Tuesday, 27 September 2016

A New York Love Story – Cassie Rocca

Clover loves Christmas, good job really as her job consists of buying people presents. She can’t afford to live in Manhatten so lives just across the water in a quiet area of Staten Island. Meanwhile, world famous Hollywood actor Cade Harrision has just had a messy public breakup with an actress and has fled to an apartment in New York...more specifically Staten Island, bang opposite Clover’s apartment. Their lives are completely different yet when meeting at Christmas even the most magical things can happen.

I love New York, I love Christmas and I love storylines like this one! When I first started the book I worried that it wasn’t going to meet my expectations as it took me a few chapters in to get hooked then before I knew it I ended up spending the entire day sat on a chair reading this book! It's such a cute, Christmas read!

I loved the characters. Clover is different - in a good one! She desperately tries to please her family but with no joy but she loves her job and has great friends. I found her very enjoyable to read about. Her life couldn't be more different from the life of a Hollywood actor so instead of falling at Cade's feet at the sight of him she has quite an adverse reaction. Personally I liked the fact that she didn't instantly like him and it took somewhat grovelling from Cade to get her attention. Meanwhile, Cade is the typical egotistical famous person on the surface but as his barriers start to crumble it's revealed he does have a caring side. Clover and Cade interacted well together and provided some sickeningly adorable romantic moments which I loved!

It's getting to the season where Christmas is starting to get in the back of people's minds. If you're ready for a book set over the Christmas period and you love a good romance story, particularly involving a famous individual then you will absolutely love this book! I loved reading it now but I know that I'll be digging this book out for a reread over the festive period in a few months. 

Synopsis –

Giving a present is not always easy. Clover O’Brian knows that only too well: her job consists of helping people in the arduous task of choosing unusual gifts. Christmas is coming, New York is buzzing, and Clover, who has always loved the festive period, savours the atmosphere.

Cade Harrison already has everything in life. A Hollywood actor, he is handsome, rich, famous and popular. Success, however, has its downsides; having just emerged from a disastrous relationship with an actress, he feels a need to hide away in an area unfrequented by stars, in an apartment lent him by a friend, far from prying eyes – especially those of tabloid reporters. But as chance will have it, the apartment in question is right opposite the one occupied by Clover, who until now has seen Hollywood actors only on the big screen. Two quite different lives meet by chance, at the most exhilarating time of year…

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Loserville - Montgomery Theatre Sheffield

Loserville is the first musical that made it to the West End stage that was written by James Bourne and Elliot Davis. As you know by this blog I'm a huge fan of James Bourne and as I was at university in London at the time Loserville was in the West End I saw the show on a number of occasions and loved every performance I saw. Well now I'm back home I couldn't resist going when I saw Loserville was coming to the Montgomery Theatre in Sheffield! 

Loserville revolves around Michael Dork. He's is the ultimate computer geek whose determined to change the world by inventing emails. As expected he is bullied at school but is determined to keep trying to success with help from his friends Lucas, Frances and Marvin and of course potential love interest Holly. It's a typical geek/popular crowd story line but add in music from Son Of Dork's Welcome To Loserville album, talented actors and you've got yourself one hell of a musical!

This particular performance was put on by Splinters Theatre Group, a young persons musical company for those aged between 14-30. What a talented bunch of performers, they could easily match those who I saw playing the characters in the West End. Richard Granger playing Michael Dork was phenomenal. He had captured the awkwardness of the character perfectly and was a great lead. Lucy Keeton who plays love interest Holly was also extremely good. Her vocals throughout were fantastic and unbelievably I discovered she is only 17! Certainly a name to watch in the future. I also particularly enjoyed Matthew Bevan's performance of Lucas and Joseph Oliver Walker's as Eddie. It's worth mentioning however, that every single performer on that stage was enthusiastic and energetic. I know I'll certainly be checking out future Splinters theatre shows.  

Sadly today was the last day in which Loserville is showing in Sheffield but I was given a flyer for Rock Of Ages on the way out of the theatre, if you'd like to catch this talented group of actors in action in the future!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The One Where I Attended Friends Fest

The final episode of Friends may have aired on television over ten years ago now but that doesn’t stop people from loving the show as much as it did when it aired. Last year, Comedy Central launched the first ever Friends Fest in London except it sold out in seconds, well this year they’ve brought it back and it’s touring the UK! Of course, having missed out on the London tickets last year I instantly bought a ticket for when it came to Harewood House in Leeds.

