Monday, 29 July 2013

Swan Lake

This is not a book. Actually, someone might have written a book version, but I haven't read it, and this post is not about it.
I love ballet. My mum was a dancer, and she got me into it when I was a few years old. When we were younger, we always used to go see productions of ballets, mostly Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. Swan Lake was always my favorite. The music is so beautiful and heartbreaking, the costumes and setting are gorgeous, the story is so, so sad. The dancing is spectacular; I always loved the Dance of the Cygnets, Odette's solo and especially the 32 fouettes.
Anyway, so it's my birthday soon, and I really wanted to go see Swan Lake. Aaaand, guess who's touring at the moment, opening with Swan Lake in The Royal Opera House?! Only the Bolshoi Ballet!!!!
I nagged my mum for months, but she was too busy with work, and the tickets all sold out before she got round to buying them. (Of course they're going to sell out fast, it's the freaking Bolshoi Ballet!) So now it's back to watching videos on youtube...
Not having seen Swan Lake for years, I can't really compare different Odettes/ Odiles. However, a while ago I found a video of Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares as Prince Siegfried and Odette. I can't count how many times I've watched that video, I just keep going back to it! I absolutely love Marianela Nunez, and it's so cool that they're married, and they play opposite each other.
 The first video I found is of Odette's solo, and the other is Odile's dance with Siegfried. If you search it on youtube it'll come up.

I'm not really sure what the point of this post was, I've just been thinking about it a lot recently, and I've got my Grade 6 exam coming up next term. If anyone knows where I can get Swan Lake tickets, please comment! Are there any other videos I should watch? Who are your favorite dancers, and why?
Love, Freya

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Review: Finding Sky by Joss Stirling

Genre: Fantasy, romance

Series: Yes

Published: Oxford University Press, 7th October 2010

Other books by this author: Stealing Phoenix, Seeking Crystal, Storm & Stone

Story: Sky Bright, an English girl with a mysterious past, arrives in America with her adopted parents. Immediately, she notices Zed Benedict, the youngest of the seven Benedict brothers. Notorious bad boy, wanted by all the girls in school. He is also a Savant- he has extraordinary mental powers, and behind the scenes he is falling apart. When Zed is drawn to Sky, she is completely dumbfounded, but there's more to both of them than meets the eye.

What I thought: This is the first book in the series, and I loved it. I actually read Stealing Phoenix first, but I just had to go back and read them from the beginning. The idea of Savants is so completely different from anything else in this genre right now- vampires, werewolves, etc. I loved Sky, and I felt I could really relate to her (obviously not with the whole mental power stuff). She has all these issues with trusting people, thanks to her past, and she likes to imagine her life into comic book strips. She felt incredibly real. The story was very good, with Sky's thoughts and unique way of looking at things really bringing it to life. If you like fantasy, then you should definitely read this.

If you liked: Darkness Becomes Her, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Beautiful Creatures, Sisters Red, Sweetly, Shift.

Rating: 8/10

Friday, 19 July 2013

Top Ten Books I Have Ever Read

Basically a list of my favorite books, and a bit about them (no spoilers, I promise). There's a lot, so this is kind of the shortlist. Also, no particular order because there's just too many for me to have a Favorite Book Ever. Some of the cover illustrations aren't the originals, but they're the covers on the ones I read.

1. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
About a girl simultaneously mourning her recently deceased sister and falling in love. Gorgeous writing, amazing characters that I argh, so much, want to be real, full of emotion and beautiful, poetic prose.

2. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
Because, just, wow. This had to be on here. If you haven't read these, you've been living under a rock, go read them. If you have, read them again. And watch the films. And look up the Harry Potter Alliance. And dream about being a witch/ wizard.

3. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
I only finished this yesterday, and it is so amazing. All about death, and healing, and the people left behind. This is so different from anything else I've ever read. It's like pure emotion, in book form.

4. My Name Is Mina by David Almond
Prequel to Skellig, although I like this a lot better. Mina's diary, and thoughts. It's not the story that makes this book so special, it's Mina, and her personality, and the way she thinks. I want to live inside her brain.

5. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
I think I've read this book about five times. It is so amazing. Maybe being made into a film, but it could never be as good as this book. A girl, dying slowly of cancer, meets a one-legged boy supposedly no longer dying from cancer = WOW.

6. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Probably the longest book I've ever read, and definitely one of the best. Set during the American Civil War, centered around Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler as they tackle defeat, starvation, and love. Shocking, emotional, exhilarating.  The film is amazing as well.

7. Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
Not one to read in a public place if, like me, you cry at the slightest thing. Based on a Greek island during World War 2, this is a devastating, triumphant, honest story that will change the way you think about history. I loved it.

8. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaler
It took me a while to get into this, but once I did, it was so incredible. It feels like the author has actually experienced the loss of a family member. Cullen Witter tries to cope with the disappearance of his brother whilst the rest of his town search for an extinct woodpecker that has supposedly come back to life.

9. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Typical teenage romance told through an entirely new viewpoint. The way Min sees things, and how she lives and thinks is so completely refreshing. Hard to believe she isn't real. The illustrations are gorgeous, and I wish I could write like Daniel Handler.

10. A Company Of Swans by Eva Ibbotson
Pretty much any Eva Ibbotson book could have gone here actually, but I chose this one for the ballet theme. Swan Lake is my favorite ballet, so this is perfect for me. Harriet Morton escapes from her dull, oppressed life in Oxford to travel up the Amazon River with a touring ballet company. Makes me want to go to Manaus.

So, there we go, my ten favorite books. There's a lot more that should be on here, like Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre or Magic Flutes, but I'd end up with a lot more than ten if I added those. What are your favorite books? Have you read any of these, and what did you think?
Love, Freya


Post Number One

Hi, I'm Freya. For more information stuff, and if you are a stalker, go to the little information box, although I'm not sure where that is. I suck at computers, which is quite surprising considering the amount of time I spend on mine.
I've wanted to set up a blog for a while now, but these websites confuse me, and I never had enough time. Anyways, blog is here! Not sure for how long, but I will try.
This blog is going to be part book reviews, part other stuff reviews, and part stuff that I'm thinking about at the moment. I read a lot, mostly Young Adult stuff and classics, and a tiny bit of gothic horror. Also sci-fi and fantasy. I have a very bad habit of reading different books at the same time, and right now I'm reading The Hobbit, Great Expectations and Wild Swans. Which can be quite confusing...
Other blogs I love; The Perpetual Page-Turner (please, Jamie, be my best friend), Vlogbrothers, DailyGrace, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (finished, but I still rewatch them... like, always), Nerdy and Quirky. Okay, so pretty much all of those are vlogs, but whatever.
So I'm hoping I'm gonna get super motivated and amazing at writing, and do millions of posts, so that this one is covered in a snowdrift of awesome, cool things I've come up with. However, the likeliness of that is about the same as the likeliness of me falling in love with Justin Beiber. (As in, never going to happen). I'll try to post pretty often, and we'll see how it goes. Maybe.
Love, Freya