Paper Towns, a John Green novel, recently turned into a film (2015), is a story about a boy who likes a girl. However, this girl is Margo Roth Spiegelman and is somewhat of a mystery to everyone she knows. After an all-night adventure, Margo disappears leaving behind clues for Quentin to follow. The book takes place in the last few weeks of Quentin’s school life adding further stress to the exams, prom and graduation.
Having never read a John Green novel, I was first introduced to Paper Towns at the cinema when I watched the film for a friend’s birthday. I enjoyed the film and decided to pick up the book. I first found the book to be quite slow (probably due to knowing what was going to happen thanks to watching the film first – oops). But once I got half way through (its only about 300 odd pages) I was enraptured and couldn’t put the book down.
The story, which follows a very basic structure unwinds in a very linear fashion (find a clue, follow clue, eventually find girl), frames questions about life, people and friendship. While it seems that the book is about Margo, which in a way it is, the story sees the development of unique and unusual friendships between different types of people as they come to the end of their high school careers. Many of which are brought together by the events surrounding and the disappearance of Margo.
I really enjoyed this book and urge you to give it a read if you haven’t yet. If you struggle through the first half, like I did, try your best to power through because I really did enjoy the ending. It was definitely worth the time and effort.
Here’s the trailer for the film (I also really enjoyed the film but it did follow a slightly different ending):
Today I am recommending Once Upon a Dead Man, a recently established band featuring Charlie Simpson (of Busted and Fightstar) and his brothers Will and Edd, and long-time friend Simon Britcliffe. The four have released a debut EP album called ‘Concepts and Phenomena’.
As a fan of Charlie Simpson and his past musical work, including his solo album, I was obviously going to check out his new endeavour Once Upon a Dead Man. I listened to the album, expecting something good, but it was even better than that. It has a similar style to Charlie’s solo work but with an electronic undertone, and Charlie’s voice is also complemented by the extra voices of his band mates.
Below is my favourite song from the EP:
Check out Once Upon a Dead Man (click here to go to their YouTube channel) and their EP!
Last week, my friend and I went to see Alice Through the Looking Glass. I was so excited since I have loved the original Alice in Wonderland film by Tim Burton. I had also been waiting a while for the new film to be made. Additionally, being a Johnny Depp fan, I was excited to see the Mad Hatter again.
They chose a great cast for this film, many of whom were returning from the original film. So as I said, Johnny Depp returned as the Mad Hatter ‘Tarrant’, but he was joined by Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth the ‘Red Queen’, Anne Hathaway as Mirana the ‘White Queen’, Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Lindsay Duncan as Helen Kingsleigh (Alice’s mother) and Leo Bill as Hamish. New to the cast were Sacha Baron Cohen as Time, Andrew Scott as Dr. Addison Bennett and Rhys Ifans as Zanik Hightopp (the Hatter’s father).
The story sees Alice travel through time to rescue the Mad Hatter’s family. The introduction of the character Time, played amazingly by Sacha Baron Cohen, and the concept of Time as a person was something I adored. It was really interesting and the film looked at Time in a thought-provoking way.
‘I used to think that time was a thief, stealing everything I loved. But I see now that you give before you take, and every day is a gift, every hour, every minute, every second.’ – Alice Kingsleigh (Alice Through the Looking Glass 2016).
While this film felt like it was missing something that the original had, in being an introduction to the characters and seeing their relationships form, it is still a fine addition to the story and I cannot wait to give it a re-watch.
See the trailer below:
What I’m reading – I am currently reading Paper Towns by John Green. I thoroughly enjoyed the film so I thought I would pick up the novel. The story is about a girl named Margo Roth Spiegelman and her neighbour Quentin Jacobsen. The blurb reads as follows: ‘Quentin Jacobsen has always loved Margo from afar. So when she climbs through his window to summon him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow. But the next morning, Q turns up at school and Margo doesn’t. She’s left clues to her disappearance, like a trail of breadcrumbs for Q to follow’.
What I’m watching – With the university year finished, an abundance of time and very little to do, I have taken to watching a lot of TV. Currently I am watching Friends, 3rd Rock from the Sun and The Big Bang Theory. All three I would recommend, especially if what you’re after is a light watch which you don’t have to put a lot of energy or concentration into.
What I’m listening to – Plastic by Nina Karolidou, Like I Would by Zayn, My Demons by Starset, Bulletproof by Young Guns, Give Up by Once Upon a Dead Man and MFT80s by Chris Bourne. Further proof of my very eclectic music taste…
What I’m eating – STIR FRY. I think I’m obsessed with Stir Fry… is that weird? At least it’s healthy and easy to make. I make stir fry with cabbage, pepper, onion, broccoli and carrots with either rice noodles, cous cous or rice. I’m a vegetarian so I don’t add meat.
What I’m quoting – ‘In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.’ -Nikos Kazantzakis
Today I’m going to recommend one of my favourite TV shows, Once Upon A Time. Now on its sixth season, it continues to be popular. However, I am recommending the show from only having reached episode 21 of Season 4, but it is so incredible!
Starting with Season 1, I found the concept of the show so intriguing. It follows the inhabitants of a town called Storybrooke, the idea being that they are all characters from fairytales, cursed to live in our world instead of their own by the Evil Queen.
Throughout the seasons of the show, we see many curses being implemented and broken. Many characters turn from evil to good, or good to evil. We see so much character development within such brilliant characters known from popular fairytales or books.
The storylines are often quite powerful too. Warning: this show will pull at your heartstrings on a constant basis, especially if you start to love the characters. Very little good happens to them characters but that’s another reason why you just cannot stop watching.
Additionally, one of the reasons I love this show is because it gives a voice to so many women. Pretty much all of the strong characters are female and this is so inspiring because there are so few shows that do this even in 2016.
Disclaimer – I do not own the above image, it is from: http://dvd-subtitles.com/once-upon-a-time-season-1-episodes-1-4-d111780.html
‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the one we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.’
‘If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.’
‘The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.’
‘We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity of duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defence’.