The Little Shop Of Happy Ever After by Jenny Colgan, which is also known as The Bookshop On The Corner, is a story of love, hope, independence, and courage that will render readers unable to put the book down from the minute they start reading!
The Little Shop of Happy Ever After follows twenty-nine year old Nina Redmond who, following the closure of her beloved library, is left jobless and at a loss as to what she should do next. Her luck changes when she sees the opportunity to own her very own van which she plans to turn into a mobile library. Leaving her old life in Birmingham, Nina moves to the Scottish Highlands in an attempt to pursue her dream. However, reality is no fairy-tale and Nina encounters very real struggles in her attempts to create a new life in the middle-of-nowhere. Luckily for her, whilst this may be the real world, Knights-In-Shining-Armour could very well exist…
Perhaps you’re still not convinced that this is the book for you… Well, here’s a few reasons that may convince you otherwise!
The thing about reading is that most people use books as a means of escaping their own everyday lives, which can be forgotten about with every turn of a page. Usually, the books they choose as a refuge are ones which take place in some far off land. Well, why not just choose one that offers that same sense of escapism but is set within the same reality? The Little Shop of Happy Ever After provides just that for its readers and it has a strange ability to reawaken the magic and wonder which exists within the reality in which we all live. Colgan’s writing throughout the novel, and though the use of Nina’s character, lets the story offer a fresh perspective on a country whose beauty is often dulled, allowing it to shine.
The tale of Nina’s adventure and the chance to witness her gain both independence and confidence gives the story a ‘coming-of-age’ feel to it, despite how the main character is already an adult. However, even this alone has something comforting in it, especially when now-a-days within reality, people are expected to have settled by that time and their time for adventure is deemed over.
Whilst many characters are mentioned throughout this novel and play a part in the tale, there are four whom stand out more so than all others: Nina, Surinder, Marek, and Lennox. Kudos must be given to the author for her creation of such relatable and realistic characters. All four are completely lovable despite their individual flaws and even the side characters within the story are likely to hold a place in your heart by the time you finish the book!
The thing about love is that the concept itself is a complicated one: there are so many types of love and, even more importantly, love is unpredictable. That is a theme which is quite prominent throughout the course of this story and if that wasn’t enough to get you racing to the library to borrow a copy or the nearest shop to purchase your own then don’t worry, there’s more. For who doesn’t love a story in which the main character is torn between two others. Of course, it’s something which occurs in nearly every romance novel, but the question of whom Nina chooses really is one which is asked throughout the story, even when you think you know the answer!
What is a good story unless it successfully teaches valuable life lessons? In The Little Shop Of Happy Ever After, many valuable lessons can be learned. Throughout the book, readers journey alongside Nina and share with her the experiences she has and the consequences she faces. Along with Nina, readers are able to learn the importance of always being yourself, witness how it one should always dare to dream and follow those dreams… More importantly, Nina and the readers alike are able to come to terms with how love is never where you may originally look and that everyone has a story. For, as stated in chapter 24:
There was a universe inside every human being every bit as big as the universe outside them.
A solemn reminder that each and every one of us is as different as we are the same, and that is something which we should all respect.
Curious about reading the novel now? Then why not give it a try, then maybe even have a read at Jenny Colgan’s other novels – all of which can be found on her website.
The Little Shop of Happy Ever After is available from Amazon, Book Depository, and other good book retailers.
/”No coward would have done what you did.” Lily said softly/
– In loving memory of the former Head of my Hogwarts house, Severus Snape and to the talented actor who portrayed him, Alan Rickman. You will be remembered… Always. –
“You have your Mothers eyes.”
Severus Snape watched as the pair of eyes before him widened, their gaze softening ever so slightly, and Severus allowed for the eyes to meet his own and force him one last time down memory lane. It was something which Harry Potters eyes had always had the ability to do since the moment Severus had clamped eyes on the boy. Long ago, Albus Dumbledore had informed Severus that Harry Potter had inherited Lily’s eyes and Severus had only just noticed when young boy had come to Hogwarts – having paid no attention to him when he had arrived at Godric’s Hollow on that dreadful night… Severus had been foolish to doubt Albus, to think that perhaps the elder had been lying to him simply to trick him into assisting him in protecting the boy but when Severus has met those eyes with his own he had seen the truth for himself. It was at that moment in the Great Hall, not in Albus’s office, in which he had agreed to protecting Harry Potter.
