Posted in Han, Theatre reviews



The National Theatre

2.12.2017 (2nd Preview performance)


The story sticks very close to source. For me, having not read the book, that’s the Disney movie.

The songs, however, seem out of place but find new homes that fit well within the production.

It always has been a dark tale, and this interpretation is now exception. Even the joyous laughs and giggles from little ones can’t avert your mind from the evil that follows Pinocchio or the pain Geppetto feels.


It’s a wonderful ensemble of talented actors and puppeteers with stand out performances from Joe Idris-Roberts and Audrey Bisson who play Pinocchio and Jiminy Crickey respectively.

Idris-Roberts gives his all, and is anything but wooden as the young puppet on a mission to become a real boy. On, or off strings, he will charm you and disarm you. It’s Idris-Roberts who has me gearing for a second viewing.

Then there is the wonderful and playful Audrey Bisson. She plays and operates Jiminy Cricket; Pinocchio’s conscience. She has a delightful sense of timing and humour, bringing a wonderful and playful tone to the play.

Production (music, set, costume, lighting)

This was a beautiful set that used the lighting to give the audience a sense of size.

The use of puppetry was quite simply breathtaking.

The highlight for costumes for me was the Fox. Such a stunning outfit, complete with platform shoes to provide added height.

I hope to see this play again before it finishes in March.

Posted in 2017, Book reviews, Han, Orion, Ramblings, Reads of ...

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Release date: 21.9.2017

Description: Time is running out . . .

Farway McCarthy was born outside of time. With nowhere to call home and nothing to anchor him to the present, Far captains a crew on a dangerous mission into the past.

When he collides with Eliot – a mysterious, secretive girl, whose very appearance raises questions about time itself – Far immediately distrusts her.

But he must take a leap of faith, following Eliot on a race against time, if he is to protect everything he’s ever loved from disappearing forever . . .

Buy here:


Far and Eliot are the most interesting of the group. I don’t find them relatable, but they’re certainly likeable. Far isn’t as much of a hot head as you first expect; he’s Harry Potter but lacking the ignorance of his upbringing.


It’s a wonderful time travelling plot, that doesn’t fall into the trappings that some other books fall into. It has a feeling of the tv show Timeless about it, but it quickly diverts from the individual cases of time travel to a much larger story.


It’s a solid novel, written in third person and doesn’t hold back on the action. It has a delightful way of incorporating swear words that reminds me of Eion Colfer’s Artemis Fowl.

I personally could have done with it being about 100 pages shorter, but I was having to drown out Christmas TV and my father’s chatter so I was pulled out of it a fair bit.

Posted in Han, Ramblings

Happy Birthday Han

My birthday has been very hit and miss. From everyone being a no show for my 13th birthday party, to my father refusing to wish me happy birthday. Yep, there have been years that have SUCKED beyond belief and there have even been a good handful where I have sobbed myself to sleep the night before because I’d not want the day to arrive.

However, there’s one thing I have always loved, and that’s a trip to the cinema and a happy meal on the way home. Keep it simple and I’m happy.

1989- All Dogs Go to Heaven


1990- Little Mermaid

1991- Beauty and the Beast

1992- Aladdin

Interestingly, I was offered the chance to see this just before Christmas and I said no. Logic should have shouted ‘oi idiot; go and you get to see two films’ … alas, my sentimental heart won and it was saved until my birthday.

1993- Adams Family Values

1994- Miracle on 34th Street

1995- Indian in the Cupboard


1996- 101 Dalmations

1997- Spiceworld

This one breaks my heart. In my attempt to grow up, I would not let my mum come and watch with me and my friend. Back before the mass ownership of mobile phones; my mum spent the time in the McDonalds.

I’m sure she wasn’t cut up about missing the Spice Girls run around London.

I sacrificed my love of movies for a home-based parties.

2001- The Princess Diaries


2002- Lord of the Rings: Two Towers

2003- Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

2004- Without a Paddle

My mum actually suggested this one. I’d wanted to see Ella Enchanted, but she was too ill to get ready for it as it had been out a while and there were very few showings. Worked out brilliantly; I love this film.


