Review: Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher

Silence is Goldfish

I can’t really remember what drew me to buy this book. I do remember I was shopping for a birthday present for my best friend and ended up buying myself this book… I think the title caught my eye, the blurb sounded interesting and after having a quick read of the first page I thought I’d be able to get into it quite easily. Turns out I was right.

‘Silence is Goldfish’ is told from the point of view of Tess who has just found out some pretty shocking news. She didn’t mean to become mute, it just kind of happened. But discovering your Dad isn’t your real father is a pretty big deal. Tess decides to find out the truth of her identity but she uncovers a secret that could ruin multiple lives… But how can she ask for help when she’s forgotten how to use her voice?

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My friend read the blurb of the book and said “Really, she stops talking just because she found out her Dad wasn’t her real Dad? Really?” All I will say is that it’s much more than that and I really feel awful for Tess, I can see why she didn’t want to talk. The blurb doesn’t do the book justice; you need to give it a go to understand what I mean.

I loved Tess so much. One of the reviews on the front of the book says ‘like a book and best friend all in one’ and that’s what it felt like. It felt like I really knew Tess, like she was my friend and a real person. I felt everything she felt and she’d fill my thoughts when I wasn’t reading. I’ve never had that with any other book before. I was really sad to finish it; it felt like I’d lost a friend.

The one person I can’t stand and will never be able to stand is Jack, Tess’ ‘Dad’. I feel like there was a kind of redemption ark at the end but I really can’t stand him and some of the decisions he made. I can forgive what made Tess hate him but there were so many little things he did that made me hate him so much and if I were Tess then I don’t think I’d have been able to forgive him.

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Do you know who was great though? Mr Goldfish. Because Tess can’t speak out loud she starts having conversations with a goldfish torch that she’s named Mr Goldfish who gives her general life advice and is there for her. This is really sad but I actually checked on Amazon and eBay to see if they had a torch like Mr Goldfish. They didn’t have any and I was absolutely gutted! I’m going to keep an eye out for one.

I really can’t put into words how much I loved this book and how much I recommend it. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while and I can’t wait to read more of Annabel Pitcher’s work. If you find a copy of it then buy it, you honestly won’t regret it!

The ‘I Never’ Book Tag

I’ve decided to do a book tag, I know they’re probably more of a YouTube thing but I figured it couldn’t hurt to post one on my blog! I decided to do the ‘I Never Book Tag’ created by LizziefayeLovesBooks on YouTube, so I hope you guys enjoy it!

“I never read that!” Name a book that you’ve never read, that everyone else has.

Twilight

The Twilight Saga. When Twilight became really popular and the films were coming out I kind of lied and told everyone I loved it even though I found it kind of boring? I have no idea why I did that, I really wanted to enjoy it but I just couldn’t get into it. Still, I decided to give the first book a try and I don’t even think I made it through the first chapter. I don’t know whether it’s worth giving the book another try now or not? Let me know if you read it and what you thought of it and I’ll consider it!

“I never read anything so awesome!” Name your favourite book.

I’m between two and that’s ‘The List’ by Siobhan Vivian and ‘The Lost and the Found’ by Cat Clarke. I loved ‘The List’ because I loved reading about eight girls with different, well-written personalities and I found the storyline way more interesting than I thought I would. But equally, I’m a massive Cat Clarke fan and this book has such a good plot twist and is interesting from start to finish. I could never pick between them!

“I never thought I would get through that.” Name a book that you didn’t like, but powered through it anyway.

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Quicksilver by R J Anderson. It was a sequel to Ultraviolet which I absolutely loved but oh my god, the sequel was so hard to get through. It took me well over a year to finally finish the book. I remember sitting on my bed and trying to read it as fast as possible, I was getting no enjoyment out of it and I was just reading it to say I’d done it. I don’t think I understood a word of it to be honest and I really didn’t enjoy it at all. Still, I finished it!

“I will never finish that!” Name a book or series that you don’t plan on finishing.

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. When I was on holiday in Bognor Regis I found this really cute bookstore and picked up a bunch of classics because they were cheap and a lot of people say how good the classic books are. I struggled through the first few chapters until I had to accept defeat. I can’t get into classics. I started reading Little Women by Louisa M.Alcott and that’s not great either. Now I’m stuck with a bunch of classics that I don’t want to read.

“I will never regret reading that.” Name a book you read solely on a recommendation that you ended up really liking.

