Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath // Book Review ♡

Hello there readers of my blog, how are you on this fine fine Wednesday? I'm feeling pretty lousy, the weather is gross, and exams are coming up which is also gross however one of the things that has been getting me through at the moment is reading, and after re-reading all the Harry Potter books at the beginning of the year, I read the Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and I finished it last night, so I thought I would do a review on this modern classic.

Book Description (taken from Amazon):

"Esther Greenwood is at college and is fighting two battles, one against her own desire for perfection in all things - grades, boyfriend, looks, career - and the other against remorseless mental illness. As her depression deepens she finds herself encased in it, bell-jarred away from the rest of the world. This is the story of her journey back into reality. Highly readable, witty and disturbing, The Bell Jar is Sylvia Plath's only novel and was originally published under a pseudonym in 1963. What it has to say about what women expect of themselves, and what society expects of women, is as sharply relevant today as it has always been."


I'm going to start off by just saying I really enjoyed this, it's short as it's only 20 chapters and it's written beautifully. I would compare the writing style to the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald but it is maybe not quite as detailed as that, but it is word pornography. The story itself is very intriguing especially if you're interested in mental illness anyway, which I am. I'm going to say right now, if you're easily triggered be careful whilst reading it because I picked up on some subtle pro-mia and self inflicted harm, so if you are feeling triggered at any time put the book down and walk away. I found Esther's character really interesting because she's very sensitive and has always had good grades but her life takes a bit hit when she has to return back home, and that's when she really sinks into a deep pit of depression. She has some bad experiences with doctors but the ending shows that perhaps she has moved past this, and is ready to move on. I don't want to spoil the ending but I found the character Joan really interesting because she is very much like Esther but I believe she shows what would happen to Esther if she took a different path in her life, they had the same boyfriend and a similar lifestyle so they are very similar characters. 

Rating out of 5:

On goodreads I rated this book as 4/5, I rate books very highly in general but I feel this truly was a great book. It was recommended to me and I've always felt I should read it because it's a modern classic. I also went and looked up Sylvia Plath during my reading of this book because apparently a lot of the events mimic her life, and now I've become very interested in her life too which is good (her life was not good though haha). Overall, I would definitely give this a read if you're interested in mental illness and like descriptive writing because it fulfils both of those areas. I very much wanted to watch the film adaptation of it but the reviews of it make it seem terrible so I might wait until it's very cheap before buying it!!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! I quite like the idea of doing book reviews, at least for the next few months whilst I have exams and can't really go out and do things - thoughts?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Harry Potter Haul March 2014 ♡

Hello there muggles! I haven't posted in a while because honestly I've not been out that much, I'm finding A levels quite stressful at the moment and I've just had my mocks but as a reward this week I went to Kings Cross (to go to the Harry Potter Shop) and Oxford Street to buy some Harry Potter merchandise so I thought I would show you what I got :)

1. Harry Potter Glasses (£4.99) - Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4 (Kings Cross station)

I hadn't gone into the shop intending on buying these but as we walked around the small shop I decided to pick them up so that I can be Harry, James, or John Lennon...

2. Large Hedwig Toy (£15) - Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4 (Kings Cross station)

This is something I had planned on buying because I had seen it on the website but I had not idea how small it would be in real life, it felt like quite a frivolous purchase but I had intended on buying it and I felt sad just leaving it in there, it's about 20cm so it's not tiny but it's not what I would call large.

3. Platform 9 and 3/4 ticket (£1.99) - Platform 9 and 3/4 Shop (Kings Cross)

I knew these could be bought here but I wasn't planning on buying it initially because I felt it would be a waste of money as you can print out tickets from this website but it looks really nice, it's printed on nice paper and the gold is sort of engraved into the ticket, you can buy a ticket attached to a lanyard for £5.99 which I considered because I could take it to school but I decided against it.

4. Postcards (50p each) - Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 and 3/4 (Kings Cross)

I knew I had to pick up some postcards to stick up on the Harry Potter section of my wardrobe and these were much cheaper than the one I got at the tour (read about that here), but the selection at the tour was much better, the ones at this shop were mostly plain and moreso advertising the shop but I liked these two postcards because little Harry is adorable and I believe in house unity (I'm a gryffindor)

5. Hogwarts Pin Badge (£3.99) - Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 and 3/4 (Kings Cross station)

I'm not sure where I'm going to pin this but I'm considering ordering some robes from eBay so I may pin it on there, I was considering getting a house pin but as I said I believe in house unity so I thought this would be nicer.

6. Badges (£1 each) - Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 and 3/4 (Kings Cross Station)

I really like the D.A badge I got because I like to think I would've been in Dumbledore's Army (or Defence Association), I also wanted something to represent my house so I got a gryffindor badge that I can wear with pride.

