Joint Post with Layla of Readable Life: Our Favourite Films and Quotes from Them

Hello everyone!

Today, I’m super excited to be joining up with my friend Layla for this post. The reason it came about is that we buddy read Jenn Bennett’s Alex, Approximately (which features a lot of film references). Layla blogs over at Readable Life, so you can check her out if you aren’t already reading her fabulous blog 😊

Let’s get started!

Note: we haven’t included Disney movies as we both consider them too awesome to pit against other films 😉


AMY

PRETTY IN PINK- As you might know, my favourite ever film is Pretty in Pink, which is an 80s teen movie directed by John Hughes, and stars Molly Ringwald as Andie. It`s about her falling for a boy called Blaine, who`s much richer than her, and her facing the issues this presents. I love basically everything about this film, but my very favourite scene is one in which Andie`s best friend Duckie (who is vying for her affections alongside Blaine) lip syncs to Try a Little Tenderness by Otis Redding. It`s super silly and funny and sweet (and one of the reasons I am a HARDCORE believer that Andie should have chosen Duckie!)

THE BREAKFAST CLUB- This is another film directed by John Hughes, and I`m pretty sure everyone has a rough idea what it`s about. If you don`t it, it follows five teens from different backgrounds as they`re forced to spend the day together in detention. It`s an absolutely amazing film, and I have a couple of `best bits`. It`s a perfect mixture of humour and emotion so my favourite humour in the film is Judd Nelson`s as `The Criminal` and I especially love his quote `Screws fall out all the time, the world`s an imperfect place`.

In terms of something sadder, I love the scene towards the end of the day when the group are all in a circle, when dramatic secrets are revealed about everyone, and new relationships are formed between them (Andrew, played by Emilio Estevez, is my favourite part of this scene)

BRIDGET JONES`S BABY- Finally, I also love the latest instalment of the Bridget Jones franchise, which sees Bridget (Renee Zellweger) tackle life, love and a rather unexpected pregnancy. Almost every scene in this is comedy gold, but I particularly love the labour scene, which is beyond hilarious! You`ll understand why when you watch it.

LAYLA

The Matrix Reloaded – The Matrix Trilogy is one of my most loved trilogies; my dad introduced me to them and we still watch them together. My favourite scene comes from the second movie, where Neo has to fight an entire hoard of Agent Smiths. It’s such a tense scene, with agents coming from all sides, until Neo has to bail. It’s hilarious to see all the agents shrug it off and walk away like nothing happened…

Jurassic Park – My favourite scene from Jurassic Park is the iconic one; when you see the DINOSAURS!! The look on Alan’s face as he sees there’s an actual dinosaur in front of him is funny and mesmerising, and it’s even better when he grabs Ellie’s head and makes her look. There’s dinosaurs in front of them, and the visual effects still astound me – the film is my age and the dinos look brilliant!

The Return of the King – Okay, this one is a tear jerker. If you haven’t watched ANY of The Lord of The Rings films, I would highly suggest watching all three immediately! Also, spoiler warning of course, because my favourite scene is one of the LAST scenes. Okay? Okay.
After the battle has been won and the ring has been cast into the fires of Mount Doom, it’s time for celebrations. For the true king to finally be crowned. It’s beautiful, and it finally feels like there is peace in the realm. Then King Aragorn makes his way through the crowds and greets his friends and travelling companions, the hobbits. Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin begin to bow, as is expected in front of a king, but Aragorn stops them with one line. “My friends, you bow to no one.” This is where the tears come, as the king and the rest of the entire crowd (including Gandalf, Elrond, and many other important figures) bow to the four hobbits. It’s such a touching and moving scene, as these four normal guys from the Shire didn’t ever expect to wake up one day and be thrust into such a huge battle for the world. It’s the perfect ending to a fantastic series.

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear about your favourite films/film quotes in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl 

Amy xxx

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Exploration of Creation: The Books Which Made Me a Reader 

Hi everyone!

Today’s post is by my lovely friend Katie, who blogs over at Exploration of Creation. Over to her fabulous post now! 

Amy xxx


I have loved reading (and writing) books since I was in primary school – reading a good book has always felt like escapism to me, especially in tougher times, and some of the books we read as children really do shape us into the readers, and people, that we become as teens and adults.