Friends Fest is basically one large photo opportunity. You can the chance to visit some of the shows most iconic sets such as Monica’s apartment. I spent a good hour and a half at Friends Fest this weekend and for someone who is a big fan of the show they’ll love getting snaps in the sets. 
At £25.00 a ticket (compared to £5 in London last year) the tickets had gone up in price quite substantially and in my own opinion I felt it was a little expensive for what you actually got. You didn’t get any time at all in any of the sets, just one quick photo in various locations and you’re out. The time spent in Friends Fest pretty much consisted of queuing for photos in the sets and then being quickly ushered onto the next one. It was very interesting however to see the attention to detail in all of the sets, it’s just such a pity you weren’t given more time to look at things. However, the photos that are taken on the sets from the day are incredible and for any Friends fan its incredible to now watch the show and keep pointing out locations where you’ve actually been into! It was also nice that the event didn’t have official photographers so at no point where you being pressured into buying photos. 
The food and beverage outlets were all Friends themed which I thought was a nice touch. From New York Ice Cream to The Chick & The Duck Bar everything has some kind of connection to the show. However, if you’re attending at one of the future events make sure you take enough money as expected from events everything is rather experience – £7.50 for a cocktail and £3 for an ice cream for example.     
I love Friends and even queued for most of the day to get into a pop up Central Perk that had opened in celebration for the 10th anniversary whilst I was on holiday in New York City a few years back. Personally, although New York was only the one set I felt it overall was done much better. For one it was free to get inside and when inside you were given a free coffee to drink in Central Perk. At Friends Fest, the entirety of Central Perk was just a photo opportunity and you were ushered out rather quickly. When you’re paying £25.00 admission, maybe if they had offered a free coffee for example if may have made the ticket price more worthwhile and it’s still very fitting with the Friends theme.
Although the event was a little steeply priced it certainly is a must for any fan of the show! Fans will love getting photos in Monica’s apartment, in Central Perk and other locations and they’ll certainly be showing everyone photos from the day! Personally, I’m glad that I went as I loved seeing the sets but I think for what you get it’s a onetime visit thing so probably wouldn’t go again if it tours again next year

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Kisses On A Paper Airplane - Sarah Vance-Tompkins

Hannah is American but manages to get a place at a drama school in London. Things are going well for her in London until unexpectedly she gets a call from her mother that she is getting married and needs to come home straight away from the wedding. Her future step dad (who Hannah has yet to meet) buys her a first class plane ticket back to America to make the journey easier. Hannah is a very nervous flyer and as soon as she gets to the airport she discovers her flight is delayed meaning she has more time to panic in the first class lounge before her flight departs. It is here she ends up befriending world famous pop star Theo Callahan, except Hannah doesn't recognise him. Hannah is saving her first kiss for her Prince Charming could it be possible that this strange she's just met could be the one? 

I've read mixed reviews on this book but oh my goodness I loved it. Everyone knows I love this kind of storyline and sometimes I just love a book I can read very quickly - I am a fast reader anyway but finished Kisses On A Paper Airplane in around an hour. I loved the idea of Hannah going on a airplane and befriending a celebrity. If you've ever flown alone and didn't m think about which of your favourite celebrity could be sat next to you on the flight then you did it wrong! I think this book wonderfully taps into that small part of you that fantasises about who you could end up sat next to on a plane. 

The book wasn't very long so you didn't get an in depth introduction to the characters. However. I did enjoy reading about Hannah and Theo and the book did offer some very cute reading moments between the pair which I loved.

If you're looking for a fast little read about a normal person meeting a celebrity then I think you will love Kisses On A Airplane. 

Synopsis -

Drama student Hannah Evans isn't kissing any frogs on her path to find Prince Charming. She's determined to share the perfect first kiss -- with the perfect boy -- in the perfect place -- or she's not kissing anyone at all. When Hannah meets a cute ginger-haired boy in first class lounge in the London airport, she knows he's 'The One.'

Pop star Theo Callahan is on the road to get as far away as possible from his back-stabbing best friend, and his supermodel girlfriend who broke his heart. Until one shy smile from Hannah has him rethinking all of his travel plans.

Theo is smitten, but he's worried she's just a groupie in search of the ultimate selfie. Can Theo learn to trust Hannah in time to share one perfect first kiss, or will Hannah be forced to kiss a frog?

