The Liebster Blog Award

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Well thank you VERY much BookfessionsChica for nominating us for the Liebster Award! We are ever so grateful for the love! The Liebster Award is a blogging award that is passed on by bloggers to blogs with less than 200 followers, a bit of love sharing really and a great way to find new blogs to read!

Receivers of the Liebster Award must:
1. List 11 Random Facts about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that were asked of you (by the blogger that nominated you).
3. Nominate 11 other blogs for the Liebster Blog Award and include link to their blog.
4. Notify the bloggers of their award.
5. Ask the award winners 11 questions to answer once they accept the award.

Oh and don’t forget to thank those who nominated you!

Our Random Facts:

1)      OBOB is written by two people

2)      One was blonde while one was brunette, now both are brunette but the name stuck

3)      We’re both English graduates

4)      We both love Harry Potter with a passion!

5)      If we had to pick a superhero to be, Kat would be: Iron Man, while Rach would be: The Invisible Woman

6)      If we had to pick villains, Kat would be either Bellatrix Lestrange or Bane and Rach would be either Hades or Magneto.

7)      If we could only eat one food for the rest of our lives, Rach would eat pizza and Kat would eat cereal.

8)      Our favourite on screen couples are: Kat: Blair and Chuck (Gossip Girl); Rach: Buffy and Angel.

9)      If we won millions the first thing we’d do is: Rach – LOTR tour round New Zealand; Kat – buy lots from Signature Shop.

10)  We have a joint dream of going to Comic-Con

11)  We both love Robert Downey Jr!

Our Answers:

1)      If you could meet any author/person you admire, and ask them only one question, who and what would it be?

Kat: As an avid Harry Potter fan, I would have to meet J.K. Rowling mainly to thank her for giving me my biggest hobby; my get away. Firstly I would ask her to sign my books but then on a serious note I would ask her how Ron proposed to Hermione.

Rach: I think this would have to be J.K Rowling purely because of the amount of joy I’ve got out of reading this series. In regards to what I would ask her, I would probably ask the age old question of whether she would ever delve back into that world, or ask her to reveal a piece of information she had not shared with fans.

2)      Why did you decide to start your blog, and what is your favourite thing about it?

Rach: On a lazy day, Kat and I pondered what to do with ourselves now that our undergrad degrees had finished. We both discussed the fact we loved to write reviews, expressing our views the way we wanted and just generally write for fun. So we decided to set up our own blog there and then and almost a year later we’re still going strong. I know it sounds sad but when I watch a TV series, read a book or go see a film at the cinema one of my first thoughts is “Wow, I have tons to say about this – I’m gonna go write a blog post!” I wouldn’t have it any other way

Kat: Fresh out of university, Rach and I wanted to be able to write how we wanted to about what we wanted to, not about the differences between thou and thee or the themes running through Romeo and Juliet. So one random day basking in post university life (days after graduation) OBOB was born.

3)      Which book has been with you to the most places?

Kat: Harry Potter. It is the only book I read over and over again. The amount of holidays it has accompanied me on, they are potentially better travelled than some humans.

Rach: The Harry Potter series – I mean I wrote my dissertation on it, it’s been on a journey with me.

4)      Is there a book that you once gave up on that you would consider revisiting, and why?

Rach:  Lord of the Rings Trilogy –I believe I tried to start reading it after I fell in love with the movie adaptations. I got through the first 4 chapters, put it down and didn’t pick it up back up again. It’s still firmly on my list to read.

Kat: So far I have read the first two book in the A Song of Fire and Ice series (Game of Thrones) and I would really like to carry on to the end – they are just so long that it feels like I am reading them forever.

5)      Something that you learned recently.

Kat: I REALLY love cheese and tomato toasties.

Rach: I’m secretly a bit of a hoarder.

6)      Is there a book or piece of writing that impacted your behaviour or actions after reading it?

Rach: I’m not one for being overly religious but I would have to say the Bible. Whenever I feel lost or wondering what to do about something, I look to it for inspiration and it always seems to point me in the right direction.

Kat: When I read Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses saga I was really moved in terms of how different my life would be if I hadn’t been born into the family I was born into, or if things such as the death penalty were still in use in this country. It made me think how lucky I am to be where I am today.

7)       What is your favourite quote?

Kat: “I would have died! I would have died rather than betray my friends” Sirius Black – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Rach: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” Eleanor Roosevelt 

8)       Do you find that you dread or anticipate movie adaptations of books?

