Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Read: Fireside Fiction with Currys


I love a good book, and when Currys asked me if I fancied entering their #currysfiresidefiction competition, I jumped at the chance! They asked me to review my favourite book and TV show/film I've read and watched this year, so I'm going to go for it and show you what I've enjoyed this year. With a little twist, for reasons which will soon become quite clear!

My favourite book: Geek Girl, by Holly Smale

I cannot recommend this series of books enough! It's young adult fiction, and it's hilarious and touching, all at the same time. Harriet Manners is a geek. We know this, because she tells us all the reasons right at the beginning! She loves science and reciting random (and completely true) facts. Harriet's best mate, Nat, is absolutely desperate to become a model, which is why she drags Harriet along to the Clothes Show. Harriet has no interest in fashion or clothes whatsoever. "Do they have a triceratops skull? Or a lifesize model of the world's first airborne plane? And do they have a John Donne manuscript, with little white gloves so you can actually touch it?" Nat thinks about it. "I think it's unlikely they have that," she admits. Nat's desperate to be spotted by a modelling agency, and she's dressed for the occasion, ready and waiting.

After an incident on the bus involving Harriet's stalker getting travel sick (yep, you heard me - she has a stalker... called Toby) and Nat ends up wearing a smelly old football kit, things go from bad to worse. Harriet is spotted by a flamboyant agent called Wilbur who likes to address her as "Baby, baby panda." (As for his name... "That's Wil-bur. Not -iam.") Oh, and a rather handsome young model called Nick, who she nicknames Lion Boy. Before you know it, she's transported from schoolgirl to supermodel. We follow her on her journey as she experiences the high life and the low points. And there are many, which is what keeps the book interesting and emotional!

What I love about the book is the hilarious and well-written supporting characters. I couldn't pick a favourite, but I have a serious soft spot for her Dad, who is convinced he's going to meet Liz Hurley as a result of Harriet's modelling! The book also tackles some fairly serious issues involving family, too, and without spoiling it, there's a brilliant moment involving Alexa, the school bully which made me do an air punch! It has a fantastic, rousing conclusion, which left me smiling and crying my eyes out.

I really loved this book, because it's different to the usual YA fiction out there - there's tons of facts, which are great to tell your family in passing (and to confuse them with as well), hilarious one-liners which made me howl with laughter, and gentle wisdom. Harriet is a character with an old soul, and she isn't perfect, but she tries her best. I always love a book where a character undergoes real change, and she does! Both on the outside and on the inside, too. I'm so glad there's been two more sequels since. I recommend this book to everyone. It may be Young Adult fiction, but I think anyone could read it (and love it, just like I have!)

My Favourite Albums This Year


I'm supposed to be writing about favourite films/TV shows. But I have a confession to make. I don't really watch TV, or films for that matter. When I do watch films, my brother picks them! (He's not a bad chooser of films, in fact, he's rather good at it!) I've watched a fairly varied mix of films this year, ranging from superheroes to Ron Burgundy. As for TV, my usual complaint is "There's nothing on!" and when I bought a little noteholder shaped like a television yesterday, my Mum commented "I'm so glad you bought that, you're always saying about how they should turn off TV during the day and bring back the test card!" So you can guess how much television I actually watch...

What I do love is listening to music. I'm an avid collector of Now! That's What I Call Music albums (I've collected all the way back to 1995 - what!) and I love discovering new music and following old favourites, so I'm going to give you a quick lowdown on three of my favourite albums this year...

Royksopp - The Inevitable End

I was dead chuffed to receive this album for Christmas! I remember receiving their debut album for Christmas when I was twelve! This is their final album and it is glorious. Gentle one minute, upbeat and dance-y the next, and there's never a dull moment. Robyn appears on two songs, one of which is the thought-provoking Monument. However my favourite has to be Running To The Sea. I love how the rhythm builds throughout the song.

Sia - 1000 Forms Of Fear

I'm a massive Sia fan, I've loved her since We Are Born (especially the album cover, it just makes me want to dig out my art jar and attach pipe cleaners to my head) - since then she's appeared on the brilliant Titanium, and written for just about every big name you can think of, such as Beyonce, Rihanna and Katy Perry. But her own album is just perfect: emotional and personal. I love the songs Hostage, Elastic Heart and Fire Meet Gasoline. Oh, and Chandelier, but who hasn't danced around their living room to this? If you haven't, do it. That's an order.

Sara Bareilles - The Blessed Unrest

And finally, my find of the year, The Blessed Unrest. I managed to get it on import for a fiver. It's really hard to track down, but it was worth scanning Amazon every evening for it until it was decently priced! It's a treat, though. First up is the anthem everyone knows from that Windows advert, Brave, which beats Roar by Katy Perry into a cocked hat. Other highlights include the otherworldly Cassiopeia and the song Eden, which is a complete departure from Sara's regular sound. Plus, it's just too damned catchy.

I hope you liked my little roundup of my favourite books and CDs this year. What's yours?

This post was written in collaboration with Curry's as part of their #currysfiresidefiction competition - All views are my own! (also I hope I win!)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey you, I'm not at home
Please leave a comment on my comment box... er, phone?