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A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett. My friend recommended them to me when I was a kid and I kept saying no but eventually she convinced me to borrow her copy of the first book and I took it home with me. The next day I came back and told her I’d finished it and asked to borrow the next one. I love that series so much even now and I always will.

“I would never do that!” Name a relatable book character who made choices you didn’t agree with, or did things you would never do.

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Probably Maddie from ‘Awaken’ by Katie Kacvinsky, I would’ve had no issue with her but she just suddenly became obsessed with this boy named Justin and it was all a bit unnecessary? She’s rebelling against her parents and the government and putting her life in danger yet every twenty seconds I was forced to read about her relationship with Justin and how she couldn’t stop thinking about it and it was like come on Maddie, we’ve got bigger issues here. I honestly rolled my eyes every time his name was mentioned, I nearly rolled them out of my head the amount of times he’s mentioned.

“I never wanted to admit it.” Name a book that you were embarrassed to say you read or were embarrassed to carry around with you.

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I don’t generally get embarrassed about my books but I do feel a bit embarrassed when I read the latest Jacqueline Wilson book out in public. Look, I might be twenty years old but the woman’s a bloody genius and I will never grow out of her books. I wasn’t all that embarrassed about it until I read one of her books during form at school and my form tutor said to me “That’s for primary school children babes.” (My Mom went mental about that, “How dare she encourage you not to read??”) I’ve grown up with her books and the thought of not reading them anymore is ridiculous – I just tend to do it at home. In private.

“I never read anything so heartwarming.” Name a book or a series that really touched your heart.

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The ‘Normal’ series by Holly Bourne. There’s something about how all the girls had their own issues but they overcame them and supported each other that I just love so much. I recommend this series so hard, if you haven’t read it then you’re really missing out. I’m so sad the series is over but I love Holly Bourne’s work so I’m looking forward to seeing what else she has in store!

“I never laughed so hard!” Name a book that made you laugh out loud.

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The only books that have ever managed to make me laugh out loud are the ‘Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging’ books by Louise Rennison. I watched the film when I was a teenager and I enjoyed it but I hadn’t read the books, until my brother’s now ex-girlfriend gave me some of her old books and the first book in the series happened to be one of them. I bought the rest of them and I ended up loving them all. I don’t like the film as much as I used to because I don’t think it’s a patch on the books. If you haven’t read them then give them a chance, they’re really funny!

“I never could’ve made it through childhood without it.” Name a favourite childhood book or series.

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Although I love Jacqueline Wilson, my favourite books as a kid were the ‘My Naughty Little Sister’ series by Dorothy Edwards. I loved those books so much, especially the one where she goes to stay with her next door neighbours. My Mom used to get so sick of rereading that one to me but I loved it so much. I still have those books; I’ll never get rid of them because they were my absolute favourites. I actually really want to reread them now.

So, I hope you’ve learnt a little more about me. If you decide to do this tag then leave me a link, I’d love to know what other people have put 🙂

Review: The Pants Project by Cat Clarke

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I think at this point it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Cat Clarke. There isn’t a book she’s published yet that I haven’t enjoyed and ‘The Pants Project’ is no exception. Told from the point of view of Liv (not Olivia) it’s a story about a transgender boy who thinks it’s unfair that he has to wear a skirt to school just because he was born as a girl. He starts a campaign to change the rule but can he face the bullying that comes from mean girl Jade and her friends?

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One of my favourite things about Cat’s books is the diversity of characters. In her previous book the main character’s Dad was bi-sexual and in this book Liv has two Moms. It’s just so interesting to read about something different that’s not white heterosexual people all the time. Also, Cat is absolutely brilliant at writing realistic romance – something there wasn’t any of in this book! It was perfect! Thank you Cat! (For those who don’t regularly read my reviews, I can’t stand romance in books nine times out of ten)

It was a really easy book to get into. It’s aimed at a younger audience but it didn’t stop me enjoying it. It’s a relatively simple plot but there’s still a little twist that I wasn’t expecting – I guessed something completely different and it was a nice surprise. Don’t worry I won’t spoil it for any of you though!

All the characters are loveable, Liv is so awesome. My favourite character has to be Enzo though; I’d love a brother like that. I didn’t like Maisie, I have no sympathy whatsoever and I’m glad Liv didn’t either. I couldn’t stand Jade but that was clearly what Cat intended.

I really can’t recommend this book highly enough, as usual my review hasn’t done it justice but it’s truly brilliant! Please trust me and go and purchase a copy, it’s an amazing book and definitely worth a read.

