Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Maze Runner // Book & Film

If you ain't scared, you ain't human. 

 As of last week, I am a Maze Runner fangirl. (Do we have a name? Are we Maze Runners? Gladers? See, I don't even know the fandom name. That's how much of a newbie greenie I am.)

 Let's talk about it.

The Book

 “Just follow me and run like your life depends on it. Because it does.”

 I was pretty sure the book was going to be great, but I wasn't prepared for just how great it turned out to be. It blew me away. Why?

- The plot was kind of brilliant.
Who doesn't want to read a book about a bunch of teenagers stuck inside a giant maze? Crazy people, that's who. It's a genius idea, and the author used this genius idea to it's full potential. Props to you, Mr. Dashner.

- I never wanted to put it down.
I felt actual frustration at not being able to read the words fast enough. "Hurry up, eyeballs, I need to know what happens!" I like when books do that. It doesn't happen a lot. It was like reading The Hunger Games for the first time.

- I want to hug the characters.
Every one of them. Except the bad ones. I want to punch those ones. But for real - I think it was the characters that truly made this book for me. They were realistic and relatable, and extremely fun to read about.

- I laughed, I cried, I hid under my covers.
This book was just insane okay? 

If you haven't already, I definitely recommend you give this book a try!

The Movie

So, it ended up that I finished the book a few hours before we went and saw the movie. Not how I usually like to do things, but ya know. At least I read it first. Here are my thoughts on it:

- I really, really liked it.
When the movie started I felt like jumping up and down in my cinema chair.  It's always an amazing experience to see a book you love brought to life on the big screen. Especially if it's done right. 

- It's a well-made movie all-around.
Even if I hadn't read the book, I would have loved this movie. The directing, writing, cinematography, special effects, soundtrack - yep, yep, yep. Well done, people.

- The Cast was practically perf.
I mean, look at them.

Awww. But on second thought, that's a bit's a better one.

Awww. I approve of all casting choices.

- It's true to the book.
It's not a very long movie, so they did have to cut out a lot. But they didn't drastically change any plot points, get rid of any major characters, or add anything unnecessary. In other words, it was not another Percy Jackson.
There were some tiny changes, however, that I felt were a bit unnecessary. Maybe I wouldn't have noticed those things if I hadn't read the book immediately before seeing the movie, but there were a couple details that I was just like, "WHAA? NO, THAT'S FALSE INFORMATION. Y U CHANGE THAT?"
But for the most part, it's a faithful adaptation.

My overall thoughts on The Maze Runner book and film:

So guys, have you read The Maze Runner and/or seen the movie? If so, what did you think of it?
Also: what are you currently obsessing over?


Monday, October 27, 2014

O hushed October morning mild

// "October", Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Autumn Playlist

The leaves have changed a time or two,
Since the last time the train came through,
I got my ticket and I'm going to go home.
- The Civil Wars

Sick of "Autumn Playlist" posts? I hope not, because here's mine.

In summer, I listened to a lot of Imagine Dragons, Owl City, and Taylor Swift. When autumn came around, I immediately switched to Mumford & Sons, Ed Sheeran, and NEEDTOBREATHE. 
It just makes sense.

You can see my full Autumn Playlist on Spotify.

Autumn Instrumental:
Here's some pretty instrumental songs I've been listening to while I do schoolwork.

What have you been listening to? Does your taste in music vary according to the time of year?


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Places Books Have Made Me Really Want to Visit

 The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday is always so much fun. This week is "Top Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit" (quite a mouthful).

 Some of these places I may be able to visit someday. Some of them I will never be able to visit outside of a book...because they aren't real. #bookwormstruggle


1. Prince Edward Island

I think that anyone who has read L. M. Montgomery's books would say the same. The way she describes this island is heartbreakingly lovely.
Take me there, please.

2. Iceland
I wanted to go to Iceland long before I read Journey to the Centre of the Earth, but the book definitely intensified longing. It sounds like the most beautiful place in the world.

3. Narnia
 If I could choose any fictional place to visit, I'd pick Narnia in a heartbeat.

4. The Moors of Northern England
Thanks to The Secret Garden and also Jane Eyre, I'm dying to explore the moors. Preferably on horseback.

5. The Shire
The Shire. Hobbiton. Land of the Hobbits. Let's go.

6. Bayern & Kildenree 
 Bayern and Kildenree - two places in Shannon Hale's Books of Bayern. Practically the perfect fairytale lands.

7. New York City
 Percy Jackson is certainly not the only reason I want to visit NYC, but now thanks to this series going to the Empire State Building and asking about the 600th floor is on my bucket list...

8. Venice 
It's impossible to read The Thief Lord and not end up wanting to visit Venice. Especially at night. With a gang of thieves.

9. Northern Wales
 Not my favorite series, but this particular book about killed me with the descriptions of the gorgeous Welsh countryside. It sounds so mysterious and magical and adventure-y.

10. New Beijing

Androids and spaceships and Prince Kai, oh my. Despite the scary aspect (THE PLAGUE), I'd love to visit New Beijing.

(Note: I, of course, took none of those gorgeous pics)

So, what places would be on your list?


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Olivia's Thoughts On The Not-So-Great Gatsby

 (I had this scheduled to be up yesterday, but it didn't work. Sorry to anyone coming from Olivia's blog who was looking for this!)

Hey, it's Hannah here. My lovely friend, Olivia from The Cwtch, and I came up with a project in which we both read a book that neither of us have read before, and share our thoughts about it on each others' blogs. Our book of choice was The Great Gatsby.