Protecting Potter… Protecting the result of Lily’s love for someone other than himself, someone who had made it their mission to torment Severus to no end. He took no shame in hating the boy who resembled his Father so closely. He had watched as the similarities between the boy and his deceased Father grew more and more uncanny every day for the six school years in which the young Potter had attended Hogwarts. All those years of teaching Harry Potter, having to face the mockery which the boy’s existence was with each passing day… It had seemed that even in death James Potter was tormenting him and reminding him of who he had lost.
The boys eyes had then, in Severus’s opinion, became his only refining feature as they had, in those times when Severus had needed to look at the boy, provided him with something of a gateway to a time more pleasant, a time when the boy did not exist and Snape was only a boy himself and there had been no James Potter to steal his friend, his love…
He could see her now as he considered the young man kneeling over him and for a moment Severus was grateful that he would soon learn the truth, that he would learn Severus’s life story and perhaps could understand the true meaning behind Snape’s actions throughout the years, as well as the meaning behind his observation. He was sure Harry Potter had been told that he had his Mother’s eyes countless times and by those perhaps worthier of speaking of her to him, but Severus was not interested in how the young man might react or be feeling now as his well-known to be least favourite teacher lay dying.
In this moment, Severus was looking up into those familiar eyes and Lily Evans was looking back at him. He wished then, in silent desperation, that it was a moment which could last forever but the sinking feeling in his chest was there to accompany the knowledge that it would not.
Slowly the darkness that had been creeping in from the edge of his vision made the sight before him blur and he blinked, the image of Lily’s beautiful face disappeared, and he found himself looking at Harry Potter once more. A small sigh escaped his lips before his head grew heavy and everything went black…
Then came the blinding white light and a deafening rushing sound which grew louder and louder. It seemed to go on forever and only when it stopped did Severus’s eyes snap open. It took him a moment to realize that he was standing, standing on a small grassy hill which he recognized immediately as the place where he had spent countless days watching Lily, where he had met her and where they had spent happy hours discussing Hogwarts and the magical world of which they were both to enter. His surroundings looked so real and even felt real, something which he discovered when reaching out to run his fingers gently over the bark of the tree beside him. Severus moments passed in which Severus continued to examine his surroundings with a new-found curiosity, considering what seemed to be his fate with an odd form of acceptance.
He was dead, that much he knew. There was a lack of pain radiating over his body and he felt a wave of relief overcome him. It was selfish to be glad that, for him, it was over. His own sufferings could no longer be built upon and he no longer held the weight of having to endure the sufferings put upon others in the world which he had just been taken from. He had done what he could to assist Potter, done what Albus had desired of him and provided Potter with the information what was needed, and now he no longer needed to be concerned with the consequences. There was something in the selfishness he felt that was almost peaceful…
Despite the softness of the voice, the sudden sound of it breaking the silence made Severus flinch and then he froze again. The voice was familiar, even if it had been years since he had heard it. He would never forget that voice… Could never forget that voice…
Turning slowly, he fought against the anticipation and hope which was slowly building within him, afraid of the disappointment that would drown him upon seeing nothing but expected scenery of the landscape behind him. That disappointment did not come…
Standing before him now was none other than Lily, smiling warmly at him and her eyes filled with appreciation and just a hint of sadness – emotions which, Severus decided then, he was no longer worthy to evoke from her. He remained rooted to the spot as she approached him and wrapped her arms gently around him. Severus, who had expected to feel nothing at all or perhaps just the usual icy feeling that normally came with making ‘physical’ contact with a ghost, jumped slightly when he felt the warmth of her touch. He supposed now that they were both dead he could feel her touch as he would have done were they both alive. Severus felt like a child again, being held in Lily’s friendly and consoling hug. Another beat of silence passed before Lily finally stepped back, withdrawing her arms from around him and meeting his eyes confidently.
The words were simple but spoken with severity and a heavy tone as her smile saddened. She was regarding him now, aware of the price he had paid to allow her son the chance to live.
“It was for you.” He replied matter-of-factly and although he attempted to keep his expression unreadable then Lily gave him one of her famous knowing looks. Her talent at being able to read the unreadable had not faded one bit… He stared back at her, unable to curb the feeling of longing which grew inside him. Even though he was dead, the feeling still clawed at his insides as though trying to tear at his very heart. “I’ve been a coward.” He stated heavily, expecting her soft expression to harden with disappointment as she agreed. It was the first time that he had admitted it to himself and out-loud, openly finally agreeing to the label which others had branded him with.
“No coward would have done what you did.” Lily said softly, her head moving from side to side as she shook it slowly. “You’ve been exceptionally brave, and I couldn’t be any more grateful.”
“I don’t deserve your gratitude.” Severus was quick to argue, cutting Lily off toward the end of her own statement.