2005- The Producers/ Just Like Heaven/ Narnia

I’m not sure any of these were on my actual birthday. I sulked massively because my mum wouldn’t go with me. I didn’t appreciate how unwell she was… so, yeah, I sulked.

2006- Perfume

2007- Enchanted/ The Golden Compass


2008- Twilight

2009- Sherlock Holmes(January 2010)

I was in Ankara, Turkey in 2009. It was not a very good birthday seeing as my then-boyfriend was actually there to meet up with a potential new girlfriend. It wasn’t fun. The cinema trip was meant to be 10 people+, however it was snowed out so there was about four of us.

2010- Tron Legacy

2011- Sherlock Holmes, Game of Shadows

I don’t remember ANY of this movie past the first 20 minutes. I’d been for a meal before hand and had wine and I’d smuggled in some premixed cans. To this day? I’ve attempted to watch this film about 4 times and I STILL don’t know the plot.

2012 – The Hobbit/ Pitch Perfect

2013- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

It counts… sort of. I got very drunk the night before, so a 3D screening was not the best idea.

2014- Exodus: Gods and Kings

2015- Snoopy Movie

My 30th birthday film. Such a good, and childish, call.

2016- Rogue One


Posted in 2018, Book clubs, Han, Reads of ..., The British Book Challenge

British Book Challenge

We, The Queens of Geekdom are going to take part in the British Book Challenge #BritishBooksChallenge18 hosted by the awesome @ChelleyToy over at Tales of Yesterday.

We’ll be doing this in conjunction with the  #QOGAZ A-Z challenge so some titles will count towards both challenges, double the fun!

@gemlovesbooks books;

The books I’m intending on reading for the challenge are a mix of ones which have already been published and some that I’m impatiently waiting for in 2018!

I’ll put a link to Waterstones for the books so people can click to see the full synopsis of my chosen books.

Almost Love by Louise O’Neil

State of Sorrow by Melinda Sailsbury

Release by Patrick Ness

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

Book of Dust by Philip Pullman

How Do You Like Me Now by Holly Bourne

A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens

Rattle by Fiona Cummins

How To Stop Time by Matt Haig

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The Blood Road by Stuart Macbride

@hscptcrash books:

I’ll be starting with the same list, except for one that I’ve already read.

Almost Love by Louise O’Neil

State of Sorrow by Melinda Sailsbury

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

Book of Dust by Philip Pullman

How Do You Like Me Now by Holly Bourne

A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens

Rattle by Fiona Cummins

How To Stop Time by Matt Haig

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The Blood Road by Stuart Macbride

Posted in 2017, ARC, Han, MacMillian Kids UK, Net Galley, Reads of ...

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron #bookreview #hanreview @MacmillanKidsUK

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron #bookreview #hanreview @MacmillanKidsUK Release date: 22.03.18


From Goodreads: Sometimes, I imagine alternate endings to the story: last-minute miracles, touches of magic. I picture how things might have gone, if I wasn’t there. If I’d left just a few minutes later. If I hadn’t been alone. It doesn’t make any difference. One way or another, the crash always comes.

Ten days after Jaya Mackenzie’s mum dies, angels start falling from the sky. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.

Hysteria mounting with every Being that drops, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh intent on catching one alive. But Jaya can’t stand this obsession and, struggling to make sense of her mother’s sudden death and her own role on that fateful day, she’s determined to stay out of it.

When her best friend disappears and her father’s mania spirals, things hit rock bottom and it’s at that moment something extraordinary happens: An angel lands right at Jaya’s feet, and it’s alive. Finally she is forced to acknowledge just how significant these celestial beings are.

Set against the backdrop of the frenzied Edinburgh festival, OUT OF THE BLUE tackles questions of grief and guilt and fear over who we really are. But it’s also about love and acceptance and finding your place in this world as angels drop out of another.

Buy it here

My first thoughts

It’s ET meets I am Traitor in this wonderfully thrilling story. I couldn’t put it down.

