Friday, 28 October 2016

Hello October // Holly's Halloween Movie Nights

Please welcome back Holly from The Arts Shelf who is sharing her favourite Halloween movies!

No Halloween is complete without a selection of scary movies, and these are a few of my favourites.

1: Nightmare Before Christmas

Okay, this one isn’t scary, but it’s still a Halloween staple; and a Christmas one too.

2: Ghost Ship.

I watched this one as a teen and it absolutely chilled me to the core. Now I’m older and can stomach the gore a little better, it’s become a favourite.

3: Cry Wolf.

This one’s a bit of a mind bender, and honestly a fave film whatever time of the year. Great both the first and second times around, it also doesn’t hurt that it stars Jared Padalecki.

4: Beetlejuice.

An absolute classic, passed down from my parents. Funny and freaky, Halloween wouldn’t be complete without this side of crazy.

5: Friday the 13th.

Whether the original or the remake, this story does not go amiss on the night of October 31st. If you want gore and a creepy location that will haunt your dreams, look no further.

What are your favourite Halloween movies? Let us know on Twitter!



Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Hello October // My must-see movies for Halloween

 One of the best things about the countdown to Halloween is ALL OF THE MOVIES! Ever since I was little, it's been one of the only months of the year (of course there's Christmas too...) that I just love snuggling up with blankets, tea and a stack of DVDs. Each year I always find something new and exciting to watch but there's always those films that are absolute staples of my October watch list. They are as follows:

1. Nightmare Before Christmas
I watch this film all year round but on 31st October & 24th December it is an absolute STAPLE. I'm very lucky that my boyfriend is understanding and will watch it with me and make appropriate excitable faces at all the right moments just to appease me. He's a keeper :)

2. Corpse Bride
Much like NBC, Corpse Bride has become one of those films where it just doesn't feel like Halloween without a good re-watch of it. This art style is my favourite and it fills my heart a little more with every year that passes.

3. Frankenweenie
......So you can probably see a theme by now =P As I said, I love this art style and it just doesn't feel complete without watching all 3 of the films in a big binge session!

4. Hocus Pocus
This one doesn't really need any explanation. From as far back as I can remember, we watched Hocus Pocus every year. It's completely fantastical and even as a 28 year adult I just can't help but love it.

5. House of 1000 Corpses
I LOVE a good horror film. Unfortunately, I am surrounded by people who completely refuse to join in the horror love and so I end up watching them by myself either a few days before or early November once the Halloween madness has calmed down and there are less people around. Saying that though, I can't happily pass up a chance to watch House of 1000 Corpses on Halloween. It's not much of a horror as it as a comedy (to me, at least) but it's definitely a film that I watch yearly for Halloween.

In addition to those 5, I pick a new film each year to watch and celebrate my favourite day of the year. Past picks have included classics like Braindead, Trick R Treat and of course, the Halloween films. Let me know if there are any films that you absolutely HAVE to see for Halloween!

Please get in touch if you'd like to be featured during the month. Any submissions are accepted as long as they are received by 30th October

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Hello October // Brianna Reviews - Taken by Benedict Jacka

Published: 6th September 2012
Publisher: Orbit
Format: Paperback
Synopsis: Welcome to Fountain Reach. Ancient seat of the Aubuchon dynasty. Majestic setting of the White Stone tournament Alex Verus' (not necessarily reliable) reputation attracts all sorts. Most are plain bonkers. Yet there's one invitation he just can't refuse At Fountain Reach, Alex is perfectly placed among the noted and notorious to figure out why apprentices have been vanishing. But the tournament is a minefield of ancient grudges and new threats and Alex can't afford to miss a trick as his elusive adversary stays one step ahead in this most dangerous of games.

Alex is definitely beginning to pick up a reputation for investigating things – or maybe just for finding is way right slap bang in the middle of trouble. He has been asked or pointed in the direction of Fountain Reach by several people and he has also been asked to quietly looking into the disappearances of several apprentices although a lot of people seem to know that he has been asked. So obviously Alex and Luna set off for Fountain Reach to investigate the creepy house.

I would like to start off by saying: Yes, no Deleo/Rachael!

As predicted both Sonder and Talisid make a reappearance, the more I see Sonder the more I like him. Other reappearances include Onyx and Morden. But sadly no appearance from Starbreeze, I hope she comes back soon. 

I feel like Luna takes a fairly central role in Taken despite that fact that Alex spends more time with Anne. I really like the way that we get to see the way in which Luna is changing in this book (for the good) there is definitely a noticeable difference between her in the last book and her in this book as she is becoming more confident and learning to control her curse more as well as learning more about mage society. There is also a change in the relationship between her and Alex, he’s no longer trying to push her away and accepting that she can also take risks, not just him.

I liked Anne from the moment she appeared it might have just been because she is friends with Luna, but she quickly won me over herself Variam took a little longer, in fact I’m still not sure I like him.

I found the house in this very creepy from the first time Alex visited it, in fact in places I almost had goosebumps, I think it’s that feeling of a building somehow watching you, that idea has always creeped me out, although I guess in this case it was more than a feeling.  I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil it, not because it isn’t something you can’t guess but because I really enjoyed the ‘who did it and how’ of this book, and in my opinion it is exactly the right mix of creepy, dark and disturbing. The longer you dwell on the scene inside the old shed with the bath tub, the worse it gets.