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Dear 10 Year Old Self

I have a million and one things I need to actually be writing right now with deadlines rapidly approaching except I've been struck with a severe case of writers block. Last weekend I had a real Busted packed weekend seeing and meeting them on both days. I was having a conversation with a friend I attended with about how much we wished we could go back and tell ourselves when we were younger just all the incredible things that have happened since with Busted. I was absolutely obsessed with them back then, even more than I am now which may come as a shock if you know me now! So I figured I would write myself that letter to tell my younger self because writing something is better than writing nothing at all when you have writers block...right? So here goes....

Dear 10 year old self,

Future present day me found your diary the other day. It is 2003 and you're age 10 rapidly approaching 11 in the summer - what an interesting year that turned out to be. Why? Well 2003 is seemingly the year you started to get crushes on boys. Except not on boys you know in real life, just famous ones. In 2003 you were hopelessly crushing on 'James from Busted' as you were repeatedly calling him in your diary back then. Oh boy did you write some embarrassing stuff in that diary that year! It made me chuckle as on one particular day in May you were fed up of being in 'love' with James from Busted and hoped that your crush on him wouldn't last much longer. Well 10 year old me, you may need to sit down for this one as 14 years later, believe it or not your current self still absolutely loves him and Busted.

If maybe you had been like other people your age and became obsessed with Pokemon, maybe it would've been easier as that fad would've moved on, because I'll tell you now that very soon that band you love so much and hold so close to your heart will make your heart shatter into pieces. As strange as it seems now as you can't imagine them doing anything of the sort, it'll be your first experience of heartbreak. They'll make you cry yourself to sleep for months, refuse to eat food and hold a decade long grudge against one of the band members. It seems silly now looking back but they absolutely destroyed you for a little while.

It's not all bad though. You'll find a band called McFly next year and without them in your life I don't know how you would managed to get through the next few years. You'll love there music and through them you'll meet someone who will end up being one of your closest friends in years to come. McFly will give you some of the best memories you'll ever have so ignore people's teasing about you liking them and just enjoy every single wonderful moment they'll give you in the coming years. Present me still hasn't got the hang of the whole ignoring what people say thing but she's now not the slightest bit ashamed of what she enjoys doing, something I wish you had learnt sooner. I mean in a few years time you'll go on stage in a beach hut with McFly, you'll have the most incredible experience doing that but try to not be disappointed that none of your school friends care about what you did. 

Despite the fact they broke your heart, you still end up seeing Busted quite a lot over the years to come just maybe not quite as the band you love now. You'll meet James in 3 years time for the first time and you pretty much cried in his face when he said he liked your Mickey Mouse tshirt you were wearing. Maybe now you know about that you could avoid doing it? Years later I still cringe at how embarrassing that moment was, but it's ok though as you'll meet him many more times in the years to come and you have never cried in his face again. Success! Heck in a few years time you'll even get to go on his tour bus and play card games until the early hours of the morning. Yes that is something that's going to happen in your life and to this day nothing will ever top how surreal that evening was so enjoy every moment when it comes along. 

It's so strange as you will not yet realise the effect Busted will have on your life. You'll obsessively learn to play piano just so you can play Psycho Girl, you try to learn guitar just so you can be even a tiny bit as talented as James Bourne, you'll travel to some far flung places and wait for hours just for them, you'll eat far too many Jaffa Cakes, you'll meet some friends who'll you be closer to than people you're at school with now, you'll do some ridiculous things just in the hope of meeting them and that pig thing? Believe me doing it will be one of the most worthwhile things you end up doing so don't give up even when you really want to.

Believe it or not 10 year old me, one day your favourite bands will collide and you'll collectively meet them all on many occasion. Remember how many hours you spent wishing you could meet Busted and McFly? How long you spend imagining just how incredible it would be to meet Busted? Well you will meet them more times than you can even imagine in the future and even more unbelievably Busted will one day recognise you and know your name. Crazy or what! I can't imagine how excited that information would make me at 10 years old. 

So 10 year old me. Enjoy loving Busted and McFly, you have nothing to be ashamed of in liking them. A song by Son Of Dork explains how you shouldn't be ashamed so much better than I can - you should check that band out I think you'll love them! Busted will have a massive impact on your life and they'll make the happiest you've ever been at certain points. But if you're interested that crush you had on James that you're currently hoping wouldn't last long? Well, somewhere along the years that starts to fade and although he'll always still be your favourite member of Busted, you'll just end up seeing him as one of the most talented and lovely people you've ever come across. Don't ever stop loving them for anyone, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks as in the years you have to come they'll bring you so much happiness and that's the most important thing. Do that, and I can guarantee you the next 14 years will be pretty darn great. 

Love from,
Future Me