Showing posts with label witches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label witches. Show all posts

Friday, 14 September 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Draco In A Bow




'“Okay, so look, so, Harry's birthday, yeah? Is soon. And the thing is, he's sort of... well, he doesn't need much. In general. And in... not general he can buy anything he fancies himself. So I kind of don't know what to get him. Except... I know that he fancies you...”'




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It's my birthday tomorrow (15th Sep)!

And as such, I'm totally picking a birthday-themed Drarry fic this week. Because birthday.

Yes, this is total Mindless Self Indulgence.


Friday, 17 August 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Draco the Writer. Harry the Reader.





           
'“You keep writing books about Harry!”

Every rational thought left Draco as dread filled his stomach. There was no way that Weasley had figured it out.'




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There are some things that you just don't know you need in your life...

...like Draco Malfoy writing novels about how much he yearns for Harry Potter, but nobody getting that that's what he's writing about.

...And then Ron being the only one to figure it out and no-one believing him.


Friday, 27 July 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Deeper Than You'd Think






'As always, it was completely Potter’s fault. How was Draco’s brain supposed to work properly, given these circumstances?'






You know when you start a fic like, 'oh this is gonna be cutesy with maybe a bit of angst and sexy thrown in'?




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And then 9 chapters later you're a f**king mess of feels because it was secretly about the deep sh** the whole time?!?!

...that.

(So many fanfic readers know what I'm talking about right now, and the noobs are like 'That'll never happen to me!' - oh contraire, dearest noobish nerdlets, it most certainly f**king will.

Because fanfiction likes to warp your soul and f**k with your brain.

#TrueStory. #GottaLoveItThough.)




(Fangirling notes: Feels are intense and hard to describe feelings/emotions)




Friday, 6 July 2018

Friday Fics Fix - The Future Is Weird (Ft. Harry Potter)








'The tall Death Eater was wearing a shirt that said, 'Hermione Has Forgotten How To Dance,' so Hermione dipped his face in mud.'





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OK, so this week's fic is a little bit different.

It's def. on the strange side, but there's a reason for that!

And all will be revealed *mysterious hand motions*

(I don't know what mysterious hand motions are either, just go with it.)




Friday, 15 June 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Coming Out Aro








'This was the perfect opportunity to come out. These were the people who deserved to know, if anyone did... But what if? Part of him whispered. What if they don’t accept you? What if everything goes wrong?' 






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Friday, 25 May 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Harry and Draco and a Fic I Love For Reasons Unknown









'They began to acknowledge one another in the halls, not in a way that anybody else took any degree of notice to, but as their silence slowly became louder to one another they spoke in hushed whispers in empty corridors and alcoves and in the back of the library.'









I don't know why I like this week's fic.

There's just... something about this fic. I don't know why.

There's not much of a plot. The prose is over-dramatic and over-flowery in places. And I have no idea what's going on with the characterisation.







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Sorry, that's not much of a ringing endorsement is it?

Maybe I'm not explaining it right. Cos this fic totally rocks.

Why? Well, because... because... I have no f**king clue. It's somehow amazing though.


Friday, 27 April 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Severely Severus

I know, I know, Severus Snape is kind of a divisive figure in the online bookish community, and with fans in general.




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Lotsa people love him - he's a hero, a tragic figure, a hopeless romantic.

Lotsa people hate him - he's a bully, a sneak, an obsessive and petty man.




Friday, 9 March 2018

Friday Fics Fix - On Witches and B**ches

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so why don't we get feminist for this week's Fics Fix?




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Too often, we dislike female characters - not least because their authors and/or creators make them unlikable.


Friday, 9 February 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Dumbledore is Gay. Dumbledore is Gay. Dumbledore. Is. Gay. Deal With It.

You may or may not know that the chance has once again been lost to allow the Harry Potter universe's Albus Dumbledore to BE gay on-screen.