“Then at the very least you deserve recognition.” There was a firmness in her tone that was reflected too in her stare as she dared him to argue with her again. Severus was unable to stop his lips from twisting up into a gentle smile of his own – the genuine notion felt alien to him after all these years.
“And now?” He quizzed, taking a moment to tear his eyes away from her face and gaze around them once more. Oh, how he wished he could remain here and with Lily once again. However, he had a feeling that doing so would not be possible, or at least not the answer which he would receive.
“Now you can rest, in a peace that’s well deserved.” She smiled, and Severus looked back to her to see her eyes were upon something behind him. He turned to follow her gaze and his eyes rested on a door which seemed to have replaced the tree in which he had spend his time hiding within. Severus knew what it meant, and he quickly had to stop himself from scoffing. A door to the beyond. It was always such a Muggle idea of passing over and moving on but standing here with Lily now, who’s life had collided with him in the Muggle world at the mere age of nine, he couldn’t help but think it was in fact rather fitting.
Severus edged towards the door cautiously, unable to push aside the tickling sense of fear overcoming him now as he reached out to open it. Beyond the door was… nothing and Severus was both disappointed and hesitant now to cross over. He knew that once he stepped beyond the frame that Lily would fade into nothingness as well, leaving him completely alone once more. He turned back towards her as that thought crossed his mind, entwined with another.
“Come with me?” The determination in his tone was snuffed out by the rise of the end of his request, turning it into a question and he watched with a growing sadness as Lily dropped her gaze, remaining silent. The expression on her face now told Severus all he needed to know, that she could not.
Drawing in a deep breath, he tried not to let the emotions coursing through him now get the better of him as he stepped toward the door. When he glanced over his shoulder he could already see Lily fading but rather than the sadness which he had felt in the build up to witnessing her disappear once more, he was soothed by a wave of relief washed over him yet again. A sense of closure overcame him now as the door eased shut and Severus sighed, smiling genuinely for a second time as he accepted his fate – as a true hero would.
His library was a fine dark place bricked with books, so anything could happen there and always did. All you had to do was pull a book from the shelf and open it and suddenly the darkness was not so dark anymore. – Ray Bradbury, Farewell Summer.
To ask, “what is a library?” may be a question which gains nothing but confused looks and sniggers from those within hearing distance. Why, the answer is simple, isn’t it? A library is just a building like many others and inside that building books are kept. These books are available to be read free of charge within the library itself or taken out on loan to be read elsewhere until eventually being returned to its original shelf. Yes?
No. A library is so much more than that simplistic and mundane description. A library is a place in which every book lover may find solace. It is a haven in which books are kept and protected, waiting for the moment in which a curious individual chooses to pick them up and allow the book to transport them to whichever time, place, or other world that exists within its pages…
So how and when did the idea of such a place come into existence? If you look closely, libraries have existed throughout history in many shapes and forms, from temples filled with clay tablets and hieroglyphics to small book collections kept in monasteries, to the existence of public and even national libraries. They all serve the purpose of storing and providing access to official and legal records, historical and religious documents, and books of fact and fiction alike. By examining the history of libraries, we can see that they have existed almost for as long as humankind itself and holds significance to most—if not all—of the individuals alive today. Even within the modern world, libraries are available to the public in many forms, ranging from public libraries to academic libraries and even mobile libraries which essentially bring the books to you!
What is it, then, that makes libraries so popular? What makes them popular as to allow them to remain in existence and even to progress to a state in which books come to us, rather than the public having to travel to a library in pursuit of a good read?
Libraries now allow for a multitude of books to be accessible to the public ranging from all sorts of subject matters—books of facts, autobiographies, biographies, fictional works, graphic novels, and comic books… These can all be found under the roof of your nearest library. Of course, books are not all that can be found there. Throughout time, libraries have advanced and expanded their own horizons as to keep up with the times in which we live. Computers, e-books, audiobooks, and even amenities such as a café and public toilets can be found within the vicinity, allowing for individuals to spend hours upon end within the library. The best part of it all is that it’s free—aside from the café, of course!
The atmosphere of the library itself is something that is cherished by its visitors; the comforting silence which descends once you’ve entered the building, broken only by the sound of turning pages, computer keys being tapped away at ,and the hushed whispers of those excited readers conversing with one another. This topped with the friendly and comforting greetings given by the librarians themselves and the support, encouragement, and guidance which they provide further aid in making visitors feel welcome to both stay and return in the future. However, the amenities, atmosphere, and company aren’t the only things which makes going to a library worthwhile. Many libraries also hold events as well to attract more publicity and to give their visitors and readers a chance to interact with one another and sometimes even the beloved authors of their favourite books—as though libraries couldn’t get anymore incredible!
