Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I have a bad habit of spoiling stories for people, I don’t mean to do it, sometimes things just slip out. In my head, the things I say don’t seem like spoilers to me: a small detail about a character or something that happens within the first few moments of a book. These things seem unimportant to me but carry the potential to ruin a story entirely for somebody else. Just last week I let slip a detail about Fahrenheit 451, that although seemed trivial to me, the person on the receiving end entered a state of emotional shock and acted as if I had just told her some life altering dark secret. I won’t repeat what I told her here, just in case you haven’t read the first chapter of a book that came out sixty-six years ago.

The problem is, that I assume things about people, like if you read books, I automatically assume that there are a number of books that you must have read. Just how everybody assumes that everyone has seen Star Wars, listened to Abbey Road, or watched Breaking Bad. I will assume that if you are a book reader, you’ll know what happens at the end of Of Mice and Men, even if you haven’t read it (sorry Phoebe).

When it comes to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, it’s worth mentioning that this book was “spoiled” for me by the movie. I already knew all about Charlie and the twists and turns he goes through along the way. But did that ruin the experience? Was my reading of the book a lesser experience by knowing what happens? Was this book “spoiled” for me?

No, no, no, never in a million years.

Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie: the casting was perfect, the key scenes came across magnificently and overall it was a treat to watch. It was perfect adaption of the book. However, the book has so much more to offer.

I found myself connecting on a deep emotional level with Charlie, despite the story taking place in early 90s, despite being set in an America, despite Charlie being a sixteen-year-old high schooler, I was right there alongside him, finding myself relating to him every step of the way. He’s such a genuine character, it’s almost impossible not to grow attached to him. My favourite Charlie moment is when he is asked what his favourite book is, his answer is This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Why? Because it was the last book he read.

The epistolary form used throughout only cements the bonds between Charlie and the reader: we hear his thoughts, we discover his deepest desires and we learn his truths. There’s nothing unique about the form, and Chbosky unapologetically makes multiple references to Catcher in the Rye (another book I assume that all book readers have read). There are certainly comparisons to be made between Holden Caulfield and Charlie, but there are equally as many differences between them too.

There is an overarching story which for the most part is irrelevant; it’s not about the story. What is important are the characters and the connections that Charlie forms throughout the story, connections with family, friends and lovers. The characters feel honest and genuine, and each one of them is their own distinct person with their own lives and issues. I mentioned earlier that Charlie is relatable and I really do mean it, I believe that everybody who reads this book will find some way to connect with him.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was originally published in 1999 and is considered by many to be a classic, myself included. In fact, I’ve just added it to the list of books that I assume people have read. So I would advise you get out and read it soon before I accidentally spoil it for you!

DOS II (Divinity Original Sin 2)

Ever played Dungeons and Dragons before? It’s wonderful and is a really fun way to spend an evening with friends. Unfortunately it’s not always that easy to arrange meet ups for a campaign especially when you’ve moved home to the wrong side of the country. DOS II is the solution.

DOS II is a turn based RPG set in its own fantasy universe. The world in which you play is full of detail and the amount of background lore is impressive to say the least. Although it’s not set in the exact same setting as Dungeons and Dragons, it’s easy to draw parallels between the two games.

You and up to four characters can create a character from up to 4 different races, including an undead version of each race. The familiar RPG classes are all there and the game offers you a decent amount of customisation for your character. If character creation isn’t your thing however, there are several premade characters each with thier own enticing backstory and individual quests. Once a game has been started, players are free to drop in and drop out at anytime they wish so long as the host of the game is online (the one who saves the progress to their PC).

The combat is turn based in a 3D environment which gives you the freedom to play the game however you want to. Whatever crazy schemes or tactics you can think of, the game is fully prepared to handle whatever you can chuck at it. I particularly enjoy teleporting enemies away into far away traps and dropping barrels on their heads.

DOS II does what dungeons and dragons can never do by allowing you and your friends to play a turn based strategy fantasy role playing game from wherever you are in the world, no matter how far apart you have drifted. And I think that is what makes this game special for me.Divinity-Original-Sin-2-1080-Wallpaper-1

World Of Warships

I’ve played a lot of games in my time, starting way back in the days of the game boy advance, but I think out of all of them, the game that I have sunk the most hours into has got to be World of Warships.

I don’t know what it is that constantly draws me back to this game time and time again but I suppose its mostly that the general play style of the game appeals to me. You have to plan ahead, think about tactics and work with your team. The progression system is engaging, treating you with new experiences each time you unlock a new ship as you make your way up the various branches in the tech tree. Visually the game is stunning and being able to inspect each of your ships up close and personal in the port screen is truly wonderful. The developers do a cracking job at pumping out new and interesting content with an update every few weeks or so. Looks like I’ve answered my own question.

