Monday, 9 April 2012


True, raw, beautiful…
Juno captures the turmoil of teenage pregnancy, love and loss. There is no denying the talented performances, complimented by the witty and bright script. It’s awkward and presents friendships and relationships in their truest forms. Quite simply, there’s nothing I can say to fault it. If you haven’t seen it yet then go, go, go and immerse yourself in Juno’s dysfunctional world, and indulge in the perfect soundtrack.  


Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time.
- Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go has to be one of the most inspiring novels I have read. Ishiguro captures a beauty and innocence in life that keeps the reader enchanted from beginning to end. The novel follows the heartfelt journeys of Ruth, Kathy and Tommy as they grow up to understand the world they live in and their purpose within it. Your heart will be touched and make you smile and cry, sometimes all at once. A stunning novel complimented by a beautiful film. 


Tuesday, 20 March 2012


The next text we are studying for Gothic is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I’ve never read it before but it should be interesting to go back to the old school days of vampirism and away from the Twilight fetish that’s taken the world by storm. I must admit though, I was a sucker for that series - pun completely and utterly intended.

We have just read Sheridan Le Fanu’s short story ‘Carmilla’ about vampires, and I have to say it’s my favourite out of all the texts we have studied over the year thus far. It was great finally reading about a strong and elusive female character and the sense of mystery kept me completely entranced. All of that without sparkling pretty boys, vampires vs. werewolves or a world wind romance!  

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


"Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go." E.L. Doctorow

Friday, 2 March 2012


This is most definitely something to live by when it feels like inspiration falters...


The best tip for writing is just to write; to sit down and write, to begin doing it and not to be scared by the blank page.” David Almond


If it wasn’t for the fact that The Vow is based upon true events we might not quite believe the romance before us - or loss of, perhaps. The love is true and pure and the story couldn’t be more so as Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) are pulled apart after a car accident that leaves Paige with memory loss of their marriage and life together. As their lives drift apart we can only wish that they will find each other again and rekindle the passion that brought them together before. 
It is a touching story solely driven by the couple who inspired the film. Without them it becomes a story of lost love that we refuse to believe in, and is most definitely one for the girls… 

Saturday, 25 February 2012


The story of the Titanic is known worldwide, whether through James Cameron's emotion provoking film or a good old history lecture.

Beryl Bainbridge's Every Man For Himself does not delve into the romance of Jack and Rose, but follows Morgan's voyage across the seas and painstaking insight into love. Through his diary leading up to the Titanic's tragic end, we are given a look at 1912s elite circle with all of its glamour, glory and faults. 

Even with its inevitable ending, the novel entices you into the life of its characters and their relationships, a well deserved winner of the Whitbread Prize and Guardian Fiction Prize.


Tuesday, 7 February 2012


This is a story that has stayed with me since I first watched the film because it is simply beautiful, and the book is currently sitting on my book shelf just waiting to be read. It’s not a new film, released in 2007, so don’t expect to see it in cinemas. It is out on DVD however, so if you love a story of discovery and self will then this will be perfect for you… 
Sean Penn delivers a stunning landscape and emotional realm for his audience as director of Into the Wild. Inspired by a true story, we follow Chris McCandless’ (Emile Hirsch) journey to Alaska after he sends his $24,000 law college fund to Oxfam, and begins a life of the minimal. We see him struggle against his parents lavish lifestyle and through his travels as he fights against the odds to reach his goal, Alaska.
It is perhaps the touching relationships glimpsed along the way that set our emotions on play as we remind ourselves that these are in fact real, all told through a journal kept by McCandless throughout his journey. We have to respect McCandlesses’ family for their allowing the story to be told, as Penn does not hinder to show the truth of their lives.
This rawness that he captures propels the story because Penn does not try to make everything ‘pretty’ or hide us from reality. Instead we are heartbroken and smile all at the right moments, not because we feel obliged too, but because Penn allows the camera to drift over the landscape and across his actors’ faces so that we capture those moments of eye contact, those real smiles and laughs, and the true tears. 

Friday, 3 February 2012


F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is one of my favourite novels, and I couldn’t be more excited for Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation which will be released later this year! 
The story follows Nick Carraway in 1920s New York (Long Island) as he finds himself in a web of awe and intrigue over the lavish lifestyle of his neighbour, Jay Gatsby. Told through Nick’s own narrative some years after the events that take place, we become just as enveloped in the new world he enters. With love, mystery and obsession, it’s a story that will stay with you as you are taken back in time to an age of glamour.