Furthermore, a library not only is special because of what it provides, but because of what else can be gained from it. Upon entering a library, there is an overwhelming sense of community and belonging which can be felt. A silent recognition between the individuals inside the building that each of them hold a mutual respect for the library’s rules and the library itself. Alas with these modern libraries being accessible to individuals of all ages it is understandable that, at times, us library-goers may take them for granted. The library acts as a second home to book lovers and with that comes the blissful ignorance at just how special the buildings and what they provide are.
Perhaps you are one of those who have fallen into the unfortunately inevitable habit of entering a library, grabbing the books you want and leaving in a hurry to read them in the comfort of your own home… If this is the case, then why not take a few moments the next time you are visiting your local library to stop and observe. Look around at the others seated with their eyes plastered to the pages of books, the shelves filled with endless opportunities to venture to somewhere new and admire just how majestic and wondrous the library truly is!
One question often posed to readers and writers alike is to what degree fanfiction is considered ‘true literature’. Whilst this article alone will not settle the debate, which still ranges on across the reader community, it will hopefully allow more insight into what fanfiction actually is, why people write and read it, and also why it still remains incredibly popular.
First and foremost, the concept of fanfiction must be defined in order for an understanding of it to be gained. Fanfiction is a division of fiction which consists of stories written by fans, who use the worlds and characters that are already in existence to form another story. More often than not, these stories venture from the canon created by the original author of the works. A lot of individuals who are unfamiliar with the process of fanfiction writing often confuse the works produced by fans as ‘(semi) plagiarised content’, judging said fanfiction writers and slating them for the ‘theft of another’s creation’ or their ‘lack of imagination’ and ‘inability to create work of their own’. What those judgemental individuals should come to accept is that: “Fanfiction isn’t copying – it’s a celebration. One long party, from the first capital letter to the last full stop!” – Jasper Fforde, One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing.
So now that we’re familiar with what fanfiction is, let’s look into why people write and read it.
There are, in fact, many reasons as to why people write and read fanfiction and it is clear that the acts of doing so have become integrated into fandom life.
But I don’t want to write my own fiction,” Cath said, as emphatically as she could. “I don’t want to write my own characters or my own worlds — I don’t care about them. . . I’d rather pour myself into a world I love and understand than try to make something up out of nothing. – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
One of the more popular reasons from both writing and reading fanfiction is that it allows fans to exercise their imaginations and explore various ‘what if’ scenarios regarding their beloved fandoms. For example, what if Harry Potter had become friends with Draco Malfoy? What if John and Sherlock had both been gay and Johnlock was indeed a canon ship? All these potential storylines explored by a ton of writers who post their works online for the other fans of the show to enjoy. As well as the ‘what ifs’, many writers of fanfiction also write in order to expand the Universe further, stretching their fandoms world to encorporated and coincide with another. This is known as a ‘crossover’ and actually makes for some interesting fanfictions to be created, just imagine the characters from Teen Wolf meeting those from The Vampire Diaries, or Merlin seeking the help of Doctor Who to go back in time and change the past… This is the kind of thing which people write fanfiction about. Additionally, fanfiction writing also serves a purpose as fanfiction allows for the story to continue even if the franchise, TV show, or book series etc has ended. I suppose this could raise the question: Can a Fandom ever truly die? If fanfiction is a means of making sure the answer to that question is no, then why on earth would someone dislike the existence of the activity?
But many more exist so that writers of fanfiction may share their works, read the works of others and discuss an endless amount of theories and scenarios, whether canon or not. So, perhaps you have an idea for a story that you can’t stop thinking about, why not write it and post it on one of these sites for others to read? And if you’re worried that you’ll receive nothing but criticise be assured of one thing, there is definitely someone out there who is interested in reading your take on a particular fandom or ship!
Young Merlin is far from ordinary. Possessing the power of magic, Merlin longs for someone to teach him how to hone his skills and give him purpose. Arriving in Camelot, the young Sorcerer learns that his destiny is much greater than he could have perceived: to protect the Prince, Arthur Pendragon, so that he can – one day – become the King of Camelot and unite the lands. However, Merlin must be careful as both friend and foe alike pose threat and he must protect Arthur whilst also hiding the fact that he has magic – for in Camelot magic is outlawed and being exposed could just mean that Merlin is put to death…
If, after reading that, you are still uncertain as to whether or not you should put aside some of your time and dedicate it to watching (or re-watching) the show, then here are a few reasons as to why that is exactly what you should do!