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Why is that important when J K Rowling has already said (over ten years ago,) that Prof. Dumbledore is a gay dude? Because word-of-God/author is not the same as on-screen canonisation (official-ness.) It comes across as queer-baiting. At best.





Friday, 2 February 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Everyone From Harry Potter Has Mental Health Problems, M'k?

You want some Harry Potter fanfiction discussing mental health problems? (Of course you do, is that even a question?!)*




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This fic could be heavy sh** for some people, so be CAREFUL when reading my nerdlets.



Friday, 26 January 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Why So Sirius?

(Apologies for the title-pun. Couldn't resist ๐Ÿ˜…)


If there's one fandom that always goes above and beyond, it's the Potterheads.






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Yes, those fans of Harry Potter can always be counted on to take even the smallest of details from the books and run with them - to the extent that there are now fully-established fandoms within the fandom.

(Is that like fandom-ception or something?! So much meta.)

Quick warning: this post may contain some very mild Harry Potter spoilers.




Friday, 27 October 2017

Friday Fics Fix - Everybody's Waiting For the Next Surprise

It's still October so let's continue with the Harry Potter fics! (You know you want to!)




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And this one is actually based around Halloween! With no pumpkin sex! (Man, I've gotten lucky on the lack of pumpkin sex this year! Thank God.)

We have Halloween, Harry Potter, and gay af. Your argument is invalid. Life is wonderful. ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ’–




Friday, 6 October 2017

Friday Fics Fix - Because You're Mine

Since it's October - y'know, witchy and spoopy time and all - what's better than some Harry Potter?





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This is a fic I came across about Harry being asexual, and how, yes, he can be ace and still in a relationship with Ginny!

(Because fanfiction is going to save the ever-loving world dammit!!! The future is coming!!!!! *ahem* No, really. I'm fine.)




Monday, 13 February 2017

Review Time! - Santa Muerte by Lucina Stone

Santa Muerte title image


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Title: Santa MuerteSanta Muerte book cover

Author: Lucina Stone

Genre: New Adult/NA, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Witches, Vampires*, Werewolves*, Historical Fiction* (*ish)

Series: The Daniela Story #1

Amazon: UK - USA








A few starting notes:

I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author, Lucina Stone, who I'm in contact with on Twitter.

This does not affect the content of my review; my review is fair and honest.

I agreed to read this with only the vaguest of notions of what it was about - I had read Naz @ Read Diverse Books' review of it, but had mostly forgotten about it by the time Lucina Stone contacted me.

I definitely didn't realise that it was urban fantasy - so that was a pleasant surprise!

I love urban fantasy - a subgenre of paranormal which involves magical-type-people (witches, vampires, etc.) faffing about in cities and/or towns in which they have their own societies (sometimes open to human society, sometimes hidden.)

It's strange, really, since I don't like cities in general - too much of a rural kind of girl. *shrugs* But there you have it.






Premise:

Turns out there's more to Daniela's family than she thought there was.

In the year 2030, Daniela sees no end to the pain. Depressed and hurt by an abusive relationship, she tries to take her own life...

...and wakes up somewhere strange.

This can't be happening. She can't be in the 1920s... right?

Dani doesn't get this time period, has no idea about magic, and, with a farm-girl named Daphne in tow, is being chased by a bunch of people who want her dead - or at least in jail.

All she wants is to go home to her mothers, but that seems almost impossible from here...







Best bits:

I love the chatty tone of this book. Stone grabs hold of you and says, 'come on guys, this way!' Which is spot on.

And the time travel element is well done! DID YOU HEAR THAT???? THE TIME TRAVEL ELEMENT IS WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!

Too often, time travel gets unnecessarily messy, or even just plain naff, but not here.

Here we have the reality of suddenly finding yourself in a world full of racism and rigid gender rules (Daniela ends up posing as a dude because of her short hair and trousers.)

And it's an element which is missing from your average time travel plot: the day-to-day-ness of living in that period, especially as a person of colour (PoC) in the USA.