Rach:  I mostly anticipate movie adaptations but I feel it depends on whether you’ve read the book series first. One thing that movie adaptations give me is the opportunity to find more book series to read and become a fan of. Even though I know the storyline, I enjoy letting my imagination flow whilst reading the book. Having said that, I always looked forward to the movie adaptations of Harry Potter just to see what they did with the text. I would always look forward to the movies, but then nit-pick at what they didn’t include AFTER the film.

Kat: It really depends on how much I’ve loved the book. I’m always worried for the first one, and then I worry even more when I hear rumours that they haven’t stuck to the storyline. I know it’s an adaptation but I feel if you’re going along with most of the story you may as well stay true to it all.

9)       Has a character in a book or film ever reminded you of someone you know?

Kat: Nope, I can’t say they have.

Rach: No, not anyone I can think of strongly. However, there are often characters that I wish were real and that I knew, or that I could be like.

10)  “We read to know we are not alone.” (C.S. Lewis) Agree or disagree?

In unison: We both strongly disagree.

11)   If the zombie apocalypse was at hand, and you could only take five books with you before you run for it, which would you choose and why?

Rach: The entire HP series (you can see a pattern emerging with this post), Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter and Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare.

Kat: The Harry Potter series – I think that’s fairly obvious though.

Our Questions:

1)      If you could have dinner with 5 well known figures (dead or alive) who would they be?

2)      Which superhero/villain would you be and why?

3)      What’s your favourite quote?

4)      Why did decide to start your blog?

5)      HP vs LOTR?

6)      Who’s your Sherlock Holmes: Robert Downey Jr or Benedict Cumberbatch?

7)      Who’s your Doctor Who: Matt Smith or David Tennant?

8)      Film of the year? (So far)

9)      Book/film/TV series that has had the most impact on you?

10)  What are you most looking forward to: Star Wars Episode 7 or Avengers 2?

11)  Hard back book or Kindle?

Who We’d Like To Nominate:

1) BookfessionsChica

2) Ramblings and Green Tea

3) Crap Books

4) Sidekick Reviews

5) Strange Paul

6) Beauty and the Geeks

7) Of Writing, Reading, and Nerdy Things

8) Mykindofmovie

9) DawsonReviews

10) Popcorn Nights

liebster blog award

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The Vault – Ocean’s Thirteen

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As I mentioned earlier this year I have only just stumbled upon the Ocean’s trilogy and added them to my list of favourite films; the first shooting straight to my top five, and the third not far behind! Twelve was my least favourite of the three but I think this was mainly just down to the story line compared to the other two – I like the plots revolving entirely around casinos. Then again, Julia Roberts playing the certain character at the end of film two was a sensational bit of scriptwriting that can only be used once in a blue moon and only when the timing is perfect – F.Y.I this was it.

Ocean’s Thirteen sees us catch up with all the original gang plus an appearance from Eddie Izzard and one more unsuspected member – which I won’t give away here.

Young Matt Damon is coming into his acting career having a bigger part in this film, not only is he on screen more he also has a bigger part to play in the story, while Brad Pitt seems to take more of a back seat.

Although George Clooney’s one liners are still top notch and his and Pitt’s chemistry is like none other, I came away wanting more of the two on screen together – but that could be saying something about my taste in male Hollywood actors rather than the screen play for Ocean’s Thirteen.

I am amazed at how much I actually love these films, and cannot stress enough how much you must watch all of them. Do it, and do it now!!!!

 

Relationships can be… Rusty

Sure. Danny

But they’re also… Rusty

That’s right. Danny

Doctor Who Series 7 Part 2

After a 3 month gap since the Christmas episode and an even bigger gap since the departure of the Ponds, Doctor Who was finally back on our screens! Matt Smith returns as our favourite Time Lord – bow tie and all, and Jenna-Louise Colman is fully unleashed as the new companion after appearing in two previous episodes.

After some initial reservations of Series 7 Part 1 of Doctor Who, I ended up completely loving its small run towards the end of 2012 – the stories were exciting, gripping and it was a fantastic send-off for Amy Pond and Rory Williams. I approached this run of episodes with the same level of trepidation but I have to say, I was largely disappointed.

Some might say the reason for this might be the change in companions, but honestly, I love Jenna-Louise Colman as Clara Oswald. She’s intriguing, exciting, funny and spunky and my personal highlight for this run of episodes. I think the main problem for me were the storylines for each episode not being exciting enough – I only watched one episode when it aired live which says a lot considering I never used to miss an episode.