Having aired from 2008-2012, Merlin is a completed series, which can be watched at the viewer’s own leisure. No need to suffer through hiatus, it is the perfect opportunity for you to binge-watch the entire show at the click of a button! What’s even better is that this fantasy-adventure series is packed with five epic seasons filled with magical action which all the family can enjoy.
One aspect of the show which makes it exciting to watch is that the action is spread evenly throughout each of the five seasons, meaning that there is no season which feels less important than the others. Each season, whilst action packed, is not too overwhelming in terms of the events which occur and each one—in fact each episode—will undoubtedly leave the viewer craving more.
Now, much like the issue some have with the Harry Potter series, some of you may be thinking that you won’t find Merlin enjoyable because what with all that magic and those mythical creatures… it’s just ‘completely unrealistic’ and a waste of time, right? Wrong! The story features some very significant and prominent themes which do in fact feature in the reality of our everyday lives. From friendship to betrayal, the exploration of life and death, Merlin is a show which takes these concepts and holds the potential to teach the viewers about them within a fictional setting.
Why not allow your children to understand the values of friendship by watching the bond between Merlin and Arthur grow throughout the course of the show? Allow Morgana to show you what it means to be independent and brave enough to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. More importantly, allow the show to assist you in believing that it is always okay to be your true self!
This alone is a reason in itself as to why you should watch Merlin. If not for the individual characters and their own storylines and impressive development, the way in which they interact with the other characters made for compelling watch. From the humour-filled bromance between Arthur and Merlin, the strange bond between Morgana and Mordred, and the tragic love story of Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere, the relationships of the characters allows for the fans to dive into the shipping realm of the fandom just as any other good drama does. These relationships, with the additional bonus of many others, not only proves to be entertaining drama, but in fact goes to show how people can enter our lives for a mere moment yet hold influence over us in a much greater way and how some relationships are just meant to be.
To conclude, those are only a few of the reasons in existence as to why you should watch Merlin. So, what are you waiting for? Go forth and enjoy the five season series filled with warlocks, witches, all kinds of magical creatures, knights in shining armour, and a story which “will live long in the hearts of men”.
What is a “fandom”? Of course, if you’re interested in discovering the definition then you could just use Google to search for and find your answer. Google defines the word fandom as “the state or condition of being a fan of someone or something” and “the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc. regarded collectively as a community or subculture”. In regard to this examination of fandoms within the society of us readers, TV show lovers, and movie fanatics, neither definition is wrong.
However, neither definition succeeds in doing anything beyond scratching the surface as to what fandoms truly are. The term ‘community’ used in the definition provided by Google is fitting yet doesn’t quite express the strength and power to which being a part of a fandom holds. ‘Community’ portrays this idealistic, yet untrue, image of a large collection of individuals living and expressing their mutual love for said thing in harmony. However, there are times in which being a part of a fandom, or indeed multiple fandoms, is anything but harmonious… Therefore, it could be more fitting to use a different term to describe what fandoms are: fandoms are families. Those a part of a fandom can most likely agree to this use of terminology.
Fandoms are filled with people worldwide who come together to participate in the discussion of their favourite TV shows, books, movies, etc. Those individuals participate in a wide variety of activities which play a part in the ‘fandom life’ such as fanfiction writing, drawing fanart, and roleplaying etc.
There are many fandoms which exist today, some more popular than others and each with their own delights and disasters. Examples of the more popular fandoms today are as follows:
Potterheads – fans of the Harry Potter book/movie series
Whovians – Doctor Who fanatics
Thronies – Game of Thrones fans
Sherlockians – Sherlock fans, mostly those who are fans of the BBC TV series although it does extend to those who are fans solely of the movie adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes tales starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law
Merlinians – Fans of the beloved show Merlin which featured also on the BBC channel
Other fandoms which exist revolve around a mixture of TV shows, movies, books and even just individual actors, such as Shadowhunters, Supernatural, Teen Wolf, The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, Lord of the Rings, Twilight and more…
But whilst all these fandom ‘families’ may dwell within their own fictional worlds, sometimes two separate fandoms, or even three, may co-join with one another. This occurrence is known as a crossover and is often seen in fanfiction or even encountered during roleplaying, examples of this include:
PotterLock – In which the Sherlock characters are enrolled or have been at Hogwarts much like the characters of Harry Potterthemselves.
SuperWhoLock – A mix of Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Sherlock characters merged together to create an even wider universe for fanfiction writing and roleplaying prompts.
