going to be doing fan meets. I was over the moon and then I found out that my two best friends who also like K-Pop would be in Berlin the week 24K came. So if I wanted to meet them I’d have to go by myself.

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Now I don’t particularly mind doing most things by myself but I was terrified at the thought of going to meet them by myself. I’d met them with Becca in Amsterdam and I’d lost my shit then.

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Me and Becca are the ones at the end on the left.

There were a few different types of tickets, you could get standard where you didn’t technically meet them (until they announced they’d be giving a hi-five to standard and early bird tickets like baes) or you could get like gold and silver which came with all sorts of stuff. I didn’t know what to go for but my friends convinced me to get a gold ticket which included a fan signing, hi-touch and a photo.

The day arrived and the anxiety was real. It didn’t help that I literally managed to fuck up so many things – I’d planned to wear this one specific t-shirt and I could not find it and I was stressed about that so I ended up having to pick a different one. Got to my hotel in London and I was rushing ‘cos the doors were opening at 3 and it was already past 2 so I was like “Right I’ll leave now” and realised that even though I’d be in the room for about five minutes I’d lost the key (it was under the bed somehow)? I found that and then nearly left without my ticket and I was honestly just generally a mess haha!

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I got to the queue and I got given number ‘93’ and joined the back of the Gold queue. I was in that queue for like an hour awkwardly on my phone ‘cos everyone was in their little groups and I’m too shy and awkward to even attempt to make conversation with anyone so I was just chilling by myself in the rain feeling a bit miserable but then the doors opened and we all went inside and the anxiety got even worse oh my god.

So we had to sit in order of your number so it was in rows of 10 and there were 100 gold tickets so I was in the back row which was fine by me, I hate going first. I need to see what everyone else is doing before I can do it myself – I don’t know why; I just need to know what’s happening. So 24K came out and we had the fan signing first and I was really nervous. My friend once posted a tweet about how different people feel anxiety in different places and how she feels hers in her wrists which I thought was strange ‘cos I normally feel it in my stomach but last night I 100% felt it in my legs like I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to stand up when it was my turn.

Eventually after what felt like a lifetime it was our rows turn so we got up and we each got given a poster to get signed and we had a sticky note with our names on. Got to the table and the first person there was Kisu. Now like I’m awkward at the best of times but I don’t know any Korean like at all and I didn’t know how good their English was (except for Cory obviously) so I was convinced I wouldn’t know what to say or do but it was absolutely fine.

I met Kisu and he was so sweet, he pronounced my name like ‘hoe-zie’ and he was like “Hi! I’m Kisu! Nice to meet you!” I’m pretty sure I do this weird thing where I like nod my head awkwardly so I start doing the weird nodding and I’m like “Yes, nice to meet you!” And he smiles and I smile and he pushes the poster onto the next member which was Jeunguk.

He was drinking water when I came over and he put his hand up but like he was holding a marker so I was confused about what he wanted me to do so I waved at him and he raised his eye-brows and I was like “ah I’m supposed to touch his hand” so I did and he laughed. He pronounced my name in the same way Kisu did. I’m pretty sure he talked to me more but like I was already a wreck at this point so I can’t remember so he moved the poster down to the next member which was Cory!

You’d think I’d kind of chill out ‘cos Cory’s fluent in English but he’s my bias so nope still awkward as ever. He was like “Hi! Hozzie! I think you definitely win having the most original name tonight!” so I was like “Ahaha thank you” and he grabbed my hands and was like “Thank you; have a really good time tonight!” So I start doing more awkward nodding and being like “Ah thank you, thank you.”

My interactions with Changsun and Hongseob were mostly the same, a lot of “nice to meet you”, hand holding and me just generally being awkward. Then I get to the end and it’s Jinhong and he went “Hi!” so I went “Hi!” And then… He didn’t say anything else. He signed my poster and then kind of looked at me and I didn’t know what to do so in the end I blurted “IT’S NICE TO MEET YOU” and I’m pretty sure he said something but I had no idea what he said and like every other fan has said, he has an intense stare man and I was folding under the pressure so I like took my poster and went “Thank you!” and walked away before I did something stupid.

Then we had the hi-touch which is a lot quicker than the fan sign so you just walk down and hold their hands for a second. Kisu was saying “I love you” to everyone and I could’ve said ‘I love you too’ like a normal person but I decided to go “Aha yes thank you”??? We had the photo taken and when me and Becca had ours taken in Amsterdam we literally plotted and schemed so that we could be in front of Cory and Kisu but I didn’t have her there to scheme with so I just went wherever I ended up. I don’t know where I ended up to be truthful. I wanted to do a heart with one of the members but I don’t have the confidence for that so I went for the peace signs, they’ve never let me down.