World of Warships Screenshot 2018.02.09 - 16.19.19.55

Going forward there are a few things I would like to do relating to this game.
1. I would like to do more blog posts about the game including reviews of the ships in the game and any premium ships I get my hands on.
2. I would eventually like to start up a YouTube channel, featuring some reviews and game play of ships in the game.
3. Get better at the game. I would say I win nearly as many games as I lose at the moment, I’d like to up those numbers a bit.

Review: Night in the Woods

I’m a strong believer in Indie games, I feel like a lot of the time AAA games tend to gloss over the story aspect and focus on visual quality and create a deceptively cinematic feel. This blurs the lines between film and game which isn’t always a bad thing. However sometimes I need an emotional connection to a game and it’s characters, games that can make me feel genuine human emotions are what can really make a game feel special to me. Night in the Woods is one of those games.

In Night in the Woods, you play the role of Mae: a 20 year old who has dropped out of college and returned to her backwater hometown of Possum Springs after a 2 year absence. Oh and did I mention she’s a cat? DVhM99BU8AAjT48 Mae like so many of us hasn’t been keeping in contact from any of her old friends from her school days and soon discovers that although many things about her hometown have stayed the same, the people have changed.

The character development you experience throughout the game really touched me as we get to learn the deep dark secrets of not only the residents of  Possum Springs, but of the town itself. The characters you’ll be most familiar with are her three best friends: Gregg, an excitable but lovable fox who’s hobbies include knife fights, smashing cars and “crimes”. Bea, a goth alligator with an attitude that only a goth alligator could have. And Angus, a nerdy bear in a top hat who also happens to be in a relationship with Gregg.

When I first started this game, I didn’t really understand what kind of game it would be as first impressions make it out to be a platformer of sorts. And while there are some platforming elements, the main focus of the game is the story. There is so much depth to this game that on my play through I feel like I only scratched the surface of what this game has to offer, there are so many interesting and unique characters to meet and interact with.

This is a game that will be with me for a while, both emotionally and physically because I have no need to delete it from my Switch anytime soon. Night in the Woods is currently around £17 on the Nintendo eShop although was originally released on PC due a successful kickstarter campaign. Pick it up if it sounds like it appeals to you. 🙂DVhTtZQVMAERNAs

Apple Watch: My first review!

 

watchNow now, calm down, I know I said that I would be reviewing music, games and movies. Well I thought I’d try something different and tell you about my Apple Watch.

First of all lets talk about the name. I’m sure many of you have heard this rant before, but why on God’s green earth didn’t Apple name their watch product using the exact same trend they’ve been using for the past however many years, why not call it an iWatch? We’ve got the iMac, the iPhone, the iPod, the i… ok I’m running out of Is now, but you get the point! It doesn’t bother me that much, it’s just a change from the norm, and I don’t like change.

There are a whole range of different configurations of Apple Watch to chose from, I myself have gone for the stainless steel 42 mm watch face with a black sports band strap. This is the mid range model, the model below being made of aluminium, and the model above being made of gold, GOLD! I went for the cheapest strap because every other straps seems ridiculously overpriced for what they are, and I’m a cheapskate.

The Apple Watch is not an essential piece of technology, I don’t think in ten years time we’ll all have one or that it’ll become as essential as having a smart phone. It’s just nice to have. It’s main purpose in my life is the notification feature. What this feature does is whenever I get sent a text, Facebook message, email, any kind of notification I would get on my phone, It’ll pop up on my watch face with a little vibration and allow me to get the general gist of what it is. This is incredibly useful in my opinion for a number of reasons:
1. I don’t have to fiddle around getting my phone out of my pocket, unlocking it and finding what I’ve been sent only to find it is something unimportant and I wish I hadn’t bothered.
2. My phone battery is complete bollocks and every time I use it I am aware of it’s life force being sucked away and dying unspectacularly. (Granted using the watch requires bluetooth, but this isn’t a huge drain on battery life.)
3. It’s fun to do! I still don’t get bored of reading something off of my watch. (It’s a watch that tells me things!!!! :O jfsjFSM,Fljkfh) (The future is now!)
4. When I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to get my phone out, all I need to do is have a quick glance at my wrist.

The watch also has a set of apps which at the moment are rather lacking, and if I want to spend time on an app, I’ll do it on my phone. Although there are a few that I’ll use occasionally.

The battery life is better than I expected, mine will last two days on a full charge and will run out some time on the third. You charge the phone by attaching the back to a magnetic clasp and if put on the side while charging, the watch will become a sort of night time clock thing.

I’m going to finish up now before I waffle on any more, there’s quite a cool communication feature which lets you send drawings and heartbeats to other Apple Watch users, unfortunately none of my friends actually have Apple Watches so this feature is a bit lost on me. In general I am very happy with my Apple Watch and hope to be using it for many years to come. However I can see that the price tag may put a lot of people off as the watch ranges from £479 to over a thousand pounds. I lucked out and bought one for cheaper while over in America, so my advice would be to wait for the price to go down a bit if you are seriously considering getting one. If you do get one, let me know so I can send you my heartbeat. 😉