The fandoms mentioned and the others which exist are able to merge so easily now with the help that the Internet provides and sites like Twitter, Tumblr, ArchiveOfOurOwn, Fanfiction.net, and those used for roleplaying help to further expand the material surrounding a fandom by use of the fans’ imagination. One of the advantages which the Internet has with providing fans with the opportunity to interact with one another and create even their own material is that it allows—more often than not—for fans to keep the show alive even after it is over. For example, the BBC TV Show Merlin which ended in 2014 and MTV’s Teen Wolf has long been kept alive with the help of fans sharing their own AU fan fictions and fan art via sites such as Tumblr and even groups which can be found on Facebook. However, it’s not just the internet which allows for fans to interact with each other and even with their favourite actors and authors alike, but events held like Comic-Con allow for fans to gather, cosplay (dress up as their favourite characters), and meet those whom they admire!
Of course, as stated earlier in this article, not everything about being a part of a fandom is smiles, laughter, and fans coming together without complaint or disagreement… Fandoms are like families, after all, and families have their rocky patches. A big issue with the fandom life is the controversy which comes with being an individual fan in a sea of them, each with their own beliefs surrounding the material which canon provides. One of the biggest controversies within a fandom comes with the idea of shipping.
More often than not, fans are happy with the final relationships which come out of the works produced by their beloved authors and directors. However, this isn’t always the case and even if it is, where is the fun in refusing to explore the various outcomes of a product. Various ships which exist out with canon are:
Dramione – Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series Jalec – Jace Herondale and Alec Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments series Newtmas – Newt and Thomas from The Maze Runner series Sterek – Stiles Stilinski and Derek Hale from the Teen Wolf series Cherik – Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr from the X-Men series JohnLock – John Watson and Sherlock Holmes from the Sherlock series Merthur – Merlin and Arthur Pendragon from the Merlin series
All these ships allow for individual fans to explore the “what if’s” of their favourite movies, TV shows, and romance storylines. However, not everyone is a fan of a particular ship or in agreement of two characters being anything more than what they are in canon or even just friends and so the controversy starts. Shipping is not the only thing within a fandom which causes controversy either, more often than not fans headbutt each other when it comes to the many theories which each of them create; theories such as “How Did Sherlock Holmes survive? Is Jim Moriarty truly dead? Is the new Doctor being a woman a good thing? What if Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter had become friends in Year 1? What if Arthur had known about Merlin’s magic all along?” All of these theories can be found somewhere online with a great number of people arguing their own case, agreeing, disagreeing, and providing evidence to back up their points, the entire experience of joining in or even just observing is highly intriguing.
As stated, all these fan interactions allow for a fandom to remain alive through the fans themselves but just how far are fans willing to go to save what they love? One fandom, in particular, is the perfect example to use when exploring this question.
With the cancellation of the Shadowhunters series being announced on June 5th 2018, the fans of the beloved show were sent into a frenzy and it’s clear that Freeform picked the wrong fandom to mess with… The below image provides merely a few stories as to what lengths the fans have gone to in their attempts to save the show from creating the trending tweets #saveshadowhunters, #savetheshadowworld and sharing multiple images throughout the internet to hiring a plane to fly over the Netflix HQ carrying the banner #saveshadowhunters and more!
With campaigns being held over the social media and petitions going around via Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, countless fans doing their part in helping to save the shadow world which we have come to love from the moment it hit our screens, there is no doubt that proof exists as to how important fandoms can be to us fangirl and fanboys. And whilst the fate of the show can not yet be determined, it’s clear that the dedication shown by fans allow for everyone to see how much of a family the fans truly are. They may be at war with one another at times regarding various aspects of the show, but mess with the show itself and the fans will stand together to fight side by side to save what has allowed for them to create such a family in the first place.
If you’re after a new YA book-to-movie adaptation, then The Darkest Minds will be fixing your cravings this month. The new film is based on the novel written by Alexandra Bracken of the same name and the trailer teases fans with a visual as to what they can expect in the upcoming movie.
The sci-fi thriller directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 3) is set to have a run time of an hour and 45 minutes, which will provide the audience with ample time to experience and action-packed and dystopian-like adventure, which could very well rival the entertainment levels provided to us by the popular The Hunger Games series…
From the producers of Stranger Things, the trailer for The Darkest Minds certainly has a peculiar feel to it and it even has similarities the movies such as The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and X-Men – creating yet another example of children with unnatural powers and abilities being forced to band together to overthrow those in positions of power.
The Darkest Minds follows the character of 16-year-old Ruby, played by Amanda Stenberg (Everything, Everything), who just so happens to be one of the most powerful of those now possessing ‘gifts’ that anyone has ever encountered. After escaping her camp, Ruby is united with a group of runaway teenagers who are attempting to seek somewhere safe to hide from the Government determined to capture them. Together, she and her new friends come together to conduct a resistance to stand against those who betrayed them by putting each of their individual abilities to use to save the future of them all. As stated by another character capable of extraordinary abilities within the trailer; “The only people who would ever help us… are us.”.