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UPDATE: So uh they posted it and I look awkward af but at least I’m in front of my bias?

So that finished and they went backstage and we all went to the barriers then they came back out so they could greet all the early bird and standard ticket holders. A few people had moaned that it was unfair that we had to pay extra to meet them which early bird and standard were essentially getting for free but it was a lot quicker than we’d had and personally I thought it was really sweet 24K had decided to do that. I could only afford a gold ticket because like I’m an adult and I have a job, there was once a time when I was a teenager and I had to go for standard tickets because my parents refused to buy more expensive tickets and I would’ve been over the moon if a group had done that.

After that the event started and I could talk about that but I know tons of people on Twitter have done threads about the Q&A and I remember it being really funny, like 24K are actually hilarious but my memory is absolutely awful so I’d have to refer to everyone’s threads and it would take all night and I’ve already rambled on so much so I’m going to jump straight into what was possibly the best thing that ever happened to me ever.

So they finish the Q&A and Cory and Kisu jump straight into the letter event which I’d heard about last month. Basically fans were asked to write a letter to 24K and at the show 24K would announce like their favourite one and whichever fan wrote it would go on stage with 24K. I’d seen the announcement and had taken a screenshot and sent it to my friends like ‘This sounds awesome but I don’t know if I should do it?’ To which they responded:

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The thought of meeting 24K was enough to make me feel terrified so I really didn’t know if I wanted to be on stage with them but I thought fuck it, I can write a letter right? They’ll never choose me but they’ll still get to read it and know what they mean to me. So I did, I spent like over an hour working on this letter and it was quite personal about something that had happened before I went to their show in Amsterdam and just general things about how amazing I thought they were and other stuff like that.

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To be honest I’d mostly forgotten about it until the show when we were doing the fan signing and they were all pronouncing my name and looking at it as if it was the first time they’d seen it so I assumed they hadn’t read the letter and like I was okay with that.

So Cory starts talking about how he wants to dedicate this song to all of us but also one specific fan so I’m like ‘ah cool the letter event’ and he was like “It’s for one girl, she wrote about how we inspire her” and I automatically thought ‘oh okay it’s not me then’. Because like I assumed he meant inspires them musically? To be musical? If that makes any sense at all? And then he said something along of the lines of “She really opened up to us and obviously I won’t go into the details because it was quite personal and can we all be nice about it please” and I was like well I did get personal in my letter but it won’t be me and then he’s like “Her name’s Hozzie.”

For a second I like blacked out like I’m pretty sure he carried on talking and I have like no recollection of what was said or what was happening. Now I’m a pretty quiet person unless I’m around people I’m comfortable with so like it’s pretty rare for me to think ‘ok I’ll be loud’ like I don’t even like yelling “I’ve finished all the notices” to my colleague who is one bank of desks away from me at work, I will email her ‘cos I don’t wanna be too loud. But my friends will vouch for me, when the panic sets in, I will become loud. About a month ago my friend won a game of Bingo but was too scared to call it and when I figured out she’d won I screamed “JESS!” at the top of my lungs across a silent bingo hall. I panic, I become loud.

So of course I was like ‘shit it’s me, it’s me’ so I legit yelled “THAT’S ME!” and threw both my hands in the air ‘cos like fuck being scared, I was not gonna miss this opportunity. I was losing my shit, everyone around me was losing their shit all cheering and Cory’s like “Oh cool, can you join us on stage?” and I had this like moment of ‘what the fuck is happening’ where I couldn’t figure out where to go or what to do but everyone pointed me in the right direction. I remember Cory being like “We didn’t even have to reveal your last name because your name’s so unusual”.

I got onto the stage and one of the members was there to walk with me to the centre but I’m like losing it at this point, I’m shaking so bad I don’t even know which member it was. And there was this chair facing away from the crowd so I sat down and Cory’s like “Is it okay facing this way or do you want it the other way?” I was so nervous already I knew looking at the crowd would be a bad idea so I was like “This ways fine” and they like all walked off and the lights went down and I’m just sat there like ‘well shit, things got very real very fast.’

