The HOB Team are taking a few months break to get some more writing done. See you when we see you! #keepreading #keepwriting


New Year with Shellie and Me

By Elle Homan


This year has come to a halt as we begin to welcome the birth of another. This is the time of year when we voluntarily choose to start over. We choose to forgive and forget those who may have hurt us. We become thankful for the good and bad experiences that we have endured. We create new goals that we hope to continue within the following year (these usually end within the first week of the New Year). But most of all, we become thankful for being alive and for pursuing all the things that we once dreamt about. New Year is my favourite time of year because I can do all of the above and I do enjoy celebrating with a glass of Guinness in my hand.

I found that 2014 brought many exciting things to me. I cannot pick between them all because you will be reading forever and you will think that my ego is the size of an elephant. But, I will choose two things.

The first special thing I own is this blog. I suggested the concept of this blog just under twelve months ago to Shellie via text message (because I was too eager to wait until our scheduled meet up time). Of course, she was thrilled with the idea and she began to throw some creative (and very marvellous) ideas my way. At the time we were in the midst of completing our undergraduate degree’s (Shellie in English and me in Media Studies) but despite the pressure of university we remained keen on the idea of our new baby for several months afterwards. Then after we graduated (both with honours!) we joined WordPress and we met you. I think I write on behalf of both Shellie and myself when I express to you my gratitude in regards to you sticking by us throughout this year, because without you we would not have anyone to express our love of stories too, and for that we are most appreciative. We aim to continue to spread our message of story-telling throughout 2015 and we hope that you remain to stick by our side.

The second special thing I also own is a book. This is not just any book, oh no. It is a short story by a beautiful woman, wife, mother and writer named Giovanna Fletcher. Yes, this yummy mummy is known to many as “the wife of Tom from McFly” but I prefer to know her as Giovanna Fletcher because her talent for writing is outstanding. Her first published novel ‘Billy and Me’ was incredible and it is a story that I hope to share with you next year. Her second published book is ‘You’re the One That I Want’ which I am currently in the middle of which is (again) outstanding so far. But the book that I want to discuss with you is a short sequel to the story of ‘Billy and Me’ which is known as ‘Christmas with Billy and Me’.


This story is unique because it features the same characters as it does in the first, but due to the fact that it surrounds Christmas time, it embraces a new story. If you do not know of the first book (which was released in 2013) then I fear you may be slightly lost in regards to the current story and its characters. Despite this slight flaw, this story remains interesting and sweet. At the moment I am only on chapter 2 because this was bought for me as a Christmas present and because I aim to drag out the Christmas spirit for as long as I can. I think the blurb captures exactly what this story is about and why it is a brilliant read for over this festive time:

When a smitten stranger emails Sophie to ask her if he can propose to the woman he loves in her little teashop, the romantic in her finds it impossible to refuse. Even though Christmas is her busiest time of year she has her own sweetheart, Hollywood actor Billy Buskin, to lend a helping hand. How could she say no to making someone’s dream come true?

As Sophie and Billy work together to plan the perfect fairytale proposal for this couple, excitement in Rosefont Hill is mounting. Who is this mysterious man? And who is the lucky lady he’s about to get down on one knee for?

This short story (much like the first) has captured my heart and taught me how to love again. Sophie, Billy and the mysterious guests have shown me the beauty of romance, while also opening my heart to the thought of having a reliable man back in my life. For now though I will continue to read and I will report back to you in 2015.

Shellie and I will be taking a short break over the New Year so we can celebrate with our families and each other. We hope you have a marvellous time and we hope that you have a very Happy New Year!
See you in 2015!
Much love from,
The Hooked on Books Official Team.

Photographs taken from Google.com (2014)
Book blurb taken from Amazon.co.uk (2014)

Film: ‘A Christmas Carol’

by Elle Homan


Once again, I wish you a Merry Christmas. Did you enjoy your day? Did you eat lots of food and drink lots of sugary drinks? Did you play any board games? Oh… and what about your family? Did you visit them too? I love Christmas and I had the most wonderful time (and that was not because I was off work for two whole days).