Overall, The Darkest Minds looks to be a successful movie, which could attract a wide audience and if you are interested in being a part of it and witnessing the revolution begin, then there isn’t much longer to wait. The Darkest Minds is hitting theatres internationally this month, so check out your local listings to find out when you can go see it!
The Darkest Minds stars Amandla Stenberg (Everything, Everything), Mandy Moore (This Is Us), Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Skylan Brooks (The Get Down), Harris Dickinson (Trust), and Miya Cech (American Horror Story).
They took everything from him. Now he’s taking it back.
That is just one of the taglines used to help advertise the movie, American Assassin, which is an adaptation of Vince Flynn’s 2010 novel of the same name. The movie brings Flynn’s characters to life and allows the audience to witness the events that turned college student Mitch Rapp into one of the CIA’s top assassins.
Directed by Michael Cuesta, this action thriller has a run time of just under two hours that effortlessly manages to keep viewers on the edge of their seats throughout its entirety. Rated 18 due to the violent nature of many scenes within the film, American Assassin has been criticised for being another stereotypical spy movie, such as the Jason Bourne movies. However, despite the similarities of having a character recruited into the secret service/CIA and ultimately becoming a well-known and skilled agent, American Assassin creates a new kind of origin tale.
Enter Mitch Rapp: this generations Jason Bourne who is topped with the determination of Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills in Taken and a whole load of self-taught skills to boot. Portrayed by Dylan O’Brien (known for The Maze Runner and Teen Wolf), Mitch Rapp is a young man who becomes determined to wipe out the terrorists throughout the world after losing his fiancée in an attack whilst on holiday together. This event, which is cleverly shown to the audience through a dream, is the catalyst for Rapp to put himself through an extensive and rigorous training scheme. This allows him to manage his own resources in order to infiltrate and take down the terrorist groups unfortunate enough to be targeted.
While infiltrating the terrorist group that played part to his fiancée’s death, Mitch Rapp is apprehended by the CIA to be psychologically examined. Rapp learns that whilst he has been tracking terrorists, the CIA has been tracking him for recruitment, which is overseen by the CIA’s Deputy Director, Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan). From this point on, Mitch Rapp is able to develop his skills to become the ultimate killer with the reluctant help of former veteran, Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton), who spends the majority of the program attempting to humiliate and push Rapp over the edge with a number of twisted mind games.
The psychological torture that Stan puts Mitch through on-screen makes it difficult to know whether or not Hurley is one that can be trusted. His determination to have Rapp packing his bags and quit the program equally rivals Rapp’s willpower and desire to stay. The constant attempts to put Rapp down coupled with his never-ending criticism of the way in which Rapp works best makes it clear from the very beginning that in one way or another the ex-veteran is out to get the young recruit. However, this ‘tough-love’ form of pushing Rapp turns out to be a somewhat reasonable means of attempting to keep Rapp under control and focused on the tasks at hand especially when the it is revealed to the audience that Rapp is not the first rogue-goer recruit that Hurley has taken under his wing…
It Takes One To Know One. Every good hero needs a villain to complete them and no antagonist is more fitting than one with numerous similarities to the protagonist. Cue “Ghost”, a mysterious character that not even readers of the book would be expecting to be introduced to. This clever twist within the plot makes for an even more compelling story in regard to both the plot itself and the character relationships throughout it. Ghost portrayed by Taylor Kitsch was once in Mitch’s position and has now travelled down a darker path with the aim of building a nuclear device. With the main antagonist of the story holding so many similarities with Rapp’s character, it isn’t impossible to imagine just how easily it would be for Mitch to end up following in the same footsteps. It’s not surprising as to why Hurley was so hard on Rapp—clearly the older man just didn’t want to be responsible for another Agent turned traitor.
Another character relationship which the movie cleverly dives into is that relationship between Hurley and his former recruit, Ghost. Having encountered Mitch Rapp twice now throughout the course of the movie, Ghost seems adamant that he meets the young protegé once again although it’s clear that the next time will not result in Rapp evading death as he so cleverly manages within the film.