 Here are the ones that have made me the bookworm that I am today.

Daisy Meadows’s Rainbow Magic series

This is probably the book series that I remember most clearly from primary school. The first ever book was called “Ruby the Red Fairy” and it followed best friends Rachel and Kirsty who meet on holiday and discover a whole magical world of fairies together. Okay, okay, it sounds a bit silly now, but I can actually remember acting the books out with my best friend in the school playground. They really inspired my imagination – and I still enjoy reading fantasy, especially female-centric, to this day.

Lucy Daniels’s Animal Ark series

My primary school library had about fifty of these books, and I’m pretty sure I read every single one in the seven years I was there. These books gave real voices and responsibility to the children characters (often the adults were far less sensible/kind). It also really taught about animal welfare and being kind to domestic & wild animals. I think this book really engaged me in books about good people, good deeds and on-going series. 

Jacqueline Wilson’s Girls Out Late

This was one of the first books I read as a young teenager (possibly read it slightly too young, which I’ve been doing all my life, and now read technically “too young” as a 20 year old reading YA). There are so many Jacqueline Wilson books I remember and loved – KISS, Candy Floss, Cookie, Lola Rose, The Illustrated Mum, Best Friends, Vicky Angel. Girls Out Late was one of the first times I read a book about teenage girls, in first relationships, struggling with female friendship and body issues and betrayals. I really think Jacqueline Wilson needs commending for writing the books that she does, for young teens, never once insulting them by shying away from tough topics, instead always shining a spotlight on them.

Cathy Hopkins’s Mates, Dates series

These were probably the best books I read as a teenager. I adored them. Again, similarly to Jacqueline Wilson’s books, they tackled really tough, relevant teen topics, like body image, cheating and friendship. My favourite thing about the series was that last one; the female friendship in this series was strong, a constant topic of focus – something great for teenage girls to be reading about. 

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars

This book was really the book that got me back into reading at around the point I was in sixth form, after quite a dry spell, reading-wise. I read it and it honestly had such an emotional impact on me that it spurred me on to begin exploring YA properly. I think it was perhaps so influential for me because it focuses on cancer, which is hugely significant to me and my family life. It is, to this day, one of my favourite books in the entire world.

J
.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series
Okay, so this has to be, hands down, the books that made me a reader. That’s why I saved it until last. I can’t remember the exact age I was when I read The Philosopher’s Stone for the very first time, but I know I have reread the entire series every single summer for at least the last 4-5 years. Some of Dumbeldore’s quotes are genuinely things I live my life by. Harry Potter is not just about magical witches and wizards and bad guys – Harry Potter teaches us about the fragility of life, the all encompassing nature of death, friendship, sacrifice, bravery and, perhaps most of all, love. 

I
just wanted to say thank you so much to Amy for letting me do this guest post – it’s such a cool idea, and reading hers had me totally inspired! Be sure to leave your own favourites in the comments section!!

I
guess in summing up what reading means to me, and to many of us, I think, I’ll quote the glorious Albus Dumbledore:

“Of course it’s happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”

Guest Post: Quest Reviews

Hello everybody!

Today I’m really excited to have my friend Louise here to write a guest post, reviewing some short stories from the anthology Quest. 

This was set up by the Hay Festival and written by the Aarhus 39- 39 emerging writers under 49 from across Europe, and edited by Daniel Hahn. 

I reviewed  the first half of the collection a few days ago on Louise’s blog , and Louise  also recently reviewed the YA Aarhus 39 anthology Odyssey.

Over to Louise…

Lady Night by Alaine Agirre

This reads like a gentle bedtime story, which is appropriate because it is about three children who are afraid of going to sleep. Wink, Blink and Nod are afraid if they go to sleep, they will never wake up. One night, they follow Sleep’s shadow into a wonderous place. Off all the stories in the Aarhus collections, this stood out as being suitable for the very youngest readers. 

Journey to the Centre of the Dark by David Machando. 

The protagonist wants to always be brave, and protect his little sister. When a monster comes out of her dreams, she says she must take it back to the darkest place inside her mind. The story raises some interesting philosophical questions children start to ask at a certain age – am I here or am I in someone else’s dream? Can I prove this? It was interesting to have this side by side with Lady Night. Machando’s story has a darker tone, but the same reassuring message that fear can be overcome. 