What Not to Do at the Theatre

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I’m someone that goes to the theatre an awful lot, which you probably know as I’ve started writing about it a lot this year. Now I’ve had some really good experiences and some really shit experiences so I thought I’d write a list of what not to do at the theatre.

1. Turn your phone off

Probably the most obvious thing ever but the amount of people that don’t sometimes is ridiculous. It doesn’t even need to be switched off, just put it on silent (yes silent NOT vibrate), put it in your bag and leave it there until the interval! It’s not too difficult to not check your phone. I once went to the theatre with a friend and there was a man who sat on his phone almost the entire time while all his children slept in their seats. It was really weird ‘cos he wasn’t there for the kids ‘cos they were asleep but he wasn’t there for himself ‘cos he was on his phone?

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Also do you know how distracting it is not only for the audience but for the actors if your phone goes off? I get annoyed if people go on their phones at the cinema but it annoys me even more at the theatre, it’s one of the rudest things you can do, DON’T DO IT.

2. Don’t talk the entire time

Obviously you can say the odd thing to the person next to you but you don’t need to have an entire conversation about what’s going to happen next or your theories on the show. There’s an interval halfway through for that kind of thing. It’s so distracting when the people around you are having full-blown conversations. We’re not here to listen to you; we’re here to watch what’s on stage! Whatever you want to talk about isn’t that important that you can’t wait until the interval.

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3. Don’t let your kids talk the entire time

I’m serious. It’s one thing going to a panto or a show that’s aimed at kids, let them do what they want. But when I’ve forked out extra to get front row seats at a West End show the last thing I want is to hear your kid talking every twenty seconds. Annoyingly I only end up near talkative/annoying children when I’ve spent extra for decent tickets. Whenever I’m in a cheap seat at the back of the theatre I don’t end up anywhere near a child that doesn’t know when to stop.

I like to think I’m relatively tolerant when it comes to loud or naughty children, being a support worker and all that, but I have no time for it at the theatre. The worst time had to be when I was seeing Wicked and my Mom had spent extra to get us on the front row and I was so happy until I discovered we were in front of two of the worst kids ever. One of them kept kicking the back of my seat every twenty seconds and the other kept asking her Mother “Is it finished yet” after every single song. West End shows aren’t cheap, I don’t want to sit here and listen to your kid all night.

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Fair enough if you ask your child to be quiet. When I saw ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ I was near two kids who kept turning to their Mom and excitedly going “Wow did you see that?” To which their Mom would kindly respond “Yes but we need to be quiet, watch the show” and it was fine. However when I was on the front row for ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ there was a boy sat behind me who kept talking really loudly about every single tiny thing that happened and his parents just let him get on with it.

For some people a West End show is a rare treat, it might even be something they only get to do once in their lives, they don’t need it ruined by a child whose parents just don’t care how loudly they talk.

4. Don’t Sing Along

I love sing alongs as much as the next person but that’s not what we’re there for. We’ve all paid to see the performers sing, not the random guy next to me. Obviously there’s the occasion where those on stage prompt you to sing along and that’s absolutely fine. But if we’re at a musical and you’re sat next to me and you start singing along out loud I will spend the entire show hating you and wishing I’d chosen a different seat.

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5. Don’t leave before the bows

You just don’t do it. These actors have worked hard to put on a performance for you, all you have to do is sit there and clap to show your appreciation at the end. I know it’s more convenient to leave just before that BUT IT’S SO RUDE. If I ever went to a show with someone and they suggested leaving before the bows I would be horrified. Not only because it’s rude but because for some strange reason it’s one of my favourite parts of the show? You just don’t leave before the bows, you just don’t.

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There’s only five things on the list and it’s not like they’re too hard, right? Just follow the five simple steps so that everyone can have a good time!

Review: Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

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Most people will have heard of this book. It’s been out a while now and it’s already got two sequels so I’m probably the last person on the planet to finally read it. However, for those of you who haven’t heard of it before this is the debut novel of Zoella, a popular YouTuber, and it’s about a young girl named Penny who runs a blog called Girl Online. She keeps it anonymous and just blogs about things going on in her life; friendship, boys and the panic attacks she’s started having recently. When things get worse she goes on a family vacation to New York and ends up meeting a boy named Noah. Penny finds herself falling in love and records every moment of it on her blog. But Noah has a secret, one that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover forever.