 I'm super excited about this whole thing. It's been so fun planning out this project with Olivia - who, by the way, is the coolest person ever and her blog is one of my very favorites (I practically happy dance whenever I see a new post from her). So, after you read her review here, jump on over to her blog to read my review of Gatsby, and then why not stick around her blog for a while?


Well, friends. I have some thoughts for you this afternoon.

(Can I just say that by the time I pasted this picture, I'd gotten so distracted by the trailers for the movie The Great Gatsby, that I had to put this whole post on hold so I could go see if Leonardo DiCaprio made Gatsby any better.

MMmmmmmmm no.)

I feel like a heretic for even saying this, but I did not like this book at all. Not even a little bit.

(now that I've said so, I feel as though the point isn't to like it, but to understand some deep and hidden message from Fitzgerald that will make me a better person and throw light on the mysteries of the universe...but the book failed on that account too. Or maybe I'm just dumb, but I only got one thing from the whole 90 pages, or whatever it came to in the end:)

Wow, these people suck at having relationships.

 Because can we stop to think for a moment about Gatsby and Daisy? Before reading the book I was familiar with their names, I'd heard them called the "greatest love story of all time," and tbh I was expecting a lot. Some great story of sacrifice, loss, redemption...and what I got was a childish, selfish crush that got a lot of people killed.

and maybe that was the point.

I don't know, I was so confused and disgusted and full of crushed expectations that I had a little bit of trouble following the storyline. Strike one against Gatsby.

Strike two came when I realized that nobody else's relationship was really faring any better. (at this point, I started to get kinda concerned that I'd missed some big moral lesson and all of you lovely readers were going to start shaking your heads in shame at my oblivious-ness.

FUNNY STORY (bunny trail, skip this if you want to read the rest of my hating on Gatsby.

instead of writing "obliviousness" I had totally planned to use the word "misnomer," but I had no idea what it meant (it was just floating around in my head, y'know??) So I looked it up and it has nothing to do with my inability to understand actually means to call something by the wrong name, to use a word in the wrong circumstance. 

SO GUYS, using the word "misnomer" in that sentence would have been a misnomer!! 

That just thrilled me to bits.

Okay, you can continue reading.) 

Strike two against Gatsby! (because I can't really enjoy a book that makes me feel stupid. Although, I do love the show Sherlock....more bunny trails, sorry. Staying on topic now.)

I don't really have a strike three, to be honest, because by the time I'd realized that a) Gatsby and Daisy were not "the greatest love story of all time," and b) that nobody was getting a happy ending, I was so DONE with this book that I was speed-reading just so I didn't have to look at it anymore. I guess that's a strike three in and of itself?? Sure.

So, overall... from an entertainment perspective, from a "read this to write better" perspective, from a plot/character/growth-and-development perspective, I got nothing. Meep.

Have you read The Great Gatsby? Do you think I'm a horrible awful reader who wouldn't know true literature if it bit her on the nose? (if so, please tell me what I'm missing!!! although maybe keep your poor opinion of me to yourself, my self-esteem is quite fine where it is, thanks.) 

 Olivia is a seventeen-year-old Canadian girl who loves writing and tea and her puppy Toby. She laughs a lot, would go on a picnic with you even if it was raining, and usually doesn't write inflammatory posts like this one. ;) She loves Austen, has never enjoyed Dickens, and writes a lot of poetry.

(also, she's pretty awkward but she hopes you'll be friends with her anyways.)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Sometimes, I take out all my souvenirs and keepsakes from my trip to England, and I spread them out on the carpet to look at. Some of the things are treasured items that I payed way too much for, and some are just random little things that I can't bear to throw away because I am far too sentimental.

I really don't know how I accumulated all that stuff in just a week. But I'm glad I have them.

There's my ticket for Les Mis, which reminds me of one of the most exciting nights of my life (even if it was "limited view").
There's The Little Bookroom from Hatchards Bookshop.
There's my flower garland that I bought outside of the Roman Baths in Bath.
There's my "Keep Calm and Carry On" tin that's still full of tea, because I tried a cup, and it wasn't the nicest.
There's the Pooh Cook Book and the sweet little teacup that I got in a curio shop.
There's my National Trust Baking Book that I got at Basildon House that I can spend hours looking through.
There's a bunch of receipts, brochures, and maps.
There's the bookmark from the Sherlock Holmes museum that was the only affordable thing in the gift-shop.
There's a handful of coins that I'd rather not change back into euros.

I miss England a lot.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Hobbit Second Breakfast // Fictional Feasts

“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?
 As I'm sure some of you know, September 22nd is a special day for Middle Earth fans. Because it's Bilbo and Frodo's birthday in the books, it's become known as Hobbit Day.

 So of course we had to have a Second Breakfast to celebrate. (We celebrated on the 20th, though - because that was a Saturday. Close enough?)

 My brother, Caleb, and I invited some friends (who are as crazy about Lord of the Rings as we are) over to help us eat up all the food. We had a blast.

“My dear Frodo!’ exclaimed Gandalf. ‘Hobbits really are amazing creatures, as I have said before. You can learn all that there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you at a pinch.”

Our Menu:

- Sausages
- Breakfast Poh-Tay-Toes 
- Fried Eggs
- Scones
- Seed Cake
- Strawberry Jam Muffins
- Hot Chocolate

 Celebrating Hobbit Day by eating an extra breakfast? I think it should become an annual thing.

Hope you enjoyed this! Fictional Feasts are some of my favorite posts to make. Thank you all for your suggestions on other foods from books/movies to's really helpful. So keep em' coming :)