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I liked the Mexican variations on the stalwarts of urban fantasy.

All of the different species of the paranormal and urban fantasy worlds - vamps, wolves, witches, etc. are removed from their White European stereotypes and instead seen through the lens of Mexican folklore.

Most notably we have the brujas - the Mexican witches - who are written with skill and intrigue, and are far removed from the average urban fantasy witch-chick (who is normally a white goth-girl and/or biker-chick.)

The depression representation is good overall, devastatingly realistic as a whole - but I did have a minor issue with it, which I'll write about in the next section.

The sense of hopelessness and worthlessness depicted is accurate and heart-breaking, and Daniela doesn't magically get better the moment she ends up in 1923, meaning it's not treated as just a plot point.

And we get a same-sex, lesbian, parenting couple - which is awesome.








Not so great bits:

First thing, as ever, is first, here's the potentially distressing content from this book (hold on, there's some stuff to get through):
  • depression
  • attempted suicide
  • suicidal thoughts
  • hanging
  • abusive relationships
  • low self-worth/self-esteem
  • racism
  • racial slurs (including the 'n' word)
  • the KKK
  • lynching
  • segregation and discrimination
  • sexual abuse
  • child abuse
  • sexual assault
  • rape
  • torture
  • kidnapping
  • burning (as a form of torture)
  • attempted murder
  • homophobia
  • grave-robbing
  • missing persons investigation

I think that's everything - v. sorry if I've missed anything out.

There's swearing and violence; if you can handle all the other stuff though... *shrugs*

At one point, the phrase totem pole is used in as a metaphor in a non-native setting, which is seen as cultural appropriation, affecting some First Nations tribes (this piece by Robin R R Gray explains more.)

It was only once, but was still disappointing, and I hope won't occur again in future books.







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Also, and this one is more of a personal preference, the relationship between Dani's mothers is referred to as a lifestyle. I don't like this.

I'm aware that a lot of LGBTQ+ people are ok with it (especially from older generations,) but I am personally not a big fan of the term.

But then, a lot of LGBTQ+ people find the term queer very offensive, but I personally identify as both sexually fluid and queer.

I guess you just have to understand that some people will be offended by both of these terms, and you need to examine how and why AND WHETHER YOU SHOULD use them in any given context.

Occasionally it felt like the representation of Daniela's depression was a little bit hit-and-miss, simply because at the times when it wasn't affecting her so much it was almost as if it didn't matter any more.

Honestly though, the representation of depression was, overall, heartbreakingly affective.






Verdict:

This is a great book - a strong foundation for the series, with great characters and interesting paranormal elements.

If you're an urban fantasy fan, this is a must. But those not so familiar with the genre will love it too.




UPDATE 22nd APRIL 2017:

A couple of people have raised issues with the lesbian and depression representation in this book, as well as a few other matters. Some people have equated Dani's lesbian mother having sex with a man with biphobia.

I personally don't agree with the lesbian rep/biphobia criticism - because if anyone knows that sexuality is fluid, it's yours truly. But I see the validity of the points made.

For an overview of the issues that some people have with this book, see C T Callahan's Goodreads review.

I do find C T Callahan more than a little harsh on this book, but you guys all know that I believe in having all the cards on the table so that you can make up your own minds.

















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Monday, 23 January 2017

My 7 Top Picks of 2016's Books

(This post contains a flashing/fast-moving gif which may cause problems to those with photosensitive medical conditions.)


2016 wasn't 100% bad - just, like, 85%, or something. Anyway, there were some pretty awesome books!

I've purposefully picked books with 2016 release dates here - but I should point out that I also read some pretty great 'back-list' (pre-2016) titles during the year, they're just not on the list.




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So, these are my picks of books released in 2016, that I read in 2016. Everyone got that? Great.

(And yes, I know this post is technically 'late' - but I make my own rules dammit!)