The music for ‘Honestly?’ starts and I’m just sat there not knowing what to do ‘cos like what the hell do you do? And I just oh my god, here is what I do remember:

– I remember seeing Cory, Kisu and Jinhong a lot like way more than the other three members
– I had no idea where to look or what the hell to do, I’d be looking at the members then I couldn’t handle it and I’d have to look away haha!
– Cory had the cutest smile when he was singing to me I just I can’t
– They all held my hand at some point and I just what
– One member, I couldn’t even see which one put his arm around me and I was just sat there being an awkward bean
– Another member played with my hair for a second like yes boy
– Kisu KISSED MY HAND AS IF I WASN’T MELTING ENOUGH AS IT WAS
– One member was already holding my hand and Cory came up behind him and started holding it too and I just, Cory’s smile was so beautiful oh my god
– It got to like the middle eight of the song and Kisu gave me a flower and I just I don’t even know how I was still alive at this point
– Hongseob is so cute I just
– The song ended and they’re all in front of me doing these cute poses and I’m like oh my fucking god
– One of them hugged me, I was so like starstruck that I don’t know who it was but I was over the moon – UPDATE: According to a girl on Facebook it was Hongseob ^_^
– What the hell do you say to that? I was sat there and they like all looked at me and I was like “well thanks” like an awkward person
– The song ended and one of the members was like “cheer up” and I don’t know if that was in reference to my letter or the look I had on my face but I’ll get to that in a second
– They were like “Thank you!” And I was still sat there so Cory like held his arm up like ‘you need to leave’ so I was like ‘ah here’s my cue’ and I left
– One of the members walked with me off stage but I was too shy to make eye contact

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So basically what was happening with my face was a big concern because a couple of years ago I met Pierce The Veil and I went over and Vic Fuentes was like “Hi! What’s your name?” and I was like “It’s Hozzie!” and he was like “Hozzie? Well, we’ve been waiting for you Hozzie.” And I legit died on the spot so the guy with my phone took the picture and well…

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I WAS SO HAPPY IN THAT PHOTO. DO I LOOK IT? NO. I LOOK LIKE I WANNA BLOODY CRY. IT LOOKS LIKE THEY’RE HOLDING ME RANSOM OR SOMETHING? Clearly I develop sad face in situations like this so I cannot even begin to imagine my damn face when all this was going on ‘cos like it was intense, I’m just gonna put it out there. So rest assured that it was the best moment of my life and if I looked sad, it’s because my face is weird.

The rest of the fan meet happened but like I was a mess. I was thirsty before I went up but I came off and it was like I’d been in the Sahara desert for three weeks so I like walked over to the bar and asked for a tap water and the woman was like “Yeah, I bet you need one now” and I was like “aha yes”. I was just stood at the back messaging my friends because in that moment I just really needed some moral support from my main hoes.

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Also, I’m just gonna put this out there, 24K fans are so nice and chill. Like I went back over to the crowd at the end for ‘Bingo’ and ‘Superfly’ ‘cos I’d kind of calmed down by this point and I was stood by this group of girls and they started talking to me and they were all like “Oh how was it? I bet it was awesome.” So I was like “I’m dead inside now, I can’t believe it.” And this girl smiled and went “Aw, you really deserved it.” And like the way everyone around me lost their shit and cheered for me when they found out it was me even though none of them had spoken to me before that moment? Like they all had every right to be salty but they weren’t – I found one girls thread and she said her and her friends even started chanting my name and I just? 24K fans are honestly the best.

We weren’t supposed to take photos or videos but I hope someone sneakily did ‘cos like I went there by myself and I’m messaging everyone like ‘I WENT ON STAGE WITH 24K OMG’ and luckily my friends know that I wouldn’t bullshit about something like that but it would be nice to have some proof. If I find any I’ll update this post and add them.

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Also, I was nervous about meeting 24K because of like general anxiety but there was another thing. I’m so insecure about the way I look. And like I’ve seen the Korean beauty standards and I’m a size 20 and most days I think I’m ugly as fuck. I didn’t for one second think they’d say anything about it but I don’t know, it made me ten times more nervous but the fact that they were all so sweet has made me feel so much better.

I’ve been feeling so down this year, like you would not believe how much of a shit year I have had. But like I feel like I can put all that behind me after last night. I have to go back to work tomorrow and it’s gonna be such a downer because I had the best time ever and I will never get to relive that.

But yes if you ever get the chance to see 24K, 10/10 I do recommend! Apparently they’re preparing for their next comeback so let’s all emotionally prepare ourselves for that.

I’m just going to apologise for the sheer length of this post and how my basic grasp of English disappeared (fuck knows how many times I used the word ‘like’ in this post) but I just really needed to write it out. Since I was by myself last night there was no one I could fan girl with and I got maybe four hours sleep last night ‘cos I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’m shook like honestly.