The opener to the second half of the series The Bells of St John, packed a lot into its 45 minutes, and while Jenna and Matt had excellent chemistry which made it seem they had been working together for years, the story for me fell short. The Rings of Akhaten’s overall storyline was quite poor, but you felt emotionally involved with Clara as she explored her first alien world which has become somewhat a rite of passage for every new companion.  The third episode The Cold War despite re-booting The Ice Warriors for the modern-era Doctor Who, the storyline was again quite weak; it wasn’t until Hide that the show started hitting its stride for me. A creepy, haunted house was the back-drop for the week’s episode, and coupled with a couple of love stories inter-woven through, it seemed Who was back on track.

The TARDIS centric episode Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS certainly wasn’t as stand-out as The Doctor’s Wife, but it gave us a deeper look into the inside of the TARDIS, its numerous corridors and a library with a particularly interesting book, revealing the Doctor’s name. The strongest episode by far out of the bunch was The Crimson Horror starring screen legend Dame Diana Rigg and her real-life daughter Rachel Stirling. It also saw the welcome return of Strax, Madame Vastra and Jenny who are fast becoming a firm fan favourite. They are certainly Smith’s equivalent of figures such as Captain Jack from the Tennant era and bring humour and heart to the episodes they’re in. The storyline was an intriguing mystery, and real-life mother and daughter were on excellent form as an on-screen mother and daughter. Another small highlight was Matt Smith pulling off a cracking Yorkshire accent, but all in all The Crimson Horror was a solid return to form for the Doctor Who team.

The penultimate episode Nightmare in Silver again was a particularly strong episode with Neil Gaiman hoping to recreate the success of his first episode, by bringing back the Cybermen. The Cybermen have been absent from Doctor Who for quite a while, and they certainly seemed like a dominant threat throughout this episode. There were quite a few highlights from Clara taking charge of the troops, to the genius casting of Warwick Davis and the fantastic work of Matt Smith during the chess game scenes, as he plays the Doctor and a Borg version of himself.

This leads us to the season finale: the episode title The Name of the Doctor led fans to believe that the Doctor’s greatest secret was perhaps just inches away from being revealed. Add to this the fact that Strax, Vastra and Jenny were back and we get to see the fabulous Alex Kingston reprise her role as River Song, and you get a finale that is simply mouth-watering for fans. Of course when it comes to Steven Moffat, nothing is ever straightforward and the name of the Doctor was never revealed, although it didn’t stop the episode from being a fantastic way to end the season. The episode did give us a resolution to the mystery that was Clara however, and it actually made sense! As she jumps into the Doctor’s timeline, she suddenly appears throughout his life-span, and having Jenna-Louise Colman appear in archive footage was a great geeky moment. It also cleverly explains how the Doctor had met her twice previously; the phrase “Run you clever boy” has well and truly being coined by Clara Oswald. On a side note, the episode also felt like an ending of a chapter for the character of River Song. She is the last remnant of the Pond era, and it felt appropriate to bring her back for one last episode to give some closure.

The end of the episode also brought a massive reveal which set up the 50thanniversary brilliantly. A shadowy figure that’s seen in the distance and the reveal that he was the one that had broken the promise of the name of the Doctor leads none other than John Hurt to turn around and be revealed as another face of the Doctor. The fact that this was kept largely under wraps is a brilliant coup for the Doctor Who team and it just leads to major speculation about how John Hurt fits into the equation. Is he a Doctor from the past that we’ve never met? How did he break his promise and what exactly did he do?

My own personal theory on the matter is that this could be the half human half Doctor version of the Doctor, who we last saw at the end of Journey’s End played by David Tennant. John Hurt could well be the older version of that character…

The Name of the Doctor was certainly the most satisfying, exciting and all-round entertaining finale Moffat has provided us with through his run as exec producer. The episode resolved a few strands that run through the series, but also set up the 50th anniversary special in November, which promises to be an absolute classic. As well as Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Colman and John Hurt we’ll also have David returning as the 10th Doctor and Billie Piper returning to her role as Rose Tyler.  November cannot come quick enough!

As I’ve been writing this post, it has been announced that Matt Smith will be leaving Doctor Who after the Christmas Special and that the search is already underway for the next actor to play the Doctor. The names being thrown around by the press are all interesting ones – some quite high profile and some more obscure names, but until the announcement has been made official, I’m keeping an open mind.