7. Golden Snitch and Sticker Kit (£5.99) - Waterstones

I had seen these kits on amazon before but I didn't realise they were still being made, they had a bunch at the Waterstones in Oxford street, I haven't seen them in the smaller waterstones. They had them for time turners, hogwarts snow globes, horcrux lockets, mini Hedwig models.. I was considering getting a time turner but the one that comes in this kind of kit is chunky and doesn't look like the ones in the films that much so I have ordered one on eBay for half the price. I like this kit the most because when I make the snitch up I can put it on display next to my chocolate frog boxes from the tour, and I don't know what I'll use the stickers for, they may just be added to my evergrowing sticker collection.

If you're a tourist planning to make a stop at Kings Cross, I'm going to save you the trouble we had by telling you if you get to Kings Cross St. Pancras on the tube, LEAVE THE STATION and cross the road to the big dome and that is Kings Cross and pretty soon you'll see a mass of people lining up to take their picture at platform 9 and 3/4. We walked around St Pancras for a long time then had to ask someone where the shop was and they directed us across the street, we weren't alone though we got stopped a few times and asked by foreigners if we knew where the shop was (our house scarves, my Hedwig backpack and my Harry Potter shop probably made us look like Potterheads but who knows...) At the shop there is a photo opportunity, there is a cart half way in Platform 9 and 3/4 with a sign and you can line up and take your picture, we were considering doing this but we live so close and we didn't want to get into a queue so we've saved that for another day. The shop itself is quite small and can feel claustrophobic but it is a must-see for any Potterhead, the things in the shop range from fairly to cheap to quite expensive so I reckon you would come out with something whether it be a postcard, which is probably the cheapest, to some of the official prop replicas which can go up to £300. They do have chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott's every flavour beans but they aren't the same ones sold at the tour, the frogs are small and the only cards you can really get are Professors so do yourself a favour and go to the studio tour (or just the shop that's there because it's free to enter the shop) and buy a proper chocolate frog there!!

I got a bit rambly but when I was looking for posts about this shop I couldn't really find anything so I didn't know what to expect, so I hope I've informed you if that's what you're looking for, or I hope you enjoyed seeing what I bought!!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Music Monday #4 ♡

Hello there readers if you're still here, I know I've not made a blogpost in what feels like a long time but there is a reason, I have mock exams coming up and I can't find the time to do a haul and because my proper exams will be coming up soon I can't really make a wishlist because by the time I can go properly shopping again the things I want may not be in existence anymore.. but I have been listening to a lot of music recently so I thought I would do a Music Monday post :)

1. Lolita - Lana Del Rey

This isn't a new song but to be honest when do I ever post new songs on here? I have been listening to this song about 50 times a day at the moment, although I feel the need to change the lyrics after having finished reading Lolita a few months ago I still really like it :)

2. Chocolate - the 1975

This song is probably as new as it gets for me. I had sort of been avoiding the 1975 for a long time because I know lots of people who like them who don't have a similar taste in music to me so I assumed I wouldn't like them even after my Philosophy teacher suggested them (and he suggests the best music) but after a Psychology lesson where people on my table were obsessing about them I thought it was time I gave them a proper listen and this was the first song I listened to and I have been listening to it lots, I like some other songs by the 1975 but at the moment this is probably my favourite.

3. Teddy picker - Arctic Monkeys

Anyone who knows me knows that I adore the Arctic Monkeys and it's very difficult for me to listen to a song by them and not like it, I've been listening to the Favourite Worst Nightmare album all week because it's been reduced to £4.99 on iTunes and I want to buy it before it goes back up but I didn't know all of the songs on it and this song has just been stuck in my head for about a week.

4. Screams in the Ears - Bill Fay

Not a new song once again but I only heard this yesterday because someone I follow on tumblr reblogged it and, rather than scrolling past songs on my dashboard like I used to, I listened to it and I really like it, the intro drew me in straight away :)

5. Brick by Brick - Arctic Monkeys

The reason I've been listening to the Suck it and See album is the same reason I'm listening to Favourite Worst Nightmare, but I'm thinking I'm going to end up downloading Favourite Worst Nightmare at the moment, anyway this song has stuck out for me on that specific album. After doing some reading up about the song, I've read that it's about cocaine? I just really love how upbeat it is and then it slows down and just goes back into the swing of things. If you like Arctic Monkeys I don't see why you wouldn't like this song.

Thanks for reading! I think I'm going to be doing a lot more of these type of posts at the moment due to revision and going out less, plus I'm giving up Primark for lent anyway (and then for as long as I can stay away from it) so there probably will be fewer hauls if any. I might do some recipe or DIY posts if anyone wants those?