Review: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Flawed

I actually picked up the sequel to this book ‘Perfect ‘in ASDA because it caught my eye. The moment I realised it was a sequel I put it back down and found ‘Flawed’ on a different shelf. I read the blurb and it sounded fairly interesting. Read the first page and it didn’t put me off. So I bought it. It was top of my ‘to be read’ list and for some reason I was really reluctant to start reading it? I was really worried I wouldn’t like it and that it’d be dull even though the idea sounded really good.

The story is about Celestine North who lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter, she’s well-liked by her friends and teachers, and she’s dating perfect Art Crevan – son of Judge Crevan. She stays out of trouble. Until an impulsive decision where she breaks a rule and now faces life-changing consequences. She could be imprisoned, she could be branded, she could be found flawed. Will Celestine back down or could she change everything?

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As I said, I was reluctant to start it… But once I started I really got into it! The book doesn’t waste any time and we’re pulled straight into the action and we quickly learn more about the world Celestine lives in, where you can’t do anything wrong in case you’re branded as ‘flawed’.  To be honest Celestine was a bit annoying to begin with but I grew to like her. I couldn’t stand her boyfriend Art though right from the beginning.

This paragraph contains slight spoilers so beware! One thing that slightly annoys me is that Celestine is so desperate not to be branded flawed yet she still did what she did? She was too afraid to talk to her friend because her Mother had been branded flawed yet ten minutes later she’s doing something that gets her branded flawed herself? And her sister didn’t say anything because she was too afraid yet she’d been dead cheeky to Judge Crevan just the night before? I understand it had to happen to get the story moving but it just seemed really out of character?

Other than that though, I really did enjoy it. It was so much better than I expected it to be and I got sucked into Celestine’s world. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I wasn’t even sad to find out there was a sequel. In my previous review of ‘Songs about a Girl’ I criticised it for setting up a sequel instead of being a standalone book. Now I’m a bit of a hypocrite because ‘Flawed’ did the exact same thing except I didn’t mind at all.

Overall, I really do recommend this book because I thought it was brilliant. Go and give it a read!

Review: Songs About a Girl by Chris Russell

Songs About A Girl by Chris Russell

I found out about this book through a Booktuber I’ve been watching for a while. She praised the book highly and it sounded interesting so I bought myself a cheap copy from Amazon.

The story is about Charlie Bloom who’s an ordinary girl who never wanted to be ‘with the band’. She’s happiest out of sight, unnoticed. But then she’s asked to take backstage photographs for popular band ‘Fire & Lights’ and she can’t pass up the chance. Soon Charlie finds herself caught up in drama between the group’s front man Gabriel West and his band mate Olly Samson. And soon Charlie discovers a hidden meaning behind their lyrics that could change her life…

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It starts off well. Charlie’s an okay character to read about and the story’s relatively interesting. I’ll admit it had me hooked. Slight spoiler alert but Charlie discovers that the lyrics in their songs are lyrics her Mother wrote down in a notebook years ago and she tries to find out how this can be when everyone knows that Gabriel writes his own songs. I wanted to find out too and it was enough to keep me hooked throughout the book.

Although it didn’t annoy me too much while I was reading it, upon reflection the love triangle was really annoying. Olly went to Charlie’s school so he knew her and invited her to take photos because he knew how good of a photographer she was. Upon meeting the band Gabriel decides he has a crush on her and so does Olly, and so the love triangle begins.

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As I said, I wasn’t particularly annoyed whilst reading it but upon reflection it’s just a bit stupid. Gabriel had known the girl for all of five minutes before having a crush on her. And it seems stupid that Olly waited until after school when he was in a famous band to go back and decide he had a crush on a random girl from the year below him who he’d only spoken to once. He might’ve liked her photographs but that’s not enough of a reason to have a crush on someone. Tim Burton makes some good films but I don’t have a crush on him. Also I understand there was some unresolved beef between Gabriel and Olly before Charlie showed up but really? They had to argue and fight every twenty seconds over some girl neither of them barely knew?

I’m just about learning to tolerate romance in books but the one thing I can’t stand is a stupid, pointless love triangle.

To be honest, I still think I really could’ve enjoyed this if it had been a standalone novel; I was a bit annoyed to get to the end and find it had been deliberately left unresolved to set up a sequel. We find out the truth about the song’s lyrics, the only reason we need a sequel is to keep reading about some stupid love triangle which was not what I had signed up for. Sure it was interesting but I don’t want to read a whole other book about Olly and Gabriel’s tantrums. No thank you.

Overall I don’t know what to think about this book, I enjoyed it while I was reading it but it’s not a book I’m likely to return to or recommend to a friend. And I won’t be buying the sequel.