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I’d seen this book around for a while but never considered reading it. Then a couple of weeks ago I went in to buy ‘Not That Kind of Girl’ by Siobhan Vivian and it was in the buy one get one half price offer. So was Girl Online. I figured it would be a good book to review on this blog and went for it! I didn’t particularly think I’d enjoy it but I was actually surprised.

‘Girl Online’ is pretty much a typical teenage novel. It’s not really anything new or amazing. The plot is relatively predictable but I still found myself getting completely invested. At twenty years old I don’t think I was the intended target audience, it’s aimed more at younger teenagers, but I still found myself really enjoying it.

I think ‘Girl Online’ is one of those books that I know isn’t particularly good and should by all means probably annoy the Hell out of me, but it doesn’t. After finishing this one I actually really want to read the sequels, I want to find out what happens to Penny and whether she decides to keep her blog or not. I have a feeling this series is going to be a bit of a guilty pleasure.

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As for the romance, it was a little bit annoying to read about because it was a bit unrealistic. I can understand Penny feeling attracted to him but the fact that they both fell in love with each other so quickly was a bit ridiculous. Also her friend Elliot started getting so petty that it was stupid. I understood why he was upset with everything going on but it seemed like soon he wasn’t giving Penny a break at all.

Ultimately, I did really enjoy the book and I’ll be buying the sequels but as I said, this book is definitely a guilty pleasure. A kind of, I know it’s not that great but I loved it anyway.

Best Concerts Ever

Since it’s a new year and all that I’m looking to write new blog posts to add a bit more variety to my blog, hence all the lists you’ll be seeing over the next few weeks while I get a feel for what I like writing. I’ll still be posting my book and horror film reviews but I want to expand on that. So I’ve decided to write a list of my favourite concerts I’ve been to, ever.

10. Tonight Alive

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I’d heard about Tonight Alive but didn’t really bother to listen to them until I saw them support All Time Low at the O2 Academy in London when I decided I should give them a try. I quickly fell in love with them and when they announced a UK tour I convinced my friend we should go. They played at the HMV Institute in Birmingham which is a relatively small venue and they were great. Not the best concert I’ve ever been to but I’m glad I went. I don’t listen to them as much anymore but I still love their songs ‘Lonely Girl’ and ‘Hell and Beck’.

9. The Pretty Reckless

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For a long time I only really knew one song by ‘The Pretty Reckless’ and that was ‘Miss Nothing’, the popular one. Then they supported Fall Out Boy and I suddenly fell in love with them. I bought their album ‘Going to Hell’ and it was one of my favourite albums for a long time so when they came to the UK to promote it I dragged my friend to their concert. They’re so good live and I’m really glad I went, I nearly went again when they came back this year but unfortunately I didn’t have enough money. Next time I’ll definitely be there!

8. Thirty Seconds to Mars

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At the time I said this was the best concert I’d ever been to and it was really good. What I liked was that it was visually good as well as sounding good. To be honest unless I really love a band I get kind of bored watching them if all they’re doing is singing (I’ve seen You Me at Six four times now and was always bored), I like other things to be going on and I got that at Thirty Seconds to Mars. They’re definitely one of the best live bands I’ve seen and I’d recommend going to see them!

7. The Used

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So I saw ‘The Used’ in a tiny little venue so even though me and my friend had only shown up about thirty minutes before the doors opened we managed to squeeze our way to just behind the front row so we had one of the best views ever. If we’d been at the back I don’t think I’d have included them on the list because although they were good, what really made the concert was that my friend wasn’t as big of a fan as me so she didn’t know as many lyrics to as many songs. So whenever she didn’t know a song the lead singer, Bert, kept coming over and pointing at her and shaking his head for not knowing the lyrics. Whenever she knew a song he kept going to the other side of the stage. It was honestly hilarious. She managed to catch his water bottle though, that was brilliant.

6. We Are the In Crowd

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For a long time, ‘We Are the in Crowd’ were my favourite band. I’ve been to see them five times now and every time I’ve met at least one member – which stresses me out because I don’t wanna break the streak if I ever go see them again. My favourite time seeing them was on their first headlining tour when they were promoting ‘Weird Kids’, I saw them at the O2 Academy in Birmingham and you could just tell how genuinely happy they were to be performing. They’re also really good to their fans, my favourite member changes every time I see them because they’re all lovely for different reasons. Unfortunately I think the band are on a break at the moment but you should definitely listen to their album ‘Weird Kids’, it’s so good!