It’s starting to bug me a little how little we actually know about Alex, I still want to know how he became a mage, was he one before he met Richard? What about his parents? How old is he? (he seemed older in this book than he did in the others) and I also wonder how much other characters know about him, is it common knowledge that he was a Dark apprentice, because Natasha has her little speech about how Anne and Variam started off as Dark apprentices, yet Variam has a go at Alex for not understanding what it was like to be a Dark apprentice and to escape from it, which if Alex’s past was common knowledge surely Variam would realise earlier that Alex wasn’t judging him and Anne.  And if Alex didn’t finish being an apprentice, how come he’s not still one, and who taught him how to be a diviner I know he learnt from the Diviner from the first book (sorry I’ve forgotten his name) but Alex mentioned that it had never been a Master, Apprentice arrangement which to me suggests that he learnt from someone else. Maybe Alex’s past is something we’ll pick up slowly from each book.

Of course I will read the next book, I want to see if Luna continues to use her whip, if anne and Variam stick around did Onyx get out or have we seen the last of him… and more importantly does Starbreeze come back?

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Hello October // Holly's Cosplayers


In honour of Halloween, I’ve made a list of my top 5 characters who I think would Cosplay, come October 31st.

1: Brandon and Abel, from How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J C Lillis.

Of course Brandon and Abel would spend Halloween cosplaying their favourite characters, Sim and Captain Cadmus, respectively.

2: Kaz Brekker, from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

I’m pretty sure Kaz would dress up for the occasion, if only for a job. Grisha? Stadwatch guard? His choice in itself however is a mystery.

3: Lucien, from A Court of Thorns and Roses by S J Maas.

Tamlin would hate to wear a mask, and Rhysand would probably wear one just to annoy Tam, but I think Lucien would be game for costumes and a good time.

4: Simon Spier, from Simon Vs The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

Would it be weird to suggest that Simon would dress-up as an Oreo? Or maybe he would join his friend Abel as Captain Cadmus?

5: Rhy Maresh, from A Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab.

I honestly think Rhy, accompanied by Alucard, would make a fabulous pirate. But maybe that’s just me?

 Do you have any Cosplay Character suggestions? Let us know on Twitter!



Thanks Holly! This is such a wonderfully creative list and has definitely got me thinking about other book characters i'd love to see cosplay as someone else! Please do share any fan art or other cosplay ideas with us. You could even share your own list right here on the blog! Please get in touch :)

Friday, 21 October 2016

Hello October // Brianna Reviews - Cursed by Benedict Jacka

Published: 7th June 2012
Publisher: Orbit
Format: Paperback
Synopsis: Since his second sight made him infamous for defeating powerful dark mages, Alex has been keeping his head down. But now he's discovered the resurgence of a forbidden ritual. Someone is harvesting the life-force of magical creatures—destroying them in the process. And draining humans is next on the agenda. Hired to investigate, Alex realizes that not everyone on the Council wants him delving any deeper. Struggling to distinguish ally from enemy, he finds himself the target of those who would risk their own sanity for power...

After Fated I just had to continue on to the next book which didn’t disappoint. Someone is going around draining the magic out of magical creatures  and unsurprisingly Alex ends up in the middle of it all again, you would think being a diviner he wouldn’t keep accidently ending up in the middle of stuff, although this time it’s personal as whoever is targeting magical creatures could view Arachne as a target, so Alex agrees to help a council member track down who is doing it so that the knowledge of how can be destroyed and therefore eliminate the possible treat to Arachne and any like her.

I’m very confused when it comes to the characters in this book I’m also surprised to see Sonder make a reappearance, even though I wanted him to I didn’t really expect to see him again and I was also surprised to see Alex working for Talisid again.

I find myself liking people I shouldn’t like or don’t think I should like in this, the main culprit being Garrick I just couldn’t help but like him, and I don’t know why, it’s not like he gave me much reason to like him even after everything I was still hoping he got away. Is there something wrong with me? Or is he just a really likable bad guy? The other person that is Cinder although in his case there is some reason for liking him - he was also another person I was surprised to see again – he does help Alex and he isn’t half as stupid as he seems, but he also strikes me as somewhat loyal, even though he and Alex will never be friends, I have no doubt that Cinder would stick by Alex in a sticky situation so long as they weren’t on opposite sides.  The final character, and yes I’m classing it as a character is the Monkey Paw, I sort of like it, I know it’s not particularly good but I don’t know, I get the feeling it likes Alex and part of me thinks that it was trying to help, maybe it even picked Martin to try and warn Alex away from him, or maybe not, I just know I like it and it’s definitely a character in its own right. 

Arachne… what to say about Arachne… she is a GIANT SPIDER! I just can’t get passed it, I try and I like her but then I remember she is a giant spider and I just can’t feel so warm and fuzzy about her, I mean she is a giant spider, just nope. But I didn’t want anything to happen it her.

There are two things I feel very sad about the first is Starbreeze, will she come back, will Alex find another way of contacting her? Or is Starbreeze gone forever? Because I really like the air-headed air elemental.
The other thing is that I feel as if something was lost between Luna and Alex in this book but I can’t quite put my finger on what, but also that fact that even in Elsewhere they can no longer touch, but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see where it goes for both Luna and Alex and Starbreeze.

I know I’ve not discussed the plot all that much but I think that’s because to me the majority of the plot in Cursed is the characters

I will definitely be reading the next book in the series – I don’t think you could stop me if you tried although I am a little apprehensive as I don’t own the 4th one so I am going to have to stop after the next one, which makes me sad. I hope Alex’s last question to Arachne about the dragon is answered, because although Alex can work it out, I’m not sure I can. And I wonder if we’ll see more of Cinder, I’m sure this time that we’ll see more of Sonder, and part of me is equally sure that Cider will pop up again, personally I don’t much care if Rachel/Deleo makes a reappearance because I don’t actually like her.
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