Review: Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Not That Kind of Girl

So I kind of fell in love with Siobhan Vivian’s books when I finished reading ‘The List’ and decided to buy more of her work. I asked for ‘Not That Kind of Girl’ for Christmas but for some reason when my Mom went to buy it they told her it wasn’t available until May for some reason? So she didn’t get it so I went to Waterstones myself to buy it.

‘Not That Kind of Girl’ is about Natalie Stirling who prides herself on always making the right choices. She avoids the jock types, always top honour roll and plans to become the first female student council president in years. If only the other girls could be like her. But being strong isn’t easy. Not when Natalie nearly gets expelled anyway, when her advice hurts more than it helps, not when she can’t stop thinking about a boy she knows she should ignore… What will Natalie do?

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I don’t really know what to think of this book. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it because I definitely did but I wasn’t over the moon about it or anything. Like I said in my review of ‘The Last Boy and Girl in the World’ I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if I hadn’t read ‘The List’ first. I feel like that set my expectations really high and this book was a bit of a letdown. It was good; don’t get me wrong, but not as great as I hoped.

Natalie was okay but I didn’t really grow too attached to her or anything. However, I really loved Spencer who was a girl that Natalie had previously babysat for when she was younger but had just started at High School. I loved how honest and open she was. Sure, she made some questionable decisions but she’s confident and a lot wiser than I was at her age. Mike, however, can literally suck a cock.

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I thought Natalie’s relationship with Connor was a bit cringe, not gonna lie. The chapters of Natalie sneaking out in the middle of the night to meet up with him were really boring and I just couldn’t get into it. I was glad when they eventually got together but the build up to it really made me cringe and I’m not sure why. I know I’m not a fan of romance but this was something else.

Overall, I did enjoy the book. I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it to my friends but if they asked if they should read it I’d say yes. If you’re a fan of Siobhan Vivian’s other books then I’d definitely recommend getting a copy.

Review: Girlhood by Cat Clarke

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So this book is officially released on Thursday 4th May but Cat tweeted to say a few copies had been released early, as she had done when ‘The Lost and the Found’ was released. I didn’t know if there’d be any in Telford but I ended up going up town and decided to take a quick look in Waterstones and was lucky enough to find one copy of it sitting on the shelf. So of course I had to buy it.

‘Girlhood’ is about a girl named Harper who asks to attend boarding school so she can escape her parents and the guilt of the death of her twin sister Jenna. But Harper can’t escape the memories of her sister and the part she played in it. Then she meets new girl Kirsty who lost a sister too. Harper’s finally found someone who understands her. But as the two become closer Kirsty’s behaviour becomes more erratic. Why is her life so similar to Harpers? Soon, Harper’s close relationship with Kirsty threatens her relationships with her best friends and her own identity.

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It’s no secret that Cat is my favourite author of all time so it’s no surprise that I finished the entire book within the space of a few hours. As usual the moment I started I couldn’t put it down. Cat’s writing is so easy to get into and I love the mystery element in all her books that keeps me hooked until the very end.

In my review of ‘The Lost and the Found’ I praised Cat for her brilliant LGBT representation in her books and this book is probably even better. Early on we learn that Rowan’s a lesbian and Harper’s bi-sexual and it doesn’t massively affect the plot? Obviously it’s brought up but it’s so refreshing to read about lesbian and bi characters were the central plot isn’t about their sexuality and I honestly love it so much.

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Character-wise, this book was bloody amazing. I loved Harper’s best friends Rowan, Lily and Ama. Especially Rowan who is without a doubt my favourite character, not just within this book but in general. I’m not sure what I thought of Kirsty after everything, I was pretty certain I didn’t like her but now I don’t know what to think. I don’t like her but I don’t dislike her.

Also, exciting news… I was a character in the book! A while ago I made a bid on an auction to appear in one of Cat’s books, something I talked about in a blog earlier this year, and I won! So I got a signed copy of ‘The Lost and the Found’ (which I gave to my friend ‘cos I’d already met Cat at a signing prior to winning the auction) and I was named after one of the characters. I also made it to the acknowledgements page.
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However, I can’t help feeling a little bit salty… The character I was named after wasn’t in it very much and didn’t say a single line. And that was fine by me until I read the acknowledgements and saw another girl had donated to a charity like me and had been named after one of the main characters. Obviously I don’t know the ins and outs of the auction, how much she donated, whether she received a signed book like I did etc. etc. But I still can’t help feeling a little salty about it.

Overall, I really loved this book and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. In terms of plot I think I preferred ‘The Lost and the Found’ but in terms of characters it’s so good and so interesting. Check in your local bookstore to see if an early copy has been released and if not then definitely buy one on Thursday, you won’t regret it!