5. All Time Low

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All Time Low are probably the band I’ve seen the most. I’ve seen them six times and I’ve booked to go see them again this year with three of my friends. The first time I saw them was a wild experience. I got permission to skip school and queue all day with two of my friends. Me and one of my friends decided to go and find the bathroom but we got lost and ended up by the tour buses. One of the tour bus doors opened and there was some random guy stood in the doorway. And then Jack Barakat ran past him, completely naked. Then the guy shut the door again.

They’re just a really fun band to see live and I had tons of fun each time I saw them but nothing will ever beat that first time. I was lucky enough to meet them last year (I got to go to the Hustler meet and greet as my friends carer YAY) and they’re all so lovely, especially Jack even though I dropped my phone on the floor when I went to give it to him and seemed to have a stroke ‘cos I couldn’t figure out how to pick it back up or talk to him. But yeah, they’re brilliant live and you should definitely see them if you have the chance to!

4. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

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So a while ago Tumblr kept talking about this song called ‘Pon Pon Pon’ and I decided to give it a listen because so many people were talking about it and I had no idea what on Earth they were on about. I didn’t like it at first but the more I listened to it the more it grew on me so I started listening to more of her songs and soon I fell in love. She announced a tour with a stop in the UK the next year but unfortunately she was going to London on a school night so I couldn’t go.

Then the next year she announced another show in London and I was attending university in London so I could go, YAY! Like I said, I don’t like just watching bands sing I like something visual and that’s definitely Kyary. It was a small venue but it didn’t matter, Kyary was brilliant, her costumes were cute and her dancing was great. Also her English was really sweet, it was definitely one of the most fun concerts I’ve ever been to and you should definitely look her up!

3. BabyMetal

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I feel bad because my friend had been telling me about BabyMetal for years, and saying they were her guilty pleasure and I should give them a listen. To which I kept responding “I’m not listening to a group called BabyMetal.” Then Kerrang tweeted a link to one of their songs and I finally gave it a listen… And really enjoyed it. Sorry Cheyenne, I’ll listen to you in future.

Anyway, they kept announcing dates for their world tour and I was getting so stressed because they weren’t saying anything about the UK but then it finally happened! They announced a show in London then I pestered my friend until she agreed to go with me. And I had the best fucking time.

For those of you who haven’t heard of BabyMetal they’re a Japanese girl group who sing and dance to metal music. Some of their songs are fun, silly and cute but some are really good like ‘Road of Resistance’ and ‘The One’. They’re definitely not to be missed; they’re so good and energetic live. If they come back then I’m getting another ticket and seeing them all over again. Give them a listen; trust me when I say they’re good!

2. 24K

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I’ve been really into K-Pop lately and for the longest time it was just me on my own but luckily two of my best friends got into it as well. Not many K-Pop artists come to Europe, let alone the UK but 24K announced a concert here. I remember complaining to my friend in the cinema “No one’s heard of them, how come they can come here and the really famous groups can’t?” Then my friend turned around and said she’d listened to a couple of their songs, thought they were good and wanted to go see them. So I invited myself along and our third K-Pop friend wanted to come too. Oh My God, I’m so glad we all went.

One of the best nights of my life, 24K were so lit and the vibe was just really good. No one was pushing, shoving or arguing or anything we were all just there to have a good time. And 24K were so fun as well, they got halfway through the concert then invited three fans up to the stage to teach them how to dance and then there was a dancing contest and I just? It was one of the most laidback and fun concerts I’ve ever been to. We’re all considering travelling to Amsterdam to see them again because they were honestly so good! If you haven’t listened to 24K then I recommend going and listening to ‘Bingo’ right now.

1. K-CON PARIS 2016

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The line-up was Shinee, IOI, BTS, Block B, f(x) and FT Island. At the time I wasn’t a massive fan of any of those groups, I’d heard the odd song by a few of them but I wasn’t in love with any of them or anything. But my friend’s bias group is BTS and my other friend loved most of the groups so we decided to go. We managed to get to Paris relatively cheap and had the best holiday there ever.

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The concert itself was the best thing I’ve ever been to in my life, I fell in love with BTS at that concert and just everything was so perfect. Every group was so good and we all had the best time ever. I was sat next to some lady who had to be in her thirties or forties who kept fangirling over Taemin from Shinee, it was amazing. I’m really hoping K-Con Paris 2017 is announced this year, or even better a K-Con London but we’ll have to see. I might weep forever if there isn’t because it was honestly the best concert ever.

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To be honest, this list didn’t make an awful lot of sense but I just wanted to remember the fun times I’ve had! Let me know the best concerts you’ve ever been to!