The biggest part of Christmas I say, is watching Christmas movies. My favourite Christmas movie of all time has to be Disney’s (no surprise, huh?) version of ‘A Christmas Carol’, which as I am sure you already know, was based upon the novel written by the wonderful Charles Dickens. I find that his stories ooze Christmas.

I watched this movie on Christmas Eve. I was accompanied by my dearest parents who fell a sleep through most of the movie, while I sat in my specially bought Chrimbo pyjamas feeling completely mesmerised by the magic of Christmas. I am pretty sure that you already know my true opinion of this movie but for technicality I must establish it here right now. IT WAS AWESOME!

This movie celebrates the progression in the production stages of screen development (aka CGI) as everything you see looks REAL. I mean… look at the picture at the top of the page, go on. Now… think of how Jim Carey looks in your mind. Now scroll back up, look at the picture and you tell me that the cartoon does not look anything like JC? If you cannot see the resemblance then I think you need to watch something Carey related because it is the spitting image of this man! Don’t stop there… repeat the process with Colin Firth and his character. Just wow. Saying that, everything you see in this movie feels real which furthermore makes you feel apart of it.

What I love most about this version is that it does not differ from the original. I despise it when a story is altered so much that it becomes practically a new one. This story is exactly the same. It includes ‘Scrooge’, ‘Marley’, ‘the nephew’, ‘Tiny Tim’ and the ‘three ghosts of Christmas’. Nothing is altered in this story and that is just how I like it.

This movie is not bound to solely Christmas Eve because the story carries such a beautiful message. Watch it now. Watch it on New Year. You could even watch it in the middle of July because the message will always remain the same. Treasure your life. Be grateful for those around you. Use your time to celebrate with your loved ones and say your graces. And… buy some good presents! Enjoy the festivities!


Disney’s Cinderella

by Shellie Daintry


There’s nothing like a classic, is there? Especially at Christmas time, nostalgia and Christmas seem to go hand in hand.

After the success of turning an animated Disney Classic into a live action spectacular with Maleficent, next year Cinders will be getting her turn again on the big screen in a new adaptation. Due for release in March 2015 and with Lily James cast in the title role, it looks like it is going to be a treat of a film, full of magic and glitz and beautiful ballgowns. I will most definitely be watching it!

But today, while I was feeling a bit down and full of the inevitable winter cold, I decided to indulge myself in the 1950s Cinderella, who is looking fabulous for nearly 65 years old, might I add! Now she has never been my favourite Disney princess, that spot is reserved for Belle from Beauty and the Beast, but she has a charm all her own. Very of the age and borderline cheesy but it is undeniably entertaining and a good remedy for a boring winter’s day.

The newer Disney Classics might be more interesting and have stronger female characters, but Cinderella has earned her place as one of the more popular Disney Princess fairy tales. Wouldn’t we all love a fairy godmother who can find us a prince and give us a killer dress for the party to boot?

I know I would!


Film: ‘The Railway Man’

by Elle Homan

This movie is proof that we (the UK) own some great historical stories and the talent to make the feeling of time pass on by. ‘The Railway Man‘ was released on 10th January 2013 and it has taken me slightly under twenty four months to see it for the very first time. It shocks me more that it was released so long ago. Where the hell have I been for the past two years?


I first discovered the availability of this movie on ‘Netflix‘ earlier this month and today I decided to divulge into this story as it is my day off from work. I must say, it was not what I was expecting but I mean that in a really good way.

This story is presented several decades after the Second Great World War and it focuses primarily upon the personal account of a war veteran named ‘Eric‘ who was later captured by a Japanese army. His story begins in the present day and in the adorable meeting of his future wife ‘Patti‘ who he meets during a pleasant train ride. This train enthusiast woos the girl by talking geeky and diverging in long-winded conversations about the progression of the train industry. After he exits at Preston train station, we assume that this love story is not meant to be but Eric proves us wrong by jumping onto another train and meeting Patti at the end of her journey. Awe. I can confirm that this is the quickest love story you will ever witness as they are hitched within the next ten minutes of the film.