I first became a fan of Doctor Who through David Tennant’s 10th incarnation of The Doctor. I had seen one or two episodes of Chris Eccleston’s series (and did go back and watch them after becoming a fan), but it was certainly Tennant’s charm, wit, humour, passion and “Allonsy” that made me fall in love with Doctor Who. I’ve never watched any of the older series of Doctor Who pre- Russell T. Davies era and I don’t mind that I’m considered to be a fan of the “new Who”. When Tennant announced that he was leaving, I was devastated – I literally sobbed my way through his final episode, and cried again during Doctor Who Confidential. However, I adapted well to change, and Matt Smith is a brilliant incarnation of the Doctor – he has the same zany qualities as Tennant, but seems to have more fire in his belly, a sense of adventure and a more child-like quality to his Doctor. Even though he’s a lot younger than Tennant, he does a brilliant job in portraying someone who’s a lot older and you sense The Doctor has been through a lot. Smith delivers The Doctor’s epic speeches with a sense of wisdom, authority and insistence that The Doctor can fix any problem (one such instance being in the second episode of this run The Rings of Akhaten).  But I would be otherwise lying if I didn’t say that MY Doctor was David Tennant so therefore I wasn’t weeping in a corner when it was announced that he was leaving.

I’ve mostly enjoyed where Doctor Who has gone in terms of its creative path – I’ve loved the introduction of characters, and the arcs that it has gone through, and I do think that Steven Moffat is a force to be reckoned with it terms of his writing skills and pure mind-boggling plot twists. But that’s the part that bothers me about Doctor Who now – has the show grown too complex? First and foremost Doctor Who has always prided itself as being appropriate for children and for families, but if adults are finding it difficult to follow the show and its twisting plot lines, then how is a child going to understand it? I first started to notice it last year, and the gripe has kept with me since then. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m not a fan of the direction the show has gone in, I just wish it wasn’t so mind-numbing all the time –sometimes simple stories are also incredibly enjoyable.

Matt Smith will certainly be missed by many when he hangs up his jacket come December; even though the rumours had been rife for a while, I thought he would have one more season in him before he left for pastures new. His new role in a Ryan Gosling directed film is a huge boost for his career, and he truly deserves it. This run of Doctor Who has been slightly underwhelming for me, and I only really started to enjoy it through the 3 last episodes of the run, but I will miss Matt Smith when he leaves. For now though, the countdown in my calendar is on until the 50th anniversary special airs in November and my inner geek is unleashed – Tennant and Smith? Let the fan-girl squealing commence!

 

“Oh no! Not the one with the gigantic head?

It’s hair, Strax”

(The Name of the Doctor, Doctor Who)

Bossypants – Tina Fey

The legend that brought us Mean Girls and 30 Rock, Tina Fey’s autobiography was a must read on my ‘Booket’ list.  Unlike most of the male comedians autobiographies I’ve read, Fey gives us snippets of her life without boring us with the whole ‘I was trying for years and years and years before I made it’ ‘I’ve played so many gigs to crowds of less than 10 people it’s not even funny’; you’re right it’s not funny, or interesting, stop writing about it. (Rant over). Fey tells us of her experiences and how they helped her: Improv School; touring with companies; volunteering. She tells us what we want to hear: about her life, not how hard it was before she went on to make millions.

Most interestingly however, when reading the book it doesn’t seem to have a flow to it, one minute we’re reading about her disaster of a honeymoon, then the next how she is playing Sarah Palin on SNL. But the beauty of the book is that it doesn’t matter. She writes about what you want to know, what it’s like to work on SNL, how 30 Rock has a bunch of writers, how she juggles having two jobs and a new born.

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Her writing is funny and quick, but it’s hard to tell what is ‘real life’ and what may just be for the benefit of the book. Either way is doesn’t really matter, it doesn’t take anything away from the story. You come away feeling what you want to come away feeling after reading someone’s autobiography: that you know them a little more, and that what you know is something that you couldn’t find on the Daily Mail.

The only downside I found was that I wish she had written a bit about her time writing Mean Girls because let’s face it, that film rules.

This book is a brilliant read for the ladies who need a touch of inspiration, the men who think women aren’t as good as them, and the Tina Fey fans. I’ve come away feeling empowered that life is life, it’s tough on anyone, but rich people just have Photoshop to make it look better.

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‘Do your thing and don’t care if they like it’. – Tina Fey inspired by Amy Poehler.

 

The Fault in our Stars…

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There must be something in my subconscious which keeps leading me back to stories with a certain sadness as the past two I have read have not resulted in the ‘and they lived happily ever after’ scenario I crave.