I'm also uber-pleased to note that most of these are diverse books - so anyone who says diverse books are lower quality needs to go and ask themselves some serious questions ๐Ÿ˜‡

They are also all written by women - girls rock!





Here we go then (and in no particular order, because I am a wuss who can't rank books over each other):




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Nina Is Not Ok by Shappi Khorsandi


Nina Is Not OK book cover

Amazon links: UK - US




For my international readers (and boy is that a phrase I'm never going to get used to,) who may not have heard of her, Shappi Khorsandi is an Iranian-British comedic genius.

Her first novel though, is not light-hearted. It's not funny. It's not for the faint of heart. And it's freaking incredible.

Seriously, this is one that I'm sooooo happy I had a digital review copy of, because I was so privileged to be one of the first people to read it.

Since then, I've basically been like 'read the thing!' whenever it's been possible to recommend it.

And I'm clearly not the only one, since it was recently nominated for the inaugural Jhalak Prize - though Khorsandi unfortunately withdrew the book from the longlist out of concern that drawing attention to her ethnicity might alienate white readers.

It's a disappointing decision, but it's far from my place to tell a person of colour (PoC) how to market their own book.

And it really is a fantastic book guys! You can see my full review here.






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Swan Boy by Nikki Sheehan


Swan Boy book cover

Amazon links: UK - US




Nikki Sheehan is a definite talent. I can't wait to see what she comes up with in the future.

Swan Boy is a remarkably artistic and lyrical kids' novel (middle grade/MG) and it's just... a stunningly beautiful read.

Honestly, it's amazing.

Check out my full review of Swan Boy here.






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Blood Stain, Vol 1 by Linda Sejic



Blood Stain Vol 1 cover

Amazon links: UK - US




Linda is an amazing person who writes awesome and oh-so relatable comics that make me laugh and bring me smiles when I need them.

You will love the hapless Elliott as she tries to make her way in this bizarre world of adulting (and she has levels of clumsiness and bad luck that most of us will recognise!)

You can see my full review of Blood Stain, Vol 1 here.






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Monstress, Vol 1: The Awakening


Monstress Vol 1 book cover

Amazon links: UK - US




ORHGUIREJNGOIRGHNKETMNHOEIROIJTGGWMKRNGHTOI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are very few books which I consider '5 star' books guys.

(And I have issues with the arbitrary and restrictive nature of star ratings anyway - which is why I don't use them on this blog!)

But, if there is such a thing as a five-star book, then THIS IS A 5 STAR BOOK.

It has everything - fantasy, world-building, a disabled Asian protagonist, and stunning artwork.

And I want to adopt the small fox child. Soooo cute!

The ladies in charge here - Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda - have a lot to be proud of.

You can see my fangirling ramble review here.





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Santa Muerte by Lucina Stone



Santa Muerte book cover

Amazon: UK - US


One which I haven't reviewed yet (but I will dammit! I will!)

Santa Muerte is an awesome-sauce first instalment in a new-adult urban fantasy series by the lovely Lucina Stone.

What is urban fantasy? It's only an uber-incredible sub-genre of paranormal and fantasy that involves paranormal-types faffing about in cities and/or towns!

Add in the focus on brujas (witches,) and a chatty prose-tone (that's totally a phrase now. Shh,) and what more do you want?!






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Luna the Vampire: Grumpy Space by Yasmin Sheikh


Luna the Vampire book cover

Amazon: UK - US




Do you want grumpy internet-style humour with bright colours and a millennial attitude? Of course you freaking do!

Seriously, Luna makes me smile. And will make you smile too.

Check out my review here.







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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova



Labyrinth Lost book cover

Amazon: UK - US



Another bruja book, although a lot different to Santa Muerte, Labyrinth Lost is the beginning of a YA series about a bisexual Brooklyn Latina girl, Alex, who has a big mess to clean up.

This one is so involving, and those of you looking for a new YA obsession and/or fandom need look no further!

You can see my review of Labyrinth Lost here.