After they marry, we begin to see Eric’s story unveil as he endures painful flashbacks of his time in the Japanese camp. Why was he captured? We are told by his close friend ‘Finlay‘ that Eric could not cope after the war had ended; he temporarily moved to Africa to build houses for the suffering communities and he was captured there. I must say, it was incredibly heart-breaking to hear and watch Eric go through such a horrifying ordeal. This movie goes into strong detail in regards to the level of torture that Eric was exposed to. If you are a sensitive soul, then I must say that this film will not be for you. Saying that, you could always hide behind a pillow? It is your call.

Throughout this story we crave the achievement of closure for both Eric and ourselves. But I think it would be impossible to find full closure if you experienced something as horrific as this surely? How could anyone find comfort after they found freedom? Believe it or not, Eric did.

There was a Japanese interpreter who was involved in Eric’s experience. He never once tortures him, but he never stops those who are hurting him either. He’s just the interpreter who haunts Eric during his isolation and during his freedom. Along his journey, Eric discovers that the interpreter is still alive. He lives a peaceful life in the United Kingdom while working as a tour guide assistant in a museum-like place. Eric searches for him, finds him and gives him a taste of his own medicine. Eric does not kill the interpreter but instead shows him the pain that he inflicted and how it has affected him decades after he was freed. The most shocking part of this story is that after their deep conversation they both received closure and a new friendship.

Did you know that this story withholds truth? Because I never. At the start of this movie it states ‘Based off a true story’ and I believe that to be the most shocking part of this story. Everything is true. Everything from the captivity, the isolation, the torture, the closure and the friendship.

This story showed me how positive life can be, once you let go of what was holding you back.


Mad for Maleficent

By Elle Homan

Believe it or not, I watched the movie ‘Maleficent’ last night. I shut out the entire world and I embraced the magic within this story. It continues to still be one of my favourite films as it inspires me in many magical ways. I am even wearing my Maleficent costume today too (JOKE!)

To my surprise, I discovered that Mac Cosmetics was also inspired by this desirable witch-like woman. Their limited cosmetics range named ‘Maleficent’ (not shocked) was released earlier this year. Just picture it. The oozing red lipstick, the gold shimmering eye shadow, the dusty coal eyeliner and the crystal effect foundation. Oh my word. What a marvellous creation?

I have no idea if this combo is even still available, but I MUST BUY IT. That way I’ll be able to dress up as Mally and perform the entire story to you. Best warm up my voice, “LISTEN WELL ALL OF YOU!” [bangs long stick-looking object on the floor].



Satisfying my Inner Child

by Shellie Daintry


We all have our guilty pleasures.

Some of us have more guilty pleasures than they do ordinary pleasures. I might be one of those people. Childish things still hold sway on my heart and here I am owning up to that fact.

Yesterday I went to watch the new Tinkerbell movie. Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast, is its full title and there’s no hiding from it, it is targeted at kids, and only kids. Some Disney movies, I’d say, appeal to all ages, especially the Classics – and that’s what makes our love for them endure as we grow up. The Tinkerbell (or Disney Fairies) franchise is borne from the Disney Classic Peter Pan, which in turn is based on J.M.Barrie’s original tale. It doesn’t have the complexity of the original tale, and it has changed to suit children of today, but although I know I’m probably too old to enjoy this little film, I have to tell you I did enjoy it – very much.

This is the sixth in the series of films that form the centre of the Disney Fairies franchise, though I think it shouldn’t be called “Tinkerbell and…” anymore, the main character in this children’s tale isn’t Tink but another fairy called Fawn. She uncovers a strange beast in Pixie Hollow and befriends it which leads us into a tale about friendship and following your heart. Adorably designed, however, and the songs are quite sweet as well. The tale is entertaining and surprisingly moving for a film aimed at children. It reduced the children in the audience to tears. One little girl a few rows behind us, began sobbing before any of the others and her heart-wrenching tears almost made me cry along with her, she was so cute.

I might go as far as to say that it might be the best of the Tinkerbell films yet. (Yes, I’ve watched them all…I’m a child at heart). Children will love this film, and as a guilty pleasure I think it might entertain quite a few adults as well.

It satisfied my inner child at least! It was full of Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust! (Sorry couldn’t resist!)