However, this book gave me something else; it gave me another outlook on life. Following the life of a girl living with cancer, I was enlightened to get to the end of the book and think ‘just because someone has cancer doesn’t mean they are ‘dying’ from cancer, they are still living in that moment’, and this revelation made me feel, well, happy. Happy to know that in fact life goes on, that people living with cancer still fall in love, still Facebook stalk the person they love’s ex, they’re still (for want of a better word) normal.

Usually when I read a really good book I am always conscious that I am nearing the end, that the story is going to be over and that the mine and the character’s relationship is going to end, but here, although being a really good book, I was happy with the ending of the story. It felt like the end, like I’d had a snippet of Hazel’s (the lead) life, and I was contempt with knowing that she was happy.

A short, easy read story, with great depth. Not your usual pool side read but a good one nonetheless. I’ve enjoyed other works by John Green and The Fault in our Stars is no exception. I would highly recommend adding this book to you summer reading list.

“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”

Happy 100th Post To Us!!!!

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Around 10 months ago, myself and Kat embarked on a new journey, an exciting adventure into the world of blogging. And now in under a year we’ve made it to our 100th post (that’s averaging 10 in a month!) I have loved every minute of writing this blog, and I have truly re-discovered my passion for writing. Every time I now watch a film and TV show, read a book or see a play, I think about how I’m gonna write a blog post about it. Here’s to the next 100 posts and the 100 after that! (Rach)
Well here we are, our 100th post! Happy 100th post to us! It gives me great pleasure to write about what I want to write about, and how I want to write it and not have someone telling me it’s only a 7 out of 10 because I haven’t added in enough references. I hope you have enjoyed what we’ve written so far and enjoy what we’re going to write in the future! (Kat)
Remember: it’s only worth it if you enjoy it.
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Broadchurch

 

ITV drama Broadchurch aired earlier this year: it seemed to be the talk of the nation and sparked the juiciest murder mystery “whodunit” from recent memory; starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman, they steered the series and the investigation to the killer.

Ultimately the series became a lot more than a murder mystery – it became an emotive, atmospheric and engaging drama about how a small town copes in the aftermath of grief. 11 year-old Danny Latimer was found murdered on the beach of the small town of Broadchurch and over several weeks, viewers followed the investigation into his murder, as well as the family’s emotional turmoil over the tragic event.

Tennant and Colman as DI Alex Hardy and DS Ellie Miller were fantastic, both had a great chemistry together –bickering their way through the investigation but by the end they had certainly come to an understanding that they were both there for their partner if they needed it. The series had a great cast, and no one was left out of the suspect list. It wasn’t just the acting that made this drama so good – it was the atmospheric music, the camera work that perfectly captured a rural, small coastal town but managed to make it look eerie and the overall storyline which left viewers captivated.

As a side note a personal geeky moment for Doctor Who fans was certainly David Tennant and Arthur Darvill sharing screen time together, not to mention Olivia Colman and David Bradley who both had guest spots in the show when Arthur was involved.

But back to Broadchurch – it’s not often that a murder mystery drama leaves you feeling like your heart has been ripped out, and at several points during the series, that is exactly how I felt (and not all of them are related to the murder directly). Writer Chris Chibnall (ex-Doctor Who writer) really does a brilliant job in creating characters that not only look likely to be the killer, but have harrowing pasts. I’m not going to give anything away, but at points, particularly towards the end, I felt slightly heartbroken for the characters in question (David Tennant I’m looking at you in particular).

By not giving away too much about the ending, Olivia Colman really proved during the series that she is a real gem of British acting talent (and her recent success at the TV BAFTA’s further sealed this). Her sheer raw emotive acting is stunning to watch and hopefully she will receive more recognition for her work on this drama.

The final scene of the town gathering to light beacons in Danny Latimer’s memory is a sentimental and heart-warming way to end this series. I wished that it didn’t have to end as it certainly brightened up my Monday evenings. What’s more I was delighted to learn that a second series was being planned by Chibnall!

I’ve deliberately kept this post spoiler free in the hope that some have not stumbled across this drama yet, and will be able to watch and fully appreciate it. It’s out now on DVD in the UK, and trust me, you will not regret it – it’s a gem of British TV!

Alec Hardy: I bought wine

Ellie Miller: Oh that’s very kind of you-

Hardy: And flowers

Miller: Oh, you didn’t –

Hardy: And chocolates.

Miller (surprised) Wow.

Hardy: Wasn’t sure which to choose, so I just bought them all.

Miller: Bless.

(Broadchurch)