Dagesh And Mappiq Are Friends – Jana Šrámková.

A gentle story about making friends, which was one of my favourite stories. Dagesh is a field mouse with a bad reputation. He wants to turn over a new leaf and make friends, but nobody trusts him. Nobody except Mappiq, who is new to the area.

The pair become friends. When Mappiq hibernates, Dagesh’s new found responsibility is tested to the limits. If he wakes Mappiq early, Mappiq will die. I loved the message of second chances. 

The story is brilliantly illustrated by Axel Scheffler. His illustrations informed how I saw the character, which is always a compliment. I love his animals in Julia Donaldson’s work, and his experience at drawing characterful animals brought this story to life. 

The Day We Left Songstrup by Dy Plambeck

Mikkel is too old to play. He wants to explore beyond the village. Agnes is hesitant, but she goes along with her friends and lets different people in the village equip her for the journey.
This was fun to read, but also worked as a metaphor for the journey into adolescence and beyond. Do you remember being a pre-teen, and feeling wobbly about the idea of leaving childhood? Agnes learns that it won’t all happen at once, and that she’ll have her friends beside her. Songstrup will always be waiting for her when she returns. 

The Travel Agency by Maria Turtschaninoff

I loved Maresi. The community of nuns working to shelter and educate women was a fascinating idea. The Travel Agency is also intriguing. It is set in a travel agency, as you’ve never seen one before. Instead of booking a flight, the customers choose a portal – maybe an object, or a picture if they are feeling wealthy. Turtschaninoff doesn’t tell everything at once. Loads of questions built up in my mind. Why was the girl alone? Did her friend escape?

The Honey-Bee Cemetery by Stefan Bachmann

One of my favourite stories across the two anthologies. I’m a time-slip fan, so Bachmann was already on to a winner, but I love the language, the message and the exploration of historical attitudes. 

Benny moves in with Aunt Lucette, an absent Uncle and two cousins who delight in telling him he’s not a guest, but a burden. Aunt Lucette locks the good rooms a her skeleton key, and puts Benny in the smallest room. Benny can’t imagine anything worse, until he opens the cupboard in his new room. There he finds servant girl Hezra, awaiting execution in a different century. She’s been accused of witchcraft, after she buried some of the Lord’s honey bees. 

The message is lovely – regardless of whether or not they are noticed, the bees continue to buzz. It’s a familiar structure, but it is told beautifully. 

Between the Trees by Katherine Woodfine.

Set in the English Civil War, this is straight out of Du Maurier. A bodice-wearing heroine rides a horse through the forest to escape the Roundheads, and take a message to her uncle. Woodfine is masterful at suspense, and keeps us asking questions. The forest setting was described so well I felt I was experiencing it with all my senses, and I love how the protagonist sees the forest differently now she is no longer treated as a noblewoman. 

The Journey Within – Annelise Heurtier

Aveleen’s father will join the Other Worlds any day. He appears fit, but the tree has spoken, and the tree is at the centre of all things. A new Chosen One must be found, but the tree has rejected every person who has put themselves forward. Aveleen journeys into the centre of the tree to learn who must be the next Chosen One. 

This has a fairytale structure. I loved Aveleen’s development, and how her self-belief grows as a result of her journey. 

Have you read this anthology? What were your favourite stories? If you haven’t read, which stories do you most like the sound of? 

Amy xxx

Guest Post: The Books Which Made Me a Reader

Hi everybody! Today, I’m super excited to welcome lovely Zoe from No Safer Place to the blog to talk about books which made her a reader. If you’d like to know mine, check back for my post on Saturday! 

Amy x

Now for Zoe’s brilliant post, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading!

BOOKS WHICH MADE ME A READER

I think there are moments in your life where you read a book and they remind you of why you became a reader in the first place. Over the years, I’ve had many moments like this but there are a special few that I will always carry with me. Many of these moments were books I read as a child, these were the ones that ignited my love for reading and would change my life forever.

Continue reading “Guest Post: The Books Which Made Me a Reader”