. Passion Obsession Passion Obsession

Monday, 26 January 2015

Film | A Film A Day: February

I used to love film. Knowing that several concepts combine to create a moving picture that can provoke an array of emotion in any spectator. One of my favourite aspects of the film experience was reading theory books on cinematography and mise-en-scene and watching how they work together in some of the worlds most critically acclaimed films. Gradually, I stopped watching films. I'd pick up a book instead or marathon whole series of TV shows and my love for film was soon pushed aside. February 2015 will be the month I rediscover the movies. I vow to watch a film every single day in February. That's 28 films to take off my 'to watch' list. With a full-time job, university work and several other projects on the go, this will be quite the challenge but I'm determined to achieve the first goal I set myself for 2015 and immerse myself in the movies again. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

I'm on Youtube!

I've been watching Youtube videos for as long as I can remember. Most days, I'd rather settle down with a few new Youtube videos than watch the TV or go see a movie. About 6 or so months ago, I discovered Booktube, the corner of Youtube dedicated to books. Sounds perfect, right? I very quickly became obsessed and I'm subscribed to over 30 booktubers. Until recently, I was too nervous to upload any videos of my own but I've been thinking about it for a long time. Today, I filmed a video. The auto-focus is all wrong and I filmed it three times (all out of focus) before I finally decided to just edit this one and put it online before I lost my nerve, focused or not. So here's my first Booktube video: The Booktube Newbie tag.

I will be filming more videos in the future (hopefully correctly auto-focused this time) so if you'd like to subscribe to my videos, you can do so by checking out my channel. I hope you enjoyed my first video, if you're interested, please let me know if you'd like to see any particular kinds of videos on my channel as I'd love to hear your ideas :)

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Books | National Readathon Day!

Today is January 24th. To some, it's just another Saturday but to book-lovers like myself, today is National Readathon Day. NRD was created by Goodreads, The National Book Foundation, Mashable and Penguin Random House and takes place 12pm - 4pm (in each respective timezone.) National Readathon Day isn't just about the people who love to read taking time out of their day to do a good chunk of reading. It's about raising awareness of the positives of reading and getting more people into books. According to the Penguin Random House website, 40% of American adults are either at or below the basic reading proficiency and 14% are completely illiterate. Fundraising efforts have been made worldwide to educate, tutor, create and sustain a love of reading in people everywhere. So today, as I am in England and I'm already 1 hour 15 minutes into the readathon, I'm putting down my laptop and picking up a good book and I urge you to do the same. 

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Saturday, 17 January 2015

Books | Vivan Apple at The End of The World by Katie Coyle

Passion Obsession Reviews Vivian Apple
Vivian Apple comes home one morning to find a hole in her roof and her parents missing. Society is telling her that this was the "Rapture" and that her parents, being firm Believers in the evangelical Church of America, have been taken to heaven, as predicted by Frick - a supposed prophet put on earth to preach certain values and convert the masses to his own brand of religion. Not wanting to believe in the rapture and the Book of Frick (a new form of Bible, written by Frick himself), Vivian sets off on a cross-country road trip with her best friend Harp and a mysterious boy to uncover the truth whilst trying to stay safe along the way. 

I loved this book. It was captivating and the way that Coyle weaved a Cult-like atmosphere throughout was perhaps one of the aspects I found most intriguing about this book. For the first half of this book, I wasn't sure if it was a dig at religion in general, disguised in a subtle dystopian version of society. The Book of Frick apparently openly supported violence and the interpretation of a particular verse stating that the road to heaven was overcrowded with the damned (not a direct quote) was mentioned throughout the whole book as an excuse to kill people who did not believe. I suppose the book is satirical in a way, in that it pokes fun of the extreme people who use religion as an excuse for violence, which is a tense subject in our society today. 

One of my favourite quotes sums up my beliefs perfectly: 
"We could sit here and have an in-depth conversation about why I believe the things I believe in, about the kind of comfort and guidance I've taken from my faith throughout my life, but it wouldn't matter to you one iota, Viv, because you don't believe. And that's okay! It's not up to me to tell you what you should believe in. That's the thing you've got to figure out for yourself. But let me tell you this: you can't go through life distinguishing the Believers from the non-believers and divvying up your love and trust accordingly. It's more complicated than that Viv, and you know it. Don't be the kind of person who sees groups instead of people. That's the sort of thing Beaton Frick does." (p. 203)

Vivian Apple is a well-rounded character and the kind of person I'd want to be friends with. She's a 'good girl', well-behaved, straight A's and the type who has secret heroine qualities that come out when needed. I identified a lot more with Harp, however. Impulsive, straight-talking and loves to break the rules - sounds just like myself, which is why I found myself drawn to these characters and their friendship. 

The book does end on a bit of a cliffhanger and I'm so glad there's a second book which I believe is already out and I just can't wait to see what else Vivian achieves within this wholly eff-ed up world. I definitely recommend reading this book because whatever your beliefs, there are plenty of lessons to be learned within this book. 

My rating: 4 out of 5

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*I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest opinion.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Blogger's Bookshelf

I've been a little quiet in the blogging universe lately, choosing to catch up on other peoples new year's resolutions and silently ponder my own. There are plenty of things I regret from 2014 and there are plenty of things I'm glad I did in 2014. Each moment was a lesson learned and a new motivation to do better in 2015. Whilst I enjoyed reading other peoples resolutions, mine will be kept offline for now as my goals for this year are more about personal growth. However, one resolution I am going to share is that in 2015 I plan to get involved in more projects and become a more active member of the book blogging and booktubing community. To kick off this resolution, I'd like to announce that I've become a part of the Blogger's Bookshelf team as a regular reviewer. 

Blogger's Bookshelf is a book-lovers blog started by Erin & Ria which now has 6 regular contributors as well as tons of guest posters. I joined Blogger's Bookshelf because I felt the community that the girls have created is unlike any other book blog out there. The posts are creative and innovative, written by book-lovers with a clear passion for reading and I'm flattered to have been given the opportunity to join the team. My first post went live today (14th January) and is a review of Gayle Forman's new book I Was Here. If you'd like to read this review, along with a huge back-catalog of reviews, booktuber & book blogger interviews and other book-related content, head on over to Blogger's Bookshelf