& Juliet (Shaftesbury Theatre): ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review

This show has been following me around since I saw the first announcement ahead of its initial run. However, the soundtrack did not immediately convince me to see it as, while the voices were great, I found it difficult to listen to without narrative context. I normally do not mind listening to the soundtrack first and trying to gauge the story from this, but as the individual songs each had their own contexts outside of the show it was exceedingly difficult to get past that. When I went down to London, initially for the week of London Book Fair, at the end of February I was lucky enough to catch & Juliet on my first night using TodayTix for a £15 ticket. Also, in the couple of days between booking and my visit the show was nominated for nine Olivier Awards and many WhatsOnStage Awards so you could say I was expecting a good time!

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Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Non-Spoiler Review

Before I can say anything about the content of this book, just look at how gorgeous it is! I know the old saying, “never judge a book by its cover”, but I have been making a conscious effort to be more aware of book design this year and this is the perfect example of how design can really push a book ahead. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it did not disappoint. My current reads are turning into a five/four-star streak but this, the one which started it, has stayed with me far beyond the final page.

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8 1/2 Stone by Liz Jones: ⭐️⭐️Review [Blog Tour]

If I see a book written by the former editor-in-chief of Marie Claire and compared to Helen Feilding’s Bridget Jones series, of course, I am going to be intrigued. However, as you can likely gauge from the title the subject matter is incredibly sensitive and the book speaks directly on several aspects of how we perceive ourselves, and our current difficulties, and relationships in relation to body shape. Therefore, this book is very difficult to review but I’m going to give it my best shot.

All views below are, as usual, entirely my own and I am taking the content of this book at face value to the level of the words on the page. There is an author’s note at the end of the book detailing Liz Jones’ own experiences with eating disorders and her journey to writing this book, however, please be aware I did not read it prior to reading the main narrative or writing this review. Alongside my own rating I have also included a five-star review and one-star review at the end to give any prospective readers multiple perspectives and a range of information.

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The Prince of Egypt (Dominion Theatre): ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review

So many people, including myself, have been waiting for this production to happen for years. It is finally here! I am a lover of animated films, particularly hand-drawn animation, and The Prince of Egypt was a significant contributor to this alongside Disney and a couple of Fox films. Little did I know when I first watched it as a child, however, that the gorgeous score accompanying the awesome animation was written by none other than Stephen Schwartz, also known as the composer of a little-known show called Wicked. When I heard that this production was finally getting off the ground with the continued contribution of Schwartz, and after hearing ‘Footprints on the Sand’, I knew this show could not be missed.

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O.W.L.s Magical Readathon TBRs (Featuring the Family)

As I’ve been engrossed with job hunting since the beginning of this year, I will be the first to admit that time to read for pleasure, especially when I’m over ambitious during readathons, can run away from me. However, I’m finding this pressure is lifting due to openings being pushed back and thinning out. Overall, I’m using this time to work on my CV, learn more about the market through the Get Into Book Publishing online course, read more for my PhD and… finally participate in the Magical Readathon!

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