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Saturday, 14 January 2017

#DisabilityDiaries2017 | Harry Potter and the Representation of Scarring

(Flashing Images Warning: there are some gifs with flashing images in this blogpost which may cause problems for those with photosensitive conditions such as epilepsy or migraines.)



Let's kick off Disability Diaries 2017 with something a little different. Let's talk about scars.

(The lovely Ely @ Tea and Titles came up with the idea of Disability Diaries - a week long event running from 14th-21st Jan 2017, discussing disability, books, and disability in books. 

Ely, myself, Angel @ Angel Reads, Dina @ Dinasoaur, Jolien @ The Fictional Reader, and Lara @ Another Teen Reader are running it.)












Scars. A physical sign of illness and injury. Not a disability, but often an indication of one, and often made into one by the way society treats them.





I have a lot of scars.




My scars are mundane - sorry, but there's no cool story of danger and adventure, neither is there any trauma you can romanticise.

But I'm covered in lines of silver, purple, and pink.

I scar easily - my skin is 'sensitive,' which is another way of saying 'my skin reacts to numerous substances and allergens, because my immune system treats them as a threat.' But that's not as pithy, I agree.

My skin also takes a long time to heal. So a simple scratch from my cat may leave a reddish purpleish line for 6 months or more.





So, with my variety of permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary scars, I notice the way we portray scars, in books and elsewhere.

Guess what? Society and media is cr*p at representation of scars. And for someone with low self-esteem (hello there! ๐Ÿ™‹) it can have a really negative affect on how you view yourself.





Shall we take our most well-known scarred hero as an example?

(And I'd like to just point out that, like most people, I love Harry Potter and simply want to use this as an example to discuss scarring. It's really not an attack on anyone's enjoyment of anything.)















What do we know about Harry Potter's famous scar?
  • it's lightning shaped
  • it's the result of a magical curse that rebounded
  • it's on his forehead
  • it gives him magical Spidey-sense to let him know when Voldemort's faffing about
  • it's permanent




And what does that tell us, my nerdlets, about the representation of scarring here?




His scar might be shaped like a lightning bolt, but it's a clean line.

Scars are often jagged, uneven, and/or unsightly.

Rowling falls into the trope of Good Scars vs Evil Scars - good scars, the kind heroes get, are either attractive or barely noticeable.

They are clean lines, as if made by a precision instrument, and healed evenly.

The villains get to have 'scary' jagged or unsightly scars, to show that they're evil inside and out (*sighs*.)













It gives Harry a dramatic backstory.

It's a sign that he's 'the Chosen One' - it's derring-do and noble-suffering bound into one little line on his head.

And, just to be handy, it never dries out and flakes in the winter, forcing him to use non-heroic moisturiser.






Harry's scar is easily hidden.

Harry wears his hair long to hide his scar. While I would defend the right of anyone with a scar to either hide it, or display it, as they choose, why does Rowling choose to hide Harry's scar?

Is it, perhaps, because society sees facial imperfections and scars as something shameful, some sign of corruption? 

By hiding his scar, he can hide his imperfection. Rowling's hero is flawed, but not where anyone can see it.

But guess what? Scars are ok. They are not a corruption, or a flaw of character. They are simply damaged skin.







Harry's scar 'aches.'

OK, I'm about to blow your mind - SCARS DON'T HURT. Yes, yes, magic and all that. But scars have limited pain receptors.

Unless you cut through all the skin layers, they will very rarely actually hurt. The skin around them might ache or hurt, especially if they've dried out and tightened, but the scar itself? Not usually.

Scars are simply the result of collagen healing the skin. Yeah - collagen, that stuff they put in dermal fillers? Very few pain receptors.







And Harry's scar has magical Voldy Spider-sense.

Granted, this is handy plot-wise, and has the added 'oh, poor Harry!' effect that Rowling was clearly going for.

But what is this saying, really?

That scars are a constant reminder of the bad parts of your life and your past? That physical scars and psychological ones are directly linked?