In a gruesome and nail-biting scene towards the end of the movie, Hurley is captured and interrogated by Ghost who tortures Hurley for information on the whereabouts of his team. The questions quickly narrowed down to one member of Hurley’s team in particular: Mitch Rapp. With Mitch on his way to the location where Hurley is being kept by Ghost, the cliché hero versus villain fight quickly approaches and the face off between Mitch and Ghost provides the audience with one of the most intense and gritty fights shown on-screen as Mitch attempts to stop Ghost from succeeding in his mission of detonating the nuclear bomb. With the stakes high and time running out, Mitch will have to compile everything that he has learned over the past few months in order to defeat someone who is quite possibly the only match for himself before it is too late…
Written by Alyson Noel, The Immortals is a young adult fantasy books series consisting of six individual novels. From Evermore to Everlasting, the tale is beyond gripping and filled with many moments which will have the reader dying to know what comes next…
The series follow the life of a young teenager, Ever Bloom, who possesses many peculiar abilities after being the lone survivor of a car crash which killed her family. Gifted, or rather cursed, to see auras, hear thoughts, and know a person’s entire life story through one simple touch causes Ever to work hard to isolate herself from others and avoid human contact at all costs. Cue Damen Auguste: tall, dark, and handsome, he surprises Ever by being ‘unreadable’. With no aura, and immune to Ever’s gifts, he holds many secrets and the biggest one of all could explain why Ever can’t ‘read’ him—because those whom Ever has been unable to read are dead…
If you’re still unsure if you should put aside your time to dedicate it to reading The Immortals series, then here are a few reasons as to why you should!
Author Alyson Noel’s talent of being a successful writer ultimately shines through every word as the plot is spread evenly throughout all six books, allowing for each novel to be a definite page-turner but never once overwhelming the reader with too much information. Furthermore, this also allows for the plot to thicken at a steady pace and for the stakes to rise within the events which occur throughout each individual novel.
An Excellent Blend
The story itself is filled with everything that a reader could ask for: Adventure, romance, loss, love, betrayal, friendship, and everything that makes a story truly great. The novels incorporate each of these genres and more into the story, making The Immortals a series which could be enjoyed by many readers. The Immortals combines both the real world and fictional world which Noel created effortlessly, allowing for a change in setting throughout the books and more intriguing read as the readers not only get to enjoy seeing the characters within and outside their comfort zones.
Speaking of a romantic tale, the presence of romance within the novels itself is a reason alone as to why the books should be read. Who doesn’t enjoy a good romance novel, especially one which tells the story of a forbidden romance, in which nearly every outside force is trying to come between two destined lovers? If that sounds like the genre of book which you would enjoy, then add The Immortals book series to your TBR pile right now.
One aspect of Noel’s novels which should also be commended is her ability to provide readers of The Immortals series with a wide variety of characters, each of whom can spark several emotions within the reader. From the main character to those mentioned briefly, each character is one whom the reader can either relate to or can find similarities in with people from their own realities. Throughout the entirety of the series, Ever’s ability to ‘read’ individuals allows us to gain an insight into many other characters of whom we would not be able to if this series were written like any other novel.
A Complete Series
Finally, one of the advantages which comes with reading The Immortals book series written by Alyson Noel is that the series is complete—something which many readers often find comfort in. No waiting around and twiddling thumbs in wait for the next book to be written or published. The entire series is available to buy and read in whichever form of reading you enjoy best at your own pleasure.
However, if you do decide to read the series and are wary of perhaps wanting more, then the spin-off series also written by Alyson Noel titled the Riley Bloom series is also complete and available to read also! This series tells the story of Riley Bloom, Ever’s sister, in the afterlife following the events of the crash. This allows for the reader to dive once more into the wondrous world which Alyson Noel has created…
Let me take this opportunity to introduce myself. . .
My name is Stacey, I’m 23 years-old and last year I was hit with a wave of inspiration. I am forever watching people on YouTube carry out book reviews, movie reviews etc. and the idea appealed to me. There was just one major block in the plan: I’m not too fond of being in front of the camera myself and so I sat down and explored the other ways in which individuals put forth their thoughts online. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram to name a few provided me with some possible means of doing so but I wanted something better, something which I could truly make my own.
Cue the re-awakening of my fascination with journalism and so I poured over various entertainment magazines (Empire being my favourite), and my seemingly endless search online for sites that would provide the opportunity to do what I was passionate about. . . I was lucky enough to find the site The Nerd Daily, which allowed me not only to write reviews which would be published online but a variety of other articles as well.
Still, there was something appealing to me about having my own personal blog and so here we are: my blog which will bring to you my reviews, opinions and thoughts on movies, TV shows, books, and even just the occasional opinion of mine.
Comments are moderated by myself but feel free to comment and respond and we can discuss regarding the topic of choosing. I also take recommendations, if you have a book, TV show or movie you’d like me to review, character you’d like me to discuss or just general topics relevant to every day reality. NOTE: I will plan blog plans in advance so please keep this in mind.
Now, that’s enough from me for now – just sit back and the blogging will commence in one hour.