The Characters

I love Jaya. She is headstrong, wonderfully moral and self assured. This is quite possibly the first LGBTQ+ main character who knows what and who she is and therefore doesn’t divert some of the plot with that exploration. Plus, it’s wonderful to just have a character who happens to be gay and her sexuality have no direct impact upon the plot.

The angel that falls is wonderful and while unable to vocalise her pain, confusion she is able to communicate. I’ll leave the name for you to discover, but it’s a delight and reflective of her innocent charm.

The Plot

The plot is perfectly woven out of a teen thriller nursing an injured angel back to health and a commentary upon religious belief and how we respond to the end of the world.

The sub plot looks at cults that can arise in such situations and the people who join them. It comments upon the challenges people face when drawn in without considering a way out.

It’s a well developed plot that has a balance between humour and tense drama. Something that will keep you up at night; if you start it, you won’t stop till its finished.

The Writing

It’s clear storytelling and third person narrative gives the story a film-like quality. It’s demonstrated best as the action heats up in the later section of the book. It’s a perfect read and I’d gladly welcome a sequel.

Posted in 2017, Book reviews, Han, MacMillian Kids UK, Ramblings, Reads of ...

Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz @MacmillanKidsUK @MelissadelaCruz


For fictional characters based upon historical figures, these are all wonderfully crafted and instantly authentic to me. From their social behaviours to their relationships with other characters, it’s how I would expect people of that time to act.

Alex and Eliza are wonderful and I’m drawn to both of them. While there’s initial conflict between them, it’s never dismissed and often referred back to.

I find myself drawn more to Eliza than Alex. I engage with her a little more. However, seeing elements of the story from Alex’s point of view adds tension you would not perhaps get otherwise.


I don’t think I can gush enough about this book. I want to fall into its pages, Potter-style. I love that this book expands upon what is essentially one song within the award-winning play.

It doesn’t skirt around the hardship faced during the time, nor does it romanticise it. However, it adds to the characters, their motivations and the development of the plot.

I love how it ends and where the characters end up. However, It’s left me begging for more.


The writing is truly stunning. It incorporates the past without being too bogged down with heavy language; something, I’m not going to lie, i was worried thats what i was getting myself into.

I loved the two voices presented through an omniscient third person narrative. It gave the book a feeling that it was making a commentary of the letters that were written between the pair.

I cannot wait for the second book, which is due for release on 17th April 2018.

Posted in 2017, Atom, Book reviews, Han, Reads of ...

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed #bookreview #hanreview Atom Press

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed #bookreview #hanreview Atom Press
Release date: 10.10.17


From Goodreads: Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.


Who are the Nowhere Girls? They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.
Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.
Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.
When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.
Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

Buy it here

My first thoughts

Its not a book that people want to read, but it’s a book that everyone needs to read. While there are books that have tread this ground before, they have not brought together the complicity of rape culture in order to educate and inform a reader while delivering an immersive story.
This is a book that I will forever suggest alongside

The Characters

Erin, Grace and Rosina are the trio of girls that are developing their friendships under pressure. Grace feels more like our protagonist, she’s relatable in the fact that we arrive to the story when she does.

Each girl has her own story to tell, her own motivation to make the town listen to them in their mission to reveal the truth about Lucy’s rape. It hits home with each one individually and its different times.

Each of the trio have their time to shine, but it is Erin who I love most. Struggling against her autism diagnosis and her own past, Erin is an insight into the complexity of a condition close to my heart.

The Plot

Its not a comfortable read, but if you’re comfortable you’re missing the point. Much of the action takes place before the novel starts and deals with the fallout within the town.

It’s so shocking how the town responds to the accusation of rape. However, what is most shocking, is the fact that this will happen in many societies. Only a few years ago was a female monk thrown out of her community for being gang raped at the back of a bus while the driver looked on.

There’s an ending that should satisfy all and, most importantly, it will leave you with questions on how you perceive gender equality and rape culture.

The Writing

Amy Reed’s challenging and ground-breaking novel is such a well written jigsaw of a story. It’s engaging and heartbreaking, told with such heart. The story will haunt me for a long time and recalls the spirit of Moxie and the rawness of Asking For It.