That scars have to be (as Dumbledore says) 'useful' in order to be present on a hero instead of on a villain?













Scars actually change over time, you know that?

They can change vastly for about 2 years after the injury or other damage to the skin, and can change in appearance after that as your body ages.

You wouldn't think that, given that scars in so many books etc. are either healed completely within a week or two, or permanently in a specific state for the rest of the character's life.



If your character ages, their scar should too.

Stretch marks in particular will silver as you get older (and no, stretch marks aren't just from pregnancies - they also occur in growth spurts, and sometimes around injuries where the skin has had to grow more quickly than normal in order to heal the wound.)

I have a small indented scar above my eye from where I had some face-time with a table aged six (it had staples sticking out of it, and accident-prone Cee over here just had to connect with the stapled portion of the table.)

It looks different all the freaking time. If I'm tired, it really stands out. Some days, it's barely there at all. Skin is stretchy and crinkly - especially on your face.






So, there I am as a kid, reading Harry Potter, and wondering why the hell his scar looks the same all the time? Why doesn't it flake? Why is it aching, but never pulling with skin tightness?

Facial skin moves a lot, and you know those lines you get in your forehead when you're making expressions? They should've made Harry's scar look different all the time.





Ms Rowling chose to give Harry a facial scar, yet doesn't seem to know what that entails.

I would've loved it if he wandered down to Madame Pomfrey every now and then in winter to ask for lotion of some kind.

Or maybe a description of the weird feeling of not-feeling when you move a joint or a muscle (like, in your forehead, for example) with a scar overlapping it?





Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Harry, or against J K Rowling. It just would've been nice if, when writing a kid with a scar, she thought about what that was like.





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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

5 Spoopy Book-To-Film Adaptations For Halloween

Hello dearest nerdlets! Halloween is coming up (which, if you've spent 5 minutes on social media lately, you've probably noticed,) so I decided to give you a little list of 5 book-to-film adaptations in the Halloween-y spirit!










1. The Crow


The adaptation of James O'Barr's amazing graphic novel is a) violent and b) awesome. Not for kids, this is... rough... but is still, most definitely, worth the watch.

Brandon Lee played the title role of Eric Draven, and, infamously, was sadly killed on set by a freak set of circumstances which resulted in live ammo being used. He was amazing in this film.





Amazon: UK - US







2. Secret Window


This comes from a Stephen King short story/novella-type-thing called Secret Window, Secret Garden, and stars Johnny Depp.

Book nerds will especially love this one (yes guys, I know my audience dammit!) because it follows a writer, and deals with imagination, the power of stories, and characters/plot.

The denouement (fancy words!) is different in the short story - but, to be honest, I love both (but did find it ironic that a plot obsessed with story endings changed the ending of the story.)





Amazon: UK - US







3. Harry Potter (series)


Yes, this counts! There are witches and wizards and sh**!

And not everyone wants things to be too scary on Halloween - so, to them, I give the notion of a Harry Potter marathon. My gift to you. ;)





Amazon: UK - US







4. Interview With The Vampire


My friends, Lestat started my love affair with all things vamp, and to that I will always thank this film (which I saw before I read the book! Shocking! But I actually do that a lot.)

Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt playing two exceptionally sexy vampires - truly, what more could you want?

And yes, the queer aspects of the story are toned down - but there is no denying* the homoeroticism here. (Fans self.)

*although, someone I went to school with did think they were 'just being friendly' - because, y'know, we all stroke our friends' faces lovingly and breathe lustily in their faces every now and then. (Eye rolls.)





Amazon: UK - US








5. Constantine


The Bestie would kill me if this wasn't on the list.

Therefore I give in to the higher power that is my friend's wrath, and give you this comic-book-based tale of hell and damnation. Plus Keanu Reeves. #JobDone.

Oh, and I've actually reviewed this! (I really need to do more bookish film reviews... I just keep forgetting!) You can check out that review here.





Amazon: UK - US








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